Airstream Safari Sport - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-28-2008, 10:20 PM   #1
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Anybody notice a change at Airstream for 2008?

http://www.airstream.com/products/2008-fle...line/index.html

Especially since owning the Casita, I've thought Airstream would do well to produce something smaller than their 8+ foot wide, 9 1/2 foot tall coaches...even the Bambi was too wide and too tall.

This new Safari Sport appears to be a new product measured to better fit the roads of Europe and Japan, and has been added as an "entry" model to the North American line.
It looks to me that the dimensions of the 17' are very close to the Casita 17'.

The floorplans are not very imaginative (that full-width rear bath takes up a LOT of space), and they look like they are very stingy on windows, but it's interesting to me because the narrow width and low height of my Casita are a tremendous part of its appeal and usability.

At $32K to start, it's uber-expensive, but it does have that brand appeal. (I grew up in a large family that traveled by Airstream.)

What do you think? Does Airstream finally have a product that can compete with our FGRV's?

P
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Old 03-28-2008, 10:37 PM   #2
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I don't think it's competition in the classic sense. It's a different class of RV and a different type of buyer.

Casita probably has nothing to fear from Airstream, or visa versa.



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Old 03-28-2008, 10:53 PM   #3
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I do know that the hailstorm last summer, and the steel basketball goal being blown over on my
one-week-old Casita in '04 would have cost me thousands in repair on any Airstream.
With the Casita, not a dent from the hail (little dents in the truck), and the whopping impact of
the basketball goal took five minutes with a "magic eraser" sponge to remove.

Interestingly, I've had many people ask me, "Are you the one with the little Airstream?",
so I should not pay any attention to the brand issue.

P
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Old 03-29-2008, 12:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Interestingly, I've had many people ask me, "Are you the one with the little Airstream?",
so I should not pay any attention to the brand issue.
I've heard people call my Fiber Stream a Scamp.

I originally wanted to find an older Airstream Caravel. I like the Fiber Stream better.
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Old 03-29-2008, 06:45 AM   #5
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We bought the Airstream 17 last summer. Our final price with the equalizer hitch setup, awning, ac, etc. was about 28K. We also own a Casita 13. I have modified the Casita extensively by removing almost everything that we didn't use, so the little guy now weighs about 950 lbs. The two trailers serve very different trip requirements, at least for us. We use the Casita to camp in our VERY remote and unimproved property in Louisiana, pulling it through mud, swampland, old logging roads to the river campsite that cuts through our land. The airstream wouldn't last 10 feet in that environment, with its low ground clearance, aluminum skin, etc.

Having said that, we find the we prefer the Airstream for everything else, going to car shows, business trips, and regular "onroad" exploration. Our next trip is to Wilmington North Carolina for the USS North Carolina crew reunion in late April. We wouldn't consider our little "offroad" Casita, and find that the Airstream serves very well on trips like this.

An earlier poster mentioned the bathroom. I had issues with the bathroom on the Airstream as well. From my view the bathroom took up almost 1/3 of the volume of the Airstream, and at almost 30K that meant that we were paying $10,000.00 for the bathroom! But now, after the sticker shock has worn off some, I find that the bathroom is an excellent addition, and not something that I would easily do without now that I am spoiled.

I get lots of requests for Airstream "tours", from casual motorists and from other Airstream owners. I agree with earlier comments that the Airstream Safari Sport and the Fiberglass brands appeal to different customers. I drive a Ford F250, my wife drives a Mercedes sedan. Each vehicle has its place.
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Old 03-29-2008, 11:35 AM   #6
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JD makes my point. Each has a purpose of style. Most of us prefer one or the other, so the person that would exclusively offroad or "camp", in the traditional sense, would most likely not think of an Airstream first.

If all I did was full hook ups, full time and the occasional campground, I myself would consider an Airstream. They are beautiful rigs.

Those that are very seriously into trailering probably have several kinds. (Shush Roger) It's like guitars. How many serious guitarists do you know with just one guitar? They probably have a variety of instruments, including the two biggies,,,at least one Stratocaster, and one Les Paul. They are both guitars, but they have different sounds, different feels and different purposes.

For us mortals that can't collect trailers for any given reason, you have to decide which would suit your needs most of the time and get *That* one.
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Old 03-29-2008, 01:15 PM   #7
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This is my kind of 'Ultimate' small camper , the last one you will buy in your live but to be the small camper of my dream she's need to lose 500 pounds get a price tag $10K lower and get a floorpan similar to a Casita. That's why It's a dream... In reality there is no hope this happen except if one of those Aluminium kitplane compagny like Murphy,Van's ect ect...decide to get involve in a new market, The have the expertise and tools to produce a aluminium utralight weight camper kit, Airstream can sue them if they sold complete camper but not a 'trailer' kit, I will be the first customer on the list if they do! What a great project

Guess what....I will write a letter to Mr Murphy just for the fun...Who knows!
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Old 03-30-2008, 11:06 PM   #8
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I doubt Airstream could sue anyone because there have been other aluminum trailers that look a lot like Airstreams made in the past.

Click image for larger version

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Not sure that aluminum will be that much lighter. I was surprised at how close the weights of the Livin' Lite pop-up was to the very similar Coleman Colorado, even though it has alum frame and floors instead of steel frame and wood floors.
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Old 03-31-2008, 09:14 AM   #9
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The Airstream still has as small a bed as my little Boler unless you buy a 25' or larger. The 17' has only a 3/4 size.
Bed Size
17 Sport...46x83
22 Sport...Table makes into bed, [I have that now]
19 Safari...48x75
20 Safari...48x78
23 Safari...48x75
25 Safari...Queen, or twin,
You would think that for a high end trailer you could sleep a little more comfortably. Their only advantage is the extra length on a two of them
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Old 03-31-2008, 05:26 PM   #10
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Trailer: Casita Patriot 13 ft and Airstream Safari Sport 17 ft
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"You would think that for a high end trailer you could sleep a little more comfortably."

Actually my wife and I find the Airstream bed more comfortable than the Casita. I can't tell you why though. We are both thin and 5 ft 10 in tall. I don't know why we would sleep better in one or the other, they both have foam matts, etc.

As posted earlier, the Safari Sport is the "Euro" width and weight, about 3000 lbs, I think. It is too small for any lengthy camping trips, but great for a few days here, a few days there. We are both athletic types, enjoy jogging and cross-country bicycle excursions, so we do not tend to spend much time inside either camper. Almost all cooking is done outside, and we don't tend to eat a lot, so big meals are not an issue.

The A/S Sport shower is roomy and about the biggest advantage over the Casita 13. Of course the best shower in the world means nothing if you can't actually get the camper to your campsite, so in terms of "off-road" capability, the Casita is the champ. And I don't have to worry about every little pebble putting a dent in the skin.
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Old 03-31-2008, 10:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
I originally wanted to find an older Airstream Caravel. I like the Fiber Stream better.
My Dad likes my Casita better than any of the Airstreams he ever owned. And I for sure like the superior clearance.

JD, thanks for the nice photo; y'all must be among the first owners of that model.

P
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Old 03-31-2008, 11:37 PM   #12
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JD makes my point.
Gina,

I think that JD makes MY point...that despite construction method, if a trailer is in the right size and weight category, and has full amenities, it is in the same market no matter the price.
One of the biggest benefits that I tout to "tourists" is the narrow width of the Casita, which is exactly the same as my truck, which makes towing very easy. The Safari Sport is 7' 3 1/4" wide, which is about 4-5" wider than my current rig, but way better than the 8'+ of the previous Airstreams. It's actually narrower than your Burro by about 2". I also enjoy being able to go through drive through ATMs and such since I am way under 9' in height...the Safari Sport is about 8'3" without A/C, which again is way better than the 9 1/2' height of their conventional units.

I'm not anywhere near trading out of fiberglass for anything else, but the Safari Sport and T@DA are worth comparison based upon their dimensions and functionality. I think the fact that JD has both confirms this. The Casita, for me, is an experiment in minimalist living, and is working perfectly. I would probably choose the Oliver over the Airstream any day, if picking a replacement, at that price point.

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Old 04-01-2008, 07:01 AM   #13
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"I would probably choose the Oliver over the Airstream any day, if picking a replacement, at that price point......"

Or, from my perspective, as an owner of both.......given the choice of one or the other, considering the cost, versatility, and the range of camping that I do, I would choose the Casita.

Remove the cost factor and my interest in offroad swampy campsites and I would choose the Airstream.

I am lucky that I can afford both, and appreciate that circumstance.
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