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Old 04-01-2014, 03:34 PM   #1
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Differences Between Models

Im new here (hence the 1st post) and looking to get a TT. I've been inside a bunch and other than some exterior things, I cant see any differences between the different models.

I understand the 2013's and 2014's are slightly different, but what about say a 28 Flying Cloud and a 28 International, or a 30'.
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Old 04-01-2014, 03:45 PM   #2
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Probably wouldn't be a bad idea to go to the Airstream website, and spend some time.

Where do you live? If you've got a dealer nearby, go visit them.

Buying an Airstream isn't a simple proposition. Many buy two or three before they're satisfied they've got the right trailer.

The differences between the Flying Cloud and the International series are basically cosmetic.

Spend some time here and drill down into the model specific threads.

And there's a host of other suggestions you will get from many others far more qualified than me.

Good luck!
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Old 04-01-2014, 04:00 PM   #3
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Ive been to the airstream site numerous times. I've been inside about 100 new ones. But you mean this awesome (Sarcasm) comparison on their site?

Airstream, Inc :: Compare

Like I said, theres nothing but cosmetic differences to me. Other than color or "decor" in the airstream world I see nothing. Was hoping for someone with a little more insight to it.

Maybe the international has automatic awnings, or has better plumbing or something. To me the Flying clouds are priced a little lower, but I dont see a difference between the 2.

Its not like buying a Chevy or a Cadillac, but is it like buying a fully loaded Cadillac to a stock one?
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Old 04-01-2014, 04:09 PM   #4
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Yes, please complete your profile. You probably have a dozen Airstream owning neighbors. We don't bite and we'll invite you over for the tour - or for a rally.

There are normally open houses at most rallies. Wear flip-flops or clogs so you can kick them off at the door and not track in dirt - you'll be Very popular for doing that.

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Old 04-01-2014, 04:18 PM   #5
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The basic models are listed in the following comparison page. A good way to differentiate between models is to look at a 27' which is common to four of the five. There is some very minor exterior differences, the greatest difference being interior materials and interior design, as well as heavier axles on different models to accommodate anticipated loading (a full-timer may choose a Classic with its larger tank capacities and heavier cabinets).

The Flying Cloud is clean quiet design, International more modern (with variations), Classic traditional, and Eddie Bauer sport camping. Large differences in prices.

Airstream, Inc :: Compare
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Old 04-01-2014, 04:37 PM   #6
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I would say the difference between Flying Cloud and International is more like the difference between Buick and Oldsmobile. The equipment is about the same, but the style is different and they had different price points (back when Oldsmobile still existed.)

The Sport models are the Chevrolet equivalent (if you want to continue with the GM analogy) and the Classic would be like Cadillac used to be. I say used to be, since Cadillac now is gunning toward a modern-sport-luxe image rather than just luxury, and the Classics are about solid/heavy/posh instead.
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Old 04-01-2014, 04:56 PM   #7
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Choosing size is difficult and should start with the understanding all Airstreams are tiny with very limited storage. Tiny but classy and comfortable, always recognizable as the American road travel icon. Can you tolerate tiny or should you be looking at fifth wheel campers. Or motorhome$.

So there are small (16-20'), medium (23-28'), and large (30-31') tiny Airstreams. Is it a weekender and vacation trailer (small)? Will you keep it a long time (hopefully) into your retirement years (medium to large)? Do you need lots of stuff to travel (large).

Do you travel the backroads and camp in remote campsites with difficult access due to size (small to medium)? Or mostly open roads and good size campsites (large).

How about comfort. Can you sit for hours, day after day on bench or dinette seats (small to medium). Sofa or recliners (large). Easy access in/out of bed or twin beds (medium to large). Note: Many of us have converted dinette seating to more comfortable recliner seating at the expense of convertible sleeping space for family (medium).

Again they are all tiny but can be very comfortable if you choose a size to fit the long run. And set up a regular inspection and maintenance routine to ensure it will give a lifetime of service, never go out of style, while looking good all the way.
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Old 04-01-2014, 05:21 PM   #8
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I agree.... size is what we're deciding on now. I have a kid, soon to be another one on the way so we definitely wont be going the recliner route anytime soon (even though it looks awesome). I've been towing with the newer rear bunk on the flying cloud, but not super excited with the floor plan and after being in some bigger 27-31' internationals, I think we could swing putting the kids on the pull out lounge and go that route. Like you said though, the biggest decision is size.

This should probably be a new topic, but what does everyone pull theirs with, specifically the 27' + models? The GVWR isnt bad and the salesman told me I could get away pulling it behind my 2013 Dodge Ram 4x with a trailer brake. My max towing weight is 9800.
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Old 04-01-2014, 05:22 PM   #9
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If you are just comparing the Flying Cloud and International models, I believe they are identical except for the interior decor (take a look at the specifications sheet and you will see they are the same for a given floor plan). I think the International is intended to be a bit more upscale. The Flying Cloud line has a couple of additional floor plans that are not available in the International. The Sport and Classic lines are more differentiated.
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Old 04-01-2014, 07:54 PM   #10
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We currently have an International Signature, but we are currently looking/considering a change. We really like the roof lockers with the sliding doors of the International vs the lift up doors of the Flying Cloud. It's a look and functional issue for us. We use the roof lockers a lot, and simply sliding the door seems easier than lifting a door. No right or wrong obviously, but this cosmetic feature is also functional in our mind. We also like the roller shades on the internationals vs the mini blinds, but the shades would be a easy change to make. Roof lockers can't be changed.
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Old 04-01-2014, 08:17 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jsmith032 View Post
This should probably be a new topic, but what does everyone pull theirs with, specifically the 27' + models? The GVWR isnt bad and the salesman told me I could get away pulling it behind my 2013 Dodge Ram 4x with a trailer brake. My max towing weight is 9800.
You are right, this is a new topic. Suggest you start a new thread. If you already have a pickup with 9800 lb towing capacity it may be a pretty short thread, but the topic does generate some strong opinions.
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Old 04-01-2014, 08:21 PM   #12
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We have a 30' International Serenity. We traded our 28' Safari in on it. The Safari and Flying Cloud are (to me) similar. We saw the Serenity and loved the clean lines and brighter look and loved the extra size. YMMV. I won't address the towing stuff.
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Old 04-01-2014, 08:36 PM   #13
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You really want to walk through the models and see what works for you and what your budget will handle. I solo in my 28' Intl Signature (well, with two dogs) and find the size just right. I did get some good advice when I was where you are right now RE: "how big"... "Once you find the trailer you like, buy the next larger size." Apparently, a lot of folks shell out the $ and have buyers remorse and spring for the trailer they wished they'd bought the first time! I tow with a '14 Ram 2500 4x, . Great TV. Could probably have gone with a 1500, but wanted the Cummins.
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Old 04-01-2014, 09:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murreywalker View Post
Airstream isn't a simple proposition. Many buy two or three before they're satisfied they've got the right trailer.

Your telling me - three to get it right...

2009 25FB Classic
2011 30 Classic
To my final & the best for me....
2013 27FB International Serinity

But like they sometimes say, third time the charm....
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Old 04-01-2014, 09:09 PM   #15
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Agreed! We are on number three and I won't say it is our last, although, it seems perfect!
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Old 04-01-2014, 09:41 PM   #16
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I just looked at the 2013 Airstream catalog while overseas and selected a 2013 25FB International Serenity from overseas. That was really a bad decision on my part.

If we had been inside one, we would have forgotten any model with the cross frame queen bed and would have probably selected the 27FB International Serenity. Of course there is an expensive issue with all the trim line models in the International family, there are no twin bed options in the price sheet. I was told that a $4,500 adder could create a twin bed International model.

After seeing a 34' Classic, we really liked the hickory wood cabinetry in that trim line. We ordered a Classic 27FB with twin beds. We sat around discussing what we did not like about the lounge/dinette and watching TV or having guests in the 25FB and then we realized that those issues were just dressed up in wood on the 27FB as the back 15' of either a 25FB or 27FB are nearly identical in terms of design and measurements. Thus we changed the order (upgrade charge was only the $3,012 difference in list price) to the Classic model 30. The only extra charge factory installed option we selected was the 50 amp power service with second air conditioner in the bedroom.

After the unit arrived and I finally took it off the dealer's lot, I switched to 16" SenDel wheels, 16" Michelin tires, a Dill 1506-453 TPMS system and Centramatic wheel balancers. The unit is now having a 800 watt solar system installed along with disc brake conversion and many custom interior tweaks.

When I found out my existing 2007 Mercedes ML320 CDI diesel lacked the weight capacity and axle ratings we needed for the 25FB when loaded for camping, I acquired a 2012 Dodge 2500HD crew cab with the Cummins diesel. It has the weight capacity and power to tow any Airstream 34' or shorter.

So, in one respect we "purchased" three units to get to the one we wanted but only took the financial "bath" on the first one.

The car analogy works well with the Airstream models. The differentiation for the 2014 Internationals was the move from the Flying Cloud formica counter tops to a corian like counter top surface in the kitchen. Otherwise, the cabinet and furniture wood cores are identical just with different formica laminated to it and linoleum colors/patterns are different.

The Classic line gets the solid wood cabinetry and higher weight capacity to carry all that wood. It gets larger propane tanks and larger furnace along with Corian counter tops everywhere. The plumbing moves from chrome to the bronze look with a few more gadgets in the plumbing department. The sofa and dinette are real furniture, not just slabs of plywood with a few inches of fabric covered foam to sit on.

While looking around at the models, take time to "perch" on the best seat in the house and see if there is adequate room for your legs and to do the paperwork. Sit in the dinette and look at the TV screen, is the viewing angle going to give you neck cramps? Climb on the mattress and sit up - do you hit your head? Do you have to crawl over the bed partner for the nightly bathroom visits?

Lots of things to consider in terms of the human interaction and how the floor plan fits your intended use. After the dust settles on the choice of trailer, then the next can of worms opens as to the choice of tow vehicle. There is/are days of reading on this forum alone just on the tow vehicle topic.

Before an order is signed, where are you going to park the new toy? Some folks pay $200 per month or more for a place to park the trailer if it can not be beside their home. Storage prices reflect whether there is a roof over the unit, some AC power to keep the batteries charged, a place to dump the tanks, a wash rack etc.

This can be a very sizable acquisition expense and on going annual expenses are there as well.

We wish you the best of luck reaching your camping decision.
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Old 04-01-2014, 11:29 PM   #17
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A lot of good info....

I was at the dealer just now for about an hour walking through a bunch of different sizes and models.

The flying cloud is def. the "cheaper" model. The cabinets have the dull look, the flying cloud also has laminate countertops (i believe, i know they're cheaper and cant have hot pots on them) instead of the formica. International has the different blinds and also comes "standard" with the $3500 Automatic awning.

Now I just need to figure out what size to get.... thanks for all the helpful info.
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Old 04-02-2014, 12:35 AM   #18
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One more thing to keep in mind while thinking about length: Check the Airstream site to confirm, but the last time I looked, the 27FB and the 28 model were both 28 feet long. I have no idea why they call it a 27FB when it should really be called a 28FB.
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Old 04-02-2014, 12:41 AM   #19
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28 is actually 27'11 and the 27 is 28'. Weird I know.

Im leaning towards the 28' now, I like the separate dining area, but really want it with nightstands. Havent found a 28' with those yet.
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Old 04-02-2014, 07:05 AM   #20
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Looks like a plan. Whichever you choose, give it a chance to settle in to you after several camping trips. Sometimes things you at first like turn out to be not so. The reverse is true also. But either way , I am sure you can live with your decision, because all AS are great. Go for it with no regrets. Jim
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