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Old 05-15-2017, 11:40 AM   #1
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On the road . . . with AirMiles

This thread is a continuation of my new member post http://www.airforums.com/forums/f368...er-162958.html

This thread will document our travels and experiences with our 2017 Flying Cloud 25 Front Bedroom "Miles" and our 2016 Titan XD Diesel 4x4 "Max". Comments or questions about our equipment or experiences are welcome and encouraged.

Here is a picture of Miles and Max to get the thread rolling.
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2017 Flying Cloud 25FB (Miles) 184 nights 26,850 miles
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Old 05-15-2017, 12:12 PM   #2
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In the process of purchasing our new Airstream, I learned a lot about selecting and setting up a tow vehicle for a larger travel trailer. Since I had already owned Max, our 2016 Titan XD 4x4 Diesel pickup truck, his limitations were known. It was sheer luck that Max had enough payload to haul the FC25FB Airstream we chose.

Max's GVWR maximum is 8950#, which is the total weight allowed on Max's axles. As you can see from this scale weight ticket, Max is within 100# of his maximum 8950# GVWR when loaded for travel and easily within all other weight specifications (GCWR, FAWR, RAWR). Whew, that was close!
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2017 Flying Cloud 25FB (Miles) 184 nights 26,850 miles
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Sold: 2013 Casita SD17 89 nights 16,200 miles
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Old 05-15-2017, 01:05 PM   #3
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There were a few issues before getting Max and Miles ready for camping. The first was Airstream's specification that the couple height is at 17-3/4". Due to Airstream's recommended coupler height, I purchased an extended receiver hitch that could get Max's ball height down to 18-3/4", one inch above the top of the coupler as the Blue Ox Swaypro instructions recommended.

After hooking up Miles on Max with the Blue Ox Swaypro, I did not need the extended receiver. The one that came with the hitch was the long enough to get Miles to a level towing position. So for those setting up your hitch from the factory specs, you probably don't need to set your ball height as low as Airstream's specs. The top of Max's ball is sitting at 23" before hooking up Miles. That's a long ways above 17-3/4". An Max only drops about an inch when hooked up with the Blue Ox Swaypro with 1000# bars clamped to the 10th link from the loose end with 2-1/2 links showing when connected. If your tow vehicle drops more than 1" when connected, you would need to start even higher than 23". The original picture in this thread is of Max and Miles in this same configuration.

Here is a picture of the Blue Ox Swaypro when attached to Max and Miles and my Cat scale tickets documenting the weight distribution hitch setup. This picture was before installing the original 7 hole receiver which will put the rig back to the same position but with a needed extra 6" of ground clearance and 20# of weight savings!
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2017 Flying Cloud 25FB (Miles) 184 nights 26,850 miles
400W Solar, Blue Ox SwayPro, 16" Michelins
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Sold: 2013 Casita SD17 89 nights 16,200 miles
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Old 05-15-2017, 01:20 PM   #4
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First time out with Miles!

Now that we have Max and Miles all set up and ready to go camping. Here are some pictures of where we have been . . .

Our first weekend was at Lithia Spring Park, a County campground very near our house. We had a great time and only needed to run home once for the propane hose to connect our propane grill to Miles.
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2017 Flying Cloud 25FB (Miles) 184 nights 26,850 miles
400W Solar, Blue Ox SwayPro, 16" Michelins
2017 Nissan Titan XD 5.0 Cummins Diesel 4x4
Sold: 2013 Casita SD17 89 nights 16,200 miles
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Old 05-15-2017, 01:58 PM   #5
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Eight night shakedown around the Ocala National Forest

Our next trip was a eight night longer term shakedown of Miles and Max. Comments to pictures in order:

The first night we stayed at Silver Lake Campground, a Florida State Forest campground. We got the best site in the park as we were one of only two campers. Miles got between 13 and 14 MPG running interstate highway speeds to this campground. Better MPG than I expected!

Then we moved on to Clear Lake Campground in the Ocala National Forest. I used GPS coordinates to find this campground. As luck would have it, we ended up on a dead end dirt road that ended at the campground boundary! This was our first opportunity to test out Max's 4x4 option. Four wheel drive came in really handy making that Y-turn in the sandy soil at the end of the road. Clear Lake Campground was beautiful. We had another gorgeous waterfront site, but the expected cold front did not arrive and we spent one hot night here, without electricity, and decided to move on. (Of course the cold front arrived the for the rest of the trip and we used HEAT every night after on this trip!) Also, our Champion 3400 Watt inverter generator worked flawlessly as needed to power Miles during the daylight hours.

We then moved on to Salt Springs Campground. This Ocala National Forest campground has full hookups. Its the first time we ever used full hookups. One could become spoiled. But full hookups brings crowds. We got the last campsite available in the park and stayed over the weekend. It was not picturesque like our prior campsites.

We wrapped up this tour at Silver Springs State Park. This is a beautiful facility. We got an awesome private shady campsite and stayed for three nights. We went on the glass bottom boat tour of the springs and hiked all the marked trails. To our surprise, we ran into a pack of free-range monkeys. This was a little scary as we heard them coming through the woods and didn't know what they were. We were preparing for encounters from either wild boars or a bear. Monkeys were a little less daunting, but still can be aggressive. We got a few good pictures and hightailed it out of there.

We had a successful eight night excursion with no major issues. We did go shopping for a few items and developed a list of other things we want to bring on our extended trip to northern Wisconsin and Minnesota beginning in a couple of weeks.

We did sneak in one more night at Lithia Springs Campground to take our grand children out before our extended trip. That brings this thread up to date with 11 nights and 489 miles of travel so far. Looking forward to our 30+ night 4,000+ mile trip starting in two weeks!

The pictures are being hung up loading, so I'm going to post this and follow up with the pictures in another post.
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2017 Flying Cloud 25FB (Miles) 184 nights 26,850 miles
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Sold: 2013 Casita SD17 89 nights 16,200 miles
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Old 05-15-2017, 04:43 PM   #6
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Pictures for previous post

Pictures for previous post

Silver Lake Campground
Clear Lake Campground
Salt Springs Campground
Silver Springs State Park
Silver Springs Monkey
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2017 Flying Cloud 25FB (Miles) 184 nights 26,850 miles
400W Solar, Blue Ox SwayPro, 16" Michelins
2017 Nissan Titan XD 5.0 Cummins Diesel 4x4
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Old 05-15-2017, 06:02 PM   #7
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You are wise to make the first stop close to home, just in case.
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Old 05-16-2017, 05:09 AM   #8
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Thanks for the thread. We have the 2014 version of your trailer and love it. We loved traveling through Florida recently, especially the springs and State Parks. I bought a book on kayaking all the springs and plan to return next year.
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Old 05-16-2017, 06:18 AM   #9
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Mollysdad & Gregwall, we are lucky to have so many beautiful campgrounds to pick from in Florida. We plan to visit all the State Parks in Florida. We have already stayed at Bahia Honda, John Pennekamp, Mayakka River, Oscar Scherer, Little Manatee River, Hillsborough River, Highlands Hammock, Lake Kissimmee, Blue Springs Gamble Rogers, Silver Springs, O'leno, Hendersen Beach and St. George Island. I've also driven through all of the ones on the gulf in the panhandle and many others near the others we have stayed at.

We also drove through several other Ocala National Forest campgrounds on our trip. Each of these had no hookups, but each would be a great place to stay during the cooler weather. Alexander Springs, Juniper Springs, Lake Dorr, Lake Eaton and Fore Lake.

One other note, there is very limited cell phone coverage in the Ocala National Forest. We have both Verizon and AT&T and rarely had more than occasional voice service on Verizon. AT&T was almost completely useless as was any digital (4G) coverage on either network. If you are looking to get away from technology, Ocala National Forest is a great destination.
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Old 05-16-2017, 06:55 AM   #10
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Thanks for the write ups! I'm looking forward to your trip north as we will be heading to MN in July with our trailer.
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Old 05-16-2017, 07:46 AM   #11
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NorCal, Much of the early part of our Wisconsin and Minnesota trip has been scheduled to insure campsites at the State Parks with relatives. The first week won't be all that exciting. We cannot leave Tampa until Wednesday morning and have to be in Green Bay WI for a Saturday graduation party. There will be some long travel days and roadside overnights the first few days. A true roadside overnight will be a new experience for us! Then we will stay at one of the Brown County Parks, which are all first-come-first-serve. Red River Park on Green Bay is really nice, but I'm not sure there will be a spot available on the Friday of Memorial day week. The second option is the less exciting Brown County Fairgrounds and then friends or relatives land as a last resort.

Then we move on to the St. Croix River area and stay at William O'Brien State Park (MN), spend a few days on relative's land and then on to Wild River State Park (MN). Then we go to another relative's hunting acreage in WI before heading to Lake Superior. Near Lake Superior, we stay at Indian Point Campground in Duluth, Temperance State Park (MN) and Cascade River State Park(MN) along the North Shore. This brings us to the last week of June when we begin an unscheduled slow and meandering trip back to Florida.

This meandering return trip could take weeks and may include stops at the Airstream Facility in JC and the Blue Ridge Mountains or the Blue Ox Facility in NE and the Ozark Mountains. I've also scoped out "The Land Between The Lakes Recreation Area" in Kentucky which looks interesting. We are new to this unscheduled meandering type activity, so we will see how that goes. There are so many great places to visit its hard to choose which way to roam.
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Old 05-16-2017, 09:19 AM   #12
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One tiny warning about the Ocala National Forest.
Hunting season. You'll see some interesting folks in the forest, be aware.
I'm sure the popular campgrounds are fine, but boondocking could be iffy.
I tried a new dirt bike in there before a trip and I went very far in. I swear there were some people living way "off the grid" back in the forest. They didn't seem welcoming.
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Old 05-16-2017, 03:23 PM   #13
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On the road...

We too enjoy being off the grid once in a while...thx for sharing.

Btw, islLand between the lakes strictly boondocking or are there also sites with water or anything else?
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Old 05-16-2017, 04:12 PM   #14
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

Thank you for sharing your adventures. We look forward to hearing more of travels, and seeing the pictures that you catch along the way.

Brian
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