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Old 08-13-2018, 10:17 AM   #1
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2018 Jeep Summit w/ Flying Cloud 23' FB ?

Hello.

My husband and I haven't made the plunge as official Airstreamers yet. Still doing research and getting somewhat of a beginners grasp of things. Neither of us have towed a trailer but are up for the challenge. We have pretty much determined that the 23' Flying Cloud FB would be perfect for our needs. We recently bought a new 2018 Jeep Summit that has their tow package and rated for 6,200lbs. We are still getting a handle on understanding the TV and trailer requirements and compatibility. We are thinking this is a doable combination but I don't have full faith in the sales people at either end. With that in mind, I would welcome feedback on whether we can safely manage pulling the 23' Flying Cloud based on the published ratings outlined below ~ or are we dreaming? Are we cutting things too close? Currently, we live on the east coast and anticipate our early adventures being on this side of the US. Eventually we anticipate heading to the west and the parks out there.

Trailer - Flying Cloud 23' FB, double axle.
GVWR - 6,000lbs
Unit Base Weight - 4,816lb (w/LP, batteries)
Hitch weight - 467lb

TV - 2018 Jeep Summit 4x4, 5.7L V8, 8 speed
Class IV receiver hitch - 1200lb max
GVWR - 6,500lbs
Max payload - 1,160lbs
Tow capacity - 7,200lbs

Thank you, in advance, to those of you willing to share your experience in helping us prepare.
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Old 08-13-2018, 11:00 AM   #2
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Sedona , Arizona
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For the record, we have a 2015 GC Summit EcoDiesel 4x4 that pulls the 2014 28' Serenity.

It appears that the vehicle meets the requirements compared to the specs for a 23'. The HEMI/8HP70 combo will not struggle with the load, to be sure. There's a good post (can't locate it at the moment) on setting-up your hitch height with the 4 corner air suspension. So far, we've pulled the 28' about 22k all around the country with our Eco, averaging 18.6 mpg. The last pull was through the Mojave, down the 395, and into AZ. Temps reached 122 in Needles; the GC never missed a beat.
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Old 08-13-2018, 11:57 AM   #3
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Nice tow vehicle and Airstream combination. I get about 14 to 15 mpg towing a 30' with my 2014 Jeep Diesel. You should get about the same with your hemi. You will find that it's not a very serious job for the Jeep anywhere in the US.
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Old 08-13-2018, 12:39 PM   #4
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The payload (how much weight in passengers and cargo you can put in the Jeep) could be an issue.

You have to subtract the hitch weight of the trailer (roughly 500 pounds) from the 1,160 pounds of max payload. That leaves about 660 pounds in payload.

The hitch weight, it is a payload-eater!

I don't know how Jeep calculates payload, but you may have to subtract the passenger, too (a 150-pound driver is often already factored in, so don't need to subtract, unless driver weighs more than 150 pounds).

So, you could end up with a max payload of 540 pounds or so in cargo (depending on the weight of the passenger).

That might be plenty for you, but a lot of people bring along more than 600 pounds of gear when they go camping.

Good idea to question the salespeople's expertise. I'm shopping for a new tow vehicle now, and I've yet to find a salesperson who has ever heard the payload question before or one that understood what payload was. All they say is, "It will tow 7,200 pounds."

I had a Grand Cherokee some years back, and I sure liked that rig.
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:42 AM   #5
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We have towed our 2015 23FB over 50,000 miles with our 2014 Grand Cherokee Summit with 3.0L Ecodiesel engine. This includes round trips from Seattle to St. John’s, NL and St. Petersburg, FL and many mountain trips in the western US and Canada.

Our experience has been excellent overall. Here are a few facts from our experience:
1. Mileage overall on two cross continent trips was 16.5 mpg (diesel) each time. We drive 60-65 mph.
2. Tow capacity for the 8 cyl gas engine and Ecodiesel are rated identical at 7,200 lbs.We have the factory tow packsge.
3. Payload, as noted above, is the main limiting concern. Our payload is 1,050 lbs. (diesel engine weighs more) we carry very little in the Jeep. But it is easy for us to put our things in the AS as we don’t come near the 6,000 lb limit of the AS. Getting a lighter hitch helps. We use the Equalizer with 1,000 lb bars and it weighs 85 lbs which adds to tongue wt and thus payload. That hitch works great. But it did require careful tuning and becoming familiar with the airbag suspension effects on the hitch hookup. I leave it in “Entry” level and try to have the front of the Jeep lower than the rear when hooking and unhooking. This makes the prying on of the bars a bit easier.
4. The engine temp (oil and water) gauges go higher, but stay in acceptable range, when going up extended steep inclines in hot weather - for example the I-5 “Grapevine” in SoCal at 80+F. The transmission T never goes into the high range - the cooler seems to work very well.
5. We did crack a rear wheel on the Jeep on Newfoundland (tire did not deflate) but that was due to a sharp pothole (poor roads on portions of Newfoundland) obscured by heavy rain.
6. Padfle shifters are great for managing downhill speed (like the northbound Grapevine). We have 111,000 miles on the Jeep and brakes are still 50% remaining.
7. We never have had any sway problems. We have had one panic stop on I-65 while between 2 semi-trailers. We stopped absolutely straight but the truck behind swerved to the median to avoid rearending me.
8. You will need extended mirrors. We learned to clip them (Milenco brand) in on the LOWER portion of the existing mirrors b/c the upper frame is not square and they will fall off over time.
9. We already owned the Jeep GC before deciding to buy an AS. It has been a bery comfortable combination. Great to have a comfy daily driver and ability to explore locally when disconnected. The payload is our only concern.

We have met a few others with Jeep GC - AS rigs, including 25’ AS. I think the tongue weight is the limiting factor for a 25 or even the 23D. Do your research as we, too, found the AS dealer will try to tell you that a 25’ is within limits of the Jeep.

Have a great experience - we always watch for Jeep-AS rigs out there!
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:54 AM   #6
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2017 25' Flying Cloud
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I had a 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee small V8 4.6 and pulled my 20' Safari all over about 10,000 miles. Form Phoenix to Key West to Maine never had a problem. Now I have 2013 Grand V8 5.7 and pull my Flying Cloud 25 RB, and again no problems flat land and mountains. Go for it. The Jeep will pull just fine.
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Old 08-14-2018, 12:15 PM   #7
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2017 30' Classic
Anna Maria , Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTislandgirl View Post
Hello.

My husband and I haven't made the plunge as official Airstreamers yet. Still doing research and getting somewhat of a beginners grasp of things. Neither of us have towed a trailer but are up for the challenge. We have pretty much determined that the 23' Flying Cloud FB would be perfect for our needs. We recently bought a new 2018 Jeep Summit that has their tow package and rated for 6,200lbs. We are still getting a handle on understanding the TV and trailer requirements and compatibility. We are thinking this is a doable combination but I don't have full faith in the sales people at either end. With that in mind, I would welcome feedback on whether we can safely manage pulling the 23' Flying Cloud based on the published ratings outlined below ~ or are we dreaming? Are we cutting things too close? Currently, we live on the east coast and anticipate our early adventures being on this side of the US. Eventually we anticipate heading to the west and the parks out there.

Trailer - Flying Cloud 23' FB, double axle.
GVWR - 6,000lbs
Unit Base Weight - 4,816lb (w/LP, batteries)
Hitch weight - 467lb

TV - 2018 Jeep Summit 4x4, 5.7L V8, 8 speed
Class IV receiver hitch - 1200lb max
GVWR - 6,500lbs
Max payload - 1,160lbs
Tow capacity - 7,200lbs

Thank you, in advance, to those of you willing to share your experience in helping us prepare.
IMHO your TV is marginal both in towing and payload.
Is is doable yes but you won't have any margin of safety especially considering your limited experience.
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Old 08-14-2018, 12:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by franklyfrank View Post
IMHO your TV is marginal both in towing and payload.
Is is doable yes but you won't have any margin of safety especially considering your limited experience.
Safety doesn't come from blind adherence to published ratings, it comes from attention to setup, and attention to operation, or driving.

I am curious about your comment that the published tow rating is marginal for this trailer. The proposed trailer weighs about 4800 lbs. It has 1200 lbs of carrying capacity, for a 6000 lb weight if loaded to 100%. If the trailer was loaded to twice its rated capacity (2400 lbs of cargo) it would then be up to the published tow rating of the vehicle. Of course, that would be unsafe from a trailer loading perspective.

Alternatively, if the trailer was loaded to 100%, and so weighed 6000 lbs, then to reach the actual 7200 lb rating the tow vehicle could be loaded with 1200 lbs of cargo over and above the tongue weight. That is unachievable given tow vehicle axle ratings (and common sense). So again, how can this be considered marginal from a ratings standpoint?

I am not a huge fan of tow ratings as the final word on safe operation, but calling that situation marginal seems a little off.
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Old 08-14-2018, 02:43 PM   #9
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Long Island , NY
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VTislandgirl,
We picked up both a 2018 GC V8 Overland and a Colonial AS 2018 23CB International 4 months ago. Awesome trailer in every way. It seems like a family member now.

Chris (the Colonial “hitch whisperer) installed the Equilizer hitch - thus the 23 tows level and true.

Since it is only the DW and I, we don’t worry about bringing too much gear for the Jeep - which happens to be our only vehicle and a super pleasure to ride. It is comfortably capable for us.

You can’t help but have fun with both!!

Enjoy!
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Old 08-14-2018, 03:36 PM   #10
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2014 23' Flying Cloud
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Based on all the comments from owners of Airstream trailers towed by TV’s like yours, who is to say that your proposed set up is poor or bad? Not me. We had a 23’ International Serenity and towed with a Ford 250/6.7L Turbo Diesel. I love overkill and big trucks. We now have a 16’ Sport and tow with a Ram 1500 V8. Still a lovely and stress free ride. Bottom line to your question is how much risk are you willing to take and ho much stress are you willing to put on the TV? Others say your set up will work just fine. I suspect they are correct. Just be very conscious about getting a good weight distribution system and be careful when loading the TV and/or TT with a bunch of heavy stuff camping. The trailering part is easy enough once you have practiced a bunch and take things slow and easy. Congrats btw. Love finding new folk joining the Airstream community.
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Old 08-14-2018, 04:24 PM   #11
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2016 23' Flying Cloud
Edmonton , Alberta
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23FB with 2018 GC Summit

We have the exact combination, the 23FB is a 2016 but has similar specs. We have completed close to 6000 KMs so far this year with excellent results. Very happy with the truck, 5.7ltr V8 seems to have tons of power even on hills. The combination is compact as well making it easy to get around and nice to park. The self leveling feature of the GC suspension works well. Regarding baggage with the 2 of us not an issue, like one post before we do not "pack" the truck and keep track of weight. Good luck with your choice!
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Old 08-15-2018, 06:49 AM   #12
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Very grateful for your thoughts. We have every intention of adhering to safe practices and are getting an understanding of what they are and how to go about it. We do envision packing our supplies in the Airstream and keeping the Jeep uncluttered as we will be traveling with one/two dogs. Time will tell of course but safety and safe practices are paramount to us. Thank you.
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Old 08-15-2018, 06:58 AM   #13
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Great to hear. Thank you for your input. We are likely to travel in a similar way and we are happy to know that the Jeep can handle the job.
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Old 08-15-2018, 07:10 AM   #14
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Thank you!

Gosh, we are so grateful for all this input and the time each of you has taken to reply. It is very reassuring to know that the Jeep is up to the task as long as all other aspects are safely implemented. Still so much to learn and understand but are feeling much more at ease that this match is a good one. Thank you very much and looking forward to the adventures.
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