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Old 04-23-2016, 09:52 AM   #715
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Originally Posted by vintageracer View Post
The National dealer network will as said above "Priceless" to the success of this new trailer line for Airstream. Only 1 of the fiberglass "Egg" trailer manufacturer's sell their product through dealers and they are completely sold out through next Winter.
I am only aware of two fibreglass trailer manufacturer who well through dealers and there are: Bigfoot Trailer Ind & they have sold through dealers for years - the other was the SideKick (Trillium) who where previously know as Trillium USA but not sure they are still in biz (they shut down more than a year ago) and as far as I am aware there was not or is not a big back order issue with either.

The only fibreglass trailer manufacturer I an aware of that currently has a long back order list is: Escape Trailer industries - but they do NOT sell through dealers. Direct sales from the manufacturer only.

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Old 04-23-2016, 12:41 PM   #716
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Hi, my question would be; How many fiberglass bodies can be made in one day? I think this would be the major hold back in production. One mold would take forever.


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Old 04-23-2016, 01:38 PM   #717
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Maybe AS is planning for near term competition in lightweight trailers and this is the way to compete without the need to design something.
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Old 04-23-2016, 03:02 PM   #718
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Old 04-23-2016, 04:42 PM   #719
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...and now I'm inspired to look at Hymer's caravans. I wonder where they can be had in North America right now.
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Old 04-23-2016, 05:54 PM   #720
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Originally Posted by mandolindave View Post
GIBSON ( An iconic American musical instrument company that makes guitars, banjos, and mandolins)

Gibson makes GREAT mandolins that sell from $5000 to $12000.
Gibson acquired a competitor called Flatiron. Gibson then made hand carved solid wood Flatirons in the Gibson factory, and sold them for $2000 to $4000. The Gibson Flatirons sounded just about as good as the Gibson mandolins, and they sold a ton of them.
One can only guess why Gibson, moved Flatiron production to Korea, and started making inferior plywood Flatirons, that sounded terrible, that sold for $400.
Things are not going so great for Gibson
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Old 04-23-2016, 06:27 PM   #721
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Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
Hi, my question would be; How many fiberglass bodies can be made in one day? I think this would be the major hold back in production. One mold would take forever.
Volumn fiberglass operations like boats and kit cars have any number of molds in various sizes for a steady stream of product.
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Old 04-23-2016, 06:29 PM   #722
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Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
Hi, my question would be; How many fiberglass bodies can be made in one day? I think this would be the major hold back in production. One mold would take forever.
I believe they can use the first mold to create more molds, via an intermediate master body, in order to gear up for producing multiple bodies concurrently. They save the first mold, rather than use it, so later on additional molds can be produced.

Edit -- See concurrent post from Denis4x4.
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Old 04-23-2016, 07:14 PM   #723
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Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
Hi, my question would be; How many fiberglass bodies can be made in one day? I think this would be the major hold back in production. One mold would take forever.
I used to lay up 8 ft dinghy blanks for a major builder. One man operation, three molds. On a good day I could pop out 6 hulls a day, usually 3. Depending on the orders and weather.
I still have the molds taking up room in the back yard. I think a family of turtles are currently homesteading under them.
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Old 04-24-2016, 04:16 AM   #724
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Originally Posted by Tn Traveler View Post
Which model economics will work for AS? Only the market will sort that out.
I'm sure AS has done their homework. And I guess there's some recent cases (Basecamp) that they can use to see if owner's move up. But it's still tricky. I guess it really depends on how the marketing works and how the dealer network treats these new owners (HD did a crappy job on both).

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Old 04-24-2016, 04:44 AM   #725
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Old 04-25-2016, 03:51 AM   #726
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This acquisition could just wither on the vine as the reality may differ from the expectations.

Airstream has random major QC issues which are the same ones reported for at least the last 20 years on an eighty year old design. The plant expansion with over 200 new workers has not cured the QC issues.

A mental ajustement to "zero defects" and full implementation of that mind set would be a good start before starting something this company has zero experience with in the fiberglass world.
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Old 04-25-2016, 05:06 AM   #727
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At the risk of being another stuck record, the "quality control" issue remains #1 on the list for Airstream management IMO, as switz has just reminded us all. The plant expansion, new workers, and especially a new material -- all align to move QC to an ominous and precarious tipping point . . .

As we all cheer-lead here for an improvement in QC, there is certainly the possibility that things could get worse . . .

Ugh, Wally!

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Old 04-25-2016, 10:17 AM   #728
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I was surprised that Airstream had to buy a Basecamp to see how it was made. Didn't they have plans in a file somewhere? Didn't anyone remember how to make one?

Most Airstream dealers sell a number of brands. Just because they sell Airstreams doesn't mean they will want a Nest. The agreement between the dealer and Airstream will determine whether they have to take a non-Airstream trailer. If Airstream brands the Nest as an "Airstream Nest" they may be able to make the dealers take one. I don't know whether dealers have to take a certain number of trailers at all. Some dealers may have contracts going back decades and each version of the agreement may be different.

Airstream used to have only one person for marketing. In the "oughts" that person changed every year for a while. Very little marketing was really needed since the product has sold itself for generations. I doubt Airstream has any expertise at marketing a new product. Unless they make the Nest look like an Airstream I don't see how the two styles will cause people to move up. They can clad the fiberglass body in aluminum to create the illusion of an Airstream. If that worked out, then they might make all Airstreams with a fiberglass core body.

They have not had much in the area of engineering, quality control engineering, or otherwise. Since the products have changed very little over time and the company does not want to invest in anything that doesn't bring immediate results, engineering at the factory seems to be something they haven't invested in. I was told years ago by Wheeler they had a quality control engineer and I replied that he didn't seem to be doing anything. Developing a new style with different materials will require expertise Airstream will have to hire or they will fly by the seat of their pants. I suspect they will rely on the guy who designed this trailer and try to get by on the cheap. In any decision, Airstream can be relied to have a strong bias toward doing it on the cheap. No reason to believe they have changed.

I have noticed over the years that some people have posted many times they have had no problems with their Airstreams. It seems there are a lot less of them than of those who have had problems. I wish we had bought one of those perfect trailers. I also wish we had a perfect (or even a mediocre) dealer too.


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