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Old 08-30-2007, 05:13 PM   #15
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Vent cover material.

Colin Hyde.

We do not use plexiglass to make our covers as you stated.

Parts can be on sale as long as we wish.

The "trapped" air space, is a "thermal barrier" according to Airstream engineers.

Fiberglass, can never pass as much light as other types of plastics.

Andy
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Old 08-30-2007, 05:20 PM   #16
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Excellent response Collin. Could your company also offer the lifter too. My astrodome opening is filled with galvanized metal and the lifters have been removed. Do you know of a source of finding any. You could offer a delux kit with new lifters and handles to control it.
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Old 08-30-2007, 05:50 PM   #17
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Colin,

I bought one of your covers from Steve. I liked the instructions that came with it. It's pretty sturdy.

It did chip on one corner.

I should have tied it down. It was just sitting up there when a gust of wind blew through the door and sailed it halfway across the neighborhood. A little gelcoat repair and it almost as good as new. No problems since I reinstalled the lifters.

The lack of light transmission isn't a problem. I have several windows that give me a nice view and plenty of daylight.
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Old 08-30-2007, 05:50 PM   #18
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Vent operators

http://www.inlandrv.com/parts/83792-ventoper.jpg

Andy
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Old 08-30-2007, 10:05 PM   #19
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Collin's comments are dead on about the Inland product and how it can fail as this was exactly what I experienced. Based on my experience with both products I find his to be the best choice.
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:19 PM   #20
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Andy,
Plexiglass is the trade name for Acrylic and although you point out that your vent lid is not plexiglass, it still acts like plexiglass when it is drilled and every installer needs to do this. I'm sure a number of people on this forum have drilled into these vents & had "issues". Just ask? We have no fear of quality issues of our products because we actually use them, just like Wally did, and if & when they fail, we figure out what went wrong & fix it, so the next guy doesn't have the same issue.
As far as I know, you are correct, you may have a sale for as long as you like, however from a consumers point of view, a perpetual sale is considered the normal price so there is no actual saving.
The trapped air space is a great idea & works well as an insulator, however having that space in the area where lifters attach is a poor design feature, in my opinion.
Actually, fiberglass can pass virtually as much light as any clear plastic sheet. Surfboards have been made for years with clear gelcoat, resin & of course, clear glass fibers, layed up onto shaped foam blocks. Check the graphics on any surfboard, they can be seen perfectly through any number of fiberglass lay-ups. We did not choose to build our Astradomes with these materials because that was not the intention or look of the original astradome. It is technically possible though, however it would be at a higher material cost.
62Overlander, We have looked into reproducing a correct ladeau lifter that would open the vent the same amount as the originals and not require multiple twists of the knob, however we have not taken this project to the production stage yet.............but stay tuned. Remember, "make no changes, only improvements". The next owner will thank you for it!
Sorry guys, this all comes from over 20 years working in the Industrial Design field.
Thanks again,
Colin

PS Mark, sorry to hear that your Astradome "took flight", however it sounds like you made out OK & didn't have to purchase another one. Granted, it would have put a few more dollars in my pocket if you had, but it makes me feel much better knowing that you're happy with our product.

PSS 63air, How did your two covers from Inland fail?
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Old 08-31-2007, 11:57 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin H
Andy,
Plexiglass is the trade name for Acrylic and although you point out that your vent lid is not plexiglass, it still acts like plexiglass when it is drilled and every installer needs to do this. I'm sure a number of people on this forum have drilled into these vents & had "issues". Just ask? We have no fear of quality issues of our products because we actually use them, just like Wally did, and if & when they fail, we figure out what went wrong & fix it, so the next guy doesn't have the same issue.
As far as I know, you are correct, you may have a sale for as long as you like, however from a consumers point of view, a perpetual sale is considered the normal price so there is no actual saving.
The trapped air space is a great idea & works well as an insulator, however having that space in the area where lifters attach is a poor design feature, in my opinion.
Actually, fiberglass can pass virtually as much light as any clear plastic sheet. Surfboards have been made for years with clear gelcoat, resin & of course, clear glass fibers, layed up onto shaped foam blocks. Check the graphics on any surfboard, they can be seen perfectly through any number of fiberglass lay-ups. We did not choose to build our Astradomes with these materials because that was not the intention or look of the original astradome. It is technically possible though, however it would be at a higher material cost.
62Overlander, We have looked into reproducing a correct ladeau lifter that would open the vent the same amount as the originals and not require multiple twists of the knob, however we have not taken this project to the production stage yet.............but stay tuned. Remember, "make no changes, only improvements". The next owner will thank you for it!
Sorry guys, this all comes from over 20 years working in the Industrial Design field.
Thanks again,
Colin

PS Mark, sorry to hear that your Astradome "took flight", however it sounds like you made out OK & didn't have to purchase another one. Granted, it would have put a few more dollars in my pocket if you had, but it makes me feel much better knowing that you're happy with our product.

PSS 63air, How did your two covers from Inland fail?
We thank you for the additional publicity of our products.

After selling several thousand vent covers, we have "yet" to receive any phone calls about them cracking.

Interesting enough, we have received calls about some of the other parts we have, usually because they needed addition installation instructions, but "never" about our vent covers.

We know and understand that all DIY folks are interested in saving money, but sometimes their mechanical abilities could use some upgrading.

True, fiberglass can and does pass light, "brown light."

We all have seen solar gray screens to reduce the glare from a computer screen, but we are not aware that any fiberglass screens being available for the same purpose.

We also want to thank you for having a few imitations of our parts, which we take as the most sincerest form of flattery.

And finally, attacking the manner in which we chose to do business, again, we give thanks to you for the additional publicity and flattery. It has worked very successfully for us for many years, to the degreee that we are Airstreams # 1 parts dealer in the world.

Not too bad, we think.

Even other dealers purchase many parts from us, including the Airstream factory, who by the way, buys our vent covers.

I pioneered the refurbishing of Airstream products back in 1966, and have made available many parts that were no longer available since that time.

That was the reason that Wall Street Journal did a front page article on us, back in December 11th, 1996.

Other news media have also recognized our work and have broadcast or printed those facts.

Having been in People Magazine, Associated Press, RV Business, Trailer Life, CNBC News, Entertainment Tonight and Cinematic Reports in Japan, has many merits that came from dedicated hard work for many many years, doing the impossible or doing what some said "can't be done."

Of course, some people asked "why you, Andy."

That answer is obvious.

We understand, that since "we pioneered the way" for many things related to Airstream, it was only natural that others would jump on the band wagon.

Again, what a fantastic form of flattery. And of course, their products are better than ours, or at least that is their opinion, that they certainly are welcome to.

Attempting and satisfactorily completing the worlds first "Airstream Xtreme Makeover," created many positive results, but not without causing a few hard feelings because we did not reveal some of the facts, such as costs to those individuals.

We enjoy what we do, and have more programs underway for additional parts and/or devices.

How about a device, proven by many tests, with 18 patents, that applies your trailer brakes faster than you can, in the event of a sway or loss of control?? Stay tuned for that item.

Glass houses are nice, as long as the occupant doesn't throw rocks.

Andy
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Old 09-01-2007, 04:59 AM   #22
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Just speaking for myself here... you both need to chill out... your acting like a bunch of Bouncer owners not Airstream owners. I do not know either of you personally, but for some reason I have developed a great deal of respect for both of you. Both of you supply customers what they want... two differrent choices... people buy what they think is best for them... in time the best product prevails. It's just like Airstream, at one time there was 400 competitors... where are they now? toast...
In my house we settle things with a healthy game of Rockem Sockem Robots... why don't you two come one over to my house and we'll settle this. Common, your Airstream owners, not Prowler owners... you are supposed to a kinder, gentler bunch.
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Old 09-01-2007, 08:57 AM   #23
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Astrodome

Safari 64
I used the VTS product as it is of heavier contruction materials and then built a hatch frame device to convert it into a Wally hatch. This lets in light and much more air.
gary
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Old 09-01-2007, 12:34 PM   #24
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Thanks, for the help

Safari62,
Thanks for the photos. I like your hatch idea.

Attached is a photo of mine from inside, high noon, no shade or shadows, looks dingy. Apparently looks that way due to manufacturing process. I understand it, just donít like the look.

It may be sturdier, and does looks great from outside.
It may be engineered nice, not a suitable replacement for MY original part.
Iím just not into making my Airstream look good outside just for others to admire or concerned what the next owner may appreciate. Iím not selling. Shiniest trailer wins, good on them.
Me, a selfish user, guilty.

Itís simply not what I wanted as replacement for my original, which let passive light in to help light interior and worked fine but the outside edges were cracking so I replaced it as preventive measure.

May reinstall original.
May build new Lexan cover. May try Andy's and compare.

I need all the ďpassiveĒ daylight I can get. Dreary doesnít work in Alaska.

Simply not satisfied, waited too long to install it after purchase and didnít check it out in bright daylight before installing. Probably couldnít return it because I drilled it for installation.
My mistakes. My $180 flushed. Oh well, moving on. Lessons learned.

Thanks for all the help. Thanks for the info and debate on products. Informative and insightfull. Chill guys. New subject.

Still no email response from VTS. Perhaps gone, perhaps email down. Stuff happens. I didnít try to call, I work during the day too.

In business:
Good will and return business, like a good name, is built by many acts and lost by one.
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Old 09-01-2007, 01:28 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Safari64
Safari62,
Thanks for the photos. I like your hatch idea.

Attached is a photo of mine from inside, high noon, no shade or shadows, looks dingy. Apparently looks that way due to manufacturing process. I understand it, just donít like the look.

It may be sturdier, and does looks great from outside.
It may be engineered nice, not a suitable replacement for MY original part.
Iím just not into making my Airstream look good outside just for others to admire or concerned what the next owner may appreciate. Iím not selling. Shiniest trailer wins, good on them.
Me, a selfish user, guilty.

Itís simply not what I wanted as replacement for my original, which let passive light in to help light interior and worked fine but the outside edges were cracking so I replaced it as preventive measure.

May reinstall original.
May build new Lexan cover. May try Andy's and compare.

I need all the ďpassiveĒ daylight I can get. Dreary doesnít work in Alaska.

Simply not satisfied, waited too long to install it after purchase and didnít check it out in bright daylight before installing. Probably couldnít return it because I drilled it for installation.
My mistakes. My $180 flushed. Oh well, moving on. Lessons learned.

Thanks for all the help. Thanks for the info and debate on products. Informative and insightfull. Chill guys. New subject.

Still no email response from VTS. Perhaps gone, perhaps email down. Stuff happens. I didnít try to call, I work during the day too.

In business:
Good will and return business, like a good name, is built by many acts and lost by one.
Please check your PM.

Andy
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Old 09-01-2007, 02:14 PM   #26
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I must say I've been doing this vintage thing a long time - I've seen both and they both work well - its a matter of preference. Having said that I did buy the one from Vintage Trailer and I too was a bit disappointed because it does not let light in. I have a good friend (on this board) who bought the Inland product and I think its cool you can look up at the sky and it does let a lot of light in. I'm not saying I would not purchase the fiberglass one again, to me it just comes down to preference and in my case overall, I did like the Vintage Trailer supply one better.

As far as attachment - I tried to use screws and nylocks, but the head of the screw would not fit in the hinge, so I went with large rivets - so far its still on there.

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Old 09-01-2007, 03:41 PM   #27
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When I buy a replacement roof vent, my main concerns are for it to seal out the rain, for it not to "whistle" when the wind blows. If I want more light to enter, I will need to open it. Light is not my concern.
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Old 09-01-2007, 04:28 PM   #28
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Light WAS my concern

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverhobby
...Light is not my concern.
I'm not particularly impressed with Inland's trapped air bubble in their offering because it might give problems later. Check out the "Vista view" threads in the way water is trapped between two panes of material.

That said, I wanted light to enter my Airstream in that area. Steve was advertising what I needed but did not yet stock a new solardome when I needed it. Andy won because I needed a new solardome after hail damage. I was thrilled with the amount of light the new solardome let in compared to the old.

After looking at safari62's pictures, I am now more than happy with what I went with.

Attached are some pictures from a few minutes ago. One shows the amount of light coming in today, and the other shows today's dismal weather.

Tom
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