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Old 07-11-2015, 08:46 PM   #29
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I chose mine because I wanted "the best." I've had some small problems and even a window leak but the dealer is fantastic. It's hard to justify spending literally twice what you do for a SOB but if you've got a big honkin truck and want the extra space slides afford, going that way may make a lot of sense. We're long terming in ours right now and having that extra space SURE would be nice. I plan to baby this girl and own her forever... I'm not sure forever is really forever but I KNOW it's not in a SOB. So if I had to buy another SOB after the first one kicked it, I'd have spent just as much and never got what I reeeeeeeally wanted. You only live once so have no regrets!
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Old 07-11-2015, 11:35 PM   #30
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Zybane -
Quote
The range hood was laughable quality. It had the name "Bambino" or something on it. There was a little plastic 2-switch control on the front. I moved the switch to turn on the vent light and the switch fell into the innards of the hood. Like the cheapest Chinese switch control I've ever seen. Looked like it cost about three cents to make. I don't know what AS was thinking when they decided to put that piece of junk into one of their units!
Unquote

I think you mean the Baraldi range vent hood. I recently put one in my trailer, and love it. Compared to the Ventline that was standard in my trailer, the Baraldi is head and shoulders better. Much more powerful fan, bigger filter area, two halogen lights, stainless steel v. painted housing, rounded corners. Yes, the switches are plastic, but it seems most are these days. Baraldi actually seems to be a fairly high-end appliance carried by specialty kitchen shops. Maybe the one in the trailer you looked at was a bad one.

Al
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Old 07-11-2015, 11:46 PM   #31
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Al, the switch literally broke after moving it once... I've never seen a switch so poorly made as on the vent hood. Maybe they installed a counterfeit one.
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Old 07-12-2015, 01:41 AM   #32
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Sorry if we offend anyone, but personally, we find the monster 5th wheels and big trailers with slide-outs to be kind of gross. Their owners don't seem to want to go camping any more: they want a portable summer cottage. Some of the interiors are cheap-looking, with flimsy doors and windows. Camping in the midst of these behemoths is more congested than a big city apartment block. Sometimes all you can see from your campsite is the solid wall of your neighbour's jolly jumbo.

Then there is such a thing as good taste, good design, and good quality.
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Old 07-12-2015, 01:48 AM   #33
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Zybane, re: Baraldi:
Really strange. Mine has been in for 6 months and no problems. Now that said, i don't think mine is exactly the same as the one AS uses, i got it from a surplus rv parts place. I think it came from the Monaco Coach folks, but i have seen several in AS trailers and they look just like mine. According to AS the dimensions are slightly different but they are both the "Swing" model from Baraldi.

Im not saying there aren't problems with AS trailers but I'd rather have them than some of the problems I resd about on the owner boards for the other trailers i was looking at. I was looking in the $30k range for new ultralight boxes in the 25-29 foot range, so you can figure out which ones. Most of them had owners reporting delaminated skins and other such problems. I paid less for my AS than i would have for one of them, but as others have said it was at least partially an emotional decision.

I bought a used 2001 Safari last year from the second owner who had only had it 9 months. He said the original owner stored it inside when he wasn't using it, and judging from the condition of the skin, i believe him. I think everything on it except the microwave is original and it all works great. The only significant problem i have had is leaks around the fantastic vent fans due to dried up caulk and skin flex. I fixed that myself by removing them, reinforcing the area, and remounting with caulk instead of the vendor-recommended foam gasket which ultimately compresses and leaks.

Bottom line, for what i paid i think i got the best possible trailer.

Al
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Old 07-12-2015, 02:23 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by gmw photos View Post
Those who think a "boring white box" trailer cannot be useable for 20 plus years, are simply not living in the real world. There are many thousands, probably tens of thousands of white box trailer still being used that age. So that argument simply does not hold up.

As to whether my trailer will last twenty years, or be worth giving to my kids is a non issue to me
.

After much deliberation and shopping, I chose a white box trailer lol:

There's very good reason campgrounds have an age rule. Nothing older than 1999 where I am at present. Appearance being good does not change that. Rot is internal. My older trailer is welcome as management has decades of experience with trailers, thus owners, as problems. An age cutoff forestalls this for the generics.

Across the road from me is a 2007 generic. The cap and walls are already failed. It is not the only example among the 90 or so units here. RVs fail remarkably fast.

It may be that in the desert are the examples of which you speak. Best they stay there. A moisture meter will belie the statement of generic impermeability for the rest of the country.

My son has no interest in mine, but I certainly have an interest in not being forced into another trailer. Barring a tree falling on the unit, I won't have to unless I so elect. Not a choice one has with generic trailers.

Not emphasized in the above threads is how badly the generic trailers tow. They are terrible. They might be good for about 60-70k miles. One of ours, 200k or better, easily.

There is no excuse for the suspensions and aero qualities of the generic trailers as production line changes could fast remedy much of this problem at low cost. Instead, they are out the door as fast as possible. Nothing is allowed to get in the way of profit, even safety.

Those who might claim there isn't much difference between types in towing or extra fuel costs either haven't the experience or are remarkably obtuse.

One won't find anyone seeing 14-16 mpg towing a 35' generic. Over the longest time this adds up. Same for increased wear on all components of the TV. It's not just fuel savings. One can match a quite fuel efficient TV to one of these and see a 30-40% fuel burn penalty, but for a generic it will be 40% and out past 50% in the worse examples.

As to all the details of the interior (too much emphasis), whether a sailboat or a land yacht, there will be questionable choices by company owners. I agree with Genes statements. Things could be better. But the design -- the shell, the frame and suspension -- are to the point. The rest really is just detail, IMO.

My experience thus far is that at least the interior can be repaired, and that upgrades where an owner wants them can be made. Whether this is optional near the time of production, or a quarter century out means, for the most part, that a ten year old A/S is not "old" given maintenance of no particular difficulty.

One isn't trapped, as he is with a generic, in buying new when the trailer is an A/S. The lesser strain on a TV also means that unit lasts longer. My folks had their TT just past a quarter century. Two TVs that were also daily drivers. Hard to get cheaper than this, an important consideration to me: value received for dollars spent.

The generic trailers are simply more expensive over the longer period.
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Old 07-12-2015, 08:56 AM   #35
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Old 07-12-2015, 09:17 AM   #36
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As someone who is saving up to get my AS, I often get asked why I would want to delay buying vs getting something now in a SOB.

(We bought our TV about a year ago).

I want something that I can use to camp. Not interested in a second home on wheels (And if that is what you want, then my post probably doesn't apply to your situation.)

A decent pop up is $5-10K. Now I don't know about you, but that's real money to me.

And I don't really want a pop up (it's what I camped in as a kid). I don't want the task of setup and teardown in the rain or at nightfall or dawn. I want to camp in national parks in the west where it will rain every day. And I want a bit more interior standing room.

So once you eliminate the pop ups, then you are looking at towables under 25 feet. (due to campgrounds having more/better spots for smaller units).

We looked at SOB Microlites and these are a good size for our needs. But are very very dark inside Have hardly any windows for cross-ventilation (would need to run AC), and have lots of particleboard that off-gasses which bothers my allergies. These units are somewhat claustrophobic and we didn't much care for the aesthetic (which of course could be altered). But at 20-25K, that is very much real money.

We have decided that a bambi AS (at twice the cost) will give us bright open feeling inside, tow easier, be something we can anticipate using until we are too old to drive and camp, and would be towable with a smaller TV in the future if that happened.

Driving across Kansas is always very windy, and it's usually a cross-wind. That makes the AS a better choice for our location as well.

And I really like the interior as is, would only need to do standard maintenance (which any unit will require).

And in 25 years we will probably have something that will be worth selling or passing down. For sure the SOB would be in the recycle yard.

So from our long-term viewpoint the AS is about the same total cost of ownership as getting 2 SOBs over our camping lifespan. We get a unit that is easier to manage, and that is what we want in the first place.

If I could not manage to afford an AS, in all honesty I would probably get the popup instead of an SOB trailer.
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Old 07-12-2015, 09:23 AM   #37
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I purchased a Featherlite fifth wheel aluminum car hauler with living quarters in 1999. The quality of that trailer was excellent. Sold it to a motorcycle dealer who used it for 10 years as a motocross team transport that competed nationally. It's still on the road and the term, "rode hard and put away wet" is accurate. It's still be used and is still in very good shape. While it may not be the first choice of posters here, it is proof that there are other brands of trailers that are still on the road and haven't been relegated to the scrap yard.
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:03 AM   #38
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There's very good reason campgrounds have an age rule. Nothing older than 1999 where I am at present. Appearance being good does not change that. Rot is internal. My older trailer is welcome as management has decades of experience with trailers, thus owners, as problems. An age cutoff forestalls this for the generics.
Oh ya I forgot about those campgrounds that have the ten year rule. Are Airstreams generally given the pass to enter if they are older than 10 years? If you aren't allowed to enter, since most Airstreams look similar could you just tell them it's within 10 years? LOL. Is there a date on the trailer?
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:23 AM   #39
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Oh ya I forgot about those campgrounds that have the ten year rule. Are Airstreams generally given the pass to enter if they are older than 10 years? If you aren't allowed to enter, since most Airstreams look similar could you just tell them it's within 10 years? LOL. Is there a date on the trailer?
I've only encountered this twice and in both instances the restriction was waived for my 25 year old Excella. I was prepared to tell them it was a 2005 Commemorative Edition.

Not often a factor as I don't like to hang out in snotty places.

Cheers,
John
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:38 AM   #40
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One of the reasons we bought an Airstream was to do with our first truck camper, a Fleetwood Caribou. We have renamed that camper to the Cariboo-boo. Shoddy materials, shoddy workmanship. It developed serious problems within a few years of purchase. The plastic nose cap deteriorated, split and leaked horribly.

Another reason we bought an Airstream because of the sense of community, as evidenced by the participation here in the Air Forums.

An Airstream isn't perfect, it will require maintenance, but if cared for they will last for several generations.
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:39 AM   #41
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WE just bought our 2nd Airstream this past May. Our first Airstream was a 2000 Excella. It was a dream of mine(life long camper) to own an Airstream. I had seen them on the road and in campgrounds a few times. They always left me in AWE. Like it's been said before, I followed my dream but did some research also. I found that they hold their value. I sold my 2000 for a couple thousand less than I bought it 6 years earlier. No other trailer holds it's value like an Airstream. All trailers and their innards break over time. You can fix an Airstream. Bottom line is, I'm living the DREAM. Everyone should be so lucky.
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Old 07-12-2015, 11:35 AM   #42
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As others have noted, we like the bright, airy, spacious feel and loved the CCD interior. We switched away from a motor home to a trailer to ensure we'd never have to manage more than one drive train. See our About page for more on why we went with an Airstream: http://www.casarocinante.com/About

BTW, we're under no illusions - after owning Rocinante for 1.5 years, we're on a first name basis with our dealer's service department. We're still ironing out the last few warranty issues, but the volume is much lower at this point. Thus far none of the issues have precluded camping - they were just annoyances, easily resolved.

Last remaining big ticket item is the tank sensors, which have never worked right, and which many here tell us may never do so. Still, while it's under warranty we'll keep being a flea, annoying them about it constantly and costing them money until either they resolve it or the warranty runs out.
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