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Old 11-15-2006, 11:37 AM   #15
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I think that Airstream should concentrate on their historic base product, curved aluminum travel trailers.

An Airstream Motorhome is like a Cadillac or Lincoln pick-up truck. It Looks out of place, and is demeaning to the iconic symbol of the company.
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Old 11-15-2006, 11:59 AM   #16
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Correct

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Originally Posted by chuck
Bingo...but I don't know if that'll ever change. Really, these trailers have always been meant for well-monied empty nesters or otherwise childless couples, who like to travel for the sake of travel. A "tube" simply doesn't lend itself to stacking bunks like a "cube" does. I bet the market research shows that people who can afford this kind of trailer, and have kids, don't want to travel this way. They'll just fly to Disney, thankyou. They have the $$$...but not the time to hook up and meander across the country. The destination is more important than the journey.

and just because you want to call it a "six sleeper", that doesn't really mean it is. You can also call a 42" pull-out couch a "double" until you're blue in the face; that doesn't make it so.
Now, maybe they could make these tubular trailers more family-friendly...we've seen some very clever mods made by some very capable people here. but they are the exception that proves the rule.
I tend to agree, the young dynamic family with disposable income is more likely to travel in a "faster mode" which is not a trailer. And...if these families do choose an RV vs flying, it is more likely going to be a 40' MH. As the price of Airstreams climb, the customer base gets more select. The Basecamp confirms the fact that AS is not going after the family market.

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Old 11-15-2006, 12:21 PM   #17
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Build your own Airstream

Too bad Airstream doesn't sell "kit" trailers that can be customized on the inside. Buy the beautiful, distinctive Airstream shell and put the inside together the way you want. It would eliminate the quality issues that seem to be plaguing Airstream and give people the opportunity to create something that works for them and doesn't look like every other interior.
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Old 11-15-2006, 12:33 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A-Merry-Can
i think they are on the right track with the vintage/winick bambi. that's the biggest appeal of the airstream, the classic americana dream. it's a shame they can't do it for 2/3 of what the vintage one is selling for.

jp
I agree, right track, but price is just plain unreasonable. You could get a decked out Classic for what the 75th goes for. It's not that I don't think the 75th is a fantastic unit, it is, but when you've owned a new unit and watch the value drop after the first few years, you have to REALLY like the unit.

As for where Airstream heads, I'm sure they'll have many successes and failures along the way. The thing I like best about them is that they are trying to freshen up the line.

In a world of instant gratification, RVing my at some point seem like folks that use to use rotary telephones. It's a special crowd that do what we do.
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Old 11-15-2006, 01:21 PM   #19
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i read somewhere that harley davidson made 90% of it's income from product licensing, and NOT motorcycles... of course there's a lot more harley t-shirt wearin dudes out there than guys with airstream caps, but it does make you think. people buy a harley for $20K, and spend half that again in chroming it up. parts and trinkets apply to the whole crowd, not just the new units. it works, if you have a name with a history... like harley, or airstream.

i do agree with the customizing thing, though. my cousin is a builder, and would gladly buy a complete shell, with tanks installed to do his own thing. you would run into all sorts of problems regarding outlet locations, water, etc, etc... so i can see why they don't do it.

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Old 11-15-2006, 02:02 PM   #20
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Quality?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blu_Hwy_Lady
Too bad Airstream doesn't sell "kit" trailers that can be customized on the inside. Buy the beautiful, distinctive Airstream shell and put the inside together the way you want. It would eliminate the quality issues that seem to be plaguing Airstream and give people the opportunity to create something that works for them and doesn't look like every other interior.
I'm not laughing at you, but rather at the thought of what some of these would look like after the 'skilled owners' finish or give up on their custom interiors. I have cleaned up other people's messes, and it is good for a laugh.
Now, I have been through the factory maybe a dozen times+ a few, and have seen a radical change in the quality of the craftsmanship now excercised in the building of our favorite trailers, HOWEVER, I will be the first to say they are not where they ought to be. When the old bomb factory was converted, the countryside around Jackson Center did not majically produce a bunch of skilled assembly people. Fact is, much, if not most of Airstream's assembly proceedures were still more like a 'one off' than an assembly line. It still has some of that look. During the rally in Salem this past summer, I visited the Forrest River plant and watched what I consider was a real assembly line proceedure. When the pre-cut pieces were put in place, they fit. As late as 2005, at the Airstream Homecoming, I saw a brand new unit on which the pre-cut hole in the ceiling through which the black tank vent passed, that did not fit. The answer was to take a pair of tin snips and do a rough cut, and I do mean a jagged, sharp edged rough cut. Then the unit had been 'passed' for delivery to the dealer for sale to the public!
The product is a well engineered one, the production is not quite so, but the production costs much be phenominal for them to cost so much. I still wouldn't have another brand trailer. On the other hand, the only reason I own an Airstream motorhome is the WBCCI as we have taken many caravans with them, and attended many rallies, from Internationals to local. We are very active in these and as a result, enjoy them immensly. The support from the factory could use some help. The headliner issue is a good example. The front axle issue on the 2000 390 XL motorhomes is another. The solutions were poorly executed for a company that NEEDS loyalty from its customers.
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Old 11-15-2006, 02:17 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck
I bet the market research shows that people who can afford this kind of trailer, and have kids, don't want to travel this way. They'll just fly to Disney, thankyou. They have the $$$...but not the time to hook up and meander across the country. The destination is more important than the journey.
With all due modesty and humbly speaking, you have just described my family. We live in an affluent metro-Atlanta suburb and my wife drives a full-sized SUV (gas prices be dammed) and we live on a water front lot on a small lake. We have two sons, ages 6 & 9 and a cocker spaniel (named Sulley after James P. Sullivan of Disney/Pixar's Monsters, Inc.). We also have annual passes to Walt Disney World that cost us $1573 plus taxes to renew this past June (that's after a renewal discount for all four). We will drive down to Disney World six times before those annual passes expire to spend our kid's school breaks at "the World" and have additional trips planned after we renew again in June. My signature line isn't a joke. Of those six trips, only three will be staying in the Airstream. The other three will be week long trips in Disney Deluxe hotels (two at Disney's Animal Kingdom and Christmas week at the Swan Hotel). Now I didn't write all of this just to brag. Those who know me know that's not my style. The reason is to point out that even those with the $$$, as you put it, also feel that there is more to vacations than 4 star hotels and character breakfast.

We purchased our Airstream in May and have eight 2-4 day trips under our belt in 5 different states already (yes, two were 4 day weekends at Ft. Wilderness at WDW). Our boys love camping in the Airstream, my wife loves the relaxation of getting away from the 'burbs, and I enjoy spending time with my family. Oh yeah, the dog loves camping, too!

Now I know we are not the typical Airstream buyer, but look at how many families on this forum have purchased 25' FB's, 25' SS's, and those who have purchased older and vintage Airstreams and customized them for "family" camping. How many threads are there requesting information about bunk bed models and adding bunk beds to Airstreams? I will be the first to admit that the upper bunk in our 30' Safari Bunk would be tight for a teenager but I just think there is a whole market sector that Airstream is missing out on because they aren't tapping into the family sector of family camping. The thing I have seen over and over this summer is families in SOB's at Ft. Wilderness and state parks and private camp grounds with their kids and pets enjoying the great outdoors rather than being cooped up in a hotel room. They enjoy smoores and bar-b-ques instead of table service and fast food.

The market for Airstreams has been hot the past few years because people of all ages are returning to camping as a wholesome vacation activity and they want something that is more stylish and more individualistic than a white box on wheels. I can understand the demise of the Class A Airstream...the prices have just escalated out of the reach of most people and they look so much like every other Class A. You can get the same look for less than half the money. But the Airstream travel trailer is unlike anything else on the market today. That's why the market has pushed production to the point of cranking them out too fast to control quality. I think the Base Camp is taking too long to get into the hands of buyers and will ultimately loose its excitement. It doesn't appeal to me, but then I'm not into toy hauling or camping without my own bathroom.

Maybe the young bucks that take over Airstream's management will take this into consideration.
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Old 11-15-2006, 03:27 PM   #22
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I'm not saying that families such as yours don't exist; just not in very large numbers...or large enough to make Airstream change their tune. Those families in the white boxes...do you think they were in the SOBs because thats all there is? or because thats what they can afford?
I think most of the kid-mods you see on the forum are applied to retrofitting vintage units. ("vintage"=euphamism for "cheap, smelly old trailer" ). Airstream isn't going to make money by making trailers that will be attractive so some young family 20 years from now on the used market. They make money by selling new ones, and the vast majority of the people who want/can afford new ones are "di/nks". (double income/no kids).
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Old 11-15-2006, 04:53 PM   #23
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we'll see how they do over seas. i know they just launched the safari, i think it is in the UK. they're only offering one, though. there's a place on teh isle of wight you can stay in old airstreams for about $200 a nite... with no bathroom! by european standards, the airstreams are extra roomy... and there's a niche of peeps over there who love americana.

i still think focusing on a high end product that's innovative and classy is a hit (aka apple computer), and add vintage americana name recognition (HD), it SHOULD be a recipe for success. i know i'll never buy another brand of trailer.

jp
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Old 11-15-2006, 05:09 PM   #24
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Wink The Classic is a Classic

Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags
I think that Airstream should concentrate on their historic base product, curved aluminum travel trailers.

An Airstream Motorhome is like a Cadillac or Lincoln pick-up truck. It Looks out of place, and is demeaning to the iconic symbol of the company.
My 17 year old Classic MOHO fits right in the Airstream theme and I don't feel out of place with Airstream tag alongs. What I wish for is a new Classic MOHO equipted with modern Diesel engine and a compatable transmission.
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Old 11-16-2006, 04:17 PM   #25
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Defending the MOHO!

An Airstream Motorhome is like a Cadillac or Lincoln pick-up truck. It Looks out of place, and is demeaning to the iconic symbol of the company.[/quote]

OUCH! That one really hurts. We dumped our SOB motorhome about 3 weeks after we walked through a 1985 345 Airstream MOHO. It was love at first sight. Not only will be never own any other brand, we will never own any other coach (unless I can have two AS). We have spent many hours lovingly bringing her to a point where we, and those who tour her, appreciate the uniqueness and beauty. The amenities and quality that AS put into the early coaches make it a joy everytime we go out. The generator, ice machine, built in blender, and hydraulic levelers don't make us feel any less like campers. They just make life a little easier. When we are at campsites without our AS friends, it is inevitable that other campers come over and ask about the coach. We have given many a tour to SOBers. At our last rally (NOR CAL) we were the one MOHO with 28 trailers, and I'm happy to say they didn't make us feel out of place. If we ever meet at a rally Moose, drop by for a beer or a hit from our favorite margarita ball. You'll find out we and our coach are really just like the rest of the AS crowd.
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Old 11-16-2006, 07:37 PM   #26
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A great fit

Quote:
Originally Posted by str8strm
At our last rally (NOR CAL) we were the one MOHO with 28 trailers, and I'm happy to say they didn't make us feel out of place. )
str8strm- It was no accident that when we arrived at the NOR CAL rally and scouted the terrain for a space that we stopped first at your MOHO to ask "who's in charge?". Your Airstream MOHO just looked like it had authority. The MOHOs are kinda like big brothers to us. You absolutely fit in with the TTs, its all about family pride.

John
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Old 11-16-2006, 10:25 PM   #27
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Thanks!

Thank you John. I'm sure that if Moosetags met us he would love us too, and our big ol' 8-wheeled beast.
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Old 11-16-2006, 11:40 PM   #28
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Moosetags,
I had the pleasure of meeting Ron of Str8strm. I was out by my vehicle at the NorCal rally, standing there by myself (Getting a GPS reading) when he walked all the way across the campground to see why "this guy is standing all alone". We had a nice visit on a variety of topics. Nice guy! I know you weren't running Ron down, at least not directly, but where does anyone get off saying that the product they happened to buy is superior to another made by the same company? I'm a trailer guy myself, but what would give me the right to look down my nose at a MoHo?? (And indirectly, the owner of it)
If I mis-understood something, I'll apologize in advance. But if that's what you meant to say, you are way off base.
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