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Old 05-14-2008, 09:38 AM   #15
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1978 31' Excella 500
Venice , California
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"Not all who are laundering are washed" say Bill & Heidi

'78 Excella 500,"The Silver Pullit". vacuum over hydraulic disc brakes, center bath, rear twin. '67 Travelall 1200 B 4X4 WBCCI 3737
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:21 AM   #16
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1968 17' Caravel
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Originally Posted by Mel
We get exactly this treatment from my sister-in-law, who has even referred to us as "junk collectors".
Oh Mel! How could anyone look in your Airstreams and call you junk collectors? You'e got the nicest Safari around!

I find I don't get regarded as an AS millionaire because our trailer is so small and cute. We have been accused of being part of 'a cult' though. Hard to argue that one!


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Old 05-14-2008, 10:25 AM   #17
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
Peoria , Arizona
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If jealous SOB owners think you "paid too much" for your AS, they may not understand the false economy of owning some of the SOBs out there. By the time they replace a fallen-apart, disposable SOB every X number of years, they may have very well paid just as much as if they invested in the longevity of an AS in the first place.
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:26 AM   #18
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1991 34' Excella
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Originally Posted by henw
Actually, I think it's the owners of the deluxe MOHO's and gigantic 5th wheels that can be snooty towatds TT's in general.

The last few times we have ventured to the local campgrounds for a weekend, we were the smallest, oldest and cheapest camper in the loop. We still overheard the 'Airstream' comments...
Hi Ho Silver RV! Vernon, Sarah, Mac the Border Collie -
A honkin' long 34' named AlumaTherapy
and a 26' '63 Overlander, Dolly
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:43 AM   #19
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Airstreams - great ice breakers on the road of life!!

From the number of people who approach us on our trailer travels, we'd have to assume that they don't think we are AS snobs!

Each of our two trailers illicits active and different comments - when traveling with the '96 34' this winter, we would routinely heard "nice trailer!", "do they still make those?", "bet you get great gas mileage!", & "can I have a peek inside?" We had several individuals get misty-eyed while they recalled trailering with a favorite grandparent or relative who owned an Airstream. Or there was a fond recollection or two of a caravan or rally that camped or passed through someone's home town in years past.

The comment that punctuated most converstations with SOB owners was, "boy, those Airstreams really hold their value!"

When we have the '75 22' Argy in tow, we hear "wasn't Argosy the main competitor of Airstream?" "why don't they make these anymore?", & "gee, thought this was fiberglass (after going outside to see who was tapping on the trailer!"

Because Airstream has been around for 75+ years and Wally was such a great promoter of the lifestyle, we've found that curiousity (both positive & negative) comes with the territory of owning an Airstream.

When approached with the "why did you buy an AS" question, our primary reply is that we like to travel, i.e. drive, not just sit in one spot, and the AS is the best pulling trailer in our experience (at least the several models that we have owned) The towing experience is pleasurable!

Yes, we like to buy our trailers and vehicles in a gently experienced condition - there are a lot of people in motorhomes, 5th wheels that we met this winter who have a lot more $$$ tied up in their rigs than we do - and we also met couples who were touring with teardrop trailers!

It's all about the journey . . . . .
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:54 AM   #20
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Yes and no

Let's be honest.
There are those within the A/S community who are snobbish about their trailer(s), I have seen some of that here.
I think you will find that any segment of society has the minority that may not be the norm.
The question is: What is the norm? Do we only hear from those who are not "snobbish"? Or are the opinions expressed so far representative of the group as a whole? Hopefully it's the latter.

Lot's of good points made so far related to cost, whether new or used and the long term value of the A/S product.
Like many of you, I had several SOB trailers prior to my first A/S. I decided that the extra $$ was worth it in the long run - my last SOB no longer had enough good wood in the walls to keep the skin attached properly due to dry rot.

Having said that, I like classic. Cars, bicycles, trailers, motorcycles,etc. Heck, I'm getting to be a classic myself.
This includes SOB - Scotty, Teardrop, etc. I may one day buy one to rehab and I see no need to spout the "SOBs are all junk" opinion.

While I do feel pride in my A/S, I sometimes just to refer to it as my trailer, just to avoid the whole "prima-donna" thing. It really depends on who I'm talking to.

I paid well under $20K for mine, I challenge some of the other brand owners to compare value - theirs with mine. Wait, was that snobbish... ?

The '72 Globetrotter that I just sold is the only trailer that ever prompted a standing ovation from a group of appreciative campers as I pulled into the campground. Nice feeling.
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:56 AM   #21
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We compound the issue by adding a vintage TV to the equation. People are always surprised that "that old car" can pull a trailer and then they say "how old is that trailer? Did you buy it new?" even after we've told them the trailer is a 1951 and the car a 1957. I think the math just does not happen quick enough.

We've never heard anyone comment about elitists or snobs. Cult yes, both trailer and car. The best though was from a US Customs Officer in his late forties or early fifties who, as we crossed the border asked the years of the vehicles and then his partner who was probably in his thirties said to my wife "lady, you folks are living THE dream. It just can't get any better than this." That made our day as these folks see a lot of vehicles every day.

It is my feeling that because the vast majority of Airstream owners are very open and willing to talk and show their trailers that people see us as being different in that way as well. Because they are seldom if ever asked to display their trailer I suspect it may cause a bit of envy.

It is nice to own a piece of rolling art and to work to keep it that way. It is fun to show it to people and in our case with the hope that they too will get the bug and go find one. When our buddies have their Flying Clouds done next year (Geesh, they are really taking their time) I suspect the comments will increase with three Airstreams and three vintage TV's. Now that will be fun.

Barry & Donna
Life is short - so is the door on a '51 Flying Cloud (ouch)
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Old 05-14-2008, 11:30 AM   #22
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I could never figure why, but, my in-laws- who did a lot of camping in the 60’s and 70’s felt Airstream owners were snobs and all of them were impressed with how much money they had. He owned one for about 6 months and sold it – probably for that reason.

Personally, I never met an Airstream owner that was a jerk, snob, or let their dog piddle on my campsite.

I have observed that Airstreamers have an interest in each others rigs, and even though strangers, they immediately have a lot in common and a way to becomes friends more quickly. To an outsider that may appear to be a bit cliquish where, in fact, it was simply an easy introduction.

The reality is: our 73 Safari cost us very little past a lot of elbow grease. But you know, sometimes I don’t mind being mistaken for a wealthy man…

Digger Bear
Non impediti ratione cogitationis

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Old 05-14-2008, 11:50 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by safari57
It is my feeling that because the vast majority of Airstream owners are very open and willing to talk and show their trailers that people see us as being different in that way as well. Because they are seldom if ever asked to display their trailer I suspect it may cause a bit of envy.
I have to admit, that when faced with a campground full of what appear to me to be identical white boxes, I've never asked to see inside one. So maybe I am an Airstream snob, because in a field of nearly identical Airstreams I want to see inside each one!

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Old 05-14-2008, 12:44 PM   #24
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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When we first got our Argosy and camped in it, the campground hosts thought it was great that we had found a trailer that looked like an Airstream, but thank God it wasn't. Seems all the Airstream owners that ever stayed there had their noses stuck so high in the air they couldn't see the other RV'ers...
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
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Old 05-14-2008, 12:59 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by pansy
Dealing with the American Pubic for 20+ yrs. has shown me that prolly 98% of Americans are "dumber than stumps".
And still... no idea why anybody would think we're snobs.
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Old 05-14-2008, 01:24 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by 3streams
We recently sold our 2005 International CCD- to someone from several states away- and our trailer was not for sale locally because we didn't want to tell anyone how much we were asking for it. We own an insurance agency and get enough slack as is- and we didn't want to add any fuel to the fire if the locals found out we were asking 35K for a travel trailer! That being said we now have less money tied up in 6 vintage units than we did in 1 newer unit (until all the restoration begins- but thats another thread). Airstreamers are not snobs- go to any rally and you will have confirmation of that! We just own something that is unique and special- like owning a Porsche or BMW (you can pick up vintage ones unrestored quite cheap- but people will always assume it was expensive because of the name). It is what it is- be proud you own an AIrstream and don't feel guilty if someone is jealous - if their not jealous of you it will be someone else.
So if you are not embarrassed to own SIX Airstreams I won't feel bad about being Jealous of your collection!
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Old 05-14-2008, 01:29 PM   #27
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I tell folks that I own a travel trailer and normally only say it's an Airstream if I'm asked or it's germane to the conversation. Remembering my pre Airstream days, most folks normally on initial conversation do not state the brand name of their RV, since in most cases you envision another white box.

It's only on subsequent conversation that gets into the branding where the make of the RV comes up. So to me if someone would ask do I camp or own an RV, the answer would be yes I have a travel trailer. Any additional information to that question would in my opinion, be more of a social statement that could be looked at as elitist or snobbish.

Jack Canavera
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Old 05-14-2008, 02:26 PM   #28
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Like much of the public, I didn't know that much about Airstreams other than what I had seen on the exterior and that they cost more than your average trailer. After asking a friend's uncle to give me a tour of one he was selling in 1987-88 (a new model was sitting on his property), I was hooked. I didn't know there were so many versions/models out there as I started doing more research in 2000 after my grandmother passed away at the age of 102 and leaving me part of her estate. This was the only way at the time I could afford to buy an Airstream in the beginning even if it was used. I've since sold it after purchasing a shorter 25' model from the '86 year and working a part time job to pay off the note difference.

Based on the fact that I have purchased used models which were 23 yrs. and then 18 yrs. old, I sure can't picture myself as being an elitist and definately not a snob. I train groups of people in class sizes of 8 to as much as 110 on a daily basis so it is so easy for me to strike up a conversation with anyone in a campground or other venue. Many times people will ask if my trailer is an "older" model and I have to say that it is an '86 then go on to explain when the "wide body" models came out and the fact that the factory is making at least 3 widths depending on the model or whether it is designed for the European market. People so often state that Airstream has used the same shape for so many years and all I can reply is that the aerodynamics make the Airstream whether it is an older model or newer right off the line. They really become fascinated when you start talking about the different interior configurations over the years and how much in demand they are. I admit to them that I may not have the interior space of the box type trailers but everything is in working order and no leaks!

I think by the time I finish my conversation with those asking questions about my Airstream, they know some of the pros and cons of ownership in addition to the fact that the price of a used model is not out of their reach if they are willing to do a little work to keep it up. Airstreams aren't for everybody but I feel right at home in mine.


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