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Old 01-13-2012, 03:39 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by zlee View Post
I'm not sure I'm as doom and gloom as all that. I think the American market (can't say about the Canadians) is more accepting of small and efficient than they once were and many people no longer see bigger as necessary. Not across the board, of course, there's still lots of "God blessed America with the right to have big everything, so I'm gonna" about, but I think it IS slowly moving away from that.

When my ex and I got tired of paying for his gas hog Honda SUV, we got a Golf. Now I have what I consider to be my version of an SUV: a diesel Jetta, which means I can haul five musicians and all their stuff, and still get 40 mpg or so.

Mind, I suppose you could make a case I'm no longer a "typical" American, but who actually is?
I don't think is all doom and gloom, Zlee, because people are beginning to wise up, as you so ably demonstrate with your use of the Jetta, not just for every day but for towing, too.

But there's still a way to go. I was listening to a piece from the Detroit Motor Show where they were extolling the virtues of a new Fiat-based car (I can't remember which one) as part of the GM/Fiat link up. It all sounded very good until the reporter said that it had been made bigger and heavier and had a larger engine, in order to suit the North American market. I was mentally spluttering and shouting "why make it bigger?"!

Then you can look at the variants of, say, VWs here in North America compared to their European cousins; engine sizes here are massive by comparison. In Europe there are many engine sizes available below 1.5 litres; here there are none. Now who's driving that? The public or the manufacturers?

And you've only to read these pages to see people's love of large tow vehicles (your good self excepted, Zlee) when actually if you're prepared to compromise a little (and maybe get some work done on that factory hitch!) then a smaller and far more fuel efficient TV would do the job just as well.

Anyway, it'll all come out in the wash. If gas prices continue to rise then perhaps the public will move to more fuel efficient (i.e. smaller) vehicles and Airstreams will have to lose some weight. If not we'll still be able to buy trucks so large that you'll need a ladder to get into then and be pulling 15,000lb Airstreams!
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Old 01-13-2012, 04:04 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by MrUKToad View Post
I was mentally spluttering and shouting "why make it bigger?"!
I saw that too, and had much the same reaction.

I think that it all gets rather complicated--the whole "bigger is better" is sociologically and psychologically linked to sex and dominance, if you want to really parse this down to the fine points and want to get a bit silly about it, and we wouldn't want to do that, now would we?

This is, after all, the land that made muscle cars what they are...and called them muscle cars in the first place.

It's going to be interesting to see how being forced to go quite a bit slower is going to play out for me. I'm a bit of a lead-foot, so this is going to be very good for me, I'm thinking. Teach me to remember the trip is about the journey, not necessarily the destination and all that rot.
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Old 01-13-2012, 04:34 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by newroswell View Post
Aage, did you miss all the posts where all of us that actually own a modern Airstreams stated there is NO MDF in these units?
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Originally Posted by zlee View Post
Not actually sure I've a grip on your point there, I'm afraid. The design of an AS has always been great on the outside, and I think it's great to see and hear that they're making plans to catch the insides up with the outsides even further, and that they realise it should be done is great.

I haven't any objections to a vintage look in an AS, but that's not how I live. It was, as others have pointed out, one of the reasons why I preferred a new AS to a vintage one, and why I went with a smaller AS rather than a bigger SOB. Even if I had the ability to re-do a vintage trailer, I'd be making the insides look a lot like a new one.
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Originally Posted by zlee View Post
I'm not sure I'm as doom and gloom as all that. I think the American market (can't say about the Canadians) is more accepting of small and efficient than they once were and many people no longer see bigger as necessary. Not across the board, of course, there's still lots of "God blessed America with the right to have big everything, so I'm gonna" about, but I think it IS slowly moving away from that.

When my ex and I got tired of paying for his gas hog Honda SUV, we got a Golf. Now I have what I consider to be my version of an SUV: a diesel Jetta, which means I can haul five musicians and all their stuff, and still get 40 mpg or so.

Mind, I suppose you could make a case I'm no longer a "typical" American, but who actually is?
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Originally Posted by mutcth View Post
Due to increasing CAFE standards, vehicle manufacturers are likely to start backing down on tow ratings, at least at the very high end of the spectrum. For example, beefing up vehicle structure to hold a hitch that can handle 700-800 pounds adds weight that goes against fuel economy. That's a problem when your marketing data tells you that 90% of all buyers tow 3500 pounds or less; you're less likely to add that weight for the other 10%. (Of course, you can have that hitch welded and reinforced by a shop that knows what they're doing, but...)

But what bugs me is this: there are plenty of very modern, reasonably fuel efficient, and enjoyable-to-drive tow vehicles that are rated to tow around 5000 pounds. Airstream's current line up means you're in a single-axle 16-to-20 foot trailer at those weights. (A 23' is 4700 pounds, but every single RV forum will argue that you can't tow that with a vehicle rated at 5000 pounds.) When a 20-foot Argosy (not a Minuet) was 2800 pounds, why is a 20' Flying Cloud 4200?

In the "good old days," that 5000-lb weight allowance got you quite a bit more trailer. 26' Argosys were 4000 pound trailers, dry-weight - and that includes that heavy pano front window. Add 200 pounds for AC and a flat-screen and you're up to modern equipment levels. There are lighter SOBs out there that give you more length for less weight than Airstream.

Personally, a big part of me wants to renovate a 24' Argosy or a 25' Caravanner from the 70s - but I am loathe to have a $50k 40-year-old individualized trailer with questionable resale in the end...

Tom
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Originally Posted by MrUKToad View Post
I don't think is all doom and gloom, Zlee, because people are beginning to wise up, as you so ably demonstrate with your use of the Jetta, not just for every day but for towing, too.

But there's still a way to go. I was listening to a piece from the Detroit Motor Show where they were extolling the virtues of a new Fiat-based car (I can't remember which one) as part of the GM/Fiat link up. It all sounded very good until the reporter said that it had been made bigger and heavier and had a larger engine, in order to suit the North American market. I was mentally spluttering and shouting "why make it bigger?"!

Then you can look at the variants of, say, VWs here in North America compared to their European cousins; engine sizes here are massive by comparison. In Europe there are many engine sizes available below 1.5 litres; here there are none. Now who's driving that? The public or the manufacturers?

And you've only to read these pages to see people's love of large tow vehicles (your good self excepted, Zlee) when actually if you're prepared to compromise a little (and maybe get some work done on that factory hitch!) then a smaller and far more fuel efficient TV would do the job just as well.

Anyway, it'll all come out in the wash. If gas prices continue to rise then perhaps the public will move to more fuel efficient (i.e. smaller) vehicles and Airstreams will have to lose some weight. If not we'll still be able to buy trucks so large that you'll need a ladder to get into then and be pulling 15,000lb Airstreams!
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Originally Posted by zlee View Post
I saw that too, and had much the same reaction.

I think that it all gets rather complicated--the whole "bigger is better" is sociologically and psychologically linked to sex and dominance, if you want to really parse this down to the fine points and want to get a bit silly about it, and we wouldn't want to do that, now would we?

This is, after all, the land that made muscle cars what they are...and called them muscle cars in the first place.

It's going to be interesting to see how being forced to go quite a bit slower is going to play out for me. I'm a bit of a lead-foot, so this is going to be very good for me, I'm thinking. Teach me to remember the trip is about the journey, not necessarily the destination and all that rot.



I sure am glad I have the LAST Airstream I will ever own.

Bob
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Old 01-13-2012, 04:46 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by mutcth View Post
In the "good old days," that 5000-lb weight allowance got you quite a bit more trailer. 26' Argosys were 4000 pound trailers, dry-weight - and that includes that heavy pano front window. Add 200 pounds for AC and a flat-screen and you're up to modern equipment levels. There are lighter SOBs out there that give you more length for less weight than Airstream.

Tom
I guess I don't understand why Airstream doesn't step back to the the late 60's/early 70's format and incorporate modern materials. They should be able to come up with a real nice, pleasing, light weight product.
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Old 01-13-2012, 06:10 PM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zlee View Post
I saw that too, and had much the same reaction.

I think that it all gets rather complicated--the whole "bigger is better" is sociologically and psychologically linked to sex and dominance, if you want to really parse this down to the fine points and want to get a bit silly about it, and we wouldn't want to do that, now would we?

This is, after all, the land that made muscle cars what they are...and called them muscle cars in the first place.

It's going to be interesting to see how being forced to go quite a bit slower is going to play out for me. I'm a bit of a lead-foot, so this is going to be very good for me, I'm thinking. Teach me to remember the trip is about the journey, not necessarily the destination and all that rot.
As I said, it's cultural (keeping it simple!) and our Mr Wheeler is going to have to take that into account.

Driving slowly without the trailer on the back is difficult, driving slowly with the trailer on the back is easy! Actually, once the trailer is rolling, the weight isn't that important, it's more about drag then. Look at the gas mileage that people quote; it's all around 10-14 mpg (US), almost regardless of the TV or the weight of the trailer. We all have a similar size and shape frontal area and that's more important to our ability to tow (he says, quoting Andy Thompson).

Anyhoo, you have a safe trip, in both directions. It's quite snowy here at the moment but it'll probably have gone by Monday. Hopefully, anyway!
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Old 01-13-2012, 06:58 PM   #90
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Of course, the Classic series is still very much in demand, mostly amongst the slightly older set,
I resemble that remark!
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Old 01-13-2012, 07:52 PM   #91
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Aage, did you miss all the posts where all of us that actually own a modern Airstreams stated there is NO MDF in these units?
Not really, I just didn't take the comments to mean that AS had actually made the switch to plywood on a permanent basis. I read back through the thread, and DKottum and Redwood Guy have 2012 models and agreed that they have no OSB, and so did you with your 2010.

However, as I mentioned earlier in another thread where I asked who had OSB and the results were all over the place; the same models in the same model year sometimes having OSB OR plywood, IIRC.

So, please excuse me for doubting that three TTs with plywood represent an absolute trend, when AS has historically had no apparent clear direction for using either product.

To me at least, it would seem they used whatever was handy at the time of production.

[Edit:] I looked up the old thread, and one of the posters made an interesting comment: go look at the website, it still says that they use plywood or OSB.

Have a look here down the page a ways, where they talk about "Assemble the shell", or, here is the actual quote:

Airstream floors are made from 5/8" tongue and groove or OSB flooring. Aluminum channels are then fastened to the floor and shell assembly, with the slots firmly in the channels, embracing and protecting the wood floor edge — and providing weatherproofing and a strong floor / shell joint.


It would appear that they see the two as equal...
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Old 01-13-2012, 08:22 PM   #92
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We all have a similar size and shape frontal area and that's more important to our ability to tow (he says, quoting Andy Thompson).
I expect my frontal area is perhaps a *bit* different size and shape from yours!

Quote:
Anyhoo, you have a safe trip, in both directions. It's quite snowy here at the moment but it'll probably have gone by Monday. Hopefully, anyway!
Ta, I hope so! Are you and Mrs. Toad going to be about Wednesday am, or possibly Tuesday pm? I'd love to descend upon you both for a cup of tea or perhaps even a meal out if you all are free. (J, unfortunately, won't be picking up the trailer with me -- I have to pick him up in Chicago on the 2nd.) Drop me a PM and let me know!
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:26 PM   #93
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A lightweight cabinet that never rots. Streamline was a lighter, roomier trailer and had a lower COG (for starters) than A/S.

A rig that gets no better than 10-11 mpg won't be bought when others can achieve 50% better mpg. TT and TV need to be modern. The TV choices are wide, but the TT choices are not.

There won't be a market for ego-boost products if they aren't also reliable and economical in operation over the very long term. Burst plumbing, once, exposes the lie of rot-prone materials.

MDF vs OSB vs Ply are beside the point. None are good choices from any standpoint, but most especially weight.

.
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Old 01-13-2012, 11:07 PM   #94
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Plywood or fiber board.

Hi, I just started reading this thread tonight and it got my blood boiling again. [Note: I did not read every word on the last three pages] People have been saying for years that their Airstream [Safari, now Flying Cloud] was built with particle board or MDF. I have challenged a few to show proof of this, not just guessing because a screw came loose. I have been into virtually every part of my trailer's interior and it's all plywood. I removed and remodeled my living room, I took my bed apart, I have removed and replaced hinges on cabinet doors, I have made pieces to block the mice from entering through my floor, I had to cut about a 1/4" off of my fold up table, I replaced my bathroom faucet, I removed my shower control assembly, Etc, Etc, Etc. My floor and all cabinets are made out of plywood. My overhead cabinet doors are made out of a plastic foam of some sort and my kitchen/bathroom cabinets have a back panel made out of Masonite. No Press board or MDF in my trailer and to date, no-one has shown me proof otherwise.
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Old 01-14-2012, 06:56 AM   #95
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Question Options???

Alternative's...could they apply?, would we accept them?, in the Airstream design.
I'm pretty confident some technique's could be used and still keep the Airstream "iconability"

Bob
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Old 01-14-2012, 07:25 AM   #96
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People have been saying for years that their Airstream [Safari, now Flying Cloud] was built with particle board or MDF. I have challenged a few to show proof of this, not just guessing because a screw came loose.
Robert, We have done a considerable amount of work and performed a comprehensive inspection of our 02 Safari, since we bought it in September 2011, and have not found any sign of any wood product other than plywood in the construction of our Safari. The overhead cabinet doors, which are in great condition, are a vinyl covered plywood. Just another Safari data point.
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Old 01-14-2012, 09:31 AM   #97
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Yep, I was in the 2005 Bambi last night tightening and repairing screw holes from the last road trip. After a little re-drilling and careful examination of the holes, and all the places the vinyl has peeled from the edges of the cabinetry (which is considerable), it revealed plywood.

Like in Bob's, the curved overhead storage doors were some kind of very lightweight hard foam, and the end pieces were stapled into a plywood frame. I know this because they were some of the first things to fall off in transit. After I removed the construction debris, I pulled, or cut off, the staples and used heavy duty Velcro to reattach the panels. This way I can stash small things behind them in a space that would be otherwise wasted.
Note to Airstream, the Velcro seems to hold better than the staples.
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Old 01-14-2012, 11:00 AM   #98
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Hi, I just started reading this thread tonight and it got my blood boiling again. [Note: I did not read every word on the last three pages] People have been saying for years that their Airstream [Safari, now Flying Cloud] was built with particle board or MDF. I have challenged a few to show proof of this, not just guessing because a screw came loose. I have been into virtually every part of my trailer's interior and it's all plywood. I removed and remodeled my living room, I took my bed apart, I have removed and replaced hinges on cabinet doors, I have made pieces to block the mice from entering through my floor, I had to cut about a 1/4" off of my fold up table, I replaced my bathroom faucet, I removed my shower control assembly, Etc, Etc, Etc. My floor and all cabinets are made out of plywood. My overhead cabinet doors are made out of a plastic foam of some sort and my kitchen/bathroom cabinets have a back panel made out of Masonite. No Press board or MDF in my trailer and to date, no-one has shown me proof otherwise.
I didn't intend to make anyone's blood boil. I bored a large hole in my closet shelf and discovered it was MDF. Seeing that it was vinyl clad, I mistakenly assumed that all the vinyl clad materials in the trailer were also MDF. I was wrong. I inspected several other pieces, and they were vinyl clad ply, not MDF.

However, I absolutely DO have one MDF piece, and that is the closet shelf. I think I saved the core from the bore bit, and would be happy to mail it out to anyone who would like to see and smell it.

My sincere apologies for jumping to a poor conclusion.
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