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Old 01-30-2016, 05:20 PM   #449
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Camp Lite is impressive

Somebody mentioned the Camp Lite brand earlier in this thread. We had a chance to look at a couple of these today the local winter RV show. I wasn't all that impressed with the design (interior layout was "OK", but......) colors inside and out were blah, blah. Small, the longest trailer is 21 feet. In other words, it's never going to be the Airstream that we all own.

But structurally, oh my goodness. Hold on to your hats......

First picture is front view of the 21 footer. The words on the door say "It's all aluminum y'all". Hard to read some of the lettering.

These are being sold locally by the only Airstream dealer in the state (read the banner if can make it out). I was also impressed with the dealer, FWIW. They had four Airstreams on the floor and sales people that actually knew something about them. First time Airstream had an appearance at this show in years. Didn't try to sell you anything. Just provide information. Good experience. But that's another story for another thread.

More to come.

Jim
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Old 01-30-2016, 05:33 PM   #450
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I think Thor recently purchased Camp-Lite.
Still an SOB trailer.
A nice SOB that won't rot, but still lackluster.


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Old 01-30-2016, 05:44 PM   #451
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So, I asked the sales guy, what do you mean by "all aluminum"?

The inner walls are aluminum, the outer shell is aluminum, the support ribs are aluminum. Sound familiar? The key difference is that the shell (mounted on a steel frame) is all glued together with some super adhesive. Didn't Wheeler say something about "no rivets" in his early statement? Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of the one opening showing how this process is accomplished, a door opening to the storage area in the front of the camper.

Some of the interior components are steel and aluminum as well. The doors, for example for the bath. SOLID. Ever close a door on your Chevy/Ford/Dodge and then compare it to a Mercedes/BMW? Same comparison. It just feels solid, well built.

But here's kicker, for me anyway. There was a couple pieces of the sub-floor material on the galley table. This will blow you away......let me get the pictures ready to post.....

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Old 01-30-2016, 05:55 PM   #452
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Here's the pictures of the sub-floor material. You can drive a tank over this stuff.
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Old 01-30-2016, 06:09 PM   #453
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So, assuming the build quality is there, this is a very strongly built trailer. Prices around $25 to $30k for the (only) two examples at the show. Much cheaper than any Airstream currently in production. Well built. Camp Lite is owned by Thor. More expensive than the "entry level SOB" campers at the show, but much better made (again, in theory).

Could this be the base for our new, less expensive Airstream? I certainly hope so. I might even consider buying one of these, we could never afford the current "standard model" Airstreams (that's why we have a Vintage model).

Paint the outside silver, apply some of the Airstream Design elements to the interior, and you have a nice, really nice in my opinion, almost Airstream, aimed at the target buyer that Wheeler talked about.

So what say ye? I'm not a betting man, although I bought a lottery ticket once. I'll bet a bag of Snickers and 6 pack of Craft beer that this is where we're headed.

As always gang, just my 2 cents.

Live long and prosper.

Jim
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Old 01-30-2016, 06:11 PM   #454
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I wish Airstream would adopt that flooring.


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Old 01-30-2016, 06:16 PM   #455
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Here's the pictures of the sub-floor material. You can drive a tank over this stuff.
Our dock surface at the lake has that product, or similar. Sturdy, but oh boy is it ever cold on the feet. They probably insulate under it?
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Old 01-30-2016, 06:17 PM   #456
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Price of a new Camp Lite (hope you can read these).
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Old 01-30-2016, 06:20 PM   #457
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Prices on a couple of new Airstream on the floor today.
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Old 01-30-2016, 06:26 PM   #458
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I wish Airstream would adopt that flooring.


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It would change the game for Airstream. Mr. Wheeler, are you reading this? These wooden sub-floors are a dang nightmare.

Airstream actually used something like this back in the '70's on the Argosy line for a couple years. I'm no expert on the subject, but I think it was more of a honey comb structure. Every once in a while here on the forums one of those old Argosy's will surface from a new buyer. They are always bewildered by the one-of-a-kind sub-floor. The experts are always quick to tell them what a rare find they have.
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Old 01-30-2016, 06:32 PM   #459
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Our dock surface at the lake has that product, or similar. Sturdy, but oh boy is it ever cold on the feet. They probably insulate under it?
I assume they used something between the sub-floor and the floor covering, but I don't know what. Didn't think to ask. Floor was smooth under foot and I didn't notice any of the ridges apparent on the surface of the material shown in my pictures. Also didn't think to crawl under the camper and "look up". Dang, should've thought of that. Maybe their website can answer that. I'll go look.

Can you tell I'm a bit more that ho-hum on the subject?

Jim
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Old 01-30-2016, 06:38 PM   #460
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I think Thor recently purchased Camp-Lite.
Still an SOB trailer.
A nice SOB that won't rot, but still lackluster.


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Exactly, it ain't no Airstream. But it is in line with the pronouncements of Bob Wheeler, not exactly, but it fits. Agree that it is lackluster, but that can be fixed.

And Airstream could take a few lessons form these folks.

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Old 01-30-2016, 07:26 PM   #461
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It would change the game for Airstream. Mr. Wheeler, are you reading this? These wooden sub-floors are a dang nightmare.



Airstream actually used something like this back in the '70's on the Argosy line for a couple years. I'm no expert on the subject, but I think it was more of a honey comb structure. Every once in a while here on the forums one of those old Argosy's will surface from a new buyer. They are always bewildered by the one-of-a-kind sub-floor. The experts are always quick to tell them what a rare find they have.

Yeah.
No more humps in the floor.
No more bounce in the floor.
And most importantly, no more soft floors/floor rot.


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Old 01-30-2016, 08:03 PM   #462
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Thanks for the extensive notes and photos, Jim & Susan,

Every sub-floor material has its pros and cons. Aluminum such as here will transmit cold/heat and sound faster, condensate instantly, and corrode in a salty air environment or from tire spray from salt-water puddles (very common where we like to travel).

Modern marine-grade plywood it seems to me could eliminate the problems caused by the old wood-based sub-floors, and the square footage of even a larger Airstream would not break the bank to upgrade to marine plywood IMO. Sound deadening and insulation value (albeit slight) are superior to aluminum. It can be customized by the average skilled owner (cut, patched, etc.) more easily . . . Weight is obviously a disadvantage, unless the aluminum sub-floor gets another floor on top of it.

My guess is that living in an all-aluminum trailer might not be that comfortable sound-wise.

It will be interesting to see what Thor/Airstream announces . . .
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