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Old 11-23-2014, 07:48 PM   #15
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I read that same thing once about Harley-Davidsons: 70% still on the road - the others made it home. Bada bada bing!
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Old 12-20-2014, 07:45 PM   #16
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We use to decipher the serial numbers of antique slot machines and antique jukeboxes to find production numbers. These were slot machines from the beginning to the end of mechanical models in 1960 (Jennings). Each had a number. I cannot recall if the denomination was the same series or not, but I am sure you are getting the idea. Coin Operated hobbyist magazines would track anything with a serial number. Helped boost subscriptions as well.

The 78 RPM Jukeboxes of the 1930's to the last real collectable ones in 1949 also had serial numbers from #000001 to #0057245 as an example of the Bubble Tube Wurlitzer 1015 made in 1946 with a #10***** and the 1947 #20*****. We got good at it to determine WHICH were low production numbers and when changes took place at specific numbers. Much... like Airstreams.

If there was a Thread where someone wanted, it is a pain in the posterior at the beginning to find the LOW and the HIGH number, the number can be figured out. Some companies will "confuse" these numbers so the competitors are not also up to date with what is being put out at the factory. Each Airstream has a serial number. Maybe they begin for each length, each model, or All combined according to first in and first out of the factory door to a dealer... and so on.

Much like Silver Coins... each year has a mintage. It was fairly accurate until the US Government began melting, say Silver Dollars after WWI, so those numbers are no longer accurate. In many cases off by MILLIONS.

Airstreams should be much easier. Serial numbers on the hot water tank could be a possibility, if they have numbers and only used on Airstreams. Frame numbers versus or matched to the ID Plate on the side of a finished model.

I do not have enough information to find a pattern, but once it is discovered... and Airstream wants to conceal their production numbers... it will get tricky afterwards. Up to now... it should be possible to get the pattern and usually, I say usually, it is easiest for the company to begin with and end with a model year adding a digit with each produced and sold trailer.

Once you have a LOW and a HIGH, you can eliminate any inquiry for those between and begin asking for the NEXT lower or highest number. Getting started was very difficult but easier as the numbers began to fall into place.

As you can tell. Even my short explanation is long... Good luck and with all of the different models out there and sizes... sharpen your pencils!

Among JUKEBOX collectors... having the First of the production and the LAST had a monetary value. For Airstreams... bragging rights.
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Old 05-27-2017, 11:02 PM   #17
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Exactly. What's the sourcing behind the 70% claim? I am skeptical of that one.

It seems like they must be making about 3,000 to 3,500 a year in 2017--but this is allegedly their best year since at least 1980 and the birth of Thor/end of Beatrice era.

I am really curious about how many they made per year in the 1950s through the seventies.
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Old 05-27-2017, 11:47 PM   #18
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Just did some quick and dirty research . . .

Today at an Airstream dealer the sales guy said that Airstream will produce 3,400 trailers this year--if I recall correctly. That number seemed very small to me so I dug deeper.

After researching online, the best number I found was from 2.5 years ago when they were producing 50 per week which would be 2,600/year. Source: Washington Post, "Airstream can’t keep up with demand for iconic silver trailers," January 1, 2015.

The same article said they are on track to increase production by 50%, but didn't give a timeline. That's all consistent with the 3,400 number I heard today.

These would likely be their highest numbers since at least 1979-1980 (my guess).

I am really curious how many they were producing per year from about 1955 to 1978. Though from reading the history of Airstream it was likely 1974-75 when sales really began to plummet because of the OPEC induced spike in gas prices that shocked the whole economy.

More on their current expansion:
From Dayton Business Journal, November 2016.

In 2016, RV shipments totaled 430,691 units, a gain of 15.1% over the previous year. This was the seventh consecutive annual increase. That's all RVs including travel trailers and all motorhomes. Source: Recreational Vehicle Industry Association, April 2017.

Given the small percentage of Airstreams vs. all other trailers/RVs, this makes more sense.

2016 was also Thor's best year ever--they were founded in 1980. Source: Thor Industries, September 2016, "THOR ANNOUNCES RECORD RESULTS FOR FOURTH QUARTER AND FISCAL 2016."

Another random fact: Harley shipped 262,221 motorcycles in 2016 (missing their goal).

The world needs more Airstreams! Just sayin'.

Still very curious about the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s numbers.
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Old 05-28-2017, 12:21 AM   #19
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Ran out of time to edit my previous post.

Found this on the RVIA website, but it only goes back to 1978! So based on this info, 1978, 2006, and likely 2016 will be high water marks. But what about the 1950s through 1977?

2016 numbers are available on from the link in my previous post. It was by far the biggest year in the industry since 1978 and 2017 is on track to be bigger.
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