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Old 07-05-2016, 11:38 PM   #1
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2017 25' Flying Cloud
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I am confused

I have looked at some of the details of base weight, gross weight versus tongue / hitch weight in the 2017 brochure. I am a bit confused :

..........Model 19 23D 23FB 25 25RB 27FB 28 30
Hitch Weight 550 720 467 835 837 791 976 880
Base Weight 3,852 4,761 4,806 5,600 5,503 5,868 5,979 6,382
.........GVWR 4,500 6,000 6,000 7,300 7,300 7,600 7,600 8,800

Are the hitch weights on the 23FB and 27FB wrong or are they the two most recent designs where AS have optimised the weight distribution? I am pretty sure that my truck can tow the 23FB comfortably with payload being a limiting factor rather than GVWR. As a backup plan, I have been looking at larger trailers in case SWMBO (she who must be obeyed if the vernacular is new here) has issues with a smaller trailer.

I am surprised that the hitch weight of the 19 is more than the 23FB given their relative GVWRs and that the hitch weight of the 23D is so much higher than the 23FB.

The relationship between the hitch weights of the 25, 27FB and the 28 relative to GVWR don't look obvious to me either.

EDIT : I tried to get the formatting to work better but couldn't. I am new to this forum and will probably learn to manager tables / columns better in the near future.
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Old 07-06-2016, 05:38 AM   #2
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Not to confuse this further - but most find that the published hitch weight is somewhat lower than reality when loaded for camping. I have a 27FB with a published weight of 833 (or near that) and loaded for camping in at about 1080 (I do use a heavy hitch).

The different weights/relationships are based on configurations and materials. Options change those numbers as do real world setups.

Sounds like you're attempting to match a trailer to your current tow vehicle, perhaps?
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Old 07-06-2016, 06:02 AM   #3
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We have a 23FB FC. I've never taken it to a scale, but I suspect the weights you listed are fairly accurate. I've always thought that the lower tongue weight of the 23FB was due to the fact that the heavier items, bath and kitchen, are at the rear of the trailer. Ours pulls easy on twisty roads, interstates, by 18 wheelers, and mountain passes. Pulled by 1/2 ton Tundra.. It is a smaller unit, we do most of our lounging around, outside the trailer. The SWMBO loves the full bath, double sink, kitchen layout. No couch or lazy boys in a 23FB..
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Old 07-06-2016, 06:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveSueMac View Post
Not to confuse this further - but most find that the published hitch weight is somewhat lower than reality when loaded for camping. I have a 27FB with a published weight of 833 (or near that) and loaded for camping in at about 1080 (I do use a heavy hitch).

The different weights/relationships are based on configurations and materials. Options change those numbers as do real world setups.

Sounds like you're attempting to match a trailer to your current tow vehicle, perhaps?
^
X2

Our 25' Classic AS tongue weight 860.... actual 1100-1200lb. Fully loaded for Camping.

I would add 250-300 just to be safe.

Bob
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Old 07-06-2016, 06:46 AM   #5
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Airstreams are expensive and can last a long time with good maintenance. Choose the trailer according to travel and camping needs and then decide what you need to tow it, and the hitch setup to distribute hitch weight and keep it stable.

Generally, front bed models have a little higher empty hitch weight than rear bed models, but because much of the storage is in the bedroom, they will have similar hitch weights when loaded. Loading the front bedroom will increase hitch weight, loading the rear bedroom will decrease hitch weight somewhat.

Loading of the truck and weight distribution hitches also have an effect on the amount of trailer hitch weight added to the truck. Using a quality weight distribution hitch will cause some of the trailer hitch weight to be distributed among the truck's axles, and some to the trailer axles. Loading the truck lightly behind it's rear axle will make the task of the weight distribution easier and more effective.

Trailer modifications also affect hitch weight. We removed the dinette, seating and storage in the front of our Airstream for more comfortable recliner seating. We added our bike rack and bikes on the rear of our Airstream. We added a Hensley/ProPride style hitch. This allows us to tow our Airstream with a soft suspension truck with a smooth ride for us and our Airstream and no concerns about stability, handling and braking, and carry all we need for six months a year on the road.

The raw numbers are a starting point, but not necessarily restrictive. Our FC 25RB with a factory spec hitch weight of 835 lbs, ProPride hitch at 180 lbs, and all our gear loaded for travel added 840 lbs to the truck's weight after weight distribution bars were set at our last scale weighing.
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Old 07-06-2016, 08:15 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Hullap View Post
I have looked at some of the details of base weight, gross weight versus tongue / hitch weight in the 2017 brochure. I am a bit confused :

..........Model 19 23D 23FB 25 25RB 27FB 28 30
Hitch Weight 550 720 467 835 837 791 976 880
Base Weight 3,852 4,761 4,806 5,600 5,503 5,868 5,979 6,382
.........GVWR 4,500 6,000 6,000 7,300 7,300 7,600 7,600 8,800

Are the hitch weights on the 23FB and 27FB wrong or are they the two most recent designs where AS have optimised the weight distribution? I am pretty sure that my truck can tow the 23FB comfortably with payload being a limiting factor rather than GVWR. As a backup plan, I have been looking at larger trailers in case SWMBO (she who must be obeyed if the vernacular is new here) has issues with a smaller trailer.

I am surprised that the hitch weight of the 19 is more than the 23FB given their relative GVWRs and that the hitch weight of the 23D is so much higher than the 23FB.

The relationship between the hitch weights of the 25, 27FB and the 28 relative to GVWR don't look obvious to me either.

EDIT : I tried to get the formatting to work better but couldn't. I am new to this forum and will probably learn to manager tables / columns better in the near future.
Airstream's published hitch weights are for a trailer with no options and accessories and with water tanks empty. The hitch weight depends on the layout of the trailer (where the heavy stuff are located) and also on the location of the axles. Thats why you may see a lighter trailer have a heavier hitch weight. I think adding 200# to the published weight is a good rule of thumb, as others have stated.

Also, keep in mind these weights are the dead weight of the hitch, that is, the weight you would get by placing a scale under the jack. After you apply weight distribution, part of the weight (usually 20%) is transferred to trailer axles. Hence, your TV will carry 80% of the total hitch weight. For example, if the scale shows that 800# was added to your tow vehicle's weight (with weight distribution applied), that means your tongue weight is actually 1000#. You need to know the dead weight of your hitch, as you must make sure your hitch receiver can support it.
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Old 07-06-2016, 09:06 AM   #7
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I just went through this the last couple weeks. Started out looking at 23-24' Jayco's, Lance's and the like, and ended up ordering a '17 AS 27FB after letting the wife walk into a 23FB. I worked the #'s for a week before deciding I was comfortable we could tow the 27FB. I ended up running my empty truck across the scales c/w full fuel and wife. Then compared the VIN decoder #'s for my truck so I had a good baseline. Also called CanAm RV in Ontario as my dealer wasn't much help. The tongue weights confused me too at first but realized its all about relative layout.
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:44 AM   #8
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Thank you all.

I am a data guy at heart and I am trying to understand some of the numbers before I buy. I know that the published hitched weights are below real world numbers but they do offer a means for a like for like comparison.

It seems that some are towing the entire range with 1/2 ton trucks. I think that mine could manage a 23FB easily and a 27FB with lots of care with loading. Not sure that I want to get that close to the edge of the envelope.
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:59 AM   #9
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What I have done is to assume that I will load the trailer to it's GVWR and that the trailer tongue weight will be around 12% of that number. While the hitch will add an additional 100-200 pounds to the load placed on the truck, nearly the same amount will be transferred to the trailer by a weight distributing hitch.

I believe this gives a conservative estimate of the load placed on the truck. If you want to be really conservative, use 15%. Conversely, if you want to be optimistic, use 10%. The generally recommended tongue weight percentage for good towing is 10-15% of trailer GVWR. Whatever number you use must be subtracted from the available payload of the truck. Although it is not clearly indicated, I then subtract the tongue weight from the trailer GVWR to get the weight that the tow vehicle is actually towing since the TV is carrying the tongue weight, not towing it.

When you think you have it dialed in, visit a scale to confirm that you are within all the limits. Get and compare all the weights to the axle ratings and GVWR for both the TV and the trailer. In addition to "CAT" scales at truck stops, many moving companies have scales on site that can be used for a nominal fee. My nearest CAT scale is over 40 miles away but there is a moving company within 10 miles. I have checked the moving company weights against the CAT scales and they differ by less than 10#.

Al
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Old 07-08-2016, 03:48 PM   #10
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Just dropped anchor after 8 months and 30,000 miles driving in our FC27, which is unmodified but has 2 heat pump/air conditioning units. Was completely comfortable with my GMC Sierra (2015 model) 1500 SLT crew cab with 6.2 liter V-8 and max trailer tow package (1940 lbs. per the door sticker). Up and down grades up to 10%, towed at 60 mph or speed limit (not on the 10% grades!) whichever was lower. Carried 3 extra psi in truck's rear tires. ProPride hitch. No scary moments and a comfortable ride. Only negative was limited range as a result of the 26-gallon fuel tank and 11-13 mpg fuel burn. A 3/4 ton diesel would have given me more range and a slightly lower fuel cost, because diesel is priced equal or less than regular gasoline in the US west and my engine takes premium. So far, so good on durability and the 1/2 ton with the short box is a little easier as a daily driver than would be a 3/4 ton with the standard box. Ride empty is a little firm but better than any of the 3/4 tons that I test drove. I never felt underpowered (420 hp; 460 lb.-ft. torque) and felt braking was adequate for any grade I drove although the Airstream drum brakes were a little grabby sometimes.
Offhand, I can't recall ever seeing a minivan pulling other than a pop-up trailer. Pickups were the great majority of tow vehicles, with some smaller trailers <25 ft. being pulled by various SUVs and "crossovers." I dunno; maybe they're all dumb sheep like I am. 😜
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