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Old 01-13-2020, 12:40 PM   #1
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2014 Classic Limited 27FB Input

AS newbie couple here but in 4th year of full-timing spread across a DP coach and (2) Arctic Fox 5th wheels. We currently have a 34' 2020 AF 29-5T 5th wheel which we really like.

That said we have always been intrigued with AS trailers and have wanted to try one. I'm currently eyeing a 2014 M-27 FB Classic Limited that is literally like new, stored in hanger unused last 4 years and towed about 1K miles total. Shower, oven have never been used, slept in about 20 nights total.

I understand there can be issues caused by lack of use, etc. While we are not wild about the front queen (prefer rear twins) the price is right (about $10K under avg retail based on NADA) and feel it might be a perfect opportunity to "try" the AS life to see if we like and go from there.

We will keep our 5th wheel until we decide what we want to do next. Planning to do AK trip this summer and thought that would be perfect trip to take the AS on vs pulling a 16K lb 5th wheel.

Are there any known issues with this particular year/model other than the front bedroom?

We would like to install recliners in rear in place of dinette which seems doable in this model.

Any info would be appreciated
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Old 01-13-2020, 03:02 PM   #2
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I am not really qualified to answer your question but I can say that we are among the group who love the front bedroom because of the greater opportunities for a nice view out the rear, at least where we have camped. There are quite a number of threads on the forum where people have modified the living area in a front bedroom to include recliners.
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Old 01-13-2020, 07:52 PM   #3
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I am not really qualified to answer your question but I can say that we are among the group who love the front bedroom because of the greater opportunities for a nice view out the rear, at least where we have camped. There are quite a number of threads on the forum where people have modified the living area in a front bedroom to include recliners.

Larry
Thank you for the input.
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Old 01-13-2020, 08:28 PM   #4
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If the classic is like my 2014 27fb model, the furnace is located under the couch for the dinette. It's easy to put one recliner in, but 2 becomes difficult. Have to move the furnace forward a few ft. Not easy but can be done. I know of one thread where someone was brave enough to cut a hole in the side of the trailer. I have thought of doing this, but haven't worked up the cajones to do it.
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Old 01-13-2020, 10:23 PM   #5
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A bit off topic - I love my Airstream, but my close second is an Arctic Fox. They seem to be so heavy duty and well built. I wonder if it would do better putting up with the trip to Alaska?

Sorry that doesn't answer your question.
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Old 01-14-2020, 12:35 PM   #6
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Some close friends of ours have the same year/model AS and they love it. They bought it new and they have put substantially more miles on it and spent many more nights in it. They really like the front queen and the chase lounge/sofa arrangement around the dinette.

One of their stated reasons for going with this model was so they would have a view while sitting at the dinette of something other than the CG road. But when we've camped with them we spend all our time outdoors and cook/eat at an outside table. Maybe they spend more time inside when camping alone. Us, with our Classic 30 with the rear queen, rarely eat inside whether camping alone or with friends.

One thing I didn't like about their trailer is the main outside storage compartment. It is at the front of the trailer, behind the propane tanks and battery box. I've watched my friend stow and retrieve items from this compartment and I'll take the rear trunk (if rear queen bed) or side compartments (if rear twins) any day. Just my $0.02
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Old 01-21-2020, 08:47 AM   #7
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Sorry for delayed response. We are buying the unit. Will probably have in hand next week.

It does have a few issues. The wood seems to be really dried out so we'll need to condition with whatever is best.

It still has oem tires so figure I'll put a set of endurance tires on it unless there is something else better.

We figured this was our best chance to try the AS life at a great price point.

Now I have a lot of new things to learn. We'll be taking to AK this summer.

Wondering if I really need a WD hitch. We have a 2019 Duramax 3500hd with airbags.

Will post some pics once we get.
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Old 01-22-2020, 02:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by wingingit View Post
SWondering if I really need a WD hitch. We have a 2019 Duramax 3500hd with airbags.
You are going to get a lot of opinions on this one.

Airbags will compensate for "squatting" when you put more weight on the truck, be it on the hitch or in the bed. The purpose of a properly adjusted WD hitch system is to shift some of the weight to the front axle, reduce sag caused by the trailer's tongue weight, and provide more stability when you encounter cross winds.

Personally, I wouldn't tow a trailer in this weight class with out a WD hitch. Just my $0.02.
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Old 01-22-2020, 02:21 PM   #9
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Most weight distribution hitches also incorporate methods of sway resistance or prevention. A trailer prone to sway, either by design or improper loading, will try to sway regardless of what's pulling it. A heavy vehicle like yours might be better at dealing with away than a smaller vehicle, but won't prevent the problem from occurring. Think about driving down a long grade on wet pavement when a panel truck passes you at high speed.

Weight distribution hitch takes some load off the rear axle and puts some on the front truck axle and some back on the trailer axle. It can also level out the truck so the headlights aren't pointing to the sky. 27FB Airstreams tend to have tongue weights of 1,000 lbs when loaded.
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Old 01-22-2020, 02:31 PM   #10
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You will not need a weight distribution hitch or sway control device. I tow a 28 with a RAM 2500 and it is very stable towing on the ball.
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Old 01-22-2020, 03:03 PM   #11
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Thanks for the replies. Very familiar with WD setups as we've had in the past with previous trailers. The 3500 doesn't squat much at all with less than 1k lbs on the bed. We are used to hauling our 16K lbs 5th wheel with a pin weight of 3400 lbs.

I don't think hitch weight will be an issue but was thinking more about sway but I guess I'll tow it some and go from there as evey trailer is different.
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Old 01-22-2020, 03:15 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by wingingit View Post
Thanks for the replies. Very familiar with WD setups as we've had in the past with previous trailers. The 3500 doesn't squat much at all with less than 1k lbs on the bed. We are used to hauling our 16K lbs 5th wheel with a pin weight of 3400 lbs.

I don't think hitch weight will be an issue but was thinking more about sway but I guess I'll tow it some and go from there as evey trailer is different.


Yup. Exactly. Tow it, make sure the whole rig handles properly and brakes well. Make sure you have checked at a CAT scale to verify loading on all the axles. If your tow vehicle front end is light, you may experience porpoising or a feeling of sloppy directional control in the wind or on wavy pavement.

There is no pat answer for everyone’s towing situation. Beware of those that have only one answer for every situation. Be sure to load the Airstream properly. 10-15 percent of the total weight should be on the ball. Less than that, it can sway easily.

I have a light tow vehicle, but with proper sway control and weight distribution setup, along with proper loading, it handles under all conditions in a very stable manner. I use a Hensley design ProPride hitch to provide total sway control and allow precisely adjustable weight distribution after a lot of testing under different road and weather conditions with different hitch systems. It needs to be checked and adjusted to the load I’m hauling every trip. It’s just part of the preparation.

Do your own research and careful experimenting before you throw your family and pets aboard and travel a lot. Be sure to do your testing loaded as you would to go camping. An empty trailer can handle quite differently than a fully loaded one.
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Old 01-22-2020, 03:40 PM   #13
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[QUOTE=wingingit;2325809]Thanks for the replies. Very familiar with WD setups as we've had in the past with previous trailers. The 3500 doesn't squat much at all with less than 1k lbs on the bed. We are used to hauling our 16K lbs 5th wheel with a pin weight of 3400 lbs.

I don't think hitch weight will be an issue but was thinking more about sway but I guess I'll tow it some and go from there as evey trailer is different.[/QUOTEthe 5 th wheel is putting weight on the steer axle..hello..most are a couple inches forward of center..of the rear axle...the hitch weight with an as is all behind the axle way behind....all the weight is on the rear axle..plus taking weight off the steer axle...so the only way to move the weight forward is with a hitch with bars..we use and like a Reese duel cam...
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Old 01-22-2020, 03:42 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by wingingit View Post
Thanks for the replies. Very familiar with WD setups as we've had in the past with previous trailers. The 3500 doesn't squat much at all with less than 1k lbs on the bed. We are used to hauling our 16K lbs 5th wheel with a pin weight of 3400 lbs.

I don't think hitch weight will be an issue but was thinking more about sway but I guess I'll tow it some and go from there as evey trailer is different.
Try putting 1000# behind the rear axle....and taking weight off the steer axle....wow...
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Old 01-22-2020, 04:55 PM   #15
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Fun if you enjoy a substantial loss of directional control...been there, got the white knuckles.

Installed positive anti-sway and highly adjustable WD system. No more potential “laundry problem” while towing. Wasn’t cheap, but peace of mind is priceless.
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Old 01-22-2020, 05:23 PM   #16
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I imagine your Dodge 3500 has a pretty stiff rear end suspension. You might want to consider something like the Air Safe hitch to minimize shaking your new trailer too hard and popping rivets.
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