RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Travel Trailers: Flagstaff design harder to tow?

RV Blog

  |  

RV Sales

  |  

Campgrounds

  |  

RV Parks

  |  

RV Club

  |  

RV Buyers Guide

  |  

Roadside Assistance

  |  

Extended Service Plan

  |  

RV Travel Assistance

  |  

RV Credit Card

  |  

RV Loans

Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Posting Help and Support  |  Contact  

Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Travel Trailers

Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Flagstaff design harder to tow?

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 3  
Next
Sponsored By:
Fishwater

New Hampshire

New Member

Joined: 10/16/2012

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 01/11/19 06:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have a 2017 Flagstaff 831BHDS that we purchased brand new to replace our 2009 Passport 290BH. When we bought the camper I had a Dodge Ram half ton thinking that I’d be able to tow the new trailer with but quickly found out that would not be possible. The 831BHDS towed terrible on the ride home & I just figured it was due to the additional 1500lbs so it was time to upgrade to a bigger truck. I upgraded to a 6.0l diesel Ford F-350 crew cab thinking no problem, it will tow that 831 like it’s not even there. I continued to fight the trailer for the rest of the season.

Half way through the second season I dug deeper into the trailer after continuing to fight with towing in the 1 ton diesel that by all accounts should tow that thing without breaking a sweat. I ended up finding that one of the rear axle brakes was miss adjusted from the factory causing the additional drag on the trailer. Finally! I figured I found my issue! The trailer did tow better but not as well as I hoped, still felt like a giant brick behind the truck. By the end of the second season my 6.0l was getting a little tired so I once again upgraded to a 2015 F-350 crewcab with a 6.7l PSD, once again more than enough to tow the anchor behind us.

Last season went much better, I spent a bunch of time dialing in the Rees strait line that I’ve owned since the Passport, bought a tongue scale (1150lbs on the tongue) & adjusted the hitch multiple times until I got it about as good as I could get it without bringing it to the scales. It’s better but still has a little sway at times, still feels heavier than it should behind the PSD but works. I’ve checked the tire pressure constantly, checked for uneven tire wear indicating a bent or misaligned axle with nothing noticeable, I don’t know of a local or even a semi local place that does HD truck alignment’s but I still wonder if there isn’t an axle issue? I know I should hit the scales but with 2 kids, a full time job traveling & life I really struggle finding the time to drive an hour each way to the scales plus the time there. Forget bringing the family loaded up ready to go camping for that exercise!

This year we are planning to expand our camping area since the kids are getting older but I’m dreading another season fighting the tow every trip. I’m seriously considering downgrading, changing campers, getting something smaller that unfortunately won’t have the storage or quality we’re used to but will be easier to tow. We love the layout of the Flagstaff, I love the quality, it’s one of the best built campers I’ve ever seen. In my previous life I was a service manager at a large RV dealership so I’ve been inside many campers, inspected them, worked on them, pulled many a camper, boats, trailers, etc.

I’m really starting to wonder if there is something inherently wrong with the flat front face design of the Flagstaff units, I see that they have changed them on the new models for better aerodynamics. So anyone have any insight, previous owners who’ve owned one & changed to a different brand with input?

drsteve

Michigan

Senior Member

Joined: 06/09/2006

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 01/11/19 06:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A one ton should have no problem pulling that trailer. I doubt aerodynamics is the issue--the angle of the front has little effect on the wind resistance of a TT that size.

I'd find a HD truck/trailer shop and have them check it over.


2006 Silverado 1500HD Crew Cab 2WD 6.0L 3.73 8600 GVWR
2018 Coachmen Catalina Legacy Edition 223RBS
1991 Palomino Filly PUP

MFL

Midwest

Senior Member

Joined: 11/28/2012

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Online
Posted: 01/11/19 06:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

After owning several TTs, which did tow well for me, I switched to fifth wheel models. I do think FW towing is a much better experience. You have enough truck for towing/carrying a FW, so might be something to consider. While current FW is heavier than the previous FW, it is more aerodynamic, and tows just as easily, with about same towing MPG.

I do think aerodynamics has something to do with one towing better than the other. As far as weight, once moving, rolling down the road, 1500 extra lbs, should not be a huge factor. If you had a brake dragging/over tightened, to the point of heavy towing feel, it would have been smoking, lots of stink, so would have been very obvious.

Jerry





donn0128

Pronounced Ore-gun

Senior Member

Joined: 04/21/2005

View Profile


Online
Posted: 01/11/19 07:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

WOW! Lots to digest. First, you mentioned the hitch is the same as used on last trailer? Is it possible the hitch is not rated high enough?
TT sway is or has always been part of the TT experience. I think at this point in time I would measure hitch to axle distances and see if possibly Lippert welded the axles on wrong.


Don,Lorri,and Charlie Bear 2016
8 years OSP Camp Host
The Other Dallas


Fishwater

New Hampshire

New Member

Joined: 10/16/2012

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 01/11/19 07:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sorry, yes, lots to digest! I've been using this Strait Line for 6 seasons but I did upgrade to 1200lb bars with the new camper due to the increased tongue weight.

DutchmenSport

Between Anderson, Pendleton, & Lapel, Indiana

Senior Member

Joined: 10/10/2006

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 01/11/19 07:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I tow with a Chevy 3500 dually diesel crew cab, long bed. We've had different tow vehicles and different trailers and each one towed flawless. The last travel trailer weighed in at over 10,000 pounds loaded and towed like it was not even there. It was 35.5 feet long too. Fuel mileage averaged about 10 mpg towing.

We got the 5er last October, and it weighs about 3000 pounds heavier than the previous trailer. The weight on the hitch for the previous trailer when from about 1000 pounds to almost 3000 pounds in the bed of the truck now.

Except for a little effort to get initially moving, the 5er towes wonderful too. All my campers were properly set-up, all were being towed with vehicles that were more than adequate for the job. Fuel mileage towing the 5er is still 10 mpg, and the trailer is actually 40.5 feet long and 2 feet taller than the all my previous trailers.

Bottom line, your truck should tow that trailer smooth as silk. When towing, it should be so comfortable, that unless you actually look in your mirrors, you can actually forget it's even back there.

To me, it sounds like your brakes, or at least one of your brakes, is still dragging. When you checked your brakes previously, no doubt you checked them with the trailer jacked up. I have a suggestion? Jack up the trailer again, but leave the trailer electric wire pig-tail plugged in. NOW try spinning the tires. One or more of the wheels might be getting a short circuit when plugged into the truck that's causing them to lock up. This actually happened to my previous trailer (2 campers ago as one of the brake wires rubbed raw causing a short, only when plugged into the truck).

Anyway, it's just a suggestion. Your truck should tow that trailer flawless.

And, by the way, I'm one that completely disagrees that 5er tow so much better than travel trailers. If the travel trailer is set up correct, and if the truck is hefty enough, travel trailer towing can be a very, very pleasurable experience. Mine always were. I think the success to trouble free, enjoyable towing is to have a tow vehicle that's not under-par. Too many think under-par trucks should work fine for trouble free towing, and they really are not. Your truck should result in complete trouble free towing.

Good luck.


DutchmenSport

2019 Montana High Country 375FL Fifth Wheel
2014 Chevy Silverado 3500 Duramax Dually
2 dachshunds, 1 cat, 2 old folks, lots of love.

And yes, it really does have a door on the opposite side:


prichardson

Lafayette, La

Senior Member

Joined: 10/31/2006

View Profile





Offline
Posted: 01/11/19 07:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There is enough difference between the two in frontal shape to be noticeable when towing, especially at high speed and in head winds. If sway is a problem you may not have enough tongue weight,

shum02

Burlington ON CDA

Senior Member

Joined: 04/22/2005

View Profile



Posted: 01/11/19 07:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Alignment could still be off. Lot's of ways to give a basic check of axle alignment on the web without any real tools outside of tape measure. If it's really off it won't take much to know for sure.

My 6.0L would not break a sweat pulling 9000lbs. Presently 17500GCWR right now ready to camp.


2006 F350 Lariat FX4 CC 4x4 PSD
2007 KZ2505QSS-F Outdoorsman


trailer_newbe

Tucson

Full Member

Joined: 02/05/2018

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 01/11/19 07:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Max weight on a 2017 Flagstaff is around 9,000 lbs so you should be well within your towing limits. Our trailer tops out at 8,150 and we tow it with a 2018 RAM 3/4 Cummins Turbo Diesel. I feel the trailer for sure but climbing or going down hills is no problem. We just towed to Lost Dutchman in the Superstition Mountains where the winds were 30 MPH. Just slowed to 55 MPH and all good.

What type of mileage are you getting ? What is your expectation towing 9K with the truck you have?


2018 Jayco White Hawk 28RL

George3037

Upstate NY

Full Member

Joined: 11/29/2017

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 01/11/19 07:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

By going from a 1/2T gas to a 3/4T diesel as you noted you should not even notice the extra 1500 lbs and it should pull it with ease. I'd guess something must be wrong either with actual loaded weight or the way the hitch is set up. According to the specs I read your loaded weight should be around 8970 lbs and your tongue weight of 1150 is about 13%. In theory the numbers look good. Maybe a trip to the scales is needed to see actual numbers or a good shop to check out the brakes and axles. I'd think you'd noticed if the brakes were dragging by the smell or smoke after a short drive. Check them again as Dutchman said. Its possible a short could be applying the brakes.

I tow a Gulf Stream 28RLR 32.5', spec's say 7180 lb dry, 1030 hitch weight, and max capacity of 11,170. I run a little over 10K loaded, 1250 hitch weight with a 2016 2500HD crew cab 4x4 6.0L gas and 4.10's and haven't noticed the problems you claim to have. Yes, I know my TT is back there but it tows great and doesn't sway.

What rear end gears does the F350 have? if 4.10 or 4.30 should have no problem towing 9K. Hope you get it figured out.

* This post was edited 01/11/19 07:46am by George3037 *

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 3  
Next

Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Flagstaff design harder to tow?
Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Travel Trailers


New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:

© 2019 CWI, Inc. © 2019 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved. | Terms of Use | PRIVACY POLICY | YOUR PRIVACY RIGHTS