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Old 11-16-2012, 06:05 PM   #29
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And my understanding is Rexhall is not great on long term support???????

Dave
Mmm... they would be a step up if they recorded what they produced and when....
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:49 AM   #30
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I personally think that Rexhall builds great looking Motorhomes..
Its about as close to a modern interpretation of a Airstream Classic as I could imagine..

Rexhall Aerbus


Aerbus
There's certainly an effort being made there to add a hefty dose of streamlined style to that coach, but I wonder how much substance is actually behind "the look".

A half century ago, or more, the designers of the day presented a vision of the future that they dreamed possible. The products they created were inspirational and revolutionary, and that's why they're cherished today. Back in the 30's, the Bowlus Road Chiefs featured a boat tail that was born out of a genuine understanding of aerodynamics. In the 40's, Wally Byam featured a French bicycling champion towing an early Liner to show a commitment to the consideration of weight and aerodynamics as well. The Flxible Clipper busses of the 40's had rear engine rooms with roof mounted air intakes and dramatic fast backs. They also had wrap around windshields and dramatically forward swept side windows. Spartan trailers of the same era had a similar combination of front and side windows. The earliest Curtis Wrights, Silver Streaks, and Airstreams were all adorned with wheel skirts to improve their aerodynamics. Although fuel was dirt cheap at that time, the cars of the era were so underpowered that towing weight and airflow were seen as critical selling points.

Fast forward to the present and ask how far has the industry as a whole progressed since then? With access to computer models and wind tunnels, and a vastly superior knowledge of aerodynamics, where is the view of the future? With sky high fuel prices, we've got rigs with the drag coefficients of bricks that weigh upwards of 40,000 pounds. Not exactly visionary in my opinion.

There are Kenworth trucks on the road today with more air dams, wheel skirts, spoilers, under body fairings, and drag reducing rear end caps than any RV manufacturer has thought to utilize. I'm running out of hope for the present, and starting to believe that the collectible classics of "today" are yet to be built. I came across this photo that sums it all up.
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Old 11-17-2012, 04:47 PM   #31
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Well said Dan!
Love that Flxble Flyr, tho the trailer sucks...

Saw this today, and had to smile...

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Old 11-17-2012, 09:46 PM   #32
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Well said Dan!
Love that Flxble Flyr, tho the trailer sucks...

Saw this today, and had to smile...

Key, If you like that one, you've gotta love this one.

Charly
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:28 AM   #33
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holy crap..it never ceases to amaze me how people spend their money!
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Old 11-18-2012, 04:06 PM   #34
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That's what my friends are saying about me and my 325, and I'm afraid they might be right.
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Old 11-18-2012, 04:51 PM   #35
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I think trailers, especially Airstream have a few standout advantages over any motorhome, leading to being classics.

They're simple and relatively small. Within the Airstream line, I have seen more small older units than big ones lovingly restored. The smaller the project the more likely to be within the realm of doable for some people. The Airstream shell holds up indefinitely, the floor can be replaced and the frame rebuilt. The Airstream is attractive and unique, it appeals to the type of person wanting to do a restoration. There is no propulsion unit to become obsolete, with unavailable or hard to get parts.

I suppose if any motorhomes are classics (destined to be ), it would be the bus based units. The bus structure is sound, powertrains have long life expectancies, and parts availability. They lend themselves to creative custom interiors. At least this is what I"m seeing already. Otherwise any old well preserved example of any RV is interesting. No matter how bland and ordinary it was when new. While most modern motorhomes won't stand the test of time with typical care, they can in the hands of a meticulous owner, or one who keeps the unit in covered storage.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:12 AM   #36
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Airstream has carefully defined their market and doesn't have a need to compete with Casita. For them to do so would be like Mercedes building an inexpensive car to compete with Honda Civics; Two quality vehicles but entirely different worlds from a market share point of view. As a part of Thor, Airstream holds the top of the market and other Thor products are positioned in other parts of the market from top to bottom.

As to Airstream being the last man standing in the all-aluminum trailer world, it makes the product an icon which is highly sought after. The "surplus" of aluminum after WWII was quite short lived. By the early 50s we were in another war and there was a shortage of aluminum. Spartan built their economy model, the Spartanette, with a wood-framed upper structure to cut down on the amount of aluminum and the cost during this time. The longevity of the company is due to design, innovation, management, marketing and a good deal of luck. The luck comes in with Beatrice buying the company on the verge of bankruptcy and selling it to Thor in the same condition. Everything else relates to Wally's vision and skill before his death and the skills Thor brought to the rescue. Had Beatrice and Thor not showed up when they did, Airstream would be a ghost. The other factor to consider is market consolidation. How many automobile brands (let alone model names) have there been over the years? Hundreds! How many do we have today? Very few even when the new kids, like Kia, Hyundai and Suzuki, are counted.

The fact we can haul in a 30, 40 or 50 year old Airstream trailer or motorhome and make it new again attests to the beauty and quality of Aluminum. These vehicles are like airplanes and can see several incarnations over decades. Fiberglass has been improved with UV stabilizers but the sun still beats it up very quickly. It and all other composites are made from petrochemicals. The cost of materials is highly volatile with the oil markets making pricing much more difficult than aluminum. The petrochemical nature of bodies made of fiberglass or composites also lowers the cabin air quality. Resource conservation is another factor. When an Airstream cannot be rebuilt, it can be recycled for its aluminum and steel. Composites are landfill fodder; no one has figured out how to grind them up and reuse the material.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:36 PM   #37
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The reincarnation of a different Classic??

Perhaps a bit out of place on a "Motorhome" forum, but relative to the discussion of anything new being built from aluminum, I thought this was quite interesting.

Bowlus Road Chief | Inspired by timeless American style
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:00 PM   #38
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Wouldn't that look good behind a CLASSIC diesel pusher motor home.

Bowlus Road Chief on Vimeo

Dave
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:01 PM   #39
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Wouldn't that look good behind a CLASSIC diesel pusher motor home.

Bowlus Road Chief on Vimeo

Dave
Come on Dave, that would look good behind ANY CLASSIC Airstream motor home.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:24 PM   #40
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I want the front of my AS to look like the rear of that!
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:04 PM   #41
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Steve,

I've always appreciated you awareness of Design, and your comment has got me thinking about something crazy.

Imagining the ultimate trailer to pull behind a Classic; picture this.....

You find a Classic moho donor vehicle such as Brad had, with front end damage. Cut off what you don't need lengthwise, strip it out, attach a hitch to the rear end with the intent of pulling it backwards, and then add a Bowlus style, flip up tail section to seal up the former front end. Obviously a fair bit of work would have to go into modifying and lightening the p-30 frame and drive train as much as possible, but the stylistic continuity and aerodynamics of the wrap around windows up front would be fantastic, and the aero tail would be superb.

Gotta go now, the meds are running low, and I'm late for an appointment with my psychiatrist. He keeps telling me that I'll be OK some day.

Think you can Photoshop the prototype?

Charly
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:41 PM   #42
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Would that make it a four season motor home then? You could even plow snow with it.

Dave

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I want the front of my AS to look like the rear of that!
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