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Old 06-09-2012, 01:37 PM   #1
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International vs Classic

In my continuing quest at researching Airstreams, I have kinda narrowed my selection between the 27FB Int'l and the 27FB Classic, although I have not ruled out the 25FB. I was originally liking the 30' until I saw one and it had no specific door for the bathroom. I know it has a sliding door to the whole bedroom/bathroom area, just don't like that arrangement.

Here is what I have found to be the major differences between the Int'l and the Classic....please correct my findings if I am wrong:
Classic:
heavier and carries more
54 gal fresh tank (Int'l 39 gal)
full awning package with a center support on C.S. awning (no support arm on Int'l)
fabric covered interior walls and ceiling
Hickory hardwood
Pleated shades vs pull-downs
Corian counters with a flip-up
double sink in galley (Int'l has larger single which I like better)
innerspring mattress vs foam on Int'l
30,000 BTU furnace (25,000 on Int'l)
40# aluminum gas tanks w/ sight gauge vs 30# steel on Int'l and no gauge
looks like the seating in the Classic is beefier

Everything else appears to be equal on both styles. I personally like the Int'l interior with dark wood and the taupe ulta-leather, along with the aluminum walls, plus it's about $12-15,000 less.
Feel free to chime in with your opinions between the 2 styles. I hope to be buying one very soon before the inventories run out on the 2012. Also has anyone actually seen the 2013 Intl models with new colors?
Thank. John
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Old 06-09-2012, 02:10 PM   #2
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We have an International Serenity, it is just a little bitty one though. I suggest that you go and sit in one of each to see which one "talks" to you. We had decided that the Signature was the trailer we wanted and then we sat in the Serenity. It was game over!
Good luck and have fun!
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Old 06-09-2012, 02:22 PM   #3
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I agree, which one connects with you?

FWIW I replaced my foam mattress with an innerspring mattress. The OEM mattress was awful, and the rest of the stuffing in the furniture isn't much better. You may want to sit on the furniture for a while in both models and see if the comfort is better or worth anything to you.

The bare walls are pretty and have no maintenance issues. The foam and treatment on the classic have some insulating properites, at a cost of possible eventual deterioration.

I haven't had any issues with my laminated cabinets. Perhaps the Hickory cabinets are more robust and over time will hold up better.
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Old 06-09-2012, 04:59 PM   #4
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I'm biased. Have a Classic and wouldn't consider anything else, but that's what "speaks to me" and DW too.
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Old 06-09-2012, 05:05 PM   #5
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I wouldn't worry about the differences between the mattresses. I ended up putting a foam topper on the mattress in my Classic because it was only so so in terms of comfortability.

I think the Classic has a beefier frame if I'm not mistaken.
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Old 06-09-2012, 07:54 PM   #6
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My impressions:

The classic has a warm homey interior. This is more to our taste.
The international has more modern interior that we find cold and stark.
There are definitely equipment upgrades. Some could probably be ordered as upgrades.

It is a decision that you will have to make on your own, weighing your tastes and preferences. To us it was a no-brainer, but I don't expect that to apply to others.

Ken

P.S. The matress is very comfortable for us. However we both weigh less than 150#
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Old 06-09-2012, 08:16 PM   #7
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FWIW, I must admit that the idea of the bathroom spanning the hall with pocket doors was a real turn-off for us. We were on the hunt for a 27 FB Classic. But after talking with friends that had that floor plan it became less offensive. Now we own a 30, and happen to love the bathroom arrangement.

Each floor plan has plus and minus to it, as does Safari vs. International vs Classic.

I personally love the Hickory and the home/warm feel of the Classic... But that's personal opinion...
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Old 06-09-2012, 08:51 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=neck101;1158830 I was originally liking the 30' until I saw one and it had no specific door for the bathroom.
Thank. John[/QUOTE]

The Classic 31 has a side bathroom with a specific door similar to the 34. The 31 is the same length as the 30 but has a layout more similar to the 34. It does not have a dinette but a table with chairs. Airstream calls it a 31 to differentiate it from the 30.
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Old 06-09-2012, 09:30 PM   #9
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This is just a personal opinion but, in the design of the International (Serenity in our case), Airstream offered us something different from the wood, wood and more wood that the vast majority of RVs on the market offer as internal trim. I thought the Serenity interior was very IKEA and we liked that.

Clearly the IKEA look is not to a lot of people's taste but it struck a chord with us and we like it very much.
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Old 06-09-2012, 09:35 PM   #10
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We choose the 25 front dinette (new model) Flying Cloud, same bath as 30'. Also available as International?

Looking over some older inventory, they get wear and tear from tire kickers in the showroom and RV shows. Consider a fresh 2013.

doug k
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Old 06-09-2012, 10:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neck101 View Post
I was originally liking the 30' until I saw one and it had no specific door for the bathroom. I know it has a sliding door to the whole bedroom/bathroom area, just don't like that arrangement.
The 31' and 30' classic are the same in all regards (including ACTUAL length) except that the 30' has the arrangement you describe while the 31' has what you call a "specific door for the bathroom." The bathroom is entirely on the road side of the trailer and has a door from a center hall connecting the galley to the bedroom. Some space in the galley is lost with this arrangement.

Quote:
Here is what I have found to be the major differences between the Int'l and the Classic....please correct my findings if I am wrong:
Classic:
heavier and carries more
54 gal fresh tank (Int'l 39 gal)
full awning package with a center support on C.S. awning (no support arm on Int'l)
fabric covered interior walls and ceiling
Hickory hardwood
Pleated shades vs pull-downs
Corian counters with a flip-up
double sink in galley (Int'l has larger single which I like better)
innerspring mattress vs foam on Int'l
30,000 BTU furnace (25,000 on Int'l)
40# aluminum gas tanks w/ sight gauge vs 30# steel on Int'l and no gauge
looks like the seating in the Classic is beefier

Everything else appears to be equal on both styles. I personally like the Int'l interior with dark wood and the taupe ulta-leather, along with the aluminum walls, plus it's about $12-15,000 less.
Feel free to chime in with your opinions between the 2 styles. I hope to be buying one very soon before the inventories run out on the 2012. Also has anyone actually seen the 2013 Intl models with new colors?
Thank. John
I was in the same situation you were three years ago.

The first thing to realize is that the difference between the two trailers is NOT just a matter of interior design and trim. The classic is a continuation, more or less, of the heritage of travel-oriented trailers intended for longer stays and use over many years. In addition to the minor but important features you list, the classic has:
* Heavier axles and frame
* Solid wood cabinetry that will age gracefully and that can be refinished. In contrast laminate does not age gracefully and has to be replaced when it has deteriorated to the point where it is no longer useful.
* More cabinetry. The openness and lower cost of the Int'l come at the expense of usable storage space.
* An extra-deep bathroom sink that is therefore useful for washing clothes
* The day-night shades are highly functional allowing for making it dark for sleeping either during the day or under street lights while also allowing light to filter in, when set to the transparent shade, for privacy and light.

Though minor individually these make a difference when traveling.
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Old 06-10-2012, 04:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
The 31' and 30' classic are the same in all regards (including ACTUAL length) except that the 30' has the arrangement you describe while the 31' has what you call a "specific door for the bathroom." The bathroom is entirely on the road side of the trailer and has a door from a center hall connecting the galley to the bedroom. Some space in the galley is lost with this arrangement.



I was in the same situation you were three years ago.

The first thing to realize is that the difference between the two trailers is NOT just a matter of interior design and trim. The classic is a continuation, more or less, of the heritage of travel-oriented trailers intended for longer stays and use over many years. In addition to the minor but important features you list, the classic has:
* Heavier axles and frame
* Solid wood cabinetry that will age gracefully and that can be refinished. In contrast laminate does not age gracefully and has to be replaced when it has deteriorated to the point where it is no longer useful.
* More cabinetry. The openness and lower cost of the Int'l come at the expense of usable storage space.
* An extra-deep bathroom sink that is therefore useful for washing clothes
* The day-night shades are highly functional allowing for making it dark for sleeping either during the day or under street lights while also allowing light to filter in, when set to the transparent shade, for privacy and light.

Though minor individually these make a difference when traveling.
This is kind of interesting to read.
As my own Airstream experience is quite limited my comments are very "novice".
I do see some parallels between Airstreams and boating though and I can see these statements being used to defend the differences between a more traditional heavy sailboat and a newer lighter better handling design.

I once came out on the more traditional side of the argument. I thought that modern boats where ugly and kind of stupid. That they were designed to be easy to build and cheep. Then I began to take notice of newer boats and wonder what they sailed like. Then I looked at our more traditional boats maintenance schedule, speed and thought Hmmmmm.
My wife informed me that I had lost my mind when I suggested we sell our very nice traditional boat! She informed me she would go along but that she would never like the new boat in the same way....

Well, to cut to the chase, we have never looked back (well truth be known we do admire their looks as we sail by). We have learned to appreciate the different materials and the design elements driven by the more modern boat.
Dorsey loved the boat from the first sail and we are quite happy!

Back to Airstreams for a minute. I like the CCD inspired design! I find that the heavy wood look of the Classics is too much for me and although very nice just not what I'd want.

Properly cared for the laminate in our trailer can still look great 40 years from now and I doubt that at that time I will care!

Of course we like our little 16' trailer and think it is a great size so we are so far out of the mainstream as to be fringe anyway.

I like them all!
Bruce
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Old 06-10-2012, 05:27 AM   #13
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Why buy new? While having ours serviced at Bill Thomas RV this spring, I spent a lot of time walking the lot. Parked right next to a new 30-ft Classic was a five-year-old Classic that was half the price and in absolutely mint condition. The dealership will make sure you leave in a gently used Classic in top-flight condition. Get the tow vehicle with full bling and a gently used Airstream for the same price as a new Airstream.
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Old 06-10-2012, 07:36 AM   #14
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Classic is very cool trailer however

International CCD is the good stuff, comes with more modern interior. Me I love the fact there is no wood paneling in mine. Has futuristic feel and upgraded materials. There is no mistaking newer CCD interior to older trailer I showed my trailer 7 times to curious owners at camp site. Some had casitas and square boxes they were shocked. I also like the fact sunbrella fabrics found everywhere.
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:21 AM   #15
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John,
Bumpers, exterior and interior lights and wheels, and rock guards are different too.
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:47 AM   #16
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We've had a classic in the past and now have a 2008 Fb international Ocean Breeze. One of the reasons We traded in our classic because the int was easier for inside maintenance. I love the alum walls vs the carpet/vinyl walls. I don't know how this happened ( maybe from kids) but those carpet/vinyl walls did get dirty and scuffed and were a pain to clean.

Our classic had also carpeting - now I just sweep and swifter. We loved th FB also since you miss out on the nice view from the inside with the regular models. We just came back from ft desoto and loved those water views!I worried that the cabinets ( ours are white) would not hold up but they still look great. Mr Eraser takes off any marks.

We didn't like either type of shades because we wanted to have some privacy but still be able to see out. We replaced our shades with the alum blinds and are really happy with these.

Good luck with your choice. I agree with others than you should choose the one that "feels" right for you.

What I miss about the classic is the bedside tables which were taller and had a little cubby for cell phone, book etc.
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:40 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebird View Post
The Classic 31 has a side bathroom with a specific door similar to the 34. The 31 is the same length as the 30 but has a layout more similar to the 34. It does not have a dinette but a table with chairs. Airstream calls it a 31 to differentiate it from the 30.
The comment about the 31 dinette is not entirely correct. When we ordered our 2010, the table and chairs were an option. We chose the dinette, because it better fit our uses.

Ken
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:39 AM   #18
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We previously owned a 25' Classic for over 10 years. It had the private door to the bath which seemed to get smaller during the time we owned it. It did not have a dinette, which we had seen on a 30' Classic while camping next to us.
It was at that time we decided what we wanted - a dinette and more room in the bath, toilet area (which closes off into a complete enclosure with 2 sliding doors with more room).
As previously mentioned, it depends on an individual's taste. We like the Classic wood cabinets, the dinette and the bath with more room.
Good luck on finding the right one.
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Old 06-10-2012, 12:31 PM   #19
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Thanks for your replies...keep them coming! And thanks for speaking about the double bathroom doors in the 30'....I totally missed the 2nd one, so that makes a huge difference.
The covered walls in the Classic was one of my major concerns. I have 3 dogs and I just know that the wall fabric will quickly soil with them moving against it. Plus I like the aluminum look.
A couple of other questions/thoughts:
I am still a little confused regarding the structural makeup between the Classic and the Int'l, and even FC for that matter. I was under the assumption that the steel frame was the same on each, just the axles were heavier on the Classic to account for the extra water, hardwoods, etc.
And speaking of dogs, how does the vinyl floor hold up to constant dog traffic?
As I mentioned in my 1st post, the Classic comes with a center support brace for the main awning...why did AS see the need to put it on only one model...does that mean the others are less structurally sound?
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Old 06-10-2012, 01:16 PM   #20
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We have 2 dogs and our vinyl floors are holding up well. No problem Not enough room for them to get up too much speed to do any damage . We put a large bath mat under the dinette and that's where they sleep at night unless they decide to sleep at the side of our bed.
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