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Old 07-30-2008, 09:14 PM   #15
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another option

"Gut it and rebuild the interior. . . "

Or, do what we are doing. We ordered a new 2008 classic shell from A/S, had that shipped to Timeless Travel Trailers in Wheat Ridge, CO. They are building out the inside exactly to our specifications. We get the layout and materials we want - right down to the window placement. Bamboo floor, lighter weight furnishings, tankless hot water heater, real Queen bed (as opposed to the ridiculous rv queen), larger shower, etc. We spend money where it is important to us, and cut costs where it isn't as important.

We buy things and hang on to them for a long time, so getting what we want to start with is important.

Waiting for the youngin' !
2008 31' Classic (in shell form right now)
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:22 PM   #16
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I will not lie, the new units are too heavy and have gotten away from the more simplistic 50's interiors.

Buyers seem to want luxury to the max...

I still love them.

An airplane with no wings
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:30 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by kfrere View Post
...Or, do what we are doing. We ordered a new 2008 classic shell from A/S, had that shipped to Timeless Travel Trailers .... They are building out the inside exactly to our specifications...
VERY INTERESTING!

the word has always been that they would not do this,

except with very specific vendors (inlandandy) and not with any usual dealer.

so tell us MORE!

we want some DETAILS!

i recall u asking about no dinette,

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f398...1-a-36458.html

but this reads like u have gone to a WHOLE new level!

very cool, but tell us MORE!

cheers
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:35 PM   #18
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Two years ago, I sent an inquiry to A/S, asking why we didn't see the lighter, simpler designs that were being touted on the Airstream Euro site. I did not receive a response. I think that was because they were working on it, and last year introduced the Sport series based on the Euro platforms. I looked at them. If they'd had the wrap around windows that the Euro version had, I may have bought one. Instead, I bought used. It will be interesting to see if sales of the Sport models improve, reflecting a demand for lighter trailers.
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Old 07-30-2008, 11:07 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kfrere View Post
"Gut it and rebuild the interior. . . "

Or, do what we are doing. We ordered a new 2008 classic shell from A/S, had that shipped to Timeless Travel Trailers in Wheat Ridge, CO. They are building out the inside exactly to our specifications. We get the layout and materials we want - right down to the window placement. Bamboo floor, lighter weight furnishings, tankless hot water heater, real Queen bed (as opposed to the ridiculous rv queen), larger shower, etc. We spend money where it is important to us, and cut costs where it isn't as important.

We buy things and hang on to them for a long time, so getting what we want to start with is important.

Waiting for the youngin' !
2008 31' Classic (in shell form right now)

I'm curious... How did you get A/S to sell JUST a shell? The standard line has been that they won't do this because of "liability" reasons. That never made any sense to me, the auto industry has done it for a zillion years with light truck and van chassis, selling them with just a cab for RV conversions. Why should a trailer be any different? A simple disclaimer that they aren't responsible for any negative outcome should the rig be finished in a manner that would cause an unsafe condition (overweight, poor weight distribution) should be all that is required. I really like the idea of being able to specify window placement!

Did Timeless Travel Trailers give you an engineering estimate of what the weight of the unit will be when it's completed?
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Old 07-31-2008, 12:03 AM   #20
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All those ultra-lightweight state of the art materials (like carbon fiber) would push the cost of the trailers well out of reach of the average person. Airstreams are already about three times the price of a comparable SOB. Innovative or not, not too many people are going to be willing to throw down $350K on a travel trailer.
I do agree that there are things that are a bit antiquated and that A/S designers could use a bit of schooling on modern electronics and technologies. (Let's face it, the entertainment systems in the new trailers are a joke.)
On the other hand, I'd also love to see Airstream go back to making the same trailers that were rolling off the assembly line in the 50s with no changes to them at all!
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Old 07-31-2008, 04:45 AM   #21
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Another pennyworth

A few words from another architect/Airstream refitter. Reading these interesting and well considered responses only confirms that Airstreams are many things to many people. But let's face it, they are following a heritage trail from something which was a state of the art icon a long time ago. However, we shouldn't get too carried away by our love of the old Airstream. You only have to look through the Forum to see the problems people have with basic and fairly recent equipment. There is room for improvement and there are new, more reliable technologies but nobody wants to change the shape or the concept and nobody wants the price to be out of the reach.

Cars are pretty much the same concept as they were 50 years ago. You can spend a million dollars on one with carbon fiber panels, but most people want to leave some money for going somewhere in it! Steady improvement is the best we can achieve in mass markets. In buildings, trailers and other consumer products, companies rarely want to make a risky giant leap. But the average car of today is more reliable, longer lasting, quieter, faster, almost maintenance free and CHEAPER. The non-Airstream European trailers never were iconic but they have steadily improved in a similar way to cars over the decades.

The European Airstream is lighter, good quality, has German frame and suspension, very low tongue weight with plastic gas bottles, etc. A lot of engineering skill has gone into it. At shows there is a line of people waiting to see it - none of the others get the same attention. Airstream still make an icon and have certainly caught up on some aspects but will have to work on others. Oil prices may help deal with the weight issue - a European Airstream can be pulled by a much smaller towcar.

I'm sure Airstream will manage improvements the way other businesses have to and over the next ten years we should be seeing better things. Improvements don't have to cost money. Airstreamers want more choice and more flexibility but we don't want to be redesigning the interior as part of a repair programme.
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Old 07-31-2008, 07:13 AM   #22
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IMHO, weight is not really the issue. We all want creature comforts and those add weight, A/C is about 100lbs alone.

I believe Airstream needs to galvanize their frames, do a better job on fit and finish (gaps everywhere, caulking from non-existent to literally poured on), fix the corrosion issues, place some gasketing between the furnishings and the floor (stops squeaks and creeks), make the floors more rigid (there is significant flex in some areas that lack reinforcement), and do a FAR better job at sealing and insulating the trailers. Back in the day, they could keep an interior warm or cool very easily, but today, with all the gaps, holes, poor cheap windows, etc, they leak terribly and the furnaces run constantly as do the A/C units. Just make these units better overall. They just seem so rushed on the production floor. Look at the Q/C threads. There you'll find issues that frankly just shouldn't happen. I think the interiors are fine, but I would not rule out improvements.

FWIW, the CCD has not been around for about 15 years.
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Old 07-31-2008, 07:28 AM   #23
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Just to show..

This is an example of what you could do with an Airstream. This particular Airstream was built and displayed at a London Show by a Mr. Bailey, who is a naval architect from England. I enclose the pictures for your edification. This was done prior to the CCD design debut..
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Old 07-31-2008, 11:41 AM   #24
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new shell

In response to those who wanted more information about the purchase of the shell only -

Last year A/S sent representatives to Colorado to meet with the owners of Timeless, view their company and the work they do, and make an arrangement that Timeless would be authorized to acquire a "shell only" for a customer, after which Timeless would help the customer design the interior and Timeless would perform the work on the interior.

In April we ordered a 31' classic shell. The shell actually includes the subfloor (and everything below it), all tanks (water and propane), all windows, outside door, the furnace, and a few other things. We ordered the shell before it went into production, so we had the factory install some of the windows and the rest were shipped with the shell for Timeless to install later. We were also able to order the outside door with a round window.

In May the shell went into production based on our specifications. At the end of May it was shipped to Colorado. By June 1 it was on the Timeless lot. Throughout the month of May we communicated - primarily by email - with a designer at Timeless. We gave them a detailed list of all our wants, by priority, and the specific things we didn't want. In turn, we were given a draft of an interior design. The evolution of the design went from there until we ended up with very detailed drawings, including a wiring drawing for all outlets, lights, etc.

They have included everything we have asked for, keeping in mind that it has to fit into that size shell. We chose everything: the cabinet materials and hardware, the flooring, the counter top, the appliances (a larger than standard fridge), the size of the shower and what it is made of, even the material that the bed headboard is going to be made of, the sinks and faucets, the awning, the T.V.'s, the DVD player, the hot water system - everything.

When we pick it up in October they will have not only tested all the systems, but would have cooked a couple of meals in it. They will assist us in towing it to a nearby campground where we will spend a few days learning about all the systems.

My understanding is that the trailer is weighed periodically (after electrical and plumbing, after cabinet installation, etc.) to see if the weight predictions are holding true. We have ordered everything, however, with weight in mind.
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Old 07-31-2008, 01:28 PM   #25
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There have been any number of people , including myself who have asked Airstream to provide a shell so that we could do our own interior and as far as I know ,all have been rejected. You are the first that I have ever heard of outside of commercial vendors that have been granted this privilege. I would be very interested to know what the approval process was and why like the rest of us you got more than just NO as an answer. If anything Airstream is inconsistent.
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Old 07-31-2008, 01:46 PM   #26
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In response...
thanks for the follow up! very very cool.

of course we'll wanna see the pictures too!

Quote:
You are the first that I have ever heard of outside of commercial vendors
the shop that took delivery has been doing makeovers, rehabs and restorations for a while.

so it would seem they fit into the category of commerical vendor.

i think it's a great move and will open up a small but new market.

how this venture affects the normal dealer/factory relationship might be an issue...

i wonder how the local (tennessee or colorado) dealers feel about this?

a official a/s dealership COSTS MONEY,

but MANY of the official a/s dealers sell/do less business yearly that this custom shop.

cheers
2air'
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Old 07-31-2008, 02:49 PM   #27
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new shell

I did not order the shell directly from A/S. I told Timeless what I wanted and Timeless ordered the shell. I then paid Timeless for the shell and they in turn paid A/S. I also paid for the freight charge to have it shipped to Colorado.

I initially looked at the dealer nearest to me, which is about 2 hours away. I gave him every opportunity to see if he could take a classic off his lot and modify it for me, or order one for me without certain components (such as the dinette and the sofa bed) so that it could be modified. He could do neither, so I started looking for an alternative. I don't want to undercut a dealer, but if I'm paying for a new A/S I want to get exactly what I want if at all possible. Now, it's possible.

It does bring up a problem that we've had to overcome. This is a 2008 31' classic, but it does not fit the "computerized" purchase price that the insurance companies recognize. So, you have to hand-walk the application through by demonstrating that you are indeed customizing the trailer. Timeless helps with that process as well.

(I'm not affiliated with Timeless in any way! It's just been a really cool experience so far.)
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Old 07-31-2008, 07:46 PM   #28
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I really want one of those round windows for my door! I've GOT to see pics of that!
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