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Old 06-25-2014, 08:49 AM   #71
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meh, I am age 31...I went to canopener this year and met folks of various ages...and I have a few friends who are interested in AS...they are quite critical thinking and prepared individuals...none just saw a shiny object and took "hook line and sinker"...and as far as I can tell, the disposition, the handiness, the common sense etc is not to me at all obviously superior or inferior based on generation....instead it is based on many other factors.

As a general rule, I have simply found most folks I have met very friendly including all the folks I met at canopener...also I always make a point to converse with other AS owners when we are camping (sometimes to my wife's embarrassment).

I dont mean this to be mean or anything, but I think humans are much more predisposed to cynicism when observing their fellow human beings in action and take a small sample size and run with conclusions of all sorts based on an inadequte data set.

But perhaps I am 31 and naive?
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Old 06-25-2014, 08:56 AM   #72
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Perhaps.

This cynicism isn't about thinking ability or lack of data, it is about the negative traits of humanity.

This kind of thing is emotionally inspired, not thinking inspired. Education might make a more informed cynic,,, and maybe not...


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Old 06-25-2014, 08:59 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by Taylormade View Post
Sad, but unfortunately true. While I've never been a member of the "club", I've met more than my share of folks with newer Airstreams across the southeast who've attempted to assert their affluence over me and my poor 78.

My favorite was a recently retired couple in a 16' Bambi who spouted off a constant stream of self congratulations and arrogance while showing pity for the guy with the shiny, but old, 31' monstrosity.

Of note, I find the annoying ones to be typically baby boomers (ducking as I type this). The older (65-80) crowd typically respects and loves checking out the restored Sovereign, while the 55-65 group tends to be the "proud", shall we say, group.

I laugh it off in any case and am perfectly content with my "vintage" baby. I get why membership in the WBCCI is down, though.
AGREED! We're sorta happy to be in the category of "the older" crowd. Many of the life experiences that we've had sort of qualifies us to ignore some of these things.
The ones that I simply can't ignore, I call upon my uncle Jack Daniels, for a simple chat about these things...
For whatever it's worth.

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Old 06-25-2014, 09:02 AM   #74
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"I dont mean this to be mean or anything, but I think humans are much more predisposed to cynicism when observing their fellow human beings in action and take a small sample size and run with conclusions of all sorts based on an inadequte data set."

Duhhhh...what him say???? My wife has a more simple look at it, "We're all odd....some are just more odd than others."

I like her approach. No need for sample sizes or data set...just accept it, embrace it, laugh it off and move on! She's always my sanity and reality check.
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:19 AM   #75
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"I like her approach. No need for sample sizes or data set...just accept it, embrace it, laugh it off and move on! She's always my sanity and reality check. "

Well I agree, we are just using different language to say the same thing
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:37 AM   #76
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As it relates, I have airstream envy for the mirror shiny older ones...oh those shiny things captivate me...hook, line, and sinker indeed I must say!
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:45 AM   #77
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I find the only thing not upgraded are the new AS owners. Many lack the common sense and life experiences of new owners of a different era. AS is catering to these new owners and hence the decline in quality and common sense in the building of the units. All the shiny and electronic junk on the new units grab these new owners and get them to buy. The trailers have declined in quality as have the new owners. I know, I am just a fossil, but I believe this is true. Many of you will agree, but few will admit it. Not meant to insult any individuals, just the younger generations in general. No fault of their own, we raised them to be the way they are! Jim
You're only partly right in your assessment of AS ownership. Many new owners have achieved their financial goals when they're well into their sixties and can afford to buy a new AS. Quite frankly, these new owners have the life experiences to assess quality and that's why there are so many posts pointing out the QC failings of Airstreams from these "experienced" owners.

As Gene has pointed out and I have experienced, the fact is that there are other trailers (and class B's) out there that are equal to and in some cases, superior to the Airstream lineup.

Not exactly sure why Thor sold the T@B line of trailers. I had one and the quality was far superior to my AS. I sold it for a much higher percentage of the purchase price than I could get for my Safari! I suspect that profitability of a smaller unit (in spite of the high price) was just not there.
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:47 AM   #78
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Obviously most of us do not agree. Some examples I have learned from this forum say otherwise. Consider that prior to the early 80's, they were all clad aluminum- better material. Prior to the seventies, all wood cabinetry- better material. I don't think a buyer should be concerned about "age" as much as condition and how much they are willing or able to refurbish. The one and only major concern I would have as a potential Airstream buyer is frame and floor. That is NOT only a vintage concern. Oh, and the corrosion issue is really a natural process as the metal is coated and those small lesions, however caused, allow moisture in to start the process. In my opinion, as long as AS coats the metal, they will have that issue. @Crispyboy I have not tested an Airstream ducted system yet but just recently I ran a sound level test comparison on my unit, an AS with a Penguin Dometic non-ducted and two Coleman 2014 ducted trailers 31' and the other unknown size (big trailer) with Advent AC systems (just curious). I took three measures- front, middle under the unit or intake and back. My measures were F,M,B (62dB, 62dB, 61dB) and the Colemans were both the same at (60.5,60.5,60.5). The blowing sound was distributed all over and, the layouts were different -on had a bath in the back. I know these are not Airstreams but they had that humped metal duct with a spray-on white coating. I mention this because ducting may not be worth trading in that all fixed up '94 Excella either!
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:02 AM   #79
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Newer is Not Necessarily an Upgrade

It is interesting that the "improved" version of air conditioning is a complicated and expensive ducted system and not simply a quieter roof mounted unit.

From all accounts it seems as if my old 1972 Armstrong unit might be more quiet than new roof mounts AND the new ducted systems.




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Old 06-25-2014, 10:05 AM   #80
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I became very knowledgable about the PCBs issue when dealing with our five Superfund sites in Bloomington, Indiana and the resulting disastrous cleanup that left most of the PCBs hiding under the carpet. Corporations are no stewards of the environment if it gets in the way of profits. And that applies to their employees being "expendable" as a cost of doing business.

They were created in Germany in the 1880s and workers were getting sick and dying within five to eight years of exposure. They were exported to the US in the early 1900s with similar results.

Bloomington has one of the highest brain cancer rates in the nation, especially among those that lived adjacent to the dumps containing these chemicals. A farmer next door to one toxic landfill had three headed pigs, strange leg configurations and other issues with his wife's legs.

A Westinghouse employee who usually had his arms in the fluid got sick and went to the doctor for blood work. His wife was taken aside to be told that the extremely high PCB levels in his body meant that when he died, he would either have to be buried in a hazardous waste land fill or cremated in a hazardous incinerator as his body was that toxic.

These issues are not just in the USA, but world wide. There is NO place on the planet that one can not detect PCB contamination.
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:17 AM   #81
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I posted the ducted air question on another forum and one of the RV mechanics shared his two cents that ducted air is not quieter, that its purpose started as a work-around for slide-outs and basement air (hmm) Could be. As far as the new AS goes, we will find out. If the fan can run at lower speeds and not freeze the AC unit up then it will be able to run quieter.

My little 11K unit blows cold air, I have just learned that I must run that fan on high to keep it from freezing up. So, I have a louder operation noise. The new units may also require this and if so, may not really be any quieter as my simple SOB comparison found.
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:31 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by zigzagguzzi View Post
I find the only thing not upgraded are the new AS owners. Many lack the common sense and life experiences of new owners of a different era. AS is catering to these new owners and hence the decline in quality and common sense in the building of the units. All the shiny and electronic junk on the new units grab these new owners and get them to buy. The trailers have declined in quality as have the new owners. I know, I am just a fossil, but I believe this is true. Many of you will agree, but few will admit it. Not meant to insult any individuals, just the younger generations in general. No fault of their own, we raised them to be the way they are! Jim
Wow. Mind you, it's easy to take something like that personally (being 43 and owning a newer trailer.) It just sounds like sour grapes and maybe even jealousy. (Let's face it: buying a new AS requires a pretty big chunk of $$.)

But even if I avoid taking that bait, I still think you're painting with a big-time wide brush:

- The problems with newer trailers aren't that they have Bluetooth-compatible stereos or two TVs. That stuff is fairly cheap to install too.

- My belief is that use patterns have changed. I owned a 77 Argosy Minuet. It didn't have perfect fit-and-finish. Not even close. But it was a rather "engineered" trailer with very little wasted space. It seemed optimized for boondocking.

But the days of Wally's caravan-inspired trailers are done. My guess is that many newer owners will now go to hookup sites. They can deal with parasitic power draws. Towing with a big truck (now more common) lets you get around some storage issues and allows you to haul heavy cabinetry.

Maybe that lets AS design be sloppy, or avoid innovating with lighter materials or optimizing space. Not sure this is the fault of a new group of buyers though.

- No question that AS uses fewer rivets and a lesser grade of aluminium. But other than a few examples of structural deficiencies (34' with front separation, 22' frame outriggers), it's hard to say the trailers are going to fall apart as a result. (Yes, I could do without filaform - a cosmetic problem.)

- With few exceptions, it's hard to get a trailer that is designed to tow as well as an aerodynamic torsion-axled Airstream. That hasn't really changed.

Do I think AS is the pinnacle of RV quality? It's up there, but there are better. My T@B was rather well-built. A Safari Condo is probably better, at least material-wise. Same goes for some fiberglass trailers.

Funny. These types of threads usually come up in the winter when people are pent up and cranky from not being able to go camping.

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Old 06-25-2014, 10:52 AM   #83
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Like many threads here we're wandering a bit around my original post but it's become an interesting discussion about the level of quality of Airstreams over their long history. I don't think there's any question that things have varied over the years. Manufacturers don't operate in a vacuum. They're affected greatly by macro and micro economic conditions, ownership changes, changing consumer tastes, employee attitudes and morale, and many other factors.

Porsche, a manufacturer that I'm very familar with, has seen the quality of its product fluctuate greatly over roughly the same period as Airstream. Everyone pretty much agrees on what periods were up and what periods were down. After the fact. It seems like it's necessary for some time to elapse before a production period builds its reputation.

I haven't experienced a new Airstream, in fact my '90 is the only one I've owned and traveled in. I'm gaining the impression, mainly from this forum, that the vicissitudes of production quality with Airstreams are very similar to those experienced by other manufacturers. A lot of similarities with Porsche as they're both iconic brands that are considered cool.

In any event, I'm no longer a collector of Porsches and I'll never be a collector of Airstreams. My trailer is really just a tool, a means to an end. And that end is being able to travel around the U.S. with my vacation home trundling along behind me. So far my '90 does that well and I'm content with it. It's an extra bonus that it gives me membership into a fine community of fellow Airstream owners.

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Old 06-25-2014, 10:57 AM   #84
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quick side point, I think in theory the ducted air upgrade could prove really cool...but I could totally understand the skepticism (I harbor it myself on that subject)...

One point that my dealer told me was that (per him) that he thinks you still hear the compressor kick on and off all the same....of course if it is all that quiter for watching movies, talking, etc....this may be just a side note...but if true, instead of purely having wisping quiet AC at night..you do get that lovely compressor noise when it kicks on...which for me I drown it out by running the fan all night...which I grew up running a fan since a kid and cannot sleep without it.

But, I hope personally that such an upgrade lives up to the hype and the new owners have something to boast about...why not
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