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Old 06-29-2014, 07:53 AM   #239
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The longest build in terms of man hours was the 2014 or earlier 31' Classics with 300 man hours
I wonder how much of that time was installing ceiling pad and wall fabric insulation?
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Old 06-29-2014, 09:11 AM   #240
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At the factory at the end of the production line, there is a crew that actually climbs inside the bed frames to vacuum as best they can all the construction tidbits.”


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Old 06-29-2014, 01:08 PM   #241
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Originally Posted by ALUMINUMINUM View Post
At the factory at the end of the production line, there is a crew that actually climbs inside the bed frames to vacuum as best they can all the construction tidbits.”


Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk
They were napping when ours came through !!!
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Old 06-29-2014, 01:19 PM   #242
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Yesterday a side orde of bacon with my seven grain pancake was three dollars and ninety five cents. Three slices. Overpriced? But is was an upgrade over the pancake alone! Tummy!! Jim

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Old 06-29-2014, 02:02 PM   #243
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I saw some bacon on the ride home yesterday.....


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Old 07-15-2014, 09:38 AM   #244
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Originally Posted by Zackybilly1 View Post
I have two newer Airstreams and have had three older. My first couple of TT's were SOBs...but I always wanted an Airstream. I think everyone that bought SOBs back in those days, deep down, really wanted an Airstream...but it wasn't in the financial cards.

As far as "bonding" with trailers, I really liked the two '72 31' Land Yachts I had (both at the same time). They were both center twins which I liked. One trailer had double pane windows and was much easier to heat/cool as compared to the other. Someone told me it was a "winter option" with extra insulation but I couldn't find anything to prove that. The other trailer had a built-in LP Onan "battery charger". They were, basically, identical trailers but each had it's own personality and characteristics. In some kind of weird way, they just seemed easier to use for their intended purposes than the newer trailers. If flat-screen TVs, LEDs, PEX and plastic that didn't yellow existed at that time, it certainly would have been hard to beat them. I miss the tail-light fiber optic indicators that were used on the older trailers which verified that your tail lights were doing their jobs.

Granted, I didn't buy them new but I knew each fellow I purchased from who were the original owners and they loved their trailers but got to a point in life when they didn't need them or couldn't use them anymore. One of the fellow exercised his visitation rights from time to time. Both trailers were well sorted and in excellent condition inside and out when I got them and I got 18-20 years of good service out of them before hurricane-force winds and pine trees separated me from them. Both trailers came with plenty of paper-work, receipts, huge (11x17) laminated parts books and useful owner's manuals that actually told you something (didn't include 27 pages on smoke detectors). If memory serves me, there was a bill of sale in the trailer where the fellow had bought it new and it was in excess of $43K. In those days, an Airstream was head and shoulders better than any SOB...and everybody knew it...now, I don't think that it is that sharp a contrast. Guess if I had never owned the earlier trailers, I wouldn't be so critical of the newer ones with it's "upgrades".

Someone mentioned the windows of the older trailers...I like the looks of the newer windows but miss the sturdy levers that were used to open the older windows. If Wally could see the gimpy items used in the newer trailers, he would hang his head in shame. You never had to go outside and "help" the window open on the old trailers. On the newer trailers, Thor couldn't have used a heavier material for the cabinets and interior walls short of 1/4" metal plate. It's almost like they were intentionally wanting to build them to be heavy when in the older trailers, it was blatantly obvious that they were making every effort to keep them light.

For me, the light-weight towing of the Airstreams back in the day was the big attraction. If you ponied up and bought an Airstream, you'd be towing a trailer that weighed the same as an SOB at half the length and still towed like a dream. My LY's tongue weight was less than 500 lbs. fully loaded and I towed it with an 1/2-ton Suburban loaded down with kids and gear with ease. I bet two empty drawers out of my newer trailer's galley weigh as much as my entire kitchen cabinet/counter did in the older trailer. Though "narrow body" the older trailers had much more storage area and the trailers seemed to be better thought out by Airstream....engineered may be a better word.

Well, it is what it is. Use to and if you were willing to part with your hard earned cash, you could go to the top shelf and buy the best quality out there. Now days, you are paying for the quality but just aren't getting it...but that's not just Airstreams. It's just my opinion but earlier Airstream built a solid reputation and was a symbol of quality. When folks see the Thor version, instantly the mindset is "quality" and the price tag infers quality.

So, I treat the newer trailers as a core or good base to finish building a decent, quality trailer (fix all the bugs, upgrade the cheesy items), but sadly, the fat girl will never be a feather-weight or light on her feet, again. I like the looks of the newer trailers and to the unsuspecting eye, they appear to be quality through and through. I commend Airstream's vendors for their improvements in products over the years (Atwood, Dometic, etc.) but can't give Airstream any credit for those improvements. For the selling price, it is a shame and almost a slap in the face that they use the cheap crap, for the lack of a better term, in such a nice body.

I say let's chip in and buy Airstream off of Thor and return it to the "best that money can buy" status. The newer trailers have the potential to be the best thing going...without a doubt. And that way, when people reach retirement age and spend a big chunk of their nest-egg on their bucket list travels, they don't buy a second job as a maintenance man, a "project" trailer or a case of buyer's remorse. And once we've got it sorted out, we won't make changes....only improvements. We'll build a camping machine and not just a facsimile thereof. I've bragged on Airstream's so much over the years (which it deserved at that time) that I want everybody's Airstream experience to be a good one...including mine.

Z

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Old 07-15-2014, 10:08 AM   #245
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I disagree. The auto world is reversing the trend of the 80s and 90s. The average age of registered vehicles has increased from 7 years to now over 11 years over the last 5 year period. This indicates vehicles are lasting longer. This trend is expected to continue.the industry sales rate does affect this number, but the trend of people keeping vehicles longer, because it is more economical to do so is very real.



Not all industries are following that trend though.

Oh boy... I believe we are seeing this rise in vehicle age due to the necessity of owners keeping their vehicles because they cannot afford to replace them. This is a great thing for automotive manufacturers as they can sell parts at a much higher profit margin than a new car.


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Old 07-15-2014, 10:17 AM   #246
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Oh boy... I believe we are seeing this rise in vehicle age due to the necessity of owners keeping their vehicles because they cannot afford to replace them. This is a great thing for automotive manufacturers as they can sell parts at a much higher profit margin than a new car.


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To some extent, the rising age is due to economics, but there always has been and still is a point of no return. This figure is average age until they go to the boneyard (no longer registered). So it is obvious that they are lasting longer. That trend supersedes the time frame of the economic downturn.

Yes, parts are profitable, but the competition for common repair/replace parts is even more fierce than new vehicle sales competition.
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Old 07-15-2014, 10:17 AM   #247
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As a rule, truck based vehicles will last fairly well, but as for cars today they are built with a very finite life expectancy.




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Old 07-15-2014, 10:19 AM   #248
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As a rule, truck based vehicles will last fairly well, but as for cars today they are built with a very finite life expectancy.




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Guys, this just isn't true. Study up on the R.L Polk registration data over the last 30 years.

See a brief overview here:

https://www.polk.com/company/news/po...tinues_to_rise
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Old 07-15-2014, 10:29 AM   #249
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Plastic parts get brittle in UV which just happens to come from sun light. I would expect the majority of the vehicles built today sit outside during the day either at home or at work parking lots. Thus the plastic parts that compose car and truck interiors will start cracking much earlier than the steel dashes of my youth.

It was recently posted that the new 8 speed transmissions are replace only, not repairable. That reflects a growing lack of talent in the mechanics of today as they are only parts changers as compared to years ago when they actually repaired broken items.

Most differential and transmission gears today are powdered metal, not machined from steel like in the 50s and 60s.

New vehicles today have more glitz than substance...
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Old 07-15-2014, 10:35 AM   #250
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Plastic parts get brittle in UV which just happens to come from sun light. I would expect the majority of the vehicles built today sit outside during the day either at home or at work parking lots. Thus the plastic parts that compose car and truck interiors will start cracking much earlier than the steel dashes of my youth.

It was recently posted that the new 8 speed transmissions are replace only, not repairable. That reflects a growing lack of talent in the mechanics of today as they are only parts changers as compared to years ago when they actually repaired broken items.

Most differential and transmission gears today are powdered metal, not machined from steel like in the 50s and 60s.

New vehicles today have more glitz than substance...
Geez, a lot of supposition there, Switz, not supported by the facts. But it's your opinion and you own it, so carry on.

Trans replace vs. repair is leaning to replace with remans mostly due to field labor rates getting to the point that factory assembly line remans are cheaper than field rebuilds if there is much wrong deeper than valve body repairs.

We always perform a repair vs. replace worksheet during diagnosis.
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Old 07-15-2014, 10:57 AM   #251
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Newer is Not Necessarily an Upgrade

One of the major reasons replace is the rule is because of needless complexity.

One of the best examples I can present of this is the electric throttle.

Why replace a few dollars worth of mechanical hardware with hundreds or thousands of dollars of equipment that is not as reliable as the old?

Newer cars are going to soon show a weakness that will place a finite age on them. The insulation on the wires in time gets brittle and crumbles off....

When this happens, it is over.

This insulation sluffing off is kind of a new thing, a change of materials or something.


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Old 07-15-2014, 11:14 AM   #252
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Newer is Not Necessarily an Upgrade

I've read through most of the first couple pages of this thread (until it was side-tracked a few times) and I must say that several of the original posts OT have slightly turned me off purchasing my first AS. My wife and I are busy professionals (I'm 40 and my wife is 39). We have been camping in various ways for years and have an 8yo son. We recently went from a tent to a hybrid trailer and discovered quickly that we wanted something different. After looking at the common white box models we decided to look at AS (which I have admired for years) and we both fell in love. Our intention is to purchase new....not because it was "shiny" but because we don't have time to take on a project and wish to enjoy it immediately. We also prefer the updated interiors and amenities. My impression was that the entire community would be open-armed regardless of model and it would be a unique informal club (vintage and late model alike) that I would be joining. However, the mentality (from many vintage owners) that new purchasers are all snobby elitist that don't know what a crescent wrench is....is disappointing. My wife and I are busy and have made a good life for ourselves through hard work and schooling. I'm in the I.T. industry but regularly wrench my own car, do all my own properties landscaping and perform various "handyman" tasks to keep my home running. I'm sure I'lll be plenty capable of performing the same tasks on my trailer....computer, electronic, mechanically or otherwise. My point is that not all of the young purchasers of new AS are useless snobs with a cheque book. Being able to afford an AS isn't an automatic predetermination of a persons skills/values/attitude. I'll be the first to approach ANYONE with ANY unique or interesting trailer (or even tent setup) to start up a conversation and chat about our shared love of camping. It's about the camping after all ...the places you go, the experiences and the time with your family. Just because someone can afford a slightly nicer/newer atmosphere to sleep in doesn't change those facts.
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