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Old 09-17-2008, 07:36 PM   #1
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Buying a UK/ European Model Airstream in the US

This may sound like a stupid question, but here it goes anyway..
I was looking at the Airstream website and happened to look at the Airstream models that are sold in the UK and Europe and REALLY liked the one particular model The AirStream International 532. It just seems that the layout and fittings in the European models are a lot more stylish than those available in the US. Are these manufactured in the US or overseas and if manufactured here in the US, is it possible to purchase them here with the same layouts, fittings etc ?
Any info would help.
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Old 09-17-2008, 08:01 PM   #2
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... is it possible to purchase them here with the same layouts, fittings etc ?Any info would help.
no

although one could buy a unit off shore and bring it back to the usa....

the wiring wouldn't be correct, and some of the features may not work.

there may be 'import' issues or restrictiions...

finding adequate insurance coverage could be a challenge...

and it would be WICKED EXPENSIVE....

but u can READ LOTS about 'em here...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f341...ead-35473.html

including reviews from the folks who use 'em over there...

YOU could start with one of the new safari models with the same size shell and redo the inside...

with many of the euro bits, THAT would be less expensive and easier to do...

another fun approach is buy one in the u.k. or germany then tour euro 4 a year or 2 in it....

bringing a USED trailer to the usa after a bit, might work with less issues.

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:24 PM   #3
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It has been said that you can go though Canada! The wiring works off of 12 volt for most of the unit! The euro converter would have to be replaced with a 110 one. They are build on a different frame (way better than us made ones). The trailer is more expensive than us made. The cost of shipping would be around $1000. The nice thing is this euro trailer fits in to a short sea container! The euro style is smaller than us made.

would be a very cool rally draw... could sell tickets and off set the price...lol
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:30 PM   #4
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It has been said that you can go though Canada!...
who says this?

the canadian certified units have different specs and standards than the usa or euro bound units.

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirStrmFltRN View Post
This may sound like a stupid question, but here it goes anyway..
I was looking at the Airstream website and happened to look at the Airstream models that are sold in the UK and Europe and REALLY liked the one particular model The AirStream International 532. It just seems that the layout and fittings in the European models are a lot more stylish than those available in the US. Are these manufactured in the US or overseas and if manufactured here in the US, is it possible to purchase them here with the same layouts, fittings etc ?
Any info would help.
The Euro models have surge brakes, and no tongue weight to speak of. They're designed for hauling with tiny SUV's. Or cars. The axles are in different positions. The trailering speed limit in Europe is 80 or 100km/h as far as I know. Their tires are smaller etc.etc. Their toilets are cassette types, sort of like a toilet with a blue boy under it. Not necessarily desirable for use in US.
If the design is what intrigues you, buying a shell from Airstream and having an interior custom built will get you there for probably less cost, and with the US standard already considered. The appliances you see in the Euro units can be bought here.
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:54 PM   #6
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who says this?

the canadian certified units have different specs and standards than the usa or euro bound units.

cheers
2air'

You can only import then in to the US through Canada... Just like all the grey market cars... YOU NO NOTHING ABOUT IT... I guess!
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Old 09-17-2008, 10:10 PM   #7
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... YOU NO NOTHING ABOUT IT... I guess!
which is WHY i asked who says this is possible?

grey market car imports are a very different issue, and most don't come into the usa via canada.

1. are u suggesting euro units can go FROM jackson center, directly to canada for purchase?

2. or that a euro unit after being SHIPPED to the u.k. or germany or japan or downunder,
can be returned to n.a. via canada?

IF you've got info on this process just share it, and explain HOW the unit is taxed and eventually TITLED in the usa?

my understanding is getting a euro unit BACK 2 north america is largely the same process...

regardless of canada or usa port.

expensive and time consuming and problematic...

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-18-2008, 03:21 AM   #8
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European Specification Airstreams

Hi Guys

Thanks for picking up the info on European Airstreams.

I work for Airstream Inc as the Director for Airstream Europe Sales & Marketing.

You are all kind of right. The European trailers are all made in Jackson Center, but have been specifically designed to meet the needs of European tow cars and EU compliance. The tongue weights are significantly lower than US models.

The lightweight galvanised steel chassis is German and does indeed have an overun hitch or 'surge breaks' with a built in anti-sway hitch device. The coupling is 50mm not 2 inch. The axle is more centrally located. A very different set up to the US models.

The manufacturer of the chassis, BPW, does not have any distribution in the US and therefore we are not allowed to sell units to customers who intend to use the trailers in North America (including Canada).

The wiring harness, wet central heating system, and a lot of the interior components and appliances are also sourced in Europe to assist with compliance.

Most of these Q&A's are covered in the FAQ section of FAQ < Airstreamer | Airstream Europe : FAQ, frequently asked questions, how, where, and what

For now these unique Airstreams are only available for use by Europeans experiencing the Airstream way of life officially for the first time.

Hope that all helps!
Stu
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Old 09-18-2008, 09:08 AM   #9
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"For now"

Does this mean Airstream will be introduicing them for the North American market soon? Given fuel costs and the desire by some of us to tow with vehicles other than huge trucks and SUV's, I sure hope that Jackson Centre is seriously considering this.
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Old 09-18-2008, 09:28 AM   #10
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The Sport series uses the narrower 7'6" Euro-sized body, the SMEV European-built appliances, and some of the same weight loss techniques. But the Sport line doesn't appear to be a strong seller so far.

Maybe we need a combination of International Edition decor, and high-tech European subsystems, rather than the current lighter & cheaper approach?
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Old 09-18-2008, 10:18 AM   #11
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The European trailer are, in my opinion, quite attractive. I'd like to see them brought to the North American market (with the necessary electrical upgrades,etc). They could become a new Argosy line, appealing to a different segment of the market, without discontinuing the current models for those who want them.
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Old 09-18-2008, 11:26 AM   #12
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it's really the world with back...
you are lucky to buy the genuine Airstream and to use it your fabulous country and you want the European version.... and , here, in Europe , we want to tow the american airstream and not another one... it's really surprising.
Without wanting to frustate Stuart Hicks, I think and it's only my opinion, european people who wants to get an Airstream, wants to live the american airstream life in this american icon and not in an hybrid airstream with parts from germany and other european countries; i know it's necessary to import them in Europe but it's a sort of Coca-light in comparison with the real coke...
Certainly , it's a good solution in our old continent but you, you have better in your country... the grass is not greener in Europe.

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Old 09-18-2008, 11:37 AM   #13
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Bruno, I respect what you're saying, but I think that Airstream needs to start looking at bringing these lighter, nicely designed trailers to the North American market. Just take a look at all the discussions about fuel prices and large tow vehicles. I contend that there is a market for a lighter trailer, towable by smaller vehicles. The European trailers address this need, as do the new Sport models to a certain degree. As I said, keep the other models for those who want them, but provide the European models for those who desire better fuel economy and the ability to use smaller tow vehicles.
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Old 09-18-2008, 12:29 PM   #14
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lighter but...

Quote:
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Bruno, I respect what you're saying, but I think that Airstream needs to start looking at bringing these lighter, nicely designed trailers to the North American market. Just take a look at all the discussions about fuel prices and large tow vehicles. I contend that there is a market for a lighter trailer, towable by smaller vehicles. The European trailers address this need, as do the new Sport models to a certain degree. As I said, keep the other models for those who want them, but provide the European models for those who desire better fuel economy and the ability to use smaller tow vehicles.
Hi cameront120,
I agree with you on the way to get lighter trailers to do economy in consumption so where my opinion is a bit different from yours, is I prefer Airstream engineers, find a manner to build lighter caravans as the sport model, instead of beginning to change easily, all the characteristics that made Airstream, an icon, to be lighter.
The european Airstreams have smaller lenghts and widthes, very smaller tanks, small chassis, chimical toilet with cassette, etc ... why not replace the glass windows with plastic ( as other european caravan ), the aluminum riveted body with again plastic painted in argent color... and you'll get an european classic light caravan that you can see everywhere and have no taste... Hopefully the European Airtreams are not like that and the feeling is always present but , to reply to AirStrmFltRN, preferring and importing the overseas choice , when you have the genuine one at home; that is an error...

bruno.
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