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Old 02-28-2015, 11:03 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post
Jack, I remember when Thor/Winnebago was not doing so well... and then purchased Airstream in 1980. (?) Harley was in a jam in Kansas City, Kansas but they were given plenty of promotion and support and apparently doing well today.

I think that once everyone became adjusted to much higher gasoline prices, it was business as usual for RV/Trailer sales. Today... when we fill the gasoline tank... we are thinking of the destination and no longer counting, pennies or dollars as we did to get to that destination.

Does anyone know if Airstream (pre-1982) ever make any promotional clothing or doo dads? I read about an ash tray, but was it post Thor's purchase.
Unless I'm interpreting your Thor/Winnebago statement incorrectly, Thor as a corporate entity has never has been tied to Winnebago. When Wade F.B. Thompson and Peter B. Orthwein purchased Airstream in 1980, they had been involved in the recreational vehicle business for only three years. In 1977, the two entrepreneurs had combined their marketing and financial expertise to purchase HI-LO Trailer, a small player in the industry. Under their leadership, HI-LO prospered, and the two looked around for a bigger opportunity. Airstream was an obvious target.

Combining the first two letters of their last names, Thompson and Orthwein formed Thor Industries, Inc. in order to acquire Airstream.

Airstream was doing poorly when Thor purchased them in 1980. Thor didn't exist prior to their Airstream purchase. Hi-Lo was never marketed under the Thor corporate umbrella and was eventually sold.

The 70's gas crises spelled the death or almost death of many RV builders including Airstream. My point is that the RV industry can be influenced by many factors and will continue to be. A niche high cost trailer like an Airstream will always be susceptible to ebbs and flows in the market and no amount of advertising can protect you against these types of situations. It's a very discretionary purchase and can be susceptible to conditions that advertisements cannot overcome. In this type of business you deal carefully with expansion and demand always knowing that the business can turn on a dime.

I don't think tying Harley's way of advertisement will ever be adopted by the RV industry in total. It's a complete different market segment. I really believe it's a macho thing and while I ride a motorcycle myself, my contacts with a lot of folks who are or were Harley riders always said it was a lot of "show" and the accessories and clothing are all part of it.

I might be in the minority, but I really bought my Airstream for the longevity of the product. I owned a Hi-Lo for 14 years and to this day it was one of the best built travel trailers built. I bought a box SOB trailer to replace the Hi-Lo and after 2 years of ownership understood the difference in quality. I dumped that SOB for an Airstream knowing good and well that the SOB was going down the tubes fast. I like owning things that in my opinion will last and my Airstream purchase reflected that attitude.

I still contend that product placement in the media today is probably Airstream's best exposure since that placement over a long period of time can be effective when a potential RV buyer gets active in the market.

Jack
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Old 03-01-2015, 10:36 AM   #44
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Thanks Jack. Great story and accurate.

Airstream Brands on page 61 of Airstream Life, Spring 2015 issue. This company does make tee shirts, jackets, hats for sale. I am sure that Jack and I both agree that Airstream Corporate / Thor Industries will NEVER go towards the "artistic Harley promotion" route, as I find at Sturgis to be walking art on not TATOOed onto my flesh. Even though I am conservative in my clothing and lifestyle, the Sturgis Harley art I find worth any cost and exceeds anything that a corporation would use to promote their product.

Airstream Brands that offers clothing also appears to complement the conservative Airstream owner and mirrors, what I see as Airstream's conservative face to the public. It just is not something I would buy for myself, nor wear. The Vintage Trailer Supply art logo is much better as a projection of the Airstream Surreal Image.

Art to one individual can be considered trash to another. There is some art, like Picasso's art that does cross those lines. Use this vision to an Airstream and cross those lines of art versus vision... maybe I would actually purchase.

I would like to see Rich Luhr and his wonderful magazine Airstream Life cover the "artistic history" of Airstream Art for the Masses. There may be none.

There is the talent to make this transition, but the market is most likely too thin in the Airstream numbers. Just not enough to sell a thousand tee shirts or hats during two weeks or a year. This thread is just exposing that there is an opportunity to create popular art for an Iconic Trailer. It may never happen. When an artist's conception becomes wearable art... I will know it when I see it.

Thank you for tolerating this idea and although I love my Airstream for what its purpose represents to me... enjoying an artist's rendition might be a bit too much to ask.
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Old 03-01-2015, 04:40 PM   #45
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These flannel pj's feature Airstream trailers and pink flamingos! Recently purchased at Target...a Nick & Nora label. Pretty cool!
Love those jammie's! I found a pair in the same print but with a turquoise background at a thrift store; they reside in our 34'er now and I love them!

I'm going to check Target for some more. Nick and Nora, huh?

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Old 03-02-2015, 11:24 AM   #46
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Found my original 2006 Airstream baseball cap in my closet when unloading the clothes from our last trip... two weeks ago.

Not bad, after all. I will wear it until there are bare threads and then donate it, so a wannabee bee can wear it until they decide to make the big plunge, buy a new Airstream and possibly get a hat.

It a designer hat. Made in China. 100% cotton. Pre curved brim. Well stitched and ranks up there with my Aruba "Bite Me" pink Iguana hat, which I have worn out the brim and had to staple the material to stay attached.

So... I take back my previous statement about Nothing. I do like the hat.
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Old 03-04-2015, 11:25 AM   #47
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OK Ray, I'll take your challenge..

I have shirts/stuff, screen printing, and website ready to go. Just need some designs. Any artists/designers who want to create some provocative, wild designs for airstream wear, I'll partner with you, share the earnings, and give it a go. Any takers? Reply or PM me, seriously...


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Old 03-11-2015, 04:51 PM   #48
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If TCwheels can get in touch with those artists at Sturgis... it will not take long. Many must be listed on the internet, as each year they give awards for the Best of Show.

This is a correction to an early statement about the original Airstream Hat and Jacket I received when buying our Airstream.

The hat is well made and I will wear it.
The jacket, I found it after EIGHT or Nine years... it really is a decent jacket.

So, I will punish myself for speaking out as an ignorant poster on my own Thread by only having two home brewed beers at my neighbor's house this afternoon. If any of us cross paths this year on our travels... ask where my hat and jacket are... and I will pull them out of our trailer, if I am not wearing them. If I do not have either in the trailer, I provide the beer.

Eating Crow every once in awhile is good for everyone. Serves me right, as well.
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Old 03-12-2015, 08:24 PM   #49
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If TCwheels can get in touch with those artists at Sturgis... it will not take long. Many must be listed on the internet, as each year they give awards for the Best of Show.

Done...we'll see what response I get.


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Old 03-16-2015, 02:19 PM   #50
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Award winning Sturgis artists Lean Brothers want $1500-2000 per design...
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