Hershey RV Show and Airstream Insights
We went to the 50th Anniversary RV show this weekend having no expectations as we had never been to any kind of RV show before. It was an assault on the senses having literally a thousand RVís and tens of thousands of people assembled in a massive parking lot designed like little grocery stores. Each RV manufacturer arranged their equipment to keep you in the ďstoreĒ making it impossible to see the show without at least walking by the majority of the RVís. Add to that the appliance and accessory vendors and another couple of hundred misc vendors inside and cap it off with a Camping World store to appreciate the scene.
After walking through 50 or so units, when we reached the Airstream section it was like finding an Oasis in a desert. While many of the units on display had the fit and finish defects we owners find frustrating, it was like night and day compared to All but one of the ďotherĒ RV manufacturers. If I could distill the weekend into a single sentence, it would be that while our AS arenít built as they can and should be for the price, our units are far and away better finished than the competition. Itís not my intention here to bash any specific manufacturer nor complain about what AS could be with a different management focus, but to state unequivocally that we are fortunate to be able to complain about the things we do. I didnít always feel this way as I compared my AS to how it could and should be, not the competition.
Lastly, if I could have a second sentence to sum up the weekend it would be that if you want to see how a company produces a product when the focus is both quality and listening to customer input, it would hands down be the Amish built nuCamp. We were so taken by their design, quality of installed equipment and fit/finish for the price point that we bought a T@G 400 to use for when we need/want a smaller footprint in a more rugged location with a unit already designed to be off grid from the battery up to the solar and everything in between.
PS: To anticipate a likely question, we purchased two items from the misc vendors, all of which are worth a quick comment.
1) The EasyStart people were there in force and we purchased a unit plus installation for the same price it would have cost to have them ship one to us for self install. Their installers were fast, clean and fun to be with. We can now run our AC on a single generator.
2) The Thetford company showed a Sandi-Con mascerator that attaches to the dump port and along with a 20í hose, lets you empty the trailer regardless of grade meaning we can dump at home. We chose the portable unit that fits in a small toolbox they provide but they have permanent and semi permanent mounts as well.