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Old 07-01-2013, 07:25 PM   #1
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2014 30' Flying Cloud
Ponce Inlet , Florida
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Ready purchase a new 28’ FC

Hi all,
I am a retired engineer with a bad sense of humor so the wife will tell you to just ignore anything I say. We have been lurker's for several months as we contemplated buying an Airstream.

We own a teardrop and have traveled the US and Canada east coast for over 2 years . We have learned a ton of stuff while camping in the TD. The biggest problem with our current rig is we have to set up a screen room to keep the elements out of the outdoor kitchen. When the weather is bad it’s a sandwich or head to the nearest local eating establishment .

With the tear drop however, we did catch a severe case of aluminitis. Terminal disease from what I read. The only known cure I have found in a stand up is an Airstream.

After a 2+ month trip of setting up and taking down the screen room and worrying about the rain and wind . We are now ready to sell our tear drop and purchase a 28’ FC.

We are following the adventures of Pharmgeek and learned a lot about the buying process . Going through the options agony which weight distribution hitch to buy , 16” tires, awning package, Bike Rack, 1000w converter, 2nd AC, convection microwave ? …and the beat goes on I’m thinking we should get the things we know we want dealer installed as part of the initial buy. More leverage better price when you are buying the trailer than later when you just want to buy the modification later. After we get done with all the add-ons we will have spent the discount from MSRP.

Plan to add solar panels but will do that as an aftermarket. Factory price is too high for too little wattage .

Many thanks to PharmGeek for asking the questions and to all the forum members who provided the great information. Though I did get a headache trying to read it all, now trying to decide what to do. Information overload !!!!!!

We are starting to work the numbers with a couple of different Airstream dealers would prefer to buy in our local area if the price is right.

Comment and suggestions welcome

Looking forward to being part of the Airstream Community.
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:35 PM   #2
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2012 28' International
Greensboro , North Carolina
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Welcome to the community. All of us started right where you are...and some of us (me for sure!) continue to learn a lot from AirForums. Overall, I think I made much better decisions in ordering my trailer than I would have without the benefit of all those who took the time to educate me. I am a firm believer that we repeat mistakes until we learn from them, and so many people are very frank here. I appreciated that when I was starting the process. For example: I did NOT order the Airstream solar package because of what I read on AirForums because it didn't provide enough juice for the cash. Last week I installed a 400W (4 panel) system from AM Solar. I changed out my stock batteries with AGM's. The decision to do this and the confidence I could do it myself came from people on here with whom I have a LOT of confidence (and who've been gracious when I've PMd them with a specific question). Even though you will suffer from overload from the 16" wheels/LT tires conversations (oh, I did that as well), there's no doubt you'll be a more informed purchaser/consumer because you won't repeat the mistakes that others have already made. Best of all, you'll still have plenty of chances to make some of your own! They will, however, be less consequential because you'll have learned from the rest of us. After all, isn't that what this process is all about. Welcome!
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:23 PM   #3
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2014 30' FB FC Bunk
Sunnyvale , California
Join Date: Jan 2012
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Welcome!
We just put down a deposit on a 2014 FC 30 bunk model, and will be trading in our 2012 27FB International - exciting stuff. We'll miss the 27FB, but we really want the bunk area for our kids. We bought our first one off the lot and it was pretty nicely equipped, but we had a chance to customize the new one and have been doing lots of research on the options, as well.

We added
16" wheels - no problems with the 15s on our last trailer (yet?), but it seems wise to get the better ones to start
inverter - we like to dry camp and need to charge things
solar - installed by the dealer (better value than the factory),
2nd AC - we found that 1 AC barely cools our 27FB inside when it is in the 90s.
full awnings - easier to do now than later, seems advantageous in certain sites/climates

skipping the bike rack this time (had it put on our last one, didn't use it enough to justify doing so again)
no convection micro (we dry camp at least half the time and want the propane oven)

Good luck with your decision!
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:28 PM   #4
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2013 30' Classic
Kent , Washington
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Welcome!
We purchased a 28' Flying Cloud in March. We also asked lots of questions here, and got lots of good information. Most of my questions were "after the purchase", we didn't do quite as much research as we should have. But in the end, we're happy with our purchase, and can't wait until our next trip. We're leaving tomorrow for Ocean Shores in Washington to spend the 4th of July holiday.

Again, welcome and have fun with the purchase of your 28' Flying Cloud!!
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:46 PM   #5
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Battle Lake , Minnesota
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Welcome aboard, Beach Bum.

We are also retired and took up Airstreams 4 years ago. Love it, we travel in the south/southwest the winter months, that's near 6 months a year Minnesota time.

Bought our second Airstream new about two years ago, a 25' with overall size considerations for good comfort and maneuverability. The 28' would be excellent as well.

Our factory options in order of favorites:
Factory solar. It's works well for us, expensive but they integrate it nicely.
Full awnings. The shade helps cool and the traditional look is cooler.
Ultraleather upholstery. Feels really good and is clean and dust free.
Conv/microwave. We have gas plus this, both useful.

Aftermarket:
ProPride hitch. By far the best option/accessory on the Airstream. Pleasant and easy driving in all weather/traffic conditions. (Our 3rd hitch attempt is a charm.)
Sendel 16" T02 wheels and Michelin tires. Trouble-free, peace of mind.
Sewer Solution. Clean and easy sewer hookups.

doug k
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Old 07-02-2013, 02:04 PM   #6
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A note on inspections and maintenance. Water leaks and corrosion are the two biggest complaints of new Airstreams. The latest models are improved, but inspect regularly for leaks (use a moisture detection meter to probe the subfloor). Wash after exposure to ocean air/northern winter road salt, and treat the shell and underbody with corrosion preventive products as needed (as soon as we brought it home and quarterly thereafter for us).

Your engineering experience will be a great advantage and hopefully will teach us a few things.

doug k
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:04 PM   #7
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Hoover , Alabama
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My near rivet master status actually "helped" someone....haha...I do not believe this

I will report happily to folks on this forum that the scary sounding premise of future new purchases being pushed into the only 5-10% discount from MSRP or even AT MSRP sells does not appear to be at risk based on my negotiations with about 5 dealers through phone and email...folks fell into the 15-17% off MSRP...if you are going to beat 17%, it would appear you would only do it by tens of dollars.

I tried to play a "game" of one lot having a 2013 I liked at a good price, and using it to bring down another dealers 2014 (as they had no 2013 on lot) and that failed to get me any ground...

I am an innexperienced haggler...god I hate it...and I am happy it is over...very happy....

I am not clear on the benefit of getting the quotes on a base unit first then adding the options...seems like the risk there is that they would jack you up on the options somehow and you would not know it or notice it...

I noticed in my negotiations that for example - the "3rd TV bunkroom option" on a sheet provided by one dealer read "809" dollars...this was from airstream "retail pricing" - but another dealer offered to add it for "519 dollars"...I asked why not 809...and was told he would provide it "at cost" (519 still seems like alot for one goofy small TV and a cheap bracket)...anyway....my strategy was to just tell all the dealers the exact options I wanted so that it was the final out the door price of the stuff I wanted that was being haggled across all dealers...

Again, I am no expert...but just my thoughts...
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:37 AM   #8
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2014 30' Flying Cloud
Ponce Inlet , Florida
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Thanks all for the warm welcome,

The information on the forum is extremely valuable in the buying process and based on my experience with our teardrop will be more valuable once we own.

Moisture probe…. had not thought about that but it makes sense. From my work days I have seen the damage water will cause in a very short time if left unchecked. Not to mention the mold problem. More things to add to the list of stuff to buy.

The 2nd AC is a gotta have for us

Mistakes what mistakes ? Life is one big learning experience. There are no do overs so relax and enjoy the ride.

Solar looks like there are a few folks on the forum who do a good job on the install. I am pretty handy at fixing things but I am dangerous with power tools. So will leave that to someone who knows what the heck they are doing.

16” tires and the hitch are the biggest questions right now.

“Wash after exposure to ocean air/northern winter road salt, and treat the shell and underbody with corrosion preventive products as needed (as soon as we brought it home and quarterly thereafter for us).”
Wow !!!! We live on the east coast of Florida so I need to wash it every day ? ….. Maybe I should rethink this whole thing


I too have a dislike the dealer haggling process. But if can get the base and the priced options I might be able to get a better deal …. Trying to get the best base with the best priced options. It may give me a better idea of what the absolute bottom price is. The hard part is getting the dealers to price everything out line by line. This may not make any difference but I will feel better anyway.

We are on the back end of a 9 +week camping trip so it’s all good.
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Old 07-03-2013, 12:11 PM   #9
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B' Bum, noting your Florida shoreline location I wanted you to have a "heads up" going in. It's much, much easier to prevent corrosion than to fix it. The warranty won't cover it. Use the search on the this forum, "filiform corrosion".

In a nutshell, the aluminum panels are clear-coated at the Alcoa factory, then Airstream cuts and drills the panel for assembly. These thin cut edges and drilled rivet holes are exposed to weather where corrosion can start and work its way under the Alcoa clear-coat.

I put a treatment on each exposed edge and rivet of CorrosionX product, as well as spraying the underbody steel with Boeshield T-9 (which leaves a protective paraffin wax), as soon as we brought it home and quarterly thereafter. I also treat the exterior fittings such as door hardware and tail light housings with CorrosionX. No corrosion at all after two years, traveling coast to coast. We haven't parked near the ocean.

A few of us use a Sonin moisture detection meter (about $40 at Amazon) to probe through the vinyl to the plywood subfloor to look for leaks on regular inspections. I found one, under the entrance door hinge that had worked loose. Easy fix.

doug k
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Old 07-03-2013, 12:46 PM   #10
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We use CorrosionX on our teardrop works great. Will research the T-9 product. One of the many things working 30+ years as a civilian for the Navy has taught me is corrosion prevention is much cheaper than trying to repair later. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beach Bum View Post
We use CorrosionX on our teardrop works great. Will research the T-9 product. One of the many things working 30+ years as a civilian for the Navy has taught me is corrosion prevention is much cheaper than trying to repair later. Thanks for the advice.
Similar lesson, 30 years Navy Aviation Electrician. Riveted aluminum at sea, or nearby.

doug k
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Old 07-03-2013, 05:07 PM   #12
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Following in the footsteps of Doug, I found very early indications of filiform on the trailing edges of my clearance lights. It's pretty obvious that when they install the lights the rear of the fixture breaks through the clearcoat on the aluminum beginning this inevitable ugly disease. I became (somewhat) of an expert at removing the lenses of the lights in order to get to the screws so I could loosen the base, treat the early signs of corrosion and reinstall. Thanks to all the good advice on AirForums, I got on this when the indicators of a problem were about 1/8 inches long.
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Old 07-03-2013, 06:00 PM   #13
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Bab, did you ask Airstream Customer Service about the clearance lights. They have been installing new, thicker gaskets under 2011 and early 2012 model lights where this is happening. Later 2012 and on fixtures have the thicker gaskets.

doug k
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:14 AM   #14
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Welcome to our world, Beach Bum and family!
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