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I could use some advice from towing experts.

Samson16

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I always pulled refer's when I was running long haul. I ran with paper logs. Not sure I'd have liked electronic logs. Also pulled for a company out of Florida and typically hauled plants north to the Home Depots around the country. An interesting profession. I just wanted to see if i could do it. Pulled close to a million miles without any accidents or incidents then called it quits and moved on to other things.
Fascinating and congrats sir. I guess you have that whole backing up straight using only mirrors thing down 😎
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I was glad to retire my CDL 16 years ago, but those seven years of driving trailers helped me feel comfortable when we got our TT two years ago. I don't miss pulling 70k+ loads cross country nor sleeping in truck stops. Hah!
 

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So I nosed around quite a bit last eve. and while there are C and D rated tires available in my size, there aren't that many and I didn't see anything that caught my eye.

And at least on Goodyears, C rated tires have less weight capacity than their SLs do. So, no point in that.

Then I looked into RAS and rear sway bars and SumoSprings.

As much as Snake likes his, I'll pass on RAS. Complaints of noise, requiring modification to avoid damaging truck parts and increased rake that I don't want.

On the RV forums, SumoSprings are very popular, especially on motor coaches. They aren't at holy grail status but are described as better than air bags, with a lot less fiddling. Many use both the front and rear styles. Some like the heavier version, some the softer, so no real consensus there but there is consensus about roll and dampening.

They like anti sway bars too, both front and rear but consider them as part of a system of upgrades, rather than a one stop fix, as Snake has mentioned re his set up, more than once.

So, what am I gonna do?

In the next few weeks, on trailer pick up day, I'll air up the tires from the 35pai listed on the door jam to the 51psi listed on the tire and see how it goes. That alone, should get rid of a lot of squirm and roll. At least that attributable to the tires.

Then, as of now, if I need more, I'll be using Sumos but call the company for their rec as to weight rating. If I also need a sway bar later, thats fine but one step at a time.

I'll probably also put Sumos on the trailer. There are vids of before and after in the camper and testimonials about things staying in their places and again, helping with roll.
 

powerboatr

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I have Goodyear ST205/75R15 D load tires rated for 65psi cold and 87mph. I would NEVER go 80mph with these LOL.

https://www.discounttiredirect.com/buy-tires/goodyear-endurance/p/32602

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i had four of those go one summer, lost 3 going to south texas, ran over stuff falling off a sugar cane trailer...i never knew sugar cane could take out a tire.
we were very lucky we didnt loose a steer tire as well, it was UGLY
lost the other one on the return trip.
they are good tires, i now have gone back to carlisle for now they are holding their own.
 

B17drvr

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Payload is your limitation here. 1288 is really low. all those options like moonroof (68 pounds), electric running boards (37 pounds) etc. They rob payload. The bed liner and bed cover will reduce payload too.
I'm assuming you are getting a vintage airstream since it is a 24. The only thing new near that is the 23FB or a 25FB. I had one of those before I moved up to a Pottery Barn 28RB.
The published tongue weights from the airstream brochures are notoriously low. My 23 was at 680 and my 28 is 1100. Both of those are a couple hundred pounds higher than published. The 25 has a real world tongue weight of almost 1200.
You don't have much room to carry people and supplies.
 

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Payload is your limitation here. 1288 is really low. all those options like moonroof (68 pounds), electric running boards (37 pounds) etc. They rob payload. The bed liner and bed cover will reduce payload too.
I'm assuming you are getting a vintage airstream since it is a 24. The only thing new near that is the 23FB or a 25FB. I had one of those before I moved up to a Pottery Barn 28RB.
The published tongue weights from the airstream brochures are notoriously low. My 23 was at 680 and my 28 is 1100. Both of those are a couple hundred pounds higher than published. The 25 has a real world tongue weight of almost 1200.
You don't have much room to carry people and supplies.
Thanks for the tips re: tongue weights. It's actually a new model, 23FB Flying Cloud we are thinking of, but the specs say 23' 9'' so I rounded up. We will learn how to pack the trailer without going over the GVWR and keep the truck as clean as possible. Second choice is to kick down to a Caravel, but then we lose the double axle. As I mentioned before, if push comes to shove, the wife stays home! πŸ˜‚
 

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Yep when the road allows for it.
I didn’t mention payload - my Lariat is rated for 1774 lbs and I’m coming in several hundred pounds below that. The weight distribution isn’t wound up too stiff and my rear only drops about 3/4 inch when pulling mostly dry.
I towed at 70 with my 22 Lariat. I usually stuck between 60 and 65. But on my way to Florida from Pennsylvania this past fall I was a 70 often. Fuel economy suffered, but no that bad. My TT is 6800 dry.
 

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My pre F-150 was a 2500 diesel pickup rated to tow more than 17,000 lbs. and the biggest differences with the diesel engine was having twice the torque at the rear wheels and having an exhaust brake to control speed on downgrades.

With a 4,000 lb camper load I traveled down a 8% grade for more than 10 miles with a twisty mountain road and kept the speed down at 35 mph without having to touch the brakes but letting the GM cruise control work in tandem with the exhaust brake.

Going uphill I had enough power even with a 13,000 lb trailer load to quickly pass slow moving trucks pulling a set of doubles up a steep grade. Entering a freeway with trucks and cars travleing at 65 mph the diesel engine provided enough power to accelerate to 55 mph for merging by the time I was on the freeway.

The diesel engine made for much safer towing and it was worth having double the cost of maintenance compared to a gas engine.

People tend to ignore time to merge and the ability of the brake controller and the trailer's brakes to control the speed on long steep downgrades. I put these at the top of my list when considering a trailer and tow vehicle combination. Too many people buy a tow vehicle and then when they are looking for trailers find that there is a mismatch.
 
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My pre F-150 was a 2500 diesel pickup rated to tow more than 17,000 lbs. and the biggest differences with the diesel engine was having twice the torque at the rear wheels and having an exhaust brake to control speed on downgrades.

With a 4,000 lb camper load I traveled down a 8% grade for more than 10 miles with a twisty mountain road and kept the speed down at 35 mph without having to touch the brakes but letting the GM cruise control work in tandem with the exhaust brake.

Going uphill I had enough power even with a 13,000 lb trailer load to quickly pass slow moving trucks pulling a set of doubles up a steep grade. Entering a freeway with trucks and cars travleing at 65 mph the diesel engine provided enough power to accelerate to 55 mph for merging by the time I was on the freeway.

The diesel engine made for much safer towing and it was worth having double the cost of maintenance compared to a gas engine.

People tend to ignore time to merge and the ability of the brake controller and the trailer's brakes to control the speed on long steep downgrades. I put these at the top of my list when considering a trailer and tow vehicle combination. Too many people buy a tow vehicle and then when they are looking for trailers find that there is a mismatch.
That really sounds impressive. Do you do any towing with your current F-150?
 

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No doubt for towing the Heavy Duty trucks crush the 1/2 tons in almost every area.
But if you have to live with the Heavy Duty for daily driving with nothing hitched, the efforts to make a 1/2 ton work for towing suddenly makes sense.

There's a line every man has that separates the two choices. It's drawn in different places depending on weight/distance/frequency of towing.

I don't tow heavy these days. The line is clearly in favor of the mighty Powerboost.

But that could change if I were a younger man. Lol
 

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No doubt for towing the Heavy Duty trucks crush the 1/2 tons in almost every area.
But if you have to live with the Heavy Duty for daily driving with nothing hitched, the efforts to make a 1/2 ton work for towing suddenly makes sense.

There's a line every man has that separates the two choices. It's drawn in different places depending on weight/distance/frequency of towing.

I don't tow heavy these days. The line is clearly in favor of the mighty Powerboost.

But that could change if I were a younger man. Lol
Hell, I'm a newbie at 63 and all this planning is for retirement in 3 years! Lots of great info in this thread and I'm sure there's a sweet spot somewhere between bells and whistles and towing. I'm going to start by going to a nearby CAT Scale location and get the raw updated numbers on the truck (with and without the wife in the front seat) and work the numbers from there!
 
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So you see what we were all getting at.

You'll have to shift truck cargo to the mid or rear of the trailer to get anything like a usable tongue weight, while keeping at least a 10% tongue weight.

You can do it. It'll just take some tinkering, trial and error and a few trips to the CAT scales.

Your 1288 payload takes whatever room you thought you had.
It will definitely be a challenge. The wife and I went to a CAT Scale location with an empty truck and full tank of gas just to see where we are at since we do have some add-ons not accounted for in the original curb weight. The scale showed 6600 even. So......and feel free to check my math:

6600 - 350 for passengers = 6250. This would be my new approximate curb weight.

Using the Ford Towing Calculator for my VIN, the GVWR is 7,350 - Max Payload of 1,288 = 6062 lbs. original curb weight. So I picked up and additional 188 lbs. Let's call it 200 lbs.

After accusing the wife of being the sole reason for the payload increase :censored: , we determined that it was the Ford safe, the spray-in bed liner, automatic bed cover, and protective film package for the front and sides that would account for the difference.

My new Max Payload is now approx 1,100 lbs.

Since I only have minimal cargo room, it all comes down to tongue weight. The 23' Airstream Flying Cloud specifies a 500 lbs tongue weight, (GVWR is 6,000) but the experienced folks here say I should calculate between 10-13%. With a really good WDS and packing the trailer smart and light, is this still do-able?

Thanks in advance.

Ford F-150 I could use some advice from towing experts. Scan_0113
 

wrgrimes

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Remaining Payload = GVWR(7350)-current weight(6600)
Remaining Payload = 750
Appears you/wife were in the truck when weighed. Ok
Sticker payload 1288-350(people)-188(add on’s)= 750
You have 750 for hitch, tongue weight and gear in truck.
I hope I am wrong, but your truck came loaded with options.
 

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It will definitely be a challenge. The wife and I went to a CAT Scale location with an empty truck and full tank of gas just to see where we are at since we do have some add-ons not accounted for in the original curb weight. The scale showed 6600 even. So......and feel free to check my math:

6600 - 350 for passengers = 6250. This would be my new approximate curb weight.

Using the Ford Towing Calculator for my VIN, the GVWR is 7,350 - Max Payload of 1,288 = 6062 lbs. original curb weight. So I picked up and additional 188 lbs. Let's call it 200 lbs.

After accusing the wife of being the sole reason for the payload increase :censored: , we determined that it was the Ford safe, the spray-in bed liner, automatic bed cover, and protective film package for the front and sides that would account for the difference.

My new Max Payload is now approx 1,100 lbs.

Since I only have minimal cargo room, it all comes down to tongue weight. The 23' Airstream Flying Cloud specifies a 500 lbs tongue weight, (GVWR is 6,000) but the experienced folks here say I should calculate between 10-13%. With a really good WDS and packing the trailer smart and light, is this still do-able?

Thanks in advance.

Scan_0113.jpg
I went through something very similar a number of years ago, with similar results. One thing that I've learned over the years is that those CAT scales are tuned to weigh trucks that are 30+ tons, so the accuracy at the lower end is not always as precise as we would like. Further, the scales are rounded to the nearest 20 pounds at each measuring point, which can compound the error further.

Bottom line is that you can take those CAT scale weights with a grain of salt. If you're in the right ballpark, I would assume that it's close enough. Take the yellow sticker value, subtract the known (and reasonably estimated) weights of the passengers and add-ons, and use that value. The CAT scale should be reasonably close to that, but they can be off by 100+ lbs or more. That's "good enough" when weighing the big rigs, but causes us all kinds of heartburn.

I would assume that your actual tongue weight will be probably 800lbs (13% of 6000). Keep as much gear as you can in the trailer and you'll likely be close, but should probably be fine from a payload perspective, assuming that it's just you and your wife in the cab. I wouldn't add many more options, though. :)
 
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I went through something very similar a number of years ago, with similar results. One thing that I've learned over the years is that those CAT scales are tuned to weigh trucks that are 30+ tons, so the accuracy at the lower end is not always as precise as we would like. Further, the scales are rounded to the nearest 20 pounds at each measuring point, which can compound the error further.

Bottom line is that you can take those CAT scale weights with a grain of salt. If you're in the right ballpark, I would assume that it's close enough. Take the yellow sticker value, subtract the known (and reasonably estimated) weights of the passengers and add-ons, and use that value. The CAT scale should be reasonably close to that, but they can be off by 100+ lbs or more. That's "good enough" when weighing the big rigs, but causes us all kinds of heartburn.

I would assume that your actual tongue weight will be probably 800lbs (13% of 6000). Keep as much gear as you can in the trailer and you'll likely be close, but should probably be fine from a payload perspective, assuming that it's just you and your wife in the cab. I wouldn't add many more options, though. :)
Thanks for the insight. Is a dog considered an option? I think he's on national backorder anyway. πŸ˜‚
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