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Old 11-25-2006, 12:00 PM   #29
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For me, as a designer from Europe, the legacy, history and original Airstream design represents what I like most about America(na). And for me there is no doubt about it that Airstream should remain as faithful as possible to their origins to be successful. But this also means they have to re-invent themselves and get rid of the unnecessary.

I never understood the other lines of Airstream products... they're probably fine products but don't feel Airstream at all... if they would offer a RV that actually feels and looks like an Airstream, I'm pretty sure they would be much more successful in that field.

My biggest Airstream complaint is not the built quality.. I bought a 2007 16' Bambi CCD and the quality is fine (although there are some incredible badly thought out details.. like the impossible position of some of the stabilizer jacks)... but I have a problem with the weight.

In my opinion, an Airstream should be as lightweight as possible...and although Airstream claims they are light, they are not.

By using more innovative materials inside you can achieve just that without loosing quality or solidity.. actually improving the built quality and maybe, in the end, also building with lower costs.

As an example; instead of using the current thick old style wood-pulp panels for basically everything inside.. they could use the 2 to 3 times thinner, lighter, but actually stronger (against impact and rot, because more compressed) version that can carry the same amount of weight and has the same structural strength.
Besides saving in weight, it would also make the whole interior feel lighter and airy, and save space.. especially in a Bambi.. a few inches here and there are noticeable.

Another improvement I made myself is the use of LED lights instead of (almost all) halogen spots inside. The amount of energy you save is noticeable, especially when boondocking and you probably will never have to worry about those lights for the rest of your (Airstream's) life. And with a little color correcting lens, you wont notice the difference.

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Old 11-25-2006, 01:19 PM   #30
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SOS10 - I most wholeheartedly agree, especially in the area of lighter weight materials. I also think that the LED technology that is now available just begs to be included in an Airstream. If the company were not asleep at the switch, there would already LED lighting in all Airstreams. They should also be offering an LED conversion kit as an aftermarket item.

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Old 11-26-2006, 08:14 AM   #31
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If the trailer production is backlogged several months, then they certainly appear to be doing something right.
We travel with a couple of young kids and while we're not in our 20's, we tend toward the young end of the demographic. The foldout bed in front works well enough for us - and having the kids in back works pretty well too.

If they really are sold out six months in advance, maybe they're doing a lot of things right. Certainly the CCD interiors are as distinctive as the exteriors, but many of the others have a "me too" look.
Fake woods, fake looking plastics. Fake looking fake stuff. Ick.

But to make it more family friendly, the previous poster is spot on. Weight. Why on earth a 31' trailer weighed 6-7000 pounds in the mid 80's but weighs what, 9000 now? Our previous tow vehicle was an Expedition. We'd have been fine with a 6000 lb 25' trailer. But AS didn't make one. Not because they couldn't.

Even with the tube-shape, bunk beds are possible. Our last trailer had sleeping space for six but living space for two. Our AS has living & sleeping space for 4, and that's probaby for the best.

Quality is a whole 'nother discussion. Broken down into Body Integrity, driveline, plumbing, and components...
My guess is that most of the beefing has to do with components, not suspensions or leaking shells (although I'd expect one or two of those as well). The components are mostly industry standard types, and no worse - or better- than brand x, y or z's.
Issues we had with our SOB, nails backing out, stuff just falling off, etc. don't seem to be too much of an issue with our AS. Maybe the newer ones aren't as good? I don't know. We did the factory tour this summer and I was reasonably impressed.
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Old 12-15-2006, 12:35 PM   #32
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Another interesting material for interior design Airstream should look into is Alucobond, it's not a new material, mostly for architectural use (cladding), but nowadays it's more and more used for furniture too, since it's very light, thin, strong and beautiful! I have a freestanding wardrobe made out of this material.

It's made of 2 layers of 0.02' Aluminum with a fire retardant or polyethylene core that can be from 3 to 6 mm thickness. Finish in any color.

I think it would be an ideal material.. Aluminum.. so in the Airstream tradition and it's an American product, from Benton kentucky... for the purists here!

Mmmh.. maybe I should look into converting my Bambi's interior..
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Old 12-15-2006, 01:09 PM   #33
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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.
Airstream many years ago had a very serious problem when they sold "shell only" trailers.

What someone may create is an open door for huge liability against Airstream.

Since they had "no" control over someones creation, they could not assure themselves of a reasonable design that handled correctly when towed.

Understandably then, if you want just a shell, the answer was and is "NO."

CNN recently found that out. CNN also found out that the Airstream factory, is no longer interested in creating a "custom" coach, not even for them.

CNN then understood why the factory sent them to us, for those changes. Having visited our facility, CNN quickly observed that your either in the customizing business, or your not. They recognized us as a company that could get "the job done" to their satisfaction.

That 34 foot Airstream trailer, traveled the country prior to Novembers elections.

They have other plans in the mill for similair uses for that trailer in the future.

Customizing work is far removed from standard production and changes in production efforts, at least for Airstream.

Altering the weight and balance, is not a guessing game. Unfortunately, at least in the past, far to much individual effort has been placed on the appearance of their design, and almost total neglect of the weight and balance requirements.

"EXTREME" caution must be exercised when designing the interior,for that matter, of any travel trailer.

A loss of control accident can be very deadly.

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Old 12-25-2006, 03:18 AM   #34
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I agree that keeping the Airstream balanced is VERY important, but regarding the weight... making it heavier could become dangerous, but I see no danger in making it lighter.

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