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Old 09-16-2013, 02:44 PM   #43
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2013 23' Flying Cloud
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Originally Posted by OrangeKid View Post
The 25' models have a GVWR of around 7300 lb and a tongue weight of 830 lb (which may exceed 1000 lb with cargo, propane and batteries). They are also almost 3 feet longer and 6" wider. These weights exceed the capabilities of our medium sized SUV. We are perfectly happy with the size of our current 23' Safari SE. We have no desire to go larger and heavier.
It was for this reason that we stayed with our original choice of a 23D, though the 25FB was very appealing. Though I believe the specifications from Airstream include propane and batteries in the published weights.

I had seen the shelf extension in the 25 and was wondering about adding something to the 23D, and was happy to see that mentioned in your thread also, thank you!

Our TV is a 2001 BMW X5 4.4i (E53) and we were able to get a WD acceptable hitch receiver from BMW. The BMW owners manual also gives separate limits for trailer and TWs for with and w/o a WD hitch, so it seems to be supported. We'll be using a Reese Strait-Line Trunnion Bar Weight Distribution Hitch.

I was happy to see your comments on adding solar (ours is coming from the same dealer). We're looking at the Zamp Solar 160 watt (2x80) option as Zamp supplies a mount designed especially for Airstream curves, we'll see...
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Old 09-17-2013, 02:16 AM   #44
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2013 23' Flying Cloud
Portland , Oregon
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Two one month trips with our 2013 Flying Cloud 23D

We now have taken two one month trips with our 2013 Airstream Flying Cloud 23D. Our tow vehicle is a 2013 Lexus GX-460 with a Anderson WD hitch. We had the dealer replace the original coupler with a Quickbite 7700XT. We are using a Direclink Brake Controller.

We have towed the new Flying Cloud around 3000 miles. Our first trip was to the southern Oregon Coast and we just returned from a trip to Yellowstone National Park.

The layout of the 23D is perfect for us. We like the ability to have a permanent table, sofa and bed always available. Our 2007 23' Safari SE LS had a fold away table with a L shaped seating area. The folding table was unstable and my wife was trapped behind the table and could not get up unless I also moved. We towed the 2007 Safari around 30,000 miles.

Our experience towing with the Lexus GX-460 is positive. The GX is smooth, quiet and very powerful. We had no problem keeping speed at 65 mph up long mountain grades. The GX is far superior in almost every respect (except room) to our previous 2006 Toyota Sequoia.

The Anderson Hitch - Quickbite combination is great. One person can easily hitch up using the rear camera on the GX. The only issue is that there are some clearance problems between the Quickbite and the Anderson Hitch, as discussed on the Anderson Hitch thread. We had the dealer grind the the edge of the rack to add some clearance. Towing with this combination is smooth and quiet. Strong crosswinds and passing tractor trailers are not a problem. Hitching and unhitching is fast and easy. The Anderson Hitch - Quickbite combination is far easier to use than the Equalizer hitch we had used previously.

The Direlink Brake Controller works well and has many adjustments to tailor the braking characteristics of the trailer to the tow vehicle.

The Flying Cloud and the Lexus GX 460 both cost around $60K. The Lexus has been perfect. I have not identified any problems with the Lexus. The Flying Cloud on the other hand has QC issues. For example we went back to our dealer with around a dozen issues that needed to be corrected. Some examples: The heat pump did not have the heating element. Airstream shipped out a new heat pump that the dealer installed. The pantry would not latch and the stove would not light using the electronic ignition. I would say the QC on the 2013 Flying Cloud was about the same as that on our 2007 Safari.

On the Safari we discovered that Airstream included the wrong sized spare wheel and tire when we were half way between Whitehorse, Yukon Territory and Tok, Alaska.

Finally our three way 5 cubic foot refrigerator works well. There were some earlier comments that the batteries would drain even while driving when running the refrigerator on 12 volts. That has not been our experience as our batteries have been fully charged when we stopped for the evening. We have a 150 watt dealer installed Zamp solar panel on the roof.
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:56 AM   #45
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2013 23' Flying Cloud
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Originally Posted by warmrain View Post
I

Our TV is a 2001 BMW X5 4.4i (E53) and we were able to get a WD acceptable hitch receiver from BMW. The BMW owners manual also gives separate limits for trailer and TWs for with and w/o a WD hitch, so it seems to be supported. We'll be using a Reese Strait-Line Trunnion Bar Weight Distribution Hitch.
Interesting. When I checked out the 2013 BMW X5 the owner's manual and the dealer both stated that WD hitches were not to be used and would void the warranty.
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:05 AM   #46
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"12 volt refrigerator draining battery on new tow vehicle"...I know on both our 2011 Tahoe and our 2012 F150 Echoboost, the batteries were missing a relay in the fuse box...finding a "knowledgeable" mechanic at dealers from both Ford and Chevy who knows they come from factory without this relay, was a challenge. Seems they do not include because some folks do not have 3 way towing needs....a good friend had same issue on his 2011 F150...went to Canada and called 4 dealers before finding out the issue....
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Old 03-14-2014, 08:57 AM   #47
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2013 23' Flying Cloud
Portland , Oregon
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The Flying Cloud and the Lexus GX 460 both cost around $60K. The Lexus has been perfect. I have not identified any problems with the Lexus. The Flying Cloud on the other hand has QC issues. For example we went back to our dealer with around a dozen issues that needed to be corrected. Some examples: The heat pump did not have the heating element. Airstream shipped out a new heat pump that the dealer installed. The pantry would not latch and the stove would not light using the electronic ignition. I would say the QC on the 2013 Flying Cloud was about the same as that on our 2007 Safari.

Just adding a follow up note after towing for several thousand additional miles with our Airstream 23D/Lexus GX-460 combo. After 10,000 miles there are no issues or problems with our Lexus but the Airstream continues to have QC problems. On our recent trip to Central California we had a major leak during a downpour. Water was running out onto our floor from below the converter panel. The Airstream is at the dealer (again) to perform warranty work on the leak and several other issues. QC on our 2013 Flying Cloud is no better than it was on our 2007 23 Safari.

The DirecLink/Quickbite/Anderson Hitch combo is working out well for us. It is major improvement over the Prodigy/Equalizer/Atwood Hitch we had on our 2007 Safari.
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Old 03-14-2014, 02:07 PM   #48
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Appreciate the update. Still happy to have made the change, floorplan-wise?

Sorry to hear of the QC problems. Our 2007 has some wonky finish, particularly the flooring, but we're now fixing stuff from wear and age.

Tom
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Old 03-15-2014, 01:06 AM   #49
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Still happy to have made the change, floorplan-wise?

Tom
We love the 23D floor plan. We really like having a table, long sofa and bed available all the time. We use the table a lot and always leave it up. The only downside to the 23D floor plan is there is less interior storage than our 2007 23' Safari.
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Old 03-15-2014, 11:22 PM   #50
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OrangeKid: What did you do for solar, and how is it working out? We recently installed two hundred watt panels and two 6V golf cart batteries and are very pleased.
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Old 03-16-2014, 09:14 AM   #51
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field & stream, would love more details on your 6v battery install. Are they in the stock battery box? How much capacity did it give you?

Tom
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Old 03-16-2014, 09:49 AM   #52
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Hi Mutcth -- The battery box was OK for length and width, but had to be extended vertically about two inches. We had it done by an Airstream dealer who did a great job and matched the paint color for about $300 -- it looks stock. The batteries cost about another $300 (we needed new batteries anyway), so it was not cheap. What we got for it is about 230 amp hours vs. 170 for the 12v setup, and hoped-for longer battery life.
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Old 03-17-2014, 12:33 AM   #53
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2013 23' Flying Cloud
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OrangeKid: What did you do for solar, and how is it working out? We recently installed two hundred watt panels and two 6V golf cart batteries and are very pleased.
We have a 150 watt Zamp solar panel installed by the dealer. It seems to be working well. We also upgraded the batteries to AGM 12 volt batteries, same as we had on our 2007 Safari.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:33 AM   #54
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2013 23' Flying Cloud
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We chose the 23D for all the seating and especially those extra windows on the port side, though we agree there is a shortage of places to put things.

We have 160 watts of solar on the boat that produces about 30+ amp hours a summer day. From that we can keep the batteries topped off even though we are running a refrigerator/freezer and a water maker.

On the 23D we installed a 150 ZAMP and have been very pleased. We spent a couple weeks off the grid and the batteries were always topped. Now these are the stock batteries. We want to at least upgrade to AGM or GEL. I'd love to be able to use group 27 or larger. To be honest I don't know what is in our 2013 23D, they look maybe to be group 24s.

Field and Stream, Can you describe how they modified the box? I'm wondering now if you could leave the box alone and fabricate a lid with a large lip
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:55 AM   #55
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Because we installed two factory AC's I am told I am restricted to the 85 watt because the 120 is 160 inches wide, too much for the applicaction spot on the roof so had to opt for the 85 watt at $1,400 installed. Any other suggestions from those that have gone a different direction and will the 85 watt do the basic job before generator application?
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Old 03-17-2014, 10:08 AM   #56
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warmrain: re your question of how was the battery box increased in height, they removed the lid, welded on some C-channel, reattached the stock lid, and painted it factory gray. Keep in mind this is only necessary if you choose to go 6V. We felt the 35% added amp hours could make a significant difference when boondocking -- which, by the way, we are out the door to do right now!
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