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Old 08-06-2016, 11:27 PM   #1
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2015 30' Classic
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 5
Question Soon to Be Owner (Had some questions before signing on the dotted line)


Thanks for looking at my thread. I had some questions to owners of the 2015-2017 Classic. I am about to purchase a lightly used 2015 Classic. I have put some money down reserving it, but I haven't officially purchased it until I see it and go through an in person inspection (the pictures and sales men assure me it is in excellent condition). So this thread is in preparation for going to pick it up... My questions are a little fueled by my fear of getting a lemon... So please bare with me and answer as detailed as you can (or point me to good threads, I love reading but the search function on these forums is terrible). I really appreciate it!!

1) What things have broken/stopped working/arrived the factory non-fuctional that I should make sure to have checked before signing on the dotted line? Like common quality control issues that I should verify as non-issues...

2) How many things have broken down in your Classic so far and how many nights approximately have you used it?

3) Have you had a good experience overall? Would you recommend the 2015-2017 Classic based on your experience of the quality of construction/quality control from the factory?

4) What things would you recommend upgrading/replacing right away because they were bad from the factory?

5) Assuming proper maintenance and repairing known issues, how many years do you think the 2015 Classic will remain in good/working condition?

Thanks so much! I really look forward to checking out my new airstream in person (assuming all goes well in the inspection/check).

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Old 08-07-2016, 07:42 AM   #2
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2014 30' Flying Cloud
Tampa , Florida
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 720
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As a new buyer its natural to be hesitant, but don't let the negative threads here dissuade you. Just because someone had a problem doesn't mean you will. Just approach it as an adventure. Here's a checklist I used to minimize what could go wrong at purchase:

Good luck!

2014 Airstream Flying Cloud 30 Recliner - WBCCI #4850 - AIR #110821
2013 Cadillac Escalade Tow Vehicle, Equal-i-zer Hitch
Visit Our Flying Cloud blog for my latest adventure!
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Old 08-07-2016, 08:00 AM   #3
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2017 30' Classic
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 45
I agree with FCStreamer, don't let it all scare you. With that said, if you click on the Forums tab that is next to the Portal tab at the top of the page, click on the Trailers heading, scroll down to the Classic 2011-2015, start at the 3rd page and go forward. The 2015 info starts about there and goes through 2017.

We have ordered a 2017 that will be here in a few weeks. All of the information here has helped me to understand it all. We are not do it yourselfers so a lot of the information is way over my head but still interesting to read.

Have fun in your travels.
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Old 08-07-2016, 08:17 AM   #4
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2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
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Old 08-07-2016, 08:21 AM   #5
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1954 25' Cruiser
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Your text , I had to smile . There is no 100 % guarantee - also not in life . With me quite a bit was replaced and the Airstream you go to the service . That makes no pain and you have subsequently not go to rehabilitation . So let make not crazy , stay cool and ask here in the forum specifically ! Good luck - Werner

Without risk no gain !
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Old 08-07-2016, 10:52 AM   #6
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2007 27' Classic FB
Richfield/SLC , Utah
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 166
Quadron, let us know how this process goes for you. I bought a well used 2007 Classic a couple of years ago and was pleased with the result. The original owner had taken good care of the trailer, added some nice upgrades, and worked thru any original QA/QC issues. I went through the trailer and inspected it as best I could (I did not have these handy checklists) and asked a ton of questions. I was buying the unit directly from the original owner who was an honest gentleman. He and his wife kept throwing in extras (trailer stocking items), so we basically got it camp-ready. Very nice folks.

I am interested in your experience, as I am toying with the idea of upgrading to the larger 30' Classic (used 2015-16) at some point. The extra room would be nice on weather days or if we finally embark on more extended travel.

Good luck - please post some follow-up info.

Regards - Ron
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Old 08-07-2016, 10:57 AM   #7
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2016 28' Pendleton
Currently Looking...
Scottsdale , Arizona
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Hi from AZ. . . and welcome to the group ! You might consider finding a forum member with a little more AS knowledge than you to accompany you on you initial walk-thru. List on portal page I believe. The Classic is about as nice as Airstreams get, & shouldn't have many issues, & any it's had have probably been resolved by PO. None are trouble free ..........Good luck, Craig
WBCCI 2851,4CU
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Old 08-07-2016, 12:45 PM   #8
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2013 25' Flying Cloud
Wheaton , Illinois
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 221
Don't know your specific trailer, but off the top of my head the following items are typically suggested for upgrading:

- 12V convertor from factory supplied single stage model to three stage to prolong battery life

- Shurflo Revolution Water Pump to replace the noisier factory supplied fresh water pump along with braided steel connecting hoses which are more flexible and less prone to transmit vibration

- Quiet computer fans to replace the cheap and noisy external refrigerator fan. You won't need this if your refrigerator vents to the roof.

- Wheel lugnuts should be replaced with full metal ones, like Gorilla 41188. Factory supplied lugnuts have a thin chrome decorative cover which can easily come loose.

- Metal valve stems for the wheels if you decide to invest in a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with external sensors.

All of these items are covered in detail in various threads in the Airstream forum. Use Google to search and specify at the end of your search string to limit the search to the Airstream forum.

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Old 08-07-2016, 02:57 PM   #9
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1967 22' Safari
2005 30' Classic
Rockport , Texas
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Go to the community section of the forums and check under "buyers guidelines"... There you can look for advice or see if there's anyone available to inspect... Shouldn't have a problem in Houston. There's also a tab on the portal page along the side titled "Airstream Inspectors". Check it out...

Most folks will inspect for free or maybe for a six pack or a lunch...
Bill & Kim
34’ Classic Limited w/slideout (Anabelle)
Chevy Silverado * 2500HD Duramax * LTZ
WBCCI 7005 * AIR 9218

The trouble with trouble is it always starts out as fun...
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Old 08-07-2016, 03:12 PM   #10
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2015 30' Classic
2012 28' International
Greensboro , North Carolina
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Not to give a run around to your specific (and well placed) questions, for sure you want to pull up the specifics for your model under the Forum (Model Specific - Classic). You'll see the year range that encompasses the model you're seeking. Having said that, I have a '15 Classic and I would definitely buy it again. It's a gorgeous trailer and I've pulled it about 25,000 miles and have spent probably around 100 nights in it. Issues with the Classic are not unique to the model, but more specific to Airstreams in general. The build quality of my trailer was very, very good. I didn't have any major defects, but a number of small, irritating issues -- virtually all I was able to fix myself -- but, I am very technically and electrically inclined. For sure, you want to immediately get rid of the stock charger unit. You can buy a multi-stage replacement for under $175 and avoid boiling out your batteries. Be advised that the Classic uses a fair amount of 12V power --- over and above most of the Airstream line. This is due to inclusion of power stabilizers, power bed, electric awning (if you have that option), power recliners, etc. Without solid battery power, you are limited if you don't always stay in parks. (My redesign and re-equipping of my Classic was to make me independent of 120V power pedestals.) Several of us had issues with the furnace. Bad board or inoperative sail switch. Many had (and some continue to have) issues with the Zip Dee Relax power awning. I think they have most of the early problems resolved, but for some, it was not a fun experience. Make sure you have a kill switch installed in the awning circuit that deactivates the power pad. If the trailer has a manual awning, none of this applies. As you do a PDI, though, make sure you cycle anything that has a 12V motor to make sure it all operates. I would definitely have someone who's familiar with Airstreams go along with you to help out. In terms of longevity/durability, I expect my Classic to way outlive me.
"SilverLeaf II" 2015 30' Classic
2014 RAM 2500 Laramie 4x4 CC w/6.7L Cummins
ProPride 3P
AIR# 58452
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Old 08-07-2016, 03:24 PM   #11
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2016 30' Classic
Little Rock , Arkansas
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 72
Quadron -

Note: I thought this was going to be a quick response, but got a bit wordy; you might want to get a cup of coffee or a beer....

We purchased our 2016 Classic the first working day in 2016; have camped in it about 20 days so far (I just retired and DW is not yet retired, so time is somewhat limited).

As you probably know, big changes in the Classic began with the 2015 model. Classics of any year are fine trailers. With 2015, ducted A/C made its debut; huge and good change; the 2015s came with uni directional vents, so one of the first things I would do is upgrade to adjustable vents (easy change).

Of course no way for any of us to judge the quality and/or identify problems with the unit you are about to purchase. The good news is that, despite some comments and threads to the contrary, Airstream QC is MUCH better than virtually any other RV manufacturer. Yes, there are some issues with units and yes, QC slipped in Classic production as the additional production facility came online in the Summer of 2015. To the company's credit, they halted Classic production for a couple of weeks to reset their QC focus. Lost or delayed some revenue, but retained or gained some happy customers, such as yours truly.

Our Classic has been almost perfect. Ours was one of the first units to have the new Dometic oven (manuf in Germany) with electric start; unfortunately, it and several others were shipped without the electric starter installed. Frankly, we will live without it, but expect it to be installed, finally, during a service visit to our dealer (Foley in Biloxi; excellent folks) in September.

Most prevalent problem with 2015 and newer Classics is around the power awning. We did not want one, thank goodness, so avoided paying an extra three grand for something that seems to be very poorly designed (not an AS design).

Let me stop rambling and offer some advice; note both my lack of experience and evident lack of intelligence (read below for confirmation):

1. Have a competent RV mechanic or experienced RVer (preferably in ASs) look at the unit closely.

2. Spend time deciding on the appropriate Tow Vehicle for you, your family and your travel plans. Any of the Big Three diesel 3/4 ton pickups will do just fine; you live in Houston where there are a million of them. Just because a TV will pull a heavy trailer does not mean it will stop it safely. Exhaust brakes are awesome.

3. Spend time deciding on the appropriate weight distribution/sway elimination hitch system. Do not even think of towing the Classic without one; this is a life saving device. There are some good systems out there; lots of threads on this subject; we selected ProPride and it is wonderful. Or at least I should say NOW it is wonderful, after I finally got it set up correctly. When we arrived at Canopener (a seriously fun AS rally in the Destin area) literally the same day we picked up the trailer, three very nice ASers descended on us and offered to help with my obvious hitch set up problems. More to that story... but not here.
As with most life saving devices, one must know how to use it...

4. Get or build a good checklist. That will be worthless unless you actually run the checklist. You need one for loading the AS and TV, for hooking up and departing, and for setting up in the campground. Probably need a few more, but these will be a good start. I am a former pilot; in the most dangerous period of my flying career, between the time when I gained my license and before I obtained advanced certifications, I failed to run a checklist after an enroute fuel stop and put my family in danger. Guess how many times after that I failed to run the checklist? That would be zero. In the slow learner category, I was late to even develop (there are good ones available) an AS checklist. That has brought me some really fun experiences. Hooking up city water to the black tank cleanout inlet is among my favorite. Forgetting to level the trailer side to side before unhitching is another fun one. Backing my F250 into the garage with bikes still on top holds what I hope to be the all time record expensive failure to run a checklist (Titanium bikes; stucco house; 860 ftlbs of tourque; it was ugly). Those three were all in the same camping experience; fortunate the DW did not order me to commit Seppuku.

5. Spend a lot of time on Air Forums. It is so impressive that so many people will spend a lot of time and effort helping someone they may never even meet solve a difficult problem. Anything you ever hope to know about any aspect of owning or operating an AS or Tow Vehicle can be found in the Forums. I have found they are especially patient with and helpful to newbies. I hope they don't mind me naming a few of them; Zybane, BAB and Silverbee have been particularly helpful on more than one occasion. In the past few days, they have helped me understand how to measure, order and install new skylight covers (the factory AS skylights are for crap) with Maxim skylights (made in TX!). There are many other examples.

Now, in the unlikely event you are still reading this or even awake, I will say that I don't know whether you are new to RVing, new to AS or both, so pardon if I missed the mark.

If you are new, at least to AS, you are in for a treat. Despite our tender experience, we have already met many, many great ASrs. I very strongly prefer to camp with other ASs and at AS events and rallies. We have already made several friends with whom we correspond on a regular basis. Join WBCCI and join a unit you like. There are a ton of them in TX. We are Texans living in Arkansas, so we are members of the Razorback Unit; wonderful people and very active. We recently became members of North Texas Airstream Community in Hillsboro and have met great people there.

By the way, any self respecting Texan will want to fly a Texas flag on his or her AS; Sandlapper (John Leake) makes great looking aluminum flag holders that mount on the front of the jack tube. He is making a 5 flag holder for us; after the required US, Texas and Texas A&M flags, we needed room for some AS related flags!

Hope your inspection and purchase goes well and wish you many, many years of happy glamping!
Boogieshoes, DH of JudyJudy
2016 Classic "Rose"
2016 F250 King Ranch 6.7 4x4 Crew Cab "Tex"
Members, North Texas Airstream Community
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Old 08-08-2016, 04:34 AM   #12
3 Rivet Member
2000 30' Excella
2014 30' Classic
Princeton , Iowa
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 229
We had a 2013 Classic and it was a wonderful trailer. It has been my experience that some things will go wrong, mostly little things. I would use it for a year or so and keep a list, then if at all possible take it to Jackson Center and let them fix these things. I have a 2016 FC 26U now and after 65 days of use and about 6,000 miles not one thing has been added to my list of things to fix.
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Old 08-08-2016, 05:45 PM   #13
1 Rivet Member
2015 30' Classic
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 5
Thanks you all for your responses. Lots of reading to do.

I am coming from full timing in a fifth wheel for 3 months that quickly broke down in lots of ways and constantly.

For that reason I will be towing with a Dodge Ram 3500 single rear wheel truck. The dealer I am buying from has a e2 fastway hitch that he is recommending. I have seen a lot of recommendations for the pro pride, but both the dealer and a hitch specialist said that the pro pride was overkill for a truck as large as mine and that I will be just fine with a standard hitch with antisway and weight distribution. Should get a basic hitch now and then upgrade down the road to a pro pride? Or should I just go with a standard antisway hitch because my 3500 already has enough control to handle towing the classic?

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Old 08-08-2016, 06:06 PM   #14
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2016 30' Classic
Lorton , Virginia
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 361
I have a RAM 2500 which is a 3500 just with softer springs. Towed with and without the ProPride 3P. I cannot say enough good things about the 3P. Being a RAM 3500 isn't going to magically make the trailer not sway for you. Just do it right the first time with the ProPride.

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