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Old 05-19-2016, 07:45 AM   #827
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I also think that the Oliver is a very well designed, nicely laid out trailer, and very attractive trailer. If they made a larger model that would have suited my needs, the Oliver would have been a serious contender when I last replaced my Airstream in 2014.

Airstream needs to take a hard look at the Oliver and consider some of its features.

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Old 05-19-2016, 08:36 AM   #828
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Rhetorically,

Do these other trailers (and the Nest) feature torsion axles wide enough for maximum stability (wheel center at same plane as exterior wall)? Antilock disc brakes? Fully sealed underside with a faired radius all around? Etc.

None of them has a design optimized for aerodynamic efficiency, (all Airstream included), just a salutation. Ease of manufacture seems the point. This, alone, would greatly increase the possible range of tow vehicles (and their incumbent lifespan), not just safer handling characteristics.

Streamline incorporated all aluminum cabinetry. Never rots, far lighter, and added structural strength. Just needed aircraft honeycomb flooring to have completed that.

How well integrated is the awning? (Optional makes it a joke). On these rolling portalets, it matters. Right down to weight imbalance. Etc.
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Old 05-19-2016, 10:17 AM   #829
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Actually, when my response to Airstream (using their questionnaire and additional sheets of paper) listing all the issues with the 23D mentioned NO NAME on the back of the trailer, I was somewhat surprised with their lack of response or even an acknowledgement of what I reported.

So referring back the the Betty Furness Westinghouse ad I mentioned above of "the quality goes in before the name goes on", the lack of the brand name on the back of the trailer really says it all!
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Old 05-19-2016, 10:20 AM   #830
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
. . .
Streamline incorporated all aluminum cabinetry. Never rots, far lighter, and added structural strength. Just needed aircraft honeycomb flooring to have completed that.
. . .
I have read horror stories about aluminum interior components attracting condensation in certain coastal and damp campground locations. Before the new FC20, we were considering a line of trailers with aluminum floors, but the forums suggested that coastal campgrounds would be challenging. Plus the metal floors are cold to the touch. No thanks.
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Old 05-19-2016, 10:46 AM   #831
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
I have read horror stories about aluminum interior components attracting condensation in certain coastal and damp campground locations. Before the new FC20, we were considering a line of trailers with aluminum floors, but the forums suggested that coastal campgrounds would be challenging. Plus the metal floors are cold to the touch. No thanks.
Something to keep in mind. Just because you read it on the Internet or here does not necessarily make it true.
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Old 05-19-2016, 12:21 PM   #832
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I have owned my 2014 bunkhouse now for coming up on 3 years...and after watching the Oliver video - I was floored and inspired honestly.

The company seems to easily let you add all sorts of mods and no teeth pulling....just to get my 16 inch michellins felt like pulling teeth...well that is a tad hyperbolic but it was not straightforward.

The lack of an easy accessible winterization port like the Oliver stood out - I had to add it - and the spot I have to do it from is kinda odd - I think things are so much sexier if integrated as mentioned earlier - form - function - ease of use...also loved that for option of filling FW tank...oh and live the city water fresh water fill port

The freaking outlets are dual shore power and inverter in that Oliver I think - the fact that I need to swap the outlets every time I use the inverter is just silly.

The outside scare light on my unit is absurd - really?

The battery compartment on the Oliver - wow love love that! Accessing my batteries is not that hard but that is a cool way they have it! And for my trailer - as I understand - to change to agm's I would need to modify the battery box in some way...

The converter charger they use is crap...I could not tell if Oliver uses a multistage charger - it mentioned PD in the video....not sure if model...

The underbelly of the Oliver had no exposed areas like they mentioned on the video - really slick setup.

The Oliver cannot replace my bunkhouse and I love love my airstream but in so many ways - you can tell that the many aspects are kinda cobbled together relatively.

As a new first time buyer and user - non of it is very easy and I think their designs do not make this easy...many little hurdles and confusions could be mitigated?

If the Oliver or a product like that was bigger - there would be a darn good chance it would have drew me in!

I hope the nest can really draw feedback from real life experienced users to help make such a wonderful elegant product like is detailed in the Oliver.
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Old 05-19-2016, 01:25 PM   #833
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Someone mentioned Airstream as a "premium brand". It is a premium priced brand, and Thor's "premium" brand, but Thor makes below average RV's, so "premium" quality compared to them is average brand compared to the industry. What people like most about Airstream is the design. Thor had nothing to do with that and has capitalized on it for decades.

Bob Wheeler has long been interested in a lighter trailer for easier towing with lighter vehicles and to have a entry level product. The Basecamp was an attempt at that and failed. The Sport has done a bit better, but I don't know sales figures. The Sport was designed for campgrounds with hookups and short stays—long weekends, for ex. Some lighter trailers were cheapened in his early years at president—OSB floors and cheaper frames (front and rear sag have plagued the company for a long time when they try to cut costs and they may have learned about that by now). These had to be fixed and cost the company a lot. So far Wheeler's attempts have been expensive for the company, so given his track record there as well as outdated production methods, poor workmanship, cheap materials, why would anyone expect the Nest to be better?

Thor (and perhaps the RV industry in general) seems to be insular. Innovation comes from outside and is resisted. The same thing happened in the US auto industry until foreign manufacturers showed Detroit how to make cars and trucks, but it took bankruptcies to change it much. Unless Thor faces a shareholder revolt or a buy out from innovators, things won't change. The company has done very well financially over the years and weathered the Great Recession very well, so it might have enough value (lots of cash, few loans) to make it a buyout target, but not from innovators, but from corporate vultures who would add debt, take the cash, milk the company, and then sell it to suckers.

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Old 05-19-2016, 01:29 PM   #834
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Well, if Airstream continues to command a premium price and continues to sell every single trailer they make and then some (backordered), then of course they won't change. They must be doing SOMETHING right. A lot of things, actually.
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Old 05-19-2016, 04:18 PM   #835
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Hey PharmGeek,

You might be please to know the video you watched is already very much out of date. A great deal of change and innovation has taken place since the video was created. An example is the introduction of the Truma AquaGo Comfort Tankless Water Heater as an available option. ( I believe switz has already installed a similar water heater.) Since many of the owners use their travel trailers during all four seasons in cold climates, the hot water heater could be a weak point in the design. The AquaGo facilitates cold climate camping. Another example of helping the owners fulfill their camping needs. That is a model I find impressive.

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Old 05-19-2016, 04:46 PM   #836
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I came very close to buying an Oliver before finding my 23 Safari. No regrets but knowing what I know now if I was in the market for a $40K new trailer it would not be an Airstream. Oliver came very close to going out of business and actually did shut down all production for about a year or so. They have done a brilliant job with design and production of their new trailers. I have no desire to down size with the Nest but I could comfortably transition to the Oliver 23. It is a modern up to date travel trailer using modern effecient production methods and materials.
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Old 05-19-2016, 04:51 PM   #837
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I am a secret 5th wheeler admirer. If I could, I would be hauling one of those. I like lotsa room. But didn't have the intent or desire of getting the tow vehicle necessary for one of those. So I had to limit myself to 8000 lbs and a pull trailer. Which led me to Airstream. I looked at many alternatives, but 30' is the smallest I could possibly fit into. Anything smaller, for me, it just a non-starter. So Airstream can come out with as may sub-30' trailers as they want - I ain't biting.
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Old 05-19-2016, 04:59 PM   #838
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If Oliver built a 26'-28' trailer, we'd be more than a little interested. Their existing floor plans don't work for us (We're not willing to sleep on a dinette at night, switching back and forth between day & night layouts. Just. Not. We'd also like more windows.) I guess that makes us late-blooming baby-boomers who will find themselves stuck with a trailer so big no millennials would want it. Don't care.

Otherwise, Oliver makes a very impressive trailer that we'd love to consider next time we're RV shopping. We love their clean integrated interior lines, their practicality and their flexibility on custom options. It's like they snatched up some of the best CCD design principles.

If Airstream makes a successful entry into the fiberglass trailer market, who knows what sizes / types of fiberglass units they might try next? I hope we'll find out.
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Old 05-20-2016, 10:10 AM   #839
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Innovation doesn't sell.

The history of brands like Avion and Streamline show that a focus on pure technical innovation just doesn't work as a business model. The north american RV industry in particular is locked into technology 2 generations old. It's cheap, and it mostly works, and the innovators don't hit the price points with first time buyers.

What sells is branding(including lifestyle/community branding) and how the thing looks. People (myself included) will back rationalize their purchase to whatever tech the brand uses (a la harley davidson).

Sales-wise the whole industry needs a lighter more compact product for the next crop of gen-x, gen-y and millennials who actually have income (some do exist).

Basecamp was an attempt at this but the end value proposition turned into 20k for something very pretty that functioned between a pop-up and a camper. The active lifestyle people it was aimed at saw the monthly payment and ... It didn't sell.

Nest is a second kick at the can. I would expect there will be a few attempts to use more modern sub-systems from Europe, a cartridge toilet is possible, (which the old timers will scream about) german high efficency fridges, The thermionic or whatever heat system from across the pond. But I think it will sell based on whether people like the shape and colors of the clamshell and the way the interior feels when they sit in it. Plus the lifestyle pitch.


Moving the furniture around on the bigger models, branding projects, and bringing a few techs or layouts from europe to the higher end models will continue for the established end of the market.
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Old 05-20-2016, 10:24 AM   #840
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"Basecamp was an attempt at this but the end value proposition turned into 20k for something very pretty that functioned between a pop-up and a camper. The active lifestyle people it was aimed at saw the monthly payment and ... It didn't sell. "

Even worse: the Basecamp base price was $20K, but when the Airstream and Kelty options were added in it was $30K, and that was ten years ago. Mine is an early one with all of the options that sat at a dealer for almost two years before they sold it over the internet for under $20K. Worth more than that now.
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