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Old 06-06-2008, 07:52 PM   #1
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The Cloud Flies Again

When at the factory for the tour a couple of days ago, I saw a bunch of '09's with the name Flying Cloud on them. The shells were being outfitted with furniture, etc., and I had little time to really look them over. They are retiring "Classic" and replacing with "Flying Cloud". I didn't really see anything particularly different, but only had a minute or so to look. I believe I heard Don say the furniture will be hickory rather than oak, not because of a design change, but because they could get hickory and not oak.

Looking at the Flying Cloud section on the Forum I see the originals were produced from 1950 to 1963. The Classic seems to go back to 2002 and was preceded by the various versions of the Excella name.

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Old 06-06-2008, 08:32 PM   #2
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This is different than what I understood. I thought the Safari name was being retired and Flying Cloud was being re-instated.

You're saying the Flying Cloud is replacing the Classic line?

Perhaps a dealer (Gene?) could clarify this.
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Old 06-06-2008, 08:38 PM   #3
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The Flying Cloud replaces the Safari SE. Lots of coverage of that on here already.
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Old 06-06-2008, 09:33 PM   #4
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It has been done before, as in the Chevy Malibu, Ford 500, Chrysler 300, Volkswagen Beetle...
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Old 06-06-2008, 09:45 PM   #5
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Don, the tour guy, told me the Classic name was being retired for the Flying Cloud. A couple of other people heard him say it too. It's hard to tell (for me, anyway) just what the trailers are when there's not much more than a shell and that's the only ones I saw.

I didn't see anything on the Forum about it and didn't use the search function because it doesn't usually work. So, now I tried it and it did work!

No matter what it replaces, it seems like a marketing ploy to me, and a product of small minds who don't want to fix the things that really need fixing. But all that's been said on the other threads. I didn't believe other things Don the tour guy said (such as "no one has ever mentioned corrosion to me on a tour"), so why should I have believed anything else he said?

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Old 06-06-2008, 11:52 PM   #6
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The Classic line goes back to the early 90's, if I'm not mistaken.
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Old 06-07-2008, 06:30 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
When at the factory... I believe I heard Don say the furniture will be hickory rather than oak, not because of a design change, but because they could get hickory and not oak.


Gene
That would have to be a design choice. Oak is the most common wood out there. Hickory is much more scarce and more expensive. It also has a figure and tone that would not appeal to as many customers, for it has light and dark tones causing a rustic look. Is it possible they are using ash? Ash is very light in color and has a uniform grain, and is often used as a substitute for oak. I think ash would appeal to almost everyone. It is however more expensive to purchase and I doubt Thor is allowing any cost increases.
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Old 06-07-2008, 10:21 AM   #8
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That would have to be a design choice. Oak is the most common wood out there. Hickory is much more scarce and more expensive. It also has a figure and tone that would not appeal to as many customers, for it has light and dark tones causing a rustic look. Is it possible they are using ash? Ash is very light in color and has a uniform grain, and is often used as a substitute for oak. I think ash would appeal to almost everyone. It is however more expensive to purchase and I doubt Thor is allowing any cost increases.
I didn't really look at any cabinets. Ash can be hard to distinguish from Oak, but has a less open grain. I have an Eastlake 1870's dining room table and it's one of the most amazing pieces of furniture I've seen (paid a couple of hundred for it in 1970 and had to eventually take apart and rebuild). It's really heavy too. So far, Don hasn't gotten much right.

So far, if the other threads are correct, and I'm sure they are, my '08 Safari SE would now be a Flying Cloud, which either cheapens resale on my Safari, or increases it because of the big MSRP increases. I guess they're figuring the higher the price, the less they are affected by the recession. The problem is with poor QC, that doesn't always work as a marketing plan. Production is down 36% this year if Don was right.

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Old 06-07-2008, 12:32 PM   #9
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well there is a little model mixing confusion here but confusion is good right!

there have been other infamous mistaken bits of info attributed to the tour...

-the "better insulation issue" (myth) on classics and slide units when they first appeared.

-the axle vendor change

-the change in subfloor insulation

-use of led lighting

-disc brakes and which models get them

-production statistics

-flooring

-is the interior aluminum skin the same as exterior skin

-holding tank plumbing

-wheels balanced yes/no...

-how q/c is done (or not done)

-and so on.

like the trailers, the tour is a 'one off' every time,

so fit and finish varies from day2day and some days NEITHER fit or finish are present...

and old guys get confused or don't hear the question or forget or whatever.

WOODS

...focusing only on the more recent builds (the last 25 years)

the interior wood issue has nothing to the do with the internationals, ccds, safaris, new flying clouds, euro units...

it's a classic line issue (who knows perhaps they'll rebrand the classics as sotr again...)

because ALL of those other models have laminates of some flavor...

the classic line did OAK for 20 years... it's been played out.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/483931-post5.html

for many years they had hickory as an "upgrade" in the limited trim package, which was a 5-7,000$ add-on grouping...

hickory does look unique inside--see pics below or the other dozen i've posted elsewhere

but is a VERY COMMON WOOD in ohio/kentucky/tennessee, there have been long debates here about the cost issue too...

MOST charcoal brick-ettes are hickory right?

http://www.airforums.com/forums/199648-post8.html

since 07 all the classics carry the 'limited' tag and are done in hickory...

so oak was discontinued, the classic models ALL currently come with hickory interiors...

but NOT with all the other bitsnpieces that used to be part of the limited package, which we paid extra for...

even though all the classic models are labeled as limited now, "limited" is the base (only) classic trim level...

confused? well it's pretty simple but still it is confusing too.

there were rumors about a new "upgraded" classic trim that would be a level higher than the base model "limiteds"...

with cherry or some other wood a level UP from hickory...

but the pan-am toy dragger doesn't suggest this has happened and the rumors have faded about other wood trims....

so like the tour info and like the name changes, CONFUSION is part of the unique and hand crafted nature,

back at the buggy factory.

cheers
2air'
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Old 06-07-2008, 01:38 PM   #10
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Factory Tour

We too just took the tour this past week, Tuesday. I didn't see any oak going into the trailers I saw. It was hickory.

Also if I understood Don correctly, he said the Flying Cloud is the new name for the Classic. Also if I understood him, the new Ocean Breeze interior will NOT be an option for the 34'.

I really like the Ocean Breeze interior, especially the interior effect portrayed by the aluminum skin on the inside.

The port hole door to in the bath room looked cool too.

I'm not sure how they can do much better with the QC as everything is made by hand. Two people required to rivet on average 1400 of them on each trailer.

I understand that they could use a better sealant method between each sheet but then I was just a casual observer who knows nothing about riveting two pieces of metal together.

I'm still very happy with our used 2000 purchase and now realize that it did come with most options that were available at the time, especially with awnings on all the windows.
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Old 06-07-2008, 01:52 PM   #11
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Megaconfusion

If the FC replaces the Safari SE and if it has oak, hickory, ash or cherry, that would make it somewhat heavier than now. We bought the SE because it was substantially lighter and could be towed by a 1/2 ton but the 25' (and longer) had a queen bed and an aluminum interior. But, the pix on the other threads show the same cabinets as our '08 SE, so Don the tour guy must have been talking about some other model line.

As I recall, the SE's pretty much an International CCD for less money and some things we didn't need. So will the CCD disappear? Is the FC actually replacing the CCD and the Safari SE is gone? That could account for the steep price increase reported elsewhere.

I agree with 2air it's all very confusing. Don the tour guy seems to be the most confused of all, though I'm pretty close behind. Maybe Don's confused because management is confused and doesn't know what's it's doing and what is being eliminated. We saw FC's on the production line, but I have no idea what else, if anything else, we saw.

I did note that the jack wire and umbilical are in the same place. I asked Don about that and he said his trailer has the same problem. I asked why that isn't corrected and he had no answer.

2air, glad to see you haven't been blown away or flooded. Our drive from eastern Indiana to Colorado on I-70 on Wednesday and Thursday featured warnings for tornados, floods and severe thunderstorms much of the way. We beat a tornado that crossed 70 east of Quinter by 10 minutes. We've seen floods on CNN and MSNBC in places we drove through. We were sure glad we weren't towing anything and could drive really fast. While all this was going on, it was snowing in the Colorado mountains. It was a "long, strange trip".

Gene
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Old 06-07-2008, 02:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpandorf View Post
We too just took the tour this past week, Tuesday. I didn't see any oak going into the trailers I saw. It was hickory.

Also if I understood Don correctly, he said the Flying Cloud is the new name for the Classic. Also if I understood him, the new Ocean Breeze interior will NOT be an option for the 34'.

I really like the Ocean Breeze interior, especially the interior effect portrayed by the aluminum skin on the inside.

The port hole door to in the bath room looked cool too.
Duane, I probably was talking to you during the tour. Glad you heard the same things I heard. One thing we didn't like, again if I remember correctly, was the Ocean Breeze had sliders for the cabinets and they're are easy to catch your finger in and pinch it. I know, I tried one at the dealer and did pinch my finger. Missed the porthole, sounds cool to me too.

Gene
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Old 06-07-2008, 02:40 PM   #13
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I don't remember Don sayin anything about the Flying Cloud when we were there in April but he did show us a just finished 30 fter that was all Hickory interior. It was gorgeous.
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Old 06-07-2008, 04:21 PM   #14
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Duane, I probably was talking to you during the tour. Glad you heard the same things I heard. One thing we didn't like, again if I remember correctly, was the Ocean Breeze had sliders for the cabinets and they're are easy to catch your finger in and pinch it. I know, I tried one at the dealer and did pinch my finger. Missed the porthole, sounds cool to me too.

Gene
Hi Gene, we were there on Tuesday. My wife and I and the two boys. We were having our trailer serviced and parked two nights at the Tera Port.
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