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Old 09-06-2013, 07:18 PM   #1
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2009 vs 2012 or newer AS International?

Hi there,

Does anyone have a sense for how the 2009 International Signature 27FB model has changed in the years following?

Trying to understand any major new featured that could have been added in 2010-2014 that I should know about. Found a good 2009 I'm seriously considering.

BTW...I really don't care about style/trim cosmetic improvements...more interested in things that I couldn't change later.

Thanks.

Ravi
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Old 11-13-2013, 09:03 PM   #2
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The 2012 had a "green" rating which has LED lighting inside and out and low-VOC materials. Most likely some updates in the third party appliances. Possibly the prewire for solar but not sure. Of course, style and trim options inside differ but seems not important for you.
I bet you'll save a bunch on the older trailer if that's a selling point!
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Old 11-13-2013, 09:54 PM   #3
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I have a 2013 27 FB. My friend has a 2007 27 FB. Almost identical. My TV is a LED, his a LCD. Mine has a second skylight in bath area. LED interior lights. Everything else is essentially the same. I think this is what help Airstreams maintain value.
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:07 PM   #4
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The most important improvement in 2012 was the installation of a tubular seal between the rear bottom body shell and the bumper storage compartment door plate. Prior to this water leakage into the rear plywood subfloor is common, and something to always check before buying an earlier model.

On the 2012 LED lighting was carried over from previous year, porcelain toilets were installed instead of plastic, combination propane/electric water heaters were standard effectively increasing capacity, a pull-out clothesline installed in the shower, the audio/visual entertainment system was updated, and a new 25' model was introduced with rear queen or twin beds and a larger bath from the 30' model. This new 25' model is also a relatively easy conversion to 30' recliner components as seen in our avatar.

Late 2010, all 2011, and early 2012 models had new LED clearance lights that were installed with a very thin gasket allowing the light frame edges to break through the clear coat finish of the shell and initiate corrosion. Very common if not universal to see corrosion here. Airstream has been very good about fixing these if near two year warranty, maybe after.
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Old 11-28-2013, 01:18 AM   #5
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My trailer is a 2013 , can you tell me if I have to worry about this rear bumper leak , I crawled under it today and couldn't see anything as they have it all closed up , I see you said the 2009 had troubles and the 2012 had a fixed down at JC , can you please maybe show me a picture of what I should be looking for ,

Anyone who has a picture of what I should be looking at , I opened my rear bumper where I store a few things and it's all dry and looks good , are you saying water lays on the cover or runs from the cover toward the trailer and rest on the edge and leaks in over time

Thanks for any info on this
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Old 11-28-2013, 02:24 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by kscherzi View Post
I have a 2013 27 FB. My friend has a 2007 27 FB. Almost identical. My TV is a LED, his a LCD. Mine has a second skylight in bath area. LED interior lights. Everything else is essentially the same. I think this is what help Airstreams maintain value.
Hi both of you have LCD [liquid crystal display] televisions; Yours has LED [light emitting diode] back lighting and his has fluorescent back lighting.
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Old 11-28-2013, 02:27 AM   #7
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My trailer is a 2013 , can you tell me if I have to worry about this rear bumper leak , I crawled under it today and couldn't see anything as they have it all closed up , I see you said the 2009 had troubles and the 2012 had a fixed down at JC , can you please maybe show me a picture of what I should be looking for ,

Anyone who has a picture of what I should be looking at , I opened my rear bumper where I store a few things and it's all dry and looks good , are you saying water lays on the cover or runs from the cover toward the trailer and rest on the edge and leaks in over time

Thanks for any info on this
Hi, your trailer should have the new rear body seal from the factory, but you won't be able to see it unless you at least remove the rear rub molding.
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Old 11-29-2013, 09:19 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by dutchie View Post
My trailer is a 2013 , can you tell me if I have to worry about this rear bumper leak , I crawled under it today and couldn't see anything as they have it all closed up , I see you said the 2009 had troubles and the 2012 had a fixed down at JC , can you please maybe show me a picture of what I should be looking for ,

Anyone who has a picture of what I should be looking at , I opened my rear bumper where I store a few things and it's all dry and looks good , are you saying water lays on the cover or runs from the cover toward the trailer and rest on the edge and leaks in over time

Thanks for any info on this
Yes your Airstream (2012 models up) will have the rear bumper plate tubular seal. It is between the aluminum plate that holds the hinge for the bumper lift-up storage and the aluminum shell. Right below the lower trim. You can see it only at the edges of the bumper plate, look for the cut off ends of the tubular seal.

That's an important fix for the common bumper plate leak, but you're never out of the woods with RV leaks, no matter what brand. For water damage to occur in the plywood subfloor, it must leak and keep the floor wet. You can (and should) regularly inspect for leaks with a Moisture Test Meter, probing through the vinyl floor covering into the plywood subfloor. Sooner or later you will surely find some, and most probably before they rot the floor. Add a test meter to your tool kit and use it as part of a regular inspection and maintenance routine, quarterly for example. Here's an inexpensive meter that works for some of us

Sonin 50211 Rapitest 10% to 28% Pinless Analog Wood, Concrete, Plaster, Carpet, and More Moisture Meter - Amazon.com

Probe around the perimeter of the Airstream interior, at the edge of the vinyl floor covering. You can find leaks at their earliest stage and fix them before they cause serious damage.
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Old 11-29-2013, 10:11 PM   #9
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Thanks , I'm going to pick one up , do a check each month and after each time it rains ,
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Old 11-29-2013, 10:21 PM   #10
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Hi both of you have LCD [liquid crystal display] televisions; Yours has LED [light emitting diode] back lighting and his has fluorescent back lighting.
I knew that!
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:24 AM   #11
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OK you forum members, … Now you’ve gotten me worried.

I’m in the market for an Airstream, … but I can’t afford new so I’m looking at say one year to seven years old. That’s what banks will lend too.

I like the international model. I’ve determined it’s the best design for what I’m looking for.

So I navigated to the forum for International and then to a thread comparing 2009 models vs. 2012. Then I see a posting from , dkottum regarding water leakage into the rear plywood subfloor being a common occurrence due to some design flaw between the bottom body shell and the bumper storage compartment plate. Specifically he says,

‘The most important improvement in 2012 was the installation of a tubular seal between the rear bottom body shell and the bumper storage compartment door plate. Prior to this water leakage into the rear plywood subfloor is common, and something to always check before buying an earlier model.

So does that mean that on all 2009, 2010, and 2011’s water leaks from this design flaw are common on all International models?

What about similar models in that era?

I would think that would be a HUGE, and I mean HUGE problem for anyone in the market for an Airstream.

I mean the topic of water leaks is all over this forum and how terrible water leaks are for the subfloor.

The forums on the topic have been focused on water leaking due to failure whose root cause can be tied to a failure due to age but not to design failures.

Again, to me this is HUGE. So HUGE that unless there’s a cure I would no longer consider an international as a prospective purchase for years, 2009, 2010 and 2011.

I can’t imagine spending tens of thousands of dollars buying a 2011 International and have to deal with sub floor rot from the get go.

That’s crazy!!!!!
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:47 AM   #12
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I have a 2009 International CCD and it's been through torrential rains. No water leaks or damage to the subfloor. As the poster said, it's something to check out before purchase.
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Old 12-09-2013, 10:00 AM   #13
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OK you forum members, … Now you’ve gotten me worried. I’m in the market for an Airstream, … but I can’t afford new so I’m looking at say one year to seven years old. That’s what banks will lend too. I like the international model. I’ve determined it’s the best design for what I’m looking for. So I navigated to the forum for International and then to a thread comparing 2009 models vs. 2012. Then I see a posting from , dkottum regarding water leakage into the rear plywood subfloor being a common occurrence due to some design flaw between the bottom body shell and the bumper storage compartment plate. Specifically he says, ‘The most important improvement in 2012 was the installation of a tubular seal between the rear bottom body shell and the bumper storage compartment door plate. Prior to this water leakage into the rear plywood subfloor is common, and something to always check before buying an earlier model.’ So does that mean that on all 2009, 2010, and 2011’s water leaks from this design flaw are common on all International models? What about similar models in that era? I would think that would be a HUGE, and I mean HUGE problem for anyone in the market for an Airstream. I mean the topic of water leaks is all over this forum and how terrible water leaks are for the subfloor. The forums on the topic have been focused on water leaking due to failure whose root cause can be tied to a failure due to age but not to design failures. Again, to me this is HUGE. So HUGE that unless there’s a cure I would no longer consider an international as a prospective purchase for years, 2009, 2010 and 2011. I can’t imagine spending tens of thousands of dollars buying a 2011 International and have to deal with sub floor rot from the get go. That’s crazy!!!!!
I have a 2007 27FB and discovered the problem in 2010 when I pressure tested the trailer looking for leaks. I had it repaired at the factory and I've had no leakage in that area to date. Don't let this issue stop you from purchasing. It's a quick and relatively inexpensive fix if you have a dealer or the factory repair.
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Old 12-09-2013, 01:06 PM   #14
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Thanks Lylesgl, ....
So this problem does extend farther back than 2009 and includes other model then International. good confirmation.
I assume that if I bought from a dealer like Colonial that I could request that they perform the fix and since it appears to be a common issue that they'd be more than familier with it?
So when you say inexpensive can you share what the repair cost you?
thanks so much Dave
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:21 PM   #15
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Hi, davcarv; Not all Airstream trailers that didn't have the rear bumper area sealed have had floor rot damage. But almost all Airstream trailers with the front, rear, or both front and rear panoramic windows leaked. I would be more concerned with leaking panoramic windows first, then leaking storage compartment doors second, [especially the front facing doors] Main entrance doors third, and lastly the rear bumper area.

In other words, don't make water leaks at the rear bumper area your only priority.
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:53 PM   #16
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There are pros and cons to new and used. Most things you can update. I have spent about $6000 so far in updates on an '06 Safari but I have new electronics- LED TVs Blu-Ray, sound, bluetooth, wifi/cellular extension, charger/converter, silent pump, fridge, ADB, fantastic vents, etc. I have taken cues from the forum. I also took the advice to tear off the rub rail and check for leakage. I found, on an '06, dark sealant, lots of it. with black sealed wood evidence in the bumper area- no leakage. If you buy used, naturally you have to check for things.

New? Same thing. Check for things. New means little as far as flaws or issues except that you have a warranty and no scratches or dents from a previous owner. Last Feb at the FL Rally, during the Factory presentation, Airstream shared how in 2012 they started using a type of neoprene washer on the rivets to seal around rivets. This has a good and a bad to it. Neoprene seals but it also gets brittle. I have spent a great deal of time lurking around Airstreams at shows and just a few weekends ago, an entire day looking through various models. (I know- crazy) I really admire design and Airstream is certainly about design. After messing so much with my own the past few years, I am beginning to develop a more critical eye. I would strongly recommend to anyone with a used option that they find and like, grab it if in good condition. For the money difference and the initial depreciation, you can really gussy it up and if a DIY person, save a lot and end up with perhaps more features, etc. It may have some "battle scars" but you can live with em or get em fixed. BTW, there is a new 27' Serenity I saw at the show that when you walk in the bedroom to the left side, the floor pops and drops and inch or two!

Just looked at Colonial I like that 2010 Classic.
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:59 PM   #17
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Thanks Lylesgl, .... So this problem does extend farther back than 2009 and includes other model then International. good confirmation. I assume that if I bought from a dealer like Colonial that I could request that they perform the fix and since it appears to be a common issue that they'd be more than familier with it? So when you say inexpensive can you share what the repair cost you? thanks so much Dave
You are welcome. I am very sure Colonial is familiar with the issue and can repair the problem if necessary. It may very well be that the trailer you are interested in never had an issue or if it did, has already been repaired. If the trailer does need repair, I highly recommend Colonial as they did excellent work removing and replacing a cracked drain pan for the a/c, and complete reseal of the roof and windows of my trailer. I'll PM you with the details of cost at JC for the rear bumper area repair.
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Old 12-09-2013, 10:20 PM   #18
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Another 2014 improvement was the use of a "Corian like" material for the kitchen sink counter top area instead of the glue on formica used before and still used on the bathroom sink top area and dinette table top.

We had the edge of the 2013 International Serenity kitchen counter top delaminate because the pieces were cut incorrectly. That was a warranty repair item for the local non-selling dealership to fix.
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