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Old 05-21-2016, 08:02 AM   #841
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New less expensive Airstream

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Originally Posted by timhortons View Post
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.

To the first point, the market changed as well for upmarket vintage kin. The selling price used to be the cost of the average home. Doctors, lawyers, etc. Wives who stayed home. A better world with more time off for families.

Cheaper airline travel, inflation and a general diminishment of family fortunes (time & money) made "vacation" change from what one could do for oneself, to buying packages to stay at a particular location. Etc.

I've little doubt no fault divorce made buying a "second home" which is owner dependent for use and maintenance less attractive as well. It once was easier to make that quarter century investment.

A bigger Oliver (as mentioned above) would be more of a change in this market than the trailer which is the subject of this thread.

I haven't looked at an analysis of weight/strength differences between fiberglass and aluminum, but the porkiness of an AS 25' is inexcusable. A natural advantage relinquished at the get go.

As always, an excellent post, Gene.

As to problems with humidity, wood comes out worse. Honeycomb floors are covered with ones choice of what is to be underfoot with a minor underlayment.
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:15 PM   #842
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:53 PM   #843
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Interesting, what is that?
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Old 05-23-2016, 05:12 PM   #844
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Old 05-23-2016, 09:16 PM   #845
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It's interesting to note that LittleGuys bought the t@b line from Thor. The t@b was a European design with a number of components manufactured in Germany. Probably the best TT I've ever owned.
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Old 05-23-2016, 11:45 PM   #846
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And some of us are prepared to spend the $$$. But there has to be value for money spent. Stepping up quality control will be paramount in that.
Yep!!!
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Old 05-24-2016, 06:37 PM   #847
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Airstream makes a European model. It is lighter, smaller, has a manual jack, hot water heat and better insulation. I think the appliances are the same as ours, but not sure. People have expressed over the years they would like the European model to be sold here, but Airstream won't budge. It could have been a great way to try for a true entry level unit and little cost, but no one at Airstream could see that under their noses.

There is a Canadian version too, but it looks the same, but it built to higher standards required in Canada.

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Old 05-24-2016, 09:35 PM   #848
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I suspect that a certain generation's fetishization of nostalgia, will ultimately be the undoing of Airstream. All this opposition for an Airstream trailer made from that "new-fangled" fibreglass pretty much says it all. In my mind, Airstream should be about premium quality, using premium materials and premium technology. If that means moving away from aluminum, I'm okay with that.
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Old 05-25-2016, 12:04 AM   #849
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene View Post
Airstream makes a European model. It is lighter, smaller, has a manual jack, hot water heat and better insulation. I think the appliances are the same as ours, but not sure. People have expressed over the years they would like the European model to be sold here, but Airstream won't budge. It could have been a great way to try for a true entry level unit and little cost, but no one at Airstream could see that under their noses.
The European models are sweet. Very cool modern interiors, not the grandma's cottage decor of some of the recent models, along with what I understand to be non-wood floors. I don't see them being an economy version or more of an entry level product in anyway.
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Old 05-25-2016, 06:42 AM   #850
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The nostalgia for aluminum in an aerodynamic form is understandable, as that was the way airplanes were being built when Wally started out, and many of us are fully reminiscence of the 1940s on up to recent, but the reality is that the cutting edge of aircraft construction is going toward non metallic substances, including carbon fiber. If AS wants to use fiberglass they should use the best, and avoid the de-lamination problems that are seen on most major brands today. The major problems that I see with our aluminum is keeping all the seams water tight against even wind blown moisture, and hail damage. If I could print money I'd opt for a titanium shell, and it might be bullet proof as well.
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Old 05-25-2016, 02:34 PM   #851
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The European models are sweet. Very cool modern interiors, not the grandma's cottage decor of some of the recent models, along with what I understand to be non-wood floors. I don't see them being an economy version or more of an entry level product in anyway.
You remember more about them than I do, but I haven't seen one in about 7 or 8 years. I think they could be made as an entry level product, but I doubt Airstream would do that. They would charge more if they could get away with it.

I don't know if they ever discussed an American version of the European model, but they never tried it. Seems they could have test marketed it in someplace like the NY area or LA.

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Old 05-25-2016, 04:03 PM   #852
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At over 80,000 pounds (or $120,000) these are not entry level prices. Every Airstream shipped to Europe carries an over 5000 delivery fee.....

They all have surge brakes and very low tongue weights.
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Old 05-25-2016, 04:28 PM   #853
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I thought the Sport models were the entry level Airstreams when they were introduced. They were simpler at first but buyers wanted a bumper, segment protectors, big windows, nicer interiors. The basic Safari line was replaced with the Flying Cloud which is a loaded Safari.

Maybe they learned Americans don't really want simple entry level, and will build and price the Nest accordingly.
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Old 05-28-2016, 07:16 PM   #854
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Switz, thanks for getting the prices. I'm sure they could sell it for less if they wanted to.

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