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Old 04-04-2016, 10:41 PM   #15
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Tow Vehicle and Hitch Advice for 2016 Flying Cloud 28'

I had a feeling you would not share your weight ticket.
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Old 04-05-2016, 11:30 AM   #16
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We just purchased a new 30' International. Previously, we had the Flying Cloud 23d. I was concerned that our 10 year old F150 would not be able to comfortably tow the 30'.

Ended up with the 2016 Silverado with Max payload package with 6.2 liter V8 and 8 speed auto. So far, so good.

Best of luck and congrats on the trailer.
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Old 04-05-2016, 12:33 PM   #17
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Tow vehicle Recommendation

I own a 2015 Flying Cloud 28 which I recently took to Colorado and Utah through the Rockies. At the time, my tow vehicle was a 2012 Dodge Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi. The Dodge did a great job towing until I started going over the Rockies. I made it over some pretty steep peaks. A lot of the driving was in 1st gear at 40 MPH. Not fun or good for the truck. Going down the mountains was another challenge. The tow setting offered automatic downshifting when braking, but I felt the momentum down the mountains was too much and I often was propelled downhill like a missile. Conclusion: This is a great tow vehicle if you can avoid the Rockies altogether. Also, I would recommend rear airbag suspension with the Dodge 1500. The AS tongue weight is a little too much for the stock spring suspension and challenges the weight distribution hitch to the max.

If you someday want to tackle the Rockies or other similar mountains, I would recommend doing what I did and that is to buy a 2016 Dodge 2500 Cummins Turbo Diesel. I got it with the full bed so I can bring my motorcycle. I've had this truck for four months now and I would highly recommend it. I got it with the Big Horn trim. This truck gets superb mileage, has power to spare, a suspension to match and an exhaust brake!. If you get a whimpy tow vehicle, you will not be happy (or safe).
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Old 04-05-2016, 12:45 PM   #18
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I was opposite to you. Bought 2015 Tahoe, then bought 2015 FC 28. Had to trade Tahoe for 2015 Silverado 2500 HD Duranax diesel (ouch). Put ProPride hitch on and now feel safe, just less wealthy. The 28 has heaviest tounge weigh of all models which is why I went 2500HD.
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Old 04-05-2016, 03:56 PM   #19
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We are on our maiden voyage in our 28 Flying Cloud twin. Pulling with a 2500 Duramax & Blue Ox Sway Pro. This tows like a dream & I have no regrets. If I had a smaller truck I might be tempted by the Hensley/PP designs but I think it's not needed with a stronger TV. This is subjeective for everyone.
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Old 04-05-2016, 04:43 PM   #20
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Pacific Palisades , California
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Smashke--

Congratulations!

Hensley and Propride hitches are the gold standard, although like all things, nothing is perfect. With our 28' International, we use the Equalizr 4pt with 1000 lb bars. We find it excellent for both weight distribution and sway control. It is much lighter and Less expensive than the aforementioned hitches.

Our tongue weight (with two extra batteries) is 1280. The tongue weight you mentioned sounds like it's manufacturer's, not scale verified? The 28's typically run around 1000 or more with full propane, and it's a good figure for you to know.

Payload is going to be the first issue for you with that wonderful family (including the 4-legged member.) Totally with you on no pickup for the fam of that size, but US SUV's have moved away from diesel. So you can look at the payload/towing capacity of the Toyota Sequoia, and consider the extended Yukon Denali ( the only way to get the big GMC 8 in an SUV when we were actively liking in 2013).

You can/should also look at passenger vans for the payload and towing capacities, as they will by far give you the best passenger room. The new Ford Transits now have the 3.5l 6cyl Ecoboost engine which is a towing beast, and maybe Chevy/GMC have brought the diesel back. The Nissan van is a possibility, too, although we didn't care for the interior materials--depends in his finicky you are about what.

In our family, even though my wife hates vans, we needed the cargo capacity for our large but lightweight windsurfing equipment. After searching for a LONG time, she surprised me by pushing for the Sprinter. Rated to tow 7500 lbs and weighing about 7000 lbs with a GVWR if 11,000lbs, the one ton is the only choice in the line. Although ours is completely custom, I think the beautiful passenger van might work well for your family. The only iffy part here is that the 6cyl diesel, which has plenty of torque (we calculated "torque-to-the-pavement") with the big rear axle differential as being 5ft/lbs more than the 3/4 ton Suburban we used to tow with (non-diesel). But the horsepower is much less. So you'd have no problem accelerating your whole household quickly to 40 mph, acceptably to 50 mph and you'll get to 60 sometime later in the morning. With a headwind or upslope, the rig is working very hard.

My personal choice for you would be either the Transit if payload is adequate or the Chevy/Gmc van if same. The new Dodge vans are too new, IMO, to know how they'll work out. If vans are a complete turnoff, consider the Sequoia and the Yukon Denali for the large gas engine.
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Old 04-05-2016, 05:53 PM   #21
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A 28' Airstream is a very stable and not much of a towing challenge as long as it is connected properly. We took 28' to California last fall, really enjoyed it and hardly noticed the smaller size. There are several 3 Row SUV's that will not have any difficulty taking you anywhere you want to travel. They can all be much more stable than your motorhome was.

The Ford Expedition EL with 20" wheels and the 3.73:1 axle ratio is the roomiest of the vehicles I would suggest. It has the echo boost 3.5 litre and a very robust chassis with lots of over capacity.

If you can live with a less space but still 3 rows of seats the Dodge Durango with either the 3.6 litre or Hemi will do the job very nicely. The 3.6 litre is easier on fuel the Hemi will give you substantial performance. It performs much better in the Durango than it does in a 1/2 ton where it needs more power to push the truck along. The Durango handles more precisely than the Expedition and has a lower centre of gravity.

If the budget will handle it a Mercedes GLS with the diesel engine and 9 speed is a wonderful vehicle. The Audi Q7 is as smooth and quite and precise handling as the Mercedes but alas no diesel for now.

The Mercedes and Audi should have their hitches strengthened for the Airstream. It is not a bad idea for the Expedition and Durango as well but it is not mandatory.

I would suggest an Eaz-Lift brand weight distribution system. The Elite model with 1400 bars and two friction sway controls. If you send me an email I can send you back some sheets on how to set it all up properly. Only about 5% of trailers on the road are properly configured so you really want to know how to do it yourself and it is not rocket science.

I hope this helps
Andrew T
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Old 04-05-2016, 06:10 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew T View Post
A 28' Airstream is a very stable and not much of a towing challenge as long as it is connected properly. We took 28' to California last fall, really enjoyed it and hardly noticed the smaller size. There are several 3 Row SUV's that will not have any difficulty taking you anywhere you want to travel. They can all be much more stable than your motorhome was.

The Ford Expedition EL with 20" wheels and the 3.73:1 axle ratio is the roomiest of the vehicles I would suggest. It has the echo boost 3.5 litre and a very robust chassis with lots of over capacity.

If you can live with a less space but still 3 rows of seats the Dodge Durango with either the 3.6 litre or Hemi will do the job very nicely. The 3.6 litre is easier on fuel the Hemi will give you substantial performance. It performs much better in the Durango than it does in a 1/2 ton where it needs more power to push the truck along. The Durango handles more precisely than the Expedition and has a lower centre of gravity.

If the budget will handle it a Mercedes GLS with the diesel engine and 9 speed is a wonderful vehicle. The Audi Q7 is as smooth and quite and precise handling as the Mercedes but alas no diesel for now.

The Mercedes and Audi should have their hitches strengthened for the Airstream. It is not a bad idea for the Expedition and Durango as well but it is not mandatory.

I would suggest an Eaz-Lift brand weight distribution system. The Elite model with 1400 bars and two friction sway controls. If you send me an email I can send you back some sheets on how to set it all up properly. Only about 5% of trailers on the road are properly configured so you really want to know how to do it yourself and it is not rocket science.

I hope this helps
Andrew T
I've never known Andrew to give bad advice--he is the expert on towing Airstreams. I recall that he particularly like the Ford because of its independent rear wheel suspension, and many of us like the Ford 3.5l Ecoboost engine. Personally, we found the Ford a bit mushy I'm handling when we drove it. Andrew is way more current than most of us, and has given you an excellent answer.

Armed with this info, it's time for you to set aside some time and do some test driving! Good luck!
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Old 04-05-2016, 06:39 PM   #23
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I agree with Ford being mushy. It was the best of the lot of the big SUVs I test drove, due to the independent rear suspension, but it was still no match for the GL or Durango, both of which are sporting a far more sophisticated suspension and drivetrain setup.

I was very tempted to go for the GL series, but in the end we got such a great deal on a Durango that our decision was pretty much made for us.

It'll be at Andy's shop next week Friday, to get the hitch reinforced.
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Old 04-05-2016, 08:26 PM   #24
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I have been all over the country for the last 2 years, with my 2008 4.7L Tundra 4x4. Towing my 1976 tradewinds and hauling my vtx1300 in the bed of the truck. I just passed 174k miles and get approx 250 miles per tank.

That being said.

I HIGHLY recommend the Toyota Sequioa 5.7L. Its the same as the tundra with a roof. Get the tow package the tow capacity is 10k
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Old 04-05-2016, 08:29 PM   #25
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We are finishing a Month long trip with our 30' international Serenity from Bellingham Wa to San Francisco to Reno, back through Bend and soon back home. We have 2015 1500 RAM 5.7 4WD crew cab 6'5" box with a canopy with the 8 speed transmission. With a front bench seat it will ride 6 and the big space under the canopy will hold lots of stuff. I have been very happy with our Blue Ox hitch, no sway and a very even weight distribution. We obviously crossed some high passes and on other trips have been at 9000'. I just put the cruise control on 65 and it has never failed to keep that speed. Just checked my mileage in this trip and I'm at 11 mpg. I get around 20 mpg unloaded mostly freeway miles. I like our set up a lot and unlike my other truck (Duramax 3500 Dually) the ride of this truck is just like our car!
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:17 AM   #26
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Congrats!
We found ourselves in much the same situation! My husband surprised me with an Airstream and we just brought her home. We have a 27fb International Signature, bought a GMC 3/4 ton deisel truck and an Equalizer hitch. My hisband said he couldn't hardly tell we were puling the trailer when we hauled her home. We wanted a 3/4 Suburban but they are no longer making them. Since we live in Colorado and will be pulling in the mountains, a 3/4 was our vehicle of choice since our Yukon was so close to the load capacity numbers. Hubby upgraded our hitch to the heavy duty one that fits the truck without a sleeve and the only drawback is the weight. I can bately lift it! We just finished an addition to the back of our garage and made the door larger to accomodate the AS so we can park her here at home in a heated garage. All this and my husband has never camped in a trailer! Hope he loves it as much as I so!
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Old 04-06-2016, 12:41 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holy Grail View Post
I own a 2015 Flying Cloud 28 which I recently took to Colorado and Utah through the Rockies. At the time, my tow vehicle was a 2012 Dodge Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi. The Dodge did a great job towing until I started going over the Rockies. I made it over some pretty steep peaks. A lot of the driving was in 1st gear at 40 MPH. Not fun or good for the truck. Going down the mountains was another challenge. The tow setting offered automatic downshifting when braking, but I felt the momentum down the mountains was too much and I often was propelled downhill like a missile. Conclusion: This is a great tow vehicle if you can avoid the Rockies altogether. Also, I would recommend rear airbag suspension with the Dodge 1500. The AS tongue weight is a little too much for the stock spring suspension and challenges the weight distribution hitch to the max.

If you someday want to tackle the Rockies or other similar mountains, I would recommend doing what I did and that is to buy a 2016 Dodge 2500 Cummins Turbo Diesel. I got it with the full bed so I can bring my motorcycle. I've had this truck for four months now and I would highly recommend it. I got it with the Big Horn trim. This truck gets superb mileage, has power to spare, a suspension to match and an exhaust brake!. If you get a whimpy tow vehicle, you will not be happy (or safe).
Wow - I can only imagine what RPM the engine was at - 1st gear at 40 MPH?!? That had to lead to some heat build up in the engine too...
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Old 04-09-2016, 10:37 PM   #28
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Tow Vehicle

2016 Dodge 6.7 Diesel 2500 A/T
Blue Ox W/D
27' Flying Cloud
No regrets
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