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Old 12-26-2015, 11:27 AM   #1
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Yep... I need a Cheaper Airstream

Are you all expecting a better Airstream or a bitter experience with the purchase of a Cheaper Airstream?

"Less Expensive = Cheaper"

Jackson Center has already done their best to make a Cheaper Airstream with a higher Sticker Price. You own it.

When Jackson Center applies the embossed " AIRSTREAM " on the front of their product it should represent Quality. Not cheaper.

I saw cheaper Airstreams in 2008. They are being shipped to Europe. I am sure the sticker shock for "cheaper" and what you are getting will be a grand disappointment. There seems to be little if any feedback from European Airstream owners of the "Euro-Stream", or whatever.

The 16 foot Bambi is not... cheaper. So size and quality have a price, even in Airstream accounting. Someone with a list of trailer weights and sticker price can come up with a $ per pound. Compare each model for the year and compare.

Compare an Arctic Fox 25 foot to an Airstream 25 foot... per pound. Compare the depreciation values of each over ten years. For the value of depreciation I would suspect you could buy an Arctic Fox new every five years for the value lost on an Airstream. (I bring this up as an exercise to those handy with numbers.)

A "less expensive Airstream" is going to be a big disappointment for those expecting a 16 foot Bambi for half price.

Ferrari makes "cheaper"... but it is still quality. We all have seen the "cheaper" pickup truck to draw you into the showroom. Stripped down to the tires and wheels every loose dime possible. Even the spare tire is a throw away.

If Airstream makes a "cheaper" it will not be better, nicer or more reliable than what we have already. One battery. One smaller propane tank. Smaller wheels. Cheaper tires. Lighter axles. Less frame, smaller, cheaper, less reliable.

Dream the Fantasy of buying your next "new cheaper lighter less reliable Airstream" with the coupon found in your mailbox. The depreciated value once the papers are signed and your Air... whatever... Stream shows up to the dealership will be Not Cheap.

I have no Brand Loyalty to Airstream. For the price... I expect to buy quality as well. Having a cheap spare tire mounted on a steel wheel, one year Interstate battery warranty, and loaded with imported parts that would make this "assembled" in the USA, not MADE in the USA...is what you are getting and can expect in the future.

Sit back, take a deep breath and think how this "Less Expensive Airstream" will have less of... Another Corvair in the making and you will be given the FIRST opportunity to own one. If I can not afford an Airstream at the present time... save so you can... or buy the best option which might be the Arctic Fox.

As you can tell, I am not optimistic. I do not pay top dollar for a Toyota or a Ford 4x4 pickup because I am a spendthrift. Even those buying what today is the less expensive Airstream today... is the Ferrari of travel trailers. Keep it that way.
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Old 12-26-2015, 11:46 AM   #2
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AMEN, I agree...
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Old 12-26-2015, 12:00 PM   #3
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another argument for buying and old beat neglected airstream and rebuilding it . . . maybe even paying someone to rebuild it.
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Old 12-26-2015, 12:13 PM   #4
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Yep... I need a Cheaper Airstream

My guess is Ray's comments will ring true moving forward... At the end of the day " cheaper (less expensive) and quality" do NOT compute.


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Old 12-26-2015, 12:23 PM   #5
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Old 12-26-2015, 12:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
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another argument for buying and old beat neglected airstream and rebuilding it . . . maybe even paying someone to rebuild it.
******
I did not even consider the "older used Airstream and Vintage". I am sure there is a model or a year where OLD and VINTAGE come into play.

When I was young, which is getting fuzzier in lack of detail as I type... a 1965 Corvette coupe with knock off mag wheels, 327 with 365hp as used in the early 1970s... was less than $3,000. I know... I was refurbishing 1964 to 1967 models in Wyoming, buying them in the $1000 to $1800 range and flipping them to support my hunting for hot rods parked at Ranches having no use.

Quality and style like our modern and vintage Airstreams. Along came 1968 and 1969 with the 427's... the last of the true Corvette sport models. After 1972 and the last chrome bumper year... came the "CHEAPER" boats, sorry if you own one but I am a crotchety Corvette person with experience. Then the wedges and more family mini sedans. The new 2016's... well, even Corvettes and Chevrolet figured out that getting that "mystique" back into a car was ready. I have not owned a Corvette since selling my 1969 Coupe, 427 L88, three deuce for a big chunk of a down payment on a house!

The aluminum on older Airstreams polish up like sterling silver. The interiors can be removed and made custom for your needs. The ultimate, if you are handy and imaginative. I am handy, but not imaginative. Several were on the 2016 Magdalena Adventure. Put our new Airstream to shame.

Cheap is not better, folks. Less Expensive is even the wrong PR term. More like, "Enhanced Beauty at a Competitive Price for the First Time Airstream Buyer".

Cheaper, that is. It may have a window, or two. No more than two full sized tires and an inflatable spare in a glove box. A Boondocking Airstream needs two things.

1- Be well built and the necessary appliances
2- Clearance

Start your list of "necessary" and it gets longer and longer. The price keeps climbing and then you are best off with the 16 foot Bambi... a true compact gem of a trailer, with the price tag.

Watch the Casita type trailers. They have already squeezed out the "frills". Next on the Casita schedule... the Casita upgraded super sized coming to capture the market that Airstream "thinks" they will be able to attract. Already there are a number of mini trailers worth considering for the younger less affluent buyers today. Will they start with a stripped down Airstream... OR a mini sized with all the neat ingenuity that is already built into the product. Come one... you already see what train wreck is coming... if Airstream wants to compete with these guys.

I do not want cheap. I do not want to give up convenience. If I want to... those options are already out there. My current 25 footer might be the 1972 Corvette... nearing the last of its kind. A "true" Airstream. Not a Thorstream.
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Old 12-26-2015, 02:27 PM   #7
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Ray,

Agree with your thoughts about less expensive Airtreams

But on the other hand, I really liked my 1964 Corvair convertible, despite what Mr Nader had to say about it!

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Old 12-26-2015, 02:59 PM   #8
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Nader was out to get Corvair. It handled decent. If you tried to push it hard, it behaved better than a Volkswagen Beetle did. The later ones had better suspension, and a mid-engine V8 was a fire-breathing beast of a sports car.


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Old 12-26-2015, 03:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post
Quality and style like our modern and vintage Airstreams. Along came 1968 and 1969 with the 427's... the last of the true Corvette sport models. After 1972 and the last chrome bumper year... came the "CHEAPER" boats, sorry if you own one but I am a crotchety Corvette person with experience. Then the wedges and more family mini sedans. The new 2016's... well, even Corvettes and Chevrolet figured out that getting that "mystique" back into a car was ready. I have not owned a Corvette since selling my 1969 Coupe, 427 L88, three deuce for a big chunk of a down payment on a house!
My feelings are hurt Ray. I love my boat!

Actually it is a turd, but man is it beautiful. I always got comments cruising around in it.
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Old 12-26-2015, 03:55 PM   #10
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The NEW "minnie" Airstream can be towed with a Corvair

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wingeezer View Post
Ray,

Agree with your thoughts about less expensive Airtreams

But on the other hand, I really liked my 1964 Corvair convertible, despite what Mr Nader had to say about it!

Brian.
******
When spell check REFUSES to accept Corvair and wants it to be a Corsair... you know what the computer ALSO thinks of your 1964. When has a computer ever been wrong, unless it for the national health care system where it is OK.

I had a "friend" who wanted to sell me his 1965 model. Might have been in 1967 or 1968. Maybe a convertible, also known as a "rag top" over time. When you needed heat, which usually occurs when it is cold and your windows are rolled up, the fumes were like touring Bejing without any wind. One spark and you would be recycled on the spot... was the threat.

It did handle well as long as you were... parked.

(Just kidding. It drove like a Porche but without the suspension.)

I was sporting a 1956 VW with that small portal window for a cost less than $300... maybe $295 over 12 months at the age of 15.65.
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Old 12-26-2015, 04:05 PM   #11
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Beauty is only skin deep...

Quote:
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My feelings are hurt Ray. I love my boat!

Actually it is a turd, but man is it beautiful. I always got comments cruising around in it.
******
Oh trust me, they are beautiful cars to look at and wax. Dumping the factory wheels was a big plus! Or maybe those are the factory wheels with non original tires. Looks sharp. I finally convinced my nephew to sell his and use it as a "repair fund" for his purchase of a 2009 fifth wheel trailer. When you have to pull off parts to replace a spark plug... you have too much stuffed into the front end and not enough butt padding to maintain traction in the rear.

Now, one exception. If someone is towing a 16 foot Bambi, or the possible "new" Minniestream with a late model Corvette, up to these current hot rod 2016's... I might be convinced having made a serious "Custer Decision" error of judgment and reconsider.

The 1963 Coupe rear window leaked like an old Some Other Brand fiberglass trailer, and the interior had too much cheap... aluminum trimmings.

Find me MY former 1965 Corvette Coupe, 327, Fuel Injected with the "magic bar radio", knock off mags... I might consider paying anyone DOUBLE what I sold one for. Maybe triple. I had the engine balanced and it hummed like a Mazda. Duncan, Oklahoma has a blue one with side exhaust pipes driven by one sharp Air Force member last at Warren Air Base, Cheyenne, Wyoming... 1972. Now, that is belated envy.
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Old 12-26-2015, 05:39 PM   #12
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We'd love to see a 28' Oliver with a good floor plan. They look really nifty, but the floor plans for existing models would just not work for us. We want a dedicated queen-sized bed, not some bed/table crossover that we'd have to re-arrange twice a day.

This may or may not be less expensive than an AS - but the seams wouldn't be at risk of leaking, and the floors wouldn't rot out.
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Old 12-26-2015, 08:37 PM   #13
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VW Westfalia Camper still impresses

Forget an independent trailer pulled by a vehicle being possible to capture the younger generation(s) that most have never camped one day in their lives. This market does not exist with the millennials who may have parents who loved camping with a tent or trailer in tow... they, themselves, are not interested.

The Interstate is Airstreams' modern alternative. Although expensive, many who did not want to to purchase a tow vehicle and a trailer, this was a viable option.

My wife camped in a Mallard and a Nomad in her youth with her parents. Five slept in beds, slings or on the floor. Her and her sister are still avid campers. My wife's first major purchase after graduation was a... 1974 Volkswagen Westfalia camping van with pop up.

You could drive to work and on your time... go camping. A win - win option. She still talks about her VW camper and when we see one, anywhere... it is important to slow down and get a closer look. There is one sitting in Nelson, NV that has a VW bug with the Westfalia cut down to fit ON TOP. Really interesting, but was done by someone with a great imagination and wasted two classics.

Wikipedia covers all of them from 1950 to 2002 models. Pricing one today would find them demanding a higher price than when new. My wife sold hers after several years for MORE than she paid from the VW dealership in Buffalo, NY. Try that with an Airstream trailer or an Interstate.

Maybe someone making it to the end of this Thread may have or had a VW camper, Westphalia, Silverfish, Limited Edition, Kombi, Panel Van, Minibus, etc.. They were built at locations across the planet. Earth, that is.

This camper option was flexible in uses as transportation and a no frill camper. Ambulances. Pickup van. Bus.

Again, these no longer have all the options most buyers want in a transportation and camper combo... these minibus's may never be seen again. I saw them in the 1960's and was envious, but out of my price range. Now they are a novelty just to stand near one.

Maybe Airstream had drawn up a 20 to 25 foot or shorter idea... RV combination smaller than the 34 foot versions, but realized there was a time a market existed for a smaller minivan/camper/vehicle, but put back into the file cabinet as a wonderful idea, but thirty years too late.
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Old 12-26-2015, 09:28 PM   #14
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My parents bought a VW camper and in 1970 we full timed for 4 months traveling from California to Massachusetts. It is the first childhood memories I have. There were 4 of us and a German Shepard.

Once in MA, we never camped again, but the camper was a daily driver. My mother still says it was among the best times of her life.
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