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Old 07-16-2017, 06:26 PM   #1
macminn18
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Passport Ultralight front end question

Purchased a used 2011 Keystone Passport Ultralight. We took it on our inaugural trip this weekend. My question is regarding the front of the travel trailer. It's the rounded type front. When we were traveling at highway speeds the front pushed in, you could see the cross support members. Is this normal? I took a picture when we got to the campsite with me pushing on it. Just wondering if this is normal, or there may have been some water damage there.
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:49 AM   #2
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I've owned 2 Passport. 2011 and now a 2015. I've never experienced anything like that. Are you getting a strong force off your TV?


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Old 07-17-2017, 04:11 AM   #3
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I've owned my Passport for over a year now and have been on almost 20 camping trips and haven't experienced this. Is the entire front doing this or just a certain area?
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Old 07-17-2017, 04:13 AM   #4
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Pretty much the width of the front end. Had replies 9n other forums saying it's normal, ultralight walls can do that
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Old 07-17-2017, 04:46 AM   #5
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I have this same issue on our 2013 Cougar 24RKSWE. Called Keystone and was told that the front and rear Filon were just hung on and not bonded like the side walls. Just came off a 9000km trip and no permanent damage although it looked odd with the wind pushing the Filon against the frame members. Experienced some very strong headwinds across the prairies.
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Old 07-17-2017, 04:53 AM   #6
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I guess that makes since. The front end is exposed to a lot wind and elements. Probably should be able to flex and roll with the punches. Good to know. I would still just do a quick inspection for any water intrusion around the roof seams or side seams. Should be okay though from what it sounds like.
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Old 07-17-2017, 05:14 AM   #7
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We had a Holiday Rambler travel trailer several years ago. It was essentially a "flat front" trailer. Fuel mileage was terrible until I put a "wedge shaped" cap on the truck. That cap not only covered the contents in the bed, it also redirected the airflow up and over the trailer. Fuel mileage increased almost 2MPG.

Your trailer is an "ultra-light" model. That means that the manufacturer has removed as much "bulk and weight" as possible from the trailer to make it towable by smaller vehicles. Typically one of the first weight cutting measures is to remove the luan backing from the FILON. It helps to "strengthen the rigidity" of the FILON, but adds significant weight. Removing the luan will cause the FILON to be much more flexible.

If you look at the airflow in these pictures, you can see "why" the air flowing over your tow vehicle pushes against the front of your trailer causing it to "cave in". It isn't a significant problem but if you don't like the looks of it, you can test different "rooftop additions" that might alter the airflow. One simple addition could be adding a cargo bag to the rooftop rack (if you're towing with a SUV) or a taller cap if you're towing with a pickup truck.

There are several "air dams" available that mount on the roof of the tow vehicle. Some of them are effective, some just add weight and don't do much for aerodynamics. They were very popular about 20 years ago when fuel prices were higher and people were looking for any means to reduce the cost of towing. Today, they aren't as popular, but are still available.

Your solution may be simple, or you may find that you have to go to "extreme measures" to redirect the airflow. On the other hand, you may find that it's just not worth the effort. It's pretty much your choice, but what you see is fairly common on ultra-light trailers with "floating" FILON caps.
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Old 07-17-2017, 05:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRTJH View Post
Fuel mileage increased almost 2MPG.
At those numbers it should pay it's self off rather quickly I would think. What manufacturer was that from and do you have any photo's from when you had it ? Thanks ahead of time.
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Old 07-17-2017, 06:29 AM   #9
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Don't have an issue with my 2016 and didn't have the issue with my 2014. I can manually push it in but it bounces back.


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Old 07-17-2017, 06:45 AM   #10
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I'm sure that somewhere I've got pictures stashed away in an album. That was back before the advent of digital cameras and before everyone packed around a phone with a camera in it. LOL

Here is a photo of a Leer truck cap that is very similar to what we had. As you can see, it "pushes" the air up and over the trailer front rather than directing it against the trailer front.
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:06 PM   #11
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^^^^^ That's more than sufficient. Here on the west coast a cap can mean bed cover as well and that's where set in. Thanks
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