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Old 09-17-2011, 07:52 PM   #1
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What!? No Airstreams?

This weekend I had my first chance to look at and walk thru a few hundred trailers at the Hershey RV Show (PA). First off, interest in RVs is tremendous. The number of visitors astounded me. The Hershey facility is huge and it was packed not only with the trailers hitch-to-back-bumper, but the vast parking lot was jammed with thousands of cars. I’m only interested in the towing trailers. I had hoped to see a couple particular makes and models but as it turned out only the Evergreen on my list was represented. The Element was very nice and looked very watertight, but a little too small. Jayco did have one model that was nice for a box type with a very well thought out floor plan. Another manufacturer not there was Bigfoot. Its four season capability is of interest to me. After spending an entire day up and down rows of trailer, you realize there are simply too many to absorb in one shot. Trailer sensory overload.

I had never been in the big motor homes so I spotted one that looked like a nice BIG example. As soon as I went up the steps I smiled and would have laughed out loud had a salesman not been writing up an order at the table. I can best describe the obscene inside with an analogy. In the early days of computers, memory was expensive and scarce so programmers wrote tight, function only code. Then memory got cheap and programs grew to millions of lines of code, referred to as ‘Code Bloat”. That’s what the motor home was. I was amused and at the same time put off by the excess of this leviathan’s interior.

A word about floor plans. Wow can they vary. Most are decent, a few I though really bad. One RV had the two doors, one into the living/kitchen area the other opened directly to the toilet. I thought that bizarre. One unit had the vertical wedge front. The exterior was a nice earth color and it was attracting a lot of outside attention. Inside was a disaster. It had the bed at an angle at the wedge; inefficiently taking was too much front floor space, a table and kitchen also placed without thought. Horrible. The kitchen at the wedge would have been perfect. What were they thinking? Slide outs all over the place..hate’em.

And finally AIRSTREAM. I was hoping to see an Airstream but not a single distributor was there nor any from the factory. Not even a little Bambi. Leaving the show, I was in a location that I could see over the entire massive visitors’ parking lot. Box trailers and motor homes along with the cars. You know what, not a single Airstream there either. Wouldn't you find Airstream’s total absence curious as well? I was very disappointed.
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Old 09-17-2011, 08:31 PM   #2
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You know what? Auto shows are the same way. There are "A" shows, "B" shows and so forth. Bentley, Rolls, Masaratti, Ferarri, only show up at the "A" shows. GM, Ford, Dodge, Toyota, Nissan, etc show up for all of them, cause they are "every man's" cars. A manufacturer decides what resources are available and picks and chooses. Right or wrong, I'd bet that AS has a list of "As", Bs" and "Cs". I know you said it was a big show, but Hershey is probably a "B". Is a casual show attender who is there to"kick" tires an AS buyer, or are the true buyers "under the radar" for that show?

I know my comments will evoke spirited conversation, but that is the way the auto market behaves, and I'd bet for a "boutique" manufacturer like AS, the real buyers weren't there....at least in the numbers to justify the expense of attending. Right, wrong, or indifferent...that's the way marketing people think. Louisville is a premier "A" show...not sure about others.
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Old 09-17-2011, 08:49 PM   #3
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It may be that JC feels they just don't need need to be there mixing with the riff-raff.... isolation syndrome

It is kind of unusual that Colonial wasn't represented, especially considering the great inventory they have available.

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Old 09-17-2011, 09:29 PM   #4
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Bob,

The Hershey PA RV show is brought to you by the PA RV and Camping association to benefit PA RV dealers. A NJ dealer is not invited to participate in displaying product there and the PA Airstream dealer is not currently able to attend the show.

We would REALLY like to display product there but we are not allowed.
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:48 PM   #5
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Didn't know that Patrick....Thank's

It would be a trip for ASWPA...

Bob
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:01 PM   #6
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The RV Show in Chicago (Rosemont) is the same way. I was bummed about that too.

It's organized by those manufacturers and dealers. (probably same with your RV show). Airstream is NOT INVITED to showcase product. If they were, everyone would be at the Airstream booth right!?
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:24 PM   #7
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One thought,

Who wants to buy an Airstream that has had 100's of people walking thru, opening and closing every door, sitting on the couch and bed and then have them complain it costs too much.

If I was a dealer, I would not take 60-70k units to a show like this, too many lookers no buyers.

That would be a quick way to trash one.

Besides, if I were lucky enough to purchase a new AS, I do not want any one playing inside it. No drinks, no dirty feet ect.

Just my opinion.
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:37 PM   #8
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The sizzle and steak syndrome

I have seen an airstream positioned amongst many other SOB,s at some shows. If a person can't separate the steak from the sizzle, they may not be able to see the difference from an Airstream at 19 feet costing the same as an SOB of 30 plus feet, with a basement and slideout. Some of us know the difference. Others will buy the fireplace, and the replace.

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Old 09-17-2011, 10:50 PM   #9
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Hi, out near where I live, they have huge RV shows at the Pomona Fair Grounds, several times a year. Once a year it is attended by almost all brands. We have two main RV sellers who sell several brands each. Mike Thompson and Mc Mahan. Mc Mahan has several RV shows each year and a few of them are at the Fair Grounds. Mc Mahan only brings the brands that they sell. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't see the fine print stating that the show is sponsored by Mc Mahan.
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:52 PM   #10
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If I remember correctly Bigfoot trailer went bankrupt. Don't know if anyone bought up the remains?
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Old 09-17-2011, 11:31 PM   #11
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I think most folks going to these shows are SOB oriented and would only look at an Airstream for the novelty of it. Someone who wants multiple slide outs, lots of storage / headroom etc. etc. isn't going to want nor likely pay for an Airstream. I don't blame the PA dealer (AS of Western PA I assume) for not dragging any trailers to Hershey. Personally I don't see the attraction of RV shows anyway (too many people for me), but I live in an area with many RV dealers and I can stroll the lots at my leisure without the Hoi Poli , although since I purchased an AS it's just not the same! Plus look at what the OP said, he couldn't even see most of the trailers he wanted to look at.

I thought his comments about motor homes were funny. The bigger the rig the less is sleeps. Prevost: cocktails for 6, dinner for 4, sleeps 2.

Like the other poster said, I think Bigfoot when bankrupt a couple of years ago. To me the only other SOB that comes close to a BF is an Artic Fox (Sunline did too, but they also bit the dust).
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Old 09-18-2011, 02:17 AM   #12
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i was at Hershey too. that's quite a big show. Colonial did have a booth inside so at least there was some Airstream presence.

if you want an Airstream only show, you can drive over to Colonial for your own private viewing :-) their inventory is extensive.
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:03 AM   #13
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No Airstreamers in the parking lot??? They were all out camping and having fun, sitting by their campfires and sharing a beer or glass of wine...or two or three.....
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Old 09-18-2011, 10:43 AM   #14
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Insightful Posts

Thanks for all the comments and info…
dznf0g: A and B shows, never thought about that.
NeatAirstream: PA only, NJ not invited, didn't realize that.
Robert Cross: Mix with the riff-raff? I hope that's not true.
Kidsgone: Airstreamers out having fun, yeah that makes sense!
Richinny: Visit Colonial, yes indeed. On my To-Do list now. (I have yet to set foot in an Airstream).
BigAL: I've communicated with Bigfoot; they appear to be back in business at Bigfoot RV - Truck Campers & Travel Trailers - Recreational Vehicle Manufacturer.
LFM: One of the motor homes did actually had a fireplace of some sort. Barf.
Asiamack: I don't doubt that if an Airstream were there, that's where the crowd would be.
Airstream is indeed an infection one never gets rid of, it can only be mitigated by owning one!
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