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Old 04-24-2017, 02:34 PM   #1
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Buying a safari vs Flying Cloud

Hi everyone. Buying our first AS and narrowed it down to 25 ft twin beds

We are torn between buying a 3-4 yr old FC vs saving money upfront but buying older 2004 -2007 safari

If the tires brakes and shocks have been updated what are the non obvious issues or benefits if buying and older rig?

Thanks for your experienced input
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Old 04-24-2017, 03:19 PM   #2
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We have a 25' FC with twin beds. Since we currently live and camp most of the time in Florida, we knew we'd use the AC a lot of the time, and we really wanted the ducted air. More efficient and quieter. I think that design change started with the 2015 models, just in case that matters to you.
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Old 04-24-2017, 03:49 PM   #3
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There was a period in the mid 2000's where a design/construction defect in several trailer models led to very costly water damage repairs.
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Old 04-26-2017, 08:42 AM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback
The current owners claim this trailer is dry in the known location
Can anyone tell me if if a trailer in the Midwest could possibly be dry in this rear bumper location if it wasn't corrected?
Is there a way during game inspection to visually see if the bumper was caulked properly?
I have a moisture meter and will probe thru the carpet by twin beds
Thanks
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Old 04-26-2017, 09:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmbecke View Post

The current owners claim this trailer is dry in the known location

Can anyone tell me if if a trailer in the Midwest could possibly be dry in this rear bumper location if it wasn't corrected?

Is there a way during game inspection to visually see if the bumper was caulked properly?

I have a moisture meter and will probe thru the carpet by twin beds
Thanks
Of course the owner claims it's dry. I suppose one could actually be dry and rotten. Rot is more the issue. I bought my first Airstream 25 and someone had cleverly replaced the aft part of the floor with new plywood that stopped at the edge of the wall leaving the critical 1" of rotten wood in the edge track. An ice pick, or a moisture meter, would not have picked this up. I'd already factored in replacing some flooring in my purchase so it didn't matter much to me but I did learn yet another scam people can pull.

Yes, it could possibly be dry. More than likely it's not, but anything is possible.

From my experience, the only way to properly caulk the rear bumper area is to remove the rubrail and caulk the gap behind said rail. No real way to tell if that has been done.

If it's got carpet the best diagnostic tool is a sharp ice pick. Poke all along the edge of the rear wall. Other areas prone to rot are around the entry door, around the refrigerator, bathroom, behind the wheel wells, and along the front of the trailer. Pretty much most of the trailer is subject to rot if leaks are not taken care of promptly.

In areas where there is vinyl floor covering you are best suited to get a non-invasive moisture meter to do the checking.
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Old 04-26-2017, 10:02 AM   #6
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Thanks
Do you think it's better to avoid thes years and buy something 2012 or newer?
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Old 04-26-2017, 10:16 AM   #7
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Thanks
Do you think it's better to avoid thes years and buy something 2012 or newer?
If I could afford a 2012 or newer I'd do it in a heartbeat. But the rear bumper leak is just one of many potential leak problems on an Airstream. It is a substantial problem that can cause substantial damage, but it's only one. For $200 or so used, and $360 new, you can buy a very good non-invasive moisture meter that should give some piece of mind as to current floor moisture problems on any potential rig. And the repair, if there is not current rot problems, isn't that big of a deal, IMO.
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Old 04-26-2017, 10:38 AM   #8
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Starting with 2012 models they put a seal between the shell and the rear bumper plate, and then put the shell onto the frame. It's in the initial construction and I believe this took care of the common leaks and floor rot in this area.

2012 Airstream also offered a Rear Bed model with larger bath (same bath as 30' model), china rather than plastic toilet (all 2012 models), convection microwave over the fridge, external (accessible) dump valves, and furnace under the galley rather than bench seat for an easy recliner seating conversion.

With enough wind driven rain, I believe they all will find a place to leak somewhere. The trick is to use a moisture detection meter after these events and on a regular basis to find the weak or failing seals and fix them before they can cause floor rot.
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Old 04-26-2017, 11:55 AM   #9
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Don't get the older one just to save money. Get what you really want to live in. Personally, I like all the windows in the Flying Cloud. Plus, if you get ducted air it's a HUGE benefit. Turn on the air in a non-ducted one and hear what it sounds like.
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Old 04-26-2017, 12:39 PM   #10
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Buyer Beware

We owned a 2007 Safari 25 and it had a leak problem. We did everything we knew to do, finally taking it to the factory. It was out of warranty, so we had to pay the bill. Fortunately for us, the trailer was always stored inside, so we found no permanent damage. I don't know if the factory repairs were permanent, as we sold the trailer a short time later, for unrelated reasons. There was a similar trailer in line that day for the same problem we had and I am pretty sure the AS guys were aware of the cause, since they didn't do any testing to see where the leak was, but just jumped in and reinstalled both the front and rear panoramic windows.

I also replaced the skylight myself, as it was installed improperly, with holes drilled through the plastic. Several of the holes initiated cracks, which caused leaks. I would be careful in purchasing a used AS of that vintage.
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Old 04-26-2017, 12:51 PM   #11
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We have had both. We had a 2005 Safari 25FB that we bought new. We used it extensively for eight years (1,300 nights/115,000 miles). This trailer had some rear floor dampness issues. We now have a 2015 Flying Cloud 25FB. We have had her for 2 1/2 years and have spent over 300 nights in her. There have been no floor issues as of yet. Also, 2015 was the first year of the ducted air in 25 footers.

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Old 04-26-2017, 01:17 PM   #12
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Just wanted to point out that the Safari SE in the 2000s .. (up till 2008 or 2009 I think) was rebranded to the current Flying Cloud model ... SEs have aluminum interiors (vs cloth-covered walls), pano windows and the same type of regular windows as the newer Flying Clouds.
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Old 04-26-2017, 01:34 PM   #13
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Leaking in 2000's Airstreams

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherzi View Post
There was a period in the mid 2000's where a design/construction defect in several trailer models led to very costly water damage repairs.
Hi,

Was this in the 25 footers and the 19 footers? I bought a used 19 and want to make sure I am ok as you can imagine.

Camano Island,
MARGARET
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Old 04-26-2017, 04:02 PM   #14
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Sealevel

We bought a2008 25' twin, Safari SE new. Great trailer only problem we had with it was my own doing. Bought a new 2017 25' twin, Flying Cloud. IMHO a much better trailer: ducted air (roof is about 4" thicker, great protection from SW area hot sun), awnings on three sides, again protection from sun. TV's, stereo, something I wouldn't buy, but it came with the rig. Another item is the rear view monitor. I'm getting use to it and it makes backing up much easier. If you can, buy as new as possible. Good luck.
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Old 04-26-2017, 11:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CamanoIsland View Post
Hi,

Was this in the 25 footers and the 19 footers? I bought a used 19 and want to make sure I am ok as you can imagine.

Camano Island,
MARGARET
Margaret We have a 2006 Safari SE 19' Bambi and have had no issues with leaks or floor rot. Look your rig over, of course, but unless you see evidence of damage just enjoy it!
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Old 04-27-2017, 06:38 AM   #16
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Look for a Classic model. I have a 2008 Classic 25fb purchased in 2013 and it doesn't have the rear leak issue. I had some interior remodeling performed recently and when the shop pulled up all the rear living furniture and queen bed and pulled the carpet they found no damage or signs of leaking. The owner said the Classics weren't prone to the rear bumper leak and he's repair plenty Safari's rear subfloors.

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Old 04-27-2017, 07:57 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBRich View Post
Just wanted to point out that the Safari SE in the 2000s .. (up till 2008 or 2009 I think) was rebranded to the current Flying Cloud model ... SEs have aluminum interiors (vs cloth-covered walls), pano windows and the same type of regular windows as the newer Flying Clouds.
I did not know that TBRich! Thanks for the info.
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Old 04-27-2017, 08:47 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmbecke View Post
Hi everyone. Buying our first AS and narrowed it down to 25 ft twin beds

We are torn between buying a 3-4 yr old FC vs saving money upfront but buying older 2004 -2007 safari

If the tires brakes and shocks have been updated what are the non obvious issues or benefits if buying and older rig?

Thanks for your experienced input
My opinion - Find the trailer that makes you happy and buy it. Year model does not matter. But check it out thoroughly.

At Harbor Freight you can purchase an inexpensive moisture meter for $10 to $20. You will need one with probes long enough to get through the carpet to tell you if moisture is there.

I own a 2000 Safari. I've looked at several newer Flying Clouds. The newer FCs are the old Safari with a new name and a few new features. The new name is just a sales gimmick in my opinion.

I bought my Safari when I was unaware of the rear bumper leak issue. This is what I ran into.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...xy-108608.html


Quote:
Originally Posted by CamanoIsland View Post
Hi,

Was this in the 25 footers and the 19 footers? I bought a used 19 and want to make sure I am ok as you can imagine.

Camano Island,
MARGARET
If your trailer has a storage box on the rear bumper, between the frame rails, it does have the potential for leak. The fixed part of the lid extends through the exterior wall to the wood floor, so it can let water seep in. Even the newer trailers with the seal have this potential. It is a maintenance issue that should be checked, regardless of year model.
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Old 04-27-2017, 01:33 PM   #19
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2014 25' FB Flying Cloud
Des Peres , Missouri
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Thanks everyone, I think your generous responses to a newbie saved me $3,000 +
the story:
Working with a current owner of a 2004 safari. Set up a time to drive 6 hours and taking a day off work to view this trailer
I was ready with moisture meter and a newly purchased ice pick
Prior to taking the trip, I asked the owner to check the floors by the rear wall under the twin beds. I told them this would be the first thing I do when I get there.
Fortunately, it was raining yesterday (lucky I guess).
Well they sent me pictures of wetness coming in along this wall at corner and the top floor was wet about 2 inches in from wall- not sure what the subfloor would look like, but can only imagine its not good.
I called the local AS dealer who said normally this is can be a 30+ hour fix if it gets into subfloor etc at $125 per hour labor
SO THANKS to you ALL and I only hope someday I can save a grasshopper like myself :-)
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Old 04-27-2017, 01:37 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
Look for a Classic model. I have a 2008 Classic 25fb purchased in 2013 and it doesn't have the rear leak issue. I had some interior remodeling performed recently and when the shop pulled up all the rear living furniture and queen bed and pulled the carpet they found no damage or signs of leaking. The owner said the Classics weren't prone to the rear bumper leak and he's repair plenty Safari's rear subfloors.

Kelvin
Any idea why the Classics wouldn't have the problem? Do the bumper doors hinge differently ?
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