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Old 04-19-2016, 12:11 AM   #1
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Looking to Purchase 2015 Flying Cloud 23d

Hi, we are a family of five (5, 3 and 1 yr old) and we are looking at purchasing a Flying Cloud 23d. Our TV would have to be our 2010 V6 Nissan Pathfinder. If I have to upgrade to a larger TV, it will be a deal breaker for my wife. Thank you in advance for any thoughts regarding what it might take/cost to outfit our Pathfinder with all the appropriate safety gear to tow this unit. From reading a bit (still digging through threads), I think I will need a tranny cooler (no idea yet what this entails/costs) trailer break, new wire run for a 7 point wire harness, Hensley designed hitch (sway control / weight dispersement). As you can see, we found the cart but really need to know if we can outfit the horse with the proper accouterments. Thanks in advance for any guidance regarding our Pathfinder -
Sincerely - New Member
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Old 04-19-2016, 03:12 AM   #2
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We have a 2015 23D International Serenity. The Airstream literature tongue weight of 720 pounds is now 968 pounds after our extensive modifications. Our unit scales 6,068 pounds fully loaded for camping for the two of us.

Look at the drivers door post for the load numbers by axle and total. Check the owner's manual for the maximum trailer towing weight (the 23D has a 6,000 pound GVW). On most vehicles, the total of the two axle capacities will be higher than the total weight of the vehicle. Some folks may fudge the total number as long as the axle ratings are not exceeded. That can be gray area if there were an accident involving weights as a possible cause.

Take the Pathfinder across the CAT scales at a truck stop with all five in the car plus your proposed camping stuff in the car. Look at the real numbers from the weigh ticket and compare them to the numbers on the door post. Keeping in mind again that the 720 pound tongue weight on the Airstream is without a hitch, water in the tanks or any personal stuff loaded in the trailer.

To be on the safe side, use ⅔ of the tongue weight of (for example) 900 pounds or 600 pounds that would be added to the Pathfinder numbers reported on the scales. (With a properly setup weight distribution hitch, the theory is ⅓ of the tongue weight will be on the trailer axles and the rest spread across the front and rear axles of the tow vehicle).

Also, check your Pathfinder tire's capacity and see how close those numbers are to the axle capacities and at what pressures in the tires. There is no legal way to increase the axle ratings in a vehicle except by getting a modification done be a certified modification shop that can issue an altered door label reflecting the higher rated axles and a change in the GVW of the vehicle. The odds of finding such a shop for this smaller size vehicle is very low.

Even with the bunk bed over the rear "snug double", the amount of kid sleeping space will be tight and could require setting up and taking down the dinette to bed conversion multiple times per day.

The fluids capacity on the 23D is modest at best with 39 gallons of fresh water but only room for 21 gallons of gray water (sinks and shower) and 18 gallons of black water (toilet). The gray water tank tends to fill twice as fast as the black water tank.

You also need to factor in the fact that the kids get heavier every day.

Doing your home work now is cheaper than signing a contract to purchase and finding out the weight numbers will not work.
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Old 04-19-2016, 03:38 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by switz View Post
The fluids capacity on the 23D is modest at best with 39 gallons of fresh water but only room for 21 gallons of gray water (sinks and shower) and 18 gallons of black water (toilet). The gray water tank tends to fill twice as fast as the black water tank.

You also need to factor in the fact that the kids get heavier every day.

Doing your home work now is cheaper than signing a contract to purchase and finding out the weight numbers will not work.
I was curious what the maximum towing was on your Nissan and according to what they publish it's 6,000 lbs. Even without factoring in the weight of passengers and gear in the vehicle you're pushing that V6.

If you do decide to go with the 23d (I just purchased one myself), the grey water is the one that you need to think about. If you don't camp where there are full hook-ups (a lot of Texas state parks don't have full hookups), you will need to think about purchasing an external storage unit. We use the one we had with our tankless A-frame, but these will allow you to drain your grey water without moving the trailer.

When I purchased by first camper, I didn't do my homework. Towing it home from the dealership immediately told me that since I was near my limit, it wasn't the vehicle for towing that camper. We ended up trading in that truck and buying a larger v8 that same weekend. Fortunately, it's plenty big enough and setup correctly the Airstream. But if it was me, I don't think I would bother with the expense of adding the water cooler. You're already at towing capacity (and back in 2010 they weren't using the SAE J2807 standard and cheated a lot on towing capacity). I'm going to guess you're probably 300-500 pounds off from that figure. Which means your probably over the limit before you're out the gate. Do some checking online and see what others with your vehicle have found. I'm going to guess though that 6000 lbs is going to be past what others are towing safely.

One other thing to think about is fuel economy. When you're near max towing, your engine will have to work harder and you notice a significant drop in fuel economy. Right now, not that big of a deal, but as fuel prices increase it will be. Again, just one more thing to keep in mind.
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Old 04-19-2016, 06:16 AM   #4
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Family of 3 here. Loved the 23d when shopping but bought a 25 for the space. After a year we are in a 30. Everyone is different, but I don't think the truck is your issue. The 23d is. Probably too small.
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Old 04-19-2016, 04:06 PM   #5
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For safety reasons I would go with a V-8. It will pull easier with the A/S and payload then the v6.


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Old 04-20-2016, 09:34 AM   #6
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Thank you very much for the detailed message. I have many things to learn. Kinda of like the more you learn, the more you realize you don't know. Great jumping off points -

Thanks again
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