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Old 12-04-2007, 09:29 AM   #15
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I for one would love to see a diesel hybrid widely available. This would be especially appreciated when backing into a camp site late at night or any other time when the "neighbors" don't want to hear the clatter of a diesel or smell the tell-tale odor of the diesel exhaust. This would be greener on two fronts. Parking the Airstream is the least efficient time the engine is used and if an electric motor could be used for this purpose the benefits would be the greatest. Diesel hybrids are available, just not to the consumer. Not only could they be put in the tow vehicle, they could be used in motor homes as well. Perhaps this is where the camping industry will go in the near future.
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Old 12-04-2007, 09:29 AM   #16
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More of the threat comes from the closing down of affordable mom and pop "Travel Parks" due to skyrocketing land prices, eager developers and property taxes.

Parks are being bought up and consolidated into "Travel Resorts" , with late model restrictions and prices that are beyond the reach of most families looking for some affordable family fun.

Remember, that was what traveling in a camper was all about at one time, affordable family fun.

Land, including BLM land is slowly becoming harder to find (In some parts of the country).


State and national park prices are climbing, not to mention fuel prices, insurance, and yes, the increased fuel taxes that will need to be added by the federal, state and local government TO make up for the loss of revenue DUE TO better fuel economy.

When I was growing up, I lived by the East River, which WAS like water, but I diverge.

As a kid, the waterfront was accessible; you did not need to be rich or privileged to enjoy it. It was affordable family fun; ever see the old photos of Coney Island, families, lots of families.
Of course now you need to be privileged just to SEE the water, and in Key West, well there is a little alley between the condos and hotels where you can see the water, it's by the "furthest southern point marker," if you can find parking.

I've also witnessed the same squeezing out of the common folk in the boating industry. Heck, I had a home made boat, try getting slip space for that now!

It's as if some "fun to price" quotient kicks in, when it's realized that "there's gold in them there hills"

I'm sorry to say that IMHO, I see the same thing happening to the RV industry. Prices and regulations will squeeze out the regular guy, and the CAFÉ standards are the least of it.

Geez, what's that soapy substance on my shoe?

Michael
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Old 12-04-2007, 09:40 AM   #17
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Airstream has taken the lower weight approach with the new Safari Sports. Our 22' weighs slightly over 4000# wet. Can't complain about the gas mileage as on our last trip we got 14mpg as a low and 17 as the high.
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Old 12-04-2007, 12:25 PM   #18
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The Safari Sport is Airstream's hedge against the future. It is recognizing the need for lighter weight trailers. They also have the small Design Within Reach trailer. It might be reflecting the international reach into Europe, Japan, and Australia/New Zealand. Those trailers can be pulled by my Sprinter and of course Airstream has the Interstate Sprinter campervan. I believe the B motorhome class was the only class that actually had growth in sales last year which explains why Winnebago is now making one (the Sprinter ERA). Airstream should bring back the Westfalia still being sold in Europe as the James Cook.
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Old 12-04-2007, 01:11 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd
The Safari Sport is Airstream's hedge against the future. It is recognizing the need for lighter weight trailers.
Vintage units are much lighter - my 24' Tradewind weighs in at 3700...need much less of a TV.

My 2 cents
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Old 12-04-2007, 01:29 PM   #20
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If I am not mistaken, the 35MPH requirement is for groups of vehicles. If you put the PT in with a truck, then average the MPH for both, you stand a much better chance of getting the higher mileage for the "group". Also I can't imagine the 35MPH requirement is for anything but the truck as it leaves the lot. I don't see the government following us around to see what we do with the truck and checking our mileage. I've personally never bought a truck that gets the mileage on the window sticker, and certainly not when I'm pulling the trailer. No where on the sticker does it give my MPG if I'm pulling X amount of weight. Perhaps we better wait until we see how this goes before we park our trailers or actually try to pull one with a bike.
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Old 12-04-2007, 02:12 PM   #21
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I was reading the spec's on a morothome last week that stated the MH had a 40,000 lb towing capicity.

Seems a lot excessive. IMO
Don
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Old 12-04-2007, 03:57 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nymphfishin
I was reading the spec's on a morothome last week that stated the MH had a 40,000 lb towing capicity.

Seems a lot excessive. IMO
Don
That's for those who want to take all the comforts of home with them...literally!!!
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Old 12-04-2007, 04:23 PM   #23
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The reduction in weight for the Safari mentioned above is an important step in the right direction.
Looking at the Airstream Weight table I found this:
1954 Flying Cloud 22 2545 lbs
1965 Safari 22 _____3320 lbs
1977 Safari 23 _____3850 lbs
1987 Sovereign 23 __4300 lbs
2001 Safari 23 _____4700 lbs
2007 Safari 22 _____4000 lbs

In 50 years, the weight almost doubled! It's good to see this trend reverse itself.
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Old 12-04-2007, 04:26 PM   #24
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The end of Airstreaming as we know it won't occur because of the CAFE standards. It will end when we can't afford the gas. My 2003 3/4 ton van will stay pampered and garaged. Based on its current odometer reading of 21,000 miles, it will be around well into my retirement years. Now whether I can afford its 10 mpg thirst for fuel may be an entirely different matter.

Jack
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Old 12-04-2007, 04:40 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera
The end of Airstreaming as we know it won't occur because of the CAFE standards. It will end when we can't afford the gas. My 2003 3/4 ton van will stay pampered and garaged. Based on its current odometer reading of 21,000 miles, it will be around well into my retirement years. Now whether I can afford its 10 mpg thirst for fuel may be an entirely different matter.

Jack
The automotive industry is working on it.

Hybrids, to the hilt.

I can see the top of the Airstream loaded with "solar panels" that would provide more battery power for the tow vehicle.

Now the trailer will have to have 2 charge lines. One from the tow vehicle to the trailer, so that it's batteries are being charged when under way, and the second one for the solar panels to send their power, "to" the tow vehicle.

Life was so simple not long ago, but fuel prices have managed to have had an effect on most of us, in one way or another.

But on the other hand, we are learning to become more efficient, in more ways than one.

That's ok with me, just so they don't put "hand cranks" in the elevators to make them go up.

That would be taking the phrase "crank it up," a little bit too far.

Andy
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Old 12-04-2007, 04:51 PM   #26
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In the longer term, gas prices will be climbing, probably dramatically. This will affect the RV market... When the cost to drive a motorhome or tow a trailer to a destination is substantially more than the cost to drive to the same destination and stay in a nice hotel, the industry will shrink.

This is already happening... think about taking a trip from Minnesota to Orlando to visit Disney for a week:

Cost to Trailer:

1500 miles each way @ 12 mpg @ $3/gal = $750
Cost to overnight 1 night each way @ $25 = $50
Cost to camp in WDW for 7 nights, full hookups, regular season @$75night = $525
Total Cost = $1325

Cost to Drive:

1500 miles each way @ 30 mpg @ $3/gal = $300
Cost to overnight 1 night each way in hotel @ $75 = $150
Cost to stay in WDW for 7 nights at a value resort, regular season @$99 = $693
Total Cost = $1143

With camping you will save more than the $200 difference on food costs. But, if gas were $6/gallon there will be a big premium to camp. Imagine driving a 6 mpg motorhome!

So people will either take shorter trips, or pay. But the RV market will shrink.

Another option: if you have a favorite distant travel destination, store the trailer there, and drive the truck out. Or store both there and fly out.
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Old 12-04-2007, 06:01 PM   #27
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Hybrids? I don't think so. Electric engines are not going to pull most of the current generation of TT's very far - you still need a fossil fuel burner with serious displacement to haul a 6000 lb trailer down the road, aerodynamic or not.

Hybrids may have an increasingly important role to play in the immediate future, but they are best suited to lighter vehicles in stop/start (city) driving, not tow vehicles.

And GM's DOD technology is a joke - the averge Yukon will spend 95% of the time on 8 cylinders even on relatively flat terrain - and that's driving like your grandma does.

No, the laws of physics haven't changed. The future will be smaller/lighter RV's towed by smaller/lighter (probably diesel) vehicles. But I don't necessarily see RV'ing dropping in popularity - retiring baby boomers will see to that.

Gary
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Old 12-04-2007, 06:38 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garfield
Hybrids? I don't think so. Electric engines are not going to pull most of the current generation of TT's very far - you still need a fossil fuel burner with serious displacement to haul a 6000 lb trailer down the road, aerodynamic or not.

Hybrids may have an increasingly important role to play in the immediate future, but they are best suited to lighter vehicles in stop/start (city) driving, not tow vehicles.
...
Big Box feels otherwise:
Walmart orders diesel electric hybrid trucks

Quote:
TROY, Mich., Jan. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- ArvinMeritor, Inc. and Wal-Mart Transportation, Bentonville, Ark., have agreed to development of a dual-mode, diesel-electric drivetrain for a Class 8 tractor.
Class 8 trucks usually go to 80,000 lbs, FWIW.

A more recent link:

Peterbuilt & Walmart
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