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Old 11-27-2015, 09:12 AM   #155
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Come on Mr Wheeler, "quit dangeling the carrot" tell us what you are up to. Don't keep us guessing.
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Old 11-27-2015, 09:30 AM   #156
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an AMF Haeley....those were bad days....
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Old 11-27-2015, 09:37 AM   #157
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an AMF Haeley....those were bad days....
Isn't HD doing this again with the new ones from India, I think? Could be wrong on this.
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Old 11-27-2015, 09:47 AM   #158
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New less expensive Airstream

We can speculate a lot about what the trailer will look like, but I predict that whatever it does look like that component construction will be employed.

It costs Airstream time/money to finish out a completed shell.

I predict sides and roof lines that are much straighter, with perhaps just enough curve and softened corners for "brand distinction".

Sides will roll down lines where interior panels and smaller fixtures are installed. I think these sides will then be set on a completed base/frame that is mostly complete including the floor covering, and then a rounded or rounded edge roof is bonded to the sides.

If the construction is mostly composite, (with integral "structural components") which I speculate it will be, the major panels and components will be imported.

The floor will be plywood.


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Old 11-27-2015, 09:49 AM   #159
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an AMF Haeley....those were bad days....
That is an Italian made Aermachi. The only thing Harley on it is the sticker on the gas tank..... My dad used to ride around on a 1969 Sprint. It ran fine until a car pulled out in front of him in 1973. With that said not all AMF Harleys are bad. I have a 1977 Sportster that I have had nearly 25 years. I can ride it anywhere, anytime with no problems.
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Old 11-27-2015, 09:53 AM   #160
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Isn't HD doing this again with the new ones from India, I think? Could be wrong on this.
You are correct. They are importing small CC bikes again. A 500 and 750 called "Streets"....I have yet to see one actually on the street, yet.
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Old 11-27-2015, 10:24 AM   #161
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Ah - the AMF Harley - that brings back memories (nightmares).

I remember the jokes about the early 70's Harley's even those still made in the USA
"Buy two! You'll need one for spare parts".
"Nothing on a Harley you can't fix with a crescent wrench, a straight screwdriver, a ball peen hammer and a can of Locktite. Use all of them - every time you get on it."
Thanks for the memory.

Here's your Airstream Nightmare

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/40602834114244951/
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Old 11-27-2015, 11:26 AM   #162
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Because of the complexity of the Airstream body construction and the nature of working with Aluminum, Airstream has a dealer network basically to support the shell. All the appliances, axles, brakes, shock absorbers, jack and frame, lights etc are third party parts that could be and are serviced by any flavor RV service guy.

If the aluminum is removed from the new proposed "economy" box, it will be basically no different than the existing choices of smaller units but with an Airstream decal.

If the effort to create this (other than buying some other company) new tinker toy were expended on training the current workforce on how to do the job correctly every time and provide the incentives to do that, then the exorbitant current Airstream prices might be justifiable.

As a point, there have been two new owners that have recently posted on this forum there was an inch gap in the fitment of the main door. Now how did those two units ever leaver the factory? And even more telling, there had to be NO PDI ( the dealers are paid to do this) actually done by someone actually looking at the trailer.

Airstream's management team has to be laughing on the way to the bank to deposit bonus checks for sales because no one can possibly be getting bonus funds in the quality control department.
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Old 11-27-2015, 11:44 AM   #163
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Having warranty work on our 2006 Safari in 2008, there were some "European only Airstreams" parked in the back lot. They had what appeared to be 13 inch or smaller wheels and narrow enough to navigate the narrow roads through European towns. What happened to those?

Anyone who has been to Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania... will see mostly smaller trailers. It is only a secret here that some countries do not have the heavy and large trailer's available. Most would not fit on their roads, nor in a "garage". Their tow vehicles are miniatures of USA tow vehicles as well.

I have to agree with switz. You have an assortment of interior and exterior options to fit a plan. They can be laid out on the factory floor within an outline of a smaller more efficient miniStream. Some things you cannot miniaturize. To reduce weight and size... something has to be removed. How small can a toilet become? A bed? Plastic faucets. Plastic sinks. Plastic windows. Lighter axles. Smaller wheels/tires. Lighter frame.

As you leave the dealer's lot, these plastic parts begin to vibrate loose and fall off to reduce the weight even more. Sounds more like the 1960's and 1970's USA made vehicles that created the Japanese to offer an option to the 12 month / 12,000 mile "warranty".
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Old 11-27-2015, 12:18 PM   #164
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Wow. Is it just instinctual to veer towards negativity with this? It's like there's this paranoia that a new trailer would immediately scuttle the value of all of the aluminum and rivets parked in our driveways.

Not every brand extension has to be the Cadillac Cimarron or an AMF-era Harley. Think about the modern Mini Cooper, and what it's done for BMW. The Interstate has done really well for Airstream, and doesn't sully the brand.

It is possible for Airstream to design something that would look cool and modern, yet still be distinctively upscale and "Airstream." The Basecamp was a fabulous design (done partly with help by Nissan's design studio) but just fell short in the value proposition.

It's easy to say that a non-aluminium Airstream would be just like all of the inexpensive smaller trailers out there. But the marketplace has a hole in it; there are very few modern-styled small trailers out there, especially with a nationwide dealer network. Olivers are expensive, T@B has its niche, and Safari Condo isn't sold here. Otherwise, there's just a bunch of $15,000 17-foot trailers with the same kitschy curtains and oak-look interiors.

OK. I do admit that it's odd to think of Airstream/Thor spending heavily in R&D to develop something entirely new, when the most radical thing they've done in 10 years is to install ductless air conditioning and use the Wilsonart catalog to pick out more modern cabinet laminates. Still, one can hope...
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Old 11-27-2015, 01:02 PM   #165
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Maybe they're working on a way to replace workers. We always hear a lot about jobs going over sea's but the reality is more jobs have actually been replaced by robots.

I read about a company recently that replaced 80 welders with two 200K robots. The robots we're cheaper than the expense of 80 humans and can work twice as fast while doing the same amount of work it used to take 80 people.

If Airstream could replace humans with machines, they could cut costs. And probably improve quality since humans are sloppy and inconsistent. A robot will place a rivet the same way every time a million times. A human will never do that.
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Old 11-27-2015, 01:04 PM   #166
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Edit, I got my story wrong. 3 $150k robots replaced 60 workers.

Three $150k robots replaced 60 welders: how Cox Industries keeps making mowers in Queensland

Point being, they could replace humans with robots, keep being American Made and cut costs.
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Old 11-27-2015, 01:27 PM   #167
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Yes, AS/Thor could produce a fantastic new design. Going to be interesting to see if they do. Several have mentioned carbon fiber, aluminum auto bodies assembled with adhesives, modular construction and other ideas for design improvement. Not sure how they all fit into a design that supports the "it will still be recognizable as an AS" comment. Example - the Interstate is an AS product, but to me it is recognizable as a Mercedes. So, maybe the first question is "What is an AS?" But maybe it's just easier to wait and see. Not too long to wait. Surprised there are not spy photos available. Pat
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Old 11-27-2015, 02:21 PM   #168
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Depending on the badging some of the original Interstates were recognized as Dodges or Freightliners. A lot if us bought MB badges and grill to make it appear a MB. They were all MB but were badged diferently.
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