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Old 12-28-2020, 02:23 AM   #1
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Audi Q8 to tow Flying Cloud 23FB

So it looks like we have narrowed down our search for an SUV to tow to the Audi Q8. Itís slightly smaller abs a bit wider than the Audi Q7 abs doesnít have a third row of seats which we donít really prefer or need.

Below are the specs for the 2021 Flying Cloud 23FB

Flying Cloud 23FB
Dry Weight; 4,806 lbs.
Payload Capacity: 1,194 lbs.
GVWR:6,000 lbs.
Hitch Weight; 467 lbs.

Audi Q8

Towing Capacity: 7,700
Payload: 1,124

3.0L V-6 Engine
8-spd w/OD Transmission
335 @ 5,700 rpm Horsepower
369 @ 2,800 rpm Torque

Wheelbase: 117.9
Length Overall (in.): 196.6
Width Max w/o mirrors (in.): 78.5
Height, Overall (in.): 67.2

The other vehicles considered not driven due to COVID include:

Mercedes GLE 450
Audi Q7
Porsche Cayenne (base model)

Do you think the Q8 will be able to the stated AirStream?
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Old 12-28-2020, 12:37 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imdakine1 View Post
Flying Cloud 23FB
Dry Weight; 4,806 lbs.
Payload Capacity: 1,194 lbs.
GVWR:6,000 lbs.
Hitch Weight; 467 lbs.

Audi Q8

Towing Capacity: 7,700
Payload: 1,124
Payload vs. hitch weight. There is no chance that your real world hitch weight will be 467 lbs. If you filled trailer to capacity (6K lbs) and put 15% on the hitch, your hitch weight would be 900lbs. Real world will be somewhere between those extremes. Assume the worst until you have weighed yours, as you plan to load it for travel.

Also, is 1124 lbs the payload number off the yellow sticker in the door jamb of your actual vehicle, or off some website? Make sure you use the former. But if you do have 1124lbs payload minus 900 lbs hitch weight leaves you 224 lbs for everything, including passengers, you intend to put in or on tow vehicle. With zero margin.

If you are a careful, experienced driver and you have a high quality hitch system that is CORRECTLY set up, and you pack with awareness of the loading both fore and aft and left to right, that's probably OK. If nothing goes wrong. If I had a 23, I'd be looking for at least 1400 lbs of payload, but as always, YMMV.

Also, the bonus of thorough German engineering is more than offset by the equally German assumption that any sensible driver wouldn't exceed 90 KMPH pulling what they would call a "caravan." American drivers tend to have have different assumptions about speed.

Enjoy,
David
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Old 12-28-2020, 01:51 PM   #3
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You should join this thread once you've picked up the Q8, or if you have any questions in the meantime.

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f46...rs-134917.html
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Old 12-28-2020, 02:18 PM   #4
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our q5 pulls our sport22FB easily.
i was told that our q5 can also pull a Fc 25FB

thus your q8 can do pull a FC23FB and more
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Old 12-28-2020, 02:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imdakine1 View Post
Below are the specs for the 2021 Flying Cloud 23FB

Flying Cloud 23FB
Dry Weight; 4,806 lbs.
Payload Capacity: 1,194 lbs.
GVWR:6,000 lbs.
Hitch Weight; 467 lbs.

Audi Q8

Towing Capacity: 7,700
Payload: 1,124

Do you think the Q8 will be able to the stated AirStream?
I think youíll be ok, but you will have to be careful about how much cargo you carry in the Audi. I will make a couple of assumptions: you intend to use a WDH and your hitch is rated for 770 pounds (10% of your towing capacity). Assuming you max out the trailer, and balance the load to put hitch weight right in the middle of the 10-15% target, your static loaded hitch weight will be about 750 lbs (.125 X 6000). If you can keep it there with careful loading of the trailer, you should be fine as far as complying with the hitch rating.

As far as payload, if you dial the WDH in carefully you should be able to transfer as much as 15-20% of the static hitch weight back to the trailer axle, which would leave the Audi carrying about 600 lbs (at 20%) of the static hitch weight as payload. That will leave you a little over 500 pounds for everything else, including passengers. Thatís not a lot, but probably doable for two adults of less than linebacker stature, the weight of the WDH itself, and a limited amount of camping gear. But youíll be close.
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Old 12-28-2020, 03:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waninae39 View Post
our q5 pulls our sport22FB easily.
i was told that our q5 can also pull a Fc 25FB

thus your q8 can do pull a FC23FB and more
I was told pigs fly, and they do launched out of a cannon. Q5's will also tow 25' Airstreams if you're not concerned about doing it safely.
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Old 12-28-2020, 04:14 PM   #7
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Audi Q8 to tow Flying Cloud 23FB

Here you go:

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Old 12-28-2020, 04:26 PM   #8
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Imdakine1, as you've already seen in the responses, tow vehicle discussions can be controversial. People tend to fall on the conservative side of the towing argument (buy a truck, bigger is better) or on the unorthodox side of the towing argument (you can tow any Airstream with any vehicle if you reinforce the hitch and set it up properly).

My advice is to do as much research as possible on towing, on your vehicle choice, on hitch and WDH setups, etc. It's a deep rabbit hole, but ultimately you have to be comfortable with your rig. It's up to you to ensure that your setup is safe and has the ability to do what you need it to do.

Remember, the advice you get here is worth what you pay for it. If you have an issue with your rig or your setup, then it's not really going to matter what somebody on the internet said.

I actually enjoyed the learning process when I bought my first Airstream, and I continue to learn and evolve in my thinking on this subject. Hopefully you'll approach it the same way and have fun with it.

Good luck!
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Old 12-28-2020, 04:50 PM   #9
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X2 with waninae39

The 23FB has the lightest tongue weight of any twin axle Airstream which makes it a great choice for your Audi Q8 or any of the others you mentioned.

We chose it for that reason to go with our VW Touareg TDI (similar to the Cayenne). It was a great tow vehicle and trailer with a proper WD\Sway hitch (we used a Blue Ox SwayPro).

Good luck!
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Old 12-29-2020, 10:29 AM   #10
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We tow our 23FB with a Range Rover Sport and a Blue Ox hitch, and it does greatólot of Rocky Mountain driving. It seems many of these kinds of vehicles (Porsche, Mercedes, Audi) have very similar towing capabilities when set up appropriately. It sounds like you should be fine.
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Old 12-29-2020, 10:52 AM   #11
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For what it's worth-
I tow a 27' Tommy, had a Tundra with airbags, tow pkg. I have an excellent informed mechanic/son team. Young son says Tundra is perfect, wise dad said; yes you are within 20% of tow compacity, that's good, but what about your axel and brakes and payload?
Bought a new base 2018 diesel in 2019, when the 2020 were on the way to the dealership, go a great deal. Now towing is without questions, and never a white knuckle. Safety First.
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Old 12-29-2020, 11:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coerector View Post
We tow our 23FB with a Range Rover Sport and a Blue Ox hitch, and it does greatólot of Rocky Mountain driving. It seems many of these kinds of vehicles (Porsche, Mercedes, Audi) have very similar towing capabilities when set up appropriately. It sounds like you should be fine.
Can you talk a bit about payload and cargo? I see this as a key limitation for many of these vehicles. The Sport has a payload of 1067 lb and a GVWR of 6555 lbs. the 23' trailer will have a tongue weight of 550-900 lb when loaded for camping. Add a hitch and you are at 670-1020. WD will bring that down about 150 but it still doesn't leave you much. Do you just exceed GVWR or not put anything in the vehicle? If so, how do you know you don't have a hidden oversteer issue? How can you assure Imdakine1 he won't have oversteer instability? He is facing the same situation, though a tad higher payload, if he settles on a Q8.
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Old 12-29-2020, 11:59 AM   #13
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I have owned Audis since 1995. When I looked for a TV for my 23FB, I looked at a Q7 and Q8. I wanted a turbo diesel to get high torque and good mileage. Then VW/Audi cheated (i.e., DieselGate). So, I purchased a used Range Rover (RR) HSE TD6 with an extended warranty from a Land Rover dealer. My used RR cost me as much as a new Audi Q7/Q8 and have never regretted it. Audi did retrofit an AdBlue system to the TDs but it has low Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DES) capacity so it’s small reservoir needs to be filled up frequently. I get 5000-6000 mi on a DES tank fill. On flat terrain I get around 25-28 MPG pulling my 23FB.

Whether you go gas or diesel, RR or Audi, I think you will need a weight distribution (WD) hitch. Since my RR has air suspension, I get pretty bad trailer sway without a WD hitch. While not critical, I also added a Tekonsha brake controller. A slightly modified F150 brake controller harness works with my RR. I also used a Curt wireless brake controller for a while which worked okay. The brake controller is not critical but allows adjustment of the brake bias between the trailer and the TV.


You should not have any problems towing an 23FB with a large SUV. European SUVs have very conservative towing ratings. Hitch load is typically rated at 10% of trailer GW. FYI, Since European Airstreams are lighter than their US counterparts, towing a 25-27’ European AS is within most large European SUV ratings. I’ve run across a few that pull larger US AS models with large (by European standards) SUVs made by Range Rover, Mercedes, BMW and Audi but I think that’s pushing the limits.


With a properly setup WD hitch, you should not have any problem pulling a 23FB with an Audi Q8; however, I think a Range Rover Sport or HSE is a better TV than an Audi Q series. The RR is also a much better off road vehicle. Whatever European TV you use, make sure it is under warranty. Parts and service are very expensive particularly when you push the load limits of these vehicles.


Hope my experience helps. Happy glamping.
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Old 12-29-2020, 12:36 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post
Can you talk a bit about payload and cargo? I see this as a key limitation for many of these vehicles. The Sport has a payload of 1067 lb and a GVWR of 6555 lbs. the 23' trailer will have a tongue weight of 550-900 lb when loaded for camping. Add a hitch and you are at 670-1020. WD will bring that down about 150 but it still doesn't leave you much. Do you just exceed GVWR or not put anything in the vehicle? If so, how do you know you don't have a hidden oversteer issue? How can you assure Imdakine1 he won't have oversteer instability? He is facing the same situation, though a tad higher payload, if he settles on a Q8.
Yes. Exactly. I would further add that when you start getting tongue weights North of 770 lbs in these Euro-spec SUVs, you start having hitch rating problems, in addition to payload problems, and you canít fix that with weight distribution. And these load problems are more insidious than towing capacity and power plant issues because the damage caused by cargo and hitch overloading tends to be progressive. Youíre ďfineĒ . . . until youíre not.
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Old 12-29-2020, 01:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwodzinski View Post
(snip....)
You should not have any problems towing an 23FB with a large SUV. European SUVs have very conservative towing ratings.
What support do you have that the ratings are conservative? Do you have tests results showing the European SUV's are not susceptible to oversteer and sway when towing over the published limits for trailer, tongue and/or GVWR?


Quote:
With a properly setup WD hitch, you should not have any problem pulling a 23FB with an Audi Q8
Does the Q8 remain inherently stable when tongue and payload are over limits?
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Old 12-29-2020, 02:25 PM   #16
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No we just bought a new truck today, an F 250. Now that will tow our Flying Cloud 23 foot. We had an F 150. Sometimes it swayed.
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Old 12-29-2020, 03:13 PM   #17
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No we just bought a new truck today, an F 250. Now that will tow our Flying Cloud 23 foot. We had an F 150. Sometimes it swayed.


See youíre ready for the inevitable upgrade.
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Old 12-29-2020, 04:04 PM   #18
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While not critical, I also added a Tekonsha brake controller. A slightly modified F150 brake controller harness works with my RR. I also used a Curt wireless brake controller for a while which worked okay. The brake controller is not critical but allows adjustment of the brake bias between the trailer and the TV.
Sorry this is absolutely WRONG. The brake controller IS CRITICAL with electric trailer brakes, without a brake controller you have no functioning brakes on the trailer, other then emergency breakaway which only work when trailer is no longer attached.
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Old 12-29-2020, 04:15 PM   #19
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Towing capacity is just one of the factors that need to be considered when choosing a tow vehicle. But other factors like wheelbase and leverage all go into the equation for determining how well a 23' trailer which will weigh way more than the TV with full water/propane tanks, etc. can be controlled during an emergency stop or avoidance maneuver. Just consider that the Audi's Q8 9'8" wheelbase. Remember how a lever works? A smaller tow vehicle can do just fine pulling a large trailer...in stable conditions and a straight line. That works great until you have to hit the brakes to avoid a deer on a mountain highway. Or your rig is cut off by another driver at 60+ MPH. Or debris causes both right side tires of a trailer to blow out at speed. Some of the recommendations you'll read on this type of thread to buy a longer and heavier vehicle (truck or larger SUV) come from people who have had those life threatening experiences before. Do your research carefully and make a safe vehicle choice. Better safe than sorry... :-)
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Old 12-29-2020, 08:28 PM   #20
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Thumbs up Follow-up: SUVs Pulling a 23FB - My Experience

As evidenced by this discussion, Tow Vehicle (TVs) is a hot subject in the forum. There is a lot to be said for having a heavy TV so that the TV is driving the AS and not vice versa. Tongue weight can also be sensitive particularly for a TV with air suspension. My Range Rover (RR) can change the vehicle height using the key fob which makes getting the angle right for my equalizer hitch quite easy. My RR also has a built in hitch camera which makes hooking up a breeze.

You always have the option to reduce the tongue weight by replacing the steel propane tanks with aluminum tanks. I also recommend you read the comments about GVWR. If you get the balance right, the AS will track real nice. If you get it wrong, you may get in a situation where you will need a change of underwear.

The safest bet is a 1/4 ton pickup. The good news is they drive like a truck. The bad news is they drive like a truck. There are many European SUV pulling Airstreams bigger and heavier than a 23FB through Europe without and problems. European roads are often much narrower and worse than US roads. My Range Rover has no problems. It has a heavy duty OEM hitch, weight distribution hitch, brake controller and Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS). It took me a year to get to this configuration and some may say it is overkill but it has the safety factor that make it comfortable to drive. I avoid bad weather, particularly icy roads.

If you are not experienced in setup up a tow configuration, I highly recommend have an experienced professional or friend work with you or do it for you. Itís not that difficult but does require an attention to detail. If you are buying your AS or hitch from a reputable dealer, they should be able to do it as long as they have direct experience setting up a travel trailer, particularly an AS. You may also be able to find someone in this forum or in the Airstream club (AirstreamClub.org) that lives near you that may be willing to help.


Heed the warnings youíve read but be assured that that are many SUVs pulling Bambis and 23FBs with no problems. If you understand and drive within the limitations of your rig, towing should be uneventful.


Happy travels.
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