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Old 01-19-2007, 06:28 PM   #1
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Four Winds Airstream MH passed at IBT

Thought you'd like to see part of a email from one of the WDCU members that has been at IBT. Thank you Carol for the info.


"The motion to put before the delegates to allow any Thor Four Winds Class A motorhome badged as a special Airstream edition into the club. Rationale said into the Airstream RV Owners Association, intentionally." It PASSED!!!!!
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Old 01-19-2007, 08:54 PM   #2
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I find this unreal. Hummm. So if one of the Four Winds motorhomes from below shows up at our park asking for a WBCCI discount, should we tell them to stick it?

A couple of Four Winds Class As (see Four Winds International):




Ah, such beautiful rigs!


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Old 01-19-2007, 10:40 PM   #3
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I guess the thing is the people who buy those rigs are for all intents and purposes buying an Airstream. It's what the manufacturer who makes the ultimate decision has determined they are. So they are good people who are buying an Airstream in their minds and they are going to be extremely disappointed if other Airstrreamers treat them poorly. It's a tough call - they don't look like what we all understand an Airstream should look like, but they are legally Airstreams. Quite an interesting situation. Do you turn away enthusiastic campers who have bought into the Airstream dream and just happen to get one that doesn't fill our personal vision of what an Airstream is? I'm glad I'm not the one who has to make that determination.

It is disappointing though to see that the trend is going this way, but if this is what it takes for Thor to survive in an extremely competitive business ......


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Old 01-19-2007, 10:55 PM   #4
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If that's an Airstream then I'll bring this to international......
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Old 01-20-2007, 12:46 AM   #5
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Dude!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZstreamin
If that's an Airstream then I'll bring this to international......
I wanna have some fun, fellowship and adventure with you cowboy!
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Old 01-20-2007, 04:24 AM   #6
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I guess the thing is the people who buy those rigs are for all intents and purposes buying an Airstream. It's what the manufacturer who makes the ultimate decision has determined they are. ...
Well... Not exactly.
From the late 1800's through the late 1900's, Schwinn made some very high quality bikes. In particular their Paramounts were as good as anything else made. Even their low end bikes were astonishingly durable.
The name "Schwinn" is now owned by Pacific Cycle (based in Wisconsin) and they source some so-so junk from the China Bike Corp and sell it at X-mart.

Is it a Schwinn? Legally, yes.
The same sort of thing happenned to Raleigh in the US in the early 1980's. The rights to use the name Raleigh were sold to (gag) Huffy and nevermore could you get a Nottingham-built proper English bicycle on these shores. Of course Raleigh itself eventually demolished their Nottingham facility and now sources bikes from China Bike Corp (and other places), although they lean toward higher quality than the modern Schwinns.

Just slapping a label on something, even though you may be legally entitled to do so, doesn't make it less of a farce.

Or as Python, Monte Pictures Ltd would have phrased it:
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DENNIS [addressing King Arthur]: I mean, if I went around sayin' I was an empereror just because some moistened [woman] had lobbed a scimitar at me they'd put me away!
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Old 01-20-2007, 04:27 AM   #7
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If that's an Airstream then I'll bring this to international......
Why not?

Actually, you could rivet a misspelled label, say "ErrSteam" on it and tow a Bambi or something with it. Unhook the Bambi et Voila you're all set!
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Old 01-20-2007, 06:05 AM   #8
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They all look a like

To me, much like an SOB, all MH's look a like to me. I can't tell one from the other. In fact, I'll go as far to say, "They could stick one on the field in the "Prez" row without even the "Airstream badge" and I would never notice the difference". They just all look a like no matter what badge you put on it. For you WBCCI members, just get ready for the voting. I will be interested to see how votes they will get for the motion. I will say here and now, "It will be more than you think!" The MH owners, will start twisting the arms of their friends that still own trailers who would be moving into a MH in the next couple of years saying, "If you don't vote this in now, when you decide to get a MH, you won't be allowed in the club!" You just wait and see. As I tell my wife, "I may not always be right, but I'm seldom wrong".
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Old 01-20-2007, 06:29 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by safari57
It is disappointing though to see that the trend is going this way, but if this is what it takes for Thor to survive in an extremely competitive business ......

Barry
If you're saying that in order for Thor to survive in a competitive RV market they need to put the Airstream name on more of their motorhomes so that the buyers can join WBCCI, that just sounds like nonsense to me.

Thor is doing just fine, in fact they're ahead of other RV makers in the currently rising multi-billion dollar business. One of the reason they're ahead is because Airstream is still building it's classic trailer which appeals most to the up and coming younger, higher income, more highly educated group of RV buyers (from a recent survey done by Airstream.) Motorhome sales are lagging in comparison to travel trailer sales, not because they don't have the "Airstream" name on them but because the younger group doesn't need or want a gas-hogging motorhome and many of the older folks who might want one can't afford one. Putting the Airstream name onto a Thor motorhome doesn't benefit Thor, or WBCCI. It just dilutes the Airstream name and is a slap-in-the-face insult to the buyers and owners of the classic Airstream.

-J
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Old 01-20-2007, 06:37 AM   #10
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One more nail in the nearly sealed coffin......it never shocks me to the level of stupidity and self serving actions the current regime can do.

Best of luck to you all. I know that the majority that responded here on this forum didn't want this, and I'm thinking that it is reasonable to assume that a majority of the membership, to some degree also didn't want to see this happen. It's a sad day indeed for an Airstream only club allowing rebadged SOBs into "the club". I think Wally is turning in his grave right now......
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Old 01-20-2007, 07:17 AM   #11
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This has very little to do with WBCCi, and alot to do with Thor deciding to slap the Airstream brand to other motorhomes.

Airstream proved that they weren't able to make a quality class A. Other Thor entities, like Four Winds, do make a profitable and quality MH. So Thor management wanted to close down the Airstream MH operation and give it to Four Winds. Survival of the fittest.

The Airstream name still has some pulling power, especially for the "trade-up" market. So, slap the Airstream name on a Four Winds Motorhome to capture that segment of the market.

Thor isn't going to make specially badged Airstream MHs just for the WBCCI leadership. They will sell them to anyone. The WBCCi is just along for the ride, a victim of a corporate decison to stop letting a trailer shop try to make and sell a bus.
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Old 01-20-2007, 07:32 AM   #12
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This has very little to do with WBCCi, and alot to do with Thor deciding to slap the Airstream brand to other motorhomes.
I'm really curious about this. When did Thor make this decision? I've only seen the WBCCI side it -- WBCCI leaders working with Airstream Co./Thor to make special badging for the club's benefit. Did Thor or Airstream make any announcements when they stopped making motorhomes that they would put their name on another brand?

-J
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Old 01-20-2007, 07:38 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZstreamin
If that's an Airstream then I'll bring this to international......
OK, but you better paint it silver first! Shouldn't take more than 5 of 6 cases of Krylon spray paint.
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Old 01-20-2007, 07:41 AM   #14
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Well, I've read enough. All you nay-sayers, hand-wringers, and muck-rakers...

My wife said it best, "It used to be an elite club, now it's just not special anymore."

So its time for us all to put on our big girl panties and just deal with it.

Hear! Hear!
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Old 01-20-2007, 07:45 AM   #15
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Uh-oh, my wife just moved her chair further away from me, seems she doesn't want to be too close when I get flamed!

Besides, that was her "big girl panties" line, she's accusing me of just looking for an excuse to use it.

She's right.
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Old 01-20-2007, 08:41 AM   #16
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The people that will leave will be the loud mouthed, opinionated folks who "carp" on about my wearing a blue beret to family functions and everything else that is sacred and that shouldn't be up for discussion. The new Thorbies will think like the IBT. Win-Win situation for the us chiefs and we get to keep getting large tax deductions for purchasing that big Mandalay. Moreover, Airstream will continue to donate a whole $100,000 to the WBCCI. We are going to save this club and have much more plesant rallys.
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Old 01-20-2007, 09:04 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Well, I've read enough. All you nay-sayers, hand-wringers, and muck-rakers...

My wife said it best, "It used to be an elite club, now it's just not special anymore."
So true, all those muck-rakers in the IBT, hand-wringing over having to own an Airstream to stay in WBCCI, nay-saying and ignoring the members on the name-change decision, are headed out. There goes the elitism!!

-J
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Old 01-20-2007, 09:05 AM   #18
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Obviously my first email did not properly convey my thoughts on this. I dislike the devaluation of the uniqueness of owning an Airstream - I have always felt the whole rebadging model manufacturers use to, in my opinion, convince people they are getting something they are not, cheapens the whole product line. I'm concerned that this could eventually be the model Thor moves to and we see other SOB trailers also rebadged. That would be very sad. But what is to stop them from offering an SOB trailer with the Airstream option? Sick to even think about, but something to consider.

I know why they are doing this - they have shareholders demanding more value from their stock every quarter and if they can leverage the name of a product they own to drive that revenue up for the short term they will do it. I don't like it, but I'm also not privy to the decision criteria they have used to do this.

As to allowing these owners to participate in the various clubs and campouts, as I said the first time out, I'm glad I'm not the one having to tell them they don't fit the model. They think they have Airstreams, we know they don't.

Barry
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Old 01-20-2007, 10:26 AM   #19
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Interview with AOAII spokesman

Mid-Winter IBT - "Pumpkin Coach" program announced by AOAII.
Dateline: Perry, Georgia, January 20, 2007

Interview with AOAII Spokesman, Rodney Dangerfield.


The Airstream Owners Association International, Inc. (AOAII) Board of Trustees (IBT) today unveiled a fantastic new program to increase membership after a decades-long slide in membership numbers. The IBT unanimously approved on Friday, Jan. 19 the "Pumpkin Coach" program under which owners of Class A motorhomes manufactured by any company other than Airstream, Inc. can become AOAII members. The simple application of an AOAII approved "Airstream Edition” decal underneath the motorhome manufacturer's badge automagically transforms the motorhome into an Airstream product that qualifies its owners for AOAII membership. "You don't even need a magic wand" states Dangerfield, "only a small dish of water."

The decals are good for a 12 month period ending on July 4th each year, when at the stroke of midnight the motorhome turns back into a SOB [Some Other Brand]. But "fear not" says Dangerfield, "new decals, good for another one year period, are available from AOAII headquarters for only $75.00 per year. Just be sure to apply them before midnight."

The Pumpkin Coach program will be field tested the first year only on Class A motorhomes. If AOAII membership numbers rise, then the program will be expanded to all other types of recreational vehicles. "Airstream, Inc. can only produce about 2,500 travel trailers per year, far too few" notes Dangerfield. "We need a much larger membership universe to draw from, so in 2008 we intend to extend the Pumpkin Coach program to travel trailers and RVs of all brands." Again, the mere application of an "Airstream Edition" decal will transform any SOB travel trailer or RV into an AOAII-recognized Airstream product, qualifying its owner for membership under the expanded "Pumpkin RV" program.

When asked where the Airstream badges could be found on a non-Airstream brand recreational vehicle, Dangerfield bellowed "Badges? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges. I don't have to show you any stinking badges! .... when a little decal will do ya."

The inspiration for this innovative program came from the Board itself. Noting that dressing up an ordinary person in a snappy blazer, tie and beret transformed him or her into a respected leader, they realized the same principle could be applied to recreational vehicles. "Its all about distinctive surface appearance", says Dangerfield. "If we dress up the surface of a SOB, it too will become a leader among its peers. Every RV is entitled to respect" harrumphed Dangerfield.

Recounting that Airstream, Inc. recently entered the toy-toting market with the innovative Basecamp, Dangerfield hinted the AOAII might leapfrog the trailer manufacturer by jumping ahead into the utility trailer field. "There are a heck of a lot of horse trailers out there" observed Dangerfield, "and a fair number of them are aluminum, reminiscent of our far distant heritage". The AOAII decals look particularly nostalgic on an aluminum surface. "Now that dogs will no longer be restricted to one far off area at our International Rally, we'll look into integrating horses at our 2009 International in Madison, Wisconsin. That should boost attendance. We'll just have to remind owners to bring larger pooper scoopers" sniffed Dangerfield.

"In 2010, we'll tackle the world of flatbed trailers, all sizes" expounded Dangerfield. "We're partnering with Kelty to make an 8' wide by 40' Airstream Edition branded tent to fit on a commercial flatbed trailer. Those 18 wheelers are already self-contained in the cab, and the extended family can sleep in the tent" during International. Having admitted diesel pushers for years, the AOAII looks forward to welcoming all those "Airstream Edition" 18 wheeler diesel pullers as well. He predicts a constitutional amendment to change the club to the AEOAII will pass handily.

2011 will see the program extended to people and renamed the "Pumpkin Person" program. "Anyone who wears an Airstream t-shirt, hat, bracelet or other item is, on the surface, an Airstream" said Dangerfield. "Why should they be denied the benefits of membership? Anyone wearing any Airstream branded item will be welcome to join the AEOAII, for a fee of course, which should further boost membership." Decal sales are projected to flatten in 2011, but people who want to be recognized for their leadership potential can purchase "Four Winds" embroidered formal wear.

Finally, Dangerfield whispered he overheard some guys in berets talking to Saint Peter about "Pumpkin Gates" welcome plaques and co-branding "Airstream Edition" angel wings. When asked about the future for those who actually owned Airstream manufactured recreational vehicles, Rodney sharply remarked he had no knowledge of any AEOAII plans for such misguided souls, but suggested we contact them directly through the Red One in the netherworld, where such owners could be found.
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Old 01-20-2007, 12:35 PM   #20
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I think he just did.
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