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Old 01-15-2015, 04:03 PM   #1
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2011 23' FB Flying Cloud
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Towing a 23' Flying Cloud

I'm a relatively new owner, and I am seeking suggestions for an SUV tow vehicle for a 23' Flying Cloud?
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Old 01-15-2015, 04:19 PM   #2
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You've got a trailer with a relatively low tongue weight, and it's not too heavy to tow.

This will get you started.
Truck and SUV Towing Capacity Charts

Good Luck!
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Old 01-15-2015, 04:39 PM   #3
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We also have a Flying Cloud 23 and towed it with a Toyota Sequoia which worked fine the gross weight of th trailer is 6,000 lbs and the Sequoia can tow 7000. However we just sold the Sequoia and bought a 2015 Toyota Tundra which can tow 10,000 lbs. Both vechiles have the same drive, th eSequoia has rail springs in the back vs leaf springs for the Tundra which explains the difference in towing capacities. Also we like having a truck for hauling stuff such as a generator and fuel, also we are thinking about getting a FL 25 which is heavier
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Old 01-15-2015, 04:51 PM   #4
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Welcome, You have opened a can of worms. I tow my 2006 23 with a 2011 Jeep GC Overland Hemi 5.7.
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Old 01-15-2015, 05:09 PM   #5
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Your trailer has a gross weight of 6000#. With careful loading, you can probably limit the tongue weight to ~600#. A few crossover SUV's rated to tow this are (Numbers in parenthesis are tow rating/hitch rating):

1) Mercedes Benz GL 350 (7500#/600#)
2) Porsche Cayenne (7716#/617#)
3) BMX X5d (6000#/600#)
4) Audi Q7 TDI with tow package (6600#/660# ?)

There are many more truck-based SUVs with higher tow/hitch ratings like Tahoe, Suburban, Yukon (XL), Expedition, Armada, and Sequoia, and Land Cruiser.
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Old 01-15-2015, 05:20 PM   #6
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While technically not an SUV, the Sprinter can handle that load easily The 2500 now can be had with AWD if thats a consideration, and also features cross wind assist, and can be configured in a variety of seating arrangements. Useful for erecting a platform airbed in a pinch for extra sleeping quarters. You can get it now with the 4 cyl 2.1L BiTurbo Diesel engine which gets excellent mileage. Worth a look.

Also not mentioned is the upcoming 2016 Volvo XC90 available as a T6 with a twin turbo 4cyl gasoline engine or the T8 hybrid drivetrain ... with over 400hp and nearly the same torque, and can seat 7, SWEET!
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Old 01-15-2015, 06:10 PM   #7
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I see that the 2500 sprinter is limited to 5000 lbs towing,but has a > 3000 lb load capacity rating so you can offload much of your trailer stuff to the van and still come out OK. I weighed my 23 ft recently with tanks empty but everything else rigged for camping and it came out to 4600 lbs so its within specs. If you choose AWD, it bumps you up to the 3L 6 cyl diesel but that a great engine too. The 3500 can be had in AWD as well and has a tow rating of 7500 lbs.
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Old 01-15-2015, 06:34 PM   #8
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A late model Durango 5.7 has plenty of power and it's full independent suspension is as good as it gets for stability, without destroying a budget.
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Old 01-15-2015, 09:18 PM   #9
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If I were looking for a TV today, I would seriously consider Audi Q7 TDI.

1) A new Q7 will be released this year. This means you could get great discounts on existing Q7's. To give you an idea, we bought a 2012 GL a few weeks before 2013 GL hit the dealership and we got almost 15% off the sticker price.

2) The current Q7 has been around in the current shape for over 8 years. Unlike the new Q7 (which will surely have issues, like any other new car) all the glitches in the current Q7 have been fixed. Consumer Reports gives it "above average" score for reliability, which is rare for a German luxury brand.

3) The diesel engine is the same engine found in Cayenne/Touareg diesel and is very potent. However, Q7 (unlike Cayenne/Touareg) has a longer wheelbase, seats 7 (has a third row seat), and has higher payload numbers.

4) It has 6600# tow rating with optional tow package that should be fine to tow a 23 FT Airstream.

I would just make sure using weight distribution hitches is allowed (Touareg manual say no). Since not too many people tow with Q7 here, may be you can go to Audi forum to get more info.

Good luck.
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Old 01-15-2015, 10:05 PM   #10
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I tow a 2014 25' International with my Q7 TDI and absolutely love it. I have owned the Airstream for almost 2 years and have travelled from the Midwest down to North and South Carolina several times and made a trip to Maine this past summer. Weight distribution hitch is essential. I did mine after market and had the hitch reinforced to reduce twisting when the torque is applied. Btw, I drove a Yukon as a rental in Vail last winter and my Q7 with the trailer attached drives better than the Yukon with nothing but skis in the back. Not even close.
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Old 01-15-2015, 10:54 PM   #11
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The Q7 is also on the short list to tow our 25' as well in the future. Expensive compared to our $24K (new) Ram 1500 5.7 but may be justified if it replaced both our truck and car. Not sure of the O.P.'s budget and that would certainly help with recommendations.
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