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Old 03-19-2013, 10:05 AM   #1
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New 2011 or 2013 Flying Cloud 23FB?

We are trying to make a decision on which new Flying Cloud 23FB to purchase... a 2011 or a 2013. Of course there is a cost difference, but we were wondering if anyone knew of any improvements made between those years? I also noticed that there are 23FB and 23BNBFB in the 2011 model, but can't figure out the difference. Thanks for any help you can provide.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:22 AM   #2
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One thing I've noticed is that the 2013's have gaskets between the exterior marker lights and the aluminum skin, which should go a long way toward preventing corrosion. I also believe that there have been quality improvements in the manufacturing process since 2011. You can go to the Colonial Airstream website to see what specific features have changed for 2013 compared to 2011. If I were in your shoes I'd give the 2013 an edge.

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Old 03-19-2013, 10:31 AM   #3
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Here's some for 2012 models.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f206...tes-77611.html

There is also a factory seal installed between the rear body shell and bumper cover plate, an extremely leak-prone area in earlier models resulting in rotting of the sub-floor. Over-all build quality is also improved.

Late 2012 models installed a seal under all exterior clearance lights (11) whose frames were rubbing the shell and initiating multiple shell corrosion spots.

My own experience with a old-stock new model was not good. Saved money but had many condition issues of a used model with no maintenance, and lots of careless customers trying everything out but not buying.

Buy the new one, factory-fresh as possible. I would also consider a 25' over the 23'. Much more comfortable and larger storage tanks, larger tires/brakes; you won't notice the difference towing one or the other. You could live in the 25' for long periods, not so much with the 23' FB which has no practical lounge area.

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Old 03-19-2013, 10:40 AM   #4
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We originally were hoping to get the 25' but the hitch weight (835 lbs) was way over our car's 750 lb limit. The 23' is only 467 lbs.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum



Late 2012 models installed a seal under all exterior clearance lights (11) whose frames were rubbing the shell and initiating multiple shell corrosion spots.



doug k
Is there a recall on that? I pick up my 2012 FC 27FB in a couple weeks. It was made in Oct 2011. Wonder if there's anything official I should tell my dealer before pickup? Thx!
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:03 PM   #6
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Is there a recall on that? I pick up my 2012 FC 27FB in a couple weeks. It was made in Oct 2011. Wonder if there's anything official I should tell my dealer before pickup? Thx!
Regarding the clearance light corrosion problem, our trailer was made in Aug 2011 and it did not have the gaskets to separate the light frames from the body shell. Two tiny filiform spots had already started because the light frame contacted the shell at the front and back corners.

I don't know of anything official on this. After getting nothing but crap from our local dealer, we contacted Airstream Customer Service, sent pictures of the moisture inside the light lenses and corrosion starting on the factory-new trailer, and they offered all Flying Cloud style clearance lights lights to be replaced with Classic style lights. The Flying Cloud/International/E.B. light frames are plastic. The Classic light frames are aluminum, slightly larger, and would cover/seal any initial corrosion. We took it to Jackson Center, OH as part of a larger trip and they replaced all 11 clearance lights under warranty.

Excellent response from Airstream, terrible response from selling dealer.

doug k
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:15 PM   #7
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One update I would love to have on my 2009 27' Flying Cloud which I understand is on all of the newer AS starting in 2012 is the water heater with both gas and electric heating.
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:34 PM   #8
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We originally were hoping to get the 25' but the hitch weight (835 lbs) was way over our car's 750 lb limit. The 23' is only 467 lbs.
What is your tow vehicle?

Airstreams are a lot of money, much of it's monetary worth disappears immediately. Usually better to get a trailer to suit your needs, then a tow vehicle closely matched to the trailer. Sometimes the vehicle you have is safely capable with the right weight distribution hitch on the trailer, and an improved hitch, better tires on the tow vehicle.

doug k
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:40 PM   #9
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I am a previous 23 FC FB owner, and you've received a lot of great information!

I too, went the 23 route because of tow vehicle limitations. My mistake.

Do yourself a favor and seriously consider the 25, even though a different tow vehicle would be necessary.

As to the decision between the 2011 and the 2013? No brainer. Get the 2013 with a two year warranty.

Good luck!
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:05 PM   #10
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Here's a photo of my 2012 clearance light (2011 and early 2012 models) before Airstream installed the Classic style light fixtures. Note the plastic frame contacts the shell and started a tiny line of filiform corrosion, which will grow much larger if left unprotected.

Note that this is a factory-fresh trailer less than two months from manufacture, at the time.

doug k
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum
Here's a photo of my 2012 clearance light (2011 and early 2012 models) before Airstream installed the Classic style light fixtures. Note the plastic frame contacts the shell and started a tiny line of filiform corrosion, which will grow much larger if left unprotected.

Note that this is a factory-fresh trailer less than two months from manufacture, at the time.

doug k
Thanks very much - just sent a note to my dealer. Will keep you posted!
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:21 PM   #12
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I purchased 2011 23FB Serenity from a dealer where it was on display for over 10 months. Trade-in my 2007 20ft Safari. We loved the Serenity light interior and fell in love. Primary reasons to go for 23ft is easy to two and park, 6" narrower than larger units, has large fresh and gray water tanks and walk-around bed (20' bed was at one end). The unit has 2 year warranty for date of purchase. A few samll issues taken care by the dealer. We have already driven over 10,00 miles in 15 months.
Tow vehicle Lexus 470 was one of the consideration but we could have bought a larger LX model.
Good luck
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:34 PM   #13
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My 2012 FC has a mfg date of "January 2012" and has the gaskets between the clearance lights and the body shell. In talking with the AS factory regarding 2012 changes/improvements, they mentioned the rear bumper seal and also a change in the A/C that included a new water collection "cup" design that should eliminate some of the issues that were being seen in earlier models. They weren't specific, but believe they were making reference to cracks in the previous cup design that allowed water to leak. I'm sure there are others that more familar with this than me.

AirEgger
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:57 AM   #14
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Thanks to everyone for the information. We are still in the process of seeing what the bottom prices will be for each model year, and figure out which one is better for us.
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