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Old 08-21-2016, 12:26 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by JCWDCW View Post
I could never figure out why AS would not simply badge one of Thor's MHs to meet the need for an AS MH by literally hundreds of airstreamers who are active in WBCCI and want the motor-home type vehicle. Adding a few AS touches would not cost much and that would fit the Definition of a MH manufactured by AS for the WBCCI membership
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WBCCI arguments aside, a Thor-built MH with Airstream glued to the side would be a product and marketing disaster, and I think (and hope) that the Thor execs are smart enough to realize that.

When Thor was founded in 1980, it was for the sole purpose to purchase Airstream. The single best thing that Wade and Peter (Thor founders) did was to leave the manufacturing lines and personnel intact to ensure that the quality (and therefore the Airstream brand) didn't suffer. Since that time, they have purchased many other brands, and through it all have left Airstream intact.

If you go onto a show floor (or dealer lot) and compare an Airstream badged product to a Thor badged product, you will quickly see a marked difference in the quality of materials and construction. If Airstream really does bring a new B+/C to market, I hope they do as they did with the Interstate line and create something new using the same high standards for quality and construction the brand is known for. Doing anything else would do irreparable harm to the Airstream brand IMO, and since Wade and Peter (now Bob and Peter since Wade passed a few years ago) have left things alone up to this point, I doubt they would risk the brand now.
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Old 08-21-2016, 05:59 PM   #30
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I suppose the quality didn't suffer when Thor bought Airstream because when Beatrice Foods owned Airstream they had already significantly compromised quality. Thor makes mediocre products, maybe less than mediocre, and they have cut corners on Airstream for years and years. They have harmed the brand though for many it still has a good reputation.

The basic concept of the trailer is as Wally Byam created it, but Thor has cheapened parts, tolerated poor workmanship and sometimes messed with the basic structure of the trailer. That latter tactic has caused front and rear end sag and deteriorating OSB floors.

I am surprised they just haven't rebadged another Thor product. Maybe they will. When they last made MH's more than a decade ago (last ones in 2006), if my memory is correct, they looked pretty much like a rebadged Thor product. I saw one in a CG in Oregon several years ago and I was surprised how little aluminum was used. Mostly it was fiberglass. Several years before that Airstream MH's were distinctive, but not for the end of the run. Since there are really few options in RV floorpans, having the MH built at a Thor MH plant would make sense. It could be clad with aluminum. But if it is a Class C, it sure isn't going to look like an Airstream. It might look like a heavy duty truck cab with an Airstream bolted on at best.

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Old 08-21-2016, 06:46 PM   #31
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Years ago I saw a Vixen going down the road. I thought it was the coolest design I'd ever seen of a motor home. I'd like to see Airstream make something along those lines. Seems like it would be a natural fit for Airstream. Although, the company that made them only sold a few hundred of them in the 80's. Maybe they were before their time with a unit like this, who knows?

The link for their web site is http://www.vixenrv.com/History.php
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Old 08-22-2016, 11:32 AM   #32
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Check out the GMC MH's built in the mid '70's—both use a lot of the same running gear, both appear to have front wheel drive and both have the swept back front end. Vixen (and another brand, Revcon) seem to follow GMC, though Revcon came first. Almost 13,000 GMC's were built, people regard them well and many are still on the road. Every once in a while I spot one, though more often than not they are sitting in a field rather than moving.

Some of the Airstream MH's prior to 2000 had a swept back windshield and didn't look too different form the GMC and Vixens.

Wikipedia link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GMC_motorhome

I wonder if using the name vixen helped sales. Did they betray you a thousand miles from home? Did you find them talking to another RV when you back was turned? Did they yell at you when you drove?

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Old 08-22-2016, 11:59 AM   #33
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I have no why folks are posting 'inspirational' type references when at the time of both the Vixen and the GMC, Airstream had their own directly comparable (in design and function) aluminum bodied 'coach built', MH. Maybe Airstream are realising there is a market for the product they killed off in the mid 90s????? If they need to understand what they should be making, they only need to look at what folks are buying and restoring, its the route the muscle car guys took when deciding which 60's/70's models to re-design and relaunch in the 00's.
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Old 08-22-2016, 01:10 PM   #34
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Heres the short history of Airstream MH's, courtesy of Wikipedia:

"In 1974, Airstream began manufacturing a Class A motorhome, badged "Argosy".[5] They began as painted 20- and 24-foot (6.1 and 7.3 m) models, and were followed in 1979 by the first examples of the Classic model motorhome, with an unpainted aluminum body much like the trailers.

"Airstream-badged Class A motorhomes began as 24- and 28-foot (7.3 and 8.5-m) models in 1979, and in the 1980s and 1990s, models ranging from 25 up to 37 feet (7.6 up to 11.2 m) were marketed. The aluminum motorhomes were followed by more traditional-looking fiberglass models in the 1990s. Airstream discontinued manufacture of Class A motorhomes in 2006. One bus model, the Skydeck, featured interior stairs leading to a deck on the roof."

I don't know why they stopped production, but maybe they were selling so many trailers they didn't have to produce MH's too. Larger MH's take a lot of space and the profit margins on the more distinctive trailers may have exceeded the fiberglass MH's making them an unnecessary product. 2006 was during the economic bubble that ended with the Great Recession. I recall Airstream was at capacity producing around 2,400 units/year until the Recession and production tumbled to about 700. Now that they have expanded the plant by about 50% and for some people the Recession is over, there is room for more expensive items such as MH's.

Airstream is in the business of high margin products and MH's would qualify. I'm not sure why they would consider lower priced items such as a new version of the Basecamp or the proposed Nest. This is not their area of expertise, though the Scout line may be selling well enough.

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Old 08-22-2016, 02:26 PM   #35
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You don't need Wikipedia, this photo from this years classic motorhome gathering thread with real examples from the first Argosy to the last Classic 36's

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Old 08-22-2016, 03:00 PM   #36
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Leaving Oshkosh earlier this month, I was following a fiberglas MH that looked about like every other MH on the road, only this one said "Airstream Cutter" on the rear. Knowing almost nothing about motor homes, I was surprised. My reaction--What is that thing?
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Old 08-22-2016, 05:13 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob662 View Post
Leaving Oshkosh earlier this month, I was following a fiberglas MH that looked about like every other MH on the road, only this one said "Airstream Cutter" on the rear. Knowing almost nothing about motor homes, I was surprised. My reaction--What is that thing?
Airstream/Thor started making slab-sided motorhomes in the early 90's with names like Land Yacht, Skydeck, Cutter, XL396 and even once a B-class model based on a Ford Econoline van. Each had different body styles and power.

There is a whole different motorhome section for slab-siders and B-Class.

Each to there own, but I like my 310 turbo diesel Classic thanks.

Cheers
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Old 10-16-2016, 07:17 PM   #38
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It's funny that the "slab sided" motorhomes like mine are not even MENTIONED on wikipedia. I am curious what the history of the fiberglass models is. I mentioned to the Airstream booth people at the Pamona RV show that I had a Skydeck and they implied it wasn't really an Airstream at all, but something made in their name for a time that was then sold off. Wish someone had recorded this history.

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Old 10-16-2016, 08:17 PM   #39
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Saw this today... announcement from August... some additional color / details....

http://www.rv-news.com/aug2005/new_rvs.cfm

Airstream, Inc. announced its plans to market a modern incarnation of its iconic radius-bodied “Classic” aluminum motorhome, originally produced between 1982 and 1996. The new “G-Series” coach has been designed in partnership with BMW Group Designworks- USA, Newbury Park, Calif., to reflect the unique curved body that has become synonymous with Airstream motorhomes.

“The decision to pursue this major initiative was born of Airstream’s desire to apply its guiding principles of design, quality and innovation to a motorcoach as distinct and iconic as its trailers,” said Bob Wheeler, Airstream’s Vice President of Product Development.

Airstream enlisted the talents of BMW’s world-class automotive design house to develop design elements for this sleek, groundbreaking vehicle, including exterior styling and the dashboard/instrument panel. Revolutionary components of the G-Series motorcoach include the industry’s first use of superplastic-formed aluminum panels, produced by Superform USA. The unique panels give the GSeries a much greater level of detail and durability in the aluminum forming process and will create a motorcoach style unlike anything in the recreation vehicle market.

More contemporary, yet highly functional design aspects of the G-Series will be found in the interior, thanks to Christopher C. Deam, Airstream’s design partner for nearly five years. The interior will feature contemporary styling, clean lines, and quality materials with innovative use of space and clever storage solutions. Deam also designed the interior for the Airstream International CCD travel trailers, which have become one of Airstream’s top-selling model lines since its introduction in 2001.

“As a result of our focus on the principles on which the company was founded, Airstream has become one of the fastest-growing companies in the RV industry in the last two years,” said Wheeler. “Airstream continues to provide its dealers with innovative products and tools that accelerate their success with a variety of new customers.”

Initially available in 33- and 35-foot floorplans, the Airstream G-Series is expected to begin production in early 2006.
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Old 10-16-2016, 08:58 PM   #40
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Airstream is going to offer a new motorhome

Looks like August 2005 - am I reading that correctly?

The article ends with planned production starting in 2006...
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Old 10-16-2016, 09:06 PM   #41
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Ah my bad
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Old 10-17-2016, 07:11 PM   #42
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Which begs the question, "Wonder whatever happened to it?"

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