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Old 01-20-2007, 07:45 AM   #15
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Uh-oh, my wife just moved her chair further away from me, seems she doesn't want to be too close when I get flamed!

Besides, that was her "big girl panties" line, she's accusing me of just looking for an excuse to use it.

She's right.

BubbleHead Fred
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Old 01-20-2007, 08:41 AM   #16
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The people that will leave will be the loud mouthed, opinionated folks who "carp" on about my wearing a blue beret to family functions and everything else that is sacred and that shouldn't be up for discussion. The new Thorbies will think like the IBT. Win-Win situation for the us chiefs and we get to keep getting large tax deductions for purchasing that big Mandalay. Moreover, Airstream will continue to donate a whole $100,000 to the WBCCI. We are going to save this club and have much more plesant rallys.

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Old 01-20-2007, 09:04 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by buckwheat
Well, I've read enough. All you nay-sayers, hand-wringers, and muck-rakers...

My wife said it best, "It used to be an elite club, now it's just not special anymore."
So true, all those muck-rakers in the IBT, hand-wringing over having to own an Airstream to stay in WBCCI, nay-saying and ignoring the members on the name-change decision, are headed out. There goes the elitism!!

Doug & Jamie, AIR #650
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Old 01-20-2007, 09:05 AM   #18
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Obviously my first email did not properly convey my thoughts on this. I dislike the devaluation of the uniqueness of owning an Airstream - I have always felt the whole rebadging model manufacturers use to, in my opinion, convince people they are getting something they are not, cheapens the whole product line. I'm concerned that this could eventually be the model Thor moves to and we see other SOB trailers also rebadged. That would be very sad. But what is to stop them from offering an SOB trailer with the Airstream option? Sick to even think about, but something to consider.

I know why they are doing this - they have shareholders demanding more value from their stock every quarter and if they can leverage the name of a product they own to drive that revenue up for the short term they will do it. I don't like it, but I'm also not privy to the decision criteria they have used to do this.

As to allowing these owners to participate in the various clubs and campouts, as I said the first time out, I'm glad I'm not the one having to tell them they don't fit the model. They think they have Airstreams, we know they don't.

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Old 01-20-2007, 10:26 AM   #19
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Interview with AOAII spokesman

Mid-Winter IBT - "Pumpkin Coach" program announced by AOAII.
Dateline: Perry, Georgia, January 20, 2007

Interview with AOAII Spokesman, Rodney Dangerfield.

The Airstream Owners Association International, Inc. (AOAII) Board of Trustees (IBT) today unveiled a fantastic new program to increase membership after a decades-long slide in membership numbers. The IBT unanimously approved on Friday, Jan. 19 the "Pumpkin Coach" program under which owners of Class A motorhomes manufactured by any company other than Airstream, Inc. can become AOAII members. The simple application of an AOAII approved "Airstream Edition” decal underneath the motorhome manufacturer's badge automagically transforms the motorhome into an Airstream product that qualifies its owners for AOAII membership. "You don't even need a magic wand" states Dangerfield, "only a small dish of water."

The decals are good for a 12 month period ending on July 4th each year, when at the stroke of midnight the motorhome turns back into a SOB [Some Other Brand]. But "fear not" says Dangerfield, "new decals, good for another one year period, are available from AOAII headquarters for only $75.00 per year. Just be sure to apply them before midnight."

The Pumpkin Coach program will be field tested the first year only on Class A motorhomes. If AOAII membership numbers rise, then the program will be expanded to all other types of recreational vehicles. "Airstream, Inc. can only produce about 2,500 travel trailers per year, far too few" notes Dangerfield. "We need a much larger membership universe to draw from, so in 2008 we intend to extend the Pumpkin Coach program to travel trailers and RVs of all brands." Again, the mere application of an "Airstream Edition" decal will transform any SOB travel trailer or RV into an AOAII-recognized Airstream product, qualifying its owner for membership under the expanded "Pumpkin RV" program.

When asked where the Airstream badges could be found on a non-Airstream brand recreational vehicle, Dangerfield bellowed "Badges? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges. I don't have to show you any stinking badges! .... when a little decal will do ya."

The inspiration for this innovative program came from the Board itself. Noting that dressing up an ordinary person in a snappy blazer, tie and beret transformed him or her into a respected leader, they realized the same principle could be applied to recreational vehicles. "Its all about distinctive surface appearance", says Dangerfield. "If we dress up the surface of a SOB, it too will become a leader among its peers. Every RV is entitled to respect" harrumphed Dangerfield.

Recounting that Airstream, Inc. recently entered the toy-toting market with the innovative Basecamp, Dangerfield hinted the AOAII might leapfrog the trailer manufacturer by jumping ahead into the utility trailer field. "There are a heck of a lot of horse trailers out there" observed Dangerfield, "and a fair number of them are aluminum, reminiscent of our far distant heritage". The AOAII decals look particularly nostalgic on an aluminum surface. "Now that dogs will no longer be restricted to one far off area at our International Rally, we'll look into integrating horses at our 2009 International in Madison, Wisconsin. That should boost attendance. We'll just have to remind owners to bring larger pooper scoopers" sniffed Dangerfield.

"In 2010, we'll tackle the world of flatbed trailers, all sizes" expounded Dangerfield. "We're partnering with Kelty to make an 8' wide by 40' Airstream Edition branded tent to fit on a commercial flatbed trailer. Those 18 wheelers are already self-contained in the cab, and the extended family can sleep in the tent" during International. Having admitted diesel pushers for years, the AOAII looks forward to welcoming all those "Airstream Edition" 18 wheeler diesel pullers as well. He predicts a constitutional amendment to change the club to the AEOAII will pass handily.

2011 will see the program extended to people and renamed the "Pumpkin Person" program. "Anyone who wears an Airstream t-shirt, hat, bracelet or other item is, on the surface, an Airstream" said Dangerfield. "Why should they be denied the benefits of membership? Anyone wearing any Airstream branded item will be welcome to join the AEOAII, for a fee of course, which should further boost membership." Decal sales are projected to flatten in 2011, but people who want to be recognized for their leadership potential can purchase "Four Winds" embroidered formal wear.

Finally, Dangerfield whispered he overheard some guys in berets talking to Saint Peter about "Pumpkin Gates" welcome plaques and co-branding "Airstream Edition" angel wings. When asked about the future for those who actually owned Airstream manufactured recreational vehicles, Rodney sharply remarked he had no knowledge of any AEOAII plans for such misguided souls, but suggested we contact them directly through the Red One in the netherworld, where such owners could be found.
Fred Coldwell, WBCCI #1510, AIR #2675
Denver, Colorado - WBCCI Unit 24
Airstream Life "Old Aluminum"
Airstream Life
"From the Archives"
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Old 01-20-2007, 12:35 PM   #20
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I think he just did.
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Old 01-20-2007, 05:55 PM   #21
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Politics, Don't you just love it?
How many Airstream owners are there out there? Are there enough to buy Airstream from Thor? Obviously they are in business to make money and probably don't give a hoot what WBCCI means to its members. Money talks. How about a buy out and a member run business? Stranger things have happened and suceeded?
I was told long ago, you are either part of the problem or part of the solution.
Camping in Airstreams is fun, the members are the treasure.

Mac and Linda
Mac and Linda Cassell
WBCCI # 3292 AIR#16287
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Old 01-20-2007, 06:35 PM   #22
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I'd be really surprised if this came from Thor. Baldur maybe, but not Thor. Odin wouldn't stand for it.

Seriously, Thor has the most to lose in this. The red number are seen and known about. The silver tube... They've worked hard to preserve the style and expand it.

Maybe I'm wrong, and it probably doesn't matter one way or another, but it sounds like an inside job.
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Old 01-20-2007, 08:20 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by buckwheat

My wife said it best, "It used to be an elite club, now it's just not special anymore."

Hear! Hear!
I have a problem with this statement. I think the club is something special but if people feel elitist then I am in the wrong club. I removed the big red numbers from the rear of my trailer this afternoon. no ghosting. The front ones will come off when the front segments are replaced. I now have the option of dropping out of the WBCCI with having damaged my trailer.
Michelle TAC MT-0
Sarah, Snowball

Looking for a 1962 Flying Cloud

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Old 01-20-2007, 08:25 PM   #24
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I have remained relatively quiet on this subject... But why the Fourwinds over the Mandalay? The Fourwinds is an ENTRY LEVEL MoHo and a relatively inexpensive one at that. At least the Mandalay is an equivalent product to the formerly produced Airstream Motor Homes. And I will be very surprised to see a Fourwinds last more than a few seasons under normal use. Maybe that was the point behind selecting an inexpensive MoHo...they can get a new one every year I have not been a very active member in the WBCCI for a variety of reasons, and based on what I am hearing and seeing I suspect I may become a non member in the near future. I will still own and use my Airstream(s) because I can appreciate the many benefits of the trailer, but much less the benefits of an organization that cannot even follow it's own rules.

__________________ many little time...
Why are we in this basket...and where are we going
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Old 01-20-2007, 08:51 PM   #25
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I think I will vote with my $75 come this fall.

I haven't signed up for International either because we were planning to go northeast long before July 4th. (Just one of my pet peeves but, caravans starting after Intl is too late in the summer)

I can see this causing an evolution to some other type of organization. Vintage, here I come.
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Old 01-20-2007, 09:00 PM   #26
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I t is my understanding that Mandalay is a division of Four Winds
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Old 01-20-2007, 09:31 PM   #27
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Thumbs down Observations from the 'front lines'

Hi All,

Very interesting reading. Let me give you a little 'perspective' from my vantage point of being in and around hundreds of RV's every day. In the RV parks here in SW Florida, you see a miniscule amount of Airstreams, including trailers. In the class A-only parks that I service, I have seen only 1 Airstream motor home in 2 years and it was a newer model. Add to that about a dozen silver tubes in the other parks and a couple of A/S classic MoHo's and that makes up the 'Airstream contingent' around these parts. The parks that I service have a total capacity of around 3000 sites.

On the MoHo subject, a Mandalay product is just about 'entry level around here. I've seen just 2 of them. If it's sooooo important for the leaders of the WBCCI to continue in their insulated positions at the top of the club in Moho's that they have to do it by subtrafuge and deceipt, they can have their little feifdom all to themselves.

They have no idea, nor to they probably care what their self serving actions will do to dilute the brand image of 'Airstream'. The Airstream name is an almost universally recognized brand, right up there with Harley-Davidson and Coke. Harley doesn't re-badge other bikes that they don't make and they go so far as to keep their brand 'pure' even though they make and sell the Buell motorcycle right along side the HD's, but they are BUELLs, NOT Harley-Davidsons. The Harley Owners Group (HOG) does not admit Buell owners, even though they are made by Harley!

Thor is a profit driven company and while I think they DO realize what they have in the Airstream brand name, they will not hesitate to do whatever it takes to keep the profits pouring in.

Most folks I talk to recognize an 'Airstream' as a classic aluminum trailer and even ask me "do they still make those?" So I wouldn't worry so much about the masses having the wool pulled over their eyes as I would about losing whatever respect and integrity the WBCCI might have left.

You can be certain of one thing. If the membership approves this latest fiasco, WBCCI will be minus one member (#1032). LONG LIVE THE FORUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Lew Farber...RVIA Certified Master Tech...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician
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Old 01-21-2007, 07:27 AM   #28
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I don't know very much if anything about motorhomes but recently while reading the forums on a Fulltiming website someone asked about the quality of certain brands of motorhomes, someone who had been a dealer answered saying of the brands mentioned the would choose any of them over a Thor product saying they were poorly made. Maybe someone with knowledge could comment on this. When it comes to putting the Airstream name on anything other than an Airstream, It all comes down to one thing : money. As crass as the saying is: "Money talks and ALL the other BS walks."
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