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Old 08-18-2010, 01:12 PM   #41
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Given the Airstream exec mindset, why should they care? They don't aim to build a gazillion trailers—they don't have the room to do it without costly capital expenses. They could run 2 or 3 shifts, but that has problems too. If they keep cutting costs, keep selling enough trailers to efficiently utilize their factory despite cheapening the product, why change? They are making big profits, so, given their shortsightedness, why change anything? If sales fall over time, perhaps they will rationalize it.

There a benefit to selling a fairly scarce product at an inflated price. Thor can produce many bunches of trailers in other brands and bask in the caché of Airstream.

As for the dated style of the Classics, perhaps Thor reasons that old people with the most money like that stuff and younger people with less money like the more modern stuff. All I know is I'm old and I don't like the Classic interior, though such dated styles are abundant in the RV world. I also like the aluminum interior in ours, but dislike the Formica partitions. The CCD models don't appeal to me either.

Gene
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Old 08-18-2010, 01:22 PM   #42
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I'm going to throw out the possibly controversial statement that no trailer has ever been more suitable for lengthy boondocking than the ones made now.

The 12 volt technology available before around 1970 was worthless. Univolts then were junk compared to what people complain about today. Batteries were lower capacity, shorter lived, something you kinda planned on replacing every year as part of your seasonal maintenance, if you planned on using them.

In 1970 if you were serious about boondocking you got a Humphery gaslight, which is still an alternative, but with modern 12 volt fluorescent ballasts, converters, and battery technology, it isn't really necessary.

In 1970 you would have had your B&W 12 volt television which draw 8 amps or so. Maybe leave the engine running in the tow vehicle for a while to juice up the batteries, although with the electromechanical voltage regulator on the charging system, even if you were lucky enough to have an alternator, that might not do much.

Go back far enough and you get a panel ray heater that doesn't require electric, but, those have their limitations too, and use indoor air as a source for combustion.

Building on what 2air is saying, the classic trailers come with two batteries and with more efficient lighting. In the summer I don't run out of electricity while boondocking. In the winter, well, it's a matter of proper use. I see the furnace as something to be run morning and evening in a boondocking situation. Which, after all, is the way things were in stick houses before central heat.

Over time I have come to appreciate the fluorescent lighting in the classic more and more. It lacks the visual bling of the halogens in the CCD and the high tech geeky bling of the LEDs. But, in reality, the lumens per watt is better than either, and there are no problems with heat, and the diffuse, even light is great.
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Old 08-18-2010, 01:22 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
There a benefit to selling a fairly scarce product at an inflated price. Thor can produce many bunches of trailers in other brands and bask in the caché of Airstream.
It's also a fairly unique product. Nothing nowadays has the same basic construction or towability or "look" as the Airstream. (I'd sincerely love to hear alternatives.)

Still, it seems like all of the money goes into the aluminium and labor. Hearing Bob Wheeler on the VAP say that they can't really afford to put rot-free composite floors in their trailers when you can get them on $20k white boxes chafes. Modern finishes look neat, but a orange-painted piece of particleboard still weighs a hell of a lot.

The last time I walked through a new Flying Cloud, it was rife of very visible finish flaws, ISO quality spreadsheets or not. (My Minuet has some shabby build issues as well, so this isn't exactly a new complaint.) But I digress...

Tom
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Old 08-19-2010, 12:08 PM   #44
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What y'all need for boondocking is a little bitty, like an Interstate. Couldn't be more perfect---goes anywhere and manages everything very well for a couple days at a time. Go for full hookups for a night, and back out there.

Works for us. Life is good.

Maggie
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