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Old 06-24-2014, 11:18 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by J. Morgan View Post
In all fairness to the guy in the Pilot, my trailer was pretty ugly.....

(Is "pretty ugly" an oxymoron? )
Well....I'm in the camp with Mike on American Pickers....."Rusty gold" is beautiful and I've never seen an AS that I don't look at with a particular glint in my eye. It's about what it was, what it is and what it could/will be.
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Old 06-24-2014, 11:21 AM   #44
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Technically an upgrade is anything that has been approved upon. So newer is an upgrade.

Weather you feel it's an "upgrade" or not is invalid to the premise. Is the upgrade really worth it, and is it truly an improvement over the original? Now there is a debatable topic!

Upgrade as defined: "raise (something) to a higher standard, in particular improve (equipment or machinery) by adding or replacing components: the cost of upgrading each workstation is around $300 | (as adj. upgraded) : upgraded computers."
So what about the new aluminum skin being a downgrade? :-)
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Old 06-24-2014, 11:21 AM   #45
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It all comes down to the individual. There are good and bad in old and new alike.

I prefer my old trailer because that is the guy that my life has made me.

The wife and I have stopped and looked at the new Airstreams that are on a lot conveniently located in the twenty mile stretch between my home and work, imo anyone who says these are not impressive to look at, inside and out either does not really like trailers or is being at least a little dishonest.

In my weaker moments I will admit to coveting them.....
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Old 06-24-2014, 11:31 AM   #46
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Newer is Not Necessarily an Upgrade

The biggest problem I have with newer stuff is needless complexity of their systems.

In a camp trailer I prefer to be able to fix glitches without the need of a computer or the need to purchase a two hundred dollar computer board to make my refrigerator, furnace, or toilet functional.

IMO, those who are buying new Airstreams should be telling their dealer this.

Give me the bling and nice looking trailer without the complications.

That said, the furnace and the hot water heater I used both have a computer board, that is all I could find that would work for my budget and my requirements.
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Old 06-24-2014, 11:39 AM   #47
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On the skin of the new trailers, I do find the lack of rivets a structural downgrade.

There is little doubt in my mind that these newer shells will not age as gracefully as their older brethren.
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Old 06-24-2014, 12:36 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by mikekey View Post
Technically an upgrade is anything that has been approved upon. So newer is an upgrade.

Weather you feel it's an "upgrade" or not is invalid to the premise. Is the upgrade really worth it, and is it truly an improvement over the original? Now there is a debatable topic!

Upgrade as defined: "raise (something) to a higher standard, in particular improve (equipment or machinery) by adding or replacing components: the cost of upgrading each workstation is around $300 | (as adj. upgraded) : upgraded computers."
(Unfortunately) part of my job is writing standards and parsing those that are already in place, and your interpretation of the "upgrade" definition does not address the critical phrase "...to a higher standard."

Changes can be made for many reasons, and many of them are done for "value engineering:" reduce cost, and this is the most common reason for a change. It may, or may not be an "upgrade." and is a great conversation topic.

Snobs: I've only been an Airstream owner for a few years, and attended a few local NorCal rallies after discovering the Forums and hooking up with our wagonmaster, Coastalview. We were initially concerned about the reception of our big brown TerraYacht in a sea of aluminum, but have not seen any evidence of snobbery from the "sea of aluminum". The people are wonderful, we have had a great time with owners of classic, new, any year of the unit or the owner!
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Old 06-24-2014, 02:27 PM   #49
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I was overtly mocked last summer by a man pulling a newish Bambi with his green Honda Pilot last summer as I was leaving on my first trip out.... By yelling across the fuel island.....
I think I would have yelled back something derogatory about his ugly tow vehicle
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Old 06-24-2014, 02:33 PM   #50
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I think I would have yelled back something derogatory about his ugly tow vehicle
Or ask him how much he charges for polishing campers.
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Old 06-24-2014, 04:04 PM   #51
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Sometimes I think people are too sensitive.. I have never thought of our newer trailers as upgrades so much as just being different and having what we wanted at the time.
Had we known back when what we know now we might have opted to keep the first one and redo things to our liking. At the time we didn't have the time or inclination.
Each of our trailers has been a learning experience and tons of good times.
I don't care what others think about our trailer. It suits us and we have fun.
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Old 06-24-2014, 04:36 PM   #52
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I am all good with it, I have laughed about the experience a lot of times, and he gave me a great story to tell..

Like I say , the trailer really was super ugly. I think that the clear coat had been gone for about 20 years it was as oxidized as any trailer I have ever seen.... The wheels were dirty and rusty, when I say it was ugly, well...

I cant say the guy was a snob, he just might have SEEMED a bit snobby... .
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Old 06-24-2014, 04:41 PM   #53
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On the skin of the new trailers, I do find the lack of rivets a structural downgrade.

There is little doubt in my mind that these newer shells will not age as gracefully as their older brethren.
Lots of airplanes that used to be built with rivets are built with a structural glue by 3M instead. Lack of rivets is not necessarily a problem, if the rivets are replaced by something better and not just by fewer rivets.
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Old 06-24-2014, 05:13 PM   #54
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A Cheap Upgrade

Having fooled around with cars for so long I'm aware of how the look of wheels can profoundly affect the appearance of the vehicle. The wheels on my trailer are sound but they looked pitiful so I refurbished them today. Hadn't realized how ugly they were (they really were ugly) until I redid them.

Polished the chrome (stainless?) beauty rings, installed new lug nuts and center caps, rattle canned the wheels in Krylon Silver Metallic.

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Old 06-24-2014, 05:18 PM   #55
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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.

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Old 06-24-2014, 05:43 PM   #56
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Our trailer came of the line at Jackson Center in mid January 2014 and was delivered to the local dealership at the end of January. Issues I personally pointed out to the head of QC and confirmed in writing before I left in an email had not been addressed when the trailer arrived at the dealership.

On our second outing, days #5 to #9 of our total camping experience in the new trailer, the aluminum splash guard beside the cooktop slid down the wall. We noticed that all of the florescent bulbed fixtures had fine line cracked lenses and the bathroom fixture had a florescent bulb die. The bedroom pocket door had it's Hickory trim come loose from the paneling.

The under panel of the overhead cabinet above the storage cabinet in back of the dinette has the hickory veneer delaminating and the side panel of solid woods is warping.

I have around $500 worth of LED bulbs to install in all the fixtures inside the trailer to reduce the heat load and heat damage to the fixtures and surrounding wall or ceiling covering.

When we park the trailer under roof in our storage area, we leave three five gallon buckets of water inside to help keep the humidity level up.

We fixed many similar problems on my nickel during three weeks in March at A&P Vintage Trailer Works where they installed the Solar system and disc brakes.

I am looking to go back there again this fall (over 950 miles one way) to get the ever lengthening list of issues taken care of by competent people. Might even have the fluid level gage system replaced.

This a new unit that had a long build history with basically no changes. What broke? In 2012 they made 26 units per week. My unit was in the trying for 50 units per week mode. Think that speed of assembly has any impact on Quality?

I would sure pass on a 2015 31' Classic and let there be some new R&D folks to take the lead about issues with the shiny do-dads and how to keep them working. The power awnings are shorting out on the dealers lot because a sub $0.50 grommet is not installed in the opening for the wires coming thru the skin below the awning arm. The knife edge created by making that hole cuts through the electric tape and then the wire insulation. Repairs, due to the wood block reinforcement, will require removal of the inside skin to access the wires and splice new leads on to those wires. Failure of any one of the three electric awning motors will immobilize the awning.

Another vote for manual awnings! That has at least five less things to break.
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