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Old 12-29-2015, 09:35 PM   #15
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I have read the responses from people about air streams and almost laugh at the comments. I happen to own a 1997, triple axle unit and pull it with the new GMC 1500 with the 6.2 420 hp engine. Those that don't own one have no idea of the quality, fit and finish that far exceeds the usual trailer bought off the lot. You get what you pay for. I have solid oak cupboards including shelving etc that you can't see rather than osb with fake plastic wood grain glued on. My hardwood floors are hardwood, my sitting areas are leather, my windows are truly frameless and on and on. My storage consists of five storage compartments. My inside storage is to be envied by other manufacturers and I have a home size shower. All my lights are low voltage and I also have two 40lb propane bottles. All my levelling jacks and front jack are electric. When I hit the road I can travel at the speed limit with very little effort with wind dynamic contours. I would gladly put my unit up against anything out there.
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Old 12-30-2015, 07:52 AM   #16
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I would argue that Dollar for Dollar an Airstream trailer falls back into the crowd of SOB.

Remember I can buy 3.5 brand new trailers for the price of 1 Airsteam. I can be getting L.E.D. lighting, newest TV, brand new everything every 10 years and I think be ahead in the game. Anyway that was my analysis.

Airstream trailers are not immune to leaks and may leak more than a rubber roof trailer.

They use the same appliances as SOB and the dump valves are really low and difficult to pull/push back in. 40lb. propane tanks are heavy when full.

Just because you have an Airstream trailer does not mean you do not have problems.
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Old 12-30-2015, 08:39 AM   #17
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While we currently have and have had for years, a pretty good sized 5er, we have both been intrigued by Airstreams and may eventually spend a couple hours 'kicking the tires' to satisfy that curiosity. The comments above are interesting and will be taken into consideration. Storage space is always necessary though we seldom come anywhere near filling what we have but ease of access for what is there is important as well and the bed of my pretty large, tall sided pickup is not always the best place to rummage for that needed 'gizmo'. I've not heard of many leaks on the Airstreams, but have to imagine that those many hundreds of rivets in the top will open up the potential for many paths and really no way to repair beyond rebucking a row and resealing at the expense of dismantling the interior.

They sure do look interesting though expensive for their size.
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Old 12-30-2015, 02:26 PM   #18
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Airstreams have just as many problems as any other brand. It just goes to show that even though you fill a TT up with expensive amenities you're not immune to problems. You now have problems with expensive features. Those expensive blinds, sofas, plumbing fixtures, etc still breakdown.
All one needs to do is go read the AS owners forums.
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Old 12-30-2015, 02:59 PM   #19
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Airstreams are not perfect... nor are any trailers

Trailers share not only similar problems, but similar hardware.

Domestic refrigerators and air conditioning systems. Hot water tanks. Electronics. Ceiling fan units. Tires. LED lighting today. Water pump... and sometimes... other member trailers of the greater THOR family.

ALL trailers have many components that are the same and fitted into the interior of the trailer, or upon the roof. An Airstream you are paying for the hand made, riveted skin and an interior built to withstand decades of use and wear. Many fifty year old Airstreams are still on the road and restored with modern interiors or the original interior intact. You will pay more for an Airstream, as you will for a 1965 Covette.. but you own an Icon that ranks up there with Harley Davidson motorcycles and VW campers. Resale values of Airstreams are much higher because to replace an Airstream with a newer model is also much higher. You are purchasing not only a viable trailer, but an image that was proven over decades of international travels across continents... with competent drivers, viable and able to withstand the abuses of Off the Grid travel.

There is a cost to an Airstream for that outer skin, interior finishes, hardware and in some cases, purchasing some limitations that come with any trailer purchase.

The Airstream's weakest point... clearances. Once you exceed 25 feet... your Boondocking travel is reduced... severely. But every Airstream Off the Grid camper knows this limitation and also know how to plan how to navigate those places with confidence.
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Old 12-30-2015, 07:19 PM   #20
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All this carping about the 'unorganized factory' and riveted seams that are leak prone reminds me of the first time I offered help to a new Newmar owner posting a problem. I was told in no uncertain terms that "You don't know how Newmar does things, you can't offer any useful help." I've seen other evidence of certain brand owners drinking the kool-aide and thinking their RV is unique, flawlessly designed, and manufactured to perfection.

Airstream trailers have been built for decades (1931) with the same technique and materials. Seems to be a pretty good system that has served them well. If you want the distinctive shape and look of the Airstream, there are copy-cats that also seem to think the close riveted bright aluminum panels and streamlined profile is worth imitating. Many restored Airstreams are worth more today than a new one. I've observed the workmanship and materials used to be superior of many other trailer manufacturer's products.
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Old 12-30-2015, 07:29 PM   #21
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older Airstreams may/are be a bit different from newer ones since Thor bought them a few years back and i'm confident they are doing Their best to cut expenses IMO thats the way Thor works.
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Old 12-31-2015, 10:42 AM   #22
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Factory Warranties settle most issues over time...

I have owned two Airstreams new since 2006. My latest is a 2014.

I have never had a leak, but some owners complained of leaks not from rivets, but from the installation of the ceiling fan units or AC unit on the roof. Every company hires someone new to start with the simple jobs and even screw those up.

Before an Airstream shell is accepted to begin attaching the exterior and interior parts, each and everyone goes through a "hurricane wash". If there is one drip... it gets attention before it moves on in the process. It is after this test for water tight finish that the Airstream is "born". The factory at Jackson Center, Ohio has daily tours and you will think they were building aircraft.

Older and modern Airstreams differ mostly in the kind of aluminum used. I know the older ones become dull, but can be buffed to a sterling silver bright polished surface. The newer models have a different sealant applied and do look different in finish. Airstreams and SALT do not work well together. It can corrode the exterior finish around the edges or rivets. Those found 50 years old in the dry mountain and desert areas are the best ones to buy second... or tenth hand.

Go to the Airforum website. Hundreds of members visit each and every day. Sometimes up to 1,000... and we all discuss everything from popped rivets to how to upgrade the trailer for specialty uses. I do not know how many visit this website, but with an active group as yourselves... things can pick up when others discover useful tips and advice.

No Airstream owner talks down other trailer brands. A trailer is a trailer and we are all proud of the one we call... OURS. If my Airstream was prone to falling apart, I would not have purchased the "longest" most appropriate size for many Boondockers... the 25 foot. A 16 foot to 25 foot have few places that a SOB (Some Other Brand) can go. We traveled with a couple who had a 25 foot Arctic Fox. They loved it and they also cheated when playing cards.

I have driven Toyota trucks since 1981. My new Chevrolet 4x4 3/4 ton pickup in 1978 was a big disappointment after the first year. They have improved quality since then, but the 12 month, 12,000 mile warranty was their way out of producing such a poor truck. Enough said.

There are a lot of new companies building small numbers of trailers that sell out the year BEFORE they are even made. I have read their Forums. I also discovered that unless you are within this tight group... you cannot join their Forum. So be weary of what you read on any site. This site and the Airforums permit ANYONE... so remember that. Want proof? Here I am!
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Old 12-31-2015, 03:35 PM   #23
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"I also discovered that unless you are within this tight group... you cannot join their Forum." One of our absolute rules is that there must be an active and open owners' group for any brand we are considering. One highly rated MH brand was crossed off of our list because you have to own one in order to ask questions on their forum. Another highly rated 5'er is off our list because I can't find an owners group for it.

Airforums is really full of good information. I check it regularly, even though we don't own an Airstream. Will we ever own one? I don't know, but without airforums there is NO way we would.
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Old 01-01-2016, 09:25 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wvollans View Post
I have read the responses from people about air streams and almost laugh at the comments. I happen to own a 1997, triple axle unit and pull it with the new GMC 1500 with the 6.2 420 hp engine. Those that don't own one have no idea of the quality, fit and finish that far exceeds the usual trailer bought off the lot. You get what you pay for. I have solid oak cupboards including shelving etc that you can't see rather than osb with fake plastic wood grain glued on. My hardwood floors are hardwood, my sitting areas are leather, my windows are truly frameless and on and on. My storage consists of five storage compartments. My inside storage is to be envied by other manufacturers and I have a home size shower. All my lights are low voltage and I also have two 40lb propane bottles. All my levelling jacks and front jack are electric. When I hit the road I can travel at the speed limit with very little effort with wind dynamic contours. I would gladly put my unit up against anything out there.
My trailer has nearly all of what you list at 1/3rd the price. My cabinet doors are indeed solid wood but the cabinets are a combination of pressboard and plywood. I'm ok with that to save $50k. Airstream isn't what it used to be but I'll grant you that they are still made better than most. Storage is hugely lacking though. Sure, creative interior storage might be great as it also is in mine but I'm not storing my generator, sewer hoses, tools, camping chairs, axe, hatchet, BBQ, firewood, pizza oven, and other items inside my trailer. A pass through or similar exterior storage is vital for many of us. I'm also not sure I can give up the slide out. I don't care how creative you get with interior layout, there is no replacement for square footage. Airstreams are very cool... you just have to be the right person for one.
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Old 01-01-2016, 09:41 AM   #25
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Based on posts I've seen from Traxless, the OP for this thread, I think they bought a used class C. I'm hoping Traxless will respond and let us know what type of RV they purchased and how the storage is working out for them.

The great thing about RVing is there are so many types, brands and amenities that everyone is sure to find a solution that meets their needs.
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Old 01-01-2016, 11:06 PM   #26
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slide

Wow, an Airstream with a slide. How cool would that be!
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Old 01-02-2016, 10:59 AM   #27
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Storage Space is a Junk Magnet...

[QUOTE=Traxless;2336549]We keep looking at Airstream Trailers in the 25' range. (And why not, it's cheap entertainment!) At any rate, how do owners handle the lack of basement storage for things like a BBQ, chairs, hoses, clean supplies, and all the other "stuff" that we seem to need. Look forward to hearing from AS owners. And thank you in advance.[/QUOTE
******
Storage space? For... what?

Anyone who owns a home knows what I am thinking. The more space... we are natural pack rats and will fill that space. This becomes a crisis when you retire and want to down size. What to do?

Those with fifth wheels store their hitch in the bed of their truck. Those who tow put a shell over the back and have "free" storage. I can toss in some empty water jugs, some five gallon buckets, rolled up mats for the outside living space under our awning, a couple shovels...

When we camped in our Toyota Land Cruiser, we got by with even less... stuff.
When I camped in my 1956 VW bug... even less stuff.

I have never wanted to haul my household goods with me on a camping trip. Many staying at a RV Park probably do not need most of what they are hauling along to fill their "basement". Junk Magnets.

Start off with a 16 foot any brand trailer... and THEN look for something larger. Our current 25 foot trailer without a "basement" has way too much storage space. You will discover storing stuff had never been a problem.

Many complaining about smaller trailers not having enough storage space would be amazed how Nomadic Indian Tribes took what they could carry, buried or hid what they could not at previous campsites... and got along well.

If you like hauling crap around, get yourself the biggest honking trailer made on the planet. When you find your are full of it, time to downsize and keep only what is necessary. Hoarders and Pack Rats have a lot in common. And it is not because of the fault of a trailer.
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:13 AM   #28
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Not sure of the reason for downsizing. Spend $70,000-$100,000 so you can't take all you need? Seems backa$$wards. I guess that's why you see 95% of full timers going with 40' MH or 35-40' 5th wheels. Why give up your life style when you can take it with you. For the same amount of money for a 25' AS I can get a fully loaded 5th wheel and have room to stretch out as well as have a place for the things I enjoy.
I didn't know going camping was all about being forced to leave things at home. I certainly wouldn't justify having less to camp with just to stay in an AS.
The lack of dual pane windows alone would be a major turn off as well as the heat that is generated from the aluminum body. Anyone ever go canoeing? Try touching an aluminum canoe that's sat out in the sun for an hour. Now try touching a fiberglass one. Big difference.
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