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Old 09-02-2009, 01:00 AM   #1
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South Delta-Ladner , British Columbia
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Please help!!

Hey everyone, great to be here! Been watchhing many threads over the last few months and am now more confused now than ever.

I have my heart set on an AS but am having a very difficult time deciding which model to go with. Finally convinced my wife after 15 years to break free from the 5 stars!! No Boondocking with her around....guarnteed. With a family of four (2 children, 5-10) it has been suggeted by half of the dealers I have spoken with that the best, functional floor plan would be a 28" International or Flying Cloud, the others say 31-34 Classic. I don't know how much they are trying to influence based on their inventory though. One saleman even said that because I am 40, should stick with the International, the Classic is for an older crowd because of the Hickory cabinetry??? It's difficult to see them in person as there are no dealers within 8 hrs of me. Hence my question...what is your opinion based on feedback/experience? Depreciation, quality, design, etc. New or used if you were to do it over again?

Also, living up here in Vancouver a major issue arises, corrosion. I understand some owners are so upset they suggest never buying a unit and are even considering a class action law suit. Read so much on this topic I almost decided to stick with a Newmar 5th Wheel. Almost only though

Not alot of AS in Canada for some strange reason, anyone know of a group here in the Lower Mainland or even BC for that matter?

Thanks
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Old 09-02-2009, 01:26 AM   #2
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2008 31' Classic
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We were fortunate enough to find a dealer who had about every model made on his lot. The 31 Classic Limited is the trailer we chose for us. Over the past couple of decades, we had done the pop-up and lower end trailers while camping with the kids. Pretty much so because that is all we could afford. Our new AS is going to take us well into retirement which is only about 3 years away. I do have to say the Classic Limited is waaaay beyond what we were accustomed to. During our first couple of outings, my wife and I would often comment on the high quality of workmanship and materials. I think if we still had kids at home we probably would have gone with the International model. But since it will mostly be just the two of us, we decided to go all out. I would not settle on a model until you have had the chance to see all of them. Might have to make that 8 hour trip!!!........ steve
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Old 09-02-2009, 01:41 AM   #3
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Hi, our choice was a 25' Safari. If we were to buy another Airstream it would still be a 25'er. The Classic, at that time, had the exact same floor plan as ours, but weighed 1000 lbs more and cost $15,000.00 more. We really liked the Classic, but economically it wasn't for us. Aluminum corrodes and that is a fact of life. [my trailer has a few little spots] If ours gets looking too bad we will use it as is or have it custom painted. We bought it for our use and not for impressing any one. Do not buy anything until you have actually seen it, touched it, and been inside of it. Never let a sales person tell you what to buy, unless they are paying for it.
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Old 09-02-2009, 02:30 AM   #4
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CdnATP, welcome to the forums! There is a very active WBCCI group in BC - just a couple of weeks ago, there was a rally at Hazlemere RV park. A friendly bunch who just love to welcome visitors & new members.
Visiting with other 'streamers who will gladly show off their rigs is one of the best ways to figure out what will work for you, as well as learning about other's experiences with AS. Sitting in a trailer, checking out the beds, & experiencing the layout, i.e. seeing how people move around in confined spaces, will give you an idea of functionality that is missing from a dealer's showroom.
Traveland RV in Langely carries a few AS models, such as the Safari & International. Great American RV in Fife, about 130 miles south of the border, also is an AS dealer. Sutton RV in Eugene (yes, about 8 hours away from you) probably has a greater "on-site" array of models than either of the aforementioned dealers.
As far as corrosion, yes, aluminum corrodes, especially if the clear coat is chipped or compromised. Aluminum in the lower mainland is not any more or less prone to corrosion than any other spot in the country. Fiberglass gelcoat deteriorates over time as it oxidizes & crazes, so that Newmar would also have a "skin" problem over time.
With the 2 kids, look for comfortable sleeping accomodations for all & keep in mind that the kids do grow in size!
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Old 09-02-2009, 06:06 AM   #5
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ont , Ontario
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CdnATP, it's not difficult to import a used trailer from the US so definitely don't be afraid to look south for more options. Also, prices tend to be lower than in Canada!

The hickory cabinets comment is hilarious!! haha. we love our 34 foot (family of 3) - kid can sleep in the back bedroom while we hang out up front. Lots of extra room, so of course we think about going smaller or...my solution...have two trailers!
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Old 09-02-2009, 06:24 AM   #6
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Cloudland , Georgia
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We just bought a new 28' Flying Cloud and just love it. We did have a 23' Sleep Six and liked everything about it but the corner bed/bath. We wanted the rear queen bed and separate bath. This part of the 28' is great. The downside is less room in the living room area. We find ourselves doing a dance to get around in the kitchen and down the hall. It is just me and my wife so it is not that bad and it is worth it to us for the bed. I'm not sure about having kids along, though. Another disadvantage (at least for me) is the L sofa. The foam cushions are just not that comfortable compared to a sofa. I am considering having new cushions made with a little thicker, more dense foam.

We looked at the Classics hard before we made our purchase. They are very nice, but the additional weight and expense influenced our decision. Over all we do really like our 28' Flying Cloud.
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Old 09-02-2009, 07:24 AM   #7
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Our Choice

CDNATPWelcome to the group from a fellow Canuck.

We had a 25 Safari Six Sleeper for 5 years before moving up to the 28 International. We loved the Safari except for the aforementioned corner bed/bathroom. The International has plenty of room.

One consideration for the International is ease of maintenance. With young children things tend to get spilt. If you have a safari or classic they tend to have that 'mouse fur' on the walls which stains very easily (try and get out apple cider!) The International with its aluminium walls is a snap to wipe down.

Be
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Old 09-02-2009, 09:39 AM   #8
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I typed 23' by mistake, it was a 25' SS that we had previously. Again, we enjoyed it a lot. The bed/bath was the only drawback. I concur with kamadeca that the aluminum interior on the Flying Cloud is much easier to clean.
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Old 09-02-2009, 12:22 PM   #9
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28' International

We went through the same thing a couple of years ago when we bought our 28' International. The major considerations were that it has a queen bed; the layout is great, it is light enough to be towed by our Suburban; the front seating is "L" shaped. We do really like the 30' Classic, but that would have change our tow vehicle requirements to a truck, which we don't want. And it is a heck of a lot more expensive.

To us the only real negaive is that the sofa is downright uncomfortable. We have not yet come up with a solution other than to tear the whole thing out. At the end of this season, we are also going to look into having custom cushion work done. The front sofa in the 30" Classic is outstanding by the way. Jack
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Old 09-02-2009, 01:59 PM   #10
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Ditto the uncomfortable sofa - we are thinking of thicker or denser foam cushions, or and additional layer of foam under the factory cushions.

Another thought is some type of webbing instead of the plywood base, but that would eliminate the bed option on the sofa.

We're thrilled with the 28!
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Old 09-02-2009, 02:11 PM   #11
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ont , Ontario
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for comparison, the couch on our 1998 34' classic limited is amazingly comfortable, both for sitting and sleeping! maybe they put extra padding in the limiteds? do they still make limiteds?
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Old 09-03-2009, 12:21 AM   #12
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South Delta-Ladner , British Columbia
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Thanks for the replys. Leaning toward the 09 34' Classic Limited. T.V is a 09 2500 Chev Z71 Duramax so climbing these mountains around here should be a snap. Because of the size do I need that Hedley Stabilizer? Also, for those of you with a 34 footer, any problems finding sites? Thanks again
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Old 09-03-2009, 01:21 AM   #13
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I can't speak for lots of places, but I'm full timing in a RV Park in northern California. I'm in a 70' space. There's lots 70' spaces here and compared to some of the coaches I see come through here pulling all kinds of vehicles, it doesn't seem as if I'd have trouble with the 34' in many parks at least.

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Old 09-03-2009, 06:46 AM   #14
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1998 34' Limited
ont , Ontario
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no problem finding sites at private campgrounds in Ontario. With provincial parks I find I have to plan ahead - for any size trailer. In some parks yes, there are fewer sites for large trailers but if you are able to plan ahead for busy season you will be fine. We prefer to avoid the busy long weekends.

Not sure how it is in BC but in Ontario you can browse the provincial park maps and see what size trailers the sites can take and what the availability is - I recommend doing that for your favourite parks out there.

Good choice on the Classic Limited!!!

p.s. we tow with a dodge ram 2500 - not sure what the hedley stabilizer is but we don't have one, and towing with the 2500 is a breeze (at least that's what the husband says). No issues or concerns.
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