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Old 01-18-2016, 11:27 AM   #351
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Friends recently purchased a Camp-Inn raindrop trailer and we went double-date camping with them. It is quite high quality and well designed.

While the skin is aluminum, it is bonded to a wood frame.
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Old 01-18-2016, 05:09 PM   #352
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Rocinante,

Thank you for posting the link about the Camp-Inn Teardrop TT. For most potential buyers, when they see pictures of the exterior, it should elicit a strong favorable reaction due primarily to the use of curves in the design. The eye likes to follow a curve as opposed to a right angle. Had this TT been designed in the shape of a box, I suspect you would have reacted differently. Even if it was the same color and made of the same material. It is said, “Design Sells”. Many of the teardrop trailers come in silver, black, red and white. Seems color is not as important as curves. The material used can be of lesser concern to many buyers.

Although many within the AS community will say a TT needs to be made of aluminum. I suspect the community is really drawn to curves. “Curves are good. Angles equal box-like. Boxes are not good” would be their motto.

Take a look at the link below which highlights the Quicksilver VRV. It is made of aluminum. Check out the video and notice the interior floor and walls. They are all aluminum. It is light and affordable for the younger buyer. I suspect its downfall within the AS community is due to the lack of curves particularly on the back end of the trailer.

Quicksilver VRV, Axxess, and Polaris Ultra Lightweight Toy Haulers | Livin' Lite RV

I believe Bob Wheeler understands the importance of curves in the design and I am sure he is not concerned about using a material other than aluminum. Not sure how he might feel about exterior colors.
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Old 01-18-2016, 05:28 PM   #353
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I know that I am going to sound negative but I have to say something about the thought of less expensive model.

A few hours ago I got home from looking at a new 26U. UGH! I liked several features but the build quality was AWFUL. First, I opened the trailer door and it scraped the opening. the edge that is normally bent over wasn't around the corner edge. I stepped in and looked around. The U lounge was comfortable. The kitchen counter offered a bit more space than the 25' without the flip up. Then I started looking in drawers and lockers. The top left locker would not open. I pulled up hard and it scraped on the side. It was crooked. It would not line up to close. I had to force it to the side. Then I walked around toward the back. The micro was extremely small- cornish hen at most! I opened the bathroom door but it hit the handles on the pantry and would not open to lock so it could be opened to just less than 90 degrees. There was also some kind of plastic trim around the edge of the floor with gaping cracks not covering the space between in the wall and the floor as intended. All for $86K. I was stunned. Wonder what the cheaper model will be like? When leaving I could not close the trailer door. It was hitting the edges. Parked next to it was a used 30' 2014 Classic. It was very well built and beautiful inside! I just cannot imagine cheaper. I want less cost like anyone but they need to be careful because less expensive can also mean junk.
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Old 01-18-2016, 05:51 PM   #354
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Wow! Rod, knowing what a craftsman you are and what attention to detail you pay to everything, it's awful to read what you reported on just a cursory walk through. It makes me really wonder what's going on to what you CAN'T see (or open). How could that new trailer leave JC without someone (anyone?) noticing such obvious defects. Moreover, why would a dealer even let someone walk through a new trailer thinking they could sell it with obvious defects. Sad!
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Old 01-18-2016, 06:16 PM   #355
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The factory and the dealer think "someone will buy it"... and they will.
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Old 01-18-2016, 06:46 PM   #356
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Rod, try looking at a $350K motorhome and see the same issues. We did this weekend at a local rv show. Any manufacturer, any model, it's rv industry-wide.

Our Airstream was delivered free of any defects and has remained that way 4 1/2 years of extensive travel and camping, I think they will get the kinks out of that 26U and someone will be very happy with it. We sure felt good about our Airstream after touring the rv show.

Back to the original thread topic, does anyone have an introductory date on the new Airstream model?
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Old 01-18-2016, 06:48 PM   #357
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My dealer thinks it will be introduced at the annual dealer's meeting in May.
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Old 01-18-2016, 07:36 PM   #358
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Originally Posted by BAB View Post
Wow! Rod, knowing what a craftsman you are and what attention to detail you pay to everything, it's awful to read what you reported on just a cursory walk through. It makes me really wonder what's going on to what you CAN'T see (or open). How could that new trailer leave JC without someone (anyone?) noticing such obvious defects. Moreover, why would a dealer even let someone walk through a new trailer thinking they could sell it with obvious defects. Sad!
Barry,

I couldn't agree more. Recently we were having some work done on our 2008 at a dealer with a large inventory. We toured some new models while we were waiting and observed the same lack of quality as Rod -- interior fit and finish issues, entrance doors that wouldn't close completely even if you slammed them hard, inferior branded microwaves, large bulges in the aluminum skin where something inside isn't fitting together properly, and a new Classic with a very bad finish job on the cabinets that looked awful. Some of these defects will be next to impossible to correct without rebuilding the trailer. Jackson Center has to know that serious quality problems exist and the dealers hope most of the issues get past a new buyer's inexperienced eye.

Susan
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Old 01-18-2016, 07:54 PM   #359
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Susan, if it is any comfort (and probably isn't), I have heard and seen (firsthand) that the RV industry as a whole leaves a lot to be desired. I was at my dealer's a few months back. They'd sold an SOB to a customer and the tech was doing the PDI...until he tested the water line and we saw it gushing out the bottom of the trailer. Apparently, the manufacturer had drilled a screw into a water line. Needless to say, this trailer moved from "sold' to "no sale." At Canopener a couple of weeks ago I mentioned this story to some folks I was sitting with. One couple own an RV dealership. They told me that they return "lots" of units right back to the manufacturer as unsaleable. One unit was delivered with the entire front delaminated. It really doesn't matter what the price point is. This is just stupid business practice and is a direct route to eventual bankruptcy.
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Old 01-18-2016, 08:53 PM   #360
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Originally Posted by NHAir View Post
Take a look at the link below which highlights the Quicksilver VRV. It is made of aluminum. Check out the video and notice the interior floor and walls. They are all aluminum. It is light and affordable for the younger buyer. I suspect its downfall within the AS community is due to the lack of curves particularly on the back end of the trailer.

Quicksilver VRV, Axxess, and Polaris Ultra Lightweight Toy Haulers | Livin' Lite RV
To me, the downfall of that brand is the horrible graphics displayed on both the trailers and the website. Too much flippin' testosterone and plain bad taste.
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Old 01-18-2016, 10:16 PM   #361
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I checked the sub-forums here looking for info on the AS Sport and found nothing. It was my impression that the Sport was supposed to be an entry level AS. There was a special financing plan from GE. In as much as GE pulled out of the RV dealer financing business soon after the Sport was introduced, one has to wonder if the Sport was a victim of the GE pullout and the 2007 recession. Quite frankly, I suspect than millenials and genXers will look at QC in an RV in the same way they look at the quality of a Honda, Toyota, etc.
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Old 01-18-2016, 11:28 PM   #362
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Our store sells 350 RV's a year and we have 12 service bays that never stop.
I appreciate the value of a dealership that stands behind what they sell, but I for one would prefer that those non-stop service bays were not required just to keep up with factory warranty repairs.
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Old 01-19-2016, 01:12 AM   #363
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I thought that the only aluminum travel trailer in the world was an Airstream.
That's a majority opinion on Air Forums and elsewhere. Wally Byam's great genius was marketing. Hawley Bolus had already invented the riveted aluminum airframe trailer. But Wally's great contribution (apart from moving the door from the nose of the trailer to the curbside, which as far as I'm concerned is only part of the way to where it should go) was wearing a beret and marketing the trailer. The fact Airstream's the only brand to have survived is a testament to how good he was.

I'm sold on vintage airframe trailers. There have been a lot of great designs and trailers produced. Must be a dozen or more riveted aluminum airframe trailers including the ubiquitous Airstream.

I've owned a mid-sixties Bambi (among many other vintage trailers.) The premium price for Airstream trailers was explained to me by a longtime full timer who said: You get in the club when you buy an Airstream. With apologies to Groucho, I wouldn't want to belong to a club that would have me.

Michael
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Old 01-19-2016, 03:53 AM   #364
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Approximately 4 months ago I had an opportunity to tour an FC 23D. A stunningly beautiful trailer! Armed with the knowledge of what I should look for from having read various Air Forum threads, I completed a detailed tour. I remember thinking how I would be embarrassed to have anyone see all the errors in the manufacturing I could identify. I wanted to think it was simply fit and finish issues and they could all be resolved. But upon further reflection I thought about the propane lines and the electrical systems and all the manufactured components I could not see. Would those resemble the same level of quality? I could not answer that question. Interestingly, that trailer sold one month later to a couple trading up from their Bambi.

I believe many prospective owners try their best to be informed consumers. Many may conduct their research by viewing what is on the dealer’s lot or what is shown at RV shows only. I agree there is a general lack of quality within the industry and that is very evident at RV shows, however, I reject the assumption all RVs are poor quality!

Airstream travel trailers are all hand made. That can create variation in the level of quality if quality control is not embedded in the manufacturing process. That can explain why some owners have great quality trailers and some do not. A good continuous quality control process does take time and may take money to implement. Fortunately, I do not see a financial case to be made for why AS or the dealer network should invest in better quality control. They can sell more than they can produce and their vision may extend only to the next quarterly sales figures.

It has been said Wally was a master at marketing. I believe his greatest marketing achievement was the creation of the WBCCI organization. He knew how camping, rallies, and caravans help to build life-long friendships with other campers. Those friendships are worth their weight in gold and frequently are the main benefit to owning an Airstream. He then took marketing to the next level by restricting membership to Airstream owners only. A brilliant marketing move and a way to lock in future buyers who seek to trade up, down or replace their trailer. You got to admire the man!
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