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Old 01-28-2015, 12:10 PM   #1
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2015 23' Flying Cloud
Plainville , Connecticut
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 13
Newbie, need advice on TV, TT combination...

Hi All,

My wife and I are looking to purchase a new 2015 Airstream 23D trailer but need help from people with more experience and knowledge. We're moving up from a super-lightweight 17' Casita fiberglass trailer (under 2400 lbs) that we sometimes forget is behind us. We thank all who respond.

That said, there are apparently so many variables in the towing of a travel trailer, and we can't come to a conclusion on whether or not we're ok. Here's what we have for a TV:

2013 Ford F150 4x4 XLT Supercab (Ford indicates 9400 lb tow capacity)
3.5L V6 EcoBoost
145" Wheelbase
Electronic 6-speed Automatic Transmission
3.31 Ratio Regular Axle
36 Gallon Fuel Tank
7200 LB GVWR
Trailer Towing Package with sway control and brake controller
Equipment Group 302A
Bak Flip F1 Tonneau Cover
The "Tire and loading" sticker says Occupant/Cargo limit = 1520 lbs.

We almost exclusively camp in campgrounds and very rarely go "off-grid". Including my wife and I, and our two dogs, we're under 400 pounds total. We're looking to do some longer trips, including a 4-month journey to Alaska and back, so we need to be able to carry maybe 500-600 pounds of "stuff" as we travel.

We're planning to purchase the following and need to know if it will all work together:

Equal-i-zer 1000 lb Weight Distribution Hitch (102 lbs itself)
Airstream Flying Cloud 23D (720 lb hitch weight, Base weight = 4761, GVWR = 6000 lbs))

So, can anybody tell us if our truck will safely tow this trailer with this WDH? Even more basic, will the truck handle the AS trailer with any WDH and still allow us to carry the things we need for long trips? If additional information is necessary to help us, please let me know. Again, any help or advice is greatly appreciated!

Scott & Andrea
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Old 01-28-2015, 12:37 PM   #2
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2005 39' Land Yacht 390 XL 396
Common Sense , Texas
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Your truck will be fine and will handle the trailer easily. Not easy like the Casita, but you will have no problems towing a 23'.

The hitch you are considering, however may be a little too stiff if it has the 1,000lb bars. I know they make lighter bars, like 600lb, and that's what I would go with if I went Equal-i-zer.

You will most likely get lots of input on hitches here as it always gets into a "hot" discussion. Every one likes the hitch that they use and think everyone else should use that hitch.

The truth of the matter is, they will all work sized correctly, some a little better than others, but the main thing is to get it set up correctly.

Good luck with your 23' and welcome to the forum.
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Old 01-28-2015, 12:58 PM   #3
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2015 27' Flying Cloud
Washington , Washington, D.C.
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 218
The joker in this deck is your truck's cargo capacity. You're totaling 1200 lbs. of cargo weight with passengers, trailer and hitch, which leaves 300 lbs. for "stuff" within the specified cargo capacity. Lots of folks report that their actual tongue weight for these trailers is 1000-1100 lbs.
I'm wrestling with a similar issue for my new 27 FC, which has a specified tongue weight of 790 lbs. I don't want to step up to a 3/4 ton, but it's tough finding a half ton that is actually rated to carry 1900 lbs. or so of cargo.

Does the collective group here routinely overload their truck's cargo capacity by 3-400 lbs.? Like you, the issue with the trucks I'm looking at is not their towing capacity, but cargo.

I'd be interested to hear.
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Old 01-28-2015, 01:19 PM   #4
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2015 23' Flying Cloud
Plainville , Connecticut
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Thanks to you both for the quick responses! The one thought that I forgot to share was this:

If I'm using a WDH, and that WDH is supposed to put some of the weight on the trailer axle and some on the truck, does that increase my ability to carry cargo? For example, with a 720 lb hitch weight of the trailer, I was told the WDH would push 60% (432 lbs) forward and 40% (288 lbs) would push back to the trailer axle. That should give me an additional 288 lbs I can carry in the truck, right?
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Old 01-28-2015, 01:46 PM   #5
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Your truck will safely and effectively tow most any Airstream ever made.

Go and enjoy.
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Old 01-28-2015, 02:26 PM   #6
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2008 25' Classic
Wichita Falls , Texas
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Search for other posts in Airforums for real tongue weight for your model of AS.

I'm towing my heavy 2008 Classic 25fb with a 2010 Tundra 5.7L with only 1465lbs on the payload sticker. Tundra doesn't seem to complain. I'm sure I'm over several hundred pounds. My tongue weight is about 1100lbs measured with my Sherline scale.

I too moved up from a Casita, 2009 17' Spirit Deluxe but I had to buy a different tow vehicle.

Kelvin
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Old 01-28-2015, 03:07 PM   #7
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2005 39' Land Yacht 390 XL 396
Common Sense , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott-Andrea View Post
Thanks to you both for the quick responses! The one thought that I forgot to share was this:

If I'm using a WDH, and that WDH is supposed to put some of the weight on the trailer axle and some on the truck, does that increase my ability to carry cargo? For example, with a 720 lb hitch weight of the trailer, I was told the WDH would push 60% (432 lbs) forward and 40% (288 lbs) would push back to the trailer axle. That should give me an additional 288 lbs I can carry in the truck, right?
I think you'll find the tongue weight put back onto the trailer's axles is more like 30%.

In any event, you will have NO PROBLEMS towing a 23 footer with your F150.

Hook it up, adjust the hitch to return 100% of the unloaded weight back to the front axle, and go camping and have a good time.
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Old 01-28-2015, 03:12 PM   #8
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
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We tow a heavier Airstream with a lighter truck than yours, using a ProPride hitch to ensure safe and pleasant towing under all conditions. Estimated hitch weights plus load in the truck (behind the rear axle) are useful numbers to use to select weight distribution bars but not much else.

It's the axle and tire weight limits after hooking up and weight distribution applied, that matter. Weigh it then and if these limits are exceeded you need to redistribute some stuff among the truck and trailer, or leave it at home. Our rig is well within these limits when fully loaded. With a ProPride or Hensley you'll probably need 1400# w.d. bars to distribute the hitch and truck load evenly.
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Old 01-29-2015, 06:22 AM   #9
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2015 23' Flying Cloud
Plainville , Connecticut
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My wife and I thank you all for replying and sharing your knowledge! We both feel much better about our setup and can't wait to pick up our new Airstream camper in a few weeks! Hope to see you on the road!

Scott & Andrea
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Old 01-29-2015, 07:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott-Andrea View Post
That should give me an additional 288 lbs I can carry in the truck, right?
Yes!
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Old 01-29-2015, 11:48 AM   #11
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2017 30' Flying Cloud
Spotsylvania , Virginia
Join Date: Jan 2015
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My wife and I have gone from a 25' drag behind to a 36' 5th wheel and we now just got a AS 23 FB. We live in VA and travel south down RT95 to FL once or twice a year, when you get in NC & SC there are expansion joints in the concrete pavement every couple under feet that will jar your neck after a few hundred miles. I installed air bags on the rear axle of each TV and it eliminated the constant pounding to the body on my F150 or 2500 Ram. You should be fine, enjoy north of the boarder, that is my 2016 trip.
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Old 01-29-2015, 01:32 PM   #12
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Quartz Hill , California
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Steveh is correct. I had an Equalizer hitch with 1000 lb bars on my 25'. The ride was too harsh for the trailer. I had popped interior rivets, drawers coming open etc. I now have a Reese Straite Line with my 30'. No Popped rivets yet. I like it real well. Also consider the Pro Pride or Hensley which are popular but pricier.
Welcome to the community.
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Old 01-29-2015, 01:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
Your truck will be fine and will handle the trailer easily. Not easy like the Casita, but you will have no problems towing a 23'.

The hitch you are considering, however may be a little too stiff if it has the 1,000lb bars. I know they make lighter bars, like 600lb, and that's what I would go with if I went Equal-i-zer.

You will most likely get lots of input on hitches here as it always gets into a "hot" discussion. Every one likes the hitch that they use and think everyone else should use that hitch.

The truth of the matter is, they will all work sized correctly, some a little better than others, but the main thing is to get it set up correctly.

Good luck with your 23' and welcome to the forum.

This quoted post,,, the first one on this thread is perfect, all that follows, including this one right here is a waste of time.


1/2 Ton 4WD Truck, 72 Sovereign Hensley Arrow
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Old 01-29-2015, 04:00 PM   #14
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2011 20' Flying Cloud
Lemont , Illinois
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I'm concerned that you won't be happy with the performance of a 3.5 liter V6. I'm towing a 20 foot 2011 Flying Cloud with a 2012 Toyota Tacoma with a 4 liter V6, and it's fine here in the midwest, but struggles in the mountains.

Driving through the Bighorn mountains in Wyoming last summer on Rt. 16 there were times when I had the peddle to the floor, auto trans in 1st gear, and was traveling at 27 mph. This was on a road where the posted speed limit was 50. I had a train of cars following me...

Now, this was at 8,500 feet or higher, burning premium fuel, and with the trailer and truck moderately loaded. I was the only person in the vehicle. I seriously wished I had a V8, or at least a turbo or supercharged engine that wouldn't be as affected by the thin air.

Then again... I got through just fine, and didn't mind the 13.5 to 15.0 mpg I got on the rest of the trip! What concerns me is that you'll be pulling a larger, heavier trailer with a larger, heavier tow vehicle, and probably more passengers, but with a smaller engine. Sooner or later you'll have to wind through mountains on 2 lane highways, and with only 3.5 liters, it would be very slow going... unless that Ford 3.5 has a turbocharger.

Glenn
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