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Old 06-07-2011, 08:09 AM   #1
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Compare towing a 23 FC with 25 FC

I have a Ford 1 ton cargo van and we used to tow a 2003 23ft CCD. It was hard to see it behind the van. We are thinking of buying either a 23 or 25 Flying Cloud. The 23 has 14in wheels, the other has 15in wheels and is a little wider. Any thoughts on which is easier to tow?
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Old 06-07-2011, 10:00 AM   #2
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I have the 25' - at this size and larger they all have the wide body. It is the typical max. width 102 inches.

There are times a narrower trailer would be easier to tow. One is highway construction zones where the lanes are necked down with temporary barriers and cones. An other time is some out of the way mountain roads and campsite which are quite narrow. I've observed my trailer riding very near both lane lines and keeping it centered requires attention.

My thought if you tow the 25 you can just about as easily tow a 28 or 30. Its the beginning of the big. I don't know the specs of the 23 but it may be the biggest of the "small."

So what I'm slowly getting at is it depends on what you want. The wider size may inhibit you a little to pull it into certain constricted areas. But the size and floorplan are important too. Obviously people are pulling the wide ones to lot of nice remote areas and enjoying them. In many places the highways are very wide and there is no issue. So if you're right on the fence, I'd say get the bigger one unless you camp on tiny forest roads in small campgrounds, or have to tow it thru lot of urban congestion and construction. What size trailers and RVs frequent the campsites you like to visit?

I am going to say something a bit against the grain. A small trailer is easier to tow than a big one. As long as you can see it that is.
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Old 06-07-2011, 12:44 PM   #3
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If the question is one of DRIVER SKILL required (=easier?) it is my opinion that if you have the skill to maneuver hitch and back even a 16' trailer then anything up to a 34' is going to require no greater skill. People who get rid of trailers because they can't drive them usually do so because of hitching/backing problems that are the same regardless of length. (I'm guessing this is a good 10-20% of first-time RV buyers, but that's another topic)

If the question is one of EQUIPMENT required (=easier?) then there are minor differences. You will want wider mirrors with the 25' so that will be a change. You will want somewhat better sway control with a 25'. If you have WD only, now, then definitely you'll want a good sway control hitch. If you have a friction bar then maybe it will be time to get a Reese or Equal-i-zer or maybe a Propride.

If the question about CAMPSITES well yes there will be a few campsites that are right on the edge where you can park without unhitching with the 23' and with the 25' you'll have to unhook. There are a few campgrounds that won't let you unhook and at those there might be one or two sites you can't use with the 25'. But that's rare. There are also a few places where the width is going to be a problem but unless you like to seek out the smaller more tent-oriented campgrounds I doubt you'll have much trouble.

I pull a 30' and only run into size related problems if I'm deliberately trying to fit into a small site in order to take advantage of seclusion or tree cover or whatever. The main limitations are turning performance and approach/departure/breakover angles, not the length itself.
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Old 06-07-2011, 05:40 PM   #4
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Great words of advice from above, again - I think the biggest delta for you will be the wider body of the 25 footer. Purchase some extended mirror's and you should be fine!
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Old 06-07-2011, 07:32 PM   #5
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I'd never towed anything before getting the 28' International. There's a sharp learning curve with the width, particularly where the road lanes are narrow, but you soon get the feel of it, especially as JFScheck says, with a good set of extended mirrors.

Backing up is something you have to learn with any trailer, regardless of length.
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Old 06-08-2011, 10:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpi View Post
I have the 25' - at this size and larger they all have the wide body. It is the typical max. width 102 inches.

There are times a narrower trailer would be easier to tow. One is highway construction zones where the lanes are necked down with temporary barriers and cones. An other time is some out of the way mountain roads and campsite which are quite narrow. I've observed my trailer riding very near both lane lines and keeping it centered requires attention.

My thought if you tow the 25 you can just about as easily tow a 28 or 30. Its the beginning of the big. I don't know the specs of the 23 but it may be the biggest of the "small."

So what I'm slowly getting at is it depends on what you want. The wider size may inhibit you a little to pull it into certain constricted areas. But the size and floorplan are important too. Obviously people are pulling the wide ones to lot of nice remote areas and enjoying them. In many places the highways are very wide and there is no issue. So if you're right on the fence, I'd say get the bigger one unless you camp on tiny forest roads in small campgrounds, or have to tow it thru lot of urban congestion and construction. What size trailers and RVs frequent the campsites you like to visit?

I am going to say something a bit against the grain. A small trailer is easier to tow than a big one. As long as you can see it that is.
Thanks for your comments. I hadn't considered the difficulty of keeping it aligned on smaller roads. We often stay off of interstates and prefer the smaller camp areas. The 23 will be harder to see out my van but maybe the answer is finding better mirrors.
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Old 06-09-2011, 02:48 PM   #7
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It is AMAZING what a good set of Mirrors can do to one's blood pressure when towing an Airstream....
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Old 06-16-2011, 11:28 AM   #8
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You will probably find that the mirrors are wider than the trailer. If they fit, the trailer will fit. In those situations you should be going slow and careful. Don't be intimidated but do be careful and you'll be just fine.
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