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Old 05-01-2007, 10:16 AM   #1
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, Vermont
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 111
Our '53 Flying Cloud and the Ridgeline

After working with Trailerworks in Beaufort, SC for over a year, we finally picked up our totally renovated 53 Flying Cloud this Spring. I'll use this thread to tell the story of our Flying Cloud with many photos to follow.

This first post will be about towing our Cloud home with the Ridgeline. We were pleasantly surprised by the gas mileage we achieved. We towed the Cloud 1395 miles using 90.8 gallons and averaged 15.4 mpg. We started out averaging 16.0 to 16.3 mpg in the Carolinas and Delmarva, then it dropped to 14.0 to 14.2 going through the hills of Pennsylvania up through Vermont. Still we were very happy with these results. The Ridgeline normally gets 21 mpg, so if we only drop 25% while towing then we are doing well.

I think the key to our fuel economy was a couple of things - first and foremost we drove very steadily between 55 and 60 mph trying to keep the rpms as steady as possible. Second I think the Cloud offers slightly less resistance compared to newer Airstreams. We are only 7.5 feet wide and just over 9 feet high. Third the total weight of the Cloud with a full fresh tank, lp tanks and assorted luggage came in at 3480 on the scales.

For this small and lightweight vintage unit, the Ridgeline seems like a good match, with a couple of caveats. We use an Equalizer hitch with 600 lb bars (more on that later) and we were rock steady traveling along I-95. On the flats we were cruising at 60 mph with the rpms around 1750. On the hills the Ridgeline had plenty of pulling power to keep us between 55 and 60 mph, but on the steepest hills the rpms were around 3400. Going back down the steepest hills I would have liked more engine breaking power. For the majority of our travels along the East Coast this combo should serve us well. When we do head out West we'll be careful about what grades we go up (and down).

Here's our first photo (I hope)...

- Mike
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Old 05-01-2007, 10:36 AM   #2
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1960 24' Tradewind
1956 30' Sovereign of the Road
1963 16' Bambi
Southeastern Area , Tennessee
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 2,115
Looks great, Air19. I saw some of Trailerworks workmanship at the GA Springstream a couple of weeks ago. They produce some beautiful work. Sounds like the Ridgeline is handling things. Now let's see more pix!

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Old 05-01-2007, 12:23 PM   #3
Tom, the Uber Disney Fan
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2006 30' Safari
Orlando , Florida
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Awesome looking trailer! Nice combo, but you might be a little high with the tongue. You might want to drop one or two notches on the draw bar. That is if the photo is as it appears on my monitor. To me it looks like the tongue is a little high and the rear bumper is a little low. Could just be me or it could be the angle of the trailer in the photo...anyway, you have a beautiful coach. One that you can certainly be proud of as you pull her down the highway. Congratulations!
2006 30' Safari - "Changes in Latitudes"
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Old 05-01-2007, 12:37 PM   #4
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More pics please.

You just have to decide if you’re a Tigger or an Eeyore." - Randy Pausch
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:05 PM   #5
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Mesquite , Texas
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Thank you for your write up. Very informative.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:18 PM   #6
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, Vermont
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Posts: 111
Hi meq60,

It's been a while since that first thread with our Ridgeline and the Flying Cloud.

The real continuing story is told in this thread...

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