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Old 11-18-2019, 02:32 PM   #1
30' 1999 Excella
 
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Net Carrying Capacity: 2020 30 & 33

The online brochure is now available for the 2020 Classic. We are thinking of upgrading from our 1999 30' Classic Excella to the new 33.

I noted that on the specs, both the new 30 and 33 have the same Maximum Trailer Capacity (GVWR) of 10,000 lbs - which leads me to believe they likely have the same running gear (tires, axels, etc).

But because of their respective Unit Base Weights, the 30 has a Net Carrying Capacity of 2,212 lbs and the 33 has 1,739 pounds.

I'm just wondering about the available carrying capacity of the 33.
A full tank of water weighs 450 lbs, leaving roughly 1300 pounds for other junk. We generally run with our waste tanks empty or nearly empty.

We're pretty efficient in our packing, and don't think we would load up 1300 pounds, but on the other hand, any reasonable load would get close to that maximum of 10,000.

I don't like operating near max capacity.
I suspect we carry at least 300-400 lbs of food/clothes/cooking stuff.
I wonder if 900-1000 lbs is enough leeway? That's 10% (I kinda like 20% safety margins)

(this is likely the first of many questions - thanks for your help!)
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Old 11-18-2019, 03:16 PM   #2
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Hi

Compared to the carrying capacity of any other Airstream, the Classic's are beasts. If you are not happy with their numbers, there is nothing else in the line to look at.

If you are after a *true* 20% margin, the trailers are rated at 10,000 pounds. That would put you at 8,000 pounds max. At that level, the *only* thing in the entire AS lineup that meets the criteria is the 33' Classic, with < 200 pounds loaded into it. Simply put, nobody designs a trailer to that sort of standard.

I suspect that your 1999 was a bit overloaded if you filled the tanks and then put 1,000 pounds of stuff in it .....

Bob
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Old 11-18-2019, 05:21 PM   #3
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Heavier loads tow better. As long as you aren’t overloading what the trailer or your tow vehicle is rated for, you should be safe. Any “safety leeway” you want to put on there is just an additional burden that you need to consider for yourself.

Most people are more concerned with their payload of their tow vehicle.
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Old 11-19-2019, 07:02 AM   #4
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Hi

At least with a Classic, load closer to the ground. Putting a bunch of heavy stuff in the high bins (or in the rear) does not help stability.

Bob
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Old 11-19-2019, 07:46 AM   #5
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On the stickers in my trailer(s) IIRC, they include the fresh water tank already deducted from the NCC.....LP too unless that changed, which is entirely possible.

One word or caution unrelated, and not to scare you off on a purchase of a lovely trailer, but please, please, please, read the QC threads here before making your final decision. There are of course good, bad and ugly and you'll have to sift through them to find the purity of an answer, but I have heard far too many times where folks both love their new Airstream and also those who wish they never traded their older one. It is entirely possible given what I've read on this forum alone that you might find that you miss the quality of the build in your current model compared to a new one. Of course a 99 Excella vs a 2020 Classic, the luxury cannot be compared....but all the glitches I've read on the newer models could be a night and day difference at least up front in which you may be accustomed.
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Old 11-19-2019, 08:17 AM   #6
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We, like many here I am guessing, have learned the lesson to pack your trailer first and then take out 20% of that weight by removing things you really do not need. This may include duplicates and just plain non-essential items.

We removed at least 150 lbs. of "stuff" by coming to the realization that we just did not need it, or could accomplish the same thing with items we did bring.

You are an experienced "camper" and probably already know this. The old adage that "If you have space you will fill it" can not apply to your Airstream.

We now have lots of room in our Airstream and it makes it so much easier to live and travel in it. The 1700 lbs. weight limit is only unacceptable to a hoarder!

To look at it another way, your Classic 33 has solid wood cabinets and a lot of electronics hidden behind the walls. It has a huge bathroom with nice fixtures, projection TV and a moveable pedestal all weighing in at excessive amounts. Strip all the "goodies" out and you would have 4000 lbs. of carrying weight. Of course, it would not be a Classic.
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Old 11-19-2019, 08:21 AM   #7
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I believe that the largest NCC on any current airstream is the 30' International Serenity, which is > 2,200 lbs. It has the same sub structure / Frame / Frame rails as the 30' Classic and has two 4,400lb axles installed = 8,800lbs GVWR.

One could easily switch out for the Dexter 5k axles that they install on the classic to increase NCC by another 1,200 lbs if needed.

GVWR is based on axle capacity....
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Old 11-19-2019, 10:32 AM   #8
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We definitely fill the space available! We're coming up on 15 years of ownership, with long trips to Colorado where we will stay for two weeks increments, then store the whole rig and fly back-n-forth to Houston - then reverse the process in the fall. To do that, we have to bring clothing for lots of seasons... including snow and 90-degree heat.

Still, even on weekend trips, the worst thing we can do bring the trailer out of storage and in the driveway for a week of prep time. Because then it becomes a game of "well, I just might need this..." and so into the trailer it goes! Then we get home 3 days later and take it all back out again, most of it unused!!!

We had to replace the axels soon after we bought our trailer. Got them from Andy at Inland RV (4000 lb). More on that here: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f437...les-41446.html

About 2-3 years ago had some problems and replaced them again. Andy suggested we get heavier duty - although I don't remember what - but he said we probably should have had the heavier ones all along. I think they might have been 5k.

We appreciate the comments on QC on recent models, and have our concerns from what we've read here. I know our Airstream thru and thru - there's not a single system I haven't worked on, repaired, or replaced in the last 15 years (this includes dropping the belly for black tank valve problems - I have some very yucky stories about that!). I know from these deep-dives that even back then, AS cut corners on things that were out of sight. But now that I've seen and worked on our son's SOB, I know what real corner-cutting looks like!

I'll be retiring in a few years, and we plan to spend a lot more time on the road, including a lot of boondocking on property we own in CO. We recognize that living off-grid is getting more difficult as we get older, and we're looking for some luxuries to help us extend our stays.

Because of the big technology changes in recent years (Aldi, etc) we want a more recent model but are reluctant to buy a 2017 (or even a 2018?). Right now, it looks like the CZone needs some time to mature. With the move to the new factory coming up, we're even thinking of waiting until they have a year of production to work out the kinks. That said, if we find the EXACT options we want and the dealer offers a good price - we'll probably jump!

But I don't want this to turn into a QC thread...

As you can tell, we're not in a big hurry. Five years until retirement! All I have to do is find a short-term antidote for "aluminitus insantity". Returning to active participation on this forum is not a step in that direction!!!!
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Old 11-20-2019, 05:59 AM   #9
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The bearings brakes etc. on all Airstream's are the same as used on 6000 pound axles. To try and match the ride characteristics to the weight they are carrying Airstream specs shorter rubber tubes in the axles that have weight ratings less than 6000 pounds.

So even if you do wind up slightly more than 10,000 on the axles (which would be really hard to do) you are not overloading any important component.

As to the complexity of the new Classic's a lot of the earlier issues have been ironed out and we are finding them much easier to PDI etc. The Alde system is very nice and quiet even those that have had teething problems with them would not go back to the flame thrower (as one customer called it).

I hope this helps.

Andy
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Old 11-20-2019, 07:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wulfraat View Post
I believe that the largest NCC on any current airstream is the 30' International Serenity, which is > 2,200 lbs. It has the same sub structure / Frame / Frame rails as the 30' Classic and has two 4,400lb axles installed = 8,800lbs GVWR.

One could easily switch out for the Dexter 5k axles that they install on the classic to increase NCC by another 1,200 lbs if needed.

GVWR is based on axle capacity....
Hi

The Classic's come out at 10,000 lb gross weight rating.

Bob
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Old 11-20-2019, 07:01 AM   #11
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I wouldn’t let the capacity drive your decision. You will regret it IMHO. Unless your going to modify the new unit, the capacities are all going to be similar. A lot of folks carry things they never or rarely use. Take a look at the 5th wheeler parked next to you the next time your out. My advice is to figure out which Classic you desire. The 33 with the big bathroom or the 30 with front lounge area. Good luck and enjoy the journey.
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Old 11-20-2019, 07:28 AM   #12
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About those axles on the current trailer . . . My GVWR is 8,500#. With a full fresh water tank and supplies for a trip, I am just under that (per CAT). Recently crawled under the trailer and found the (original to the trailer) axles were 4K# each, which leaves me wondering whether somebody used 'new' math when the rig was built. So, bringing this back to the OP's comment about axles, Yes, the OE axles might not have had the correct rated capacity to start with.

To the bigger picture of the current rig versus new. Folks in my unit / region are rolling in with brand new trailers and are mostly happy with the decision. Some have griped about QC and the single stage converter (which I understand is no longer installed), but none have ditched the trailer as a result of QC. In all honestly though, nobody is able to make this decision for you. If economics are a concern, then rehabbing probably makes the most sense as it seems the current trailer has good bones; also, it gives the opportunity to enhance something you already (presumably) love and enjoy. If budget is not a factor and the goal is merely to take advantage of all the new technology available, then new is the answer.

Given the focus on adding 3', just factor that this will further reduce the number of parking options. Another aspect in the increase length is that correct ball height on a 33' is a bit more important in order to keep from dragging the rear.
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Old 11-20-2019, 08:11 AM   #13
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Note to JaytheCPA comment on length: The 33 is is 33’ the 30 is actually 31.3’. So your looking at 1.7 feet difference not 3 feet as many think. My experience has been no limitation on parking in any campgrounds with 33 vs 30 but I am sure others will jump on that comment. The good news is......Airstream makes different models, so hopefully you can find the one right for you (or pleases the Mrs. haha).
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Old 11-20-2019, 03:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tin Diesel View Post
The online brochure is now available for the 2020 Classic. We are thinking of upgrading from our 1999 30' Classic Excella to the new 33.

I noted that on the specs, both the new 30 and 33 have the same Maximum Trailer Capacity (GVWR) of 10,000 lbs - which leads me to believe they likely have the same running gear (tires, axels, etc).

But because of their respective Unit Base Weights, the 30 has a Net Carrying Capacity of 2,212 lbs and the 33 has 1,739 pounds.

I'm just wondering about the available carrying capacity of the 33.
A full tank of water weighs 450 lbs, leaving roughly 1300 pounds for other junk. We generally run with our waste tanks empty or nearly empty.

We're pretty efficient in our packing, and don't think we would load up 1300 pounds, but on the other hand, any reasonable load would get close to that maximum of 10,000.

I don't like operating near max capacity.
I suspect we carry at least 300-400 lbs of food/clothes/cooking stuff.
I wonder if 900-1000 lbs is enough leeway? That's 10% (I kinda like 20% safety margins)

(this is likely the first of many questions - thanks for your help!)


I recently upgraded from a 2018 30’ classic to a 2020 33’ classic. Both were queens and our biggest disappointment was storage between the two. I can not speak for the 2020 30’ classic but we lost a lot of storage going to the 33’. In the back of the 30’ it has a huge compartment under the queen bed along with a space below the floor to store hoses, chicks and levelers. On the 33 you have storage under the bed but can only be access from within. The compartment in the front is small and the one in the back has room for a set of chocks power regulator and a few odds and ends. Inside the curbside storage up to is good for small items since the projector screen is installed there. The is more storage in the bathroom of the 33’ but less in the kitchen area. We had to remove item from the 30’ because of storage issues.

Let me say we love the 33’ for the entertainment setup and my wife loves the bathroom. We are getting use to the storage limitations.

Look closely at both before you buy, both a great but are definitely different.

Good luck
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Old 11-20-2019, 07:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi



The Classic's come out at 10,000 lb gross weight rating.



Bob


Yes I understand that but the base weight is much higher on the classic. My comment was about NCC (GVWR - curb weight) - NCC is higher on the 30’ international.
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Old 11-21-2019, 06:19 AM   #16
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[QUOTE=JayTheCPA;2309469]About those axles on the current trailer . . . My GVWR is 8,500#. With a full fresh water tank and supplies for a trip, I am just under that (per CAT). Recently crawled under the trailer and found the (original to the trailer) axles were 4K# each, which leaves me wondering whether somebody used 'new' math when the rig was built.

Hi Jay

The math is actually pretty simple, you just forgot that some weight will be on the hitch. So if you load your trailer to 8500 pounds, 1000 will be on the hitch so 7500 on the axles.

However if you set your weight distribution system up properly you are going to transfer 2-300 pounds back to the trailer axles so possibly 7800 on the axles when loaded to the maximum GVWR. So 200 pounds below the total GAWR but as I said earlier those are actually 6000 pound axles de-rated so don't worry about it.


I hope that helps.

Andy
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