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Old 12-31-2009, 01:28 PM   #1
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Why the extra weight - 2007 Classic?

A look at the specifications for each model shows that the Classic Limited is approximately 1000 pounds heavier than other Airstreams of the same length.

I'm having difficulty imaging why. That's about 35 pounds per foot of length, and I can't imagine the cabinetry and furniture weighing that much more than it does in other models. Anyone know?
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Old 12-31-2009, 01:46 PM   #2
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Hi Jammer. There are several reasons for this. Solid wood faced cabinets is one. Though thinner than what you'd see at home, the countertops are corian - a heavy material. The fridge & A/C are probably larger capacity than in Safari/Flying Cloud lines. Do classics have 10 gal HW heaters? Classics for sure have a spare tire and until the last 3 years spares were not standard in the Safari (became standard 2nd year of SE line IIRC). 40 gallon tanks have also made it through the entire >25' Airstream line in the last 4-5 years. So it depends on what period you are seeing, how accurate the data might be, etc.

A little here, a little there - it adds up. I've long heard talk of this 1000# weight difference but this tends to apply mostly to the longer length models. Like anything, your results may vary....

Are you looking at Airstream's weights for multiple years or just the current models?
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Old 12-31-2009, 03:03 PM   #3
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What Canoe said, plus UPHOLSTERY - the cushions are thicker and more contoured, many have leather like upholstery... and the windows have wooden valences, PLUS blinds PLUS heavily pleated curtains - 4 times the fabric of a Flying Cloud or International. PLUS carpet - most still have quite a bit of carpet, plus those FUGLY expensive hand oiled bronze faucets... Oh, and don't forget the headliners - the whole interior minus the kitchen backsplash is covered in a vinyl headliner, that's much heavier than the "mouse fur" used in some Flying Clouds.

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Old 12-31-2009, 03:45 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. Foiled Again, we are of course all entitled to our tastes and I note from several other threads that you are not enamored of the Classic. Something about the window treatments being evocative of a hearse, IIRC. Regardless, thank you for your insights. I'm still having trouble imagining the interior treatments amounting to so much weight, but perhaps I merely lack imagination.

I wonder how the CCD and the Classic will look to us 20 years hence, both in terms of the physical endurance of the materials used and in the degree to which the design becomes either timeless or dated. I really do like the design of the CCD, but laminate does not age gracefully and is not amenable to refinishing or restoration to the same degree that hickory and Corian are.
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Old 12-31-2009, 04:21 PM   #5
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I think partical board weighs more than solid wood.
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Old 12-31-2009, 04:35 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
A look at the specifications for each model shows that the Classic Limited is approximately 1000 pounds heavier than other Airstreams of the same length.
hi jammer

pick a specific year and length and we can discuss it.

for example 2010s in 27ft FB are ~700 lbs different classic vs cloud.

while that same classic has a GREATER carry capacity/payload than the cloud and MORE features built into it...

1. classics have the FULL AWNING package standard. for example mine has 5 awnings, cloud has the patio awning standard.

the OTHER awnings can be ordered on the other lines but as an accessory so that won't show in the base weights.

2. many classics have electric jacks front/rear again this adds some mass.

3. classics have a slightly different frame, more beef.

4. classics have MORE exterior storage bays, for example the rear bumper drawer.

5. while d/c for this coming year, classics have disc brakes the last 5 years.

6. classics have higher rated axles, combined with the frame yields GREATER carry capacity

7. only a 6 gallon water heater but typically they have larger holding tanks, for example mine is 38 for gray/black each, and 60 fresh.

8. full framed windows for the classics and ccds vs hehr on the base cloud.

upgraded clouds have full frame windows but as an option package this MAY not be included in base weighs.

9. classic window treatments include double blinds AND curtains and are have boxed valences above AND below.

10. the corian does NOT add more weight than the glued laminate counters, nor does the solid wood doors vs glued particle board...

11.a. but there is MORE cabinetry and framing for those cabinets which does add some weight.

for example solid wood panty interior shelves on the classic vs ikea like metal grating on the clouds.

and there is MORE storage cabinets inside a classic vs cloud and the INTERIORS of the cabinets are FINISHED in wood.

while the clouds are UNfinished inside the overheads, and the ccd models have acrylic or light perf metal sliders over head.

11.b. MORE tables in the classics, mine has 3 tables that approximate 3 times the table surface of the clouds.

12. fridge size? mine has 10 cf fridge while smaller is standard on the lesser lines.

13.dinette has METAL framed, spring steel seat cushion supports, very comfortable AND wooden storage drawers underneath.

14. mattress isn't FOAM on the classics, but rather an INNER steel coil spring mattress, thicker and more comfortable.

15. often MORE light fixtures in the classics.

for example mine has 12 fluorescent ceiling boxes, along with the variety of hi intensity recessed fixtures AND 4 wall mounted fixtures

AND a chandelier...

16. double sinks in the galley and a MUCH LARGER sink in the lav. mine has porcelain/steel kitchen sinks and a SOLID ceramic bowl in the lav.

17. LARGER shower stall in the classics (fiberglass is heavy) and a SOLID shower door (not an accordion slider) and porcelain crapper.

18. EVERY interior wall surface in the classics is COVERED with something....

foam/vinly ceilings, mouse fur wall and flooring of some sort (mine is ALL vinyl with NO carpet)

19. 2 zipdee lawn chairs standard in the classics.

20. often there are MORE WINDOWS in the classics, for example mine has 18 metal framed windows.

21. mirrors...mine had 12+ beveled mirrors (part of the french whore house edition) before i removed them...

AND full length sliding mirrors on 2 closets doors (~5ft x 4ft of mirrored glass)
______________

what most people fail to realize is that the classic line has historically contained a LOT of extra features or LARGER bits.

the simple fact is the classics are MORE EXPENSIVE for a/s to produce,

which is WHY they have moved to DEcontented lines and less expensive styling.

more buyers are simply UNaware of these issues and make purchase decisions based on trendy facades.

have u noticed there is now a 30 ft cloud? big trailers will be built again but with LESS features and LESSER quality materials...

for example the 34 ft pan/am model isn't a classic, with a large part of the interior finished like a storage shed...

it doesn't have the full awning package and much of the interior bits are simply cheap stuff with little man hours involved in the parts.
____________

so again IF you mention a specific year/length/model we can compare bits to bits...


cheers
2air'
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Old 12-31-2009, 05:10 PM   #7
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also LARGER front segment protectors (extend UNDER the front)

and MORE exterior trim (beltline trim)

given time, i can think of other things added to the classics.

mine, for example has TALLER lp tanks (40 lb of lp each)

the tongue jack is a different model on the classics too.

cheers
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:18 PM   #8
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2air, thank you for your extremely insightful reply. To answer your question, I am looking at the 2009 specs for the CCD and classic on the Airstream corporate web site.

I'm in the market for a new trailer and am trying to decide between these two rigs, and your post has helped a great deal.
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Old 12-31-2009, 11:06 PM   #9
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ok jammer

so u must be comparing 27 fb models?

again about 700 lbs difference but look how MUCH MORE carry capacity the classic has per specs...

nearly 1000 lbs more carry capacity.

while the ccds do come with the full frame windows they lack the extra awnings or 3 window treatments inside.

and the interior IS lighter because there is so much LESS of it.

scan the photos and 360 view on the company website.

look at the dinette pictures, as an example in these 2 units.

see the storage UNDER the dinette in the classic vs open space under the ccd?

also look at the overhead lockers and how they are different, and so on.

PULL a drawer out of the classic and compare the drawer/gliders and pull, to the ccd version.

hidden cabinet framing on the classic is SOLID wood or plywood, while particle board is used on the ccd.

it is somewhat like ikea vs ethan allen at the rv level.

the classic mattress is much heavier as are the cushions and sofa in the classic.

entry steps are machined aluminum on the classic vs stamped steel on the ccd.

classic sofa is steel framed, with a VERY COMFORTABLE bed in the open position.

the sofa actually makes into a LONGER bed than the rv queen mattress which is just a foam slab in the ccd.

the classics have 2 grp 27 batteries built into the shell wall (they stay warmer) while the battery box houses the disc brake reservoir.

the ccd has 2 batteries but they may be group 24s (i cannot confirm this from memory) and they are out on the tongue.

larger lp tanks, electric stablizers and so on...
___________

i'm not a huge fan of the classic styling but there is a LOT more substance to a classic than the ccd.

this may not matter for an occasional weekend of camping, but high capacity, long trip users can appreciate the differences.

and with 3 children the classic styling will stand up better to use/abuse and repair.

with the ccd U are paying for the styling cues and designers initials.

many actually LIKE the ccd look inside and argue that LESS is more in terms of interior bits.

i think the classic materials are MORE durable and MORE repairable inside and there is MORE storage bays in a classic.

as an example, any of the hickory wood surfaces or corian can be sanded and refinished to new.

u can't do that with formica or acrylic panels.
___________

also keep in mind the a/s published weights are ONLY ESTIMATES and do not include ANY options...

while the gvwr is fixed as published.

so options REDUCE that carry capacity from the published figures.

adding option to the ccd (like the awnings) will greatly cut into the payload.

have fun shopping and try on several for feel/space/fit and utility.

cheers
2air'
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Old 01-01-2010, 12:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
Thanks for the replies. Foiled Again, we are of course all entitled to our tastes and I note from several other threads that you are not enamored of the Classic. Something about the window treatments being evocative of a hearse, IIRC. Regardless, thank you for your insights. I'm still having trouble imagining the interior treatments amounting to so much weight, but perhaps I merely lack imagination.

I wonder how the CCD and the Classic will look to us 20 years hence, both in terms of the physical endurance of the materials used and in the degree to which the design becomes either timeless or dated. I really do like the design of the CCD, but laminate does not age gracefully and is not amenable to refinishing or restoration to the same degree that hickory and Corian are.
Jam... sorry if I wax too strongly about my preference for the CCD. Your points are all valid. With our penchant for redecorating, everything looks dated 5 years after it's built... Houses included, not just Airstreams. There are some real advantages to both wood and to laminates (I spilled oatmeal all down my kitchen drawer fronts this AM... so at the moment I like the easy cleanup of laminate.) In homes, I prefer corian to granite - simply because you CAN fix a chip or burn, and it doesn't turn a dropped glass into shards of shrapnel! Laminate is an easy, cheap to replace thing too. To each his own. I must admit that the new "Serenity" International has me drooling, and yet... is that "burnt orange" as an accent color? Shades of the late sixtys and early seventies strikes again? There's nothing new under the sun is there? (When was the last time you said "groovy" out loud?)

I'd fly my freak flag if I could remember where it was.

Paula
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Old 01-01-2010, 06:28 AM   #11
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After a few years:Compare, the MB/Jag,to a Bk/Cad.Same principal. They will all drive from point A to point B. However. The quality difference will start to show.(paint/interior etc). I am considering only the classic interior. Not ext, ie, spider webs,cor, bad caulking etc I have not had any of these issues.Mel
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Old 01-01-2010, 08:02 AM   #12
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2air, yes, it was the 27FB floorplans that provided the most direct comparison, though the 30' is the floorplan I prefer. Another reason to look at the Classic. I know there are still some 34's out there but towing options become much more limited at those sorts of weights and I want to have the alternative of towing with a van.

In a perfect world perhaps we would have the alternative of Classic quality with a more contemporary interior design. Design should be functional and the minimalist approach does not make the most effective use of limited space.

I did realize that the GVWR was increased to compensate for the higher empty weight. Affects choices in TV though with a 10,000 gvw trailer being effectively in pickup/van only territory while the 27' ccd could conceivably be towed by some suvs.
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Old 01-01-2010, 08:18 AM   #13
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2air, yes, it was the 27FB floorplans that provided the most direct comparison, though the 30' is the floorplan I prefer. Another reason to look at the Classic. I know there are still some 34's out there but towing options become much more limited at those sorts of weights and I want to have the alternative of towing with a van.

In a perfect world perhaps we would have the alternative of Classic quality with a more contemporary interior design. Design should be functional and the minimalist approach does not make the most effective use of limited space.

I did realize that the GVWR was increased to compensate for the higher empty weight. Affects choices in TV though with a 10,000 gvw trailer being effectively in pickup/van only territory while the 27' ccd could conceivably be towed by some suvs.
As long as your spouse is a minimalist, carrying capacity may not be an issue. Mine is not, so I need all the extra space of a Classic to carry her clothes, shoes, etc. needed for a long trip.
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:21 AM   #14
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...In a perfect world perhaps we would have the alternative of Classic quality with a more contemporary interior design...
yes i agree.

it's not so much the quality issue and some will argue that modern composites are better than solid wood...

the REAL ISSUE is the VALUE added by all the little differences that make the classics more livable.

i like contemporary looks and minimalist surface treatments, but want and NEED the hidden features that have been packed into the classics.

unfortunately a/s is moving away from content and engineering INTENDED for real travelers...

and toward something else.

almost no one notices DEcontenting or less useful parts, which is why vehicle manufactures do it and get away with it.
______________

with a family of 5 shopping NEWER streams, solve the trailer question first, IF you plan to use it much.

then work out the towing needs to match.

all choices are compromises at some level (price, size, space, parking, maintenance, mpg) but put the family 'cabin space' first.

and a e250-350 or 25-3500 full size van can handle a modern 34 or anything smaller.

with 5 people and the bikes/toys gear, a full size van is a good choice IF you don't want a crew cab/long bed truck.

of course driving a full size van everyday has issues but, as a dedicated tow vehicle they work great.

jcanavera pulls a 30/slide with a 3/4 ton van and likes that combo a lot.

many others here have gone the full size van route too.
_____________

while the classic sofa (30, 31, 34) and dinette will easily sleep 3 kids,

the issue is once THEY are down the ADULTS are limited to using the bedroom half of the trailer.

that's fine IF u like going to bed at 9 pm.

so a better approach is to look for a rear twin bed model or convert the rear queen bed to twins (one could be a narrow double).

make the bedroom a KIDS ROOM, then put the kids to bed in the BACK and shut the door.

mom/dad then have full use of the lounge, galley, tele, lav, while the sofa really does make a very comfortable adult bed
____________

a/s really isn't building FULL SIZE trailers for families anymore.

if they were, there would be several DOUBLE DOOR models...

like EVERY OTHER RV MAKER on the planet offers.

2 doors greatly improves the USE and access to interior spaces.

but providing THAT genuine VALUE feature would require a/s to ENGINEER the change.

instead they will produce a new color scheme and pretend it's a great new model or upgrade.

cheers
2air'
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