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Old 10-01-2012, 06:11 PM   #1
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Differences In Running Gear

I am contemplating purchasing an Airstream travel trailer. I have a general idea of the differences in the interiors between various models such as Safari, International and Classic. I would like to know if there are any differences in the frames and axles, etc. between the models. My guess is that there probably isn't much difference but I really have no information on this.
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:16 PM   #2
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They are for the most part the same design. If you are looking at vintage trailers, there were some design changes over the years, but not much since 1961 or so.
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:44 PM   #3
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I had heard the Classic has a heavier frame but have never seen anything specific about it. However if you pick a year and do a search the specs reveal some info. For example a 2012 27FB Flying Cloud has a GVWR of 7600# while a 2012 27FB Classic has a 9000# GVWR. Remember, GVWR is the maximum allowable weight for the trailer and whatever you put in it. Part of that comes from the axle ratings, but I can't tell if the frame is different.

A couple less obvious differences is the Classic's freshwater tank is 15 gallons larger and a pair of 40# LPG tanks are now standard. Maybe someone else can say if there are other differences under the skin.
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wisconsin View Post
I am contemplating purchasing an Airstream travel trailer. I have a general idea of the differences in the interiors between various models such as Safari, International and Classic. I would like to know if there are any differences in the frames and axles, etc. between the models. My guess is that there probably isn't much difference but I really have no information on this.
Keep in mind, that the strength of an Airstream is in it's shell.

That's the principle of "monocoque construction" or as the case may be for Airstream, "semi-monocoque" since the shell side to side does not make a complete structural circle.

Therefore, the frame (chassis) can and is lighter than would be required for a SOB travel trailer.

Also, since the shell flexes when in motion, the chassis must also flex with it.

Beefing up the chassis, when a complete make over project is taking place, is not always a good idea, since the shell and it's attachment to the chassis, must also then be "beefed up".

If not, in time,major failures will occur.

One of the more recent huge helps is the availability of balancers such as Centramatics. They do not solve "every" out of balance issue, when scalloped tires are still being used, or with some of the old style 3 piece drums, that are known to be as much as 3 pounds out of balance, but they do solve the issue for the vasr majority of owners.

That takes care of the issue of finding a shop that can properly balance the complete running gear.

We have been amazed at their popularity amoung Airstream owners.

Andy
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