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Old 04-09-2016, 01:14 PM   #645
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Chuck, thanks for the analysis of the issues around purchasing. It is possible the purchasing at Thor divisions is informally coordinated. Thor must have a reason to not have central purchasing—it may range from "we never did that before" to carefully reasoned analysis of any cost benefits. I think that sharing info between purchasing agents probably happens and is easier to accomplish with computer networks (assuming that Thor invests in up to date computers and networks).

If Keystone needs 5,000 Ventline stove vents, Airstream needs 2,500 and Dutchman needs 7,500 for a year, why not make a deal? But if they are only saving 5˘ per vent, the $750 savings for the purchase of 15,000 may not be worth it. As they get better at coordinating, maybe the savings will mount up and matter. Thor is dedicated to the cheapest materials, so it makes sense to buy together since all divisions buy a lot of the same stuff (I just looked for tabs for the Ventline stove vent door, the ones that fall out and disappear and saw that Airstream bought the cheapest Ventline vent available; Ventline, after I contacted them, offered to send me some tabs at no cost. There are no extra tabs anymore, so don't lose yours!). But we don't really know what Thor is doing.

So far as long term purchasing contracts go, whether it is for one division or all divisions, the same thing can happen to squelch innovation. A provision of a contract could void the contract if a substantially innovative technology comes along, but defining that can lead to a lawsuit. In areas where there is rapid change, one should avoid long term contracts. Hopefully the company can be aware of such innovations and avoid a 10 year buggy whip contract. Purchasing agents should endeavor to have good personal relationships with suppliers so that if change comes, they can work it out. Coordinated purchasing may best grow naturally while various divisions get used to it rather than force it from above. By the way, where can I get that super battery you used as an example?

On another item, the rapid increase in prices has surprised even a cynic like me. I was quite surprised at the cost of ours in 2007. I don't know what it costs now (can't be bothered looking it up), but the numbers I notice on the Forum show that Airstream keeps testing the market by raising prices by large chunks.

The test continues because they sell everything they make, so there is no economic reason as they see it to not keep making ever more expensive trailers with cheap materials and components plus poor workmanship. Of course, what they see may be wrong—over the years many people have found the Forum when they started looking at RV's and were interested in Airstream. Many of them decided to buy something else or buy a used one and the company has lost millions of dollar in sales. However, they still sold everything they made with an important exception (disregarding the Basecamp debacle)—sales plummeted from 2,400/year to 700 during the beginnings of the Great Recession. At that point Airstream did reach out via this Forum to satisfy some of the complaints about quality. Bob Wheeler started the Town Hall thread and received a barrage of complaints. Little seem to come out of it except the company did offer to fix some of the most egregious problems of corrosion. Wheeler was probably staggering when he saw the anger that had built up. The legendary thread was eventually closed and later disappeared. Wheeler didn't learn much except that he could ignore the complaints once sales started to pick up.

I still hear from people that Airstream makes a premium, high quality trailer. Decades of poor quality have not been discovered by most people. But GM, which in the 1950's made the best production cars in the world, rested on its laurels for generations while making worse and worse cars and trucks and still being the biggest motor vehicle manufacturer in the world until recently. It can take a long time, even with the introduction of better vehicles from Europe and Japan, to bring a GM to bankruptcy. The day when European and Asian companies start selling RV's in the US never seems to come, but if it does, things will change, probably slowly. Some major US and Canadian companies may eventually fail. If Airstream doesn't have a design patent on its basic design (I doubt they do as there used to be many companies with similar trailers), anyone can copy it. Anyone want to give me $100 M to do it?

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Old 04-09-2016, 02:34 PM   #646
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Something else to add gleaned from our rally discussion with the Airstream marketing rep. NEST has built 4 prototypes. None have been sold. Final contracts were signed the first of this week and the prototypes are in route to Jackson Center or soon will be. The head engineer/designer was part of the package deal and will continue on with NEST development as an Airstream employee.

More Airstream tidbits:
As far as current Airstreams go they have no plans to modify or change from using plywood flooring any time soon.
For folks with early ducted air models. If you are having trouble with your overhead vents falling out they have a fix. Contact Airstream directly for info on that.
They have no intentions of going to a blown in foam insulation as the current product used is state of the art and the best available.
Do not count on triple axle 34s or larger coming back into production any time soon.
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Old 04-09-2016, 04:28 PM   #647
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Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
More Airstream tidbits:
As far as current Airstreams go they have no plans to modify or change from using plywood flooring any time soon.
For folks with early ducted air models. If you are having trouble with your overhead vents falling out they have a fix. Contact Airstream directly for info on that.
They have no intentions of going to a blown in foam insulation as the current product used is state of the art and the best available.
Do not count on triple axle 34s or larger coming back into production any time soon.
Or, my take on 1: other subfloors would cost more and be different than what they are used to. 2: Moosetags will be glad to hear that. 3: The pink stuff is about the worst you can buy, but it is cheap and they are used to it (unless they changed?).

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Old 04-09-2016, 05:06 PM   #648
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Do not believe pink is on anything except the Flamingos. I thought the current insulation is an environmentally friendly recycled cellulose product. At least it's not pink. But then I am a bit color blind. Pat
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Old 04-09-2016, 06:13 PM   #649
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Do not believe pink is on anything except the Flamingos. I thought the current insulation is an environmentally friendly recycled cellulose product. At least it's not pink. But then I am a bit color blind. Pat
Don't know about that. My hands still itch whenever I go into the walls to change outlets or pull wires. Suer looks like a spun will insulation of some type, and I'm sure it ain't 'cutting edge'!!
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Old 04-09-2016, 06:27 PM   #650
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Seems like on the factory tour they said the insulation was a recycled product.


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Old 04-09-2016, 09:25 PM   #651
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NEST in a POKE


I read all forty pages of the Fiberglass Camper website thread showing Nest's history and how it's built. I see it it has 279 likes on its Facebook. The Nest website isn't working today, or it's being taken down. There's still plenty of images and explanations to be found throughout the WWW tho.


I don't understand its purpose relevant to the Airstream name, other than an opportunity for Airstream to exploit its perceived reputation to the unwary. Airstream's name doesn't belong on this thing.


I cringe using the truly exemplary product, Rolex, in this thought, but,


Rolex never put their name on a plastic digital watch to appeal to less affluent wrists.


If Thor wants the Nest, it should assign it to a more appropriate division or create a stand alone Nest division. Yes, a less expensive/entry-level/lightweight plastic trailer is nice. If it is built well, let it become its own Icon, like Scamp.


The “Nest” has a long, long way to go. I'd scrap that 3-piece back door vacuum glued clam design. There's too much proprietary design/manufacture. How do you goose-proof its airplane windshield? What about a design that can be repaired? How's the plastic floor/frame going to be fixed when a wheel drops into a too deep pot-hole or rock and the torsion axle rips away?? Or Your GYM Explodes? Take it to Jackson Center and have 'em screw on some angle-iron and mud it up with Bondo? Will patches and panel repair be vacuum formed? Can I buy a quarter panel and appropriate adhesives? Is it supposed to be a disposable or recyclable thing? Will it go in for a “clam-shell replacement”?


Not all, but most campsites are laid out to accommodate trailers with curbside doors and curbside awnings. The evolutionary history of trailers depicts this. Would you like to crawl through an “innovative” rear entry Chevy Suburban? The Nest's floor-plan doesn't allow for the co-mingling of in and out of doors that most campers enjoy with the door open. With the rear door entry, it just makes a hallway to hang out in. There's no Living area (which a side door can help define). A side door opens the trailer to the under-awning and camp activity. Not saying you can't drag the picnic table over behind the Nest, and erect a free standing tent-awning/shelter over it..


Sitting on folding chairs shoulder to shoulder facing the wall with your back to the room is bad wang sway. Lose the Queen bed, for a double/full, and make a face to face dinette for two with a big window alongside. The Nest's narrow hallway obstructs the by-passage of two persons. As currently designed, if someone is seated at the table, the chair blocks a passer-by. Wonderful big windows only in the bedroom. How does that make sense?



A $35,000 trailer with a $130 porta-potty?? Really?? Inside, the Nest looks like a chest freezer with windows. Don't really need a panoramic view of the back of my TV. NOT cuddly and warm as its name implies. A '63 Bambi is warm and cuddly, and also at 17', weighs the same as the space-age composite Nest..


Nest?? = A bunch of woven sticks in a tree? I like Airstream names... Flying Cloud, Safari, Trade Wind, Overlander… Names with adventure and movement! Torpedo!


If AS would bring back the “Torpedo” within the Basecamp format they'd have a hit. The Torpedo is byam's true Airstream, much more an Airstream than when byam riveted his Airstream badge onto Hawley Bowlus' Road Chief trailer, then called it his own, to “not change, only make improvements”. A “New Torpedo” could be designed to fill the $35,000 market targeted by the Nest. We'll call it the “100 Year Anniversary Model”, 'cause we can sell lies.


The nest is simply one man's incomplete, mediocre design dream. There isn't any part of it that hasn't been already done in Europe, except for the unnecessary expensive fiberglass shell mold technique, the propitiatory airplane plastic front window, and the untested plastic frame. Lightweight space-age composites are not necessary to camping. We'll see if it “develops”.


We all know that after 45mph, Drag is what matters more than weight. Nest may look aerodynamic, but it hasn't been wind-tunneled. A 1963 jaguar XKE roadster with the top down has exactly the same drag coefficient as a 1968 VW bus(0.42), which was wind tunnel designed. You know these texting millennials can't drive 55 in their SUVs. With the Nest's 250 pound tongue cantilevered by the optional aft roof mounted AC, and the optional “swing-away rear receiver bike rack”, we know what'll happen…



The Nest should be re-engineered to cost $19,000 as a base, and not named an Airstream. This trailer needs many more years of thought. It's over-priced. Just because it costs a lot to make, doesn't add any value. I guess Thor thinks they can smooth an Airstream sticker on it an it'll sell to you know who and his money.

For me, after all the hype and speculation, it's disappointing, Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
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Old 04-09-2016, 09:52 PM   #652
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Seems a bit harsh, though informative. However, I don't share your lack of enthusiasm. Did go through the thread on the fiberglass forum for construction of the mold, etc. Pretty cool: http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...tep-63317.html

Meanwhile, a trailer this short will likely have plenty of room behind it in most camping locations. As a result, I'm not sure the side vs. rear (or even front - Bowlus Road Chief!) door would really matter that much to us.

Key problem for us is that we're used to more room overall.
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Old 04-10-2016, 12:20 AM   #653
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Regarding being seated with one's back to the room, I meant bad feng shui.

I agree, It sounds harsh in some part, and I chose not to edit that out. Mostly because the Nest isn't an Airstream, and it annoys me immensely if it is to be named an Airstream.

I've been in The Bowlus, old and new, and as much as I admire the beautiful workmanship and finest materials in the New, I can't get with the tunnel design. I won't say it's claustrophobic, just not as roomy feeling as I'd like. Hard to see out into nature. I love the Bowlus.

Yes, I understand the Nest mold. I have an engineering degree in material processing and worked for an engineering firm specializing in foundries. Lucky for me, I couldn't find a fit with Engineer's egos. I'm a pretty fair pattern maker tho, and have vacuum formed fiberglass and plastics. There're better ways to do it than Nest could afford. I think they did a great job on the clam-shell molds, it's just their glass process is adding thousands of dollars to the production costs.

It always bugs me when I see newly engineered fantastic products advertised to be so much advanced in technology, and folks buy into it.

Consumers can believe in the AUTO HAMMER as seen on TV for 19.95 plus S&H, or they can go to the hardware store and buy a 16oz hickory handled Vaughn for twenty bucks.

The AUTO HAMMER operates single-handedly, comes with a packet of proprietary nails that you feed into the handle. AUTO HAMMER nails cannot be purchased anywhere.

The antiquated Vaughn design requires one to hold an ordinary nail where you want it with your other hand.

The list of the AUTO HAMMER's superiority goes on...
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Old 04-10-2016, 06:39 AM   #654
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Originally Posted by ALUMINUMINUM View Post
NEST in a POKE


I read all forty pages of the Fiberglass Camper website thread showing Nest's history and how it's built. I see it it has 279 likes on its Facebook. The Nest website isn't working today, or it's being taken down. There's still plenty of images and explanations to be found throughout the WWW tho.


I don't understand its purpose relevant to the Airstream name, other than an opportunity for Airstream to exploit its perceived reputation to the unwary. Airstream's name doesn't belong on this thing.


I cringe using the truly exemplary product, Rolex, in this thought, but,


Rolex never put their name on a plastic digital watch to appeal to less affluent wrists.


If Thor wants the Nest, it should assign it to a more appropriate division or create a stand alone Nest division. Yes, a less expensive/entry-level/lightweight plastic trailer is nice. If it is built well, let it become its own Icon, like Scamp.


The “Nest” has a long, long way to go. I'd scrap that 3-piece back door vacuum glued clam design. There's too much proprietary design/manufacture. How do you goose-proof its airplane windshield? What about a design that can be repaired? How's the plastic floor/frame going to be fixed when a wheel drops into a too deep pot-hole or rock and the torsion axle rips away?? Or Your GYM Explodes? Take it to Jackson Center and have 'em screw on some angle-iron and mud it up with Bondo? Will patches and panel repair be vacuum formed? Can I buy a quarter panel and appropriate adhesives? Is it supposed to be a disposable or recyclable thing? Will it go in for a “clam-shell replacement”?


Not all, but most campsites are laid out to accommodate trailers with curbside doors and curbside awnings. The evolutionary history of trailers depicts this. Would you like to crawl through an “innovative” rear entry Chevy Suburban? The Nest's floor-plan doesn't allow for the co-mingling of in and out of doors that most campers enjoy with the door open. With the rear door entry, it just makes a hallway to hang out in. There's no Living area (which a side door can help define). A side door opens the trailer to the under-awning and camp activity. Not saying you can't drag the picnic table over behind the Nest, and erect a free standing tent-awning/shelter over it..


Sitting on folding chairs shoulder to shoulder facing the wall with your back to the room is bad wang sway. Lose the Queen bed, for a double/full, and make a face to face dinette for two with a big window alongside. The Nest's narrow hallway obstructs the by-passage of two persons. As currently designed, if someone is seated at the table, the chair blocks a passer-by. Wonderful big windows only in the bedroom. How does that make sense?



A $35,000 trailer with a $130 porta-potty?? Really?? Inside, the Nest looks like a chest freezer with windows. Don't really need a panoramic view of the back of my TV. NOT cuddly and warm as its name implies. A '63 Bambi is warm and cuddly, and also at 17', weighs the same as the space-age composite Nest..


Nest?? = A bunch of woven sticks in a tree? I like Airstream names... Flying Cloud, Safari, Trade Wind, Overlander… Names with adventure and movement! Torpedo!


If AS would bring back the “Torpedo” within the Basecamp format they'd have a hit. The Torpedo is byam's true Airstream, much more an Airstream than when byam riveted his Airstream badge onto Hawley Bowlus' Road Chief trailer, then called it his own, to “not change, only make improvements”. A “New Torpedo” could be designed to fill the $35,000 market targeted by the Nest. We'll call it the “100 Year Anniversary Model”, 'cause we can sell lies.


The nest is simply one man's incomplete, mediocre design dream. There isn't any part of it that hasn't been already done in Europe, except for the unnecessary expensive fiberglass shell mold technique, the propitiatory airplane plastic front window, and the untested plastic frame. Lightweight space-age composites are not necessary to camping. We'll see if it “develops”.


We all know that after 45mph, Drag is what matters more than weight. Nest may look aerodynamic, but it hasn't been wind-tunneled. A 1963 jaguar XKE roadster with the top down has exactly the same drag coefficient as a 1968 VW bus(0.42), which was wind tunnel designed. You know these texting millennials can't drive 55 in their SUVs. With the Nest's 250 pound tongue cantilevered by the optional aft roof mounted AC, and the optional “swing-away rear receiver bike rack”, we know what'll happen…



The Nest should be re-engineered to cost $19,000 as a base, and not named an Airstream. This trailer needs many more years of thought. It's over-priced. Just because it costs a lot to make, doesn't add any value. I guess Thor thinks they can smooth an Airstream sticker on it an it'll sell to you know who and his money.

For me, after all the hype and speculation, it's disappointing, Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
A 7 for entertainment value. 😜
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Old 04-10-2016, 09:44 AM   #655
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Hi, OK let me get this straight. After tons of work, a Nest prototype was built for show, but interest in it was poor. So Airstream bought it??????? Is there something that I'm missing?
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Old 04-10-2016, 10:05 AM   #656
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Hi, OK let me get this straight. After tons of work, a Nest prototype was built for show, but interest in it was poor. So Airstream bought it??????? Is there something that I'm missing?

According to the Airstream Marketing rep that spoke to us at the Florida State rally the other day, The owner/designer had the development building skills but not the necessary marketing skills. Airstream feels that they have the necessary network to successfully bring the NEST to market. As I said before the plan is to market the NEST as a stand alone product not necessarily as just another Airstream model. Production will start in 1.5 to 2 years after a new production facility is built and a work force hired and trained.
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Old 04-10-2016, 10:14 AM   #657
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According to the Airstream Marketing rep that spoke to us at the Florida State rally the other day, The owner/designer had the development building skills but not the necessary marketing skills. Airstream feels that they have the necessary network to successfully bring the NEST to market. As I said before the plan is to market the NEST as a stand alone product not necessarily as just another Airstream model. Production will start in 1.5 to 2 years after a new production facility is built and a work force hired and trained.
Which sounds like Airstream is looking to diversify. How can that be a bad thing?
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Old 04-10-2016, 10:29 AM   #658
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It's also a trailer the existing network of Airstream dealers can sell / support. In the end, it sounds like a win win win win, especially for Robert Johans, who will get to see his ideas come to market.

Cynicism aside, it will also allow Airstream to connect in an exciting way with a second unique and interesting group of rabid fans: Fiberglass RV-ers.
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