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Old 01-15-2016, 09:20 AM   #309
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I still say most of the weight gain on current models is due to interior appointments and gadgetry...

All of that "little stuff" adds up to a big sum. (Kinda how "little expenses" on a P&L add up to a monumental expense)


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When I compare the Vintage units (50s to late 70s) weights to the modern units that are both wider and heavier, I wonder if the increased weight is a dog chasing it's tail. Because of the increase in weight, they need to strengthen the frame and all the components which adds weight and so it goes.



The newer Airstreams come late in life of the Airstream, so perhaps the increase in weight reflects the many owners that are not as light as they were 30 years ago as well?



Perhaps the design concepts one can see in the Oliver literature will appeal more to the newer generation predisposed to the plastic world versus the world of wood in which those of us over 60 grew up?



The fully optioned Oliver unit is much lower in cost than a 23D or 25FB model. In fact many of their options are not available on any Airstream unless going to a third party.



The concept of no leaks sure sounds appealing and a rot proof floor besides, who could ask for anything more?



It will certainly be interesting to see what hatches from the Airstream skunk works. I think it will tank if the QC is not better than what is coming off the line in Jackson Center, Ohio.



The other question not mentioned is whether the existing dealer network, as poor as it is, will be the sales point for the loss leader project to lure folks into the more expensive models? Some how, few if any of the buyers of the Ford Pinto ended up with a Lincoln Continental.



Just sayin'




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Old 01-15-2016, 10:42 AM   #310
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I love the discussion of exotic lightweight materials and more features for Airstreams. BUT, neither will lead to a less expensive trailer which is what is what Airstream announced.
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Old 01-15-2016, 10:46 AM   #311
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Morgan View Post
I still say most of the weight gain on current models is due to interior appointments and gadgetry...

All of that "little stuff" adds up to a big sum. (Kinda how "little expenses" on a P&L add up to a monumental expense)

Brevi tempore!
For sure, and don't blame the company. Buyers now want two air conditioners, heaver electrical systems, larger fridges, gas and electric oven plus microwave, china toilets, stone-like countertops and sinks, more cabinets, heavy cabinet materials, more storage compartments, more windows, power sofas and beds, two big televisions with video players, and as a result heavier steel frames and axles and larger wheels to carry it all.

Don't even ask what some of these buyers consider an adequate tow vehicle.

The basic riveted aluminum shell and plywood floor is still a remarkable and lightweight concept.
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Old 01-15-2016, 10:49 AM   #312
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"Perhaps the design concepts one can see in the Oliver literature will appeal more to the newer generation predisposed to the plastic world versus the world of wood in which those of us over 60 grew up?

The fully optioned Oliver unit is much lower in cost than a 23D or 25FB model. In fact many of their options are not available on any Airstream unless going to a third party."

Switz,

It is interesting how you have begun to look at the Oliver Elite II. I can tell you I spent over four months looking carefully at the AS 23D. That is an amazingly beautiful TT and I came very close to buying one from Colonial Airstream. At the time I struggled to stay true to what I needed the TT to do. For me, a TT really needs to be a tool which helps me get outside and camp.

I also would guess you have only begun to scratch the surface in understanding the Oliver Elite II. It is vastly different is many ways from the 23D. The differences are not necessarily better or worse, they are just tailored to a different set of buyers.

As a case in point, the Oliver is built to accommodate four all-season AGM batteries for 400+amp hrs. They weigh in at close to 300 pounds total. That requires a design involving a battery compartment over the twin axles. I would imagine 99% of the AS owners do not need that kind of function or design. On the flip side, I do not have a propane or convection oven. For me, that is OK. For a typical AS owner, the view might be a poor “trade off”.

There are literally dozens of other “trade-offs”. So now we get to your other comment regarding “trading up”.

On the issue of whether or not the new product owners will “trade up” to the classic AS product line, I do not see that happening unless the new product is simply a cheap imitation of the existing trailers. I guess I see the two groups of customers as having very strong and different values.
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Old 01-15-2016, 11:48 AM   #313
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Wheeler said,"The new trailer won’t come in the traditional aluminum shell, Wheeler said, but will be unmistakably an Airstream when it arrives in the middle of 2016."

Just thinking about what he is saying here, could he mean that by traditional he's referring to riveted aluminum segments and not discounting the use of aluminum as a shell material? Perhaps the shell will still be aluminum but constructed differently. Aren't some of the newer airplanes using hi-tech adhesive tapes to bond aluminum panels now? Perhaps this is the direction they're heading.
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Old 01-15-2016, 01:36 PM   #314
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Here is my take on composite construction on aircraft, cars, and trailers. I doubt that these will be serviceable in thirty, forty, and fifty years.

In other words, had B-52s and DC 3s been built out of todays composites, they would not be flying today.


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Old 01-15-2016, 03:03 PM   #315
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[COLOR=teal] I believe Mr. Wheeler understands the needs and values of the customers he seeks. We know he is seeking a younger buyer.
Time will tell!

And I'm an older fart who does not relish recaulking twice a year and gently dotting Capt. Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure on 2000 or so roof rivets every so often. I sure as heck don't want to get half way through a rotten floor's replacement and realize it's beaten me down to the point I can't finish.

Little windows - well I can go outside. Crappy layout - not really. Could I tweak the hell out of it, YES. I am really waffling back and forth - I got the EB, I've written the last payment check, AND I've got my Pewter Palace - the big honkin' Avion that will be my Tiny House but permanently mounted on wheels. So do I want a REALLY tiny trailer to travel in when I travel?

I had a 22' in 2005... and I could park it and my tow vehicle across 2 spots in most shopping centers and grocery stores. And I could take it places no tri-axle would ever dare.

Waffle, waffle, waffle..
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Old 01-15-2016, 03:40 PM   #316
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"Here is my take on composite construction on aircraft, cars, and trailers. I doubt that these will be serviceable in thirty, forty, and fifty years."

It is difficult to project the longevity for some of the new composites. I do see value in a TT design which is lighter, stronger and true off-road ready. The use of some kind of composites may be necessary to achieve that kind of vehicle.

I think the larger opportunity awaits us in the use of technology to allow the tow vehicle and the travel trailer to “communicate” with one another. That process has already begun. My TT will be able to “communicate” its position to my 2016 F150 via the Pro Trailer Backup Assist system. In addition, the TV is pre-wired with both a 7 pin and a 4 pin harness. All that is waiting is for the TT industry to truly embrace the communication. If that happens I see the day when the TT will “communicate” many critical functions automatically to the central computer in the TV. Will any TT prospective owners see value in those kinds of capabilities? Perhaps?


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Old 01-15-2016, 04:19 PM   #317
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Morgan View Post
Here is my take on composite construction on aircraft, cars, and trailers. I doubt that these will be serviceable in thirty, forty, and fifty years.

In other words, had B-52s and DC 3s been built out of todays composites, they would not be flying today.


Brevi tempore!
I spent 22 years in Naval Aviation. I do no think that most Airatream owners would be able or willing to perform the amount of PM it takes to keep aircraft in the air. Using the P-3 Orion as an example, for every hour of flight it required between 3 and 6 hours of maintenance at a cost in thousands of dollars per hour. The Airstream does not quite take that level of care, but some days it feels like it does.
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Old 01-15-2016, 06:09 PM   #318
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I know that I'm new to this, but, I think that there is a need for a new, fresher, trailer. I love my airstream and am truly impressed that it's lasted almost as long as me. And, appreciate the fact that it can get a facelift and outlast me. But, if I was spending enough money to buy a small house, I'd want to see truly innovative and quality workmanship. At the RV show here yesterday I got sleepy. Everyone's looks and feels the same. Very few have real wood cabinets, all are dark, and I guess I'm in this for a different reason. I want to do this to travel and get outside.

If I want a recliner and tv I can stay home?

Anyway, I also have a Brenderup horse trailer that's 25 years old. It'll be around for another 25 years if I remember to do a little maintenance. So, in my experience, the Thor trailers are really well built, easy to tow, and keep their value.

I have a goofy number of trailers...and opinions, but I would welcome seeing what they can create.
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Old 01-16-2016, 07:46 AM   #319
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We also went to the RV show yesterday.

I will say the only innovative and appealing style with any sparkle and fun was on the very very tiny TAB.

All other SOBs that were travel trailers and not 5th wheels or larger were brown and dreary. And while they are "fine" they do not have the clean lines, brightness inside, nice windows and quality finishes that my sport AS has.
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Old 01-16-2016, 10:54 AM   #320
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Since the Classic started in 2015 with dark finish on the cabinets, I think only the Flying Cloud and the International Serenity trim lines are light and airy feeling inside. When looking at the white interior in the Oliver catalog, I had a mental flash back to the end of the movie 2001 A Space Odessy.

As mentioned earlier, the younger folks of today have more experience with plastic furniture and electronics than those of us with gray in our hair (if we have any on our heads). The youth of today were not out in the garage helping Dad fix the car or some other device.

The target market wants a nearly maintenance free trailer that is plug and play, so to speak. They can afford just one vehicle so a 10,000 pound 31' Airstream would not be on their list. They do not get weeks off of work, so will be weekender trips travelers.

With that thought, the trailer could be smaller with much smaller tanks for water and waste, smaller propane tanks, and perhaps just a microwave oven and cooktop.

I would place my guess the unit will be single axle and between the 16' Bambi and the 23' twin axle units in size. If the GVW is under 4,500 pounds, a broader choice of tow vehicles becomes available.

Here is a link to the UK 22' model Airstream with 7' interior width and a GVW under 3,800 pounds:

International 534 - Adventure Leisure Vehicles

Here is a link to the UK 27' model Airstream trailer with inside width under 7' and a GVW under 6,000 pounds:

International 684 - Adventure Leisure Vehicles

These body shells are made in Jackson Center and mounted on frames made in Germany with surge brakes and very light tongue weights that are shipped to Jackson Center. They they are shipped to the UK for interiors.

Just something else to look at.
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Old 01-16-2016, 10:57 AM   #321
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On the contrary-
The new dark wood Classic feels larger, more open and airy, and more light and bright than my hickory wood Classic-
I don't know how they do it!
The new Classic is beautiful!


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Old 01-16-2016, 11:46 AM   #322
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The overseas streams are really cool
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