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Hey everyone,

I just bought a 2016 25' Eddie Bauer Airstream. I would love to buy a 1500 ED and am just trying to make sure I understand the tolerances and constraints.

If I had the option I'd custom order a 4x4 Quad Cab Big Horn with a 6'4" bed and 3.92 and wait for delivery. For various reasons I can't wait that long, so I am trying to understand what inventory I can select from that will not bring me too close to any of the towing limits. Frankly I'm not seeing many trucks in the Los Angeles area that have most of those features (looks like I can get away with 3.55), but that's a different issue.

My main concern is payload capacity. Airstream owners like to talk about having a 2000lb payload. I don't know if this is because Airstreams tend to have heavier tongue weights than box trailers, or if it's because they have to put more gear in the truck because AS under storage is non-existent, or something else.

Here are the numbers:

Trailer Dry weight: 5750 lbs
Trailer GVWR: 7300 lbs
Hitch weight: 734 lbs unloaded (though people say in practice it's 12-15%, which at 7300 lbs would be 1100 lbs)

I don't expect to hit the trailer GVWR. I'll probably be somewhere between 6500-7000 lb, so I see no issue with towing capacity. I'm concerned about payload. I don't plan to put any toys in the back, but I do want to understand what buffer I've got. From initial research I think I'd need anywhere from 100-500 lbs in the bed (generator, water, generator gas, diesel jerry can, backup small propane tank, small toolbox). I also might want to use a cap eventually. There won't be much inside the truck (300lbs of humans).

So, looking at the RAM tow chart (https://www.ramtrucks.com/assets/towing_guide/pdf/2016_ram_1500_towing_charts.pdf), a Big Horn Quad Cab 4x4 ED has a payload of 1390 lbs. Is the math as simple as 1390 - 1100 = 290 lbs of payload? That's not going to be enough. I know a WD hitch will reduce the load on the payload, but I don't understand how much.

Your wisdom is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
Matt
 

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I'm in Los Angeles, flew to Colorado to buy a limited. My trailer is about 7200lbs. I tow it without a problem. Generator in the bed up against the cab. Just get a weight distribution hitch. I got a propride. You won't know how everything lines up until you hit the scales. There is a CAT scale in North Hollywood. But I think you'll be fine.
 

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Payload ratings on Ram trucks are so artificially low as to become valueless. There are many cars out there with higher payload rating.

A better number to look at will be axle weight rating. All Ram 1500s have 3900 lb rated axles. Even this number is very conservative, for obvious reasons, but it's a good number to shoot for.

Since you are buying an Airstream I going to assume you'll be buying a highend Ram. My Longhorn is heavily optioned with 6'4" bed. My unloaded axle weights with full tank of gas are as follows: 3560lbs front & 2620 lbs rear. Based on those numbers I know I've got about 1600 lbs total payload capacity. That includes all passengers, all cargo in the bed and tongue weight of trailer.

Using those numbers should get you closer to the knowledge you seek. The short answer though is you will be A-ok with that trailer and all the associated stuff that goes along with it ;)
 

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Hi and welcome Matt,

I'm sure you have read the many threads on the Airforums about how you have to have a 3/4T truck to pull any trailer bigger than 4,000lbs, so I'll move beyond that here. I have an older Airstream, but it is similar in weights to a 25'FB. I'm sure you'll do just fine with the QC Big Horn and the 25' FB. You can read my thread on this forum here or the thread on Airforums here.

Have fun!
 

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Listen to Top. We did a pull test using his Airstream & comparing both our trucks. The ED pulls it with ease! His Airstream was by far the BEST towing trailer I have been involved with. We barely knew it was behind us & both trucks averaged between 15-16 mpg (Correct me if I'm wrong Top). I think you will be very happy with the ED towing results on an Airstream.
 

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Hey everyone,

I just bought a 2016 25' Eddie Bauer Airstream. I would love to buy a 1500 ED and am just trying to make sure I understand the tolerances and constraints.

If I had the option I'd custom order a 4x4 Quad Cab Big Horn with a 6'4" bed and 3.92 and wait for delivery. For various reasons I can't wait that long, so I am trying to understand what inventory I can select from that will not bring me too close to any of the towing limits. Frankly I'm not seeing many trucks in the Los Angeles area that have most of those features (looks like I can get away with 3.55), but that's a different issue.

My main concern is payload capacity. Airstream owners like to talk about having a 2000lb payload. I don't know if this is because Airstreams tend to have heavier tongue weights than box trailers, or if it's because they have to put more gear in the truck because AS under storage is non-existent, or something else.

Here are the numbers:

Trailer Dry weight: 5750 lbs
Trailer GVWR: 7300 lbs
Hitch weight: 734 lbs unloaded (though people say in practice it's 12-15%, which at 7300 lbs would be 1100 lbs)

I don't expect to hit the trailer GVWR. I'll probably be somewhere between 6500-7000 lb, so I see no issue with towing capacity. I'm concerned about payload. I don't plan to put any toys in the back, but I do want to understand what buffer I've got. From initial research I think I'd need anywhere from 100-500 lbs in the bed (generator, water, generator gas, diesel jerry can, backup small propane tank, small toolbox). I also might want to use a cap eventually. There won't be much inside the truck (300lbs of humans).

So, looking at the RAM tow chart (https://www.ramtrucks.com/assets/towing_guide/pdf/2016_ram_1500_towing_charts.pdf), a Big Horn Quad Cab 4x4 ED has a payload of 1390 lbs. Is the math as simple as 1390 - 1100 = 290 lbs of payload? That's not going to be enough. I know a WD hitch will reduce the load on the payload, but I don't understand how much.

Your wisdom is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
Matt
Some pictures of the airstream would be sweet!
 

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My 2015 Coachmen TT weighs 5650 empty and about 1,000 lbs more loaded. . ( no water). Took it Florida from PA last fall no problems. WD hitch, cam sway control. Probably add airbags in the near future but it did the job fine and got 13.5 mpg. My gas engine Ram gave me 9.5 mpg.
 

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Matt welcome and great first post. TOP's links contain a wealth of information and some practical wisdom. I deliver Airstreams from the manufacturer to dealerships across the country for a living with my ED. Just practically speaking payload isn't much of an issue with Airstreams especially with factory air suspension or air bags or better springs or a WDH. From 28 footers with the heaviest toung weight of 952 to 30.6' Classics with the most total weight & wind leverage on your truck. Its mostly in the proper setup which TOP's link details. And with your trailer you don't even need perfect setup for a safe enjoyable tow naturally the better you get it set up the safer the tow. Real quick things that benefit you are;

An anti sway WDH. I use an inexpensive light quiet Andersen and it works well for me. Bigger longer heavier box campers might really benefit fron a high dollar hitch. In fact I sometimes move 25s with a rapid adjustable non WDH because I can quickly get the trailer level & have axle to frame air bags that both keep my bed from sagging and weight on my steer tires.

Factory air suspension (which will load level lift up to about 2 to 2,200 beyond that it only load levels by dopping but is still driveable) also excellent is axle to frame bags they improve ride & stability under load as they also transfer weight to the steer tires. Air lift, Timber Grove, TLC, & Timbren all make them. You can also get a stiffer progressive rate spring that will at least keep your bed from sagging. Same with cheaper in coil air bags.

Factory receiver hitch, brake controller, hitch camera, tow mirrors. 3.92 would be preferred but not necessary as would a tune with a turbo/engine brake. If you have factory 20s the P rated tires are fine for your camper. I would inflate them into the low 40s cold for good wear & stability. If you are using a WDH once you have been to your local grain scales or whatever you know & or leave your hitch set for the ideal for that camper. If no scales & using an adjustable non WDH for a short move just get the camper level & ideally for safety air to keep more weight on the steers.

BTW my truck has a GVWR rating of 6,950 and weighed 5,500 empty to carry with driver up to 1,450 per the factory suggestion. Combined GAWR of 7,800 or 3,900 per axle. (Better than Ford or GM standard axles) Anyway practically speaking with air or other support until you get over your axle ratings or CVWR you shouldn't have anything to be overly concerned about safety or longevity wise IMO. And I have been a little over my axle rating with different types of loads.
 

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Stop asking and listen to VernDiesel. He just saved me from telling you to PM him.

If you have more questions - PM him.

What I wrote may not make sense but it does to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Guys,

Awesome, awesome info. This is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you.

I went to sign the paperwork today on the Airstream. Now I just need the truck! On the way back to the airport I stopped by a RAM dealer to do some test drives. The 1500 is so nice. The 2500 handled much smoother than I expected (and the turning radius is just amazing), but man does that feel like a beast of a daily driver to me. I'll be thrilled to make the 1500 work. I just have to find the right model in inventory.

I'll post follow-up questions. The Airstream dealer is recommending a Blue Ox WDH. It seems to get great reviews by Airstream owners. Anyone here use one?

Many thanks again.

Matt
 

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I got a Blue Ox with my new trailer last year. It's a good hitch, I'm glad that I chose it.

If you go with it, make sure you get the right bars... I had to change mine. The rating is the max for the bars. Blue Ox told me that if TW was even just a little over, I needed to go higher. The dealer ordered 750lbs bars because advertised TW was around 650. They were way soft... Scales showed actual TW at 900lbs.
 

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What dealership did you order your Airstream from & approximately when do they think it should be built? Lol maybe I'll deliver it.
 

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I have the 10,000lb/1000lb TW blue ox sway pro with my 32' TT. Very easy to set up and tows very well. And doesn't sound like you're hitting a metal garbage can with a baseball bat when you back up or turn sharply.
 
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