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Old 09-25-2015, 06:28 PM   #1
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2014 23' FB Flying Cloud
Park City , Utah
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Buying Flying Cloud that includes WD hitch...

Hi all,

I'm beyond excited, in a week or two I'll realize a life-long dream and will be picking up a 2013 Flying Cloud 19 corner bed that has been stored in an aircraft hangar the past 2 1/2 years, since new...and used only twice in the first couple months of its life before being stored away.

I will be towing it with a 2000 Toyota Tundra 4.7L Access Cab 4wd that I just bought specifically to tow with. It's in great shape and low mileage. Tow capacity with a WD hitch is 7100 lbs, so I'm good there, as the 19 FC is around 3800 lbs empty, and the tongue weight capacity with a WD hitch checks out as well. Hitch and trailer wiring installed last weekend, P3 controller going on this weekend.

The seller is including a WD hitch, though I don't yet know the make or model, I've asked for that. I have to pick up the camper 850 miles away in Eugene, Oregon, and then will go on a maiden voyage on the Oregon Coast, before pulling it home.

I am still studying up on WD hitches, so forgive me. The ball mount included is adjustable height. Do I simply need to make sure that the ball mount when installed on my TV is adjusted to line up with the trailer coupler on level ground, then just hitch up and install the bars? Since the bar attachment points on the trailer side are already installed and set up for it...will any adjustments be needed just because I am changing tow vehicles? Are there any variable other than ball height I need to be concerned with?

And if adjustments are needed, will it be reasonably safe to hitch and go for this first trip...or should I take it in somewhere to make sure the setup is correct/safe? Since I'll be in Eugene, I could go to George Sutton, unless someone has other suggestions on where to go.

Thanks so much in advance, I look forward to enjoying these forums.
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Old 09-25-2015, 06:40 PM   #2
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Welcome to Airstreaming and the forums! Pictures are required.

I can't help you with an installer, but if you are reasonably mechanically handy, have a few tools, possibly including a torque wrench, and can follow instructions you should be able to set it up yourself. That said, it wouldn't hurt to have it checked by a professional.

The setup and adjustment is manufacturer dependent, so best advice is to find out as quickly as possible what the hitch is, go online and look at the manual, and decide if you are comfortable doing it yourself. Personally, I bought my trailer with an Equalizer 1000/10,000 hitch and set it up myself. The manufacturer's instructions were pretty straightforward and there was a lot of information on here to check myself through the process.

Al
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Old 09-26-2015, 02:54 PM   #3
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2014 23' FB Flying Cloud
Park City , Utah
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Thank you! Given that the parts that attach to the trailer are already installed on the trailer side, and the bars therefore will fit exactly to the hitch tongue...should be plug and play? I am having pictures sent to me of the hitch though, and will take your advice on tracking down install instruction as well. Want to be sure I'm safe on my first trip for sure.
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Old 09-26-2015, 03:02 PM   #4
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Depends on the hitch. With the equalizer, weight transfer adjustments are made by changing the tilt of the head and the height of brackets on the trailer. May also have to adjust the height of the hitch head due to difference in height of the tow vehicle receiver. The challenge is to get everything adjusted so that the trailer is level and the right amount of weight transfer is dialled in. At least for the Equalizer, all the adjustments interact.

The only way you can be sure of plug and play is if your tow vehicle is identical to the previous owner's AND they had their setup dialled in correctly.

Al
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Old 09-26-2015, 03:53 PM   #5
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2014 23' FB Flying Cloud
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The plan was to measure the height of the ball on the PO's tow vehicle, and then get it as close as possible to the same height on mine. But your point is VERY well taken...who knows if they were properly dialed in. And also, I'm realizing that suspension differences in the tow vehicle could have an impact on the final adjustments as well? I think I'll make sure I have tools with me and check up the setup from scratch just to be safe.

Thanks again!
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Old 09-26-2015, 04:10 PM   #6
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Creston Valley , British Columbia
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We'd probably go with a pro the first time.....

But congrats on your new 19' Flying Cloud. We like ours a lot.
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Old 09-27-2015, 01:30 PM   #7
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2015 23' FB Flying Cloud
Redmond , Washington
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Worth the time to learn

As a newbie earlier this year, like you I did a lot of research on WD hitches before having an Equalizer hitch installed by pros. They did a good job and overall the hitch is excellent. No sway in 14,700 mile across all kinds of passes and through heavy truck traffic and stormy weather. But hitching and unhitching was difficult to begin with and got progressively more challenging as we drove from Seattle to St. John's, Newfoundland (after just one weekend shakedown cruise). Here's what I learned:
(1) bring spare clips and pins. I did not need them myself, but I made a friend in Nova Scotia when I gave a fellow one of the spares I had with when one of his clips broke.
(2) check the several adjustment points periodically as things can get out of adjustment and/or your weight may change. I found that removing one washer made a huge difference in the hitching and unhitching without affecting hitch performance.
(3) Be sure you have the necessary tools to make adjustments. That said, I have not yet invested in a torque wrench capable of the 300+ ft/lbs necessary for the hitch bolts.
(4) there is an excellent cd (also an online version at theircweb site) available that shows how to set up and/or adjust the Equilizer hitch.
(5) confirm the set up and WD by going to a truck scale to be sure the weight is properly distributed to your TV axles. You cannot tell by just looking, at least on my Jeep Grand Cherokee with Quadralift air shocks.

Maybe we'll see you on the OR coast later this month. Safe travels,
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Old 09-27-2015, 02:17 PM   #8
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Pacific Palisades , California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcskier View Post
Hi all,

I'm beyond excited, in a week or two I'll realize a life-long dream and will be picking up a 2013 Flying Cloud 19 corner bed that has been stored in an aircraft hangar the past 2 1/2 years, since new...and used only twice in the first couple months of its life before being stored away.

I will be towing it with a 2000 Toyota Tundra 4.7L Access Cab 4wd that I just bought specifically to tow with. It's in great shape and low mileage. Tow capacity with a WD hitch is 7100 lbs, so I'm good there, as the 19 FC is around 3800 lbs empty, and the tongue weight capacity with a WD hitch checks out as well. Hitch and trailer wiring installed last weekend, P3 controller going on this weekend.

The seller is including a WD hitch, though I don't yet know the make or model, I've asked for that. I have to pick up the camper 850 miles away in Eugene, Oregon, and then will go on a maiden voyage on the Oregon Coast, before pulling it home.

I am still studying up on WD hitches, so forgive me. The ball mount included is adjustable height. Do I simply need to make sure that the ball mount when installed on my TV is adjusted to line up with the trailer coupler on level ground, then just hitch up and install the bars? Since the bar attachment points on the trailer side are already installed and set up for it...will any adjustments be needed just because I am changing tow vehicles? Are there any variable other than ball height I need to be concerned with?

And if adjustments are needed, will it be reasonably safe to hitch and go for this first trip...or should I take it in somewhere to make sure the setup is correct/safe? Since I'll be in Eugene, I could go to George Sutton, unless someone has other suggestions on where to go.

Thanks so much in advance, I look forward to enjoying these forums.
Hi PcSkier-

Welcome to Airstream!

Sounds like you have a great combination. We also use and love the Equalizr 4point, towing our 6100 empty/7300max/6980 real world load 28' International. The Equalizr folks give excellent tech support, and you can download a PDF of your manual which contains very easy to follow DIY instructions.

Definitely invest the time to find a CAT scale and weigh your rig with each part separated, hitched without WD engaged, and with WD engaged. This will give you an idea as to what's actually happening beyond the front end height differences described in the Equalizr manual. Also bear in mind that water weighs about 8lbs/gallon. We always travel with minimum tank water--about 1/4 tank of fresh at the most, and empty grey and black when we start out. The only exception is right before boon docking, when we'll empty our grey and black and fill the fresh. Out tanks are 40 gallons, so filled, they are 320lbs EACH!!!! You can quickly exceed your 19's GVW if you're not paying attention, so definitely do a weigh in to know where you are.

Safe and fun travels!
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Old 09-27-2015, 03:25 PM   #9
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How exciting for you!!

I have one other thing for you to consider in case you had not.

We also tow with a Tundra. Ours is a different year that yours.

If your Tundra does not already have tow mirrors, that may be something else that you may need to have.

We ordered online and used the Cipa ones that mount over the existing side mirrors. They fit well and were a reasonable cost. They slip over the OEM mirror and are held on by a big screw thing. They mount by essentially using a piece of plastic that wedges in-between the back of the OEM mirror and the tow mirror, and then there is a big screw that is hand-tightened on the back of the tow mirror through a hole to tighten the tow mirror to the OEM mirror.

They work fine (once adjusted) and come on and off in about a minute each.
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Old 09-27-2015, 09:23 PM   #10
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Tom

Congratulations on your purchase. We are considering an AS when we sell our Class A. We live south of Eugene and if you decide to use a pro to set up your WD hitch I would suggest you call Ken and the guys at Hitch Pro & Tow on west 11th in Eugene. Anything related to tow equipment/ install I have learned are the only folks I trust.
Best of luck, Tom
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Old 09-28-2015, 06:40 AM   #11
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Where does it say it is an Equalizer brand hitch? Did I miss it?
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Old 09-28-2015, 10:52 AM   #12
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2010 19' Flying Cloud
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19 ft AS and Tundra in Oregon

I vacation on way to Coast from Eugene -- and have a 19 ft Flying Cloud (2010) which I tow with a 2010 Tundra V8--all works well. Comments re tires in Forum are useful. The rest is pretty simple.....Sutton RV is very helpful, too (I bought 2 AS from them and use them for repairs when I'm in Oregon). Since I'm 'on my own' I appreciate how easy and comfortable it all is.....have fun!
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Old 09-28-2015, 11:26 AM   #13
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Hi from AZ. . . welcome & congrats on your Airstream. . . as others have said, let a pro set it up for you initially. . . much safer, much piece of mind, have fun, travel safe. . . Craig
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Old 09-28-2015, 12:09 PM   #14
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pcskier, a bit of perspective perhaps -- in my personal opinion, your tow vehicle is hefty enough, and your new trailer small and light enough, that it should be safe to tow without the WD hitch hooked up, rather than stress over getting the setup exactly right. The WD hitch will improve the ride, of course . . .

I had a 25' Airstream in the 90's (with a Reese WD setup), and just got a Flying Cloud 20' (also with Reese WD), but the service manager at the dealer said recently that I would be fine not using the new WD setup on the Interstate and smooth highways when I brought her home. Since I was already familiar with the Reese system, I have used it, but I plan to be towing locally without it, as a learning experience. My FC20's gross max. weight is 5,000, and the tongue weight is 631 incl. LP, in contrast to your figures. [4,500 gross and 550 tongue per AS -- link below]

Most of the advice given so far on this thread is from folks who have much larger and heavier dual-axle trailers who basically HAVE to use a WD hitch -- something to consider . . .

Good luck on your new adventure!

PS -- Edit -- AS Flying Cloud specs. etc. are here [click on exact model]:

http://www.airstream.com/travel-trai...pecifications/
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