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Old 08-27-2012, 02:42 PM   #15
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The more I think about it, renting a trailer is just a lot of hassle and risks... hitches, brake controllers, tow-vehicles, liability... and the mentioned way to easily damage one...

Renting the Sprinter-based units would be much easier...
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Old 08-27-2012, 02:46 PM   #16
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A camper trailer rental would have one big advantage over the motor home rental market - the tow vehicle. I looked into renting a motor home and every renter barred towing ANYTHING with the motor home. So no vehicle for running around sight seeing while leaving the motor home parked.

As far as Airstream rentals I don't think that they could be competitively priced. I think that the only market would be come from people who wanted to try before they buy.
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Old 08-27-2012, 02:51 PM   #17
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I don't think he gets it. Part of the Airstream experience is the fiddeling with the thing. and make no mistake, there is a lot of constant fiddeling required to keep the thing mobile. And most of us enjoyit a bit. I don't believe that the people renting such a perceived high end product are going to have the knowledge or desire to spend 5 minutes fixing something that doesn't belong to them. The cell phone calls to the service department will be constant. The money to be made here is in the delivery of the call service. Sort of like the guys that made the money during the Yukon Gold rush were the ones hiring themselves out as equipment packers for the Gold seekers. Most of the Gold seekers eventually went home broke. However, if the guys on the line were included as investors in the new company, perhaps we all may benefit. But then we would have nothing to fix.
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Old 08-27-2012, 02:52 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by netman1969 View Post
The word "commoditized " comes to mind.
Maybe Mr. Riegel did this to get away from us!

In that case, I suggest we lock the thread as "Advice is the only commodity on the market where the supply always exceeds the demand."

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Old 08-27-2012, 02:58 PM   #19
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The cell phone calls to the service department will be constant.
Those phone lines will be busier than a Nevada brothel during Shriners' week.
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Old 08-27-2012, 03:06 PM   #20
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One more.

Why it's hard to find a company that rents fifth wheels!
Bank low clearance for fifth wheel - YouTube

And.....oh well, it's not so hot out now. We didn't really need the air conditioner....
Camper tries to sneak up on the 11foot8 bridge - YouTube
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Old 08-27-2012, 03:11 PM   #21
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Ten Sport 16's with a tie-in of OEM sponsored top 10 Tow Vehicles line-up in many markets would make a pretty hot commodity...

Think BMW, VW, Land Rover... then also the latest 2013's for the US & Japan line ups.

Do a week in Yellowstone or the Rockies in general, or long weekends on East Coast... Almost makes me wish my checkbook was fatter
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Old 08-27-2012, 05:58 PM   #22
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I suspect there are a few factors here that have not been considered yet.
1) Where will these Airstream's be located to rent from? Will this be available from RV dealers like Cruise America does with their motorhomes? If so, then it could bring business into the dealers, a value add for selling the brand.
2) With 65 dealer (I think that's about right) if they were to stock 1 or 2 per dealer that would create a demand of 130 trailers which could increase production by 10%.
3) I think the the whole RV dealer business model is based on providing the RV dealers financing for the trailers they "buy" from the mothership. That being said, I bet some type of similar financing is available for a project like this.
4) Will tow vehicles be offer with the trailers? I suspect this is probable and they could probably get similar incentives from an auto maker.

You have to assume there was plenty of number crunching done before deciding to jump in feet first with an idea like this. Risk usually means higher rewards if you succeed. Only time will tell where this project ends up.
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:03 PM   #23
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There is probably some sort of parachute (perhaps an aluminum one) where Riegel leases the Airstreams from the company at a reduced rate, reducing his risk and the company probably gets a better deal on insurance for the trailer than he could with a new company. Riegel is not hurting for money, so this is an avocation.

It may not be travel trailers—the Interstates would solve the problem is inexperienced people towing—they may also have a higher resale value than the trailers.

Gene
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:21 PM   #24
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Several years ago Airstream worked with several campgrounds to supply them with 25' FB's specially designed as a sort of park model (emphasis on "sort of") and that effort seems to have been less than successful. We saw the 25's in Las Vegas at the CG next to Circus Circus and at the KOA on the way to Key West. I didn't see anyone renting the Airstreams at these CG's when we were there. I can't recall the exact nightly fee in Vegas but I was surprised how high it was.

Why would Reigel give up the lucrative corporate post for such a risky business? Was he eased out with a promise to help him with a new business? Was he bored at Thor?

Now that he will be an Airstream consumer, I wonder how he'll feel about Airstream QC?

Gene
Gene,
We rented one of those Airstreams at Circus Circus for our kids when we were in Vegas at the start of our cross country trip in 2010. My wife recalls them renting for about $150.00 per night (with the KOA membership discount). This was during the New Year's Eve holiday, so it could have been a bit higher than usual. If I recall, Airstream sent several 25 ft. units to Circus Circus, but ended up relocating all but two to other KOA campgrounds.

Our friends (also Airstreamers) rented the only other AS and, aside from their water hose freezing one night, had a good experience in theirs. As you can see from the pictures, they appeared to be well used/abused. Wish I had taken some pictures of the inside. It showed noticeable use, as well. A bit pricey, but the location was good.

That being said, I think Dickie Riegel is indeed taking a significant gamble.I say this based on my experience of seeing the various levels of driving abilities of renters that I have witnessed during my many miles of RVing. I wish him the best. It may introduce those who want to experience the joys of Airstreaming, before committing to the purchase.

Here are the pictures (probably out of order):
1. The Airstream site, complete with barbeque grill and propane fire pit.
2. If you look close, you can see the clear coat starting to peel on the tail light bezel.
3. The broken steps were propped up with some wooden blocks, and a milk crate.
4. We all had a great time. Somebody put my wife up to rewarding this dancer up on Fremont.
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:25 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy R View Post
...

4) Will tow vehicles be offer with the trailers? I suspect this is probable and they could probably get similar incentives from an auto maker.
...
If so, this will probably be as close as we will ever get to seeing what kind of tow vehicle, and weight distributing systems are "Airstream Recommended"
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:55 PM   #26
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I do know, since I'm related to a major KOA owner (who died yesterday), that having rental AS trailers in his park was stupid, and refused to have any part in it.
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:17 PM   #27
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Maybe... if the rental is a delivery-type service... premium-priced... so you call up, want to go 'camping' in Jellystone for a week, you show up and your Airstream is all setup and ready to go.

I wouldn't rent my Airstream to my mom... so I don't know how you'd possibly qualify people to tow an Airstream safely...
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:25 PM   #28
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Aircraft owners often "wet lease" their aircraft, meaning the pilot goes along with the plane.

This would solve a lot of the problems already discussed -
but what do you do with your "pilot/driver" after you're set-up at the campsite?
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