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Old 01-10-2012, 01:30 PM   #57
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Gene, my wife knows my memory is gone.

You are reminding me of the skill of one worker (or team) on the line compared to the next. Most probably their are some who are much better than others. Even with quality control inspections, the work accomplished by individuals in a low production company as this will be uneven. Union hating companies rely on design to insure quality, I suppose. But the installers need a reasonable skill and concern for the product to get quality. How do you get good work out of him if he doesn't know good work?

This may be why some trailers come out poorly constructed, and others quite nicely done. And yes there are likely a selection of materials to use on any given day, and if its not available, they substitute.

doug k
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:34 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by Tim A. View Post
I can't resist putting in my 2 cents worth. I am sure I will regret it!Could they improve? Sure and Wheeler has said that will come.

Tim
Very good points! I know that there are new extruded and sheet materials that could be utilized to decrease weight. On an AS, there could be some very innovative things done based on modern aircraft construction techniques? Certainly, they are using more advanced, lighter materials than what I have in my 74 Ambassador.
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:47 PM   #59
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Question

"But the installers need a reasonable skill and concern for the product to get quality. How do you get good work out of him if he doesn't know good work?"

My black tank vent two weeks after delivery just one of many indications of the reasonable skill lack theory.


Oh...you guyz are gonn'a get me started on QC AGAIN...
I thought it was getting more better, but ....

Bob
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:09 PM   #60
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It would also be very interesting to see a side by side comparison of specs for the european vs. US Airstream.
Specs for European models here. Specs for US models here. If I had time to be truly helpful, I'd prepare a table for you, but I'm on a tight schedule today, comparatively speaking. But easy enough to print out the ones you want to compare and look at them that way.
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:54 PM   #61
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Every RV I've ever owned has a small plaque referring to the fact that "this unit complies....bla bla". Is it possible that meeting these specs adds cost to the US units? I know back in the 1970's, i did some consultation work for a van conversion company and the finished units had to have that tag before a dealer would stock them.
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:37 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
"But the installers need a reasonable skill and concern for the product to get quality. How do you get good work out of him if he doesn't know good work?"

My black tank vent two weeks after delivery just one of many indications of the reasonable skill lack theory.


Oh...you guyz are gonn'a get me started on QC AGAIN...
I thought it was getting more better, but ....

Bob

Yikes.. this isnt the new airstream is it?
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Old 01-11-2012, 05:59 AM   #63
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[QUOTE=Airslide;1092378]
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
"But the installers need a reasonable skill and concern for the product to get quality. How do you get good work out of him if he doesn't know good work?"

My black tank vent two weeks after delivery just one of many indications of the reasonable skill lack theory.


Oh...you guyz are gonn'a get me started on QC AGAIN...
I thought it was getting more better, but ....

Bob


Yikes.. this isnt the new airstream is it?
Yep.....the 03 Classic.

Joined here right after purchase. Saw some of the leak threads, went up on the roof and sure enough there it was. Very lucky we found it when we did.

Bob
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:41 AM   #64
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Zlee

Thanks for the specs sheets. To do a proper comparison, a spec sheet is needed for the 2012 US Aistreams that would be comparable to the european models, ie. to compare apples to apples.

I looked at the european specs and made the following insteresting observations:

1. Inside width is only about 7'-0" except for the largest model which is 7'-7".
2. No dry weights listed.
3. Tire pressure for 70 series tires is 64 psi, for 60 series is 44 psi. Sounds like 70 series are trailer tires and 60 series are car/truck tires.
4. Hot water heat. A/C is optional.
5. 48 mm (1.22") sandwich floor with styrofoam insultation- Must be some type of composite. I don't see why the floor construction would be any different than the US Airstreams. It would seem that this would be a better floor than plywood.
6. No information on the brakes.

Dan
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Old 01-11-2012, 12:40 PM   #65
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1. Inside width is only about 7'-0" except for the largest model which is 7'-7".
5. 48 mm (1.22") sandwich floor with styrofoam insultation- Must be some type of composite.
6. No information on the brakes.
Dan
Airstreams with the same inside widths are available in the US: Sport models are 7' 0" (16' model) and 6' 11.75" (22' model). Presumably the bodies are the same as the European models.

I do not know what the sandwich floor is made from, but it may not be "composite." There are styrofoam sandwich materials which have wood as part of the sandwich.

The brakes are surge brakes. In many parts of Europe, a brake controller inside the tow vehicle is not allowed. Surge brakes are activated by inertial force on the trailer tongue when the tow vehicle brakes. They are common in smaller trailers in the US.

Weight and other specifications on the European models are here: Dimensions & Weights < Product Family | Airstream Europe : Airstream, dimensions, weights, International, safari . The weights are in kilos (kg) and 1 kg = 2.205 US pounds.

Tim
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Old 01-12-2012, 12:50 AM   #66
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The brakes are surge brakes. In many parts of Europe, a brake controller inside the tow vehicle is not allowed. Surge brakes are activated by inertial force on the trailer tongue when the tow vehicle brakes. They are common in smaller trailers in the US.
Surge brakes are standard on many rental trailers. They generally are quite a bit more reliable than electrically actuated brakes, since they avoid the common failure modes of a damaged or loose electrical connection, misadjusted controller, etc.

- Bart
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:12 AM   #67
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just a few points of my own...

The oil cost versus supply... Neither argument seems to effect quarterly gross profits in the billions by the oil companies. Hard to extract or short supply, they still make billions. I guess the fact that gas is now the leading expense in our lives has a part to it also.

The Euro versus US rigs.... I had a 1961 30 footer in here a few weeks back. I could wheel it anywhere with just one finger. It is all about balance. The euro units use virtually zero tongue weight and function in a balanced state. Remember that old line, give me a fulcrum and I can move the world... Balance .

Quality... please give that a break. It's made in America where most people care about getting that check on Friday, not weather you are going up on the roof to see if they sealed the vent right. Very few people care what it will be like a week from now, they get paid at 3:30 on Friday. I am lucky however, I work to my standards. Since I seem to never get paid, I can spend as much time as I want so Bob never has an experience what he did.

Bob Wheeler... I like the guy. I just wish he studied his companies history more.
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Old 01-12-2012, 06:30 AM   #68
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Surge brakes are standard on many rental trailers. They generally are quite a bit more reliable than electrically actuated brakes, since they avoid the common failure modes of a damaged or loose electrical connection, misadjusted controller, etc.

- Bart
But you can't activate them independent of the tow vehicle. Usually surge brakes are used on lighter trailers and might be o.k. on a 3500 # trailer but when the trailer gets heavier than the TV , I wouldn't want them.
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:51 AM   #69
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Here is another interview from The Street...

More words from Bob Wheeler dated 1/12/12.

Airstream CEO Shares Secret Of Resurgence - TheStreet

I found one part particularly interesting for me...

Quote:
For many, the next level is to take that experience on the road. There's no reason they can't work from an Airstream in a campground just as easily as they can for a house. We've had more request for desk space and thoughtfully designed workplaces in both the trailers and mobile homes as well as better communication tools. We haven't pulled the trigger on it yet, but we're taking some big steps in that direction.
I fulltime, and use my dinette as my office space, but have been thinking about ways to make living and working in my '99 Excella a little more practical. I'm interested to see what they come up with in JC.
Have fun!

Philip
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Old 01-12-2012, 02:11 PM   #70
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Let's be honest, us Airstreamers are a hard bunch to satisfy. The quality issues are an obvious problem that needs to be fixed, especially at the price these things are selling for. It's probably hard to maintain a strong crew when you're building 5,000 units one year and 1,000 the next, then 2,000. I would imagine their factory headcount varies as needed.

We've got threads here that insist we should be getting disc brakes on these premium trailers, but surge brakes aren't so bad, in the name of price and weight, I guess.

Some don't like the Safari Sport with it's cheaper cabinets and non-riveted window frames, cheapening our resale value, braking with tradition. They do make the trailer lighter and cut costs.

We could go back to 7' widths. Then they could make the frame even weaker, er, I mean, lighter.

Who's ready for some plastic molded cabinets? Let's do it '80s style!

I guess the 2x30lb propane bottles gotta go? We could probably do with a single 10lb'er. That's plenty to get the fair weather campers through a weekend. We don't even need batteries. Everywhere the Honda Civic is pulling these babies have full hookup's anyway.

You don't NEED hot water and air-conditioning in these trailers! We're camping right?

1000 pounds really isn't hard to do, if we want to.

I haven't found any MDF in our 2010 Flying Cloud yet. The build quality is great. And I'm comparing that to our 2007 International AND the 1966 Flying Cloud I've owned in the past.
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