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Old 07-19-2013, 04:35 PM   #1
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Airstream Has Lost Their Way

I think Airstream has lost their way from their historic construction methods. They used to be known for getting the absolute maximum utilization of space in the units. Now it seems that their effort is to design the trailers so they can be built the quickest. I had a 1996 21' Sovereign and now have a 2007 27'FB Classic Limited. By the name Classic Limited you would think they had every option and the ultimate design details. My old Sovereign had for its day, better use of space, more storage and better construction than my current trailer. For example, there was already a spice rack in my old trailer and I had to build one for my newer trailer. Neither my old unit nor my current had a microwave so I had to add that as well.
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Old 07-19-2013, 04:38 PM   #2
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There are plenty out there with the opinion that AS lost their way back in '63. "Oh the times, they are a changin'."
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Old 07-19-2013, 05:23 PM   #3
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I would say they lost their their way the day that Thor took them over. Cutting corners any way possible and QC went out the door. That said if I could afford a new Airsteam I would buy one in a minute knowing full well what I would have to deal with. I like the layout and looks of the new trailers.
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:02 PM   #4
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In one area they seem to have "found" their way. I refer to the appreciation of the beauty of the inside aluminum. I love it that they are not covering it all up with fake wood or fuzzy carpeting like they so often used to.
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:14 PM   #5
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Rich, that is one of the things I like most about the new Airstreams. They are so bright and open looking. Mine is like stepping into a dark cave. Cozy and depressing at the same time.
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:14 PM   #6
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I'm with you on this one Rich, love the interior aluminum and the overall coordination of materials. The newer exterior finish is a dream to keep if you can keep the corrosion under control. Nice Airstreams but I like them all, especially the polished early models.

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Old 07-19-2013, 08:27 PM   #7
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I was so sold on the interior aluminum of the newer ones....the wife too...enamored

we are aware of QC issues....I am quite concerned about my new trailer on order for october..but we will stay severely vigilant and get hopefully all kinks worked out....

Its always a good thing though that we demand high quality of airstream...

I am not knowledgeable about quality of various years of airstreams so I could not comment about fluctuations in quality....
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:32 PM   #8
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:51 PM   #9
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I have had about 15 Airstreams and Argosys over the past 35 years. This year I finally decided to buy a new one. It is a 2014 Flying Cloud 20' and one of the very first 2014's off the line, I expect.

The quality is just fine vs. the older ones. A careful inspection of the hidden interior parts has resulted in 3 rivet mandrels and a few scraps of sticky tape. There are a few stupid things like the side vent (with fan) refrigerator, and a plumbing system with so many 90 degree elbos that the water pump has a very hard time supplying the right water pressure, but otherwise no issues.

The frame is a 5" one which is great vs. the lighter ones. Mine has been assembled very well overall.

In short, with lots of experience under my belt with older ones, I can say there is nothing about the new one which I find inferior in quality. Sure, I have some things I would change, but I changed a lot on all my vintage ones too.
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
I would say they lost their their way the day that Thor took them over. Cutting corners any way possible and QC went out the door. That said if I could afford a new Airsteam I would buy one in a minute knowing full well what I would have to deal with. I like the layout and looks of the new trailers.
Others would say when Beatrice Foods bought them in 1969/70... WTH does a food company know about building travel trailers?

Aaron
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:56 PM   #11
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Like so many organisations, Airstream is run by accountants; people who see only the bottom line. Corners are cut and compromises made, all in the name of cost reduction. That said, keeping the company profitable is paramount because with some dividend to Thor and its shareholders, I doubt Airstream would still be around.

We went new partly because we liked the more modern interior design, which is a step away from the traditional wood and carpet style. I know that many prefer the more traditional styling but I think Airstream caters for most tastes.
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:04 PM   #12
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Others would say when Beatrice Foods bought them in 1969/70... WTH does a food company know about building travel trailers?
Maybe a little if they made canned hams!
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:08 PM   #13
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Maybe a little if they made canned hams!
Beat me to it by 5 minutes!! :-)
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:22 PM   #14
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Beat me to it by 5 minutes!! :-)
Couldn't resist!
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