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Old 07-18-2016, 11:40 AM   #15
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Thanks Gene.

We had a 99 25 Safari in Alberta that we sold when we moved out of the country in 02. It was great when we camped with the kids. The corner bed was a bit of a tight squeeze even back then.

The nest is now empty and we will camp as a couple. If grandkids come along, they can sleep in a tent like I did as a kid. I am out of practice with towing but I have done it quite a bit all over Alberta and British Columbia. I hope to be able to "cheat" on backing into sites if I can get the Ford "trailer backup assist" feature on my truck to work.

I am not going over a 25 (famous last words) given the nature of our sites.

I have looked at quite a few peoples' axle weight printouts for the TV alone, the TV hitched to the AS with no WDH and the TV hitched to the AS with a WDH. I may have done the numbers wrong but I was under the impression that the increase in the trailer axle weight was about 12.5% to 15% of tongue weight when the front axle weight of the TV was kept constant unhitched and hitched with a WDH which left 85% to 87.5% of the tongue weight on the rear axle of the TV which is the payload attribution of the redistributed tongue weight. It is quite possible that I have made a logical error. It would not be the first time and it definitely won't be the last time.

I need to be vigilant about truck payload and how I load the trailer but I am not worried about total trailer weight with the 3.5 EcoBoost engine.

Anthony
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Old 07-18-2016, 12:01 PM   #16
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We went from a 23 to 27FB Flying Cloud which works better for us on longer trips. One of the most beneficial differences to us, apart from the length was the width of an additional 6" makes a world of difference with the lobster pot sink. Ours is a queen bed because the Mrs. likes to be able to be on both sides to make it. However, if it were my choice again, I'd try to coax her into the twin as many have stated above. Happy Hunting.
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Old 07-18-2016, 12:23 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Hullap View Post
I have looked at quite a few peoples' axle weight printouts for the TV alone, the TV hitched to the AS with no WDH and the TV hitched to the AS with a WDH. I may have done the numbers wrong but I was under the impression that the increase in the trailer axle weight was about 12.5% to 15% of tongue weight when the front axle weight of the TV was kept constant unhitched and hitched with a WDH which left 85% to 87.5% of the tongue weight on the rear axle of the TV which is the payload attribution of the redistributed tongue weight. It is quite possible that I have made a logical error. It would not be the first time and it definitely won't be the last time.

Anthony
If you have a weight distributing hitch, there are formulae (can't help it, I was subjected to Latin in high school) to show how to calculate the weight transfer from the truck axles to the trailer axles if you want to be exact. I'll leave that to engineers.

The crude estimate is 2/3 stays with the truck (1/3 to each truck axle) and 1/3 is transferred back to the trailer. I have seen the tongue weight stated by Airstream for our trailer to be 720 and another number I can't remember. They have not been accurate at this simple thing. They don't take into account the spare tire, propane, hitch and maybe other stuff stored right at the front of the trailer. It is true that tongue wt. should be 10-15% of total trailer wt. That won't tell you how a wt. distributing hitch works, however.

I suspect most people with 1/2 ton trucks are overweight in the cargo department. The modern trucks have plenty of power to tow, but are short on cargo wt. Weigh all your stuff, yourselves, and see what it comes out. Remember, options (especially if you added them after buying it) on a truck may not be included in the truck cargo numbers on your driver's door frame. Things like a tonneau (100 lbs. or more) and maybe running boards are usually added afterward. The biggest chunk of cargo weight is often the tongue wt. and the humans.

Gene
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Old 07-18-2016, 01:55 PM   #18
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Old 07-18-2016, 01:57 PM   #19
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Can someone please check my logic please?

Representative axle weights (a synthesis of peoples' actual numbers at the scales) for a current model 25 compared to TV with WDH installed but not always connected.

No WDH : TV front axle -400 lbs, TV real axle + 1,250 lbs, AS axle +7,100 lbs
With WDH : TV front axle -0 lbs, TV real axle + 750 lbs, AS axle +7,200 lbs

Tongue weight = -400 + 1,250 = 850 lbs
Payload use = TV rear axle with WDH = 750 lbs
Weight transfer from truck to trailer = 7,200 - 7,100 = 100 lbs
Percentage of tongue weight transferred to trailer = 100/850 = 12%
Tongue weight as a percentage of trailer weight = 850 /7,100 = 12%
Balanced payload as a percentage of effective trailer weight = 750/7200 = 10%
Percentage change in TV rear axle weight from WDH = 750/1250 - 1 = -40%
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Old 07-18-2016, 02:01 PM   #20
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We worry less about GVWR of our truck and more about GAWR, and that the truck's axles (rated 3900 lbs) carry near equal load after the weight distribution hitch is set. We can't reach GCWR with our full travel load, which is quite light considering our six month travels. Our standard 20 series P-rated tires have more than enough load capacity, little sideways deflection, and provide a soft ride for us and our Airstream at maximum pressure. We use Michelin 16" tires on the Airstream at 65 psi for long range reliability, good ride and stability.

The Airstream's excellent towing characteristics and ProPride hitch combination, as well as the truck's excellent service and engine braking ensures a comfortable, safe towing experience. If road or weather conditions go bad there is no better safety margin than reducing speed.

I suspect you would be fine with 25-26-27-28 Airstream, the weight and length difference is little, and could be loaded to be equal. The maneuverability of the rig is mostly determined by the truck's wheelbase.
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Old 07-18-2016, 02:16 PM   #21
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Our fully loaded Airstream FC25 and ProPride hitch adds 840 lbs to our truck when weight distribution is set. I'm sure we can do better with some re-arranging of loads. Our goal is under 750 lbs.

Here is a typical six month load in the bed of our truck, it's not heavy and mostly forward of the rear axle.
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Old 07-18-2016, 02:57 PM   #22
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Over the past few years my wife and I have transitioned from a used FC 20 to a new FC 23, to a new 2013 FC 25RB Twin. We love this Twin BUT the beds arrived with factory installed 34 inch wide mattresses. The bed frames however, on both sides, were only 30 inches wide. I had to add 34 inch wide plywood to both beds to provide complete support. Be sure to measure the beds before you buy!
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Old 07-18-2016, 09:57 PM   #23
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Doug, could you please clarify your comments for me.

Are you saying that your truck load and redistributed tongue weight results in an 840 lb increase in rear axle weight when fully loaded (for you) with all of the stuff in your picture? If so, this is very good news.

Are you willing to share how much weight you are adding to the front storage area? I am thinking long and hard about replacing the front batteries with lithium ion batteries to save about 42 lbs close to the hitch and substituting the savings with more useful things to me in the front storage of a FC 25 FB that we don't want in the trailer.

As I have said before, the 25FB twin appeals to my heart. The 25 RB twin appeals to my brain. If I can manage the load in a 25FB well, my heart may well win over my brain, especially in British Columbia.
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Old 07-19-2016, 07:00 AM   #24
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Just want to add a few comments here.

1st, we went through the type of analysis you are going through and now that I have experience I can tell you what you are analyzing is not going determine if you love the trailer you end up getting or not. Others have said it but spending time in the trailer envisioning how you both will move about it is key. Who sits where, what will they be doing, who sleeps where and do they like it. Where will you put your treasured camping items (inside & out), who and how will you use the kitchen, etc. I vote going with your gut because it knows what it wants to love.

2nd, getting it wrong is not the end of the world. Many here have changed trailers (including myself). My wife and I purchased the perfect trailer for us, then we purchased a better perfect trailer for us. Why have so many people changed? Because it's easy! Free? No, but relatively cheap in the scheme of things as these trailers hold their value well. No one wants to toss a few grand away but the heart wants what it wants (i.e. Platinum Edition). Am not saying you shouldn't do your home, for us that was part of the fun.

Find a trailer that meets your trucks posted limits and buy at a good deal. Whatever you do, please use it more then I get a chance to use mine. Besides, once you pick a trailer, you then get to analyze what goes in it......now that can cost a lot of money :-)
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Old 07-19-2016, 12:27 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Hullap View Post
Doug, could you please clarify your comments for me.

Are you saying that your truck load and redistributed tongue weight results in an 840 lb increase in rear axle weight when fully loaded (for you) with all of the stuff in your picture? If so, this is very good news.

Are you willing to share how much weight you are adding to the front storage area? I am thinking long and hard about replacing the front batteries with lithium ion batteries to save about 42 lbs close to the hitch and substituting the savings with more useful things to me in the front storage of a FC 25 FB that we don't want in the trailer.

As I have said before, the 25FB twin appeals to my heart. The 25 RB twin appeals to my brain. If I can manage the load in a 25FB well, my heart may well win over my brain, especially in British Columbia.
We weighed the new truck, loaded for travel, without and then again with our Airstream hooked up (weight distribution applied). The truck weighed 840 lbs more when hooked up and w.d. applied, meaning the weight was distributed among truck's front and rear axles. And there was only 20 lb difference between these two truck axles with w.d. applied.

We use a ProPride hitch, which makes the distance from our truck's receiver to the Airstream axles greater due to the hitch's additional length compared to a conventional hitch. This greater length has an effect on the amount of hitch weight added to the truck, but most probably no more than the additional weight of this style hitch, compared to a conventional hitch. (An important side benefit of this additional length, the truck's tail gate can be dropped with plenty of clearance. Note in our above photo the tail gate is down, gear easily accessible while hooked up to our Airstream.) We would never use a pickup to tow without this hitch, a well-balanced and set up SUV with full independent suspension may be different.

We have a 25 RB, there is no front storage area. We removed the bench dinette seating to install recliners. We built a small pantry further back next to the fridge. That and the overhead lockers (we use for very light gear, sweaters, hats, jackets etc) are the only front storage. We slide the recliners back for towing. These things make for less hitch weight. We are also considering lithium batteries. Most of our gear is stored in the back of the Airstream, and two bicycles and Airstream Fiamma hitch rack is at the rear bumper; these items counter-balance the hitch weigh making it lighter (Front Bed model loading will have an opposite effect).

We have Michelin 16" tires on our Airstream, best possible reliability. I am considering traveling as earlier Airstreamers did, without the then optional spare tire. It is unlikely we will ever need it, and if we have a flat the procedure in our Airstream Owners Manual is to remove it and travel at reduced speed to a tire repair shop.

When buying this truck wanted to continue using a lighter tow vehicle, less wheel base, better ride for us and our Airstream, better handling, easier access to seating and gear, less expense. This truck showed up at a visit to the dealer with the right mechanical gear and loaded with options (we both loved it). It is heavy as half-tons go, so we have been a little creative in managing load placement, easily handling all we ever need for six months annual travel. We liked our last half-ton pickup (Ram 1500 Reg Cab Hemi) a lot and this one is everything we could ever want, just a great match for our Airstream and travels.

I still think you should take a look at the 26U Twin, especially considering your height, I think the shower is quite spacious. The 25 and 27 dinette seats are awful for long term travel.
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Old 07-19-2016, 12:31 PM   #26
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Trusting gut feel

As I am in the near exact process of deciding which FC 25, also at the Seattle dealer, after 2 visits, planning even a 3rd, my gut feelings got me into a 25, then worried front or rear, deciding on rear, all decisions where by sitting in, reach for controls, checking views, closing, opening doors . . . Feeling for comfort levels . . . All for myself in retired living, sort of tiny house need. Yes, "live" in the models on the short list. I add your questions and the replies have been reassuring. Thanks to all.
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Old 07-19-2016, 07:41 PM   #27
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Thanks Doug. We looked at a 26U. We did not like the location of the fridge near the bathroom and the kitchen near the shower and felt to be a long, dark corridor between the living and sleeping spaces compared to other floorplans. It also felt like there was less storage for coats etc. We can see why some people love it but the flow and storage didn't feel like it worked for us.

It is frustrating that some things need to be changed out early at this price point. Lithium ion batteries, the converter, 16 inch wheels and Michelins and the foam in the seating for starters.
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Old 07-19-2016, 08:26 PM   #28
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Hullap, I understand your points on the 26U, some people love it. We love our 25RB very much as well, a great combination of practical and sense of space.

You don't really have to change anything in your new Airstream, we traveled for two years, almost 200 nights camping in our 2007 FC 20 SE with no modifications or upgrades. It did fine and was a good camper and traveler.

As we traveled about the country more each year and stayed out 6 to 7 months each year we began to upgrade our new FC 25 RB for reliability and comfort as we expect to keep it and travel extensively many more years. The first two years no changes, then gradual upgrades. Our most recent was the converter, although it was working fine going on five years and over 1,000 nights on the road; it is just a poor battery charger, we let our factory solar system do that task.

Take your time on all purchases, learn what you really need. We couldn't be more pleased with our present truck, hitch, Airstream combination as it is today. It suits us and our travels perfectly.
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