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Old 01-17-2016, 12:11 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamStreamr View Post
The hunt is fun. We enjoyed looking at the differences in color and finish. Ten years ago there were huge differences in interior appearance between Classic, International and Flying Cloud. Last five years this seems reduced a lot.

Agree with previous opinion to choose by the amenities and brightness/tone to suit you. Lots of really good choices now in the Airstream lineup.


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Would you say the reduction in the dramatic range of interior finishes might have coincided with AS's takeover by THOR? The timing you mention sounds about right.
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Old 01-17-2016, 04:23 AM   #16
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Just to nit pick, the 27' models are 28' long and the 28' models are 27' 11" long.

Take time to look at the same model with both twin beds and the larger single mattress. Note that the Flying Cloud and Classic trim lines have twin bed floor plans in the literature. The International trim lines have been seen with twin beds for an amazing uncharge $$$$$. There is more storage with the twin beds with outside access on both sides and the front or rear depending on the bed location. In some models, there could be a roof locker over the window and a hanging locker at the foot of the bed.

As a heads up, the 28' foot, 23FB and 30' Bunk models allow the main door to open across one of the dinette windows or bed room window. If the window were open, broken glass could result.

Look at the black plumbing for the waste disposal. Sone models have the valves protected inside the tank box and others have them exposed to the weather. The exposed valves could need to be wrapped with a heat tape and insulation if the unit is used in cold weather.

Check to see if the 19' and 23D model actually have the toilet angled to the wall like in the literature. Ours was straight out and the user's left knee makes closing the door difficult. Also sit on the throne in every unit to be sure there is adequate room for knees and maneuvering.

Look under the kitchen sink to see where the water filter is located. Are your arms long enough to reach in and swap out the filter?

As you narrow your choices on the floor plans, start opening hatches to see where the water pump is located and valves for the outside shower are located. Test the furnace to see if hot air actually comes out of every duct.

Spend several hours in each model. Sit at the dinette and look towards the television. If your head is turned, will that be comfortable for a long viewing period? On some you might have to sit cross wise on the the seat to see the television. Is that comfortable for your legs? The cushions on the furniture are not known for their padding, so are they comfortable for an hour or so? If not, the insides can be replaced with better materials.

Try the mattress for comfort. On the cross frame bed (25FB) model, sit up in bed and see if you hit your head on the roof locker. Can you put stuff in the locker without climbing on the bed? Visualize how you will put on a mattress pad, sheets and blanket. On some models, being a contortionist will help. :roll eyes:

We have both a 23D and a twin bed 31' Classic. Making the bed is a challenge in both models. Many folks change out their mattress for better ones. We went with the Rocky Mountain mattress company (send the drawing for the custom shape) and put their 8" model in both our 25FB and the Classic. Airstream's 600,thread custom sheets fit the 8" mattress just fine. We put a 10" in the 23D and got the bedding from Rocky Mountain. Their top sheet has a fitted pocket at the bottom of the top sheet so it does not pull out when sleeping.

Look at each model as a clean slate for you to customize to your specific camping needs.

Starting in 2015, the Classics lost their unique interior and now look more like a glorified International model which cut a lot of cost out of building the trailer and at the same time they raised the price over 25%.
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:08 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by christopherb View Post
Would you say the reduction in the dramatic range of interior finishes might have coincided with AS's takeover by THOR? The timing you mention sounds about right.
Good question. When did AS become Thor. Didnt the AS people create Thor by purchases? Cant remember, anyone know for sure?
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Old 01-17-2016, 07:26 AM   #18
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Thor history

In 1980, Wade Thompson and Peter Orthwein founded Thor Industries when they purchased Airstream. Note the first two letters of their last names. I cannot be certain, but I think AS was in some financial difficulty at that time and these two saved it. The down side is the same manufacturing philosophy we often discuss, that is, quality control issues, remains and no doubt will until Mr O retires. But, without the two we may have seen AS go down the drain.
For the complete history of Thor, go here:

Thor Industries - About Thor - Our History
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Old 01-17-2016, 08:40 AM   #19
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International Signature Twins

[QUOTE=switz;1737295] Note that the Flying Cloud and Classic trim lines have twin bed floor plans in the literature. The International trim lines have been seen with twin beds for an amazing uncharge $$$$$.


It is my understanding that you can now order an International model with no upcharge for twin beds. A friend of mine is awaiting delivery of a 2016 Int. Signature that will come with twin beds. Original order was for rear queen but they called the dealer just to see what it would cost to get the twins and got a pleasant surprise, they could change it with NO upcharge.

Not positive if it applies to all versions of the Int. line, again, this is the Signature Series.

I'm almost afraid to look at it when it comes in 'cause it might be the one thing that would give me thoughts to consider trading .
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Old 01-17-2016, 10:15 AM   #20
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You have heard a lot of great ideas. Looking at them in person is the way to go. Airstream Northwest usually has a pretty good inventory so go take a look.

We have an '06 Safari which turned into the Flying Cloud a few years later. We picked up a 25FB used and remain happy with it. We do however, have a case of the 2 footitis malady and have been looking at 27s. We prefer the Flying Cloud over the International for one main reason. The overhead storage compartments have solid doors that lift up. Internationals have sliding doors that open left or right, are made out of a translucent plastic and are lit behind for some kind of mood lighting. Our lifestyle usually has us cramming all sorts of things in the overhead compartments that we would rather keep out of sight. With the doors open, the entire space is open for access. Sliding the slider to the right keeps everything on the left unavailable.

Small issue granted, but big enough for us go in one direction. I think that will be the case when you start really looking closely. We don't like the white table tops, the very dark wood walls and the doors that open into windows. None of these, singularly, would stop us from getting a particular unit but I think the cabinets would.
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Old 01-17-2016, 05:08 PM   #21
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No matter what sort of coach one is considering, spending some time in it pretending to do various tasks is good advice. Don't forget to "watch" television. More than one person has traded coaches because they got tired of sitting sideways to watch the tv.
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:42 PM   #22
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Rather than trade Airstreams to watch tv many, many of us have simple traded seating arrangements in the Airstreams we have. Often there s only one or two features that we don't like so we just customize it to suit us. Good way to get exactly what you want in your otherwise favorite model.
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:59 PM   #23
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Ditto to the many comments about seeing the various models in person being the way to go, especially with the Seattle dealer being so close to home.

If you are interested in the smaller Airstreams, the Flying Cloud 20' has packed many great features into a single-axle unit, including:

-- dry bath with stall shower
-- great L-shaped galley with 2 sinks, propane gas oven (when ordered vs. convection microwave)
-- decent fridge/freezer
-- lots of overhead storage
-- dinette convertible to bed

Obviously in 20' there will be compromises, the main one being the small front double bed. It is surrounded by quite a bit of wall space, however, so that its width is functionally wider than a free-standing double bed would be. Hopefully the dealer you visit will have this specific model in stock. [edit see link below for Patrick Botticelli's FC20 tour from Colonial.]

The following 20-footers thread contains lots of good discussion, starting especially in the earlier posts:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f516...rs-127845.html

You may want a longer trailer, but good luck in your hunt!

Peter

PS -- Click on 20' in the drop down menu here for the floor plan:

http://www.airstream.com/travel-trai...pecifications/

PS2 -- Edit -- Patrick Bottacelli's tour of a FC20 from Colonial follows. You can hit the Play button here, or click on the link at the top for better YouTube options like full-screen viewing etc.:

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Old 01-17-2016, 07:26 PM   #24
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PS -- missed the edit time window -- the best feature of the Flying Cloud line IMO are the windows which are hinged on the top and open really wide, shed rain well, and have full screens for great ventilation in hot weather. Perfect for boondocking when there is no line voltage for the air conditioning (or hooking up a genset).

No matter what model you want, please pay attention to the windows. Many other new models have large fixed glass widows with dinky little slide-open windows under the fixed glass. Forget about using these trailers in hot weather unless you have the air conditioning on. A real pain in the glass!

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Old 01-17-2016, 08:56 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Msmoto View Post
In 1980, Wade Thompson and Peter Orthwein founded Thor Industries when they purchased Airstream. -- snip -- I think AS was in some financial difficulty at that time and these two saved it. -- snip --:
When we took the factory tour in JC they said that AS loaned the folks money to allow them to purchase AS. Maybe I got it wrong, but I thought that's what we were told. Pat
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Old 01-18-2016, 08:40 AM   #26
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Large opening windows. Got it. I would not have thought of that when at the dealer. I will now! Thanks!
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Old 01-18-2016, 12:01 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by switz View Post
Just to nit pick, the 27' models are 28' long and the 28' models are 27' 11" long.

Take time to look at the same model with both twin beds and the larger single mattress. Note that the Flying Cloud and Classic trim lines have twin bed floor plans in the literature. The International trim lines have been seen with twin beds for an amazing uncharge $$$$$. There is more storage with the twin beds with outside access on both sides and the front or rear depending on the bed location. In some models, there could be a roof locker over the window and a hanging locker at the foot of the bed.

As a heads up, the 28' foot, 23FB and 30' Bunk models allow the main door to open across one of the dinette windows or bed room window. If the window were open, broken glass could result.

Look at the black plumbing for the waste disposal. Sone models have the valves protected inside the tank box and others have them exposed to the weather. The exposed valves could need to be wrapped with a heat tape and insulation if the unit is used in cold weather.

Check to see if the 19' and 23D model actually have the toilet angled to the wall like in the literature. Ours was straight out and the user's left knee makes closing the door difficult. Also sit on the throne in every unit to be sure there is adequate room for knees and maneuvering.

Look under the kitchen sink to see where the water filter is located. Are your arms long enough to reach in and swap out the filter?

As you narrow your choices on the floor plans, start opening hatches to see where the water pump is located and valves for the outside shower are located. Test the furnace to see if hot air actually comes out of every duct.

Spend several hours in each model. Sit at the dinette and look towards the television. If your head is turned, will that be comfortable for a long viewing period? On some you might have to sit cross wise on the the seat to see the television. Is that comfortable for your legs? The cushions on the furniture are not known for their padding, so are they comfortable for an hour or so? If not, the insides can be replaced with better materials.

Try the mattress for comfort. On the cross frame bed (25FB) model, sit up in bed and see if you hit your head on the roof locker. Can you put stuff in the locker without climbing on the bed? Visualize how you will put on a mattress pad, sheets and blanket. On some models, being a contortionist will help. :roll eyes:

We have both a 23D and a twin bed 31' Classic. Making the bed is a challenge in both models. Many folks change out their mattress for better ones. We went with the Rocky Mountain mattress company (send the drawing for the custom shape) and put their 8" model in both our 25FB and the Classic. Airstream's 600,thread custom sheets fit the 8" mattress just fine. We put a 10" in the 23D and got the bedding from Rocky Mountain. Their top sheet has a fitted pocket at the bottom of the top sheet so it does not pull out when sleeping.

Look at each model as a clean slate for you to customize to your specific camping needs.

Starting in 2015, the Classics lost their unique interior and now look more like a glorified International model which cut a lot of cost out of building the trailer and at the same time they raised the price over 25%.
Wow! a ton of good info. When I go shopping I'm taking this with me!
Thx,
Chris
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Old 01-18-2016, 04:56 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by switz View Post
J
Starting in 2015, the Classics lost their unique interior and now look more like a glorified International model which cut a lot of cost out of building the trailer and at the same time they raised the price over 25%.
I don't have a new Classic, but I really don't think that is an accurate picture of what AS did. While they got rid of the upholstered headliner and mousefur walls, the new Classic still has solid wood cabinetry (now cherry instead of hickory), all Corian countertops and table, day/night window treatments unique to the Classic, more upscale range & fridge, power recliners, power stabilizers, power dinette table raise/lower, 16" wheels and Michelin tires, all stainless exterior vent/appliance doors, unique flooring, etc.

While the style may not be your thing, there is obviously significant added cost over the FC and International models as well as the "old style" Classic. The only thing the Classic has in common with the International is the interior shell, water heater, furnace and AC. Almost everything else is different (and probably more expensive). Seems pretty clear to me where the money went.
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