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Old 10-28-2017, 05:23 PM   #1
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2018 30' Flying Cloud
Parker , Colorado
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Tow Vehicle for 2018 Flying Cloud 30FB

Hi. My family and I are close to upgrading from a Heartland Mallard M245, and to an Airstream Flying Cloud 30FB. There's about a 1k pound based weight increase (5600 lbs to 6500 lbs), and an increase in tongue weight from (610 lbs to 908 on the AS). More worries about the tongue weight.

We had purchased a 2017 Toyota Tundra CrewMax 5.7 TRD that handled the Mallard with zero issues. The max tow capacity listed on our Tundra model is 9800 lbs, and I think the AS 30FB is still probably ok to pull with the correct leveling hitch and airbags added to suspension to help on tongue weight, but wanted to see if others have had experience in this area, and think our Tundra is capable (and safe), or if we should seriously consider upgrading the tow vehicle.

From what I looked up in our Toyota manual, the GCWR is 15,220 lbs. With stuff in the AS, I'm guessing we'd likely be closer to 7200..ish lbs after putting stuff in it, and with all of us in the Truck (and our stuff) guessing that would come in at around 6300 lbs. That leaves roughly 2k lbs on overall weight to spare.

Anyways, just wanted to get others thoughts on this.. and from anyone else that was looking to do the same thing in a Tundra. Appreciate the feedback. We're super excited to be looking at AS's. After only one season camping in Colorado with the Mallard, we learned what we liked and didn't. The Flying Cloud 30FB has an awesome setup with our two small boys (they love the bunks in there). Oh, BTW, we are not planning on living in this camper. Plan is weekends, and 1 or 2 bigger 10 day trips across the country. Colorado to Disney World might be one

Thanks again.
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Old 10-28-2017, 06:01 PM   #2
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I would think that your current Toyota is plenty strong enough to tow your anticipated FC, your biggest issue is setting it up with proper weight distribution, to which you will receive plenty of advice.

I will recommend doing extensive research before installing airbags, most are installed so that "visually" the truck is level, however this can provide a completely false sense of security, it can raise the fulcrum forcefully and cause the nose up to not show and happen at the absolute wrong moment. Get the WD completely figured out before unknowingly hiding a problem with the bags

The money you save not having to replace your TV can be put into getting the best setup possible.
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Old 10-28-2017, 06:27 PM   #3
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2018 30' Flying Cloud
Parker , Colorado
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Appreciate the feedback. I had read on another Forum/thread that someone in a similar situation (but older Tundra, and different camper) had put airbags on their trunk to ease with the otherwise massive drop once attaching the AS to the ball. The softer suspension of the Tundra I guess can be an issue. My understanding is that the weight dist hitch acts to distribute the hitch weight in a much safer manner, and allow the truck and RV to stay level. We do this now with our much lighter SOB camper.

On your statement regarding a visual level, we were going to add a leveling lift to the front to bring it up, but that wasn't so much meant to contribute to the safer towing. At any rate, I'll be sure to fully investigate the best weight distribution to allow our Tundra to do the job in a safe manner. Thanks again.
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Old 10-28-2017, 07:20 PM   #4
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
Spokane , Washington
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I tow my 25FB with a 17 Tundra. My TW is right at 915 lbs weighed and my trailer goes down the road between 6200 and 6500. The GVW on the 25FB is 7200. I don't know much about the 30 but it looks like we will have similar numbers.

The Tundra will have plenty of power to get you there. You will need a good weight distributing hitch properly set up. I would avoid the air bags unless you really need them. I use and Equalizer with the 10K bars and my set up is nice and level with a good amount of weight returned to the steer wheels.

The problem you will have to deal with is taking too much "stuff" along with you. Once you drop the trailer on the ball you won't have a lot of extra room for lots of toys.
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Old 10-28-2017, 07:22 PM   #5
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By the way, I moved up to the Airstream and gained 4 feet in length and 2K in weight. I get the same mileage now as I did then. Airstreams are wonderful to tow. That white box behind you with all the wind resistance was a killer on the mileage numbers.
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Old 10-28-2017, 07:35 PM   #6
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Sounds like you’ll be fine. You probably already have a WDH. But I think that’s where the improvement in handling etc would come from if your WDH isn’t adequate. Lots of controversy on the WDH if you read this forum. I went to a Propride only because when we drove in traffic my WDH was inadequate. But if I didn’t have to do that I think I’d just stay with what I have. Works fine in most situations.
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Old 10-29-2017, 01:08 PM   #7
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2018 25' International
Boise , Idaho
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Tow vehicle for 2018 Flying Cloud 30FB

My advice would be to get a heavier duty pickup...3/4 ton to 1 ton. Your Tundra may pull this fine on a straight level road with no other traffic. My concern would be when you're in traffic with the big 18 wheelers going by and it's either downhill or uphill. Your trailer is going to dictate to your Tundra what's about to happen. We pull our 25 with a 1 ton dually...mostly because that's what we had when we bought the trailer and yes it's overkill. However, you'll have over $100k invested in your AS and trusting an undersized pickup to handle it is asking for trouble. My truck does a great job of pulling ours and I feel it can handle any situation we run across. I feel it's part of the cost of keeping you and your family being safe.
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Old 10-29-2017, 02:14 PM   #8
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I do agree with your feedback, and we may very well end up trading in our Tundra. In an effort to save some $$ initially, I plan focus on the best possible weight dist at the get go. I believe straight up towing weight will be ok (especially with the design of the AS), but you're correct in assuming I'm a little scared about taking it into the mountains (steep up and downs). From all the feedback I've gotten, we'll likely work this out with the Tundra to begin with, and if it just seems like it's too much on the truck, we can then make an informed decision on another TV. Really appreciate the feedback. Thanks.
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Old 10-29-2017, 02:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmcdonou2 View Post
... probably ok to pull with the correct leveling hitch and airbags added to suspension to help on tongue weight ...
Here is a good video explaining proper WD and use of helper air suspension.

https://youtu.be/XBZu39pQ8Gg
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Old 10-29-2017, 03:24 PM   #10
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Thanks for that. Very useful info. After much reading, and responses on the threads, the plan is to do as much as possible with the weight dist hitch, and see where that gets me. Based on that, we'll do what's needed. Thanks again.
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Old 10-29-2017, 03:43 PM   #11
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I agree - start with your tundra and see how it goes, only you can decide what works best.

If you would like assistance with WD setup feel free to spin up to Broomfield and I’d be glad to help out. Dealers rarely get it right.

For what it is worth I am most familiarly with the equalizer hitch and have about 25 or 30k miles towing Airstream’s with it. I also have a 30’ currently.
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Old 10-29-2017, 04:30 PM   #12
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2017 30' Flying Cloud
Raleigh , North Carolina
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Ram 1500

We have a 30' FC B unk. Ram 1500 with Air suspension Eco Diesel. Propride hitch. Works wonderful for us. The truck is my daily driver. I know I am near the limits for this truck. BUT. The Propride with the air suspension makes for a great ride. Driven over 8000 miles with it this year. Raleigh NC to Wyoming plus many shorter trips. Did i Mentions 14MPG average.
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Old 10-29-2017, 05:30 PM   #13
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Happy Valley , Pennsylvania
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So, I have pulled my 28' AS with my Tundra out to Yellowstone and down to Disney. My tongue weight(940lbs.) is more than your 30' will be. Here is what I have found. Passes of 6-8% have been fine up and down. Teton pass at 10% was more than I want to do ever again. I get 10 mpg towing and with 145,000 miles so far it has been mechanically flawless.
Having said that, we like long trips and will probably look for more payload (1325lbs currently)on my next TV.

Good Luck and Enjoy!
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Old 10-29-2017, 08:35 PM   #14
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2017 25' Flying Cloud
Waco , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Star Ship View Post
My advice would be to get a heavier duty pickup...3/4 ton to 1 ton. Your Tundra may pull this fine on a straight level road with no other traffic. My concern would be when you're in traffic with the big 18 wheelers going by and it's either downhill or uphill. Your trailer is going to dictate to your Tundra what's about to happen. We pull our 25 with a 1 ton dually...mostly because that's what we had when we bought the trailer and yes it's overkill. However, you'll have over $100k invested in your AS and trusting an undersized pickup to handle it is asking for trouble. My truck does a great job of pulling ours and I feel it can handle any situation we run across. I feel it's part of the cost of keeping you and your family being safe.
Umm...after pulling a 25FB with a Tundra for 2000 miles on interstates with significant truck traffic in last 10 days; I experienced no difficulties with steep hills, and found the truck fully up to the task. It was a great pleasure to drive.
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