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Old 06-07-2005, 08:32 AM   #1
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Thumbs up Your opinion is needed!!

There are some new interior designs in the pipeline for an upcoming model release, and the designer has asked me to help gather some opinions.

Here is his question:

I'm very curious about finding out how interested people may be in a classically designed travel trailer with modern amenities that offers old school workmanship and "organic" materials.

The floor is open, so chime in if you have an opinion.
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Old 06-07-2005, 08:55 AM   #2
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Does organic mean real wood other than oak? Now that would be a leap forward from the past. Grass flooring, very cool and strong stuff, may be tougher than bamboo and is American made.

Would have saved me alot of work if it was already available. But where are they going to get the craftsmen? From what I'm seeing and hearing they are already shipping trailers without finishing them and still have only one battery.

I don't see them changing direction given the modern CCD's success. It would be cool to bring back the feel the classics have. A scale that doesn't try to make you feel "at home". If I want to feel at home I can stay home and sit on my own patio.
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Old 06-07-2005, 09:40 AM   #3
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It would be better if they would use some of that 'old school workmanship' in their current production models, I speak from experience.
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Old 06-07-2005, 09:53 AM   #4
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Brett

Hope this does not turn into a "itch" session.

I am one who very much likes the 50's trailers because of the simple design and nice wood interior. Simple because they are very lite weight and therefore very easy to tow. These trailers are easily towed with 1/2 ton rather than 3/4 that most of the new trailers require.

I even like the simpler windows - much easier to replace

This is exactly what I'm doing with my 58 - basically rebuilding everything as it was, but all new appliances. I think when I'm done it will be even weigh less than original.

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Old 06-07-2005, 09:59 AM   #5
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You know, I'm kind of torn. In one thought I really think it would be neat to have a few new older style coaches built. Cost would be a BIG issue since any type of specialty work would no doubt cost a bit more and I personally wouldn't be willing to spend more on an older, yet refreshed design at a higher cost than what's already out there. As for organics, though I agree in some cases that can be a perk, it can also be a delta.

Yet on the other side of the fence, if it ever happened, it would have to be very careful not to tick off the vintage folks. A new vintage could either price what's out there into deep space, or it could do the opposite and lower the values of the vintage units folks have poured time and money into.
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Old 06-07-2005, 10:00 AM   #6
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Congrats NewKid64, I had no idea you were consulting with Airstream. How do you ever find the time? Must admit it seems strange to me that they would choose this approach to seriously research the market's needs.

Lots (probably most) of the folks here either already have one, prefer the Vintage route, or have read enough about AS's quality problems that they are quite gunshy at ever buying a new one.

Ironically this forum is a wonderful "advertisement" for Airstream and their worst "nightmare" too. Nowhere else will you find as much good (mostly regards the Vintage experience, but some New Trailer good reports) and also find as much "bad" i.e. honest criticism of Airstream quality problems.
From what I read (here mostly) someone ought to tell them just to build a quality dealer service network, and look into improving their grossly over rated and over priced and all too often sloppily built products.

I'm a Vintager and they (AS) have been about as helpful to me as the proverbial "tits on a boar hog".
I have never been able to get a successful answer from the factory on various questions I've presented.
I get the best answers from the various forums and from just plain members who have learned the hard way. Or from Inland Andy who BTW does not sell the new Airstream Trailers, although I assume he is a Certified Service facility of theirs.
Anyway I want them to succeed just cause I'm nostalgic and do admire thier longevity. I suppose their demise might increase the value of the Vintage units a little, but mine's not for sale anyway.
My further advice is for them to remain monocoqcal ONLY and that includes their MOHOs. Use only vendors that will guarantee parts availability for 25 years, make all systems replacebly accessable, include no planned obscelesence, and no plastic shell parts (end caps, trim etc.).Concentrate on building the "perfect" (and leakless) shell and running gear. Then designers can do up the interiors a thousand ways, everything from Margaritaville to the Cistine chappel to Old West brothel look. Wood to leather to diamond plate, whatever lights your fire.
Nuff said
for now anyhow.

Flicka
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Old 06-07-2005, 10:00 AM   #7
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I think we could all use a better idea of the direction this design is taking. In what way does this design contemplate differing from the current "Classic"? And what is meant by "organic"? The current Classic uses a lot of solid oak (or hickory), certainly an organic material.

Mark
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Old 06-07-2005, 10:03 AM   #8
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Why would anyone even want any factory decor? While the history of floral fabric and "furniture style" woodwork in RVs has been less than illustrious, the advantage of older, low priced coaches to owners is that they give the oppourtunity to decorate the way you want, not take something cooked up to appeal to a target market.

With an attitude like that, you can guess that I will not be buying a new coach in this life and factory decor of any stripe is only a part of that equation.
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Old 06-07-2005, 10:24 AM   #9
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I tend to agree with some of the others here. I would much rather get a product which is very well made and well supported by the manufacturer. Dealers are ok but I want to be sure if there is any problem with the dealer I know the company I just spent some serious money will back their product. Quality is very key here ... most people can add decorative touches but it costs a lot to fix major defects. I guess if I did have to suggest something related to RV decoration is to stay away from the "Mirrored" ceiling look which many other brands utilize to make the units look larger. Mirrors / hardwood / leather do not always make for the greatest style in my opinion. The new Safari Special Edition is one of the best looking RV interiors I have seen. Maybe a really cool hi-tech coach with all the goodies built in... How about a multi media setup where you can have TV / PC / Video Games / Music etc. Offer other high end options like better seating / beds / appliances that may not be found in other coaches. Boy am I dreaming now... I really should bet back to work...
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Old 06-07-2005, 10:44 AM   #10
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Talking since suggestions were requested

I don't know if the new(er) coaches have this or not, but why not have removable/replaceable cushion covers that are more-or-less machine washable? If it could be done, at a reasonable cost, we could then wash our covers when they become soiled, and eliminate a source of odors. Also, that would give us the ability to easily update the interiors of our coaches, just by calling Airstream's parts dept. and saying, "I want to buy a new cover set for my coach, in the (fill in the blank) pattern." And, in a few days, it arrives in the mail.
Instant update.
I would think that could be used as a selling tool, at least to the "housekeeper" halves of Airstreaming couples, and definitely to the singles.
Fast forward to the year 2017, when Joe Airstreamer buys a ten year old 2007 Classic, with that horrible outdated nasty pattern, and is able to call up the parts dept. and get covers in the new lime green paisley pattern that is so popular today...
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Old 06-07-2005, 11:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thenewkid64
There are some new interior designs in the pipeline for an upcoming model release, and the designer has asked me to help gather some opinions.

Here is his question:

I'm very curious about finding out how interested people may be in a classically designed travel trailer with modern amenities that offers old school workmanship and "organic" materials.

The floor is open, so chime in if you have an opinion.
I have only a vague idea of what you mean.

I have a model called the "Classic", and if that's what you mean by "classically designed", then that suits me just fine.

Quality, quality, quality. Is that old school workmanship? Of course, everyone of us wants that. We just had cherry wainscoting put in a second room in our home by a young guy who is maybe 25 years old. He works for his father primarily making custom kitchens. Every cut was made to perfection, the finish is flawless and the final product is a piece of art. Oh my, if this young guy would lend his talents to making Airstreams. Call it old school if you wish. I'd call it desirable.

How far is it practical to go with organic materials? I love the look of wood, it's touch and its smell. However, I also like Corian counter tops, and would find them on a par or maybe even preferrable to (say) marble - an organic material. If you'd wish to trash the plastic shower head that Airstream labels in their ads as "brass" that would get my vote, but I don't know an organic product to replace something like a brass shower head that I would find preferrable. Better to define where organic products would be used, and where they might provide a better quality alternative, imo.
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Old 06-07-2005, 11:16 AM   #12
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I think the answer is yes, I think it would appeal to a younger demographic. Three years ago, Airstream donated a trailer to the University of Austin's design of an environmental home for the US DOE's Solar Decathlon and it had enormous lines of folks waiting to tour it.

What would really be great would be a full scale redesign of the airstream to make it lighter, more efficient and greener, not just window dressing with hemp curtains and compressed wheat fiber countertops.

BTW--What's the matter with bamboo? I always heard that this was pretty good flooring material, though somewhat limited in colors...
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Old 06-07-2005, 11:20 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireflyinva
BTW--What's the matter with bamboo? I always heard that this was pretty good flooring material, though somewhat limited in colors...
I wonder, if it would be possible, to saturate the ground around the bamboo with dye, if it would pick up the color of the dye, and add colors to the bamboo? It would need to be biodegradable dye, of course, to be in keeping with the "green" people.
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Old 06-07-2005, 11:30 AM   #14
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In with the new!

I say don't worry about what the "vintagers" have to say (just see what they said to Vintage Thunder at homecoming.... what a bunch of grumpies!)!

I personally would like to see a burning of "oak"... yuk! The current "classic" interiors don't appeal to me (under 40 crowd). A "modern" classic would probably use birch or maple, linolium (I can't spell) or a "green" hardwood. Don't use the brass "country style" pulls... good 'ol aluminum pulls with nice lines... maybe a Swedish style Airstream? Course, my styles are more Dwell magazine then A.D. magazine.

I'd also like to see a cost conscious redesign of the AS, style with a budget.

As long as I'm dreaming, I'd like AS to sell interior rehab kits for those with Vintage As's and Argosies.

Before I get strung up, I'd like to say that each individual person has their own tastes. I think AS is smart to design both the CCD line, and the "classic" line. Thinking outside the box with various interior designers will keep them ahead of the SOB's.
Marc
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