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Old 10-25-2020, 01:31 PM   #21
Need to use it more...
 
2016 23' Flying Cloud
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by tlars View Post
I think I read enough here to be able to ask a few questions without embarrassing myself. I ordered a Flying cloud FB and a Mercedes GLE 450 to tow it. I appreciated the comments suggesting we will likely move up in size in a few years but we spent many years sailing the great lakes and a 40 ft sailboat has less usable space than a 23 FB. We are dreaming of the queen island bed and bathroom that's absolutely spacious. We pack light so I'm comfortable with the Mercedes capability. But it's not too late to cancel so again 700 tw 7700 TC. Payoad 1623 and curb weight of 4891. My wife dog and I weigh 330 and don't plan on having much more than lunch and rain gear in the car.

We plan to use the Flying cloud as a travel trailer as opposed to camping. We expect many one nighters so it would be nice if coupling and uncoupling was easy.

I'll buy a Hensley or Pro Pride if I can't get sway undercontrol by other means.

Following your asdvise I contacted Can Am RV. They approved of the 450/23FB compination and recomended a Eaz liff elite with TWO sway control units.

I recently read a Campaddict.com review of hitches. They really trashed the add on sway control packages and favored the Equalizer among others.

So here are the questions.

If friction is used for sway control, should one not have a way top turn it off?

Do any of these hitches use sacrificial material or metal for friction. It seems like most rely on steel on steel.

Husky looks like they have a hitch similar to Equalizer but my application fits the Husky better. Are they truly comparable? are there others?

Many hitch companies have products vary similar to EAZ liff Elite with sway control. The sway control units look nearly identical. Is there one better or are these units pretty much the same.

Is Can-Am's recommendation for two sway control units out of the ordinary? Is this a red flag? Why don't I see any hitch companies recommending this?

Should I be concerned about ground clearance? No plans for off roading or lifting the trailer suspension.

What is the frame cross sectional size for a FC 23FB

The manufactures of the add on sway controls recomend backing into a jack knife to check clearances. I assume this has to do with geometery of the A frame. Will this be an issue on the Flying Cloud? Anyone using these on a Flying Cloud?

My dealer sells only equalizer hitches. I would assume they would install anything I want. Right?

It makes sense to me that there should be independent control of the Sway control and the Weight distribution. Am I wrong?

I assume that the most flexible bars as light as possible and yet do the job will put the least stress on the trailer. Right or wrong?

Round bars are more flexible? wider range of motion without spiking?

I don't mind installing several hitches to get it right. Are there dealers that would alow me to exchange hitches if my first choice does not work out?

Thanks in advance for the help.
We have a FC 23FB and tow it with our Mercedes GL450. I had problems initially with sway. The prior owner had installed a fiberglass storage box on the rear bumper and - it turns out- that weighs 225 lbs including contents.
The towing problem was because the tongue weight was too light. The storage box was so useful even though what is in there is pretty light. So I had 240 pounds of lead Installed under the bed. Since then towing has been absolutely perfect.
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Old 10-25-2020, 02:58 PM   #22
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2018 25' International
Slidell , Louisiana
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 3,055
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckieB View Post
We have a FC 23FB and tow it with our Mercedes GL450. I had problems initially with sway. The prior owner had installed a fiberglass storage box on the rear bumper and - it turns out- that weighs 225 lbs including contents.
The towing problem was because the tongue weight was too light. The storage box was so useful even though what is in there is pretty light. So I had 240 pounds of lead Installed under the bed. Since then towing has been absolutely perfect.
Wow, 465 lbs of extra load beyond what you might normally put in the provided spots is a lot and the placement contributes to trailer inertial moment which intern drives towing combination static instability (oversteer) in emergency maneuvers. Consider checking trailer total weight at the scales to be sure it is not over. Also add 7 psi additional to the rear tires if the sidewall max pressure allows and drop the front by 2-3 psi.
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Old 10-28-2020, 10:04 AM   #23
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Lake Mills , WI
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladyfish View Post
"I can't believe it but I will likely buy one of the most important pieces of safety equipment from Walmart as they are dealers for Eaz-lift. That is if my AS dealer can't buy from Camco."

Suggest that you check your local directories for "trailer hitch installation" and you might find an independent trailer hitch specialist. They will typically install for "free" or "near free" if you purchase your hitch from them. Since they specialize in trailer hitches they understand towing requirements, issues and regulations. There are several independent shops within 25 miles of us and you may find the same. Much less expensive than the dealer and more confidence than Walmart.
Thanks for the help. I will have my AS dealer install the hitch. They install only Equal-i-ser hitches so it will take some negotiating. My hope is that they can purchase from a distributor but I may have to purchase it myself (Walmart)
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Old 10-28-2020, 10:08 AM   #24
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Lake Mills , WI
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladyfish View Post
"I can't believe it but I will likely buy one of the most important pieces of safety equipment from Walmart as they are dealers for Eaz-lift. That is if my AS dealer can't buy from Camco."

Suggest that you check your local directories for "trailer hitch installation" and you might find an independent trailer hitch specialist. They will typically install for "free" or "near free" if you purchase your hitch from them. Since they specialize in trailer hitches they understand towing requirements, issues and regulations. There are several independent shops within 25 miles of us and you may find the same. Much less expensive than the dealer and more confidence than Walmart.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyaJLong View Post
We have been towing your exact TV/TT combination since August -- a 2021 Flying Cloud 23FB being pulled by a 2020 MBZ GLE 450. Honestly, I studied but not quite as voraciously as my learned colleagues on this and many other hitch-related threads. We chose a 600/6,000lb Equal-i-zer hitch (and a Prodigy RF brake controller, btw -- let me know if you want the secret handshake for getting that thing to work). Oh, and one more *random* thing -- McKesh Towing Mirrors from Hensley -- nothing else fits on the new MBZ mirrors or is wide enough to give proper viewing of the back of the AS.

We have a similar "profile" to yours -- weekend warrior types unlikely to find ourselves lost in the most remote sections of the Sierras. So far the MBZ has been beautiful -- we've only been 3hrs outside the Bay Area, but the engine has barely crested 2,000 rpms. The Equal-i-zer bars were LOUD (omg)... but seem to be settling in. Everyone said they were "doing their job" and that in time they'd quieten down. The "hitch jackets" people mention were helpful ($20) as is extra lubrication on the hitch ball. We did develop a routine for removing the bars when navigating tight spots -- mostly when backing into tight spots at a campsite. Honestly, I believe we may have done it as much for noise reduction (and not calling attention to the newbies trying to back in!) as we did for the loosening of the turning ability of the trailer. I guess the important point on that is -- the setup was so easy, either of us could jump out and pull the pins and grab the bars off... so Equal-i-zer definitely has been an easy to work with product for us.

You won't make a bad decision... Equal-i-zer and up are all very good products. And with the type of use it seems you will be doing, you might not be in the worst case situations that warrant the upper-end of the highest echelon of equipment -- but that's clearly your call. Mostly, I just wanted to offer a "connection" to people who have your TV/TT configuration. A few months ago, it was very difficult for me to find anyone with a GLE 450 to get insights from (I found limited but important info over on the MBZ Forums, btw), so feel free to reach out via private message if you have any questions. Good luck -- and have fun!
Thanks for the tip on the towing mirrors. That will save me a lot of searching and testing.
Do you know if you have 600 lb or 1000lb bars on the Equal-i-ser? Their selection guide suggested 1000lb bars and that seems to stiff.
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Old 10-29-2020, 10:19 AM   #25
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2014 31' Classic
2015 23' International
2013 25' FB International
Apache Junction , Arizona
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We initially put our Hensley Arrow on our new 2013 25FB International Serenity where the tongue weight was 1,125 pounds (up from 833 pounds in Airstream literature). Used 1,000 pound bars and home towed with my 2007 Mercedes ML320 CDI turbo diesel. I had driven the car to CanAm where the factory receiver was reinforced and the Hensley stinger was shortened and bent slightly to preload lift arms with less screw jack travel.

I towed the new empty of stuff (full water and propane tanks) 25FB home from Los Angles on I-10 thru Palm Springs and up the mountain east bound in 4th gear, 3,500 rpm and 55 mph with no strain. Stayed at 55 mph, it was a good tow vehicle. Loaded at 6,900 pounds and 1,175 pounds tongue weight, the 25FB was not a good load for my Mercedes. Acquired a 2012 Ram 2500HD Cummins and tow issues were resolved after getting a new Hensley stinger for the truck. Traded 25FB on 2014 31’ Classic with a Pro-Pride hitch saving the Hensley Arrow and Tekonsha Prodigy RF brake controller.

Added a 2015 23D International Serenity and reused the the Hensley Arrow and Prodigy RF and used the 2007 Mercedes as tow vehicle. At Colonial, we had upgraded the 23D from the stock 14” tires and wheels to 15” SenDel wheels that matched the wheels on the Classic and 15” Michelin tires. The new tires and wheels elevated the 23D to the same level as the 25FB so all prior settings were usable. This was an ideal combination after stopping by CanAm on the way back from Colonial in New Jersey to fine tune the complete rig. After all modifications and fully loaded for camping, the 23D scales 929 pounds of tongue weight and 6,069 pounds loaded weight.

Unfortunately, in May 2020, the Mercedes was exhibiting signs at 205,000 miles of the third occurrence (every 75,000 miles it seems) of gasket failure of an oil cooler at the back of the valley between the cylinders. Repairs cost $3,500 to replace $25 worth of gaskets. This issue is common to all 3.0L V6 Mercedes Diesel engines including the Sprinters used by Airstream. Class action pending over this engine’s problems.

My wife’s 2009 E320 CDI turbo diesel was at 70,000 miles and starting to show these signs as well. We both now have 2020 Toyotas (she has a RAV4 Limited hybrid and I have a Platinum V6 Highlander). The suspension was too soft on the Highlander to really tow and the ratings was for 5,000 pounds so the 2012 Ram is towing both the Classic and the 23D with either the ProPride or Hensley stingers as appropriate.

After doing lots or research, the Toyota Sequoia top model would be the ideal tow vehicle for our 23D as it fits inside of the tow rating limits numbers. However the 5.7L v8 gasoline engine is thirsty.
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Old 10-31-2020, 07:01 PM   #26
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Church Point , NSW
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckieB View Post
We have a FC 23FB and tow it with our Mercedes GL450. I had problems initially with sway. The prior owner had installed a fiberglass storage box on the rear bumper and - it turns out- that weighs 225 lbs including contents.
The towing problem was because the tongue weight was too light. The storage box was so useful even though what is in there is pretty light. So I had 240 pounds of lead Installed under the bed. Since then towing has been absolutely perfect.
If that 225 lbs is still on that rear plus 240 lbs of lead upfront you will have a rig that will indeed feel very stable. It is likely, however, be (like an oil tanker or car ferry) be unable to make a strong emergency swerve at speed.

The required nose weight must be via weight distributed centrally.

Collyn
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