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Old 10-27-2016, 10:50 AM   #1
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AS Model Differences

We are currently wanting to purchase our first AS. We are long time RVers but have never owned an AS. (Currently own an HR diesel pusher motor coach.) We are actually looking for a bit of a project in the 25 to 31 foot range built in the late 1990's that we can use in addition to our motor coach. (We eventually plan on switching from the motorcoach to an AS trailer but I thought we would ease into it.) I understand some of the model names such as Flying Cloud, International, etc. I'm curious about how the various model stack up against each outher. I know that the Sport is currently the entry level 2017 rig followed by the FC and so on. But what about the rigs of the late 1990's. How do models such as Excella, Safari, International, Classic and such compare with one another? What are the significant differences? Any difference in exterior construction? Standard Feature differences?

Any info would really be appreciated.

Bruce
Clovis, CA
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Old 10-27-2016, 12:24 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blahargoue View Post
We are currently wanting to purchase our first AS. We are long time RVers but have never owned an AS. (Currently own an HR diesel pusher motor coach.) We are actually looking for a bit of a project in the 25 to 31 foot range built in the late 1990's that we can use in addition to our motor coach. (We eventually plan on switching from the motorcoach to an AS trailer but I thought we would ease into it.) I understand some of the model names such as Flying Cloud, International, etc. I'm curious about how the various model stack up against each outher. I know that the Sport is currently the entry level 2017 rig followed by the FC and so on. But what about the rigs of the late 1990's. How do models such as Excella, Safari, International, Classic and such compare with one another? What are the significant differences? Any difference in exterior construction? Standard Feature differences?

Any info would really be appreciated.

Bruce
Clovis, CA
Go to airstream. Com. They have a listing of all the models ever produced with layouts and specs. Click on service and then document archives.
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Old 10-27-2016, 07:34 PM   #3
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Airstream has a lot of "marketing" names for different design schemes. Car makers do the same thing with various models built on the same platform. I think it is best to pick your length first like you have done. Then pick what floor layout you might like, such as front bedroom or rear bedroom. Then do some study in the decor you might like.

I don't know exactly when, but I think it about year 2000 Airstream switched exterior aluminum coating process. The new coating is much more durable and may be worth it to you. I believe Airstream began dropping the OSB flooring and reverted back to plywood in the mid 2000s. We believe the plywood is better.

Other Forum members may have some additional information on significant design changes making certain years more or less desirable.

Our 86 is a "classic", "limited" all meaning it was fancier on the inside with more features, like a built in microwave and blender. It has solid hickory cabinetry which has held up very well for 30 years. It is an early OSB floor trailer which is not as good as plywood

I'd recommend looking for the top level trim options for the length trailer you want, for example the Classic. Then figure on a little redecorating to replace the worn stuff and suit your tastes.

By all means study Airstream.com for information and specifications.

David
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Old 10-27-2016, 08:14 PM   #4
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You may find this resource useful for earlier models (if you go earlier than 1990's):

http://vintageairstream.com/photo-archives/

Otherwise, as mentioned, the Airstream site has documentation of past models, here:

https://www.airstream.com/service/document-archive/
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Old 10-28-2016, 07:29 AM   #5
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Thanks. Those links should prove to be very helpful. After reading about all the ubfloor issues in the pre-2012 rigs, we might be wise to up our budget and buy a newer rig.

Bruce
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Old 10-28-2016, 09:07 AM   #6
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Greetings. I jumped into a used one shopping previously new and am happy. I have to say that after purchase and reading posts about issues I was always concerned about this or that I could not see to check so I started some basic renovations tearing out carpet in the trunk even though it was like new to check for rear floor rot, then covering the PLYWOOD with diamond plate (was told Safaris had pressed wood floors now know it had nothing to do with trim line but year as some have found OSB in their Internationals and other trims). Not satisfied I imagined a soft spot in the floor so I sliced open the vinyl to reveal all plywood nice and dry then covered the vinyl with a high end floor. My advice is to not be afraid of looking at used 10ish or perhaps older. 1980 and older have allclad aluminum skins which is like aluminum encasing a mixed metal core- after that 1981 or so, you just get the core per se. The older ones can be made to give a mirror finish. In an oversimplification the trim lines are pretty much the same with the interior the defining factor. Safaris are a hybrid of sorts. They are part what is now Flying Cloud (cabinetry), part Pre-2015 Classic (insulated vinyl padded ceiling and acoustic carpeted walls), and Sport with the RV windows. The only other biggie I heard was the frames of all models in the seventies were compromised for building cost but can also be repaired and some late models have frames that are actually below weight spec- 6000# frame for a model that can gross 6800#. There are really more similarities than differences in trim lines. Pick your floor plan. I had quite a bit of external filliform corrosion that I have dealt with but for all mentioned, these things happen to new ones too. There are ways to check gross loaded trailer capacity and frame rating. You will commonly find 25' models gross at 7300 with a 7000# frame. The Safari 25 gross is 7000 with a frame rated the same but check, there were some that is not the case. The vintage ones are great too it depends on the degree of project you want
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Old 10-29-2016, 06:49 AM   #7
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Thank you Rod. Your post verifies what I'm discovering. Safari seems to be a lighter weight model that lacks some belt line moldings and often has smaller tanks. That is not what I'm interested in since the towing capacity of my GMC HD isn't an issue. Room is an issue. I like the floor plan of the larger rigs with the couch across the front along with some floor space along the street side wall. We like to crate one of our dogs while away from the rig (keeps her from getting into trouble.) We have decided on twin beds too. I don't have an issue with interior refreshing but I really don't want to get into exterior Plasticoat issues. So in other words, I'm probably like most folks so the available rigs on the market are limited in number. If anybody hears of one, especially west of the Rockies, please let me know!

Thanks again, folks

Bruce
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Old 10-30-2016, 05:06 PM   #8
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I would love to take on a project AS and probably will when I retire. For now we decided on a new 2017 28 Serenity International. We got a decent deal 20% of MSRP on a fully option trailer. I plan on spending a huge amount of time traveling the country and then passing it to one of our children to enjoy. No matter which AS you decide on, they are timeless and special.
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