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Airstream Travel Trailers


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While the story is interesting, it is important to remember that while the name remains the same, this is a very different company and product from the one that was first built by Wally Bynum created and it has gone through a series of owners and quality swings over the years since Wally. Today the company is just one more division of Thor Industries and the tie to the past is more sentimental than factual. That isn't to say that there is anything wrong with them today, but like any other brand with a long history of multiple owners, there have been products of both good and bad quality carry the name over the years.


After a lot of RV experience we have concluded that for us the Airstream fits into the same category as the Casita in that it is very cute and compact, but doesn't fit us or our desires.

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Well said, Kirk.


I like the concept of the Airstream, and I'm sure it is a fine camper. However for FT use, it lacks slides to expand the interior room, and carrying capacity. Now if they made one with a floorplan and specs similar to this: http://www.rvoutletmall.com/rv/2014-Sprinter-331RLS-10178 such as: 3 slides, 3,000+lbs CCC, 80 gal fresh and 80 gal gray tanks (for extended boondocking), 0 -100 degree arctic insulation package, wide body design, etc., then they might partially justify their high price. But looking at the specs of their top-of-the-line Land Yacht: no slides leaving the interior room cramped, only 1614 lbs CCC, water tanks less than 40 gal capacity and a price of around $145K, vs $34k for the previous example of a fully featured TT with much more sq. footage., carrying capacity, etc.


I fail to see what attracts so many to the antiquated (iconic?) design, other than the sleek looks, relatively light weight and aerodynamics. I can't see where you could ever save enough fuel towing one to make up the huge price difference. Durable, sure, but how long do you intend to own one? Looking at the price difference between the 2 afore mentioned models as an example, one could buy 5, that's right 5 new Sprinters for the price of a single new Land Yacht. So if you decide to replace your conventional TT every 10 years (about the time that the rubber roof warranty runs out, rather than replace the roof) that means that you can have a brand new TT every 10 years for 50 years for the price of a single, new Airsteam (which may or may not last 50 yrs. like the older ones are reputed to do) This example ignores inflation, and rising TT values as the years pass, but it also ignores the time value of money, (either borrowed or invested) too, making this consideration a wash at best in favor of having a brand new trailer every 10 years (with all new, modern: interior, tires, appliances, etc.). Besides how many of us even have 50 years left to live? So if we are at retirement age when considering this purchase and only have half of this RVing time left (optimistically), we might only purchase 1 or 2 more trailers before we expire, this dose of realism favors the purchase of an inexpensive, relatively short lived conventional trailer even more.


No disrespect to others who have made the decision to purchase a new Airstream, as we all (myself included) often do things based on emotion and desire that are not in our best financial interests. I'm just pointing out the financial folly of such a decision for a trailer with less functionality, whether used in an RV park, campground or for boondocking. They sure look sweet and tow like a dream though....just not for me either.



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Yes, the Air Streams now are not the same as the older trailers. Thor has not done any good with the cost cutting measures. We have met a number of folks with the over-prices newer A/S trailers that were not pleased with them.


That is my story and I'm sticking to it.



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I didn't think the Airstream trailers had any slide outs until we saw one in the RV park where we are at.

According to the Airstream Website they still don't. Of course there are companies who put slides into RVs that didn't come with one so that might be how that happened. At this time, the Land Yacht series is the largest and most expensive model, base priced at $145,581. Even the small, 16' long Sport lists for $42,123.

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A close friend bought a new 30' Airstream in 1978, still uses it every summer. He has declined offers for over what he paid for it new. Apparently the older models are preferred over the 2000's. About 10 years ago he took it to the factory to have the exterior refinished. It looks like a new trailer.

I agree with others,IMO it severely lacks storage space and CCC.

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I seriously looked at them a while back and really liked them but could not find one with a bath that I could fit in. I did see some euro made ones that had better layouts and was very high tech. I don't think the European Air Streams are made by the same company as the US ones.



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I never owned one, but some of my relatives had them several years ago.

No doubt they have gone down in quality, just like every other RV manufacture..(Not Custom)...

However, they towed like nothing else and sure held up.

Back in the early 70's when I lived in North Carolina there was a local dealer that had one in his front parking display hooked to an Oldsmobile Toronado with the rear wheels removed.

He was showing the basics of the Reese hitch system as well as the towing ease of the Airstream. It was quite a site seeing it going down the Interstate near it.

Obviously that couldn't be done today for legal reasons...



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Yes, Airstream did make a few of the larger coaches with a small slide. They weren't very popular, so they are no longer available. Even the largest, the 34' triple-axle coach, is made only every few years.


Airstream owners are a different breed. They want things the way they used to be, although certain newer amenities are welcomed. I asked about replacing the standard RV refrigerator with a residential unit (something that is pretty common) and one individual told me that doing so would cut the value of the coach. Given the number of fires in coaches that have newer RV refrigerators, I almost asked him what a refrigerator fire would do to the value of the Airstream. Of course, he also objected to non-factory curtains.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We owned three different Airstreams over the years, two 31 footers, an 85 and a 92 and then a 1999 34 footer. All were good trailers. We bought a fifth wheel when we started to full time in 2010 and have since moved on to a 45 foot coach. The Airstreams were just to small for us to live in full time. I still smile though when I see one going down the road..

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We have owned a 21-foot Streamline trailer (an Airstream competitor built in California in the 1960s and 1970s) for several years. It is not quite as "round" as an Airstream and has 4-wheels (dual axles) but is very light weight (under 3500 lbs) and easy to two with most SUVs and not even noticed by my Dodge diesel truck (1994 vintage). We considered buying a slightly larger (26') with twin beds for snow birding but went with a motor home (DP) instead.


We still have the Streamline as it is an excellent weekend fishing-trip RV..


At several RV shows we've gone to recently both the DW and I felt that the new Airstreams were far and away better than any of the other "light weight" category travel trailers. They seemed both more solid and more livable with their new floor plans and larger windows.


As far as full timing, they do lack storage space (although you can stuff a lot into a full-sized pickup bed with a canopy) and the older ones can seem dark and cramped inside. And they are not cheap! But the cram a lot of living into a small space.



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We ordered our 2015 Classic two weeks ago, just in advance of the Tampa RV Supershow. We spent a good deal of time in the Classic that was on display at the show.


We are quite excited. The interior cabinets are solid, hand-rubbed Brazilian cherry and the design of the trailer suits our taste perfectly. As for storage, my avatar shows our tow vehicle, so storage won't be a problem for us.


Still getting rid of stuff in the house and hope to have it sold and be on the road by June of this year.

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