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Old 08-23-2010, 11:07 AM   #15
Birdie Momma
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1957 26' Overlander
1956 22' Flying Cloud
Vintage Kin Owner
Rutherford Co. , North Carolina
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Posts: 904
i am one of the biggest eco friendly, green, recycle / reuse advocates you'll find - but there is a lot to consider when you're deciding if a product is truly 'green'.

one of the biggest decisions you can make when trying to be 'green' is the overall lifespan of the product. making a few small 'green' changes, like low VOC paint, bamboo flooring, etc means very little when you have to toss the whole shebang in 15 years.

my airstream will be 50 next year. as it has been rebuilt ground up, with around 120 sq ft, it will (hopefully) last another 50. nearly all components are recyclable, biodegradable, or at very least, reusable - with exception of fiberglass insulation / endcaps (which i kept / am reusing).

buy the smallest rv that will adequately fit your needs and buy an RV that will last a lifetime. thats the biggest 'green' decision you can make.

edit: if you have the budget for a new RV, why not consider REUSING an older airstream designed to your specs by one of the awesome restoration / reno outfits on the forums? then you can specify low VOC paint, soy or cotton insulation, lino or bamboo flooring, responsibly managed woods, etc. and really go truly eco-friendly at the same price range?

'57 Overlander | '56 Flying Cloud | '51 Spartanette
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:19 AM   #16
Vintage Kin
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2006
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The majority of trailer aerodynamic drag is the sides. The key component to trailer aero is rounded edges. Crosswinds WILL pile up against the sharp-edged sides of the Earthbound (yes, it will be "earthbound" as the "airstream" continues on in a heavy crosswind . . an unfortunate name choice: tired, dusty and plodding versus soaring, shimmering and slightly magical).

On this trailer the front slope is overdone, the rear looks adequate, and the sides are as bad as any SOB WPB out there. If the trailer were "reversed" the aero would actually be better.

It's good to see torsion axles are standard, but, on 14" tires/wheels?

No disc brake option?

The interior pictures look nice however. I believe "the test" is to sit awhile to see whether one feels connected to the outdoors (window placement, size, etc. Probably a good idea to compare living sq/ft with window sq/ft as a ratio).

Airstreams have been too heavy for too many years. It's time to bring that problem into focus or someone else will do it for them. My 1983 34' Silver Streak weighed a bit less than the current 28' A/S. I can't see where the latter offers more than the former in appeal, durability, etc, as to weight.

I don't see anything particularly green from the aspect of aluminum trailers. I'd still much rather rehab an older trailer (even if the money were the same) where "green" is longest service life. "Green", I suppose, means this ain't a Katrina FEMA trailer.


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Old 08-25-2010, 11:07 AM   #17
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Tehachapi , California
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Posts: 13
Hello Fellow Trailerites!
I was hoping my first post wouldn’t be a rambling “complaint”, but after reading the above posts, some with mis-information, I feel I have to defend my decision to buy an Earthbound Dillon (26’) over an Airstream Flying Cloud 25FB (25’ 11”). My wife and I checked out lots of trailers and we eliminated all but the Airstream and Earthbound. The Airstream is cool looking and has a certain cachet, but that wasn’t reason enough to buy one. I’ve been lurking on the Forums for about a year and have learned a lot. Except for construction methods, which are unique to Airstream, the posts about hitches and tow vehicles and appliances and etc. pertain to SOBs, too.

I first heard about Earthbound from Silvertwinkie’s “Corrosion” posts. After reading every post for every year listed, I was concerned. Not only about the ugly corrosion, but also about Airstream’s give-a-darn attitude. If I’m paying that much for a trailer, it better be the “best”. The best construction, using the best materials, with a manufacturer who listens to their customers and fixes things pronto, is not against using better materials than what were used in the past, and who stands behind their product for longer than 12 months. Earthbound has a 3-year hitch to bumper warranty.

Wally Byam died too soon. I truly believe he would have embraced using composites and fiberglass and other synthetic materials, if they were proven to work better. To all the folks who talk about Airstream’s “airplane-like” monocoque construction—when was the last time an aluminum airplane was built using wood as a major structural component? 1930? Mr. Byam would have been the first to use a composite floor; I’m sure of it. What was his saying, “Let's not make any changes — let's make only improvements!” He seemed to be always on the lookout for new materials, new gadgets, etc. I believe he would have moved away from plywood in a heartbeat. As for the corrosion, he would have found a solution, somehow, someway. Thor seems to be stuck in the past (non-waterproof plywood floor) and they sure seem like they don’t care to hear about corrosion and leaks.

The Earthbound uses no wood, so there is nothing to swell or warp or rot. There are fewer seams to leak. There are no rivets to pop. Speaking of rivets, the Airstreams we looked at appeared to have had a plastic film on the inside panels before they were riveted (probably to protect them from scratches during assembly). After they were riveted, the plastic film was peeled away leaving cheesy little pieces of “Saran Wrap” sticking out from around each rivet head. There’s got to be a better way to do this! Both have similar appliances, so no advantage there. Both have rubber torsion axles. Both use 15” wheels/tires. The Earthbound uses a manifold system for its plumbing. There is a continuous pipe from the manifold to each sink, the inside/outside showers, and the potty. If one pipe or fixture develops a leak, that one pipe can be turned off at the manifold, not affecting the other fixtures. There are fewer joints in the plumbing to help eliminate leaks.

Earthbound’s interior cabinetry is unique. It’s made with composite “boards”, faced with aluminum, and covered in a tough “woodgrain” polymer sheet. Since Earthbound uses an outside manufacturer for the cabinetry, all cutting is done off the premises. Earthbound assembles the cabinets onsite. There should be no “sawdust” of any kind lurking in hidden places because the only cutting done is the plumbing holes in the floor. Yes, it may be more difficult to remove the insides of the trailer if it ever needs to be refurbished, but I’ll take my chances. After all, with no wood to worry about, if a roof vent is accidentally left open and rain floods in, or a frozen pipe bursts, I’ll just wipe it up, replace the converter and whatever other electronic device is low to the floor, and move on. Try that with wooden cabinetry and floors!

Airstream appears to be more aerodynamic, but Earthbound is no slouch, either. We’ll see how it tows when we pick up our Dillon this weekend.

Airstream may be easier to fix if it gets dented because each panel can be replaced, but Earthbound uses a painted exterior, so a little metal work, a little bondo, a little paint, and we’re good to go! And since the roof is a gel coated composite that is tough enough to walk on, we don’t have to worry about hail damage—not that we get large hail in California.

I think Airstream should have integrated the propane tanks and batteries into the front of their trailers years ago. I think the Earthbound looks way cleaner.

Check out the Earthbound website and especially download their “Construction Booklet”, under the “A New Kind of RV” tab. Their assembly methods sure look more modern and clean than Airstream’s. Check out the plumbing and gas lines. Check out the windows. The big windows in the Airstream may look nicer, but I’ll bet the Earthbound’s work better. And lots of windows are a handicap in cold weather.

Is Earthbound perfect? Nope. Is Airstream perfect? Nope. But Earthbound works better for us.

Thanks for reading my missive. All replies are warmly welcomed!

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Old 08-25-2010, 12:15 PM   #18
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2007 23' Safari SE
Central , Connecticut
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Kirk, thanks for posting that. I've looked at the Dillon's specs and was impressed - IIRC it weighs quite a bit less than a 25' Airstream. Given that Wally played around with fiberglass trailers, I agree that he might have been prone towards trying new materials and construction methods as they became available. I've been told by a dealer of both AS and Earthbound that the trailers don't tow quite as well as Airstreams, but they handled better than most.

Ironically, the cabinetry in our Argosy Minuet is a similar construction - aluminium sheet covered with vinyl. I'm astonished by how well that has held up over 33 years, and it seems more cleanable than alternatives.

I'd be interested in hearing how the trailer treats you down the road. All the best.

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Old 08-25-2010, 12:27 PM   #19
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1971 27' Overlander
Waiting to Escape.... , Somewhere between sanity and insanity ... on the brink of both.
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Personal choice and budget. We looked around for almost a year then decided to buy a vintage A/S off craigslist. We even thought about checking out the earth bound but the nearest dealer was a 4 hour drive round trip.

One thing someone pointed out to me - they are a start up and may not be there in five years.

The one thing Airstreams having going for them are the forums here ... there is a priceless amount of knowledge and someone ALWAYS willing to help you with a question....


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"Get busy livin', or get busy dyin'." - The Shawshank Redemption
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:33 PM   #20
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1968 28' Ambassador
Cedaredge , Colorado
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My two cents,

We have a 1968 and love it. the two year remodel is almost done. But to tell the truth I wouldn't buy a new one. It's just not worth the money. It has been posted all ready but the fixtures electric and plumbing are no better than a SOB. I put house grade stuff if my remodel. So what are you paying $20,000 more for. My friends 2005 will not last as well as my 42 year old trailer, it just isn't built as well.

$20,000 more forThe name and the style? To me it's just not worth it. But then I am not retired and have new twin girls so in about two years I will have to opt for another trailer with 4 bunks for our 4 kids. The AS will just be two small. It's only 7 ft wide so there just isn't the room.

I wont' be getting rid of the AS though. I will remodel once again so it will be comfortable for just the wife and myself.

But this is just my thoughts and if you really like something and $ isn't a big deal the new AS are really nice.

May you have at least one sunny day, and a soft chair to sit in..

2008 5.7 L V8 Sequoia
AIR # 31243
WBCCI # 6987
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Old 08-25-2010, 02:34 PM   #21
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Virginia Beach , Virginia
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Oliver Trailers

My sister and I were both impressed with this startup company's trailer. It's another iteration of the Scamp/Casita/..... type trailer. Better design in that the inner and outer hull are assembled together using boat building technology. With foam insulation being a binding/sealing layer between the two hulls.

Then the recession hit.

No longer in production. Feel sorry for the few (50 or so) who bought them.

I have a newer Airstream and have had some filoform and leak issues - but nothing like the issue that a fellow camper had when she pulled her 2 year old SOB out of winter storage - six months of FLOODING inside from a "leak" over a foot long. In a word "totalled" and in a second word - insurance denied claim, said it was neglect not to have it under covered storage or wrapped. Cowabunga!

Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 08-25-2010, 06:47 PM   #22
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2007 23' Safari SE
Central , Connecticut
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Paula, if I remember right, Oliver trailers retailed for over $30,000 with normal options. They did look like they were impressively made, and the (few) owners raved about them in forums, but near-Bambi-level money for a Casita-ish trailer would seem to be doom in a recession.

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Old 08-25-2010, 07:24 PM   #23
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1992 29' Excella
2010 22' Interstate
Van By The River , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,642
Earthbound Has Loads of Appeal!

As much as I like Airstreams I am the first to agree they have plenty of problems. The wood floor thing keeps me awake at night. I cannot believe Airstream still uses wood. And monocoque (sp?)? I think not. Airstream has plenty of warts but I still love them.

That being said, I sometimes wonder what it would be like to have a trailer that is relatively aerodynamic (from the front), low profile (low step height, low overall height) like Airstream, made with composites rather than crappy wood. So if I'm ever looking for another trailer you can bet I'm going to look at Earthbound. I found their web site very informative (yeah I know much of it is hype).

I hope they remain in business so I can buy a used one on the secondary market in a few years.

Lucius and Danielle
1992 29' Excella Classic
1996 GMC Suburban C2500 7.4L
2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
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Old 08-25-2010, 07:36 PM   #24
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2006 19' International CCD
Olathe , Kansas
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To each is own. Obviously most people on here love their Airstreams. I looked at Earthbound but the 19' Bambi worked for us. I love it! But I will admit Earthbound is a close 2nd.
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:14 PM   #25
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1974 31' Sovereign
Ottawa , ON
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All I can say is that I would love to see one, and sit in it for a while.

The advantages appear to be:
  • lower VOC, as per their claim
  • lighter weight (equals smaller tow vehicle equals better gas mileage)
  • no wood floors! (yay!)
  • pretty zoomy looking styles, from the photos that I have been able to see

The negatives appear to be:
  • No history, could disappear overnight
  • No history, so no real reliability data, or service network experience

The other comments I see here don't bother me. If the ebaY pricing is indicative, they are also a lot cheaper than an AS, but who knows?

I wonder if we could get into the WBCCI with one?
“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
...John Wayne...........................
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Old 08-31-2010, 09:27 PM   #26
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Tehachapi , California
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 13
Greetings again!
We picked up our Earthbound Dillon on Friday from Sky River RV in Paso Robles, CA. They are also a big Airstream dealer. Our Dillon is fantastic! Everything seems to be screwed together exceptionally well and looks better in person than the pictures we've seen. Everything worked. The heater was a little stinky until the manufacturing oils burned off but it heated the trailer quickly (it was in the mid 40s in the morning). The Dometic fridge door has a push-to-unlatch button that took some time to get used to. Later we found we can lock out the button and just let the magnetic gasket on the door hold it closed while in camp. The water heater is 10 gallons (LP/Electric) and got up to temperature in about 20-30 minutes on LP alone. We opted for the 3 burner Amana range/oven and it seemed to work well.

The bathroom is huge and the shower stall is 32" square with glass sliding doors that part in the middle.

Earthbound gives you three 20-pound LP tanks instead of two 20- or 30-pounders. I think this is overkill as LP is available almost everywhere and 40 pounds will last at least a couple of weeks with moderate heater usage. I removed the third tank when we got home to allow better access to the 2nd battery I want to install.

I towed it to San Simeon State Park near Cambria with just a ball hitch and no load levelers nor sway control (I towed it with a 1999 Dodge Ram 2500 4x4 PU, so I really didn't need the load levelers). While at camp, I installed a Hensley Arrow Cub. I don't want to ever have to worry about wind and trucks, and where we live, we get lots of wind. It towed even better than I expected. Absolutely no sway.

If anybody has any questions about our Earthbound, I'll be glad to answer to the best of my ability.

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Old 08-31-2010, 10:36 PM   #27
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Lapeer , Michigan
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Congratulations! I had never seen these before I read this thread. It looks cool. Do you have pictures inside and out yet?

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Old 09-02-2010, 08:52 AM   #28
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Tehachapi , California
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Earthbound Photos

I'll have to download some photos tonight and try to post them. This should be interesting!

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