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Old 03-29-2013, 11:50 AM   #29
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As another suggestion; the short wheelbase, high center of gravity, and solid rear axle (rather than independent rear suspension) of your Lexus doesn't give a stable towing platform in many road and weather conditions. The Andersen hitch (I've got one) has excellent sway resistance, but is not enough to compensate for the handling capabilities of your tow vehicle. A ProPride or Hensley hitch would be good addition to your unit.

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Old 03-29-2013, 12:16 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by mutcth View Post
Congrats on the new trailer! Did you wind up having the frig and oven modifications done? And what Lifeline AGMs are in it - two Group 24s, or did you go 6-volt?

We've been very happy with using the Directlink controller with our Durango, not just for the braking smoothness but also the ease of mounting the unit control head on the dashboard.

Also agree with the electronics edit - as much as I think we'd sit and watch DVDs, we'd probably just watch our two iPads instead.

Tom
We decided to just change the 2 way for a 3 way fridge of the same size. Thus way we can drive with the fridge on and the propane off. I personally think Airstream should include 3 way fridges standard for safety. We kept everything else the same. Lifelines should be 12 volt, as I had on my Safari.
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:37 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
As another suggestion; the short wheelbase, high center of gravity, and solid rear axle (rather than independent rear suspension) of your Lexus doesn't give a stable towing platform in many road and weather conditions. The Andersen hitch (I've got one) has excellent sway resistance, but is not enough to compensate for the handling capabilities of your tow vehicle. A ProPride or Hensley hitch would be good addition to your unit.

doug k
As I understand it it is not wheelbase that is most important but he ratio of the length of rear axle to hitch ball to the overall wheelbase. The GX does well there.

I did check out and test drive all the European models including the BMW x35d, Touareg TDI, and Mercedes ML 350 Blutec. We really liked both the Touareg and BMW but the European manufacturers do not support the use of WD hitches. I know lots of people use these vehicles with WD hitches but we could not bring ourselves to take on potential liability or warranty issues.

The only mid-sized SUVs that could tow the Flying Cloud 23D with full manufacturer support are the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Lexus GX-460. Oh yes, and for $20k more the Toyota Land Cruiser/Lexus LX.

I agree the GX s not a sports handling SUV, but I think a solid rear axle is a plus for towing. Our Sequoia, with a solid rear axle, did well in all sorts of conditions with the Equalizer hitch.

We will be taking our Flying Cloud on a shakedown trip after delivery. If there are problems with the Anderson hitch I'll consider the Henley or Pro Pride.
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Old 03-29-2013, 01:56 PM   #32
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O Kid-
We agree on the 23 for two people/dog(s) ... if only they made it with a rear opening hatch. That is what we wanted, but the folks at AS Adventures NW had the EB and the rest is history! Let us know how the Quick-bite coupler works out, too.

Will the "D" hitch weight over the "FB" be of concern?
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Old 03-29-2013, 02:11 PM   #33
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We decided to just change the 2 way for a 3 way fridge of the same size. Thus way we can drive with the fridge on and the propane off. I personally think Airstream should include 3 way fridges standard for safety. We kept everything else the same. Lifelines should be 12 volt, as I had on my Safari.
The problem with a 3 way refrigerator is the amount of 12 volt power they take. The heaters are usually between 20 and 25 amps at 12 volts and that amount of power is very very difficult to get through the charge line on most vehicles as well as the umbilical cord, plugs and sockets and the AS wiring. The net result is you wind up running down your batteries in the AS even while driving and thinking you are charging them.

My experience is that the typical charge current you can expect is 6 to 8 amps maximum, well below the amount needed to maintain the refrigerator current needs. I have an ammeter in my charge line so I can read the current directly at any time. My current new Jeep Grand Cherokee seems to do a bit better than typical, but still only runs a 10 amp charge from the Jeep to the trailer. BTW, all my electrical systems are in good condition, new wiring and so on.
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Old 03-29-2013, 02:22 PM   #34
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Comparing solid axle vs independent suspension as it relates to stability, it is useful to look at the attachment points to the frame/unibody of the suspension. The independent suspension attaches much further outboard than the solid axle, nearly at the wheel, effectively giving the independent suspension a much wider and more stable stance.

doug k
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Old 03-29-2013, 02:46 PM   #35
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O Kid-
We agree on the 23 for two people/dog(s) ... if only they made it with a rear opening hatch. That is what we wanted, but the folks at AS Adventures NW had the EB and the rest is history! Let us know how the Quick-bite coupler works out, too.

Will the "D" hitch weight over the "FB" be of concern?
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I don't think so as the 23' Safari had a hitch weight similar to our new trailer. I have a Sherline tongue weight scale and will weigh the hitch with various trailer loading configurations. The measured tongue weight our 23' Safari ranged from 610 to 880 pounds depending on how it was loaded the Lexus has a payload of 1315 pounds.
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Old 03-29-2013, 02:50 PM   #36
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The problem with a 3 way refrigerator is the amount of 12 volt power they take. The heaters are usually between 20 and 25 amps at 12 volts and that amount of power is very very difficult to get through the charge line on most vehicles as well as the umbilical cord, plugs and sockets and the AS wiring. The net result is you wind up running down your batteries in the AS even while driving and thinking you are charging them.

My experience is that the typical charge current you can expect is 6 to 8 amps maximum, well below the amount needed to maintain the refrigerator current needs. I have an ammeter in my charge line so I can read the current directly at any time. My current new Jeep Grand Cherokee seems to do a bit better than typical, but still only runs a 10 amp charge from the Jeep to the trailer. BTW, all my electrical systems are in good condition, new wiring and so on.
I had a 3 way refrigerator on my TrailManor and never had any issues while driving but it was only 4 cubic feet. The one in the Airstream is 5 cubic feet. I guess we will soon find out.
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:00 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Comparing solid axle vs independent suspension as it relates to stability, it is useful to look at the attachment points to the frame/unibody of the suspension. The independent suspension attaches much further outboard than the solid axle, nearly at the wheel, effectively giving the independent suspension a much wider and more stable stance.

doug k
I'm not arguing that independent suspension is not a superior suspension for handling, only that the solid rear axle will be adequate for towing. The only mid-sized SUV that would meet the criteria of including an independent rear suspension and the manufacturer's support of using a WD hitch would be, I believe, the Jeep Grand Cherokee. For other reasons I choose to go with the Lexus.
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Old 03-29-2013, 04:23 PM   #38
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You asked for suggestions, just trying to help.

doug k
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Old 03-29-2013, 04:46 PM   #39
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You asked for suggestions, just trying to help.

doug k
I appreciate everyone's suggestions and trying not to be defensive. My search for a tow vehicle that could both serve as an everyday city vehicle as well as a tow vehicle has been long. Its not ideal but when you live in downtown in a condo a smaller size vehicle is a plus. Our Sequoia was a behemoth in the narrow streets of Portland.
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Old 03-29-2013, 05:15 PM   #40
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I appreciate everyone's suggestions and trying not to be defensive. My search for a tow vehicle that could both serve as an everyday city vehicle as well as a tow vehicle has been long. Its not ideal but when you live in downtown in a condo a smaller size vehicle is a plus. Our Sequoia was a behemoth in the narrow streets of Portland.
I understand your need for a short wheelbase tow vehicle and have one myself, as well as a Andersen hitch. Our solid axle wheelbase is 120", your's about 108", your Sequoia near 120". That's a significant reduction. I don't think the Andersen will be enough to stabilize things for you from my experience, even though it has great sway resistance. It is my understanding the Propride/Hensley design will be safer and far more comfortable with this type of vehicle.

I've gone through two friction sway control hitches and now have a Propride on order. My first hitch with it's non-flexing spring bars was too hard on the trailer and us, and the Andersen turned out to be incompatible with my Airstream coupler. Tired of it all I ordered the one that provides the most overall satisfaction.

Perhaps you could save some hassle we have had by researching these hitches as related to short wheelbase tow vehicles.

doug k
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:42 PM   #41
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Hi there,
We got the call that our brand new 23ft flying cloud is at the dealer from the factory. Making arrangements to pick up next week. Any advice on the walk thru prior to bringing her home? think this has been discussed in previous posts but can't find it. What should I look for? Advice, suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 05-24-2013, 03:08 PM   #42
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San Antonio , Texas
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Delivery

We love our 23 Flying Cloud with front sofa floorplan. It is the perfect size for two and didn't require me to have a big HD truck as a TV and daily driver. The thoroughness of your dealer's service department in prepping the trailer for you is very important. Better for them to find and fix the little things before you pick it up then for you to be the QC inspector and be taking it back to them after your first weekend trip.

If the dealer sales person has not proactively told you that they will do a complete PDI and cleaning before you come, then you should ensure he knows your expectations. Tell him you want to know what they find and fix. Chances are if he says that everything is fine, they didn't have to do anything, that they were not very thorough.

Our dealer has a delivery specialist who walked us through the entire setup process both inside and out. We found most of the steps to be logical and easily remembered. Two items that are helpful to go though the instructions and keep them handy for future reference are the thermostat operation and the TV channel memory processes. At the price we pay for AS, I was also surprised with the number of added items that aren't included such as water hose, tire chocks, leveling pads, etc. Our dealer gave us a gift card for getting many items from their own store. We then made a list of all the things we wanted to add to customize to our use and visited the outlet mall on our way home and also the RV department at WalMart.

We have experienced minor items which have all been handled by our dealer. One item we had to research was that the trailer wiring was creating some type of feedback into our TV tripping a fault code in the stability control software. We ended up adding an extension to the 7way plug between the AS and our TV to eliminate LED lighting feedback from the trailer and have had no further issues.

This year I am replacing the OE Goodyear tires, have had one fail due to road hazard, but too many comments on the forum for me to keep them for any more long trips even though they are barely a year and a half old with less than 7000 miles on them.
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