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Old 08-14-2020, 02:28 PM   #21
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2000 25' Safari
Davidson County , NC Highlands County, FL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KVT View Post
I love this explanation
So with that logic
Say I’m about 1300 at the hitch
Obviously I haven’t weighed the rear axel...
Whould there be a benefit to the Firestone air bags to change the fulcrum towards the front?

Kris
Ok, assume the load on the hitch receiver is 1,300 lbs. Don't worry about the axle just yet, that might be premature at this point.

Instead do some calculations, based your vehicle, using the information on door placard on the truck and/or in the owner's manual that is specific to your truck.
*Find the maximum gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of your specific truck.
*Find the maximum gross combined vehicles rating (GCWR) of you specific truck.
*Find the maximum cargo weight rating of specific to your truck.
* Estimate cargo weight - your and your passengers weight and add any equipment, tools, camping gear, etc (anything that did not come with your truck when it was new at the factory)

You can calculate these numbers, and use them make some educated choices.
a. GVRW - max cargo = empty weight of truck, the day it was built.
b. If any accessories have been added, deduct the weight of those accssories from the maximum cargo weight on the placard (because this is additional cargo)
c. If load on hitch+all cargo/passengers = to or is greater than the max allowed it's a no go.
d. If the GVRW of truck+GVRW of trailer is += to or is greater that the GCWR of the truck, be careful! This combination might work if the weight vehicles can be kept lower than maximum combined weight of both vehicles.

If the above has been calculated and the numbers seem to work, then start checking axle capacities, tire capacities, the truck's hitch capacity, the hitch's ball mount capacity, the hitch ball capacity, etc. etc.
Every component of the tow vehicle and all parts of the hitching system must be matched to the use/load. If any one part fails, the whole system fails.
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Old 08-14-2020, 02:38 PM   #22
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2001 34' Limited S/O
Burleson , Texas
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I am not an engineer. I do not sell trucks or build them. I do have a 34Ft Airstream with a slide. I have pulled it for three years in most of the USA mountain ranges. I remember in California telling my wife "I have seen the back of our Airstream from a lot of positions but this was the first time I have seen the back of the Airstream from the drivers seat"! I have pulled long hard grades and gone down them safely.

When I got the Airstream, it replaced a shorter and lighter RV, an Avion to be exact. I was pulling with a 1/2 ton Dodge Eco diesel. I loved the truck, it pulled great and got supper fuel economy. I had no intention to replace it. I bought the Airstream used in Minnesota. 10 minutes into the trip home I knew it was too long and too heavy. I came home to Texas as 55 miles an hour and it still was not as safe as I would prefer. I am a very experienced driver of many years. I got home and bought Air Bags. That didn't do the trick. I then bought a Pro Pride hitch. The Pro Pride hitch stopped the swaying back & forth but still didn't keep the 34 Ft Airstream with slide under control.

I was headed South on a very windy day, I got close to Austin in heavy three lane traffic. The trucks lined up just right and both my 1/2 truck and Airstream changed lanes. Scared me spitless. I pulled over so grateful that I had not hit one of the 18 wheelers. My wife was not with me thank goodness. I got back on the road after checking tires and everything that I thought might have caused the problem. After it happen the 2nd time, I slowed down to 55 and got in the slow lane and just stacked up traffic. I babied it home a week later and went truck shopping.

The last 3 years I have used a Nissan Titan XD with a Cummins and an extra leaf spring. The truck has a 6'7" bed and handles the Airstream like a dream. I do know it is back there but it is extremally stable in all conditions. According to the road warning signs in Wyoming a few weeks back we were in 50 plus mile wind gust. I have been in similar conditions in West Texas and California. I know it is a good fit. For the record I have had many much larger trucks and much larger RV's. This is a great fit.

The point of my story is, there seems to be two sides in this forum. I am sure many who post do push you to buy a large truck to a fault. I'm not going to tell you to buy a large truck but I will tell you don't buy one too SMALL!
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Old 08-14-2020, 02:41 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KVT View Post
Thank you Al and Missy!

Great equation!

Tell me about the importance of the axel limits? I had not considered that before

Thank you

Kris
There should be a label, typically white, in the driver's side door frame. It will tell you the weight limits for your axles and the payload for your truck as it was equipped from the factory. Payload is identified as the weight limit for passengers and cargo. and is reduced by any accessories added since manufacture. If you have added a topper, for example, the payload is reduced by the weight of the topper. Typically the GVWR is less than the sum of the two axle limits and my be limited by brakes, engine, transmission, frame, etc. Many on here believe if you are within the axle limits even if slightly over GVWR, that is OK but I don't personally subscribe to that position.

Typically when a trailer with a significant tongue weight is attached to a tow vehicle the result is the tongue weight is added to the rear axle, and the fact that the hitch is behind the axle causes a lever effect which lifts the front of the truck, effectively transferring weight from the front axle to the rear. In the extreme the front axle gets light enough that steering is affected. A weight distribution hitch will restore some portion of that weight to the front axle and some to the trailer axle(s). Different vehicle manufacturers take different positions as to how much of that weight should be restored. Some even say a weight distribution hitch is not required. I'm not sure how they come to that conclusion. I don't want any less weight on the front axle than I would have without the trailer attached and the bed full of cargo.

All of the above is just my personal opinion. You will certainly find differing positions here and on other internet sources. You will have to figure out for yourself what you want to do.
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Old 08-14-2020, 03:13 PM   #24
CLOUDSPLITTER "Tahawus"
 
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2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , Milky Way
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KVT View Post
I love this explanation
So with that logic
Say I’m about 1300 at the hitch
Obviously I haven’t weighed the rear axel...
Whould there be a benefit to the Firestone air bags to change the fulcrum towards the front?

Kris
Kris,

Realize that 1300lb on the receiver is NOT 1300 on the rear axle.

AB's correct butt drop, they do not increase the load ratings or move a significant amount weight.

Beware of the hype....
Firestone Ride-Rite air bag helper springs are the work horse of the Firestone line. The double convoluted air bags offer maximum load support as well as years of worry-free service. These are installed between the frame of your vehicle and the suspension, providing load support through the use of air pressure. Specifically designed to maximize the safe load carrying capacity, stability and ride quality. Will also reduce the suspension fatigue on leaf springs caused by permanently sagging. An optional air control kit (air compressor kit) can be added (not required) for additional convenience.
FEATURES & BENEFITS
• Firestone # 2253 Air Bags are custom fit for the Chevy Suburban
• Custom fit installation
• Kit includes (2) air bag helper springs and all required hardware
• Air Bags will increase "level load" capacity by 5000lbs*
• Keeps the your Suburban level
• Levels off-center loads (side to side adjustment)
• Reduce suspension fatigue, keeps leaf springs caused by permanently sagging
• Increase vehicle stability
• Air adjustment improves the ride
• Limited Lifetime Warranty
—————————————————————————————————————————————————— —————————————————

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Crosse [mailto:xxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Sunday, September 04, 2011 10:59 AM
To: info@suspensionconnection.com
Subject: Airbag Chev Suburban

I am wondering how much more payload I will gain by adding rear bags to
my 06 3/4 Burb. Not sure of what the "level load capacity" of the Burb
is now.
I am concerned about overloading the axle as I tow an RV. How much would
I gain by upgrading the suspension with a quality air bag system.
Look forward to your recommendations.

Thank You,
Bob


On Sep 7, 2011, at 12:34 PM, INFO @ SuspensionConnection wrote:

The Firestone air bags will increase your weight carrying capacity by
5000 pounds. I definitely recommend this system for your Burb:
Chevy Firestone Air Bags - 2000-2009 Chevy Suburban 2500 4x4 & 2wd - Firestone "Ride-Rite" Air Bag Helper Springs (Rear)

Thanks

Bob
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Old 08-14-2020, 03:55 PM   #25
KVT
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CHICO , CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginophiles View Post
KVT, we just joined the forum yesterday, seems appropriate that our first post is to a fellow NorCaler. We are looking to pick up a '17 30' International Signature in the next few days, waiting on the bank stuff. This will be our 4th RV, 3rd trailer and 1st Airstream. We tow with a RAM 2500 Diesel, and unless I had a trailer that weighed less than 5000#, I wouldn't mess with a 1/2 ton TV. I've done both. A big part is where we live. As you know, unless you go South down the valley, your going to be towing over the mountains. The Sierras, the Cascades, the Coastal range, Trinity Alps and so on. The diesel exhaust break built in to modern trucks is worth the price of admission. Especially on the way back down. The low end grunt of a diesel on the way up is very nice too. I know there are Tundra guys out there that swear by Tundras and wont drive anything but. And I've seen guys around here towing fully loaded #14k dump trailers with Tundras, its all they'll drive. In our case, after towing a 5500# trailer with a 7500# rated 1/2 ton, the 2500/250 just feels much safer and easier. Look forward to seeing your rig around town one day.
This is great info my friend
Thank you for your response
I think it’s diesel time

Hope to see you on the road

Kris
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Old 08-14-2020, 04:12 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KVT View Post
Thank you Al and Missy!

Great equation!

Tell me about the importance of the axel limits? I had not considered that before

Thank you

Kris
We have a 2002 Classic slider and I wouldn't even attempt to haul it in a half ton pickup. You need a HD truck, mine is a 2008 F250 V10, and tows great. By the time you fill up the Airstream with your stuff, then load more stuff in the back of your pickup, a half ton is way over weight and be dangerous to haul, even with a good hitch.
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Old 08-14-2020, 06:19 PM   #27
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2004 25' Safari
Del Mar , California
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Worth looking at the Nissan Titan XD Diesel. Excellent value truck, good payload (#2500) and towing capacity (#12300). I fitted mine with titan 44 gallon auxilliary tank giving nearly 1000 mile range. Very comfortable for driving around unhitched, Cummins 5 liter V8 Diesel pulls our 25' like it's not there. 5 year warranty and a much lower used price point than GM, Ford, Ram 2500's. (I say used as they don't sell the diesel anymore). No regrets.
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Old 08-14-2020, 06:38 PM   #28
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2018 25' International
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Yeah airbags can/will increase load capacity, but by 5000 lbs? I call bs on that.
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Old 08-14-2020, 08:00 PM   #29
KVT
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CHICO , CA
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you guys rock
Thank for all the great information

When I got home and did all the calculations..my god I'm no where close..

There is no way how it would be safe to pull a 28 safari S/O with my Tundra

Wow!

I am selling my Tundra and I can't thank you guys enough..

What a wonderful community!

Kris
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Old 08-15-2020, 06:04 AM   #30
CLOUDSPLITTER "Tahawus"
 
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Zanadude Nebula , Milky Way
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post
Yeah airbags can/will increase load capacity, but by 5000 lbs? I call bs on that.
They never did explain 'level load capacity', how about 'squat load capacity'?
If your level load capacity squats, is that bad?
I'm not all that comfortable while squatting.🥴

Bob
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Old 08-15-2020, 11:52 AM   #31
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KVT - welcome to the world of Airstreams and Air Forums, where you will get a lot of excellent advice. However, on tow vehicles, you get the scientists, and the practical towers. Not sure you need as much science as practicality.
The weights you can review on your Tundra:
Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating (Tundra & Trailer)
Gross rear axle weight
Payload - you must be aware that nearly every Tundra towing a 28’ or longer AS is over payload unless they do not put a topper on the bed, do not take their spouse, dog, BBQ, tools, chairs and other stuff in the bed.
Tow rating - this is the JOKE that it means something. 1/2 tons can be rated at over 10,000 lbs and my super duty is at 12,500 lbs.

CAT scales are your friend and get the CAT scale app to make this weighing process a lot easier.

My definition of safe driving is to live within the above weights and my wife would not drive the half ton with our 26’ AS because of Sems pushing us around. She drives for three hours at a time with our super duty , with a 3500 payload. We have about 80 AS’s in the Top of Georgia Airstream park right now. Most trailers are 27’ and longer. I do not see a lot of Tundra’s being used by these seasoned towers.

As you know, super duties are less maneuverable than half tons, but for your heavy trailer, you don’t have a lot of options.

Next question you will need to answer gas vs diesel on super duties. Diesels always have the edge on towing as well as higher purchase price, higher maintenance costs and resale value.

Comments on MPG should be based on the range they provide to you while towing. Our 1/2 ton and 3/4 ton pickups both get about 10/11 MPG while towing. OUr 34 gallon tank allows us to plan for getting over 250 miles on the tank before looking for gas. 8’ bed on the F250 has a 48 GL tank.

Our gas engine had no problems on the various passes in our recent trip out West. We waived to the diesel pickups passing us, but I only climb this large passes .01% of the time I tow.

Have fun with the decision, but do not overthink the process and then join the WBCCI club and your local club and attend some Rallies!
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Old 08-15-2020, 11:55 AM   #32
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2018 27' Tommy Bahama
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I towed a 27 foot airstream with a Tundra and upgraded to a 3/4 ton diesel.

The Tundra was a 4 x 4 as trailered up as they sell them. It was OK. Pretty loud on the highway. Went up the hills just fine, including some passes in NM and CO. Down was a bit more worrisome, but as long as I went slow it felt safe.

If we didn't tow very often, and didn't go very far, it was fine. After about 300 miles though, I was exhausted, partly from the noise, partly from tension of feeling I had little reserve left for unforeseen events.

Also, after several trips I figured out the tongue weight of the trailer just about maxed out the capacity of the truck. It seemed to tow best with as much weight as possible moved out of the truck to the trailer.

Don't get me wrong, the Tundra was a great truck in every other way.

After a year with the Tundra, we upgraded to an F250 diesel. What a difference. Engine braking down steep grades is a huge benefit. No worries about having brakes when I need them.

The extra weight and suspension make towing all together better.

The diesel torque allow towing at highway speeds with low rpm and resulting quiet cabin.

We can travel further and arrive fresher than with the Tundra.

That's a long way of saying, it depends on what you plan to do with your trailer.

If I were you, I might try the Tundra first, and upgrade later depending on your experience.
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Old 08-19-2020, 02:22 PM   #33
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No such thing as too much truck!

I have a 2005 28 Safari with S/O. Have been pulling with a Crew Cab Ford F-250 Diesel and have never had any challenges. Started with a cheesy Curt Hitch, moved to a Blue Ox Sway Pro which I liked because of ease of hitching and finally moved up to a Pro Pride hitch. We have been to every state except North Dakota and never had to worry about our truck/trailer combo. Keep in mind that the slide adds about 1,000 pounds to the front of the trailer which I am told makes it a good towing trailer.
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