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Old 01-07-2010, 07:34 PM   #21
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As a kid, I followed every NASA space mission, beginning with Mercury, and when the Apollo astronauts had to be quarantined in an Airstream, it was like, WOW!!! What is that silver trailer??? Ever since then, I was taken by Airstreams--and looked for 2 years to find the right one. I didn't want SOB.

Now, when we're getting ready to pull out and I crank up the stablizing jacks, it's like I'm getting ready for lift-off!
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Old 01-07-2010, 07:51 PM   #22
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Airstreams are just WOW..........and very unique like their owners! I find Airstream folks very interesting to talk to, as they seem to enjoy their toys and hobbies. They really are a diverse group of folks.

The Airstream is made to utilize every nook & cranny. The spacious and cozy inside is exemplary.

We have been owners since 2004, and feel it was well spent $$$$$$.

Gail
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Old 01-07-2010, 08:39 PM   #23
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Iconic may be the theme you're looking for.

I have been a Porsche guy since '85. Am about to pop for a AS as a "remodel". Have done many homes and historic buildings and looking forward to the experience.
There is something about the design that grabs a person. In Porsche, it's the classic shape and the people.
I sense in AS, it's the same.
All live with quirks that make us love (and cuss) the machine. It seems the "cussers" on most web pages are the most vocal. The test of time and design shows they survive and are appreciated.

I think quality of life as "texture". If one wants boring, that's easy. It's the offbeat experiences that add texture.

We are buying used, but looked at a new white box at a dealers showroom. It was big and disgusting! Looked like a trailer house inside, so price per square foot was 1/3 of AS.

We never thought of owning a travel trailer until our grandson sat in our cargo trailer and said "we could live in this". That opened a door that we had not thought of.

We have no interest in owning a white box, but will own an AS.

It may be that after our "remodel", we don't like the life style, but it will be the experience!

That is what AS (& Porsche) is about.

Bob
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Old 01-07-2010, 08:59 PM   #24
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I think definition three and four are especially appropriate around these parts.

Honey.... bring me the Kool-aid.



Main Entry: icon
Variant(s): also ikon \ˈī-ˌkän\
Function: noun

1 : a usually pictorial representation : image
2 [Late Greek eikōn, from Greek] : a conventional religious image typically painted on a small wooden panel and used in the devotions of Eastern Christians
3 : an object of uncritical devotion : idol
4 : emblem, symbol <the house became an icon of 1960's residential architecture — Paul Goldberger>
5 a : a sign (as a word or graphic symbol) whose form suggests its meaning b : a graphic symbol on a computer display screen that usually suggests the type of object represented or the purpose of an available function
— icon·ic \ī-ˈkä-nik\ adjective

— icon·i·cal·ly \-ni-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Right now they are a very poor representation of what they once were.
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Old 01-07-2010, 10:00 PM   #25
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???? Airstweam no mean to me !!!!! Maybe if Japanese Impewial Army had Airstweam, Japanese Impewial Army win WAR !!!!! Prease to reve me arone, chop suey get cold. BONNNGGGGGG !!!!!! Tow a vintage Airstream and this will answer all of your questions.
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Old 01-07-2010, 10:03 PM   #26
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Hendrik,

Welcome, you've certainly come to the right place for Airstream opinions and experience! I'm new to Airstream ownership, and come from a slightly different demographic from the average Airstream owner in respect to age.

I purchased my first non-Airstream travel trailer at age 24. My first attempt to purchase an Airstream was at age 26, but it was a failed attempt because I was trying to purchase my grandfather's 25' Trade Wind. Despite being ~80 years old at the time, and having a fleet of boats, RV's, properties, etc he was not willing to part with his old 1975 Airstream that he had not used regularly in many years, due to sentimental value. He spent several decades traveling the country running a door to door magazine sales company in which he lived and worked out of his Airstreams for weeks at a time, always towing them with a Cadillac.

I'm now 31 years old and own my late grandfather's Airstream. I purchased it last year from my grandmother after she mentioned selling it. I've always wanted an Airstream and I'm quite excited that the one I now own has been in my family since new, and that my kids (5 and 7) are now the third generation experiencing it. I now have two campers, a 2005 Fleetwood I purchased new, and a 1975 Airstream. I'm trying to sell the 2005 Fleetwood, since I now have a "new" Airstream that is 4 years older than I am. Why would I sell a practically brand new trailer and keep one that is 35 years old? Easy...I only need one trailer, and one of them isn't an Airstream!

Airstream is a great example of form AND function in perfect harmony, by the unwillingness to compromise on either. I think a fair comparison would be comparing a Mac to a PC in the computer world. The comparison is not which is better, as that is simply a matter of opinion, but more of the culture that is reflected by each. PC's come in thousands of configurations, are built by many manufactures, many times have more features and options available, design and build quality are commonly compromised by price pressure due to heavy competition, they are rarely recognized as being unique, and they make up a huge majority of the market. Mac's however are quite different, they come in very few configurations, are produced by one manufacturer, design and build quality are rarely compromised due to an ability to sell their products at a premium price, are easily distinguished visually from other brands, and they make up a very small portion of the market. At the end of the day they're both computers and can both yield similar results, yet they display drastically different characteristics.

I think that Airstream's unique design esthetic and innovative qualities are solidified when they cause Architecture students to perform a case study on a travel trailer. With a design that is three quarters of a century old and a brand that represents only a tiny portion of a market that is flooded by competition, yet this is the company that is chosen to study, I think that speaks for itself.

Don't hesitate to share the results of your case study, I'm sure others as well as myself would be interested in seeing what you come up with.

Cheers,
Eric
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Old 01-07-2010, 10:41 PM   #27
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Wow!!

I hadn't read post # 18 before i sent mine.

Do we have a theme here?

Maybe a early 911 towing an AS, instead of the bike?

Bob
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:52 AM   #28
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Airstream/SOB vs. Mac/PC

While I generally agree with Emerson77's post about the comparison between Airstreams vs SOBs (Some Other Brand) and between Macs and PCs, I would guess that in another 60 years, both yesterday and today's Airstreams will still be in use and loved by everyone (owners and longers both) as the travel lifestyle icon that it is, while 60 year old Macs will be fondly remembered in museums, but will never be used.

Airstreams endure. Airstreams inspire. Airstreams enrich our lives and the lives of everyone who see them and long for the life Airstreams offer.

My Airstream is my home, my cocoon, my perfect place, by tag-along friend, as loyal as my dog. Neither will ever let me down. Both will be there till the end.
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:01 AM   #29
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There's also a certain cachet that goes along with using something generally perceived to being the "the best", whether it's old or new. This could be anything; an automobile, piece of radio communications equipment, kitchen appliance, anything.

To be sure there are those who will argue the merits of their conception of what is "the best" but there are few who will dispute Airstream's ranking when it comes to travel trailers.

MisterMike
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:05 AM   #30
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Our Airstreams represent adventure, exploration, freedom, independence and good times with friends made and yet to be.

They're icons of style and of times when things were made to last and made in the U S of A.

To us, they represent an ideal that we strive for and what Wally Byam strived for in his creed:

To place the great wide world at your doorstep for you who yearn to travel with all the comforts of home.
To provide a more satisfying, meaningful way of travel that offers complete travel independence, wherever and whenever you choose to go or stay.
To keep alive and make real an enduring promise of high adventure and faraway lands... of rediscovering old places and new interests.
To open a whole world of new experiences... a new dimension in enjoyment where travel adventure and good fellowship are your constant companions.
To encourage clubs and rallies that provide an endless source of friendships, travel fun and personal expressions.
To lead caravans wherever the four winds blow... over twinkling boulevards, across trackless deserts... to the traveled and untraveled corners of the earth.
To play some part in promoting international goodwill and understanding among the peoples of the world through person-to-person contact.
To refine and perfect our product by continuous travel-testing over the highways and byways of the world.
To strive endlessly to stir the venturesome spirit that moves you to follow a rainbow to its end... and thus make your travel dreams come true.

Good luck with your project!

Happy and safe journeys,
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Old 01-08-2010, 06:45 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Secguru View Post
While I generally agree with Emerson77's post about the comparison between Airstreams vs SOBs (Some Other Brand) and between Macs and PCs, I would guess that in another 60 years, both yesterday and today's Airstreams will still be in use and loved by everyone (owners and longers both) as the travel lifestyle icon that it is, while 60 year old Macs will be fondly remembered in museums, but will never be used.

Airstreams endure. Airstreams inspire. Airstreams enrich our lives and the lives of everyone who see them and long for the life Airstreams offer.

My Airstream is my home, my cocoon, my perfect place, by tag-along friend, as loyal as my dog. Neither will ever let me down. Both will be there till the end.
Very good. Enrich, inspire and for sure they Endure.

Almost makes me want to go to the pound and save a doggy too!
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Old 01-08-2010, 06:58 AM   #32
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They represent a journey into a new realm of social recreation. Anyone can enjoy an RV experience, but becoming part of the Airstream experience means entering an advanced stage of enjoyment, fellowship, and even a more hardy approach to travel. With the proven design, you can stretch the limits of geography and longevity, and display a classic signature wherever you go. It's a prime package!
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Old 01-08-2010, 07:25 AM   #33
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What do I like about owning my Airstream? This might be hard to quantify and when you get right down to it, most of the reasons are emotional.

Quality workmanship and endurance. What it might lack in flash and outside storage it makes up for in sturdiness. I do plan to use mine for the duration (mine at least) and want to pass it along to my children. When investigating my water pump prior to winterizing, I was taken by the way everything was installed. Water lines were secured, wires contained where they should be and there was even a heat source for the enclosed holding tanks. My prior trailer had nothing like this. I sat for a long time staring and the set up, appreciating the obvious efforts put forth by the company.

Status. As much as people will argue this point, it does come with the territory. I didn't purchase one for the status, it just came with the package.

Safety. My Airstream is longer and heavier than what I had before yet it tows easier and is much more stable. I can only attribute this to superior design.

Reading through the posts there were references made to Harley Davidsons, Apple computers and I would like to add Cadillacs from the 60's. These American icons provided a certain status perpetuated by at least the perception of superior quality. I love the argument about the MAC vs. PC that asks the question about the number of cockroaches vs. humans on the planet. Large numbers does not equate to superiority and so it is with Airstream vs. SOBs.
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Old 01-08-2010, 08:25 AM   #34
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There's also a certain cachet that goes along with using something generally perceived to being the "the best", whether it's old or new. This could be anything; an automobile, piece of radio communications equipment, kitchen appliance, anything.

To be sure there are those who will argue the merits of their conception of what is "the best" but there are few who will dispute Airstream's ranking when it comes to travel trailers.

MisterMike
Here you've hit the nail on the head " preceived to being the best". That is the perception but sadly not true anymore. It could be but it would take some serious soul searching by the existing management, and I think they've lost that soul to increased production, higher prices, lower quality, shoddy fit and finish, and an inability to listen to their customers. Other companies have made dramatic come backs to their former glory now Airstream needs to drop the advertising legacy claims and truly live up to being "the best". If you're willing to buy used and dedicated yourself, you can have a nice unit. If you're buying new, expect problems. They just aren't built to the prices they are now asking. Most of my problems showed up after warranty, but there were still plenty of fit and finish issues that I handled myself. These are things that would be totally unacceptable in even the lowest price compact car today.
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Old 01-08-2010, 09:02 AM   #35
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If you're willing to buy used and dedicated yourself, you can have a nice unit.
For the purposes of this thread which is to respond to Hendrik's research academic question, it is very important to differentiate between the two types of Airstream owners. These are those who buy new trailers and those who have vintage models. There is a fair amount of overlap in these areas as there are some folks who have both new and vintage.

For purposes of demarcation, "vintage" should be defined as being 25 years old or older. Thus by this definition any trailer made before 1985 is considered vintage. Some purists will argue the difference between "vintage" and "antique" but for this purpose we will consider them one and same.

I cannot speak for those owning non-vintage trailers because I only own one 1968 Caravel which is the exact one I want. In my opinion it is better built of higher quality materials that the newer ones but there are surely those who will argue with me and they may be right. But I love the frosted aircraft aluminum that might have ended up on a Boeing 707's wing had that piece of metal not been selected to ship to the Airstream factory. I like the real wood interior, just the way it looks like an inverted load of bread on wheels. I love the small windows that crank out, and there's that wonderful "suicide" door that opens the wrong way. But that's just me.

I like most of all that I was able to buy it for cash and not mortgage the farm to pay for it. I also like that I can work on it because its systems are simple enough so that I can learn them. I could go on but I am sure that you get the picture.

Even looking through the 1976 Service Manual tells me that by that time the systems have gotten pretty complex and probably require a skilled and experienced technician to troubleshoot and repair them which costs bucks.

Someone once said that it is better to own a used Airstream than no Airstream. In my case this is a truism because if I didn't have my 1968 silver bubble I would have no silver bubble.
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Old 01-08-2010, 09:09 AM   #36
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Hendrik, the wife says: "high cute factor"
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Old 01-08-2010, 09:27 AM   #37
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Here you've hit the nail on the head " preceived to being the best". That is the perception but sadly not true anymore. It could be but it would take some serious soul searching by the existing management, and I think they've lost that soul to increased production, higher prices, lower quality, shoddy fit and finish, and an inability to listen to their customers. Other companies have made dramatic come backs to their former glory now Airstream needs to drop the advertising legacy claims and truly live up to being "the best". If you're willing to buy used and dedicated yourself, you can have a nice unit. If you're buying new, expect problems. They just aren't built to the prices they are now asking. Most of my problems showed up after warranty, but there were still plenty of fit and finish issues that I handled myself. These are things that would be totally unacceptable in even the lowest price compact car today.
The legacy is one of durability, longevity, form AND function and enhancement of the travel experience.

Plenty of vintage owners will complain about the same quality issues discovered while replacing the floor or just a cabinet knob. But even though some trailers carry the name associated with pricy motor boats, they were not built to float. Or fly.

I would probably be livid having spent large money up front and find problems like this. The vintage restoration route allows one to spend almost the same amount of money over a longer period of time....and in the end blame only myself for taking shortcuts or using sub standard materials.

But the legacy is not just a claim. It is real, Airstream owns it and has taken it to the bank. Thor may just be making some withdraws.
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Old 01-08-2010, 09:28 AM   #38
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The legacy is one of durability, longevity, form AND function and enhancement of the travel experience.

Plenty of vintage owners will complain about the same quality issues discovered while replacing the floor or just a cabinet knob. But even though some trailers carry the name associated with pricy motor boats, they were not built to float. Or fly.

I would probably be livid having spent large money up front and find problems like this. The vintage restoration route allows one to spend almost the same amount of money over a longer period of time....and in the end blame only myself for taking shortcuts or using sub standard materials.

But the legacy is not just a claim. It is real, Airstream owns it and has taken it to the bank. Thor may just be making some withdraws.
Withdraws? It's been a run on the bank.
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Old 01-08-2010, 10:28 AM   #39
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The Wife Concurs!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fmrcaptevil View Post
Hendrik, the wife says: "high cute factor"
Gemma concurs! As she says, "Super Cute!!!" (She applies the same phrase when oohing and aahing over babies, puppies, shoes, dresses, handbags, nephews, nieces, . . .)
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Old 01-08-2010, 10:47 AM   #40
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Great Feng Shui!
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