2018 Airstream Missouri review

Mar 14, 2005
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I have often fancied teh idea of an Airstream caravan, but they have always been much heavier than similar sized UK caravans, and very pricey. It seems that nothing has changed much.

Historically I believe the original designer Wally Byam, was keen to make an aerodynamic shape, which is why the models have a strong resemblance to aircraft. In that regard he was successful, but its a shame he didn't also take on board the same aircraft traits for low weights.

Still it does mean the design is iconic, and as Alastair Clements points out it 's the uniqueness that is likely to attract buyers for that alone.

I am certain the design could be readily put on a weight reduction diet, using the aforementioned Air craft construction techniques. Some of the interior fittings could also be redone either in lighter material, or slimmer sections, without loosing the functionality.

Even in its home country of America, there is the begging of a trend towards more fuel efficient vehicles, and that will almost certainly involve reduced vehicle weights, so lighter caravans will need to follow if the RV sector wants to remain bouyant. I am sure that lighter US products would find more favour on this side of the pond.
 
Jul 11, 2015
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At the recent CountryfileLive event at Blenheim there was an airstream on display, so popped in to it. A good opportunity to sell quality products to discerning buyers; opportunity lost I'm afraid.

Having only been in an Airstream in the US previously and heard the hype, my first shock was the tacky wheels and centre caps straight out of the swift parts bin, followed by a silly flag badge combining the star and stripes and the union flag. Reflectors along the body were stuck on with mastic much like the rest of the Swift range. Immediately gave the impression of the modern business practice of cost cutting in place of value adding and lowering quality for higher sale price.

Stepping inside, further Swift parts bin parts that didn't fit in. The perspex sliding doors again give the impression of we've run out of parts and money, quickly pop down the local tip and rustle something up to fill the gap, but only spend a few pence. Where the LED lighting in our Sterling Continental 570 has been well thought out, it looks like eBay was used by Swift to source some crappy Chinese cheapo tat and just bung it in.

Still, there are doubtless lots of mugs with more money than sense to want to be seen in an Airstream. Sadly, this abomination of cheapness reflects what the UK caravan industry thinks of it's customers.

An airstream is doubtless seen as retro chic and cool, but this is a retrograde step. Yuk :evil:
 
Oct 12, 2013
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Keefy , that's a nice little rant about the Swift :huh: , something about the swift that you do like ? I have not got stick on reflectors they're actually LED side lights that work thankyou :angry:
 

Parksy

Moderator
Nov 12, 2009
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Airstream trailers, to borrow the American idiom, look the part on the outside but as leisure caravans the average British models are streets ahead in terms of equipment levels and interior design.
Retro American cars look great but are not so good to own and drive and I get the same impression of Airstreams, great when somebody else owns it.
Personally I'd derive much more satisfaction from buying an older UK caravan to restore and to restyle as retro chic.
 
Jul 11, 2015
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Craigyoung said:
Keefy , that's a nice little rant about the Swift :huh: , something about the swift that you do like ? I have not got stick on reflectors they're actually LED side lights that work thankyou :angry:
Craig, thank you for your response which sums up and reinforces my view. They have the LED side lights as on your caravan, and the non LED as on ours that are stuck on with mastic, then put awful bits on a much higher price point product. Swift do some good things, then ruin it by doing poorly by throwing things together that don't meet the intent. Consistency would be a good thing.

The brochures and web images are nice and neat and well presented, consistently. The actual products are not. Despite the promises to improve things since they threw together the common poor quality parts of our caravan, it is apparent the actual actions do not meet the words.

I do not shy away from blunt appraisal as I see it, the caravan buying public deserve better.
 
May 7, 2012
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We have been in an Airstream and were not that impressed with the design but they are something different. They are a bit on the heavy side but there are worse.
 
Aug 23, 2009
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To sum up my thoughts, absolutely horrid. I expect it's aimed squarely at Range Rover Sport drivers with designer shades.

I would rather have 1980's sculpted velour. Perhaps a Mustang?
 

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