Originally Posted by Oreg52
Our local dealer says he doesn't stock them because they were a slow sell. My wife thinks it maybe due to the narrow passage in the kitchen which she wants to see for herself. We watched the associated video above as well as a few others and we still like the 20FB but have that nagging question in our head.
Why isn't it a stocked unit?
Ed & Merle
Hello Ed & Merle. Congrats on looking at Airstream. I think you are landing in the right place for a rig that will give you years of happiness.
Now to address the "dealer doesn't stock them because they are slow to sell"
I would not be concerned with the kitchen being the problem. I would be concerned with that sales person giving you a load of BS.
The 2020 Caravel is a fist year design. It was announced in July of 2019 and for the debut of this new model, they made a run of each style around July. A dealer would have needed to be paying attention to the new model release and put in an order for 1 or two units of each.
Now, let me explain how the dealership works. The dealer "buys" these units from the Airstream factory. They have to take out a bank loan, purchase units at cost, sell the unit and then pay back the bank and pocket the profit. The longer a unit stays on the lot, the more interest they are paying on their loan to the bank to have the unit.
Now to explain how the Airstream factory works. Their old factory (they just moved out this month into a new facility) would build a certain style and a bunch of them for a week or two, and then they switch to another style, build a bunch of those and then switch again. So they may build a bunch of Bambi 16s for a week or two, and then switch to Bambi 19s, etc etc. We know for a FACT that the last run of Caravel 20 trailers was built the week of October 20th. Our trailer was built in this batch.
Now for our story. We spotted this 20 foot Caravel trailer at a dealer 3 hours from our house back in late July of 2019. It was on a day that we went to look at a used, just like you, but wandered over to the new and really liked the Caravel 20. They said throw out an offer and we shot really low. They said no. We weren't really ready to buy, so we left and drove 3 hours back home to Dallas.
We thought on it all night and the rest of the next week and then they called us and said if we were serious, they would take our offer, but we would have to drive 3 hours, pick it up and then drive 3 hours back home. We have a dealer in Dallas, and we called them. Dallas said they had only ordered 1 unit from the July batch and it flew out of the dealership in the first few days.
They said they would match the other dealers price, but we would have to wait for Airstream to make the next batch. That would be in October. We said we would do it and the waiting period started.
I learned that you can call the factory and actually go watch your unit be built if you want to. They confirmed that they would not be building Caravel 20s again until October and they would build that unit for a week. Then move to another unit, before shutting down the entire plant for a couple weeks while they move to their brand new state of the art facility.
I believe Airstream is now ramping back up in their new facility. Airstream makes all the US Airstreams, they make blank shells for Ultimate Airstream. They make blank hulls for the European and Asian markets and ship those out, and they make hotel room Airstreams for the new Auto Camp hotels they just bought into. Then they also make Airstreams that are ordered by dealers.
SOOOOOOO..... All that to say, I guarantee your dealer hasn't had a unit. They want to sell you a unit that they have on the lot because they are paying interest on that unit. They don't want you to like something that they don't have and order something because that is taking out a new loan, extending their credit on something while waiting for it to be built and you pay for it, etc etc etc.
Sales lies to get you to buy what they have. The Caravel is nice, and they aren't around because they sell quickly and you have to wait for the next batch to be built at the factory.
You will have no problem in the kitchen. Its awesome and frankly the best feature of the unit. The 3 burner stove is amazing. The deep sink is really awesome. We love the fixtures. The 12v
compressor refrigerator cools down in about 1 hour vs the propane absorption fridges that take much longer. The quiet ducted air is SOOOO much quieter than the Bambi A/C that hangs down in the unit. Many more upgrades to the Caravel than the new Bambi. Frankly I would steer clear of the new 2020 Bambi and go Caravel all the way. OR if you like the older flying cloud wood, do a used Flying Cloud 20. However that ducted Air was a selling point for us. You cannot talk over the A/C unit that hangs inside the trailer. I know I wouldn't be able to sleep with that thing running.
Hope this long story helps and that you get what you really want. Happy Airstreaming!