I checked out the Airstream Basecamp yesterday... - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-04-2007, 01:40 AM   #1
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... and was half impressed, half disappointed by it. It sure made a dramatic first impression, though, all complex curves and Airstream gleam. Similar in size overall to my Scamp 16, but the wheels seemed far bigger. That would help haul the freight over rough roads (or at least give that rugged appearance, which may be what matters more, to most). No salesman was nearby at the dealership, so I opened the double doors and went inside. Wait- not before you lower the hinged step/ramp, because it has a high-clearance floor. Now, the trailer had the widest, easiest entry of all, since it was designed for bikes as well as people.

The view from inside, framed by continuous, swooping windows, made me feel I'd stepped inside a stylish set of ski goggles. The view narrows at the nose of the trailer, adding an impression of greater depth there. It drew my attention to the galley space, beautifully but skimpily laid out with a single burner and a tiny sink, all mounted on a rickety assembly of jointed plastic posts that belonged in the furniture department of the dollar store. It was the only part of the Basecamp that seemed poorly built. I questioned the thinking, however, behind the large round skylight in the center of the roof, though, made of fixed plexiglas. No curtains, no source of shade. A Maxx Air fan was just behind, however, and an air conditioner nestled on the tongue, so you could beat the heat as long as there's juice.

Forgetting the weight and disregarding the price, either of which surely would kill the deal, I asked myself, would I want one? No, because there's no way to sleep a third person inside, so even a small starter family isn't welcome. You'd have one of these earlier in life, and you'd love it.

It's exciting to see Airstream make a serious effort at revamping the small camp trailer, though. I wish our friends at the FG manufacturers would bring some novel designs to the market, or revive some old ones. There's more than one way to cook up an egg, as the Base Camp attests.
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Old 12-04-2007, 06:12 AM   #2
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Good observations, John, and they paralleled my own very closely. The Basecamp has an accessory tent-room affair that attaches over the back end doors for more room. I got the distinct impression that it is aimed squarely at the twenty-something market who just don't want to sleep on the ground or in a tent more than the market we're in.

Even with the left-over '07s deeply discounted to $25k (without the tent-room), I think they're a lot overpriced for the few amenities they offer.

I think that the 17' Safari Sport is a much better entry level trailer (if you consider $35k entry-level).

Roger
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Old 12-04-2007, 09:09 AM   #3
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My impression was having those big open doors in the back letting all the insects and skeeters inside. I would not want to have to assemble that tent everytime I arrive or leave a camp. I would think some type of screen door back there and ditch the tent would be a better concept. IF customers are coming from tents, i would think the last thing they would want to do is fiddle with a tent again. I think they are in the right direction for potential customers base. motorcycle, ATV, mountainbike, rafting crowd is a huge market.
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Old 12-04-2007, 12:14 PM   #4
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i agree, its pretty cool setup.. but id leave out the tent...
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Old 12-05-2007, 02:25 PM   #5
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It sure does look like a pretty neat and clever rig on the website, with some great options and all. And then I clicked on the 'pricing' tab, OUCH OUCH OUCH!!! $22k just to start??? Well there's not one in my future anytime soon! LOL Of course now I'm curious to see what the fiberglass companies can come up with to combat, no, to do an even better job than the Basecamp!
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Old 12-05-2007, 04:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
made me feel I'd stepped inside a stylish set of ski goggles.


Ever thought of writing reviews?

Thats what I thought. I went into one here in San Bernardino. I was not real impressed by it other than it has the classic airstream fit and finish.

Still, a finely machined brick is meaningless without the rest of the amenities of the building. But.. It's a very nicely made brick...
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Old 12-05-2007, 11:16 PM   #7
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Thanks for the kind word, gina. I love to write, but I'm usually too busy reading.

I didn't think the Basecamp was a better trailer than ours. Certainly not a better deal. But it displays a few useful concepts (folding step, big skylight, wide doors) that might be implemented in fiberglass, no? Also a sense of futuristic style, with a Bauhaus twist (think New Beetle, Apple desktops, German coffeemakers). That's the X factor that's allowed them to make something glamorous out of, well, a horse trailer.

What do others think? Do we need a fresh approach to styling?
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Old 12-06-2007, 06:47 AM   #8
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What do others think? Do we need a fresh approach to styling?
Frankly, John... I'm ok with the fiberglass trailer styling from the early "septic tank" period. I think it's kind of retro-chic.

BTW, for those of you who didn't know it, the Basecamp was designed by Nissan at the Nissan Design studio in on Campus Point Drive in University City, San Diego CA.

Roger
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Old 12-06-2007, 07:39 AM   #9
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I also heard that Nissan Design took their cues from the 1935 Airstream Torpedo (check it out here - see #18): Airstream Vintage Photos What's old is new again....

Kathie



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Old 12-06-2007, 07:30 PM   #10
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the Basecamp was designed by Nissan at the Nissan Design studio in on Campus Point Drive in University City, San Diego CA.
What color was the studio, and at what time of day was it completed and what hairstyle was the designer sporting at the time?

:-P
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Old 12-08-2007, 10:36 AM   #11
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I agree that the Airstream Safari Sport might be a better "entry-level" choice, which is why we bought one. We bought ours last August and really have enjoyed it. Spending a few days at a time in the A/S is pretty nice, but the silver trailer is not suited for ANY travels off paved roads. We own several hundred acres of good old Louisiana Gumbo Mud land and our regular campsite is about a mile from the nearest pavement; so we kept and still use the Casita 13 when we go out there. In that case we sometimes pull the Casita through mud and snake-filled swampy water and it has survived very well. In any event, the 2008 Safari Sport is Airstream's attempt to reach younger customers (at about 30K, no frills). So far it seems to be working as the units are selling very well. Time will tell, though.
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Old 02-10-2008, 10:51 PM   #12
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Unhappy

I recently saw a used BaseCamp on sale for about $18k. The dealer said it was a mistake for Airstream, their other models were selling much better.
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