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Old 12-03-2007, 10:18 PM   #1
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The end of Airstreaming as we know it?

I haven't seen any news on how the the new CAFE standards will play with RV industry. As first glance it seems to me that drastic changes will be required. There's no truck available that will tow an Airstream and get 35mpg and I doubt that there ever will be unless Airstream returns to building the Airstreams of the 40s. Maybe motorhomes will be exempt from the 35mpg ?

see:

House fuel deal is bad, but beats the alternative
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Old 12-03-2007, 10:43 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by jbond
I haven't seen any news on how the the new CAFE standards will play with RV industry. As first glance it seems to me that drastic changes will be required. There's no truck available that will tow an Airstream and get 35mpg and I doubt that there ever will be unless Airstream returns to building the Airstreams of the 40s. Maybe motorhomes will be exempt from the 35mpg ?

see:

House fuel deal is bad, but beats the alternative
Herb,

There is still lower CAFE requirements for trucks, unfortunately, in my opinion, this includes the mini vans and small suvs. There is no way that a minivan, PT Cruiser, Explorer, small crossover SUVs and the like should be grouped with trucks for CAFE, they are cars.

Bill

PS: please email or PM me a current email address, all the ones I have for you keep bouncing back.
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Old 12-03-2007, 10:54 PM   #3
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Hopefully, trucks that are currently not required by federal law to display any mpg figures on the new vehicle sticke will not be impacted by these standards. That currently includes 3/4 tons and up. The half ton trucks and SUVs make take a hit, though.
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Old 12-04-2007, 04:04 AM   #4
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I hope CAFE does not reduce our towing size down to 16 or 18 feet.

There will always be an Airstream, it is like Plymouth Rock.

Solid and has always been here.

Airstream is an icon like Cadillac and Harley Davidson.
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Old 12-04-2007, 04:51 AM   #5
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There will always be trucks classified for work status that will be exempt, or, will have higher fuel standards. The real issue will be fuel cost. NBC Nightly News had a feature on Motor Homes. Sales are down 10%. Push is on within the industry for lighter units getting greater MPG. Not many want a 7 mpg vehicle.
Tom
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Old 12-04-2007, 05:42 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by henw
Push is on within the industry for lighter units getting greater MPG. Not many want a 7 mpg vehicle.
Tom
Witness the popularity of the View and Navion etc, built on the Sprinter chassis. Small, well built and relatively great mileage.
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Old 12-04-2007, 06:06 AM   #7
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but they are

Quote:
Originally Posted by wkerfoot
There is no way that a minivan, PT Cruiser, Explorer, small crossover SUVs and the like should be grouped with trucks for CAFE, they are cars.
I found this under the hood of a Chrysler minivan:
"This vehicle conforms to US EPA emissions standards for LIGHT TRUCKS for 2006 model year new motor vehicles."
Not bad for a made-over Dodge Aries...
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Old 12-04-2007, 06:39 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by overlander63
Not bad for a made-over Dodge Aries...
That quintessentially American Icon, the Chrysler K-Car, LIVES ON!!!!!!

Roger
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:18 AM   #9
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First off, There are probably 20 times as many people pulling horse trailers as there are pulling Airstreams and a lot of them live in the countryside right outside DC. As far as I can determine, there will be plenty of exemptions for light trucks used for commercial purposes.

One immediate change may be that the manufacturers will resort to building honest-to-God work trucks with rubber mats, bench seats and roll up windows! Aftermarket truck accessory manufacturers will be in hog heaven.

I'm more concerned about punitive fuel taxes at the federal and state level to change driving habits than I am about the ability to buy a tow vehicle in the near future.
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverwanabe
I hope CAFE does not reduce our towing size down to 16 or 18 feet.

There will always be an Airstream, it is like Plymouth Rock.

Solid and has always been here.

Airstream is an icon like Cadillac and Harley Davidson.
FYI- The Rock is currently under repair! Also note that when you do you visit Plimouth Rock you are seeing only a part of the original rock because it was once moved to the center green of town, dragged around and actually broke! So, the Rock is not so solid and definatly has not always been there. A little New England history lesson.
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Old 12-04-2007, 08:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickandsandi
FYI- The Rock is currently under repair! Also note that when you do you visit Plimouth Rock you are seeing only a part of the original rock because it was once moved to the center green of town, dragged around and actually broke! So, the Rock is not so solid and definatly has not always been there. A little New England history lesson.
Let's not forget that Airstream was once a solely California built travel trailer, then moved to Ohio, oh yeah, the Beatrice Years and some quality issues from the first part of this century...so I guess Airstream has been moved, dragged around, broke (twice), not so solid...and some say we are waiting for it to be fixed again, too!
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Old 12-04-2007, 08:17 AM   #12
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Count me as one of the supporters for higher gas mileage standards. For years the RV industry has been obsessed with bigger is better. This years' model is always bigger than last years model. Bigger and heavier trailers mean bigger and more capable tow vehicles. After years and years of sailboat class racing where the creed is "every ounce counts", I was unprepared to deal with the useless excesses in RV's. In sailboats, you took everything out that wasn't necessary. It helped the boat slide thru the water easier. It had the secondary effect of making the interior feel more spacious. Applying this same logic to RV's, making reductions in weight and size, coupled with improved aerodynamics can't be a bad thing. Properly done, the interiors will feel just as spacious, but you won't need a locomotive to get it down the highway.

I've taken this approach with my 25' Excella. Original weight was around 6000 lbs dry. I've made many many modifications to reduce weight and increase spaciousness. It now weighs around 5000 pounds dry, it's quite spacious feeling inside without feeling stripped down, and I don't need a locomotive to take it where I want to go. The industry could learn from this "retired Architects' " efforts because it really is "better".
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Old 12-04-2007, 08:36 AM   #13
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Ethics vs. Economics

The high price of fuel is not all bad. Obviously I enjoy hooking up my AS and going for a nice cruise. Think we have it bad? In Europe gas is twice what we pay. Supply and demand applies at least to most of us who aren't idenpendantly wealthy. I can't help but wonder though, everytime I see a milliion dollar motorhome if the owners are concerned about the price of gas and more importantly the amount of poop they are putting into the atmosphere. RVs are still a drop in the poop bucket compared to other sources of CO such as industry and general auto use. When I do take out my AS it is now with at least a twinge of guilt which I assuage with the rationalization I only have a 3 block commute to work and do try to save gas with daily driving and am now trying to make my home more energy efficient. Still big time RVing is an American luxury that is a outgrowth of our gas guzzling lifestyle which may be living on borrowed time. As for me as long as I can move I will be camping but maybe going back to simpler days with no so many creature comforts is around the corner. After all it's camping.
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Old 12-04-2007, 09:16 AM   #14
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Foregoing posts are pretty much right on. I too have been involved in sailboats for most of my life, and have seen incredible changes in the industry to reduce weight, so as to increase performance.
High-tech construction does cost more, but if you break it down, most materials cost by the lb. The extra costs involved, usually are due to needing a more skilled work force to build the product.
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