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Old 09-02-2012, 04:07 PM   #1
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Kenbridge , Virginia
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Smile RV Selection and TV Considerations

OK, been searching around the site looking for direction. It is the most interesting place, lots of very smart folks with a lot of great experience to share, thanks to you all. We are planning to sell our farm here in VA and take some time to travel around the US, will try to do this seasonally since friends and family are in the Northeast, Canada, West Coast and Florida. Having no experience with RV'ng we are thinking about starting out on a budget saving the splurge for post sale hopefully in mid 13.
Looking at something like a Flying Cloud 25' for starters, used seems to be in budget. We have a 1996 very low mileage Silverado in excellent shape that has been used to haul some pretty big farm equipment on commercial trailers around VA. It is a standard cab, AC, Auto, 409cid 400HP Special (Vortex), 3.42 posi and pwr brakes rated 6400 lbs (all factory). A paint matched cap for securing 'stuff' to FL. The stock bumper says 400/4000lb but we have a frame mounted hitch installed.
The thinking at this point in time is to go with the Silverado as our TV for local trips just to get used to draging it around and getting a flavor for the whole RV thing. I read with much interest the discussions about the different TVs, some I never heard of but that will be for further down the road. As a side note, we have a home on an island in the Bahamas and will be parking the rig somewhere near Ft Lauderdale for long periods between journeys (a lot of planning for a 70 yr old!)
We cannot find reference to how heavy the 25' trailers are and if the supposed 4000lb tow is real or just a reference to the stock bumper.
Any thoughts would be most appreciated.
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Old 09-02-2012, 04:53 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forums!

Your plans sound quite reasonable. To learn specific trailer weights, etc., try this URL to get web available information from Airstream for each year, model, layout built.
Airstream, Inc :: Specifications

As for your truck. I have a 1994 C1500 Silverado and it can haul most of the earlier trailers with ease. Your frame mounted hitch greatly increases towing capacity over the bumper hitch. Check the manufacturer's sticker in the door jam to see if towing capacity is listed. Otherwise, check with your local dealer to see if the service department can locate the specific specs for your combination of engine, chassis, and brake combination based on VIN number. The range for my year was 6,000 to 8,100 and it depended on build elements.
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:28 PM   #3
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This looks like a great plan... probably. You'll want to check the sticker on the driver's door frame that tells you about axel weights and gross combined vehicle weight GCVW. It's a good idea to stay under those numbers. This might mean loading the bed sparingly. REDNAX has some great posts about making sure that your four corner weights and tire pressures are all in line... you should search the forum for those.

You'll want to check to make sure that you've got the appropriate E Load LT tires. You're going to need a brake controller (Tekonsha P3 is a good one but not THE BEST EVER) and it's probably a good idea to take it to a shop to see if there's an auxiliary transmission cooler installed. If not, get one, they're cheap and will protect your transmission from overheating.

You've probably got plenty of power to pull a 25' trailer as long as you don't need to win any uphill drag races.

Oh, and you'll need s good camera to take pictures of all the great places you'll go!
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:06 PM   #4
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A 25' trailer will weight around 5500 to 6000. My 2011 20' weight 5000. Moving the trailer is not the problem. Stopping and controling it are.
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:11 PM   #5
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GVW on a 25' FC is 7,300, as I recall.
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:44 AM   #6
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Thanks

Great info, we will be traveling to Canada next month and plan to visit the Airstream dealer in NJ on the way. Hope to get the wife oriented to what they look like and also some more details. This should help us decide on what size we would look for.
The brake controller is a definite as well as the tranny cooler, will start on those after the trip.
I am new to this sort of towing so am a bit apprenhive about all the chatter about weight distribution, will study that.
More questions to come.
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:05 AM   #7
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1989 25' Excella
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagleye View Post
We have a 1996 very low mileage Silverado in excellent shape that has been used to haul some pretty big farm equipment on commercial trailers around VA. It is a standard cab, AC, Auto, 409cid 400HP Special (Vortex), 3.42 posi and pwr brakes rated 6400 lbs (all factory). A paint matched cap for securing 'stuff' to FL. The stock bumper says 400/4000lb but we have a frame mounted hitch installed.
Welcome, in the big picture your plan sound fine.

But a BB in a 1/2 ton?
With 3:42 rear end?
Is this truck stock?
Something aint' right here...do a little more research or provide more info on your truck.

Anyway, congrats on reaching a point in your life where you can have a plan like this...it will be an awesome adventure!

Bill
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:07 AM   #8
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The two new Flying Clouds listed on the Airstream site come in at 5,540 and 5,443 respectively.

I can't imagine why a vehicle equipped like yours wouldn't tow the 25-footers, of course after you upgrade for towing as you have described.
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:18 AM   #9
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1974 31' Sovereign
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Originally Posted by BillTex View Post
Welcome, in the big picture your plan sound fine.

But a BB in a 1/2 ton?
With 3:42 rear end?
Is this truck stock?
Something aint' right here...do a little more research or provide more info on your truck.

Anyway, congrats on reaching a point in your life where you can have a plan like this...it will be an awesome adventure!

Bill
Eagleye, I think Bill has something there.

Perhaps you are being confused by rpo code L31. The Vortec 5700 L31 is a V8 truck engine, with 5.7 L displacement. Apparently GM re-uses some RPO codes.

The good news is that it's still got plenty of grunt to move a 25-footer!
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:24 AM   #10
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You Guys are sharp!

OK, re-looked at the truck, you are correct about the RPO code. That is something I never knew about so when I looked it listed:
L31 5.7L V8 CPI 409 CID 400HP etc..
So I guess the code covers both engines, took a bit to understand what the BB is, I think Big Block? The only sticker under the hood about the engine is for the emission controls and it is for a 5.7
Looking for an indication about the engine I see that it has the K-H anti lock system, pretty fancy device with lots of wires and pipes. Does the trailer brake controller involve this?
The transmission is corrently cooled in the radiator, looks tight to install a large cooler because of the AC condenser. Will discuss with a local transmission shop.
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