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Old 06-23-2003, 08:36 AM   #43
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2003 25' Safari
Eden Prairie , Minnesota
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Consider the towing... notice that SOB trailers sit high - the floor is often way above the axle. A high center of gravity = tippy. The boxy shape and extra height of SOB means more wind resistance in towing, and side winds have a stronger effect.

The flat roof on many SOB's collect water in the rain, making the inevitable roof leaks even worse.

The wood framing on many SOB's is stapled together. The interior walls are a thin particle board with wallpaper applied, stapled to the wood frame. The insulation is styrofoam, and the outside is fiberglass glued to thin particleboard, either glued or stapled to the frame. Everytime you hit a bump in the road the whole thing loosens up a little more, until it falls apart.

SOB's are disposable - like single-use cameras.

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Old 06-23-2003, 10:02 AM   #44
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what's in a name?

consider this,

everyone, even people who have never had a camper know what an airstream is.

when you say i have ______(fill in the blank) with a scamp, terry, jayco, hi/lo, coleman, sportscoach, trailmanor, etc. etc. etc.

no one in general knows exactly what you are talking about unless they own one of the above. all they think, is big white box.

now, if any of you have owned the above and enjoyed them please don't flame me!! i'm just trying to point out that airstream is an icon. that's all!


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Old 06-23-2003, 11:15 AM   #45
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I think the bottom line is....

Reputation ! Everyone knows the reputation AS has for longevity, quality, duability and towing ease. You don't gather a following like this even after 70 years unless you build a quality product. Even with the one short-lived blemish in the early 70's with rear end sag an AS still retains a loyal following among owners, want-to-be owners past owners and just pure love'ems.

Now there are sure to be some issues with propietary items like door latches and the such but those are small inconveniences for the benefit of owning such a solid product.

The key to it all is how well they stand the test of time. You might not have yours for thirty years but the fact is a TT that can last that long will have less major problems than one that has planned obsolecence built in.
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Old 06-23-2003, 11:39 AM   #46
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Soon after I bought my trailer, a brand new lightweight SOB box with a slide parked beside me at the storage lot (uncovered, regrettably). It is used very little, less than half of what I use mine. Although it is much larger than my Airstream, his empty weight is about the same as mine. His gross weight is much higher than mine.

First thing I noticed on his data plate and on the net site for the brand was that his tires and axle capacity were overloaded at gross weight. I experienced that in the past and it is the first thing I look at on a strange trailer.

Over the past 10 months or so, I have watched the signs of deterioration appear on the SOB. The slide doesn't seal well to the traier side and already appears to be sagging at one end. All of the silicone caulking has collected dirt. The fiberglass is already discoloring.

OTOH, my Airstream looks like it did when I bought it.
John W. Irwin
2005 Classic 28 "Sabre-Dog III"
2013 Silverado 2500HD Duramax/Allison LTZ
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Old 06-23-2003, 04:51 PM   #47
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A/S vs SOB

I too have been there, done that with SOB's as well. I had always wanted an Airstream since my youth. I had a little Prowler for years, it was small, dark, had to take a number to walk from one end to the other if someone else was in it with you. It was definately showing its age, could not keep the roof sealed to save my life.

After looking at new SOB's and finding some that were really nice I soon realized that it was the ole' cigar tubes I really wanted. I to that date had never been inside of an Airstream. They are not real plentiful in this part of the country. But if you want a SOB 5th wheel or a motorhome they are in every third driveway!

I began gathering information on Airstreams and began searching. I searched for over a year, met some wonderful people, I always seemed to be a day late on the perfect Airstream. The very first trailer I was interested in was in Tacoma Washington, not an afternoon drive from central Oregon! It was sold to the very first person who looked at it who flew in from Southern California, darn airplanes.

The folks that sold that Tacoma trailer, who wee going to buy a larger A/S, deal fell through. We began sharing information on available A/S's that we would find. They were looking for large, and I was looking in the mid 20' range.

Last spring I found a 25' A/S on a lot in Seattle via a web search. The Tacoma couple said they would go look at it with me and they had a surprize for me when I came to stay the night at their home. Well, the 25' sold before my departure, I went to see the couple anyway. The surprize was that they were going to deliver their old 27' trailer in the late spring to California and the new owner had concented to letting me stay in it while I was in Tacoma. Airstreamers are different people - VERY DIFFERENT.

A couple of months later the same Tacoma couple called and said they found a Trade Wind which wound up buying. Surprizingly they had located the same trailer for the prior owners 13 years ago. It was older, and two feet shorter than I was looking for, and had sat for 10 years. I stepped inside and I knew it was my new trailer.

Why and A/S instead of an SOB? My new trailer is about 1800 pounds heavier than my old SOB. The A/S is 9 years older that my old Prowler. The A/S pulls down the road much easier and it will still be here in another 30 years. I doubt that the ole Prowler will be here another 10.

You either love em or hate em. I love em.

Les Brush
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Old 06-23-2003, 06:59 PM   #48
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Airstream versus SOB...

Another fact that tends to favor Airstream products is how many competitive makes have numerous trailers that have been passed down as family heirlooms? I am familiar with at least four cases where this circumstance has played out. Not only that, how many competitors have numerous coaches that have been in the hands of the original purchasers for decades? I know of two 1964 coaches that are still in the hands of the original purchasers as well as two 1973 coaches and three 1974 coaches. Granted, there are obviously examples among some of the other manufacturers (especially the upscale coaches competing for the Airstream market segment).

I know that my first new coach, a 1980 Nomad 19' light series was self-destructing when I sold it in 1984. The last that I heard, the second owners were about ready to junk it in 1990.

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
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1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 06-23-2003, 07:05 PM   #49
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Tell me about it!


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