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Old 03-22-2015, 07:22 AM   #1
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Major Model Year Changes to Late Model Flying Clouds

Hello All,

I am a new member to the Forum and have been extensively reading and learning from all the great Forum postings and information over the last couple of weeks.

I will be retiring this July and my wife and I plan on purchasing a late model 25' or 27' Flying Cloud FB Twin Bed used Airstream later this summer. For the 2010 to 2014 years, I have been unsuccessful in finding a listing of the major substantive changes that Airstream made by year to the units to address leaking, structural, electrical, plumbing, or other issues.

I would like to have this to not only possibly rule out some of the earlier model years but also to intelligently ask about those issues when inquiring about potential units to purchase.

Can anyone suggest a good source for this information.

Thank you,

Mark
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Old 03-22-2015, 07:38 AM   #2
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

Your on the right track with the floor plans that you are considering. As to major changes in these models between 2010 and 2014, the reason that you are not finding much is that there isn't much to find.

We had a 2005 Safari (what is now a Flying Cloud) 25FB, and now have a 2015 Flying Cloud 25 FB. The one major change in those years is that the 2015 has ducted air conditioning, a first for Airstream.

There are some minor cosmetic changes between a 2010 and a 2014, but not much that you would notice.

Airstream tends to change very slowly.

Brian
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Old 03-22-2015, 08:07 AM   #3
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Greetings from the Texas Hill Country (As of this Summer)

Brian,

Thanks for the reply.

I've been reading great things about the new ducted AC in the 2015's. Is there a big difference in noise and distribution of the air, particularly since there is only one AC unit?

You obviously liked the 25' Flying Cloud FB layout since you went back with that model for your 2015.

I've read the differences and opinions between the 25 and 27' Flying Cloud FB's. Care to comment on that?

Thanks,

Mark
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Old 03-22-2015, 08:33 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Pratt View Post
Brian,

Thanks for the reply.

I've been reading great things about the new ducted AC in the 2015's. Is there a big difference in noise and distribution of the air, particularly since there is only one AC unit?

You obviously liked the 25' Flying Cloud FB layout since you went back with that model for your 2015.

I've read the differences and opinions between the 25 and 27' Flying Cloud FB's. Care to comment on that?

Thanks,

Mark

Hi Mark,

We have had three Airstreams over the past 10 years. We started off with the 2005 25 FB which we traveled in extensively (1,360 nights/120,000 miles). We thought we wanted to downsize and, in 2013, we traded for a 2012 23FB. We had this Airstream for almost a year (150 nights/15,000 miles) and decided it just didn't fit our camping style. In October of 2014, we traded again for a 2015 25FB. We've only done 60 nights and 5,000 miles so far, but we already know that we are back in the right Airstream for us.

As to the new ducted air conditioning, yes, it does make a big noise and efficiency difference. We could have bought a new 2014 a really good price, but opted for the 2015 solely because of the ducted air. It may not have made as big a difference if we did not camp extensively in warmer weather.

As to the 25 vs. the 27, that's strictly a judgment call. The extra two feet provides some nice things, but it it more to tow and maneuver. We find that the 25 is right for us, but the 27 is also a great floor plan.

Brian
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Old 03-22-2015, 08:54 AM   #5
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Some features in our 2015 International 23d which were not in our 2007 Safari 19 include:
LED lights throughout, with dimmer on overheads.
SeeLevel tank indicators (which seem to actually work, and read battery voltage).
Water heater runs from either LP or shore power.
LP outlet valve at A frame for BBQ or such.
USB charger outlets instead of "cigarett lighter style" 12 V outlets.

I don't know for which year these were first introduced. I also dont know about structural or material changes if any.

Charlie
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Old 03-22-2015, 08:57 AM   #6
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Important changes that occurred in the 2012 model year and after was a factory seal installed at the rear bumper/body shell to prevent a significant leak problem, mostly LED lighting throughout, a porcelain (not plastic) toilet, and the choice of a front or rear bed 25' model, either with queen or twin beds.

There seems to be major changes at certain years, the 2015 with quieter ducted air conditioning and an entirely new Classic model are examples. They like to tempt us, even though we are happy with what we have.

cheryl
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Old 03-22-2015, 11:51 AM   #7
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Charlie and I traded our "73 25' Land Yacht for a 2010 27' Flying Cloud FB_TB model. After getting problems taken care of in Warranty (street side outside storage locker leaked a flood into bedroom; curbside outside storage locker jammed with our tow rig inside and we had to get a locksmith to punch it out and duct tape it closed until we could get to a dealer for repair, etc.), we love it except for the noisy air conditioner. We just don't use it if we want to sleep and now plan all of our trips in cool weather or cool areas. Get the ducting. The money saved is just not worth the lack of sleep or conversation below a shout level.
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Old 03-22-2015, 01:21 PM   #8
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I know that the change to dimmer lights was made in 2012. Seems like a small thing, but it really helps with the ambiance inside. We inquired about retrofitting our 2011 30', but were told by our dealer that it could not be done, which does not seem to make much sense. But, we did not pursue it further. We obviously have non-ducted heat pumps. But, we've seen the ducted versions in use and IMHO, it is by far the most important change made by Airstream in recent years.
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Old 03-22-2015, 02:11 PM   #9
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LED lights make a very significant difference in electricity usage, so if you plan to be unplugged much it is worthwhile. We converted our halogens to LED's ourselves, and the dealer installed a dimmer switch, which looks factory-stock, with no difficulty.
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Old 03-22-2015, 04:07 PM   #10
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We also update all of our Halogens to LED's, and added dimmer switches for the main cabin and dinette lights. Huge battery savings when dry camping--14 cabin lights draw just about 14 amps/hr in halogen format, and about 1.4 amps/hr as LED's. Most people prefer the "warm" LED's--we actually went with the "white" ones so that we have max light when full on, but it gets softer when dimmed--best of both worlds, but a personal preference.

LED's are available as bayonet mount replacements for the inside of your existing fixtures, or you can replace them with full fixtures (about twice the cost). We did the former, and did it for every single fixture in the coach (2009 Ocean Breeze 28'). Total cost if I remember correctly about $300-$400, but much less if you just do the main cabin, of course. We did the labor on the bulbs ourselves, but let the dealer do the dimmers.

We did have to replace some of the main cabin/dinette bulbs with full fixtures, as the dimmer didn't work without at least one full fixture replacement on the circuit.
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Old 03-22-2015, 09:48 PM   #11
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Here are a few differences I am aware of for your database!

General RV AC unit change: In 2010 and newer units the Dometic AC units used solid vibration grommets and due to EPA regs were required to have units using different refrigeration gas and thus a different compressor. 2009 and older AC units used rubber grommets and have quieter compressors, thus quieter AC units or at least less vibration. You already know about ducted air. There was quite a discussion of this on another RV site and some were getting rubber grommets for their ac units and finding quite an improvement.

In 2012 units Airstream started using some kind of rivet seals as per our Airstream session speaker in Sarasota. The good or bad of this is unknown to me but FYI.

On size and twin bed models I have done some research. I am the crazy guy with the measure tape at dealers. The bedrooms on the 25,27 and 28 twin are very similar. The 27s have about a foot at each bed end of open space so, there is one of your two feet extra- space. The 28 is like the 25- bed end to end. The three are similar. The 27 has an advantage in the galley with a bit more storage and a pantry. The 28 has the living room lounge area with the L lounge and a side dinette. Consider your lifestyle when indoors for the preference selection. The baths are about the same.
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Old 03-23-2015, 02:21 AM   #12
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Thanks to everyone for their replies - much appreciated.

What a helpful and great group of people!

Thanks,

Mark
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Old 03-23-2015, 06:27 AM   #13
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Mark

We had a 25' and liked it, about as easy a trailer to tow and maneuver as you can find. That said we opted for larger inside space so we went to a 30' FC and now have a second 30' FC. It's a little more challenging making turns in parking lots and on tight streets but once under way it's no issue at all. That said, if you are looking for a great trailer, ease of towing and moving around I'd give the 25' a try.
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