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Old 03-03-2003, 09:19 PM   #1
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Models hierarchy

A question about the Airstream hierarchy from the 1980's to early 90's.

Ambassador
Sovereign
Excella
Limited

Where does "International" fit in? Was it just an option to Excella or an upgrade to any of them?

What's the difference in terms of options, between Excella, Excella 500 and Excella 1000?

Is Limited an entire category in itself or merely an upgrade to Excella? What's the difference?
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Old 03-03-2003, 09:51 PM   #2
 
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I would love to know too.

We have just discovered, after reading our bill, that we just bought a 1990 Excella 1000. Just thought it was a plain Excella. Is it twice better than a 500?

In case nobody has a definitive answer about all those options, everybody with those various models could list a description of their trailer, and we can figure that out pretty acurately by ourselves. I hope. Maybe.

Chantal

(it looks to me that things like the number of awnings could be options)
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Old 03-04-2003, 05:13 AM   #3
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Thumbs up I'll start this off.

I used to wonder about this myself.
I think what you're gonna find is a wide spectrum of options will still muddy the water so to speak.
I have a 1984 Sovereign, measures 29ft long on the inside.(Now I understand that A/S measures the length from the outside bumper to end of tongue for: advertisement purpose and, the bill of sales)
When this unit was new, the list of A/S options wasn't very long but, the PO had them all installed.
I.The sliding cutting board.(for bread, etc)
2.The stainless steel stove top cover
3.The A/C option with the heating core.
4.Front solar stone guards.
5.4 sets of window awnings
6.Special order mattress for both beds
7Heavy-duty electric jack. (I'm thinking he said this was an option or replacement)
I think that was pretty much it except for all of the aluminum hardware that's used outside. like wheel chucks, the sliding aluminum tray for the sewage drain.
Where did the Sovereign fit in?
I believed it was below the Excella lineup.
Anything else you'd like to know..Just let me know.
All I can say is, the PO took extremely good care of it.~!! As it was just like new when we picked it 4 yrs ago.
ciao
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Old 03-04-2003, 07:55 AM   #4
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I had a 1981 Excella II, which I think the II designation was only used one year. After 81 they became Excella 500, and mid 80's became Excella 1000. The II, 500, 1000 are an option package of many options grouped together at a discount price. The package changed from year to year as to content. On my 96 the package saved about $300 over the price of the individual options and also allowed additional interior color trim packages.

In 87 sales info shows a Sovereign model in 25', 27', 29'. The 88, 89, show only Limited and Excella. In 90 the new 23' Sovereign is introduced.
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Old 03-04-2003, 08:10 AM   #5
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Thumbs up apple1

That's neat to know...
It does seem that,
A/S can't seem to make up their mind for us...lol
I saw once where,(back in the 50's??) a certain line-up model was indicative of a size as well as the options. So many flavors...lmao
thanks again..
ciao
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Old 03-04-2003, 08:57 AM   #6
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That's right Vern...in the earlier trailers, the model names indicated the length. And if it had the "International" designation it meant it included several upgrades: different exterior trim, extra lights, water filters, bigger tanks, etc.

If you want to see a great matrix of the 78 and older models, check out the Vintage Archives

Shari
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Old 03-04-2003, 09:59 AM   #7
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Thumbs up Thanks~

Shari
It's been awhile since I'd last visited that..
It was nice to revisit~! Never get enough A/S..
BTW, I order one of those stainless steel A/S model.
Cute lil bugger~!!
And, the price went up to 39$, just after I placed my order..hmmm
ciao
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Old 03-04-2003, 10:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by InsideOut
That's right Vern...in the earlier trailers, the model names indicated the length. And if it had the "International" designation it meant it included several upgrades: different exterior trim, extra lights, water filters, bigger tanks, etc.

If you want to see a great matrix of the 78 and older models, check out the Vintage Archives

Shari
See on the older trailers I'm confused. I have a 59 22' Caravanner. There was also a 22' Flying Cloud that year. Option wize as far as water heater, water storage, heaters they were identical. The difference was floor plan and window placement. The Flying cloud had a lager and nicer bath but I feel the Caravanner had better bed arrangments more storage. So what one was concidered the higher model? There was also 22' Safari, Falcon and traveler the same year.
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Old 03-04-2003, 10:45 AM   #9
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Actually 59toaster, prior to the early-60's, they were kinda "custom" so the model names varied. Especially with the 22-footers...seemed like they had lots of different layouts: Safari, Caravanner, Flying Cloud, World Traveler, Panorama, Custom & Falcon...all were 22', but each was slightly different in layout. The International designation was still applicable as the upgrade-package.

I think the variety of the mid-size layouts had a lot to do with this era being the hey-day of the caravans, as some of the names suggest. If you were a "caravaner" your needs would be quite different than if you were just a local "camper". These were the most versatile sizes for shipping around the world.

Heck, with our '64 GlobeTrotter, you'd be surprised at the differences from trailer to trailer that are supposedly "the same". Especially between the CA & OH models, it's really fun to compare at the VAC Rallys!

Shari
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Old 03-04-2003, 10:48 AM   #10
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Thumbs up In the eyes of the beholder~

59toaster
Taken as a quote from the vintage site:

"Airstream experimented with layouts & built custom trailers to further confuse the issue. Many model names were just marketing ploys, and never existed on a nameplate. The 1950's 18 footers and 22 footers were notorious for this."

I honestly don't think you could say just which ones were considered higher. A/S standard being what it is. Perhaps it would be correct to say, more personalized.. Might be a better choice of descriptive word~
The last thing I would wanta see is, "My A/S is better than your's because of a model name." I've seen higher priced units that looked rather poorly because of the lack of proper care.
From a stand point of fixing $$value for purchase or selling..It still gets down to what condition the unit is in and, how bad you as a buyer/seller want the deal to consumate.
ciao
Oops, sorry shari, didn't mean to step on your toes..
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Old 03-04-2003, 11:30 AM   #11
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Question Hierarchy in '80's?

I'm reading but still confused about the model levels in the more recent A/S.

Anyone know how they stack up? International, Excella, Land Yacht, others? It's obvious that condition is paramount, but looking at the new A/S, the price is $37,000 for the Safari 25' and $50,000 for the Excella 25'. Probably the asking prices for ones 20 years ago were proportionately the same (inflation).

For example my '90 Excella 25' has a list price of $34,733 loaded with everything but rock guards. The invoice of price paid new was $26,548.... and to save you calculating in your head.... that's a 23.5% discount from retail. (Figures are from actual invoices of PO).

Just Curious! What are the model levels? Were there major or minor price differences from the different ones?

Steve
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Old 03-04-2003, 04:13 PM   #12
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The past is confusing but so is the present; just what did we buy? Classic is where in the hierarchy? We went in (I thought) to get a Safari but (usual cop out here) Brenda wandered into the 25' Classic and liked it....it was the mirrors I think.

Why didn't it have (the Classic) the bronzed plastic rock guards? Apparently, 25' Classics don't have some options available...
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Old 03-04-2003, 05:12 PM   #13
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International

Currently, starting in about 2002, International is a separate product line with a lot of different characteristics from the balance of the lines.

The current Internationals are 8' wide, rather than the 8 1/2' width of everything else excepting the Bambi. The Internationals have no aluminum belly pan. Interiors are of low-maintenance laminates and plastics. Headliner on the International AS is a fabric material; on the CCD models it is polished aluminum. All these things set the Internationals apart from the other models.

Lengths run from the 16' CCD, through the 22' CCD and AS, up to the 28; CCD. CCD, by the way is the initials of the architect/designer, Christopher C. Deam.
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Old 03-04-2003, 05:19 PM   #14
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Kistler,
you asked:
"Why didn't it have (the Classic) the bronzed plastic rock guards? Apparently, 25' Classics don't have some options available..."

I'm sure they were sold, but the rock guards were not listed on the options sheet. I'm considering buying / making some rock guards. Hear they are quite expensive.

Steve
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Old 03-04-2003, 10:33 PM   #15
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I agree that the naming conventions are rather confusing. Aren't they all "Land Yachts"? At first I thought "International was a configuration indicating twin beds but that appears not to be the case. I have heard the Excella described as an "upscale model with things like the Nutone processor and built in vacuum cleaner. My unit has several identifiers on it - I will have to check it for details.

You can gain some insight from the Owners Manual for the various years. The '78 manual I have shows detailed breakdown of the various options and their effect on gross weight and toungue weight. In addition to such things as Air Conditioner there are things like "space locker" Refrigerator, safety group, Vista view windows, International package, B.A.L. Jacks etc. There is a different set of options for the 31' trailers but no mention of different trailer names.

The trailers are identified according to length and layout ( Twin, double, C, center bath or rear bath.

The international package is defined in another part of the manual as: Solar Dome, Water Purifier, Auto gas regulator, Step light assy., Central control system, Range exhaust fan, Bath exhaust fan, Electronic digital clock, Bed spreads, Ceiling fan, and Combination sink cover / cutting board.

There is no mention of the Neutone food processor in the options section but there is a discription of it's operation and accessories... go figure.
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Old 03-05-2003, 11:59 AM   #16
 
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Mike heard that International had better pressure regulators. Our International 1971 25' & 1974 29' both have them. Both have center full bed.

No: Solar Dome, Step light assy., Electronic digital clock (in 1978 must have been really new)
Yes: Central control system, Range exhaust fan, Bath exhaust fan, Combination sink cover / cutting board.

We just brought home our 32' 1990 Excella 1000: no cental vac.

If you are confused, ask an AS dealer !!!! Some may be competant. The one we asked yesterday knew one think "the name Land Yatch is now used on the MH". We asked about the Excella, the 500 & 1000. I don't think he even understood our questions.


Chantal

APB: on the East Coast, we have a lot more BG festivals than you have. You should come for a visit !!!
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Old 03-06-2003, 07:41 PM   #17
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I have also tried to make sense of the various layouts within some of the model years and the names of the trailers. It can be rather bewildering. I pulled out a brochure for the '77 Excella 500 I bought off ebay and here are some of the excerpts:
"...31-feet of lavish living. 1977 offers you more new models than ever before...six superb models to be exact...center bath, twin or double and rear bath, twin or double...plus an exciting new side travel lounge!...Only a limited number of Excella will be produced in 1977." Hmmmmm. Some of the other items mentioned were: "We have thoughtfully placed an additional water pump switch in the bathroom for your convenience." I'd like to know where because mine does not have it as far as I can tell. "Beautiful Vista-View windows avail. on some models..." Mine does have them. "Convenience of a vacuum cleaner..." I do have it but it was taken off it's mount in the rear compartment when some plumbing work was done and never remounted. "...the AM/FM radio, 8-track stereo and optional TV..." Long gone! "The efficient 13,5000 BTU air conditioner features a 5,500 BTU electronic ignition heater with 3-speed fan." Had the unit for almost 2 yrs. and have yet to see if it has the heat strip. "...Excella Appliance Center comes equipped with blender, knife sharpener and mixer. You may even add additional appliances." "The Dometic RM 100 gas/electric frost-free refigerator..." Still running strong. "The optional microwave oven..." I believe this was a Litton. "A 12 volt, two-chime doorbell announces callers." Cool. "You're always in touch with time and weather. Easy to read digital clock and accurate temperature readings." Mine don't work. "...on the exterior you'll fine this 110-volt convenience outlet." Yep "The Excella provides you with two batteries conveniently located at the front of the trailer." "Every window (except front and rear...) is treated with Scotchtint to minimize glare, reduce heat transfer and insure your privacy. All Excella windows including Vista-view are double paned for all season comfort." "With the Excella you will never wind or rewind hoses and cords again. The 25-ft. 110-volt main power line and 50 ft. water hose unreel to whatever length you need, then recoil into their hiding place when not in use." Got'em. "...rides on four radial steel-belted Michelin tires mounted on super strong forged aluminum wheels." Still have the alum. wheels.

It has a bunch of standard items not mentioned above and one other option mentioned, twin swivel chair. The brochure makes the standard disclaimer "The right is reserved to make changes at any time in prices, colors, material, equipment, specifications, and models, and also to discontinue or add models." Maybe that is why we see so many variations.
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Old 03-06-2003, 11:10 PM   #18
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A doorbell... very cool.

I'll bet the electronic ignition heater is an electric strip heater in the AC unit which would explain the heat function on my Armstrong thermostat. I also have a suburban thermostat for the gas heater. I can't believe anyone really needs heating beyond what is supplied by the gas furnace???

The water pump switch in the bathroom in my soverign is in line with the light and fan switches above the sink counter.
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Old 03-07-2003, 01:31 PM   #19
 
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We are just starting to explore our "new" 1990 Excella 32'
We do have the 2 switches for the water pump: by the bathroom & kitchen sinks.
Under the kitchen sink, we have a small electric water heater. The dealer said the previous owner added that. I know he doesn't know much, so we will check the manual.
No blender,mixer,...etc.
The bathroom light has a high/low switch. The dealer told us that the low is not supposed to be doing anything. Only worked on high setting. ??? We will have to get it to work on low. Don't know if it was working originally.
Has the original Magic Chef Microwave : "FOR SALE". For a few weeks of camping it must be OK. Not for full-timing (no turn table, no room to put one, cavity too small)

2 batteries compartment. The dealer told us: "we replaced them both". We are pretty stupid: we checked them 2 days/160miles later: 2 compartments/one battery only !!!!

I have not looked yet at the hoses & cords.

What about awnings ? We have them all around. I think they are still OK. (are shot on our 71 & 74, so we did not pay too much attention to that) Awnings all around may have been an option ?
It had a chair, in the book. Long gone.
I guess we better check what else we have.

Chantal
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Old 03-07-2003, 03:19 PM   #20
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APB,
I've been told that the heat strip might take the nip out of the air on a cool morning but nothing much more than that. I boondock most of the time so it may be awhile before I get to check this feature out on a 30 amp circuit.
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