New fiberglass player.....Airstream! - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-03-2016, 09:15 PM   #15
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Airstream acquires Nest Caravans

Greetings to you all!

As you may have already heard, Nest Caravans has been acquired by Airstream. We are very excited about seeing our vision brought to the marketplace by the premier manufacturer of travel trailers.

I will be working with Airstream as a consultant, overseeing the production of the Nest in Jackson Center, Ohio.

My sincerest gratitude to all of you have have contributed your comments, critiques and kind words over these past several months.

(This message repeated on the initial "Introducing Nest..." thread.)
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Old 04-05-2016, 06:33 AM   #16
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Over the last few days, I had an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the Nest Caravan. I also circled back on the statement made by Bob Wheeler regarding his vision for a new less expensive Airstream made in November 2015. Bob stated, “The typical new Airstream buyer, Wheeler said, has gotten younger, with the average age falling from mid-60s to late-50s. Wheeler would like that number to come down. The new trailer won’t come in the traditional aluminum shell, Wheeler said, but will be unmistakably an Airstream when it arrives in the middle of 2016.”I would say Bob is moving closer to fulfill his vision by acquiring the assets of Nest Caravan.

I also believe both Robert Johans and Bryan Thompson have moved closer to realizing their dream to bring innovation in design to the RV marketplace. As they state on their website, Nest was created to appeal to discriminating enthusiasts of both good design and the great outdoors — delivering style and quality to those who believe aesthetics, integrity and excellence are not only a reflection of themselves, but lifestyle essentials.“

As you grow to understand the Nest Caravan, it is valuable to reflect back on an analogy used on this Forum. Some RVs resemble a sailboat and other RVs resemble a houseboat. Consumers tend to prefer one over the other based on their individual camping needs. I believe one is not better or worse than the other, they are just different. With this vision in mind, it did not surprise me when Mr. Thompson focused on fiberglass as his material of choice for the exterior design.

What I particularly like about this arrangement between Nest and Airstream is the focus on bringing innovation and design to the marketplace. More specifically I like the following:

1. The lighter weight of approximately 2400 pounds.
2. The width of 80“ making it feel easier to tow.
3. The monocoque chassis as an industry-unique innovation.
4. The use of color within the gelcoat layer.
5. The focus on an alternative to the use of a black tank.
6. The idea of allowing the consumer to choose from a list of options so they can tailor the RV to their camping needs.

Based on my review, I would say these men are to be congratulated on their actions to-date.

I would like to add a couple ideas for what it is worth. These ideas are not meant to appear as a criticism in any way. They might simply serve as food-for-thought as we embrace the need for continuous improvement in design.

1. As RV manufacturers explore ways to remove excess weight from the RV design, might they consider the use of carbon/kevlar as an option on select components of the design? High end ocean kayak manufacturers have been incorporating carbon/kevlar into their design to remove excess weight for years. I own two ocean kayaks with a 50/50 combination of fiberglass and carbon/kevlar. Not only do you remove excess weigh, but selective use of clear gelcoat allow the fibers within the material to display and the appearance is stunning!

2. I understand the Thetford Curve Porta Potty is a fine product. I do like the innovation of looking for alternatives to the black tank. I know high end campers such as the EarthRoamer use a cartridge based product. My only hope is that RV manufacturers continue to explore options in this area so the consumer has an end product which might be something between a porta potty and an EarthRoamer design.

Buzzy
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Old 04-05-2016, 09:41 AM   #17
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Thanks for your comments, Buzzy.

Just to be clear, as the "creator" and lead designer of Nest Caravans, it was always my intention to fabricate our TT from FG. (Mr. Thompson is responsible only for the look of the Nest's excellent exterior styling.) Airstream will continue with this methodology, providing an alternative to their iconic aluminum offerings.

As to carbon fiber and kevlar— both are still much too expensive for a product the size of ours. Someday? We'll have to see.
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Old 04-05-2016, 09:45 AM   #18
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Robert,

Excellent!

Thank you,
Buzzy
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:02 AM   #19
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The pricing of this little upcoming "Airstream" will be VERY interesting. We have the "Oliver" within 30 min of my doorstep and the pricing of it is very interesting as well. They just dont build anything smaller than a 17'er.

I was reading a thread similar to this one. They were talking about making the "Nest Caravan" the Airstream of FG campers. To me, that is currently the OLIVER. So maybe AS will offer the NC in a smaller version and become the Airstream of the smaller FG campers? 15'? 16'?
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Old 04-06-2016, 07:58 AM   #20
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Robert,
As I mentioned earlier in this post, I particularly like your use of color in the gelcoat layer on the exterior of the Nest Caravan.

The interior photos of the Nest would indicate a preference for white fiberglass surfaces in the interior. I actually prefer white, however, I understand some consumers find the color cold. We know Airstream designers use a different color palette and perhaps they might prefer a light grey. Based on your understanding of the manufacturing process, would that be possible?

I also noticed you provide the consumer with an option to select Dove over white as an exterior color combination. I could not determine if the color Dove is a different tone of white or if maybe it is a preferred marketing phrase. Is Dove the same color as white?

Thank you,
Buzzy
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Old 04-06-2016, 11:27 PM   #21
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The original plan was to offer a select few gel coat color options, as well as tow vehicle color matching with paint.

"Dove" is a very light, warm gray color.

Airstream will likely be bringing the interior styling more in line with their other offerings. However, Nest featured painted furniture-grade plywood cabinetry, not fiberglass.


Sent from my iPad using Fiberglass RV
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Old 04-26-2016, 10:58 AM   #22
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FYI

Airstream to build fiberglass Nest Caravan - Outside Interests

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Old 04-26-2016, 01:08 PM   #23
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I do hope our Fiberglass RV gentle readers will have an opportunity to read the article in the "Outside Interests" publication listed above. Clearly both Robert and Airstream have high expectations for Nest.


I am curious as to the typical buyer. Will he/she be first time RV buyers, or an Airstream wannabe who see this as their entry level purchase or perhaps an existing fiberglass RV owner who wants something different? I suspect Airstream will need to sort that out in an effort to focus their marketing.


Thoughts?


Buzzy
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Old 04-26-2016, 01:12 PM   #24
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My thoughts are, everytime I've tried to click on it, my Barracuda filter is BLOCKING the site! Thoughts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzzy View Post
I do hope our Fiberglass RV gentle readers will have an opportunity to read the article in the "Outside Interests" publication listed above. Clearly both Robert and Airstream have high expectations for Nest.


I am curious as to the typical buyer. Will he/she be first time RV buyers, or an Airstream wannabe who see this as their entry level purchase or perhaps an existing fiberglass RV owner who wants something different? I suspect Airstream will need to sort that out in an effort to focus their marketing.


Thoughts?


Buzzy
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Old 04-26-2016, 01:18 PM   #25
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Darral,


You might try the link below which takes you over to the Airforum. (Seek the bottom of the thread for the link to the article.) As you would expect their conversations have begun. Beware, they can have strong opinions! Oh my!


New less expensive Airstream - Page 53 - Airstream Forums


Hope this helps.
Buzzy
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Old 04-26-2016, 04:01 PM   #26
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“I’ve read many times on the fiberglass RV forum online, ‘Nest is the Airstream of fiberglass trailers’,” laughed Johans. “So Nest may already be the perfect fit for them.”

His thread was a long one and I bet he got some other good ideas from this forum. This bunch of people is nice and honest with their advice and opinions.
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Old 04-26-2016, 04:30 PM   #27
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I still don't understand how you keep the other guy from seeing your cards when you are sitting side by side.
And, where do you put the clean dishes to dry after you wash them? On the bed?
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Old 04-26-2016, 05:31 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzzy View Post
You might try the link below which takes you over to the Airforum. (Seek the bottom of the thread for the link to the article.) As you would expect their conversations have begun. Beware, they can have strong opinions! Oh my!
Just read most of the 53 pages on this topic at Airforums. What a hoot! They're as opinionated as we are . I found a couple of sentences I though you folks might like to read.

Fiberglass trailers: Little plastic trailers and looking like a Clorox bottle.

Cynicism aside, it will also allow Airstream to connect in an exciting way with a second unique and interesting group of rabid fans: Fiberglass RV-ers.

Saying that Airstream is the best of the lot sets the quality hurdle pretty darn low....

If Airstream thinks they know it all and put this chap in a closet, we will see the same poor results that we see every day with the 80 year old design that should be idiot proof...

the "fiberglass tubs" that you are belittling have been the force of innovation in an industry plagued by QC issues, which also seems to be frozen in time. Airstream’s design has not changed since 1970s...

Go Nest GO!
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