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Old 11-24-2015, 02:14 PM   #43
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I agree with Bold and Paula.

The new unit needs to "weigh" as much as a 16 sport or less so that vehicle issues don't scare away buyers. But could be larger if they can engineer an ultra light that is longer and still has a low enough hitch weight.

And one more thing about the 30-50 age segment. They hate anything that needs ongoing maintenance , but adore technology and innovation. They will pay for a "better mousetrap."

So they would be OK with an Airstream 2.0 if it was positioned as the same benefits of light, stable in crosswinds, and quality. Especially if paired with low-maintenance (no seams to leak or corrosion), and environmentally friendly (they WILL NOT be seen driving a V8 engine anything) and even recycled/recyclable content.
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Old 11-24-2015, 02:17 PM   #44
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Sounds good to me then I won't be the first rung on the Airsteam ladder LOL
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Old 11-24-2015, 02:23 PM   #45
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I'm not sure if anybody is familiar with the Keystone Vantage that was made for about one year (2012/13?), but it's a rounded (very Airstream-like) trailer with higher end features, with a gray fiberglass shell (although EDPM roof), and I think retailed in the $28K-$35K+ range. I owned the smallest one (19UL, about 23' overall and very similar to some Airstream floorplans), and there were two that were quite a bit larger; unfortunately nothing in between 23' and 30'+! From the first time I saw it I referred to it as a "wanna be" Airstream. BTW, even though a bit heavier than other trailers in its size range, it pulled really easily, better than my current more traditional trailer that is 800# lighter.
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Old 11-24-2015, 02:31 PM   #46
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Its about growth. If AS can get people into an AS product, then when they reach their 40's or 50's they probably believe they have them as life long customers and they will buy a "traditional" AS. Also, my guess is they are looking at "planned obsolescence". The AS is one of the only RVs that can if taken care of, in some cases re-done, last forever. Not good from a manufacturing stand point. Manufacturers need their products to have a life cycle that ends and people buy a new one.
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Old 11-24-2015, 02:31 PM   #47
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Where would they build these? I thought the recent factory expansion can only accommodate current production, and barely able to manage that. I would anticipate lower price means lower profit margins, so they would have to build a lot of them to come out. That's not going to happen at the Jackson Center facility, is it?

Any of Thor's nearby Indiana factories operating under capacity?
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Old 11-24-2015, 02:42 PM   #48
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Didn't see any test mules last spring and when I discussed new trends and goals with Mr Wheeler he didn't mention specifics. Looking forward to seeing what they've come up with!
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Old 11-24-2015, 02:47 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by graywhale View Post
I'm not sure if anybody is familiar with the Keystone Vantage that was made for about one year (2012/13?), but it's a rounded (very Airstream-like) trailer with higher end features, with a gray fiberglass shell (although EDPM roof), and I think retailed in the $28K-$35K+ range. I owned the smallest one (19UL, about 23' overall and very similar to some Airstream floorplans), and there were two that were quite a bit larger; unfortunately nothing in between 23' and 30'+! From the first time I saw it I referred to it as a "wanna be" Airstream. BTW, even though a bit heavier than other trailers in its size range, it pulled really easily, better than my current more traditional trailer that is 800# lighter.
I had a deposit down and a build order placed for a Vantage 23. Unfortunetly production was stopped for some mysterious reason. I never did get a straight answer from Keystone. I was very disappointed as I thought it was the perfect trailer at the perfect price for me. I had read that they were having major roof separation/leaking issues that could not be corrected in production. So maybe it was for the best as I am pretty happy with my Airstream.
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Old 11-24-2015, 03:19 PM   #50
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I've seen some space age composite sheet metal that you can bang with a hammer.
We'll get one of those trailers. Instead of adding a doorbell for looky-loos to ask for a tour, we'll hang a ball peen hammer outside. Bang once if you just want a tour, twice if you brought wine. Guess which we'll answer.
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Old 11-24-2015, 03:32 PM   #51
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The thing about "space age composite" is, it comes with a space age price. Not compatible with the objective of a less expensive trailer.
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Old 11-24-2015, 04:05 PM   #52
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The "get 'em young" lesson is an integral part of today's marketing. Remember, there are more Millennials out there now than Baby Boomers. I think Wheeler is even a bit late to the party. While Mercedes has had some criticism for entering the "lower-end" market with the A class....it is selling, and don't you know the idea is that if you buy an M-B when you're young, you'll end up in an S Class or an SL when the $ rolls in. I completely agree that whatever the new trailer features it WILL be light -- probably can be towed by a 4 cylinder engine (maybe with turbo), and it definitely will NOT be carbon fiber due to material and production cost. And, given the production requirements on the aluminum line, it may have to be manufactured somewhere other than JC. Remember, Thor has plenty of capacity and can brand anything they produce as an "Airstream" derivative. Lot of fun to speculate on this! And, i also say "good for Airstream." The more financially resilient they are the better.
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Old 11-24-2015, 04:20 PM   #53
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Casitas.... are everwhere!

The Casita Travel Trailer are everywhere.

You will see more Casitas on the highways than Airstreams.

RV Parks have more Casitas than Airstreams.

Traveling this year, I have seen Casitas booming in numbers. No wonder Airstream is interested in a "fiberglass option". The Casitas come in 13, 16 & 17 foot lengths. Younger couples with or without children can afford them and they are priced in the $14K to $17K... likely Sticker Priced.

You do not need a large tow vehicle. These consumers are environmentally friendly... and Airstreams represent the... older generations.

You can bet that Airstream has seen the count of them on the road, as well. Just sticking an Airstream logo on the front of a Casita will not bring an additional $6K in sticker price. Markets and Customer demographics change. The Casita brand made in Rice, Texas got Thor's attention. What they do with this will be seen.
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Old 11-24-2015, 04:41 PM   #54
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Traveling this year, I have seen Casitas booming in numbers. No wonder Airstream is interested in a "fiberglass option". The Casitas come in 13, 16 & 17 foot lengths. Younger couples with or without children can afford them and they are priced in the $14K to $17K... likely Sticker Priced.
I'm not being negative about Casitas, but it's important to remember some big differences when you start looking at prices. LOTS of features on a Casita are extra-cost options. AC is optional on them (it's included in the "DLX" package or available as a stand-alone option, etc.

This may also turn out to be true of a "low-priced" Airstream product as well, but for now Airstream tends to be very well-equipped even in the base configuration. Also, since the Casita is factory-sold, I'd imagine that the sticker price is THE price for a new one.
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Old 11-24-2015, 04:50 PM   #55
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I am sure you are right. This coming year 2016 I will be again spending a lot of time traveling and will talk to a few Casita owners. I had seen some other brands of small trailers made from wood with many interesting ways for sink and cooking areas flipping out of the back. Custom ordered.

I am curious how these Casitas are getting into the Off the Grid sites. I do want to get a close look next time I have the chance.

There are a lot of smaller sized trailers out there. A pop up tent camper will jump to a Casita in a heartbeat once they see one and the price ranges.

Many buyers consider Price... first. When anything is new, they appear to be wonderful and well designed. By having an exterior shower, cooking area and kitchen... it does leave room for living space.

It would not be the first time that a major company sees something that is cutting into the bottom line... They will either try to do loss leaders to cut down the competition's sales. Or... buy the company and take it mainstream.

Even Airstreams were sold by the owner. You start somewhere and then the distributor outlets begin to appear in major cities.

I look at the Casita and it appears to be a white Airstream if I were a newbie trailer customer. Had it said Airstream on the trailer... I would have had no comment, other than it was a "great idea".
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Old 11-24-2015, 05:19 PM   #56
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I don't want to get a big head, but I'm a pretty prolific poster here and I have been told by someone fairly reliable that Mista Wheeler has quoted one or two of my posts at factory meetings. Hmmm... what woulda hit a nerve...
If Oliver ever makes a 25 footer Airstream - tremble in your boots

If you don't have a college fund for your kids, get something cheaper and go camping. The money is important, but the memories are a treasure.
Just speculating - but Casita, Scamp and Oliver all lack dealer networks - and all seem to be known mainly by owner referrals and people who walk up to the owners and say "this is cute, what is it?" The newest entry into the band is the Oliver which of course is made by a company that has a background making walk-in bathtubs.... If I were in Mr. Wheeler's shoes I'd strike a deal to have Oliver make an Oliver shell and truck it to the mothership for the interior build out. They DO make the Interstates on a Mercedes Sprinter chassis don't they? The Oliver would be different how?

Paula
Hey Paula, Oliver is making a 23 or 24 footer/double axle model now with king or twin configuration.
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