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Old 08-18-2015, 09:35 PM   #1
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Bloomberg: How America Learned to Love the Airstream Again

Airstreams are the "hot ticket" these days, for sure:

How America Learned to Love the Airstream Again - Bloomberg Business
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Old 08-18-2015, 10:27 PM   #2
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Bloomberg: How America Learned to Love the Airstream Again

"Discount furniture store", ha!


Stagnation is still a problem. Should have :

Aluminum cabinetry

Aluminum honeycomb flooring

Better insulation

Antilock disc brakes

Focusing on the interior is a sign of the times. That it was once a better trailer by design -- why folks bought it -- is betrayed by the weight of the modern versions. Decoration doesn't suffer by better materials and design improvements.

The wood cabinetry in my Silver Streak is better than anything ever installed in an A/S (and AVION was better yet), but it cannot be justified past the day STREAMLINE began using aluminum.

Never rots, never cracks or warps, stronger and not only lighter, but more storage for a cabinet of a given shape. And adds structural rigidity to the trailer walls.

So why is it that a 1969 STREAMLINE is more advanced than a 2016 Airstream regarding design, construction, interior and insulation? It was also wider, taller and overall lighter than A/S that year.

Today's buyers aren't just put off by the cost of the A/S, they're also put off by having to buy a TV thoroughly inappropriate to the rest of their lives.

Higher price, smaller interior, but just as heavy as an SOB in many cases.

Given the debt load of our youngest adults, this is what ought to keep Wheeler awake at night. Young and old, those without children can use a tiny house or TT to move where opportunity beckons.

An A/S should otherwise be a reasonable choice among others, new or used. It suffers due to that stagnation: The design, weight, and the less than good insulative properties compared to vintage kin. The 1930s brakes. None of this is rocket science to correct.

Changing aerodynamic quality would be a good step, but is obviously expensive in comparison. A 40% fuel burn penalty can be bettered. An SOB trends towards 50% from forty. An A/S "ought" to be closer to 30.

If A/S is Thors prestige brand, make it so.
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Old 08-18-2015, 10:50 PM   #3
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Thanks DHart for the interesting link.
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Old 08-18-2015, 10:51 PM   #4
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slowmover... yeah... as bad as Airstreams totally SUCK, for some bizarre reason... people keep wanting to buy them! How can that BE?

I agree, the aluminum skin on aluminum frame on aluminum skin design makes for very poor insulation. Ameliorated by the fact that most Airstreamers probably follow fair weather for Airstreaming. We wouldn't buy an Airstream if we planned to spend "RV time" in freezing or extreme heat conditions. Arctic Fox, perhaps, for that mission. Few RVs (if ANY) are a joy in extreme weather conditions. A house is best under those conditions.

The RV industry puts out pretty crappy stuff overall (as compared to great quality rolling stock, like today's better trucks and cars), but it is what it is.

At my age, I'm not going to stubbornly dig my heels in and wait another 10 to 20 years for a significantly better trailer to come along. I'm going for it NOW and will suffer with the crap JC is putting out. And this is, apparently, what a LOT of Airstream buyers are thinking.

We're not losing any sleep over buying ours. We're loving it!
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Old 08-19-2015, 04:27 AM   #5
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Bloomberg: How America Learned to Love the Airstream Again

DHart, you appear to misunderstand that other aircraft aluminum aerodynamic travel trailers were better insulated as well as on more solid frames. In the case of STREAMLINE, greater cubic volume without a corresponding penalty in weight, relatively.

AVION in the late 1960s was weight conscious as well as innovative in suspension design.

SILVER STREAK lagged behind everyone except in terms of available interior storage, fit & finish, and shell construction. I'd still rather spend a winter or hot summer in one than any Airstream.

Like the aluminum-bodied Ford trucks weight savings, a lighter A/S of the same size means greater cargo capacity; or less of a penalty for more electrical storage, propane and/or water. That's a bad thing?

Underline this: Eliminating to the greater extent both weight and interior rot problems is a win greater than the sum of its parts.

Ever seen what carpenter ants can do to a wooden interior?

Weight should be present only where it is functional and wood only where it is decorative.

Do the wooden drawers of your trailer extend to the full depth of the cabinet? I doubt it. Even allowing passage for plumbing, etc, strength becomes a problem versus weight. Lighter, stronger cabinetry could change that significantly.

And so forth.
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Old 08-19-2015, 10:52 AM   #6
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Great article!

When we bought our AS new in 2001, it was before the "boom" really took off. We were more likely to see vintage models on the road than newer models like ours. On our first week-long trip, when pulling into the campground at Pfiefer Big Sur State Park, the ranger at the booth asked us, "Are they still making these?" We assured him they were and that ours was brand new.

Since then, we've seen more and more on the roads. Last week, I took a 200 mile motorcycle ride daytrip to Lake Tahoe and back for lunch. I saw five new Airstreams on the road and another three in campgrounds during that short ride. Ten years ago I would have been surprised to have seen one. They're so common these days, it's getting rare for us to have visitors to check ours out when we're camping. That used to happen every time we took it out.
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Old 08-19-2015, 01:34 PM   #7
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So, slow mover.... your point is that there were/are better built trailers than Airstream. I think most of us know that.

So, what are you going to do about this that will make a difference to most people who would like to buy a new Airstream?

You can tell them to try to find an old trailer and, most likely, refurb/rebuild it. Is that your point? Many of us want nothing to do with buying an old trailer that is likely to need a lot of work to bring it up to par with a new one.

I totally understand that Airstreams are poorly insulated. And I think most of us know that. With our Airstream, we are "fair weather" RVers: not likely to stick-around locations when they become extremely cold or extremely hot. Not only because maintaining comfort inside the trailer is more difficult, but because being comfortable outside the trailer is more difficult as well.

For those who would like to RV in extremes of temperature, trailers like the Arctic Fox would be a better choice.

As for needing to choose a truck to tow our 30' Serenity and have good cargo capacity: we're totally fine with that. Others may not be.

You can grouse and grumble about what you don't like about Airstream, but I'm pretty sure you're wasting your time and your energy doing so. If you don't like what they're putting out... choose something different. If you think you can change what Airstream is doing, grousing and grumbling here is not likely to make much, if any, difference in Jackson Center.


Quote:
Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
DHart, you appear to misunderstand that other aircraft aluminum aerodynamic travel trailers were better insulated as well as on more solid frames. In the case of STREAMLINE, greater cubic volume without a corresponding penalty in weight, relatively.

AVION in the late 1960s was weight conscious as well as innovative in suspension design.

SILVER STREAK lagged behind everyone except in terms of available interior storage, fit & finish, and shell construction. I'd still rather spend a winter or hot summer in one than any Airstream.

Like the aluminum-bodied Ford trucks weight savings, a lighter A/S of the same size means greater cargo capacity; or less of a penalty for more electrical storage, propane and/or water. That's a bad thing?

Underline this: Eliminating to the greater extent both weight and interior rot problems is a win greater than the sum of its parts.

Ever seen what carpenter ants can do to a wooden interior?

Weight should be present only where it is functional and wood only where it is decorative.

Do the wooden drawers of your trailer extend to the full depth of the cabinet? I doubt it. Even allowing passage for plumbing, etc, strength becomes a problem versus weight. Lighter, stronger cabinetry could change that significantly.

And so forth.
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Old 08-19-2015, 01:54 PM   #8
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Pay a premium and expect a premium.

Why should I buy a 1956 Cadillac at 2016 prices?

Put the emotions aside. It was a business news article. Not a popularity poll.
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Old 08-19-2015, 01:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
Pay a premium and expect a premium.

Why should I buy a 1956 Cadillac at 2016 prices?

Put the emotions aside. It was a business news article. Not a popularity poll.
I don't know what your problem is, but you certainly have one. You're not even an Airstream owner, but sure like sticking your nose into Airstream matters.

I have no emotions in this and merely presented an article that the community may be interested in, that's it.

You obviously have an axe to grind and it's becoming a bit of an irritation. Hopefully you can get your problem resolved soon, because you are obviously not a happy camper. Good luck bub.
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