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Old 03-14-2012, 01:02 PM   #1
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Why Airstream?

Hello All:

New member here from 60 miles south of Jackson Center. I don't yet own an Airstream, but am "hooked" nonetheless. My wife is onboard with the idea of purchasing a travel trailer in the next year or two, but is having a hard time rationalizing the added up-front cost that an Airstream (be it new or used) demands.

Can you help me? I've already conveyed the difference in quality, depreciation value, 80-year heritage, the Airstream "family", etc. But what else can help my argument? Any suggestions? Perhaps a before-AS/after-AS testimonial?

Please help this Streamer wannabe!
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Old 03-14-2012, 01:11 PM   #2
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Take her TO a dealer who sells the cheapest SOB's you can find (Some Other Brand). Notice the staples holding the paneling or chip board layers together. And don't forget the lovely plaid fabric selections that will pill if you look at them.

Then go on a factory tour of the Airstream Plant. I recommend Friday as they're often done with the week's production and you can go through the line and peek at the nearly complete units. With luck she'll see the International Serenity model or the Classic limited - and your only problem will be strapping on a drool bucket fast enough to prevent social embarassment.

Airstreams aren't perfect, but they are worlds above most of the others. Plus they aren't five feet above ground level and square. They tow like a little toy poodle. Square old boxes - they tow like a paranoid rotweiler. Your arms will be jerked out of their shoulder joints after 8 hours of towing the average SOB.

Paula (Oh and lots of women rally together and go SHOPPING! We can stay at an outlet mall for days!)
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Old 03-14-2012, 01:34 PM   #3
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Tell her she'll get to hang out with gents like me.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:02 PM   #4
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When my wife and I were looking for a camper, we were in opposite roles as you. She said we should get an Airstream. I could have cared less. She pushed the topic and we looked into a 70's Airstream going up for auction locally. She signed on to Airforums to get some help with value and the rest is history. I'm a sucker for old stuff with nostalgia. We didn't buy that one, but still bought vintage.

It's kinda like asking a Harley owner why they chose Harley or why a John Deere enthusiast chose JD or why a Jeep owner likes his/her Jeep. Airstream really is a disease. We need to have AA (Airstreams Anonymous) meetings...oh wait, we do, they are called rallies. Except at our meetings it's about celebrating the addiction rather than talking about how to avoid it.

I can't explain how to explain it to your wife. You don't have to drop $80k on a new one. You can buy older, but you've got to be ready to work on it. I think the real experience is to be amongst other Airstreamers. There's a sense of community when you find the right group and it's as addictive as the Airstream itself. I remember my first rally. It was rainy and we were cooped up inside our Airstream. I kept seeing other shiny trailers roll in and I was more excited with each one. I still get giddy today when I'm at a rally and I see Airstreams rolling in. I don't know how to convey that to someone else, you just have to experience it and it either hits you or it doesn't.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:23 PM   #5
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I've got $10K tied up in our '74 Argosy 26'. I figure that's about 200 nights in motels when you subtract the campground fees. 200 nights at $50.00 a night difference= $10K.
So far we've spent 40 nights in the trailer. 160 to go and that's one of the items on my Bucket List.
But don't buy a trailer to save money. Buy it to enjoy life.
When I was a young man I thought I would live "forever" because forever seemed to be a very long time. Now that I am headed for 67, forever is not a very long time at all. I have a really long bucket list that I fully intend on checking every item off.
If you have a list; get crackin'. Go for it.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
New member here from 60 miles south of Jackson Center.
Right there is an excellent reason for Airstream. RVs tend to require quite a bit of service and maintenance. To live near some of the best service available is invaluable. Quality RV service is not something to be taken for granted.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:35 PM   #7
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Searched for 4 years with no luck,,

Just could never find a good used AS in our price range that was less that a 1200 mile trip just to go look at it first,, Since out budget was small we had to seek out an older one that the odds were larger for more problems..

Ended up picking up a used (no name ) mid 90s 5th wheel late spring,.., Looked great inside and out.. On the trip home I could see going down the road the walls were bowed out almost 2 foot from normal,.. Once home I was awaken to the fact the entire wooden body frame was rotted out..

Some "Homer" at the factory had never installed the AC drain other than to just fill up the walls with water.. Weeks of work to save face and have a trailer safe to drag out of the yard let alone go on any big trips with it,,

After that ordeal,, I gained a lot of in site of how CHEAP 98% of the stick and staple wonders are made.. A good reason there resale is about 1/2 after the first few years.. That's about all the longer they can last..

We got a 1972 Overlander in our price range just 3 weeks ago.. Has a few scratches,, and dings,, but as far as being solid,, if it had wings I would fly it,.. Now any work that I do is a lo ng term investment,, not a panic patch and repair.

Sodbust,. .
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:41 PM   #8
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The shiny aluminum and the solid rivets, they just feel like their very own thing, something original and timeless. You fall in love with the curves and that shine and will probably catch yourself looking out in the driveway just to get a look at her...that doesn't happen with a fiberglass box on wheels...
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:00 PM   #9
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The shiny aluminum and the solid rivets, they just feel like their very own thing, something original and timeless. You fall in love with the curves and that shine and will probably catch yourself looking out in the driveway just to get a look at her...that doesn't happen with a fiberglass box on wheels...
I agree with that. I love it when I have one of mine parked were I can see it through a window. I just sit at the dinner table and stare while I'm eating a meal.
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:28 PM   #10
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Why Airstream?

I can't think of many other brands of RVs that can serve mutiple generations of a family becoming family heirlooms. Good friends of mine are the third generation to camp in their Overlander, and their children are the fourth generation to camp in that Overlander. The Overlander that I own was the first camping experience that I had as a five-year-old in 1964 as a guest of friends of my family - - it found me in 1995 - - and I am still camping in it as a 52-year-old.

Kevin

P.S. The coach is unchanged in most regards from the way it was delivered. All cabinetry is original, but was carefully refinished about eight years ago. As with any coach, all softgoods had to be replaced due to age and use. All appliances have had to be replaced due to age and use other than the kitchen range. The exterior was polished and Plasticoated by P & S Trailer Service in Helena, OH to the original sheen about eight years ago so the coach reminds me of how it appeared in 1964.
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:22 PM   #11
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Moosie

I have always been drawn to Porsche and BMW cars and BMW motorcycles- well engineered machinery and well built too. I have always been drawn to Airstream trailers for the same reason. Like another forum member says "I would rather have a trailer built like an airplane than one built like a garden shed." Look at a 60's Airstream- you will find real wood cabinets, the trailer will be self contained, so you can live in it for days without hookups. Lots of large windows that let in lots of light and open up all the way, even in the rain, to allow lots of ventilation. Lots of storage, with no wasted space. Wally's motto was only make improvements, not changes. These trailers are built for travel. They will tow much easier than a box trailer and you will use one third less fuel.

The forum members are great. If you have a problem, there is a good chance that another forum member has had the same problem and he will be glad to help you with yours. If you have an entirely new problem, then you can help other forum members when the time comes.

I bought a 66 Tradewind because I liked the looks of it, the size, the real wood cabinets and it was what I could afford. I am making upgrades to it as I use it. When I get finished it will function as well as a new trailer and will actually tow easier and safer because it is lighter and will have disc brakes when I install the new axles. It will never depreciate because as I make improvements the value will go up. I am reasonably handy so I make all the improvements myself. Another benefit is that I am doing it my way, and that provides a lot of satisfaction.

Look at lots of Airstream trailers- old, new, large, small and find the one that works well for you. Take your time, so that you learn what you really want and then go for it. Go to an Airstream rally. Take a tent. They don't care. You will learn a lot and meet some great people.

Dan
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:39 PM   #12
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Olympia , WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosiedad
Hello All:

New member here from 60 miles south of Jackson Center. I don't yet own an Airstream, but am "hooked" nonetheless. My wife is onboard with the idea of purchasing a travel trailer in the next year or two, but is having a hard time rationalizing the added up-front cost that an Airstream (be it new or used) demands.

Can you help me? I've already conveyed the difference in quality, depreciation value, 80-year heritage, the Airstream "family", etc. But what else can help my argument? Any suggestions? Perhaps a before-AS/after-AS testimonial?

Please help this Streamer wannabe!
Hi! Come to the Alumapalooza this May 29th thru June 2nd. It's at Jackson Center, Ohio so it's close to you. There will be about 160 Airstreamers camping there. You and your wife will see the smiles, camaraderie and fun, that is just part of the wonderful Airstream experience. Plus you can take a free tour of the factory and see how well they're built.

I own a 2011 16' Bambi Sport and tow it with a 2000 Tahoe. I love it!!! I'm sooooo glad I bought an Airstream and I'm having the time of my life!

Good luck!!

~Cari~
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:08 AM   #13
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Airstreams are part artwork, part RV. The 'cost' is hard to balance against the 'reward', because in financial terms, RV's are money pits. Tow vehicles, maintenance, operating costs... the RV itself... you really need to do a lot of camping to make up for the cost difference between staying at a hotel. With RV campground fees anywhere from $20 to $40 (or more), and burning 50% more fuel to get where you are going... it's expensive.

What you get though, is a rolling piece of Americana that can create memories like no other trailer. We drove from Alaska all the way to DisneyLand, CA with our first Airstream. There wasn't a time we stopped for gas (unfortunately, a lot) that we didn't feel like rock-stars with people wanting to talk about the trailer.

Wherever we stayed, we were treated like royalty. Someone left an expensive pair of sunglasses on the trailer when we were in San Francisco (parked it right on the trolley route). That's just cool stuff that doesn't happen towing some POS unit.

Now... not all RV's are perfect, and certainly the expectations of paying more is getting more. Your proximity to Airstream is a HUGE advantage to having any small issues sorted out quickly.

It's like a classic car... it's value is largely in the memories and feelings it evokes, not in the value of the metal.
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosiedad View Post
Hello All:

New member here from 60 miles south of Jackson Center. I don't yet own an Airstream, but am "hooked" nonetheless. My wife is onboard with the idea of purchasing a travel trailer in the next year or two, but is having a hard time rationalizing the added up-front cost that an Airstream (be it new or used) demands.

Can you help me? I've already conveyed the difference in quality, depreciation value, 80-year heritage, the Airstream "family", etc. But what else can help my argument? Any suggestions? Perhaps a before-AS/after-AS testimonial?

Please help this Streamer wannabe!
Hi, we never even considered an SOB before we bought our Airstream. But down the road, literally, we noticed a huge difference in our trailer versus the SOB's. We were in Arizona, headed back towards California, on the freeway, when my wife wondered why all of the SOB's in front of us were all over the road. They seemed to be having a hard time staying in their own lane. Almost looked like they were all drunk driving. We pulled into a rest stop and when we got out of our tow vehicle, we were almost blown off of our feet. [it was very windy] That's why they were all over the road and our rounded shaped, low center of gravity, Airstream never felt a thing.
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