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Old 02-03-2019, 07:47 AM   #1
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Looking for First Classic

Hi All,

We are new to the Airstream Forum and hoping to get some wisdom from those of you who are more experienced. We have owned, and currently own, a box trailer with a bunkhouse. Last year when traveling we realized that the kids are gone, one of us is retired so why are we still pulling the trailer where we don't even use almost a third. We have been looking at the Airstream Classic 30 foot model. We realize they are a bit more pricy than other "adult" box campers and like many of the amenities available.

The brochure says it sleeps up to five and when we looked at them it appeared we could get a couple of the adult kids in there. Anyone have experience with this situation?

We were wondering in terms of pricing for these trailers do dealers tend to reduce the price by a percentage? We had been looking at other box trailers and find that dealers will discount the MSRP by 20-30%. Do Airstream dealers negotiate similarly with the understanding every dealer is different.

Also we have been to Colonial Airstream in New Jersey. Does anyone have experience with them in sales and service? They seem to be very nice. No pressure to purchase or anything so far.

Do dealers really allow you to "camp" at their place when purchasing the trailer. I have read in the forums that we should sleep in it at least for one night to see any of the "kinks" it might have and the dealer can correct.

I have been reading extensively on the other threads for new classic purchases and found them very informative. What I didn't see, or at lease I don't recall, were things such as purchasing the Airstream solar package. How difficult would it be to add additional capacity in terms of solar panels and storage in the future? One of the plans we're making is to do more traveling out west and would like the option to boondock more but think we would need to add additional capacity and storage. Is it worth purchasing the factory solar package or better to wait and have an aftermarket vendor install a system? We're looking for your experiences with either or both.

Also we read that some are satisfied with the AGM batteries and others have switched to lithium iron. Any thoughts from experience?

I'm sure there are things I 'm forgetting to ask. Please feel free to share additional learnings you have experienced.

Thanks for reading the long post. If this has already been discussed in other forums please point me in that direction.
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Old 02-03-2019, 08:13 AM   #2
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Thousand Oaks , California
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Wow. Thatís a lot of questions. First, welcome to the forum! Many more people are much more knowledgeable than I am but Iíll do my best to let you know what I know:

We love our 30. Would be in a 33 if we were working and they were available when we ordered (we have an 18 that was ordered in 2017).
The trailer is capable of sleeping 5 but we are most comfortable with 2. We have only had one guest and they said the couch is more comfortable than the bed due to the cushions falling out or separating and causing cracks that you sink into. We have been full timing for a year and people tend not to want to try and sleep on our couch.
Pricing is an individual thing. There is no set reduction recommendation. I was able to get a blue ox away system included in price. I went to a couple dealers around me and negotiated separate with all them before I went to my final dealer and obviously got the best price out of all of them. Remember, they need to want to sell it more than you want to buy it. A ďgood dealĒ is only as good as the buyer agrees to.

Camping is advised as things happen. Airstream does have a no hassle bumper to bumper warranty which is now three years. You will need to go back into a dealer to get adjusted but all dealers try and get you out in one day anyways.

Airstreams in 2019 and newer come with basic solar automatically. Mine did not. I wasnít impressed with the setup and everyone will tell you that your boondocking will depend on how much electrical use you have. We have very minimal so a 600w portable system is what we use and we are fine with it. But we only charge in the morning and use headlamps at night with minimal to no electrical use as a result. Upgrading the system is going to be about adding panels, rerunning wire, and upgrading the controller (I believe). Adding more batteries just increased your bank. Itís all ďsimpleĒ relatively speaking. Very expensive (Iíve heard about $10k for a good system and $20k for an incredible system)

Multiple threads that discuss this one here. As I said, we just find ourselves using the portable unit and it has worked fine. You many find the same on the stock system? We run out of water or storage of water before electric is a concern in our situation.

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-03-2019, 10:24 AM   #3
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Canfield , Ohio
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Welcome to the forum.

We have had our 30' Classic for about 5 months. The solar from the factory was upgraded significantly with heavier gauge wires and 270 watts of solar panels (3). They are now using a victron mttp controller and we are very satisfied with the results. We camped several times with no electricity and the panels under full sun charged our batteries back to full each day. Just remember the Classic has a lot of bells and whistles that require power, so you cannot run the tv forever or at all.

Some will tell you that the factory solar is way too expensive. Don't listen. With the 18-21% discount, you will receive and the three-year warranty, it is a great start that you can add to in the future. The AGM batteries are also a great start and provide a good amount of power. You cannot compare it to a $10,000 system, but maybe you don't want that yet.

We were not allowed to "camp" at the dealer for insurance purposes, but we stayed at a nearby campground for a week. I would recommend this.
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Old 02-03-2019, 01:25 PM   #4
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As Turk said, the Classic has a lot of bells and whistles that require some time and help (thanks Turk) to get worked out. We live about 20 miles from our dealer and have 50 amp service at our house so we "camped" in our driveway several nights to just get familiar with all the different systems. People on this site will be your best resource, they generally know more than most dealers.
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Old 02-03-2019, 01:40 PM   #5
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2019 26' Flying Cloud
Morristown , Tennessee
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I purchased my FC26 from Colonial last June. Solar was included, I received a heavily discounted price, stayed on the lot three days after a six hour briefing. Support staff were always available to help. After a day, I discovered the table was 1.5" too high for my ergonomics - they cut the legs at no charge. Still available by phone or email for support - just about the most pleasurable financial transaction I have been involved with in my lifetime. No hassle, no pressure, they believe in their product and use their product.
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Old 02-04-2019, 10:28 AM   #6
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2019 33' Classic
Scottsdale , Arizona
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By sleep 5 it really depends on who the 5 are. The dinette is not a very long bed, it would work for short adults or kids.

We have a 33', the couch is a shorter than in the 30', our son sleeps on it when we go out. He is about 6'4 though, and he does have to curl up to fit. The dinette is not big enough to fit our other son though, he is 6'...

The 2019 models come with 240 watts of Solar already, we have never run off of solar, and if we were boon docking we would use the solar to it's capacity and then use a generator past that point.

I'm guessing for us the bigger issue would be the size of the batteries than the 240 watts of solar. We are usually out in the day, and at night without the sun up we would run out of battery when ever we did, and no sun to charge it at that point.

If we ever upgraded our solar to more panels, we would also want to significantly upgrade our battery storage solution. LiIon I'm sure is awesome, expect to drop some very serious dough if you go that route. I'd try the system in place first and see if/how deficient it is before making any changes.

Yes, some dealers will negotiate on price, I believe we got about 18% off on our Tommy Bahama, and on the classic it's hard to say because we had a trade as well so the math is not as clear, but I anticipate we were about 15% off all things considered on that one.

Obviously how much you can negotiate depends entirely on how anxious the dealer is to move the specific inventory item your dealing on. e.g. when in the model year are you (beginning or end), how many of that model do they have in stock and do they have any more eminently arriving, etc....

I have heard good things about Colonial, but you are probably on the East Coast somewhere if that is a realistic option for you.

I live in Arizona and we had a great experience at Airstrem of Scottsdale. We tried initially to buy from Airstream of Las Vegas, and they were kinda rude and blew us off...pretty shocking since we were ready to buy at that moment and had driven 4.5 hours to finalize a deal we had been negotiating in email on.

Also, depending where you are planning to go 'out west', there are some very warm/hot places...And if your here in the summer boon docking may be out at many locations simply because you need AC

Good luck with your acquisition.
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Old 02-05-2019, 01:56 PM   #7
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Thank you all for the great feedback and ideas.

BigSxyWhtGuy thanks for the info on how your camper has been doing full time.

Turk I read of your exploits from another thread and the fun and excitement of ordering and obtaining your trailer. I didn't think the two batteries would run the TV and honestly that's not such a big deal for us. I was more interested in managing simple electrical things like some lights and maybe the circulation pump on the heating system if necessary. Our current trailer has a hard time with just managing to run the furnace before the single battery dies hence why we now travel with a small generator. Seems that you are happy with your choice.

JL thanks we're near the dealer. It seems they will let us stay a night if we decide to purchase it from them. I would take them up on that offer. We don't have the amps at home. I usually plug in our box camper periodically to charge the battery during season and before we are leaving on a trip to our dedicated 20A outlet. Just enough to run the refrigerator. I have been "lurking" for a bit of time reading the threads on different aspects of the airstreams. It appears people are willing to assist and that's great.

Acheron that's wonderful to hear about Colonial. We have been in and out looking and found them to be very easy to work with and no pressure to purchase a unit. Glad they allowed you to stay the night, or three. That's something I would want to do as well.

Trepine, thanks for sharing some great information. Yes we're on the east coast so unless we received a super offer from a further dealer I would think staying closer to our home base would be better. I understand there are some "hot" places out west in the summer. Last year we were able to do Utah in the shoulder season just before the heat and that was great. I don't think our four adult children will fit in the camper. It was a tight squeeze in our bunkhouse once. We did it but they were not too happy. I was thinking of one or two at a time. I thought one could be on the couch and perhaps the space between the couch and dinette might fit a twin air mattress. After that I'm happy to bring along the tent.

Again thanks to everyone and if you think of anything else we would appreciate it very much.
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Old 02-05-2019, 04:02 PM   #8
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Now, you do know they have been building Classics for a number of years. A new one is great, but it's 30/33ft. The Classic that Long Long Honeymoon folks use is a 2003 25ft. So if you want the Classic classic, shop a bit.

There is also a Land Yacht model that's quite regal with a layout and style apart from normal. You will have to shop for that jewel as well.

And just to add to the option possibilitiess, Ultimate Airstream near Portland Oregon can make some interesting modifications to improve your comfort. There are other upgrade providers that do excellent work as well. It's another opportunity to review.

So, you have been RVing for a while. You should know well what you are doing, but do your research in depth. Understand the challenges of Airstream construction. A trip to the factory is recommended.

Colonial gets very high marks from folks who have worked with them. Their on-line videos have been a help to numerous buyers.

Welcome to the forums. It sounds like we can expect to see your smiles down the road in the not too distant future. Just take the time to get it right. You do not want to do this over and over.

Chase those smiles. Pat
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Old 02-06-2019, 02:19 AM   #9
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Iíve been very happy with the 33 layout. I always struggled with the split bathroom design, iím 6í3.

The one thing I would love, if I could figure out a place to put it, would be a washer/dryer. Of course I donít know if the weight penalty would be too much.

One thought I did have about the 30 was I could put it behind the dinette in front of the couch.
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Old 02-06-2019, 06:14 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by GBandBONES View Post
Thank you all for the great feedback and ideas.

BigSxyWhtGuy thanks for the info on how your camper has been doing full time.

Turk I read of your exploits from another thread and the fun and excitement of ordering and obtaining your trailer. I didn't think the two batteries would run the TV and honestly that's not such a big deal for us. I was more interested in managing simple electrical things like some lights and maybe the circulation pump on the heating system if necessary. Our current trailer has a hard time with just managing to run the furnace before the single battery dies hence why we now travel with a small generator. Seems that you are happy with your choice.

JL thanks we're near the dealer. It seems they will let us stay a night if we decide to purchase it from them. I would take them up on that offer. We don't have the amps at home. I usually plug in our box camper periodically to charge the battery during season and before we are leaving on a trip to our dedicated 20A outlet. Just enough to run the refrigerator. I have been "lurking" for a bit of time reading the threads on different aspects of the airstreams. It appears people are willing to assist and that's great.

Acheron that's wonderful to hear about Colonial. We have been in and out looking and found them to be very easy to work with and no pressure to purchase a unit. Glad they allowed you to stay the night, or three. That's something I would want to do as well.

Trepine, thanks for sharing some great information. Yes we're on the east coast so unless we received a super offer from a further dealer I would think staying closer to our home base would be better. I understand there are some "hot" places out west in the summer. Last year we were able to do Utah in the shoulder season just before the heat and that was great. I don't think our four adult children will fit in the camper. It was a tight squeeze in our bunkhouse once. We did it but they were not too happy. I was thinking of one or two at a time. I thought one could be on the couch and perhaps the space between the couch and dinette might fit a twin air mattress. After that I'm happy to bring along the tent.

Again thanks to everyone and if you think of anything else we would appreciate it very much.
We took delivery of our 2019 Classic 30 RB about a month after Turk. We traded a 2012 Eddie Bauer 25' and got about what we paid for the EB back. We were surprised but very happy.

I would say the dealer you buy from is key. There is a ton of knowledge and help on this forum but if you don't have a responsive dealer you are probably not going to enjoy the experience. My dealer has virtually no knowledge about the new Classic and without this forum, my ASing would not have been as much fun as it has been.

I have a 4000w generator for when I know there won't be shore power. If one is cautious about what you run and the order you start things up in you won't miss the 50 amp wall plug much.

I would not plan on sleeping more than three in a 30'. My daughter is 5'0" and says the dining table bed is too small. She prefers to sleep in the recliner.

Can't wait to hear what you buy!
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Old 02-10-2019, 01:26 PM   #11
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Hi All,

Thanks for the great advice. We spent the better part of yesterday going through a bunch of campers, all the way from the 16ft to the 33ft. We seem to be leaning toward the 30ft classic RBQ. We had some questions...

Has anyone who has the queen felt too tight in the bedroom. We did recognize there is more space in the twin however, we're not yet ready for twin beds.

Storage space questions. Has anyone felt the lack of storage in the classic an issue. By storage I don't mean inside. I think there is enough room in the camper for our clothing and kitchen items. I'm talking more of outside storage. In our current box type trailer we have a reasonable size passthrough up front for things like our water connections, sewer hoses and stuff, tools, portable air compressor, lynx blocks, etc. Have people found room in the classic outside storage area? If not did you have to move it to the back of trucks or vehicles? Did people put covers on the backs of their truck beds? Currently we don't have a cover on our truck bed but do not really travel with a lot of stuff in it except for a few items.

We read in the other forum threads about the issues some have had with the Wi-Fi extender and AT&T. We are not on AT&T and were thinking of adding a WeBoost to help with our Verizon signal. Have they worked out the issues with the Wi-Fi? I seem to remember some folks plugging in their own Wi-Fi repeater via ethernet. Is that still an ongoing situation? With the built in "antenna" is there still a need for the WeBoost?

Has anyone place a fan cover on the outside of their camper? We currently have two fantastik fans in our bunkhouse with covers on the outside. Was that a big deal for the Airstream if so?

When we asked the dealer how much he came down 20% from the MSPR sticker price without batting an eyelash. Is this normal or might there be room for more negotiation? What have your experiences been in this manner?

The only other one we saw that we liked was the Flying Cloud 27FB mainly because of the more open queen bedroom. It also seemed to be a big difference with the classic vs the Flying Cloud in terms of finishes and such.

Anyway, thank you all again for your help. It is appreciated.
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Old 02-10-2019, 01:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GBandBONES View Post
Hi All,

Thanks for the great advice. We spent the better part of yesterday going through a bunch of campers, all the way from the 16ft to the 33ft. We seem to be leaning toward the 30ft classic RBQ. We had some questions...

Has anyone who has the queen felt too tight in the bedroom. We did recognize there is more space in the twin however, we're not yet ready for twin beds.

Storage space questions. Has anyone felt the lack of storage in the classic an issue. By storage I don't mean inside. I think there is enough room in the camper for our clothing and kitchen items. I'm talking more of outside storage. In our current box type trailer we have a reasonable size passthrough up front for things like our water connections, sewer hoses and stuff, tools, portable air compressor, lynx blocks, etc. Have people found room in the classic outside storage area? If not did you have to move it to the back of trucks or vehicles? Did people put covers on the backs of their truck beds? Currently we don't have a cover on our truck bed but do not really travel with a lot of stuff in it except for a few items.

We read in the other forum threads about the issues some have had with the Wi-Fi extender and AT&T. We are not on AT&T and were thinking of adding a WeBoost to help with our Verizon signal. Have they worked out the issues with the Wi-Fi? I seem to remember some folks plugging in their own Wi-Fi repeater via ethernet. Is that still an ongoing situation? With the built in "antenna" is there still a need for the WeBoost?

Has anyone place a fan cover on the outside of their camper? We currently have two fantastik fans in our bunkhouse with covers on the outside. Was that a big deal for the Airstream if so?

When we asked the dealer how much he came down 20% from the MSPR sticker price without batting an eyelash. Is this normal or might there be room for more negotiation? What have your experiences been in this manner?

The only other one we saw that we liked was the Flying Cloud 27FB mainly because of the more open queen bedroom. It also seemed to be a big difference with the classic vs the Flying Cloud in terms of finishes and such.

Anyway, thank you all again for your help. It is appreciated.
We have not found the exterior space in our 2019 Classic 30' to be a problem. We have everything we need stored and still have some available space. Our 25' Eddie Bauer did have more outside storage space but when we traded it in we found stuff still in the original boxes we have never opened.

I think they have a lot of room in the Classic 30' to negotiate.

I am pretty sure AS will get the AT&T wireless sorted out. Early adopters always get to be beta testers.
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Old 02-10-2019, 03:07 PM   #13
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Our 30 classic is fine on storage all the way around. We do have a ram 2500 with a camper shell that has our bikes, solar, scuba gear, fishing gear, golf clubs, etc.

Price is always negotiable. Ask for perfection and settle for excellence. Also will depend on ordering one vs buying the one on the lot. The new models are coming out already so if you are looking at a 2017/2018 they will be more flexible than the 2019/2020.

Remember your soft gear too. Hoses, cleaning supplies, hitches, solar, etc. a lot of negotiating room instead of knocking price off trailer
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:42 AM   #14
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2019 30' Classic
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We've had our 30' Classic RBT for about 6 weeks now. Plenty of storage space inside. Do we wish we had more storage outside, yes. But we have learned to adapt. Some things have to go in the bed of the truck but that's ok. There is ample storage outside for the small thing you take just not for grills, chairs, table, etc. I guess we could put some of those items inside on the floor but we have plenty of space in the bed of the truck so why not use it.
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