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Old 07-31-2011, 09:55 PM   #29
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Well, one "answer" comes from watching this little movie:

Airstream, Inc :: Why Buy?

I can't speak for other trailers, but I can tell you that with a properly set up hitch and appropriate weight distribution, mine tows like it's on rails behind me ... and I've had to make a few "exciting" maneuvers over the years that turned out just fine - and not nearly as exciting as they might have been.

Then too, as others have pointed out, there is that "uniqueness" factor. You'll see a lot of white boxes going down the road, but not too many of these shiny bullets. And you'll smile at every one you see.
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Old 07-31-2011, 10:25 PM   #30
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In some light research, it seems one can buy a brand new cheaper & larger trailer and replace it every 10 years with another brand new trailer. After 30 years you'll break even with an Airstream.

Why buy an Airstream? Because some people love the way it's built (like an airplane), Wally Byam, WBCC, icon/vintage, pride of ownership, and easy to tow.

As I've looked to purchase, there seems to be an Airstream cult following like there is for Harley Davidson, just a different generation.

I think for me, the WBCC might be worth it.
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Old 07-31-2011, 10:59 PM   #31
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Several weeks ago, there were three AS owners in a USFS campground and we were discussing what we would buy to replace our Airstreams. Evergreen was a unanimous choice. Quite frankly, the perceived value of an AS doesn't live up to the price tag in my opinion.

I reread your post and note that you have a 2 year old. I'd try out several different inexpensive units over the next 8 years and make sure that this is a lifestyle you want to persue.
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:39 AM   #32
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I'd have to agree with Denis4x4 on that last part. If you haven't yet gone through the early learning curves of camping as a form of vacation, maybe it would make sense to pick up something a lot less money for a year or two, to see if you are cut out for that kind of travel. Not everybody is.
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:05 AM   #33
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Marcin, you can google to find out somethings. There was and maybe is a website that had reviews, but I haven't looked for a few years and can't find it today. It seems a few of the higher quality manufacturers haven't survived the Great Recession.

There is a company that publishes ratings— Expert RV Ratings & Unbiased RV Reviews I don't know if they are accurate. You have to buy the book. Some review websites seem useless for useful info. For example, this one ( Airstream RV : Airstream Reviews, Prices and Specs ) looks like ads for Airstreams rather than valid reviews.

There are some newer brands that are designed with a lower coefficient of drag than the standard white box. Some are green, some have better floor plans, some have better insulation. Whether they will last will take years to discover. I believe one brand is Evergreen for a green trailer. Arctic Fox is built for cold climates, but good insulation helps in every climate.

This isn't as easy at buying the annual auto edition of Consumer Reports and getting reviews based on years of experience and viewpoints of thousands of customers.

A lot of us believe that if you pay a premium price you should get a premium product and that Airstream has not lived up to its part of the bargain. Nonetheless, few of us are selling them. We fix them, get the warranty repairs, improve them, make them our own. If you are into a design icon that tows easily, it can be a good choice. If I knew in 2007 what I know now, I would have looked for a fairly new used one, or I would have spent more time learning and then looking for that good used one. Now I would also look at some other brands that are advancing the technology, something much less of an option 4 years ago.

My wife wanted an Airstream. I wanted to get her what she wanted, but neither of us knew about possible alternatives then. To us functional and attractive design is very important and Airstream does have that type of design. We also like Art Deco and Airstream is somewhat in that tradition.

Gene
Gene and Wingeezer have brought up some very valid points.

As Chas. Brown said..."If I knew then what I know Know"
...I would have seriously looked harder at gently used AS's.

But there are other options out there...

Bob
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:15 AM   #34
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An Airstream is just plain Cool!
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Old 08-01-2011, 12:12 PM   #35
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An Airstream is just plain Cool!
There's a lot to that. A couple of years ago we stopped to change drivers and someone came over to us. He told us he was interested in buying an Airstream and wanted to know how we felt about ours.

We were coming back from JC to get numerous warranty repairs made. I was not happy with the number of things breaking and the hassles involved with it. All I could think of at that moment was: "they look cool".

Wayward's post sums up a lot of the coolness factor too.

To some that is all they need, and it is a lot.

I think a lot of us have mulled over our decisions to buy Airstreams many times. When something was breaking every day in the first year or so, I was beginning to hate the trailer. We discussed whether to sell it, but we would lose too much money doing that. The cool factor certainly was part of our decision to keep it. It is nice to have something special and distinctive. It is also a shame the manufacturer has not been a good steward of the brand because of it's cost cutting efforts and lack of imagination.

A lot is made of how long Airstreams last. Old ones have lasted, but we don't know how long the ones made during cost cutting times will last. We do know many white boxes are crap. To us, a trailer that lasts 50 years means nothing since it will have been sold long before 50 years (the only way I'll be traveling in an Airstream in 50 years is in an urn), but to younger people, it is a consideration (if the newer ones do last). There's something to be said for buying a cheaper trailer to check out this kind of lifestyle, maybe something like a Casita or a hybrid—part hard sided and part popup.

Gene
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Old 08-02-2011, 07:13 AM   #36
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....don't get me started on the quality of today's urns.
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Old 08-02-2011, 07:31 AM   #37
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For me, it's the style and the quality.

We recently bought a '95 Airstream. How many other brands would you even CONSIDER something that old?

It comes down to how they're built: Airstream builds the shell, checks for leaks, then installs the interior. Other campers build from the ground up - all of the interior is built on the frame, then the exterior walls are installed, then the ceiling, then they check it for leaks.

My issue with the latter is that now there are interior pieces that basically are stuck in the trailer for the life of the trailer; whereas EVERYTHING can come out of an Airstream, because it all went in through the door. Which one lends itself to better longevity? It seems many trailers are built to be in service for only 10 years or so, then trashed. Airstreams are not.
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Old 08-02-2011, 07:40 AM   #38
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And, really, what other RV company would do this?

(Dave Schumann "Schu" is Airstream's Customer Relations manager. He went and found the trailer on the line and took some pictures for the buyers since they couldn't get to Jackson Center to see it themselves.)
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:21 AM   #39
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cause nobody makes anything better that a normal family can afford?

well, I guess 'normal' is a flexible interpretation, but those big Mogs and stuff are megabucks. That's expedition material. Or for families like the founder of Microsoft who want to go tour some country they own.
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:13 AM   #40
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Hi to all,

My wife and I (we have a 2 year old daughter) have decided to purchase a travel trailer in order to discover more of the US and Canada. We plan on camping 4 weeks in a year, plus occasional long weekends. We have a 2010 Tundra V8-5.7L. I was researching different trailers online, obviously the AS look great. They are, however, way more expensive than anything else. I can buy a Keystone of the same size as an AS for 1/3 the price. I am not sure why (except to be a part of the culture) should one spend the extra money to purchase an AS? Could you please provide me with some objective reasons. Thank you for your help. M

You can buy a 26 footer with three plasma tv's for less than 15k. If it is about the $ you will never find a justification.
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:42 AM   #41
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Smile Welcome!

Marcin,
Hello and welcome to the forums. I see you live just a few miles from me. There are many reasons to chose an Airstream over the other brands. We actually rented a 25' Mallard from Ft Hood outdoor recreation to see if camping was for us. We had a great time on our first trip. We went to Big Bend NP. The whole way there on I-10 the only trailer that stood out to us was the Airstream. We took a second trip in a rented trailer (30' Cavalier) to the beach for spring break last year. The whole time wishing it was an Airstream. Then when I got back from Afghanistan, we started looking for a trailer for our family of five. We looked at all the cheap white boxes. No matter how big they were inside or how many TVs, or how cheap they were, I could not spend $25,000 on a trailer that, by the looks of it, would only last about 6-8 years.
In the end, we bought a 1972 29' Ambassador. I've done a bunch of work to her. She is an awesome trailer. We just love being Airstream owners. Airstreamers are special kinds of people that I've never seen the likes of before. Friendly is an understatement! You can't take a pictures like these with a white box trailer.

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But in the end, the decision is yours to live with. I am very happy to have bought an Airstream to see America with.
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:22 AM   #42
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When something was breaking every day in the first year or so, I was beginning to hate the trailer. We discussed whether to sell it, but we would lose too much money doing that.
This describes my current state to a "t". To use modern lingo....right now, "I am over it".

-Chris
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