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Old 10-22-2014, 08:09 PM   #1
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benicia , California
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Posts: 107
Please advise. Can't decide on a tow vehicle.

I had my eye on a 2004 Ford F-250 with a 6L diesel motor but was told on another forum that those trucks are problematic. Thing is, I know little about diesel trucks so I am hoping someone here can chime in about the F250. Lastly, what do you guys pull with? I am buying a 28' FC.
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Old 10-22-2014, 08:34 PM   #2
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1999 34' Excella
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Hillsboro , Texas
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Well, there are still a bunch of them on the road...

We have a 2012 Chevy.. Duramax... 4x4.. 2500.. pulling our 34' 1999.. very nice..
Peace and Blessings..
WBCCI# 30676
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Old 10-22-2014, 09:09 PM   #3
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I'm a fan of the F250/350. Had 4 of them up through a 2008 6.4. Had 2004 6.0 but glad I traded it at 27K miles. Now back in a 1997 7.3 that I wouldn't trade for anything. If you can find a 7.3 turbo diesel, you would be lucky but it won't be fancy. If a nicer truck is what you want, look beyond the 6.0.
Randy...Converters, Inverters, Trimetric, Surge Protectors, Zamp, Smartplug, AGM Batts
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Old 10-22-2014, 09:44 PM   #4
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
2007 20' Safari SE
Fuquay Varina , North Carolina
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Can't decide on a tow vehicle

We have a 2011 Ford F-250 Super Duty that we tow our new 2015 28ft Flying Cloud with. It has the 6.7 diesel and has not been a problem. The 6.7 seemed to fix the problems of the 6.0 It is dependable, has good power and fuel economy. We are getting around 14.5 mpg towing the 28ft.
It does use DEF (fluid) to help manage the emissions, which some people do not like. I think Ford hit a home run with this model. This year I had the Ford dealership change the OEM fuel tank, which is only 26 gallons, with a Titon 50 gallon replacement fuel tank It is engineered to fit in the space occupied by the OEM tank. I now have a driving range of 650-700 miles per tank.
As a previous poster said, the 7.3 is a great motor. They are hard to find and command a premium price. My brother-in-law has a 2001 7.3 350 with over 125,000 miles on it. He uses it to pull a 34 ft horse trailer and has never had any problems with the engine.
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Old 10-22-2014, 10:37 PM   #5
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1970 29' Ambassador
Paron , Arkansas
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Ditto on Silverbee post. We just drove 504 miles one way to pick up a 2012 Ford F250 XLT with towing package. Sway control & brake control built in. Nice plug in with seven way and 4 way on bumper with one unit. The truck had 13800 miles. It is by all means not all loaded but has more than I can understand at this point with all the steering wheel controls etc.
My 06 Ram 2500 Cumins had good fuel mileage and range. Unfortunately the Cumins was still too much for an automatic trans. Get a standard. Original trans rebuilt at 97000 miles, rebuilt again at 147000 and again at 170000. Front end literally fell out at 137000. AC replaced twice. Loved it even with all the problems. Easy puller.
Really like the Ford. Tremendously easier to drive and the turning radius feels very tight.
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Old 10-23-2014, 09:39 AM   #6
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For work I've driven the F-450 (2010) and the F-550, both with the 6.0. Both great motors at first, tons of power, pulled a 51 ft Dominator trailer that was about 20,000 lbs. both trucks blew head gaskets. Both trucks had to have the fuel injection rebuilt... We sold the F-550, still have the 450, about 125,000 miles, and runs like crap. Just my experience.

I tow The LoveStream (tm) with a 2000 F-250 5.7L gasser, 130,000 miles so far, no troubles.

-Red, driving an old truck, pulling an older Airstream...

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Somebody ought to clean these windows. There is a tremendous buildup of gook all over them...
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Old 10-23-2014, 09:51 AM   #7
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Cary , North Carolina
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The 6.0L diesel did have some problems - many related to emission systems/solutions.

If I recall, the EGR cooler and the head bolts were the worst - not big deals in themselves but failure led to engine damage. There are known, well proven fixes. There is a chance some of these fixes have already been done to the truck you are looking at.

Common 6.0L Power Stroke Problems

6.0L Power Stroke Bulletproofing Tactics - Bulletproof Diesel - Truckin Magazine All Pages
2006 Safari SE FB
2000 F150 4.2L
2011 F250 6.2L
Broadway, NC
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Old 10-23-2014, 10:05 AM   #8
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Ridgefield , Washington
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We have a 2013 Ram 2500 to pull our 30' Classic. We average about 14mpg + towing, and 21mpg not towing with two kayaks on top. Engine only has 16k miles...technically "not broken in"....Love it.

With a tail wind we had 15mpg!!!
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Old 10-23-2014, 10:09 AM   #9
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I bought a 2001 F250 7.3 Diesel with 320000 Miles on it and had no Problem with the Motor at all ....
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Old 10-23-2014, 10:20 AM   #10
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Chelsea , Michigan
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We have a 2015 F-250 diesel (6.7 liters) and wouldn't trade it for anything else! In my opinion, it's the perfect tow vehicle.
Bob Martel
WBCCI# 5766
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Old 10-23-2014, 10:25 AM   #11
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1984 31' Sovereign
Stockbridge , Georgia
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My choice would be a big block Suburban. Any style. As long as the vehicle itself is in good shape, you can't beat it. Tows anything, drives nice, is comfortable. Lots of parts available. When my BB Suburban is running again it will tow my Airstream instead of my BB Silverado. Which in and of itself is an excellent tow vehicle.
1984 Sovereign 31
2002 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
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Old 10-23-2014, 10:39 AM   #12
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Metro Detroit Area & Metro Dallas Area , Michigan & Texas
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Before you drop a dime on a towing vehicle, know this: you DO NOT need a hulking rig to tow that 28' Airstream. I tow my 34' Panamerica just fine with my V8 2010 Tundra! Go to CanAm RV (Canada) and view their articles on safe towing. I'm just saying, you can keep some cash in you pockets!
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Old 10-23-2014, 10:49 AM   #13
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2014 28' International
San Jose , California
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Ram EcoDiesel

We are towing a 28 Intl with this 2014 Ram 1500 ecodiesel. Absolutely no problems or hesitations. ... and we do like the 30 mpg without the 'Stream ... and the 18-20 mpg when pulling it. We never owned a diesel before but this one is very nice ... and lastly, we like that the emissions are gone because of the Blue DEF.
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Old 10-23-2014, 10:52 AM   #14
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Towing is only part of the issue, don't forget payload on your rear axle, braking, and how it drives. I had a Ford f 150 and loved the truck. Because of the payload factor, we up sized to the 6.7 super duty.
Jeanne and John, and always with us...Jake
2008 30' Classic Ltd Rear twin, 2014 Ford Super Duty
WBCCI 3100, unit 12, TAC USA-1, Escapees 129379
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:05 AM   #15
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2013 30' International
lubbock , Texas
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As Wayward said, there are fixes to the problems of the 6 liter Ford ... You might try finding a discussion forum for the power stroke diesel ... You will need to get past all the go fast mods and look for the specific issues and the fixes that need to be done on that particular model.

I have been driving a 2006 Dodge Ram/5.9 mega cab since 07 ... Love The power and I love the room inside ... Don't love the stock seats so I swapped those for newer.
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:17 AM   #16
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From what I have read, the 6.0l are OK in stock form, but I've never driven one. My folks tow a older 30ft non-airstream "bunkhouse" with an '06 Ford E350 Club Wagon. It only has the 5.4L V8, but its drug that trailer from coast to coast with no trailer related problems. I think its got something like 117,000 miles on it, and runs like a top. Proof gas jobs will work too! If you get the 5.4l though, make sure its relatively new: apparently the originals had this neat feature where the spark plugs would rust into the engine block, requiring an engine swap to get new sparkplugs!
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:47 AM   #17
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Boynton Beach , Florida
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I started out towing my 29' Ambassador with a 5.3L Chevy Express van... hated it! Always dropping into lower gear, eating gas like nobody's business. Traded that for a 2004 Dodge RAM 2500 SLT with a 5.9 Cummings diesel. I can barely feel the trailer back there going 70 mph!

From my research, 2004-2007 is a good rev of the truck. Not so old, but before they put a bunch of emissions crap on it. I added a diesel tuner, and a cold-air intake. I could do the exhaust, but I don't want the truck any noisier than it already is. It isn't that bad, but I listen to classical music and have a wife that doesn't hear so good.

A back up camera is also a great add-on, you can hitch up by yourself with it.
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Old 10-23-2014, 12:51 PM   #18
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Portland , Oregon
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We tow our 26' Overlander with a 2008 Ford Expedition (with factory towing package) Its been more than capable mountains and all and has the most towing miles on it. We already had this vehicle, so it was great to find that it was fully capable.
We have since acquired a Ford F150 Fx4 Crewcab with heavy duty towing package and turbo chargers on the V6 and its quite perky with no towing issues to speak of yet. Plenty of torque.
We got the pickup to be able to also haul a motorcycle, bicycles etc in the back of the pickup for long hauls when my husband will start missing his bike rides.

The older Airstreams are so light, its hard to not have enough tow power. They were being hauled by family autos, after all. I would tend to also factor in what fits the rest of your lifestyle when you aren't towing.
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Old 10-23-2014, 01:51 PM   #19
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Upper St Clair , Pennsylvania
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There are a number of factors involved with tow vehicles aside from the ability to tow.
Payload capability of the tow vehicle
Hitch and maximum hitch weight
Braking ability of the tow vehicle with a towed load
Tires and the load capacity of the tires.

To avoid any concerns and have the ability to climb hills, descend hills safety and without a "white knuckle" ride we had an F250 6.7 Diesel and LONG STORY but now have an F350 6.7 Diesel. I personally and this is ME and MY opinion, would not tow anything over 25 feet with anything less than an F250 or similar 3/4 sized Diesel pick up. I know all about CanAm and the others who put vans and other vehicles in front of 30' AS trailers and for them and their customers that is terrific - just not for me.

Good Luck, safe travels. Watch payload and tire load in particular, most dealers have no idea so you need to do your own research on either new or used.

2020 28' Twin Flying Cloud-(Our 5th Airstream)

USAF Master Training Instructor (TI) - 68-72
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Old 10-23-2014, 02:15 PM   #20
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2012 30' International
Dallas , Texas
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Like others who have posted, I tow with an F250 6.7, a 2013. I am very happy with it, towing a 30' International. Previously I towed it with a 2010 Tundra V8, and although I loved driving that truck, while towing it was just a little too short on torque and power for my tastes.
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