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Old 04-28-2007, 07:08 PM   #1
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1962 22' Flying Cloud
1954 26' Romany Cruiser
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Post Hello and Salutations

My name is Steve McPheters and I am new to this group.

My wife and I just purchased our first Airstream. It is a vintage model, 1962 Flying Cloud 22TD.

Haven't gotten it home yet, but we are looking forward to the event with a great deal of anticipation.

Have a question for the experienced Airstreamers. We want to use a 2000 Caravan to tow with. It doesn't have a hitch. It has a 3800 lbs towing rating and is front wheel drive. I have been told that the trailer weighs 2800 lbs with 400 lbs on the tongue. We don't think that we would have 1000 lbs of stuff in the trailer. What sort of hitch should I have installed on the van?

Steve
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Old 04-28-2007, 07:25 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

As far as towing with your Caravan, You may be alright weight numbers-wise. The Flying Cloud is light compared to modern Airstreams of thst size. The thing that may be problematic is the front wheel drive on the tow vevicle. Front wheel drive does not make for the best tow vehicle. I used to tow a small boat (2000# package) with a FWD Cadillac and I never liked the way it handled over 55mph.
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Old 04-28-2007, 07:52 PM   #3
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Get a factory 2" hitch

Your trailer most likely has a 2" ball on it. Just ask the dealer to install a 2" Receiver on the van, and for sure, have them put a transmission cooler on it or you will burn up your tranny - I know from experience. We tow our 65 Caravel with my wife's Kia Sedona (rated at 3500 lbs). Get a weight distributing hitch set up that throws weight to the front wheels and you'll have no problem with a front wheel drive vehicle. Also, congrats! Give us a listen - theVAP - The Vintage Airstream Podcast - Home

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Old 04-28-2007, 08:08 PM   #4
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A 1962 FC has a base dry weight of 3050 pounds. Add to that propane and water and any extras that were added (Air Conditioner, awnings, etc). Your towing number for the Caravan seems high as well. Most Caravans are listed as towing only 2000 pounds. Be carefull, check the numbers and be safe.
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Old 04-28-2007, 10:34 PM   #5
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Hello Steve,

I have a 1962 Safari and ball weight is 400 lbs with total trailer weight of 3500. I doubt the Flying Cloud is that much lighter then the Safari. I have been towing it for the last three years with my Toyota Tundra without any weight distribution hitch. Without this device, the trailer feels medium to slightly heavy, depending on the road taken. Sometimes on flat road with the wind at my back it seems weightless, but that feeling does not last long. What I am getting at is 3500 lbs. is still only 1000 lbs less then a new Bambi and it may be more then your front wheel drive van can handle. Since I have not experienced the lightening effect of a wt. distribution hitch on my truck, I cannot apply that to the gain you might get with your van. These trailers where towed with passenger cars of the sixties, but modern vehicles are hard to compare considering frame and engine redesigns of today. Short term this may be the vehicle you have but long term may not be suitable for towing and travelling to the far corners. Safety is the first rule and then how suitable the vehicle is for the kind of travelling you want to do. Lecture over, let me know if you need any more help or advice. Airstream's are fun!
Gary in Maine
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Old 04-28-2007, 11:12 PM   #6
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I believe that the Chrysler mini vans have a maximum towing capacity of 3500 lbs, with the long wheelbase and large engine. I also believe that the factory recommended hitch is the 1 1/2" receiver and not the 2" receiver. This is because the smaller receiver has the 3500 lb limit.

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Old 04-29-2007, 07:25 AM   #7
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1962 22' Flying Cloud
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Thanks all,

What a responsive forum. All kinds of information I can use.

The numbers I mentioned are from the dealership and the previous owner of the Flying Cloud.

I was wondering about hauling with a front wheel drive. Seems to me that it is like pulling on a rope, it is going to want to straighten out.

Is there anywhere on the web I can find a manual for this year and model? I have looked, but can't find.
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Old 04-29-2007, 08:15 AM   #8
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Closest is Vintage Airstream

This is probably the closest you will come..

Vintage Airstream Photo Archives

and your Flying Cloud:

62FC

Rob
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Old 04-29-2007, 08:11 PM   #9
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1962 22' Flying Cloud
1954 26' Romany Cruiser
Freeport , Maine
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 95
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Thanks all,

Barb (my wife) and I have decided to use our other vehicle to tow with. It is a 97 Jeep Grande Cherokee. Won't look as nice as the silver caravan, but we are going to trade it in later for something newer. It is rated to tow a larger load, has a frame, a higher bumper and is 4WD.

You were all very helpful and hope to speak to you soon. I am going to register it tomorrow and will have it here Tuesday night.

Thanks,
Steve McPheters
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Old 04-29-2007, 09:46 PM   #10
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I would think the G.C. would do fine. We pulled a S.O.B. across country with a Buick with FWD. THe trailer was a light weight, but still was irritable, if not unsafe. Good thing is you have a light A.S. Wonder how light one could rebuild one of the old A.S. if one had a mind to? Hmmm, interesting thought.

In any case, glad to have you aboard. Good thing about that part of the word is you can experiance all sorts of diffferent camp sites in short driving range...I need to head back that way...need a lobster fix

Rob n Terry
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Old 04-30-2007, 09:03 PM   #11
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1962 22' Flying Cloud
1954 26' Romany Cruiser
Freeport , Maine
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 95
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Thanks Rob n Terry,

If you come this way, be prepared for sticker shock, lobster was reported to be above $17 per pound.

Steve

P. S. We registered the Airstream today and have a friend helping to bring it home tomorrow!!! Feels like Christmas Eve!
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Old 04-30-2007, 09:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by safari62
I have a 1962 Safari and ball weight is 400 lbs with total trailer weight of 3500. I doubt the Flying Cloud is that much lighter then the Safari. I have been towing it for the last three years with my Toyota Tundra without any weight distribution hitch. Without this device, the trailer feels medium to slightly heavy, depending on the road taken. Sometimes on flat road with the wind at my back it seems weightless, but that feeling does not last long. What I am getting at is 3500 lbs. is still only 1000 lbs less then a new Bambi and it may be more then your front wheel drive van can handle. Since I have not experienced the lightening effect of a wt. distribution hitch on my truck, I cannot apply that to the gain you might get with your van. These trailers where towed with passenger cars of the sixties, but modern vehicles are hard to compare considering frame and engine redesigns of today. Short term this may be the vehicle you have but long term may not be suitable for towing and travelling to the far corners. Safety is the first rule and then how suitable the vehicle is for the kind of travelling you want to do. Lecture over, let me know if you need any more help or advice. Airstream's are fun!
Gary in Maine
Hey Gary,

You forgot to tell them to join the WBCCI New England Unit. So I'll do it.

smcpheters - welcome! What a great find. I hope you will check out the New England Unit of the WBCCI. We've got lots of vintage Airstream owners in our club, from a 54 Safari on up! The NEU is a fun loving group who enjoy camping and traveling together. Check us out at: WBCCI New England Unit Airstream Club
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Old 04-30-2007, 09:56 PM   #13
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Thanks Michelle,
I was building up to it. really! Besides you have access to all of those links and blinky things I do not know how to add to the post. Thanks for the reminder. I noticed a new Safari 23' in a driveway in Eliot. Me. I will ride my bicycle over and ask where his big red numbers are.
Gary
You forgot to tell them to join the WBCCI New England Unit. So I'll do it.

smcpheters - welcome! What a great find. I hope you will check out the New England Unit of the WBCCI. We've got lots of vintage Airstream owners in our club, from a 54 Safari on up! The NEU is a fun loving group who enjoy camping and traveling together. Check us out at: WBCCI New England Unit Airstream Club
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Old 04-30-2007, 10:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by safari62
Thanks Michelle,
I was building up to it. really! Besides you have access to all of those links and blinky things I do not know how to add to the post. Thanks for the reminder. I noticed a new Safari 23' in a driveway in Eliot. Me. I will ride my bicycle over and ask where his big red numbers are.
Gary
Hee hee! Thanks Gary!

Oh, if the owners of the new Safari are anything like me than their numbers are still in the envelope they received from International (mine have been there since 2003).
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