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Old 02-16-2003, 04:51 PM   #15
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Thor Industries basically ignores Airstream.
I only bought a new one for the nostalgia, and the hope that if I and others who buy new ones long enough to keep it going, that parties with a passion for the product will buy it from Thor, the way the baker's dozen bought Harley back from AMF.

Frankly, I'm often ashamed to admit I paid this much for an RV with guys like Pahaska having as much trouble with them as he did. There are better trailers at half the price.

Dealers have the same attitude. They carry Airstreams for fools with more dollars than sense, and make their money off other brands.

The smart Airstream buyers go for the older models.

Does this sound familiar, John HD? The pre-Evo days?

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Old 02-16-2003, 05:12 PM   #16
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What's the lenght of your A/S? 32' ?

It looks too long for Yellowstone. Mine's 28', but I'd feel more comfortable with a 26' or shorter. These campgrounds were built back in the 50's and they're really tight. Also the interior roads suck too. Pot holes all over the place. Major road work is always going on.

Just a thought, but have you thought about looking into a used 24' to 26' A/S? Then you'd have the best of both worlds.

Feel fee to contact me and I'd be happy to help you out.


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Old 02-16-2003, 06:02 PM   #17
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"Does this sound familiar, John HD? The pre-Evo days?"

yes it does!

i remember when dealers were begging people to buy bikes.

they would buy them only to find out that they needed to be rebuilt before they could be ridden.

suddenly after the amf buyout they were "cool" and harleys developed an almost cult following.

as the population aged and the post cold war economy went into gear people found themselves with lots of disposable income. everyone wanted one.

inventories dwindled and the waiting lists and lotterys started.
pretty soon you were not even considered a customer if you did not walk into a dealer with cash! even though there was no product or brochures to be had!

that is where i see the airstream market to be at right now, given jabba's experiance. and john irwin's quality control issues.

get 'em while you can...i imagine they are gonna get scarce quick!

meanwhile, there will be plenty of white boxes for sale. just look at what our forum members have reported!

i just hope some one at thor has the vision and fore thought to make the airstream brand more of a national icon than it already is!

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Old 02-16-2003, 07:27 PM   #18
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I was unable to attend the Tampa RV Show, but I wish I had gotten a look at the Skydeck.

As a company that attends a few shows a year I can attest to the cost. Benifit is sometimes hard to quantify, The show money can be spent on a ton of other advertising.

I have no direct expereince with the build quality of today's units but we do have a member in our unit that traded in a 3 month old white box on a Safari LS. They had "attempted" to take this white box out 4 times. The problems they had pale in comarison to the issues that Pahaska has had (water inlet fitting being an exception) Their first trip the Black water tank developed a leak, Second trip one of the windows fell out and on the third trip they had multiple leaks. After each trip they took it in uner warranty and had it fixed, but they want to travel not go from dealer to dealer having major defects fixed. They had one minor issue with their Safari and it was cosmetic. The flooring was not completly caulked in in the bathroom.

If I had the money I would buy a new one, but I don't so I have to resore an old one. I wonder how the Skydeck willl look in 27 years??
Brett G
WBCCI #5501 AIR # 49
1978 Argosy 28 foot Motorhome

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. -- Plato

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Old 02-16-2003, 08:02 PM   #19
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Airstream builds about 20 trailers each week. Yes - they don't want to build more than can be sold. But they are not selling many - that's my point. They have the best brand, the best history, and the best (potential) quality image - but they still can't sell many. 20 trailers/week is only ~1,000/year. RVIA shows 256,000 RV's shipped in 2001. Airstream has a .4% market share!
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Old 02-16-2003, 08:52 PM   #20
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in one of my tours at jackson center the tour guide told me that they only build units that dealers had ordered. they dont build spec units. just up couple weeks past and took the tour. i only saw two/three motor homes being built. and a bunch of tt . not a full production line. most dealers make more money off the boxes than a AS . during my trip i only saw two AS tt on the road and they were new being pulled by a delivery service. dont see many A S on the road.
lol al
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Old 02-17-2003, 10:02 AM   #21
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Its been many years since there has been an A/S at the Detroit camper show in Novi. Weekleys RV in Owosso has been a dealer for a number of years but sells very few and hates to give out sales info. When I ordered my new trailer in 96 they were $10,000 over any other dealer. There is a new A/S dealer in Pontiac which started selling A/S last fall. When I requested a sales broucher from the A/S web site, A/S forwarded my address to the new dealer who called on the phone. I have not stopped out there yet to see his place and check his inventory.
I purchased my 96 from Woodland RV in Grand Rapids who have been an A/S dealer for many years. When I purchased my first A/S in 1980 a 65 22' Safari I needed some parts and was directed there by A/S. I buy all my A/S special parts from them and many others. They take my order over the phone and I usually recieve the parts with in two days. Even when they do not have the part in stock they will have it drop shipped from A/S or the manufacturer of the part. They have shipped parts to me in campgrounds and when staying at Holiday Park in Traverse City they hand delivered a needed part to me at the campground as the owner camps at the park all summer long.
There phone is 1-800-968-8688.
For sales info talk to Craig Carlson (son of the owner)
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Old 02-17-2003, 10:26 AM   #22
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"Flyfisher" - I bought my trailer from Bates RV, and I know what you mean about the gold-chain guy. It was the schlokiest place of business I have ever seen...

- Their entry has a deck with mannequins dressed up as cowboys sitting playing cards, what does this have to do with RV's?
- Their office is a bunch of portable rental space units
- Their workshop bays are temporary looking shacks in the back
- "Oh, the low priced advertised trailer just sold in the last hour", with the "just sold" trailer nowhere to be found on their lot. Bait and switch?
- They used to hang an Airstream from a crane as their sign
- A long-term employee who does the deliveries said "You can't get one of them Airstreams for less than 40 grand", as he showed me my new $30K unit.
- The owner flys a Robinson R22 helicopter, and parks it right in the RV lot, as to say "Make big daddy rich!"
- Their web site mentions the Bates RV empire. Empire! You really have to see this dump to believe it.

They did have a good inventory of Airstreams though, and the purchase came together okay. Not a place to bring your wife and kids though - "trailer trash"!
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Old 02-17-2003, 10:37 AM   #23
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I just meet a couple here this morning who bought their used 1998 19' Bambi from Bates and hated the whole experience.

The only reason why the bought it from Bates was because the Bambi was only used a few times.

Paul knew about Airstreams prior to going Bates, so he was able to cut through the B.S.

It truly amazing !!!!

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Old 02-17-2003, 12:24 PM   #24
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Airstream is Thor's cash cow

I just bought a new Bambi from the local dealer in Houston. A 2003 discounted slightly to make room for the 5 newer one that were comming in. The experience was very pleasant. One of the pieces of information that was distributed with the new trailer was a brochure from Thor that gave the company history, Thor was formed when the two principal founders of the company bought Airstream. Thor is an acronym made up of the first two intitials of the founder's last names. They claim that they returned AS to profitability the 1st year under their operation. From there they have grown and bought out at least 4 other RV manufacturers. I believe that AS is Thor's cash cow and that they will never sell it. I also believe that they are in the RV market at the right time because just like HD this is a market driven by demographics. The demographics are right for a revival of the RV industry in general, and yes, I believe that there will be a large market for any AS. I hope they can keep the quality up. I know my voice isn't very authoritative since I have only owned mine for under a month but I have used 3 of the last four weekends, in good weather and bad and I have been impressed by the overall quality of my AS.
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Old 02-17-2003, 01:39 PM   #25
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MN RV Show

FYI-The MN show had only 2 Safaris, 2 Intls and 1or 2 Bambi' Classics. The company rep there said that the dealer doesn't want to stock Classics, but may have to if they are to remain as an A/S dealer.
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Old 02-17-2003, 05:57 PM   #26
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After going to a couple of RV shows in Ft. Worth & Dallas and not seeing the one area Airstream dealer there, we have quit going to RV shows. After buying our Airstream, there is nothing that the SOB's/white box dealers can show us that (a) we don't already have; or (b) ours is so far above in quality we have to fight the urge to act like we are "on the other side of the tracks". . .a behavior that isn't our nature (we both have lived "on the other side of the tracks"). We'd rather spend the admission price at IHOP!!!

Two Hams in a Can, and Madison the Cocker Spaniel in our 1998 30 ft. Excella, Hensley Arrow Hitch, 2001 Red Silverado 2500HD Extended Cab, 8.1L Vortec, Allison Transmission
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