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Old 12-06-2019, 06:52 AM   #21
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This is an interesting conversation.

It is not only the Z's. My boomer friends nearing/recently retired also would buy the nicest most spacious QUALITY rig you can pull with a Subaru.

Quality does not equal fancy.

They are looking for room for 2 people and a dog, with a workable kitchen and bathroom.

This IS the emerging market for travel trailers. I would call them the "won't buy a truck" travelers.
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Old 12-06-2019, 07:10 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by AKNate View Post

Look, I get that they are concerned about how mills and zeers are gonna keep the company afloat long after we start pushing up dandelions.

But Airstream has a long history trial and error. Take the Argosy line that was the test bed for things and a lighter more affordable version of Airstream. Only a handful of the good stuff from that experiment endure even today in the Airstream lines. Many things were left behind along with the Argosy line.

Squarestreams and SquareArgosy. Fad that lasted what? A year? Two? Three?

They had what I considered a gorgeous motorhome concept they partnered with (I think) BMW. Never made it past the prototype drawings, most likely because it would have been a 1/4 mill rig.

Then came Basecamp, followed by Nest. Really cute if you are backpacker, but not really useful, at least for the 30-50 crowd, and for the price you can easily get an SOB that can be towed with a Subaru....heck, maybe even two for the price of one Basecamp or Nest

Here is where Airstream gets into trouble. They have this brand and it fits a niche and yes, they refresh the colors and change names from Safari to Flying Cloud and bring back other iconic name of basically the same trailer.

People buy Airstreams because they look cool and they are a timeless RV. I don't believe diluting the brand is the answer. Bringing back plain jane type trailers is going to be viewed as religious experience by most of the Airstream ownership, let alone the club.

Bottom line, Wheeler better be careful. Think of other icons that lost there way, only to come back to basics later....Mustang is one that comes to mind....Thunderbird another....maybe Wheeler has family working at Ford.
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Old 12-06-2019, 07:19 AM   #23
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He’s probably a Gen-Xer, everyone forgets we exist, but we’re all sitting around shaking our heads at our parents (Boomers) and our kids (Millennials), LOL
Totally non-important post on my part here, but I'm a Gen Xer, born in 1966, and always thought my parents were of the generation right before the boomers, the tail end of the silent generation, and children of Gen-Xers are the generation after millenials.

I suppose there is no cut off, but there definitely are generational differences in how people approach life and finances. I was born at the start of Gen-X and I feel very little in common with baby boomers. Not saying that as a negative, just feel there is a large difference between the events that shaped my life and the ones that shaped theirs.

And to the point of this thread, put me in the camp that says I have no idea how you dilute even one of the things mentioned and still have an Airstream.
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Old 12-06-2019, 07:20 AM   #24
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Ummm errrr ...do you really think either of those are at the price point of the average 25 year old?
Hi

They *are* trailers that don't look like a "normal Airstream" so they fit that part of the article. They *do* have more appeal price wise than the traditional trailers.

Bob
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Old 12-06-2019, 07:25 AM   #25
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I am surprised Livin' Lite did not make it

I expected to see Livin' Lite trailers fill the void between Sticks-n-Staples SOB's and the huge step in price up to Airstream.

They had a really cool concept at a price point that was much more in reach.

I wonder what Bob Wheeler is thinking: No point in going after the sticks-n-staples market. But it does seem there is a wide open gap in the middle range market.

I am hoping to see more models in Nest family.......A 25 foot fiberglass shell would be cool if the price was right.
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Old 12-09-2019, 11:20 AM   #26
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Maybe Wheeler is trying to drum up business. ?

Moral of his story, 'Buy today, for tomorrow, you may not have the options or choices you have today. Really doubt that though.


I find it hard to imagine that there would be a significant future decrease in AS market, current models, with the 'Glamping' mindset of many people today. Most days it's hard to know exactly what I think let alone others in the crowd. Thanks for allowing my FWIW.

PS - I like artisanal, sounds fashionable.
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Old 12-13-2019, 01:21 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piggy Bank View Post
This is an interesting conversation.

It is not only the Z's. My boomer friends nearing/recently retired also would buy the nicest most spacious QUALITY rig you can pull with a Subaru.

Quality does not equal fancy.

They are looking for room for 2 people and a dog, with a workable kitchen and bathroom.

This IS the emerging market for travel trailers. I would call them the "won't buy a truck" travelers.
Agree - especially with the general impracticality of the big mother truck as a daily driver. Kinda drawn to the A-frame trailers. Agile, low maintenance, can tow with most midsize cars, has a toilet, fits in a normal garage, etc. And as I cut back on traveling frequency and distance, blowing $20K or less for yard art seems relatively more sensible. Kinda like picking up used buckets free behind restaurants is a better deal than any bucket that costs $135.

In the eastern USA especially, the cost of storing and camping in any big trailer or moho continues to go up astronomically.
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Old 01-10-2021, 11:26 AM   #28
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We own a 1987 AS Sovereign, and take some pride in keeping her ship-shape. I think what might be missing lately is the idea of sustainability. There is something sustainable in keeping a trailer on the road for 30 or 40 years or longer. I was raised to buy the highest quality thing you can afford, instead of buying lower quality, disposable items. I think some in this new generation get that and may think a bit more about long term consequences...at least I hope they do. It's not about having more stuff, which is kind of becoming a problem now and in the future.
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Old 01-10-2021, 01:04 PM   #29
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Will they bring argosy back?
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Old 01-10-2021, 04:30 PM   #30
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A.pop up Airstream that is shaped like a Conestoga. With silver canvas.
Plus, no TV needed, just go to the local Rent-a-Nag, get 1,2 or 4 for the BIG wagon boyz.

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Old 01-31-2021, 11:15 AM   #31
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Boomers don't want anything to change, then complain that millennials are killing applebee's, Harley, curtains, and all the crap we aren't interested.in.
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Old 01-31-2021, 05:18 PM   #32
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Airstream has a herd of sister companies under the Thor umbrella.

Do they plan on doing an SOB build with an Airstream sticker? The Nest and Basecamp were already too expensive for the young ones.

About the only way I see them pulling it off is to make their own version of a Scamp. Unique look, light weight and low budget.

Can't wait to see what they come up with since they seem to be uncomfortable being the only ones in their current market spot with an all aluminum product.

Because if you look at it. They can wait until the youngsters age and increase their budget until they can afford an Airstream.
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Old 01-31-2021, 06:30 PM   #33
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I’m at the very end of the baby boom. I can afford an Airstream. The problem is that it isn’t exactly what I need. I definitely want the nostalgia factor. I don’t want the crazy finishes, the leather, and the high-end electronics. If the Airstream God’s were to build my perfect camper, it would be 25 feet, have a double bed and be something of a retro model. It would have the basics, such as a full bathroom, a kitchen with a microwave, 2 way refrigerator and a decent sized usable sink. The interior would look like something out of the 50s or maybe the 60s. It would be light enough to tow with an average F150. I basically want an old Airstream built today.
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Old 01-31-2021, 06:54 PM   #34
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They canít be this dumb, can they?

Yes!

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Old 01-31-2021, 06:55 PM   #35
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Iím at the very end of the baby boom. I can afford an Airstream. The problem is that it isnít exactly what I need. I definitely want the nostalgia factor. I donít want the crazy finishes, the leather, and the high-end electronics. If the Airstream Godís were to build my perfect camper, it would be 25 feet, have a double bed and be something of a retro model. It would have the basics, such as a full bathroom, a kitchen with a microwave, 2 way refrigerator and a decent sized usable sink. The interior would look like something out of the 50s or maybe the 60s. It would be light enough to tow with an average F150. I basically want an old Airstream built today.
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Old 01-31-2021, 07:17 PM   #36
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Agree 100%. Iím an older Gen Xíer and own a technology company - Iím loving the 2021. I think weíve purchased our last trailer. Buy a Bambi or Caravel, rip out what you donít want & then retro it out. #winning.
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Old 01-31-2021, 07:33 PM   #37
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Heck, our GenX son bought our 2007 International CCD 22 footer. We inherited it from him, and he gets it back when weíre done with it. The only truely electronic crap it has is the entertainment radio and TV we hardly use, and my ham radio rig. The rest of it is run by mechanical switches. Works fine for our needs.

And yeah, Iím a technology wonk working in the computer security field. And Iím a boomer!
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Old 01-31-2021, 08:38 PM   #38
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wow, lots of negative sentiment. Feels personal

Airstream is a brand. It's a powerful brand here in the US and Canada to a certain degree. Once you buy an Airstream chances are you will buy another and stick with the brand, upgrade to a more expensive model, etc...

Bob and his leadership team are looking for new ways to provide accessibility to the brand. What is wrong with that? Nothing is changing, Airstream will continue to produce $160k + travel trailers that are lux so those who one can continue feel good about the money they spent.

Airstream leadership are just exploring how a consumer can experience the airstream brand at a lesser price point. It's a for-profit business after all.

The average cost of a travel trailer in North America is $23,000. The entry point for airstream is $39,100. The are simply looking to bridge that gap some with new and innovative, accessible products the represent the brand. if you do the research this was the investment thesis behind the original basecamp.

Airstream do not want to damage their brand by producing crap. The Airstream brand is by far the most valuable asset Thor owns.

BTW - I agree with one of the prior comments. If you own one and don't plan to buy another one etc.., who the heck cares. Enjoy what you own and cruise on ....
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Old 01-31-2021, 10:07 PM   #39
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Airstream did it to themselves. They forgot Wally Byam's axiom: Ounce's make Pound's. Unless they learn to innovate with weight, smaller modern vehicles will not be capable of towing them, leaving buyers with no choice other than a truck. The original Bambi was 1875#'s. Today's Bambi: 3,000.
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Old 02-01-2021, 09:50 AM   #40
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For me it was an evolution to get to my Airstream. You grow and learn and from my simple beginnings with an old VW bus (non camper), to a tent. I learned a lot about quality and spending a little more but getting longevity out of my purchases. I loved the Coleman built pop ups and upgraded those to get more living space. They returned top dollar when I sold them. My first hard sided trailer was a 21' 1982 Hi-Lo which truly was a quality product. I kept that trailer 14 years problem free and an $8,200 purchase new netted a $5,600 sale when I sold it privately. An interesting side line is that Hi-Lo was the first trailer line owned by Thor prior to them purchasing Airstream from Beatrice Foods. It was not uncommon to see a Hi-Lo up at Jackson Center service facility. Hi-Lo's used the same axles as Airstream and many Hi-Lo owners had their axle alignment done by the service facility.

I took a turn south after selling the Hi-Lo and bought an Excel which was a Thor branded aluminum framed 30' box. Was 14K at the time and I got my first exposure to what I learned was a poor quality trailer. I sold it within 2 years. Learned some big lessons from that short term ownership. Some of which were quality issues and some realities of how the aerodynamics of a trailer can make a big difference.

The Airstream was always something I felt was never in my future and going to the local RV show each year was something that I felt was out of my league. I knew that Thor trailer I owned was a piece of trash and was desperate to dump it....but where would the quality be. I wanted a long term purchase and while at the annual show I looked at a beautiful 2001 Classic. Way out of my price league but I took a brochure and went home. While paging through I saw the Safari line and after calling the dealership about pricing, I remember my excited exclamation to my wife that we could afford the Safari. We ordered a 27' model with twin beds.

I learned a lot from that purchase. It was my first trailer without a dinette. The Safari had two fold down tables at each end of the sofa. As it ended up we hated those and disliked not having the permanent table that we use today. Second was the twin and I didn't like sleeping against the wall and dealing with the curved corner. The big killer however was the air conditioner. The trailer came with 13.5 Penguin and was woefully inadequate when temps got into the higher 90's. Had the dealer check it out and even went to JC to have them check it. The answer came back is that the A/C was working to the best of its ability. I did go out and bought a lone Zip Dee awning which we had mounted to the street side of the trailer to take a lot of that direct sun off the side. That helped a lot but I wasn't totally satisfied with the purchase I made.

Two years later at a dealer rally I saw a 30' Classic slide out. Loved the queen bed in the back, the center bath, and the dinette that was part of the slide. The space overwhelmed me, and of course awnings all around. The dealer made me an offer and I bit. I decided however I wanted to order one. Mainly because we wanted a different interior choice and I wanted a larger air conditioner than the 13K unit which was standard for the Classic at that time.

So almost 18 years later I still have that Classic. Other than some initial issues with a shower leak and a very poor drawer latching system (which I overcame) my trailer has performed well. I did have a brake assembly fall apart on one wheel at about year 14, have replaced two skylights due to cracks. Under warranty we replaced one skylight, water pump due to bad check valve, and of course fixed a shower leak. We've had one recall where they had to check the wheel bearings due to Henschen using the wrong grease (they used the right grease on mine). I've gone through two brands of ST tires first the Marathons and then the E rated Maxxis. In both case even though I am a stickler on running at 65 psi on the Marathons and 80 psi in the Maxxis, after 3 seasons of use, belt slippage did these tires in. I did the 16" Sendel/Michelin upgrade after that and tires are no longer an issue.

As beautiful as the new trailers are however it's the gimmicks (at least in my eyes) of the heating systems, the shades, the automatic awnings, drop down screens (to name some things) have made the the trailers require a higher level of service and support. That in itself has tarnished the brand and instead of improving fit and finish we now have trailers that we cannot maintain anymore. In some cases fixing problems with these trailers have gone beyond the expertise level of the local dealerships. And to make matters worse what will be the support with parts and expertise as these trailers age.

If Airstream loses its luster I think we will all point to the advent of these gimmicky appliances and inability to get problems corrected in a timely or proper manner from the local dealerships.

Personally I would not purchase a new Airstream Classic today based on the complexity of the new trailers. I consider my Classic slide out a real gem and am so happy I bought mine back in the fall of 2003.

FYI, you might find it interesting that in a Consumer Reports study they noted that the majority of repairs and warranty claims on new cars and trucks today are non mechanical. Meaning the engines, drive trains, transmissions are really good. The weak point is the wiring and technology built into our vehicles.

I hope that Airstream will consider building a line of Airstreams with the basic mechanical appliances that the majority have used over the years. We pay a price for this "advanced" technology.

Jack
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