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Old 12-19-2011, 07:57 PM   #1
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New to airstream and looking

Would like to know why folks decide on airstream vs others when there is such a cost difference
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:04 PM   #2
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I'm sure people all have their own reasons, but towards the top of my list is aesthetics.
I also like the restoration process, taking something with so much classic beauty and bringing it back to (or beyond) it's original form. You can't see yourself in the polished skin of regular square trailers:-)
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:51 PM   #3
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

As to your question, some people simply want the best regardless of cost. We chose an Airstream because it is the best in class. We were willing to pay the higher price to get the best.

978 nights nights and 85,000 miles later, we are glad we did.
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:12 PM   #4
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Bill,

Howdee and welcome to Airforums.com! If you are actually interested in owning and caring for an Airstream, new or old, this is the place to ask any question that you can think of!

Regarding "why Airstream?", another thing to consider is the residual value. Sure, they get old inside and out, but since they have an aluminum frame and body, even one from the dim, dark past is able to be upgraded and made new again.

If you read here much, you will regularly see stories about trailers from the '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s and right on up that are totally stripped down, rebuilt, and are put back on the road as beautiful trailers, good to go for another 40 or 50 years.

How many SOB (Some Other Brand) trailers do you hear of that get that kind of treatment? Very few, since the majority of those have wood frames, and turn to mush if they spring a leak.

We look forward to hearing about you finding one for yourself!
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:15 PM   #5
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Timeless design that all admire, means if you take good care your Airstream, it never looks or feels old.

It tows better than any other travel trailer due to streamlined design and torsion suspension.

It will break and leak like any travel trailer, but this one's not junk. It is repairable and worth the effort.

A sense of pride and satisfaction no other RV will give you.

Expensive yes, but if you maintain it well and keep it for many, many years you will have all mentioned above and have bought less of the other RV's that were not as satisfying. Quite a value, money well spent.

doug k
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:20 PM   #6
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As a graphic designer it appealed to my sense of design. When I looked at SOB's all i saw was kitchen cabinets that could have been in some stick-built house and fabrics that were dated the minute they were installed. Really love the whole aesthetic of the AS which is very form follows function in my eyes.
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:30 PM   #7
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We looked at many SOB's before we decided on our Belle. She found us at a Tampa RV show and it was love at first site.
Besides, it is soo cool when people (especially at rest stops) want to look inside and swear that Airstreams are no longer made! Plus we have been to many an RV park where there are tons of every type of RV and people will always talk to us about our Airstream. We're different and very cool!
Yep, they are expensive, but sooo worth it. Wish we had room to restore a vintage...
Andi
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:33 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the info, I have looked at slot of trailers, 5th wheel etc, but my daily vehicle is a 08 GMC 1500 w/5.3 crew cab 4x4 short bed. Didn't want to have to buy a larger tow vehicle so looking at 25' AS right now it is just wife and me maybe a dog or 2. Still working so most of our trips are weekend to state parks maybe 3-4 days hopefully some day we can retire and travel without a schedule
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:36 PM   #9
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New to airstream and looking

Greetings stujan!

Welcome to the Forums!

Quote:
Originally Posted by stujan View Post
Would like to know why folks decide on airstream vs others when there is such a cost difference
My introduction to RVing was through two non-Airstream RVs that I owned prior to purchasing my Overlander in 1995. Both of my non-Airstream RVs were purchased new, and while they were generally acceptable there was never the wow factor that goes with an Airstream . . . . and there certainly wasn't a club of loyal owners with whom to share the experience. Both of my Airstreams are Vintage and were purchased as pre-owned, but I would not consider going back to a non-Airstream product . . . . the WBCCI and the Airforums groups make the Airstream an impossible to resist deal for me.

Kevin

P.S.: The photo below may also explain some of my loyalty to Airstream. The Airstream in the background is my Overlander four short years after my introduction to RVing when the Overlander was new and I was four years old. The coach was owned by friends of my family, and I unknowingly purchased it from its second (or possibly third) owner in 1995 (my family's friends sold the coach in 1980 when they retired from traveling).

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Old 12-19-2011, 09:43 PM   #10
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Greetings stujan!


P.S.: The photo below may also explain some of my loyalty to Airstream. The Airstream in the background is my Overlander four short years after my introduction to RVing when the Overlander was new and I was four years old. The coach was owned by friends of my family, and I unknowingly purchased it from its second (or possibly third) owner in 1995 (my family's friends sold the coach in 1980 when they retired from traveling).

That's very cool. I wish I had pictures of where my Spartan had been...
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:15 PM   #11
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Greetings Eric!

Quote:
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That's very cool. I wish I had pictures of where my Spartan had been...
That is a big part of why I treasure the Overlander so much . . . . it has been a part of my life for the better part of 46 years in one way or another. Our friends would spend several days visiting our farm every year between 1964 and 1980, and it was always a special occassion for me. In the particular photo that I posted, I am the boy leading the pony. When our friends retired from traveling in 1980, they offered the trailer to me at a price of $3,000; but as a college student such an expenditure was out of the question . . . . . somehow the trailer mangaged to find me when I was shopping for a 1975-1985 Airstream in 1995 (I didn't know that it was the trailer from my childhood until about six months after my purchase).

Kevin
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:22 PM   #12
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There is a price premium, to be sure, and you have to decide if that premium is worth it to you.

As others have touched on, I was attracted to Airstream for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the dignity with which they age. My Airstream is 10 years old, and many people remark that it looks brand new. Still at only 10-years old, mine is brand new relative to the many rigs from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, pampered and profiled by all the proud owners on this forum. Most other brands lack both that stamina and that customer loyalty. Have you noticed which brand of travel trailer is most often used in other product’s advertisements? Similarly, have you noticed which brand of trailer is often artfully placed in a beautiful location, on the beach, in the forest, or in the desert to serve as the “home” of a colorful TV or movie character? It’s all part of the Airstream mystique: it never really looks new; it never looks old; it just looks ageless.
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Old 12-20-2011, 12:05 AM   #13
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I needed a trailer I could live in fulltime, and Airstreams were the only ones that felt like a home to me, instead of a trailer. There's a solidity and an ethic to the design that I couldn't find in any other trailer. I also needed a trailer that I could sell on without losing too much of my investment if my life were to change abruptly, as it may very well might.

I think of Airstreams the same way I feel about Rolls Royces. They are both the top of their class. They're both hideously expensive, but when you get in one, you know exactly what the money paid for. Neither is perfect and their owners grouse that something so expensive shouldn't have so many flaws, but most owners of either usually believe its worth it.

Also, I always listen to what other people say when buying very expensive items about what they wanted versus what they bought. When I hear people saying, "I wanted an Airstream but it was too expensive, so I got (blank) instead," I know I'd better go look at the Airstream.

There's always a way to afford something, and if you want an Airstream, there'll be a way.
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Old 12-20-2011, 01:19 AM   #14
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stujan

The quality and the classical and funtional shape are what first appealed to me in the Airstream. For many of the same reasons, I also liked expensive german cars and motorcycles like BMW's and Porsches. I think one of the best things about the Airstream is the thought that went into the interior design. They were always improving it to make it better. Kind of like Volkswagen did with the early beetles. The shape never changed, but every year they made improvements. Wally's design philosophy was to only make improvements, not changes. That is a great design philosophy. They are not for everybody, but one particular design never is. For folks that are not willing to pay the price, there are lots of cheaper trailers out there- cheaper but not better.

Dan
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:33 AM   #15
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Well cost is relative. You can buy a 30 yrs old Airstream that needs some work and it will last till you die of you can buy an SOB trailer and replace it every few years when it leaks and all the wood rots out of it. Airstreams have their problems and a lot of them have problems. However, when properly maintained they will last decades. They are well built and they look cool. I grew up in Florida and every RV, boat, Motorhome that we had all had leaks and rot problems. Airstream problems are in the floor and many that are more than a few years old will have floor rot problems. Sometimes these are minor and sometimes not. Expect to have to rebuild one or learn to inspect well. If you look at a 20-40 yrs old trailers and you don't find floor rot you have not looked hard enough. It will be there hiding under carpet or under newly installed laminate flooring. Anything other than a brand new Airstream will be a project.

Perry

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Would like to know why folks decide on airstream vs others when there is such a cost difference
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Old 12-20-2011, 08:08 AM   #16
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There's nothing that comes even close to the design and functionality of an Airstream. They tow exceptionally well, the interior space is used to its maximum effect and the exterior is, well, timeless; an American icon in fact. We wanted to buy only one travel trailer to see us into retirement and our Airstream, properly maintained, will do that. Yes, Airstreams are expensive, but over the length of time you can expect to own it, it represents pretty good value.

Whilst those properties are general, we were really sold on the specific interior fit, the Serenity, which moved away from the traditional wood paneling effect to a more contemporary feel. I know lots of Airstream folk love their "Classics" but for us this was one of the main selling points.
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Old 12-20-2011, 08:59 AM   #17
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Airstream verses other brands

I don't know what I can add that hasn't already been said...except having an Airstream just sitting in your yard, revives the memories of camping when you were just a kid....And I know alot of the fellow Airstreamers, just goes out from time to time when they don't have time to travel or camp, and just sit inside to reflect on those memories, and memories to come.
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Old 12-20-2011, 08:04 PM   #18
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My reason are; their look and style, their value long term, their ease in towing, and the Airstream community.

Several years ago my sister and her husband bought a 34' other brand coach for 85k, took it across country once, the roof ripped off on another trip, and 3 years later they barely were unable to unload it for 25k.

My sister-in-law and her husband got 5th wheel other brand for 45k and about a year later and after her divorce she couldn't unload it for 10k.

We've had our Airstream for 3 years and have been approached many times by people asking if we want to sell it. Also, the airstream community makes it so fun and welcoming to attend rallies, etc., that we regularly use our trailer. Other brands don't seem to have that type of support base or appeal.

Good luck, hope you are able to find what you're searching for. Jenner
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