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Old 02-26-2016, 08:57 AM   #1
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Flying Cloud 23FB-Real World Tongue Weight

I'm new to the forum and need some guidance. We are close to retiring and looking to purchase our first TT. Wish I visited these forums before buying a truck because from what I've read it looks like I'm limited on choices for TT.
The sticker on my truck states that I have 1619 pounds available for cargo. The installed bedliner and tonneau weigh about 85. Add 400 pounds for passengers and I'm running out of payload fast.
We were hoping for a 25FB but doubt that will work with TV so now considering 23FB with tongue weight of 467. Does anyone have experience on what the tongue weight would be with a Pro Pride hitch and 600-800 pounds of cargo in the TT?
I still can't understand how the 25FB has a tongue weight of 837# (370 more than 23FB for 2 feet in length).
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Old 02-26-2016, 09:38 AM   #2
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We had a 2013 25FB International Serenity with an Airstream literature tongue weight of 833 pounds. The dealership installed street side and rear awnings, a 155 watt solar panel and my Hensley Arrow (first generation Jim Hensley design - ProPride is his second design with many improvements) hitch head and had filled both the fresh water and propane tanks. My Shureline scale reported 1,150 pounds tongue weight on the dealer lot. After loading for camping and putting all the heavy stuff in the rear, the tongue weight was 1,175 pounds.

Our 2015 23D International Serenity has a literature tongue weight of 720 pounds. After extensive modifications like 500 watts of solar on the roof and all that associated equipment, 15" SenDel T03-56545T wheels and 15" Michelin LTX (P) 235/75R15 XL tires (including the spare on a new carrier) and reusing the same Hensley Arrow hitch head, the tongue weight is now 968 pounds camping ready with food and clothes and "stuff". We also replaced the skylight with a Maxim units and replaced the Fantastic fans with the Maxxfan 7000K units.

We have the ProPride on our 2014 31' Classic.

Placement of the camping cargo is how you can control balance and thus the tongue weight. We carry some heavy things in a heavy bag in the shower in the rear. The largest storage area is probably under the bed in the 23FB so only very light things can go there. You would want to place the heaviest items in any storage spaces under the dinette which is just above the two wheels.
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Old 02-26-2016, 11:21 AM   #3
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Similar to our FC 25, ProPride, and Ram 1500 with "should not exceed" 1365 lbs load on the door sticker. Beautifully matched towing combination, smooth ride and steady as a rock.

We usually add about 1500-1600 lbs to the truck with the trailer and gear, and distribute about 200-250 lbs of that to the trailer axles with our ProPride 1400 lb weight distribution bars. We load the truck bed lightly and forward of the rear axle, and the trailer heavy with heavy gear over the axles and toward the rear. Do not overload trailer front or rear because of stability concerns; Airstream's limit for tongue weight is 1,000 lbs. An Airstream bicycle rack on the rear is a good addition for bikes and takes off some tongue weight.

We travel widely every year, coast-to-coast and north-south many times. Use the transmission on uphill grades, and transmission and truck-trailer brakes as needed descending. Always stay on the safe side of speed whenever towing.

Stay with the 25 or 27 Airstream, these are wonderful trailers for retirement travel.
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Old 02-28-2016, 12:29 PM   #4
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Trailer weights, tongue weights and tow vehicle weights are probably determined in the legal department! Real world weights are best determined by using a ShurLine scale for tongue weights and actually taking your tow vehicle and trailer to a certified weight station. Here is a picture of the Shurline scale weighing our Safari 25 FB with a Propride hitch. Ready to go, our Safari weighs 6200# to 6400#. Our tow vehicle is a '13 Grand Cherokee with the hemi and factory tow package.

It took about eight years to figure out that we could get by with less when it comes to packing the trailer. The combined weight of the GC and Safari is considerably under the "sticker" weights.
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Old 02-28-2016, 01:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobC54 View Post
. . . I still can't understand how the 25FB has a tongue weight of 837# (370 more than 23FB for 2 feet in length).
And the new Classic 30 has 773 lbs hitch weight. It depends on where the axles are positioned under the frame, how the interiors are configured, and what materials and equipment are used. It's certainly not progressively uniform as the trailer length increases.

However any equipment changes you make (lightweight batteries, repositioning batteries, aluminum propane tanks, bed or seating changes for example) as well as load inventory and positioning makes a difference. Airstream recommends a minimum 10% of trailer weight on the hitch but not more than 1,000 lbs, avoid heavy loading at the rear which may lead to uncontrollable sway forces.
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Old 02-28-2016, 02:10 PM   #6
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Our 23FB is close to 600#s on the tongue ready to go down the road. Hitch is about 100#s lighter than a force projection hitch. We pack light - no genny, 10 gals of fresh water, only light weight gear under the bed, and we are two adults and two small dogs.

If I wanted a 25, could find a 25 I could afford, and had a truck for a TV, I would find a way to make the numbers work. Remember that a WDH transfers some weight to the trailer axles. You do not have to run with full tanks. You can use the trailer propane to run the generator, so you do not have to carry extra gasoline. You can move the wet cell batteries to the recycler and locate a set of AGMs inside the coach closer to the axles so they have less leverage. You can go to aluminum LPG tanks and save a few lbs. You can run without a spare after you upgrade to tires you trust. You can compromise a bit and make it work. Worst case you can trade TVs. Better than trading up the AS and the TV which is the result if you do not get this right.

Having said that.....we like our 23fb. Won't trade her. She is enough, not too much, and from our perspective......the perfect solution for our needs.

Good luck - investigate, investigate, investigate. You can do it as soon as you figure out what it is. Pat
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Old 02-29-2016, 12:07 PM   #7
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My wife stuff everything from our 35' 5th wheel into our 23FB. The only thing that didn't fit was our outside chairs, rug for under the awning, small gas grill and 20# propane bottle for the grill. Every nook and cranny is full, we have 510 pounds of touque weight.
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Old 02-29-2016, 01:34 PM   #8
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We have a 25 FB FC. The tongue weight with propane, batteries and internal and external lockers loaded blew our minds. The tongue weights for FB can be much Greater than you plan. The designs of the unit put more fresh, black and grey tanks toward the front. After the shock of the real tongue weight with hitch and loaded we traded in our TV for 350 diesel pkwer stroke much more than needed but we wanted maximun towing, cargo could handle the hitch weight. We pull withthe Equalizer hitch. Out TV is a little stiff for our unit but we go through mountains on tow haul like a breeze
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Old 03-01-2016, 10:30 AM   #9
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Our 2014 23fb has a tongue weight of 700 lbs. That is ready to roll with full tank of water gear and my Hensley hitch.
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Old 03-02-2016, 09:54 AM   #10
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Re: going to aluminum propane tanks

A 30 lb steel Worthington propane tank has a 23.3 lb tare weight.

A 30 lb aluminum Worthington propane tank from Vintage Trailer supply has a 16.2 lb tare weight. A 7.1 lb weight saving for one and 14.2 lb weight savings for the pair.

At $180 per aluminum tank (new), I did not find that a cost effective way to save weight. Although the 7.1 lbs makes it a bit easier to haul back from the refill station.


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Old 03-03-2016, 07:56 AM   #11
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I was told that the 40 pound aluminum tanks on our Classic weighed about the same as the 30 pound steel tanks on the 23D. However, when full, those 40 pounders are more challenging to carry now than a few years ago. Nuts, still looking for all the advantages of getting older where it concerns the body...
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Old 03-03-2016, 11:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
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-- snip -- Nuts, still looking for all the advantages of getting older where it concerns the body...
Switz - you just have to hang around those nice young folks that jump up to help when you moan a bit as you begin to get up. Anyone know which RV parks have that amenity? Pat
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Old 03-03-2016, 11:52 PM   #13
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2005 25ft Intl CCD TW came in at actual 745 with full dual 40lb steel propane tanks, 1/3 fresh water and mostly ready to go. Calculating a 30% less for a set WD spread would be 500lbs at hitch. Heavier than imagined but less than others. Click image for larger version

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Trailer placard lists 5300 dry / 6300 full Wet and loaded.
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