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Old 10-30-2003, 01:32 AM   #1
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Thor vs. Airstream values

I was speaking to a local RV Repair shop who was commenting how quality has gone down since Thor took over Airstream a few years ago. He said that prior to the Thor acquisiton, Airstream trailers had a much better resale value than their Thor counterparts. Although we're planning on using our 04 Safari 28W for the long haul, I'm curious what you all think about this comment.

Abe
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Old 10-30-2003, 02:19 AM   #2
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Let's be...

I'm curious what YOU think about his comment.
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Old 10-30-2003, 07:21 AM   #3
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per A/S customer support

Thor has owned Airstream for 23 years now, so it's not like they are a new owner that doesn't understand the brand or have the passion for it. In fact, their passion for Airstream is what saved the company from Beatrice Foods, the previous owner that almost put Airstream out of business for good.

You'll also probably like to know that Airstream is significantly re-investing in its personnel, facilties, systems, and new products. The company has spent over $2 million on improving itself in just the last year. New plant lighting, new paint, new computer systems, new paving, new communications tools, etc... The list is very long. Come visit us in Jackson Center and you'll see plenty of evidence of this investment.

If the company or corporation were only interested in profits they would have lined their pockets with this money rather than investing it in our future as they have done
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Old 10-30-2003, 07:21 AM   #4
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This is usually said by people who have no idea that Thor bought Airstream from Beatrice Foods in 1979. It is unlikely your RV repairman has been working on them for 24 years.

Mark
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Old 10-30-2003, 10:06 AM   #5
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Thor was formed to buy Airstream 23 years ago, and then several years later began buying other RV companys. Airstream was there first.
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Old 10-30-2003, 10:45 AM   #6
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Thanks for the background info, ya'll. Being new to Airstreaming other than admiring them from afar, it's interesting to learn about their history.

I'm glad an extensive and reliable source of info exists in this forum. Good for protecting us newbies from dogmatic "experts" in the field.

FWIW, I don't plan on selling our A/S ever (that's why I bought it in the first place) but as a consumer, I feel that resale value is an important thing to know about. After all, it seems like people upgrade/trade/sell/buy frequently even on this forum. You never know what the future holds, I suppose.

Abe
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Old 10-30-2003, 11:01 AM   #7
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Thor has owned Airstream since Sept 1979. Beatrice owned them from Dec 1967 to Sept 1979. From what I can tell the "Beatrice years" legacy is to a large degree fiction. There of many of us who own trailers made during that period of time and think they are very quality units. I don't Airstream has ever made a "bad" trailer - all years have strengths and all years have weaknesses. I think your new unit will last as long as any unit ever made - if you take care of it.

If there can be anything said for the resale of newer units it more because of length - tons and tons of 30+ footers around that don't sell nearly as well or as fast as the 25 foot or less in length trailers. Not because of any quality issues, but because of tow vehicle limitations - not to mention that much more of a trailer to tow around.

BTW - hello neighbor......


Ken J.
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Old 10-30-2003, 12:50 PM   #8
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MYTHS

It is interesting, over time, how an off the wall "myth", or the old fasioned "wives tale," gets started and then grows and grows and grows.

I have been involved with Airstream since 1966, before the Beatrice Food days.

I have heard enough stories to probably write 2 or 3 books on just that subject.

Some of these stories die, and then become alive again and again.

My personal experience is that most of the time, these stories start with someone who may have worked on an Airstream at some RV dealership, or once in a while, from a newbie that has become an expert in the Airstream products that were built over the years, simply because they now own one, or from someone that has grossly neglected the coach, and of course it's not their fault that they had so many problems with it.

Airstream is a "work of art" and is still one 500 of the "best made" products in the world, and will continue to be after this current generation is long gone.

Anything made by "man" can and does have problems. Airstream is no exception. But, thanks to their top quality leadership, they always have and always will seek better ways to build the product and to reduce as many problems as possible.

Contrary to some opinions, Airstream has never down graded any part of their products or components for the sake of profit.

Their reputation today is guarded just as strong, if not more so, than Wally did.

Pride of ownership describes the vast majority of owners. However we all know a few that have no pride at all, let alone for their Airstream. It is usually the latter that contributes to the "rumors."

Life is so short. Lets enjoy those things that make us smile and that bring happiness to us.

Airstreaming, is one of "those"!!!!!!!!

WALLY, you did well.

Andy
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Old 10-30-2003, 06:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ken Johansen
BTW - hello neighbor......

Ken J.
Hi, Ken!

Good to see another Colorado western slope forum member! Any experiencing pulling your rig over Hwy 550 to Ouray. Looks kinda scary to me, especially with those "shoulders" and windy, narrow roads.

Abe.
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Old 10-30-2003, 08:02 PM   #10
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Abe

I did it with my with my 1959 18 footer - I now go over Lizard Head with the Tradewind.

Going over Coal Bank and Molas with the big trailer is not for me -

Regards

Ken J.
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Old 10-31-2003, 06:29 AM   #11
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Interesting thoughts...

I've owned two "Wally" Airstreams, a '57 Overlander and a '61 Bambi, two "Beatrice" Airstreams, a '70 Safari, wood interior and a '78 Minuet with the vinyl interior, and now two "Thor" Airstreams, an '85 325 motorhome and our current one, The Behemoth.

From a construction quality perspective, I see no difference. Each of the companies have used quality materials and construction techniques from their era. From a materials perspective, Beatrice's only crime was to experiment with new, modern "space age" materials. Some of the features have held up well, some (like the early tambour doors) looked great, but haven't aged as well for some owners.

From a luxury and amenities perspective, the Thor Airstreams have fit and finish undreamed of in Wally's time. The luxury items in the Thor coaches are unparalleled in Airstream's history. It amazes me what you can take on the road with you. And comparing the fit, finish, and overall beauty of my '94 34' to my '57 26' Overlander is just no comparison at all. The 34' is just plain beautiful and luxurious. The '57 was functional. The two offer the same functionality; furnaces, sinks, commode, beds, couches, galley, drawers, etc, but forty additional years of development from the '50s to the '90s in building techniques, materials and features have allowed Thor to produce, in the current trailers, the finest products in the world in their class.

Just as a reality check, compare the construction and componentry of a '57 Chevy Suburban to the Suburbans of today. There's just no comparison in the fit, finish, materials, design and comfort offered by the new equipment over the products offered 50 years ago.

IMHO, the Beatrice years were developmental in the line of Airstreams as were all of the 'Wally' years. Each company during it's ownership of the marque has helped Airstream continue to develop and improve the premier product it has always been. The 'vintage' trailers are wonderful for their design. The new products are the most comfortable and feature-rich that Airstream has ever produced.

Roger
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Old 10-31-2003, 10:06 AM   #12
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Abe & Ken
Have done 550 twice from Durango to Ouray with our 81 31' Excella, scares hell out of my wife, but still a great trip and with slow speed limits no real problems. Just out there this month for Durango Cowboy music & potery festival in Durango. Had a grate time as usual. Will be back again next year. Left from Durango to Santa Fe so did not take 550 north this year. Love your part of the world, I justkeep comming back.
Jim
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Old 10-31-2003, 10:19 AM   #13
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You see we know where the pile of cars and trucks are that went off the cliff that are impossible to pull out of there

Actually its not that bad - I just avoid it with the trailer since it is so much easier to go over Lizard Head.

Ken J.
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Old 10-31-2003, 10:26 AM   #14
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I have a 1978 Airstream, which by all rights should be a pile of junk, as it's the last Beatrice Foods year.

Frankly, I don't see it at all. The fit and finish are fine and most of the parts were continued through for several years into the Thor era.

Granted, it's not a 31' rear bath with Dreaded Tail Sag, but I love it - it's a great unit...

-Don
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