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Old 03-15-2006, 07:39 PM   #1
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Has Airstream Put the "Nail In The Coffin" for WBCCI? - or NOT

The following dissertation is my personal take on the status of the WBCCI leadership and membership population.

This is not about the current AOAI vs. WBCCI debate.

Not about the inferred high-energy cost of RVing with the reality of depleting hydrocarbon reserves.

It just might be about the question of whether or not the WBCCI will ultimately appeal to the “Boomers”, “Gen-Xers”, or “Whatever-Comes-Afters”.

This IS about the future WBCCI leadership.

Question:

How has Airstream affected the future WBCCI leadership?

Argument:

Airstream eliminated the Class “A” Motorhome.

Have you noticed that many of the WBBCI national and unit officers own Class A’s?

I am postulating here, but it is just possible that the elimination of the Class “A” will accelerate the changing of the “old guard”. The “old guard” being, of course, the aging WW II veterans (or slightly younger) who are currently “in control of” the WBCCI organization (but rapidly being replaced by those born in the 40’s and 50’s).

Don’t get me wrong – I do not promote the removal of these individuals – the WBCCI is their club – they have “paid their dues” by volunteering and serving in less-than-officer-positions over the years.

The fact remains that the WBCCI has evolved to the point that fewer and fewer Airstream owners are replacing the ranks of those long-term members who are departing for whatever reason.

Another observation, that I am unable to prove, is that more and more of the WBCCI officers have chosen a Class “A” Airstream as the AS model of choice. Perhaps this is because this particular socio-economic group of leaders prefers Motor-Homing to being a trailerite. This infers that, without the availability of new Class “A’s” from Airstream, upcoming WBCCI leadership may be lured by the dark fiberglass sides and shiny mirrors to alternative marquees, hastening the demise of the WBCCI as we know it today.

On the other hand….

…the lack of new “flat-sided” MoHo’s will allow aficionados’ of true Airstreams (the ones with the rivets) – both the group who prefers “new” or the group comprised of those gravitating to the “vintage” age RV’s due to either economic circumstances or personal preferences, to step in and hasten the change of leadership from the “old-guard” to the “new-era” of WBCCI, should it survive by WBCCI or any other name.
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Old 03-15-2006, 07:53 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by 87MH
Another observation, that I am unable to prove, is that more and more of the WBCCI officers have chosen a Class “A” Airstream as the AS model of choice. Perhaps this is because this particular socio-economic group of leaders prefers Motor-Homing to being a trailerite. This infers that, without the availability of new Class “A’s” from Airstream, upcoming WBCCI leadership may be lured by the dark fiberglass sides and shiny mirrors to alternative marquees, hastening the demise of the WBCCI as we know it today.
Interesting. I think I will ask several of the "mucky-mucks" tht have MoHo's, the next time I see them, if they will continue being active Airstreamers when their Busses need replcement, and they will need to buy a trailer. This is something I have thought, but not put into words, that the Motor Home market for Airstream may possibly be going in the same direction as the WBCCI, and for the same reasons.
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Old 03-15-2006, 10:47 PM   #3
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MoHo's

I watched a Unit move from all trailers to quite a few motorhomes. This was a very active and successful Unit for a long time. There were two reasons that I am aware of. The first was that many of the long time members were getting older. They just weren't quite ready to give up being able to attend rallies and travel in their Airstream. Many of them sold their trailer and bought a MoHo because that aleviated the need to hitch and unhitch. This and a lot of other factors made it easier for them to get out and go in a MoHo. The second reason is that it seems some of the younger newer members just preferred MoHo's. This transition in part changed other aspects of the Unit. For instance more rallies in RV parks and less in fields, forest service campgrounds etc.

Personally, I feel that Airstream really diluted their most unique aspect when they chose to include Class A's that look like any other Class A out there. If you have to have a motor home then go back to the ones that look like the Airstream trailer.
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Old 03-16-2006, 08:02 AM   #4
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I think the biggets foult Airtsream has made in the last years was to not bring the 'new Classic' Moho into Production... The Class A they produced the last years was not appealing to me at all. They were boxy and not what I would describe as an Airstream (boxy Class A Member may throw flames at me now, but that´s my opinion on that...).
I hope that the decisionmakers at Airstream will awake one day and see that this was a big mistake and that they will bring the new Classic, so that we can buy one when we get old and are not able or not willing to tow a trailer anymore... Well, lucky us, that we are in the beginning 30´s, so there is plenty of time for Airstream to react...
Maybe the end of production is one nail in the coffin, but not the one that will end in the 'death' of WBCCI...

Bjoern


BTW: We are no members of the WBCCI, but not because we wouldn´t like, just because there is no european Unit and it makes no sence for us to join an Unit in the USA, where we can´t meet with our Airstream... Well at least for the moment, let´s see what the future brings...
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Old 03-16-2006, 08:30 AM   #5
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see SNUZE » Blog Archive » What is Airstream up to now? for what Airstream is contemplating for the new class A.
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Old 03-16-2006, 11:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pschoerrn
I think the biggets foult Airtsream has made in the last years was to not bring the 'new Classic' Moho into Production... The Class A they produced the last years was not appealing to me at all. They were boxy and not what I would describe as an Airstream (boxy Class A Member may throw flames at me now, but that´s my opinion on that...).
I hope that the decisionmakers at Airstream will awake one day and see that this was a big mistake and that they will bring the new Classic, so that we can buy one when we get old and are not able or not willing to tow a trailer anymore... Well, lucky us, that we are in the beginning 30´s, so there is plenty of time for Airstream to react...
Maybe the end of production is one nail in the coffin, but not the one that will end in the 'death' of WBCCI...

Bjoern


BTW: We are no members of the WBCCI, but not because we wouldn´t like, just because there is no european Unit and it makes no sence for us to join an Unit in the USA, where we can´t meet with our Airstream... Well at least for the moment, let´s see what the future brings...

You could be a member at large and have your very own big red numbers on your trailer.
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Old 03-16-2006, 12:01 PM   #7
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Could be 20-30 years before the supply of Class A's runs out on the used market. Still I'm rather disappointed the new one was abandoned.
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Old 03-16-2006, 12:13 PM   #8
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I predict that Thor will simply rebadge another of thier brand's class A MHs into an Airstream to furnish this limited market.
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Old 03-16-2006, 12:19 PM   #9
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I like the look of that proposed motorhome, pretty cool.

I have to agree with Dennis that the migration for older folk to an easier method of traveling in a motorhome and perhaps that their style of rving might include spending more time in a single location might leave future customers out in the cold if WBCCI doesn't open up the club to all Thor products and if Airstream doesn't produce a new motorhome. Interesting observation Dennis. I wonder if that was a consideration in the proposal to include all Thor products in the club?
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Old 03-16-2006, 12:56 PM   #10
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units and their leaders may vary.......

hi folks.....

i'm at large.......no wb unit i mean....i just like the ndumbers......on mine...

i've been to some local unit rallez.....

and most of the officers have 34s.....>90%

no doubt this varies by region....but in the midwest the 34s roll in with 5 flags......

and i agree some may migrate to a moho when hitchin' becomes an issue..

but to understand why anyone (officer, wb, or not) has any unit...

ya gotta ask'em....."why did you buy......and when did you buy"....

their answers will bring some insight....but still may not generalize to all wb/airstream owners....

if you haven't looked at the ads in this thread, take a look.......

http://www.airforums.com/forum...s-21341-2.html

this may have been the zenith for airstream mohomes....with 4 lines.....and a new classic (without rivets) of shinny aluminum.....at a big rig price too.

who knows exactly why they dropped the class a now.........
i was told it was primarily because the chassis was no longer in production, and certifying a new platform was expensive......given sales volume....of mohos for airsteam...and the boosted sales of safaris/ccds and such...

anyone who has been to the factory knows how odd the moho production looked surrounded by trailer makers.......
and pieces were not interchangeable

nor were the workers.......

they are still making the skydeck....as an ordered item this seems logical and with profit.

my view is the mohos needed a new building.......and again that adds to start up costs.....for the small air market......

another issue with the class a was price.........and i don't mean list.......

many of these air class a's were listed at HUGE discounts from msrp.....huge....>60-80k$ off.

some dealers may have felt this hurt pricing on trailers......
since folks may have wanted the same % off or some such thing......on the trailer side.

i've seen several airstream class a for sale with discounts greater that the msrp for a 34.....

also folks might look in a class a and ask......

"can i get that in my trailer?"
no......
"why not, it's an airstream isn't it?"

also dealers need to a lot of gound space for these big units,
on their lots..another expense.....

and recall airstream SELLS their products to the dealers.....so what ever is on the lot is OWNED by the dealer.....
the factory doesn't build a bunch, keep 'em in jc...
like an auto maker does...or other moho makers might.....

so i wonder if there wasn't some dealer pressure...
or at least lack of support for the class a.......
even in a brand new shinny design.


just some thoughts......

2air'
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Old 03-16-2006, 02:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
hi folks.....

(snip)
who knows exactly why they dropped the class a now.........
i was told it was primarily because the chassis was no longer in production, and certifying a new platform was expensive......given sales volume....of mohos for airsteam...and the boosted sales of safaris/ccds and such...

(snip)
just some thoughts......

2air'
Althought the Chevrolet P30 chassis (used on the gas line) has been discontinued, it was replaced by the GM Workhorse chassis, which is used by many gas moho manufacturers, such as National RV Holdings.

Bill
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Old 03-16-2006, 03:27 PM   #12
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Althought the Chevrolet P30 chassis (used on the gas line) has been discontinued, it was replaced by the GM Workhorse chassis, which is used by many gas moho manufacturers, such as National RV Holdings.Bill
hi bill

you are correct of course.....i'm thinking the p30 has been gone awhile...it is the p32...that was discontinued.....but it was all the same line...and the workshouse does have users.....does thor use them for any of the gas moho lines?

but tooling up the a/s factory folks to build on the workhorse line...would still be an expensive learning curve......and as i recall a/s was producing less than 1 moho per week anyway.....not much of a volume for all the work involved in migrating to the workhorse...ya think?

and with most moho makers exporing 2,3 or 4 slides...and full wall slides....a/s offering in the class a slide market was anemic...

i guess that brings us back to the original question posed in this thread...

does a/s dropping the a line for now, have any impact on the wbcci....
and i just don't see how....since they have been making so few anyway.

and the irony in 87mh's observation about wb officers having mohos.....is that the classic moho was not allowed in the club back when they were in production anyway....

now of course finding, restoring and enjoying the classic mohos is another matter....with so many now enjoying these units.....

i sure liked mine....and enjoy now, seeing one pull into a park.....

cheers
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Old 03-16-2006, 03:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
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You could be a member at large and have your very own big red numbers on your trailer.
We already thought of becoming members at large, but we would not become members just because of the red numbers... We would like to be part of a community that supports each other and that you can make friends with and last but not least that you can meet with...

...and we found it here on the forums!! There are soooooo many people we would love to have a beer and bbq with or that we would love to welcome at our house, people that supported us and helped us, that we don´t feel any loss of not being WBCCI members.

BUT we would become members of an european unit immediatly and probably will in an USA/Canadian Unit just because we want to support the idea behind the WBCCI.
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Old 03-16-2006, 04:25 PM   #14
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does this mean that because i am under 50, and i have a land yacht motorhome (fiberglass) that i am unwelcome at rally's if i decide to join the club? i bought because of the quality, plus i knew that i was getting one of the last ones made. since we don't have rivets, does this make us second class citizens in "the club". i bought to "see america" the way that i want to, not necessarily to socialize in. i do love the absolute mania with which i see airstream owners caring for and describing their rigs, but i didn't buy "a bus" either. as a newbie, where do i fall in the scheme of the politics of the the clubs?
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Old 03-16-2006, 04:47 PM   #15
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does this mean that because... where do i fall in the scheme of the politics of the the clubs?
Eligable for WBCCI membership as an Airstream hardside full facility RV owner. Welcome at WBCCI events. And up for a grand time whether you just want to see the country alone, enjoy good fellowship, or see the country with others.

The scheme of politics will depend upon you, your values, and how you approach things.

The stuff about motorhomes is a subjective assessment of statistical patterns. It is an attempt, an effort, for some folks to create a model out of what they see. That doesn't mean any MoHo owner fits the statistical grouping. So don't take such statistical speculation personnally, please!
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Old 03-16-2006, 04:49 PM   #16
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does this mean that because i am under 50, and i have a land yacht motorhome (fiberglass) that i am unwelcome at rally's if i decide to join the club? i bought because of the quality, plus i knew that i was getting one of the last ones made. since we don't have rivets, does this make us second class citizens in "the club". i bought to "see america" the way that i want to, not necessarily to socialize in. i do love the absolute mania with which i see airstream owners caring for and describing their rigs, but i didn't buy "a bus" either. as a newbie, where do i fall in the scheme of the politics of the the clubs?
Join the club! Have a good time. Enjoy your local unit members. If it's what you're looking for, then stay on. If it's not for you, then do whatever you want. Contrary to the impression you may be getting, the WBCCI is a bunch of really nice folks who enjoy themselves and their club. Don't worry about the politics.

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Old 03-16-2006, 07:27 PM   #17
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BUT we would become members of an european unit immediatly and probably will in an USA/Canadian Unit just because we want to support the idea behind the WBCCI.
Have you considered forming your own unit? You can do it, it is not very hard. If you are interested, I can forward the needed information to you via email.
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Old 03-16-2006, 08:16 PM   #18
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Airstreams are just plain cool...

I was betwixt and between in that I am not happy with the power of my TV so as I am sure many people have we went through the evaluation of do we upgrade the TV or go to a motorhome. I was really excited when I heard Airstream was going to come out with a new silver "classic" motorhome but well that's the way it goes.... If Airstream is not going to come out with the classic then I will just upgrade my TV and maybe someday my trailer. I really love the style of the Airstream.. I just landed in Atlanta today and was driving up 85 and got chills down my spine when I saw someone pulling one down the road.... Yes, Airstreams are just plain cool and so are the people that drive and pull them... I did not know about WBCCI until we bought ours and what an added benefit!! I have to admit I have never met a friendlier group of people in my life !! The New England Unit is great !! It's all about camping and meeting other people, folks... and I am sure there are other units which will begin to follow. I truly believe membership is going to grow if we welcome others with open arms as I have been. If you follow all the treads in this forum this is really what this is all about..... Life is what you make of it and so is the relationships you make in the club.. I am like many in the forum too busy to get involved in the pomp and circumstance of an "organization" .. man I get that at work and I don't neeed it in my recreation.. Don't get me wrong I appreciate those who volunteer and I intend to, but this is about fun... But I love camping and have been doing that for years.. And I am happy I met people who like it too.. That's what WBCCI is all about and that is Airstreaming...This has nothing to do with economics gang, this has to do with a group of people who have made a connection through style or like preferances to meet other good people. I could care less wether you chose a motorhome a trailer or a basecamp. I do care that you are a friendly individual who has similar intrests as me and invites me to share a marshmellow at the campfire....
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Old 03-16-2006, 10:49 PM   #19
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I agree with Chaplain Kent's prediction, some motorhomes manufactured by Thor at a plant dedicated to the production of motorhomes will end up with an Airstream bowtie. The WBCCI will then be faced with whether it is an Airstream club or a Thor club.
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Old 03-17-2006, 07:58 AM   #20
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I agree with Chaplain Kent's prediction, some motorhomes manufactured by Thor at a plant dedicated to the production of motorhomes will end up with an Airstream bowtie. The WBCCI will then be faced with whether it is an Airstream club or a Thor club.
and why not? there ain't much about the present moHo's that's anything like an "airstream", save the badge glued to the outside. Which begs the question: just what is it that makes an Airstream an "Airstream"? Is it the form? (trailer vs. MH), the semi-monocouque construction? the materials? the finish? the fasteners? (rivets!) the financial/business arrangements of the ownership of the company?
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