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Old 04-08-2014, 01:12 PM   #41
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Well carbon fiber probably is the future for mainstream RV's. It has to be if you think about it. The mindset of bigger is better, the more luxury the better is entrenched.

With the future of cars and trucks either downsized or electric or whatever they will be, RV's will in turn need to be lighter. Especially with people thinking they need all this square-footage to house their big screen TV's and huge air conditioners, trailers must get lighter. You can only do that with materials. So that part is interesting.

What I'd like to see is Airstream employ some new materials or techniques instead of resting on their laurels and having Thor raking in the money. Why not an aluminum frame and floor structure and get rid of the wood floor? What can be done with interior materials to create unique design yet save weight? How about multiplex wiring? How about LiPro batteries and curved solar panels for a truly integrated power solution?

I'd even propose that most of these things can be done without raising the cost one penny. In fact, I'd argue that some of them would reduce their costs by reducing warranty expense.
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Old 04-08-2014, 04:14 PM   #42
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CF composites may in fact someday be the material of choice for a lot of mass produced products. But it may not be in our lifetime. Maybe in our kid's lifetime ?

Over thirty years ago, Beech tried to build a mostly CF composite airplane. At the time, one of the engineers on the project was an acquaintance. He told me that by the time they actually got done fully developing an airworthy craft, it weighed a lot more than their original plan. The cost of trying to produce that plane was a big part of what drove that company into financial ruin ( later became Beechcraft ).

I admire the dreamers out there that try to build new things out of the latest and greatest, but for an everyday joe like myself, most of that stuff is just something to admire from afar as a prototype.

As long as gas is cheap, there will be little incentive to try to re-invent the family RV. My opinion is, there is every likelihood that gas will remain as cheap as it is now for a very long time. There is still a whole lot of deal dinosaur juice in the ground.
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Old 04-08-2014, 04:30 PM   #43
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Will this be Airstreams next motorhome?


Futuristic all-electric Ecco Camper concept from NAU

While you're at it, check out this trailer.


Compact teardrop trailer transforms into a large family camper


Ken
That How its made video of the teardrop was great; it's got to be getting more than a bit embarrassing for Airstream trying to tell customers that they're getting a modern lightweight trailer when they are clearly not.
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Old 04-08-2014, 04:46 PM   #44
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Cool! Doesn't look there's much storage but the notion that headspace is the most expendable, that makes tons of sense.
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Old 04-08-2014, 04:47 PM   #45
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Even if the price of CF comes down to compete with Airstream it will be long after my Airstreaming days are over. Also, did not Avion start when two brothers tried to make a better Airstream, and which factory today can not keep up with orders.
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Old 04-08-2014, 07:38 PM   #46
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If they can not build an aluminum trailer properly after 80+ years, how are they to master a new technology?

There is a crew of three that are hand building the extremely limited fancy 28' Land Yacht using two dedicated spaces in a stand alone building West of the main assembly plant (the building has the scales in it for all units to cross after assembly plus four or five other bays for QC issues coming off the line).
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:03 PM   #47
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Good Fiberglass?

I am going to a convention in Memphis Tennessee in June.

On the way back I am going to stop at the Oliver factory. If they ever decide to expand beyond a 22 foot RV, Airstream should tremble in its shiney aluminum shoes.

The yachting industry has MUCH bigger double hulled vessels than 22 feet - so it's not any kind of technical leap. And since these people started out making walk in bathtubs they might just have a good handle on the leaks issues!

Paula
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:24 PM   #48
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I am going to a convention in Memphis Tennessee in June.

On the way back I am going to stop at the Oliver factory. If they ever decide to expand beyond a 22 foot RV, Airstream should tremble in its shiney aluminum shoes.

The yachting industry has MUCH bigger double hulled vessels than 22 feet - so it's not any kind of technical leap. And since these people started out making walk in bathtubs they might just have a good handle on the leaks issues!

Paula

That is new to me. I just checked it out. Our last trailer was a Bigfoot, but this looks to be one whole lot better. If they made a trailer in the 27-30 foot size I would be very tempted. Thanks for mentioning it.
When you get back post some pictures of your tour. Be sure to tell them you think there'd be a good market for a larger trailer.


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Old 04-08-2014, 08:31 PM   #49
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I am going to a convention in Memphis Tennessee in June.

On the way back I am going to stop at the Oliver factory. If they ever decide to expand beyond a 22 foot RV, Airstream should tremble in its shiney aluminum shoes.

The yachting industry has MUCH bigger double hulled vessels than 22 feet - so it's not any kind of technical leap. And since these people started out making walk in bathtubs they might just have a good handle on the leaks issues!

Paula
These look very nice. What price range? Think Scamp & Casita are similar idea, but cheaper build.

The weight was a surprise though - 4600lbs is just a bit lighter than my Vantage which is much wider and has a steel frame.
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:37 PM   #50
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These look very nice. What price range? Think Scamp & Casita are similar idea, but cheaper build.

The weight was a surprise though - 4600lbs is just a bit lighter than my Vantage which is much wider and has a steel frame.

The big difference to me is that the Scamp, Casita and Bigfoot are all single fiberglass shells The Oliver is a double fiberglass shell, inside and outside. Having owned both a Casita and a Bigfoot, this looks like a big jump in quality.


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Old 04-08-2014, 09:02 PM   #51
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Now, this is a really interesting product. The 1723 looks more likely to provide a happy experience. However, one thing that continually puzzles me is why RV designers insist on putting toilets and showers into small trailers that could clearly put that space to better use vs. creating an impossibly cramped toilet and impractical shower. In a trailer that small, I'm going to use the campground toilet / shower facilities anyway. So, give me a more efficient use of that space, please.

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While you're at it, check out this trailer.
Compact teardrop trailer transforms into a large family camper
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:27 PM   #52
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Now, this is a really interesting product. The 1723 looks more likely to provide a happy experience. However, one thing that continually puzzles me is why RV designers insist on putting toilets and showers into small trailers that could clearly put that space to better use vs. creating an impossibly cramped toilet and impractical shower. In a trailer that small, I'm going to use the campground toilet / shower facilities anyway. So, give me a more efficient use of that space, please.

I agree that the 1723, looks like a much better setup. As far as your bath/toilet question; there are those like me who would prefer to use my own facilities, albeit cramped. I've never been one that likes communal bathing facilities unless necessary. (It helps that I'm not very big)It would be interesting to know how the US population would break down on either side of that issue.


The one thing that I think is great is all the window area. Since I spent most of my life in the area you live in, I have grown to like designs that let the maximum light in from outside.


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Old 04-08-2014, 09:43 PM   #53
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Agree, I love the open spacious feel you'd get with all that window space. If I ever see one somewhere near us, we'll definitely give it a serious look...just for fun, if nothing else. I still want my CF Airstream, though.
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:43 PM   #54
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Carbon fiber? I flew airplanes all my working life--both AL and Carbon fiber. But my travel trailer? I'll stick with the AL Airstream, Filiform problems and all. I'm waiting for an all anodized model however. I think price would be restrictive, but that would be the cat's meow.
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:52 PM   #55
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Carbon fiber? I flew airplanes all my working life--both AL and Carbon fiber. But my travel trailer? I'll stick with the AL Airstream, Filiform problems and all. I'm waiting for an all anodized model however. I think price would be restrictive, but that would be the cat's meow.

The one reason I would like the carbon fiber is the ability to watch hailstones bounce off harmlessly like they used to on our bigfoot. One of my phobias is Airstream hail acne. I guess I could paint it white and tell everyone I'm a golfer.


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Old 04-08-2014, 09:55 PM   #56
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I've been saying AS needs a CF platform for years, but as long as people with more money than sense keep accepting poor quality thinking this is the AS of yesterday they would be foolish to change.

I think I'm lucky to have bought before their relaxing downhill run....

BTW, I did love the comment from Switz that if this is what AS is doing after 80 years of experience, they don't need to risk getting out of their box (pun intended)
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:07 PM   #57
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We looked at plenty of other trailers and motor homes before choosing the Airstream, and spent a summer in the Phoenix Cruiser, which we inherited from Dad. That was a very nice unit. However, although many folks have pointed out that AS is not perfect it stood head and shoulders above everything else we looked at.

So, I guess the primary marketing strategy is, "Hey, we suck less than those other guys, and we ought to know, because we've been sucking for 80 years."
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:11 PM   #58
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Here is another thought(or two)
Basically Airstream is not just a trailer, it is a many faceted cultural phenomenon. It means many different things to many different people. It is a timeless object. Yes, it has changed in subtle mostly good ways over the years, but nearly everyone who knows the slightest bit about trailers, knows what any Airstream is on sight. So, yes there may be better travel trailers for many different purposes. However there will always be people who want Airstreams for the emotions and memories that they inspire. Airstream will be making Airstream trailers for long into the future, because there will always be a demand. My opinion is that there will never be a radically different next Airstream. They will always be silver aluminum. Thor Industries owns enough other marques to built different style trailers under. They would be foolish to risk diluting the Airstream mystique.

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Old 04-08-2014, 10:17 PM   #59
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I do agree that I would prefer to do without the whole black water experience. What's the saying about not doing something where you sleep?

Just give me a functional shower with a (much larger) seat with an opening to bag my waste. Lose the sink also; there is one in the kitchen....
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:30 PM   #60
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I do agree that I would prefer to do without the whole black water experience. What's the saying about not doing something where you sleep?

Just give me a functional shower with a (much larger) seat with an opening to bag my waste. Lose the sink also; there is one in the kitchen....
I know what you mean, that's why I've never been able to bring myself to installing indoor plumbing at home. Its just a passing fad anyway.

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