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Old 10-05-2015, 01:13 PM   #1
The Sign Lady
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 674
Absolutely stunned

There was an 80's airstream motorhome for sale at a RV lot near us and just out of curiosity Mike and I went out and checked it out (We've got 5 trailers now from the 60's and early 70's and we don't need another but we'd never seen the inside of an Airstream motorhome so what the hell let's go for a drive...) The Airstream was pretty darn cool. Clean, dry, solid, a bit dated but all in all not to shabby.

Well on the other side of the lot there was a newer airstream in for service so I had to go check it out. Holy crap what a difference 40 to 50 years makes. I didn't get to go inside but man from the outside the first thing I noticed from the distance is there are WAY less rivets and the ribs are much further apart. Peaking in the dark tinted windows I noticed the dark interior walls and stainless look overhead cabinets combined with the tinted windows it really make it appear closed in and it just seems so small and claustrophobic. Then the bathroom was microscopic just to top it off. I have no idea what year or model it was but the one positive thing I did notice was the frame rails are beefier but all in all I was really expecting more from my first experience up close with a newbie Airstream.

On a side note if you have an old vintage rig and need to feel better about it, go walk around a lot that sells used S.O.B (Some Other Brand) RV's. Holy cow what an eye opener. I cannot believe how poorly made they are now a days, with stairs that wobble and make you concerned its not gonna hold your 120 lb body and oh so awesome floors of 5 year old trailers that are softer and more flexy than my backyard trampoline I would still say airstream is the way to go...

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Old 10-05-2015, 02:04 PM   #2
Rivet Master
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1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,304
Images: 12
I have A 91 34fter. At the Tampa show 5 years ago a Jackson salesman asked if I would consider a trade. I said yes if he put a new 34 and $5,000.00 on the table we would talk. He was not old enough to know why I said that and walked away.

The lack of rivets has been replaced with double sided foam tape. All of the items that used to be unique to Airstream. auto fill water system, door bell, step, quality roof vent, impressive door hardware, cedar lined closet, and hard wood cabinets, have been replaced with generic SOB stuff.

To make my trailer today to the original standards would cost over $140,000.00

2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

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Old 10-05-2015, 02:15 PM   #3
Overland Adventurer
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1991 34' Excella
2009 34' Panamerica
Telluride , Colorado
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,689
X2^. Out of my cold dead hand!

Anything dated can be reupholstered or re hardwared!
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Old 10-05-2015, 02:19 PM   #4
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Currently Looking...
Naples, FL , Hood River, OR
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,790
Howie, I think that the features you listed were more items of past years. I had a 1998 Foretravel 36' diesel pusher that had all of the features you listed,

Solid cherry cabinets, water auto fill, great drawer slides and cabinet pulls, diesel-fired hydronic heat and hot water, huge tanks and quality build features through out.

I think that quality in general has given way to corporate profits, which has resulted in the reduction of labor invested in newer RVs and encourages a culture of using whatever materials will simply work, but not in the best way possible.

Lew Farber
RVIA/RVDA Nationally Certified Master Tech
Master Tech Energy Systems, Inc.
AM Solar Certified Installation Center
Lifeline Batteries**Magnum Inverters
Lew Farber...RVIA Certified Master Tech...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician
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Old 10-05-2015, 02:35 PM   #5
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1969 25' Tradewind
Shasta Lake , California
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 539
After rebuilding and updating our '69 Tradewind and looking at the new '25's I'll stay vintage thank you.
Glen & Jane 1969 Airstream 25' Trade Wind
2014 Toyota Tundra
1998 Chevy Tahoe
2001 Casita 13' Patriot Deluxe
2004 Chevy SSR+ 4 other trailers & 6 other Cars & Trucks
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Old 10-05-2015, 02:48 PM   #6
4 Rivet Member
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1967 17' Caravel
Cadillac , Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 497
Images: 3
I too had a similar experience when I steped into a new Bambi. It was very dark and closed in. With a BIG black microwave . Too much happening in a small space.
It made me appreciate my vintage trailer even more.
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Old 10-05-2015, 04:57 PM   #7

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 10,802
Images: 1

.....lets not get too carried away.

Our Safari was 40yrs old when we got the '03, and without a LOT of TLC I doubt the Classic will be in the same condition come 2033.

Not all whine & rozes though, it did take more & more sweat & swearing at each new Spring get-ready and eventually the bells & whistles lured us away....

Better to have been lashed to the tongue, blindfolded and not loosed 'til the impulse subsided.

AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 10-13-2015, 11:12 PM   #8
2 Rivet Member
1989 32' Excella
Sharon Springs , New York
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 75
We looked the new ASs at the RV show in Hershey, PA this past Summer as we were still looking for our first AS. Maybe we're weird but we didn't even get to the QC phase of inspection. We did not like the "retro" interior, felt like we were in a hospital room and with two dogs travelling with us, that light colored décor wouldn't last long. We just didn't get a "home-like" feeling, it seemed sterile for some reason. Had some Thor Industries TTs(not AS) in the past and have issues with that company's QC. While AS QC might be better or maybe not, we decided on a pre-Thor model and thought even if we put in to it what we paid for it ($15k) for upgrades/repairs I think we would be farther ahead at one-third the price(or less) than a new model of similar size. Plus, we will know the unit inside and out and it will have the character we want. That's what we like with ASs, they can be "changed" as your tastes change and still remain timeless...
James and Rebecca
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Old 10-14-2015, 04:11 AM   #9
Rivet Master
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2015 30' International
2009 27' FB International
2007 25' Safari
Greensboro , North Carolina
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,399
Images: 135
Soft interior...

One of the changes I am working on for my Serenity is to "soften" the interior, much the way older units at least seem to me. Also, I am creating the style I desire in other areas, audio-video being one area.

Some changes, are simply because i prefer something different than the "designer" had in mind, not necessarily better, but certainly different.

When i look at well preserved older models, I am impressed, but there is a certain feeling of security in some of the new technical improvements, axles being one. And, i love to improve things, so the current line up of AS is easy prey......LOL
Happy trails and Good Luck
Ms Tommie Fantine Lauer, Greensboro, NC
AIR #31871 WBCCI #4165 K4MTL
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Old 11-17-2015, 10:40 PM   #10
2 Rivet Member
2012 25' FB Flying Cloud
Parker , Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 88
I agree that the newer models seem to be a bit bland inside. I have the light wood (?) but my wife the eternal decorator is in the process of personalizing our recently acquired 2012 25FB. Lots of color! But the newer systems, and the fact that I can spend my time enjoying it instead of upgrading everything.......well not much debate in my opinion. I'd rather spend a bit more and save my time. But I'm still working so that probably enters into the decision.

2012 25FB with solar
2012 Toyota Tundra 5.7L V8
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