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Old 02-15-2004, 11:15 AM   #1
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Minneapolis RV Show Thoughts

I spent a couple hours at the Minneapolis RV Show yesterday. The entire convention floor of over 300,000 sf was filled with a sea of white box ribbed aluminum swoop painted SOBs trailers and motorhomes except for four buried in the middle of the floor Airstream trailers. They had a Bambi, 22' CCD, 25 ft. CCD and 25' Safari there.

The Airstreams and the T@B teardrop trailer drew very favorable comments when in ear shot. The SOBs seem to garner comments about the individual components inside but not overall comments. I was kind of tittlelated by the color coordinated picture of the yellow Chevy SSR pulling the yellow trimmed T@B teardrop. I've yet to see an SSR with a hitch or what they are capable of towing. They would look good with an Airstream as well.

The Bambi is too small and seems a step up from tent camping or teardrop trailer camping--maybe good for a weekend and/or if you are by yourself. My reflections come from tent camping my whole life. It isn't all bad. The idea is to enjoy the outdoors and if that is your goal a Bambi would be great.

The 22' CCD is interesting with that back desk for us computer phobe types but I did not care for the bed arrangement just inside the entrance.

The 25 footers gave an interesting option of contrast. The CCD is sexy but again the bed hangs out there in view. The permanent dinette of the CCDs definitely feels friendly and ready for impromtu gatherings over a cup of coffee.

The 25' Safari seemed zoned better with a back bedroom that can close off. For two people with night owl reading habits it could be a godsend. This one had the twin beds that I liked. The other option of the queen bed that you can step around seems better than the tuck up against the wall CCDs. I would like that too because I doubt I would ever travel with anyone but my wife.

Oh well, it made me appreciate my vintage all the more. There are some things about our plan I have reservations about but overall I still like it. I'm encouraged I can spend a ton of money on my trailer and come up with something customized and still be a third of the cost new. But then again, I have to find the time to do it and right now it has about a 15 inch cap of white stuff on top of it.

The CCDs got me to thinking about stripping my vinyl and exposing the aluminum interior skin. Found a couple of threads on this in Airstream Forums here.
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Old 02-15-2004, 11:47 AM   #2
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"The Bambi is too small and seems a step up from tent camping"

I met a retired couple last summer on an extended trip through the west towing their late model Bambi. They were really enjoying it. I can say with some certainty, though, that I would not.

My experience at RV shows is not dissimilar. I have yet to see anything that has the potential to provide more pleasure than my own coach. This is especially true if I bother to look at details: closet space, pantry space, ergonomics of sofa and TV location, construction quality, and on and on.

No sour grapes here. Rather more an observation of to each his own.

Mark
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Old 02-15-2004, 12:23 PM   #3
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Minneapolis RV show pictures

Here are a couple of pictures from the RV show
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Old 02-15-2004, 12:23 PM   #4
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A mixed bag

The Austin RV show is this coming weekend. Last year, there were no Airstreams. Our local dealer had an open house on his lot and ducked the show because of the obscene cost of floor space. I don't know whether they will be there this year, as well. Lat year, I visited the local dealer after leaving the show; they had a special on accessories and free BBQ.

I go to the show largely to get ideas for small modifications on my own trailer. Most SOBs are poorly laid out and just as poorly built, but here and there I can pick up a nice idea for something useful that I can build in my woodworking shop or a useful bit of hardware that I haven't seen before. Even in popups, I sometimes find some good ideas.

I have no interest in the big motorhomes that usually occupy at least half of the floor space or the big 5th-wheels. I do like to see unusual trailers such as Awards, TrailManors, Hi-Los, and the like.
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Old 02-15-2004, 12:24 PM   #5
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Another, looking forward

Nice!
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Old 02-15-2004, 12:27 PM   #6
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Here's T@B

Me and another guy lifted the thing up with the convenient handles.
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Old 02-15-2004, 01:05 PM   #7
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Talking And the other guy?

The Hulk?
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Old 02-15-2004, 01:22 PM   #8
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I went to the Houston RV show and they didnt have any Airstreams at all. It was $7 to park and $8 a ticket to get in, We stayed about an hour and left
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Old 02-15-2004, 01:44 PM   #9
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Argh! that tuck in the corner bed

Don, That photo reminds me again the one thing I didn't like about the CCDs--that tuck in the corner bed. The 28 ft. CCD plan I do like. They didn't have one of those there.

Kathy, Our Minneapolis show cost $9 per ticket but I got my parking free because I have a 24/7 monthly parking priviledge in downtown Minneapolis. But I did have to walk a mile to get to the Convention Center (skyway system all the way or I would have paid to be closer).
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Old 02-15-2004, 01:54 PM   #10
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Mark -

I saw those T@B's at the Tampa RV show several weeks ago. As I recall, they had that same yellow model hitched up to a VW Beetle also in matching yellow.

I stood there in front of the T@B's for several minutes, dreaming of what it would have been like to have had one back in the days when my wife and I owned a couple Beetles.

However, my daydreaming ended when I looked at the sticker price on that T@B and realized it cost 10X what we paid for our Beetles in the late 60's, early 70's. (about $2000 for those cars then; $20,000 for those T@B's now!)

John:
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Old 02-15-2004, 02:52 PM   #11
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T@B Price

John,

At the Minneapollis RV show I think those trailers were around $10-11,000. There is not much too them. No bathroom and a very small kitchenette setup. The highest point inside is 5'-9" (and my head touched) and at the front kitchenette you would have to be a very short person to be comfortable. To me it is not much more than a sleeping area and an area of refuge when it rains at a camp site.

The Travel Channel "RV Crazy!" show had a segment on teardrop owners. They are kind of cultish like us Airstream people.

They should only be pulled by Chevy SSRs, VW Beetles or Chrysler PT Cruisers.
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Old 02-15-2004, 03:24 PM   #12
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tob

They primarily appeal to hobbits.
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Old 02-15-2004, 03:43 PM   #13
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T@B

They also had a white model with red trim. It was a little cheaper. ($9995, I think).
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Old 02-15-2004, 03:46 PM   #14
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Re: A mixed bag

Quote:
Originally posted by Pahaska
I go to the show largely to get ideas for small modifications on my own trailer. Most SOBs are poorly laid out and just as poorly built, but here and there I can pick up a nice idea for something useful that I can build in my woodworking shop or a useful bit of hardware that I haven't seen before. Even in popups, I sometimes find some good ideas.
Quote:
I have no interest in the big motorhomes that usually occupy at least half of the floor space or the big 5th-wheels. I do like to see unusual trailers such as Awards, TrailManors, Hi-Los, and the like.
I know what you mean. We went to the San Antonio show and it's pretty much the same story everywhere - big fifth wheels and even bigger motorhomes. They had a Bambi, Classic and Safari on hand, the new "B", and that's about it. The rest was an ocean of seemingly identical units with different names and the same, tired old layouts. Every now and then you run across some small innovation, but usually it's just the same ol' same ol'.

Since we're already set on an Airstream, it's hard for us to get too excited anymore about these shows. We probably won't even bother with the Austin show - can't justify admission and parking fees to look at something we've no interest in buying - especially if the local dealer intends to bow out again. Plus, parking in Austin is about 10 times the pain it is in S.A.
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