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Old 08-19-2010, 12:32 PM   #1
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New here, possible Flagstaff 831RKSS

Hi guys, just found this board. My wife, kids and I have been looking seriously at trailers. I've towed vehicles before but never a TT, this will be our first. I know we have lots to learn.
We started out looking in the $10K range but wanted a slide out and newer model, well... that got us looking even higher. We looked at a 2010 Flagstaff 831rkss. We love it, the outdoor kitchen almost seals the deal alone. It's set up the way we wanted, three rear bunks should suit our 4 and 6 year old tyrants fine. Plus lots of room for friends.

So my question is for around $25K how's this trailer, model and brand? It seems to have good construction and the fixtures and peripherals seem to be upgraded as well. Our worries in buying a less expensive trailer is we may want to upgrade sooner than later and don't want to lose money that fast. I think this is a unit we could grow into rather than out of.

My only other concern is the length, it says 33ft but also says 31ft, I'm guessing 33ft tounge to tail. We started looking at 26 footers but couldn't find the floor plan we liked so the 30 footers came into view. Is a 33footer that much harder to move around than a 26 footer? I know the longer the trailer the easier it is to back up but still...

Our tow rig is an 7.3 Excursion with airbags so we should be fine there. Thanks for all your help. Like I said, we have alot to learn and will be here absorbing all we can.
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Old 08-19-2010, 12:38 PM   #2
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Watch your wheel base, I can't remember what it is on an Excursion, around 140 inches. You will also need a good anti-sway hitch.

A quick rule of thumb is to multiply the overall trailer length by 5, and that is what the minimum wheel base (in inches) of the truck should be. Also, you can go by this chart:

110" 20' ******* 150" 30'
114" 21' ******* 154" 31'
118" 22' ******* 158" 32'
122" 23' ******* 162" 33'
126" 24' ******* 166" 34'
130" 25' ******* 170" 35'
134" 26' ******* 174" 36'
138" 27' ******* 178" 37'
142" 28' ******* 182" 38'
146" 29' ******* 186" 39'
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Old 08-19-2010, 12:49 PM   #3
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Checked some sites online and my wheelbase should be 137", I can measure when I get home. 33'x5=165" so I should be good, thanks. I think the Excusrion chassis is the same as an F250 extra cab short bed.
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Old 08-19-2010, 02:27 PM   #4
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Better check your math. 33 x 5 does equal 165, and the chart says that is the MINIMUM wheelbase, so that means you need at least 165 inch wheel base. If the Excursion is indeed 137, then you are few inches short for that length trailer. I'm not saying it won't do it, but you may get some sway issues, especially if the excursion has auto leveling and ride control.
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Old 08-19-2010, 02:38 PM   #5
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Lets get real .What bigger tv can you get? Excursion is more than adequate to pull a 33' trailer.
Get the bigger trailer as it will only be a matter of a short time you will be wanting to upgrade.
Speaking from experience 3 trailers in 4 yrs and we have exactly what we want now.
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Old 08-19-2010, 03:40 PM   #6
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Windrider is correct that the suggested minimum wheelbase for a 33 foot travel trailer should be 165". That chart and calculation that Windrider posted is a popular "suggested" travel trailer length to tow vehicle wheelbase ratio that is widely used on RV forums. Flagstaff lists that trailer as being 34' overall......1 of the longest bumper pull trailer that is offered by Flagstaff.

The longer wheel-based a tow vehicle is, the better. By the chart and calculation, you would need a full sized, crew cab, long bed pickup to tow a 34 footer. But.........and I don't say this lightly..........an Excursion is a beast of a tow vehicle, and may be able to safely tow a little longer trailer than the chart suggests, but we have no way of knowing how long. There should be some chart allowing for the wheel base ratio on heavier built vehicles, but there is none that I am aware of. Even though that is a heavy duty SUV, that long of a trailer is going to try to push your Excursion around on the road, especially during hard braking.

If the Excursion had an extra 3' of wheelbase, it would be the ideal tow vehicle for that camper. For me, even though it is a 3/4 ton SUV, the 137" wheelbase would be a concern, and I don't think I would do it.......that is JMHO.

Also, plug in the stats of your Excursion into the Ford Towing Guide (https://www.fleet.ford.com/showroom/...ng/default.asp) to make sure you are good to go as far as tow capacity. Some engine and final drive ratio combinations are rated as low as 6100 lbs. maximum towing capacity.
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Old 08-19-2010, 04:12 PM   #7
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Oops, my numbers were off, long day at work. My Excursion is rated for 11K lbs. The hitch is rated at 5K or 10K. I see what you're saying about a longer wheelbase but it's sure hard to believe this monster would have a problem.
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Old 08-19-2010, 04:55 PM   #8
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According to the weight police you will need either a stretch limo or a crew cab long box. Hog wash.
May as well get a 5th wheel if you go that route and a Kenworth to pull it.
I personnally towed a 29 foot tt with short wheelbase Tahoe and never once felt unsafe. Our friends pull a 28'tt with an Olds Bavada(Trailbazer) all over the country.
Perhaps if these people stayed close to the speed limit and never over 60 mph they would not have these concerns.
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Old 08-19-2010, 05:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dezolen View Post
Perhaps if these people stayed close to the speed limit and never over 60 mph they would not have these concerns.
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Old 08-19-2010, 08:27 PM   #10
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Welcome to the forum, locknload. If you buy nearly anything from Forest River there is probably someone here you can brag to or get help from if you need it.

Our trailer has the same exterior dimensions as the one you arre looking at, just over 34 feet if you don't count the spare tire hanging off the back. Ours is front kitchen.

We like ours. We bought it with free standing table and chairs which really opens up the interior. We ordered it from a trailer show demo so it's pretty loaded up.

Brickbats -- nothing real substantial. I've got a short in the front powered stabilizer, either I'll find it and fix it or the dealer will. The water heater by-pass valves are accessed through a cabinet under the kitchen sink, but, they boxed it in at the factory and I had to remove that to get at the valves. I can fix that too. One of the dust caps came off the axle by itself and I had to tap it back on. Stayed on ever since.

One thing you will notice with these large, but still 'lightweight' trailers is that they have a lot of flex in them. You will need wheel locks to help keep it stable when you are set up to camp. The front and rear stabilizers alone will not do it. We have to be very careful about leveling our trailer before we run the slides out. If we don't, the bathroom door won't latch shut.

Towing -- You should easily be able to tow the trailer you are looking at with an Excursion equipped with PS diesel. The last time we weighed our rig (mid July), the trailer had 7,150 pounds on the axles and the truck had 6870. That's hitched up with 43 American gallons of water in the various holding tanks. We've pulled it around 1,500 miles this summer, not in the mountains, but, we have pulled some fairly serious hills in Alberta foothills country.
The wheelbase chart that has been mentioned has been around for a long time. I'm going to suggest that the engineering improvements to suspension systems both of trailers and on trucks have rendered it a bit obsolete. Our truck has 143 inch wheelbase and we've had no troubles to date (touch wood), and I did spring for a Reese dual cam hitch. Similar weights between towing and towed vehicles may also help. I try to cruise at around 60 mph.
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