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Old 12-22-2012, 12:40 PM   #15
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Cool It tows well, no fear yet!

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Old 12-22-2012, 02:33 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by AirHeadsRus View Post
Sierrafun & Lifer2,
Welcome to the forums! IMO, you should load your TV's up with stuff you want to bring camping and have a field trip to the scales. Pack up as much as you can possibly take. Get the weights for the front and back axle. That way, when you get the trailers hooked up, you will have a good idea of what you have to work with. Once hooked up, head to the scales again.
Lots of fun things to when you have Alumititus!
Joe

Second vote for weighing the tow vehicle first, then check your axle ratings, that is the one thing I did not see in your list of numbers of that should be considered. You can then make some estimates on what the axles will be at when you hook up to see where you are. Depending on the hitch you buy some are very heavy and add a considerable amount to the hitch.

Safe? That is a decision only you can make taking into consideration your towing experience.
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:13 PM   #17
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The advice to go to the scale is the best advice you will get!

Yes you can tow with that vehicle. But you will have to be very careful how you load the tow vehicle and the trailer. The manufacturer's listed tongue weight of the trailer is not a fixed number, it will actually vary as you load the trailer. The tongue weight generally will be between 10% and 15% of the weight of the trailer. With a 1295 lb payload, at 770 lbs tongue weight, that only leaves 525 lbs. Two passengers will be close to 300 lbs. You will also need to deduct the actual weight of your hitch. (mine weighs about 75 lbs), so using these numbers you can carry only 175 lbs of stuff in the tow vehicle. And less if the tounge weight increases.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:50 PM   #18
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Lots of great info and recommendations. Stay within the numbers and relax, have fun, and remember this isn't rocket science. Enjoy the hunt, it's part of the adventure.

Merry Christmas,
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:25 AM   #19
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Great advice all around! Awareness and good common sense outweighs the rest.

Happy New Airstream Owners, Bob & Deb
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:38 AM   #20
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Starting with the 2013 model year, the factory actually weighs the trailer as it comes off the line without propane in the tanks. Thus the weight of the factory installed options is included and your beginning empty weight is nicely presented on the Trailer Data plate. An interesting tidbit of information in the sales literature, is that the tongue weights of the longer trailers do not increase as much as the gross weight increase would lead you to believe. There are folks towing the longest trailers with modest sized vehicles.

The dealer added factory awnings rear and street side, a 150 watt solar panel, a full load of propane, some electronics and some "starter" supplies to my 25FB. I added about 140 pounds of Hensley hitch on the trailer tow bar. The factory does not provide actual tongue weight. The static tongue weight on my trailer increased to about 1,150 pounds from the literature number of 833 pounds with no factory options.

Crossing the scales the first time relatively empty and without my wife in the car, I found the trailer axles were supporting about 5,300 pounds. With "stuff" loaded, my wife in the car and a full tank of fresh water, the trailer axles weight increased to 5,860 pounds. Static tongue weight increased to about 1,175pounds. I have a lot of stuff over the axles and the tools are in a rear location counter balancing the Hensley hitch weight. We have added about 1.040 pounds the car's empty weight and still have several pounds for vehicle cargo.

Our TV now has about 1,000 pounds of added weight which included my wife, a 40 pound air compressor in lieu of baggage, a 20 pound combo bottle jack and jack stand and some small stuff.

We still have several hundred pounds of weight in the Mercedes ML320 CDI and lots of allowance in the trailer. The Hensley will help apportion additional weight.
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Old 12-23-2012, 02:10 PM   #21
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Our factory weight is also displayed on the Trailer Data Plate, 2012 FC 25, indicating 192# of options over the published weight for the model. On our 2007 FC 20SE the weight was printed on a label on an interior closet door, and was the same as published weight, not accounting for options.

I have not weighed the rig and don't plan to as the truck has enough tow and load capacity. Our Andersen hitch is very light weight.

It is my understanding trailer load should not be "balanced" by moving gear to the far rear/front of the trailer as this could make it less stable than if load was concentrated over the axles. That is why Airstream puts heavy kitchen equipment in the center of the trailer. Also heavy gear at the far rear could put excessive stress on the frame/shell assembly when subjected to roadway conditions (bumps), as it is resting only on the far end of the cantilever.

doug k
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Old 12-23-2012, 04:17 PM   #22
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Question

Doug is correct on not adding weight to the rear. Airstream included a section in my manual, under "Towing-Loading", that specifically says not to use tool boxes, generators, etc behind the axles to balance the load. It goes further to say to place loads low and directly over the axles if possible, or forward of the axles.

Wonder why Airstream placed all of my storage access behind the axles on my trailer?
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:50 PM   #23
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Hi Wendy! We just purchased a new 2012 International Signature '27FB. We tow with a Ford Expedition with a Hensley hitch. If you have any concerns and need help, contact Andy Thomson of Can-Am RV. I wrote a blog post about them! Good luck in your search. Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:29 PM   #24
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A weight distributing hitch will redistribute tongue weight—
approx. 2/3 to the tow vehicle and 1/3 to the trailer. So take 2/3 of tongue weight and subtract that from tow vehicle payload to get the remaining weight in cargo (including passengers) you can load into the tow vehicle.

I wrote the same thing last July on this thread, but it seems to get ignored.

It is true the factory numbers on tongue wt. are rarely correct. Besides wt. of propane, add in the spare tire.

Gene
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:07 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Road Ruler View Post
It is ironic. In Europe they tow non aerodynamic Bambi sized trailers with 4cyl compact cars, no WDH and life is golden.
A trip to Jackson Center OH and you can see the Airstream trailers that are made and shipped over to Europe. You will see first hand what the differences are - they include:
- narrower body
- special triangular reflectors
- surge brakes
- dolly wheel on the jack along with handles to allow you to roll the trailer into a tight parking spot
- hand parking brake on the tongue, so you can lock the wheels

Typically, European trailers have a 50 lb hitch weight, and they do not use any sway control weight distributing hitches. Back in 1981 I bought our first trailer (in Canada) - it was a Thomson and it was manufactured in England. But later on we discovered that the 13-foot trailer which we bought when we were just two adults was too small for two adults, two children and two dogs.
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:49 PM   #26
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Great advice all around! Awareness and good common sense outweighs the rest.

Happy New Airstream Owners, Bob & Deb
Real numbers are in from the public scale at Harvey Lyman in Walnut Grove, CA:

Actual combined gross vehicle wt. (w/driver 1/3 H2O) CGVW = 11,680
GCWR 2003 Toyota Land Cruiser = 12,400
720 lbs. left for twinkies.....
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:11 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outbackbob View Post
Real numbers are in from the public scale at Harvey Lyman in Walnut Grove, CA:

Actual combined gross vehicle wt. (w/driver 1/3 H2O) CGVW = 11,680
GCWR 2003 Toyota Land Cruiser = 12,400
720 lbs. left for twinkies.....
How did the axle weights come out vs the GAWR limits?
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:02 AM   #28
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Trailer and LC connected 12/28/12
Maximums
Actuals
Delta
LC loaded with driver Bob Ĺ fuel
6,860
6,220
640
LC Curb Wt.
5,390
6,220
830
Trailer w 1/3 H2O, propane over 50%, TV & DVD, no black or grey waste
7,300
5,480
1,820
LC & Trailer
12,400
11,680
720
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