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Old 03-18-2012, 04:22 PM   #155
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A few years ago while on a glamping trip to Colorado, I had a couple of beers with a guy who customed out a 24 foot Haulmark cargo trailer. It was the model you can order thats high and wide. He was a carpenter and had done an outstanding job on it. He told me that with the purchase of the trailer new, heating, AC, qaulity windows, mechanicals, plumbing, wiring, insulation, appliances he had over 30 grand in it not counting his own labor. It was nicer than what you could buy for 35-40k on the market. I asked him if he would do it again, he told me he wouldn't, he wanted to redo an old AS instead.
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Old 03-18-2012, 04:32 PM   #156
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A few years ago while on a glamping trip to Colorado
Was it a typo or was it this? http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...jWdNm968sfecHw

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Old 03-18-2012, 06:42 PM   #157
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Is there anyone who has enough experience in the RV industry who can tell us if the prices are really too high for what we get? Is Thor making unconscionable profits on Airstreams?
Gene
No idea if they are making large profits, but the typical AS is twice the price of a comparable SOB. The interior components are no different than other trailers, and they are probably also mostly hand made. Maybe the extra $$ is a result of the amount of aluminum used. The market in China has driven the price of steel and steel products through the roof over the last few years.

Regardless, there is no excuse for sending product out the door with obvious flaws. When this happens it is usually a result of no economic consequence (or perceived consequence) to the company.
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Old 03-18-2012, 07:07 PM   #158
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Since I brought my 2012 Intl home on 1 Nov, it got little use over the winter months. Just two short weekends. I've done a lot of upgrades in it -- basically some higher quality components that I've read about on the Forum -- Maxx fans, battery monitor, convertor, custom drapes, spread, FLOR carpet squares, 16" wheels and Michelins, TPMS...other minor items, some safety related. I checked the trailer frequently for leaks or anything untoward. So far, it's fine. Having the Forum as a resource has been invaluable to me. Everything I've learned about my A/S has been on here. I'm blessed with a good dealer only 15 minutes away (ODM), and I'm very comfortable I'll be well taken care of if I have a warranty issue. I also visited JC last fall (before my trailer was delivered) -- and I spoke to some of the folks on the assembly line. (I've visited numerous auto plants, BTW.) JC is much less automated than any assembly line I've ever seen. My impression was that the 9 days it takes to build an A/S is an indicator of a LOT of handwork. Doubtless I'll have some problems, but thus far -- after being in and out of every possible space I can get to, I do not get the impression of a slap-dash job on my trailer.
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Old 03-18-2012, 07:39 PM   #159
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No idea if they are making large profits, but the typical AS is twice the price of a comparable SOB.

I doubt if it's the raw cost of the aluminum, I'm sure the cost of the finished panels is much more stable.

Icon-olgy costs...

10 March 2012

 "Non Ferrous — LME aluminum fell 5.5% to $0.98/lb while global exchange inventories rose 0.1% to 5,452k tonnes, record high."

Bob
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:13 PM   #160
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Naw, Glamping is the step from backpacking to a big tent, queen airbed, fake Persian rugs, etc, etc. Our REI tent is bigger than the 16 DWR we have been renting, the double thickness queen airbed is much better for two to sleep on than the 48" bed in the DWR.

We are taking the 16 again in May and a 23 in August. Time will tell,
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Old 03-19-2012, 12:22 AM   #161
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I'd have to guess that like most things made in North America, the cost of labour has increased more then the cost of the materials. The 'shop rate' at most RV places around here is $80 to $100 an hour. Even if a rivet-monger in JC is 'only' making $20 an hour, their cost when you factor in benefits and such is double. Add in the overhead of all the non-assembly staff, and I'm sure you're going to get something like $250 an hour to put 1 guy on the line.

What does it take in man-hours to build an Airstream? 100 hours? 200 hours? You could have a labour cost of $25,000 to $50,000 right there... and you haven't even bought the materials yet.

I've seen an assembly line of another SOB (POS)... square construction and tin over framed walls is very fast... and the materials are even cheaper and easier to work with.

So... a bit extra for Airstream materials, and a lot extra for the work and time to put them together.
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:37 AM   #162
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I'm not sure they pay workers $20/hour. Airstream is very anti-union and given their cost cutting in the trailers, that mentality means paying workers as little as possible.

If it takes 9 days to build them, that's 72 hours minimum, but sometimes more than 1 is working on them.

Production is somewhat archaic and has stayed that way for a long time. Some things are contracted out now, so the whole trailer is not built there anymore.

If there are an average of two workers working full time on a trailer at $17.50/hour plus 25% benefits ($21.88), labor cost per trailer runs $3,150.72. Benefits may be 100% in Canada, but they sure aren't in the US and a stingy employer is going to cut them a lot, especially health care. Administrative costs are separate, but Airstream doesn't have that many executives and I doubt any of them are making millions. Thor execs may make that much, but not Airstream. You could have 3 people working on it fulltime and give them a 50% raise in hourly rate and benefits, and labor is still a small part ($7,089.12).

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Old 04-03-2012, 08:32 PM   #163
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I just got the call today that our new 2012 Flying Cloud 30' was delivered to the dealer. They are prepping it tomorrow and we will pick it up tomorrow night! I asked the dealer several questions related to some of the issues posted in various threads, and I am convinced that the dealer solves many of the factory QC problems before they are delivered.

Without my prompting, he explained that they test the water tanks, heat, A/C, lighting etc. and check calibration of the monitors. He suggested that he has had many of the monitors arrive from the factory incorrectly wired, and they fix them prior to the customer receiving the trailer.

Our first Airstream had no problems at delivery. We did have a warranty repair to the table pedestal after about 2 months, and a minor leak in the rear window, but I really can't think of other problems.

Hopefully this will be the same experience... I'll keep you posted.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:17 PM   #164
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I just got the call today that our new 2012 Flying Cloud 30' was delivered to the dealer. They are prepping it tomorrow and we will pick it up tomorrow night! I asked the dealer several questions related to some of the issues posted in various threads, and I am convinced that the dealer solves many of the factory QC problems before they are delivered.

Without my prompting, he explained that they test the water tanks, heat, A/C, lighting etc. and check calibration of the monitors. He suggested that he has had many of the monitors arrive from the factory incorrectly wired, and they fix them prior to the customer receiving the trailer.

Our first Airstream had no problems at delivery. We did have a warranty repair to the table pedestal after about 2 months, and a minor leak in the rear window, but I really can't think of other problems.

Hopefully this will be the same experience... I'll keep you posted.
FWIW...I would not pick up at night.

Bring some provisions and stay the first night on the dealers lot.

Good Luck....

Bob
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:58 AM   #165
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That is great news Hibby!! I agree with Bob, pick it up in the day. I cant wait to go out to see my 74 Tradewind in storage. I still wish I could go pick up a new one instead of starting my to do list for the year though! Good Luck!
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:35 PM   #166
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We took delivery on Wednesday, pulled it home, and parked it in the driveway to pack stuff from the prior Airstream and test all systems. So far, the only thing that we've found not working properly is the indicator light for the water heater. The water heater seems to work fine; just no indicator light.

The dealer installed a full length mirror on the bathroom door for us which is a GREAT and very inexpensive mod... They also installed a separate set of battery leads that will allow us to attach another deep cycle battery and charge it through the solar system. This is for my trolling motor battery for fishing (we attach this to our canoe).

Oh! And we had them change the 22" television in the bedroom to a 27". Also a great choice. Nothing worse than being out in the boonies with only one 27" TV. Can you imagine!?

I'll post more as we work out any kinks, but so far so good!
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:43 PM   #167
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... So far, the only thing that we've found not working properly is the indicator light for the water heater. The water heater seems to work fine; just no indicator light.
Somebody correct me if I am wrong but when we picked up our new Airstream a month ago the dealer said that the red light between the two hot water switches would illuminate if there was a problem with the hot water heater when running on propane. You may have no problem at all. I have seen it illuminate briefly when there is no a/c and the propane is in the process of lighting. As soon as there is ignition it goes out.

Congratulations on the new stream! Pictures???

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Old 04-08-2012, 09:49 PM   #168
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I'll try to get some new photos up soon.... Maybe I can take some of mods and unique features. Solar is very nice, and weve been running on nothing butsolar and some propane since delivery
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