Escape Trailer Owners Community

Escape Trailer Owners Community (
-   General Escape (
-   -   Escape vs. Airstream (

Leo Smith 01-03-2014 04:36 PM

Escape vs. Airstream
My wife and I are planning to make a trek to Chilliwack this winter to look at Escape trailers. Last weekend we visited the local Airstream dealer. I'm curious if any of the Escape owners in this group considered an Airstream trailer as an option prior to purchasing an Escape trailer. If so, what were the factors that led to choosing an Escape?

gbaglo 01-03-2014 04:42 PM

Jeff Z ( the guy who started this site ) owned a 17B Escape and wanted more space. The 19 wasn't available at the time. He got an Airstream Bambi at an incredible price reduction. He kept it for a year or two before moving to a small motorhome. My recollection is that the Airstream spent a lot of time going back to the shop to have rivets replaced.
You might search members on this site and see if he's still here. Send him a PM.

techfan 01-03-2014 04:42 PM

Yes, but cost, weight, and lack of customization quickly made us look elsewhere. Did I mention cost?

gbaglo 01-03-2014 04:44 PM

JeffZ is still in the members list.

FMLNM 01-03-2014 04:47 PM

Weight, price and lack of a 5th wheel Airstream.....

Jim Bennett 01-03-2014 05:22 PM

I did look at some Airstreams. Really, the only thing I liked better at all was the fit and finish. They spend a lot more money on fixtures, and hardware. Oh yeah, they do kinda look cool too.

Other than that, they are heavier, WAY more expensive, and the layouts are terrible for the size, especially as far as beds go.

If I was to ever consider another manufacturer, it would only be a moulded fiberglass one. The years have proven them to be superior for longevity and lack of problems. Bigfoot makes a good trailer, but at added cost and weight too. Oliver makes a quality unit, but it is very sterile looking inside, and not to sleek outside, though they do use good finishing. Oliver weight is not too bad, but price is WAY up there. The other possibility would be the new Nest Caravan, lots of good thought going in to it, and looks to be a great unit. They only have a 17' in the plans though.

BUT, my Escape 19 is doing us just great, we are enjoying it immensely. It will likely be continuing to do so for at least another 4-5 years, when I will be making a couple decisions vehicle and trailer wise for major travelling plans. I am kinda eyeing up the new 5.0T, but we'll see.

gbaglo 01-03-2014 05:25 PM

Nest is knocking themselves out of contention by only offering an electric fridge, and a small one at that.

cpaharley2008 01-03-2014 05:28 PM

I looked at the Airstream here on the East coast, Colonial AirStream in NJ. First off, forget about any changes to the stock model, no input on outlets nor can you make any changes, for $60K you get what some stranger deciding what you want. They have some options like solar but that is about it. Escape Trailers will keep you up at night pouring over the forum here, getting ideas on customizing your trailer the way you want. For 1/2 the cost you get twice the input.
The other item is, there are close to 3000 rivets in an Airstream, each one a potential leak.
You decide….

padlin 01-03-2014 05:55 PM

We went and looked at the Airstreams a couple years ago. Started looking at the 23'er but liked the 25'er when we saw it, then the 27 and lastly the 28. So to get what we would have been happy with we would have had a huge, to us, trailer with it's extra weight. It was on the short list but I was worried about complaints of workmanship going down, small queen beds, and the exterior aluminum corrosion issue they have. Still we liked them, figuring we'd take another look as we got closer to retirement.
Since then we've decided we just don't want anything bigger then what we have and looked at Class B's Sprinters and Northern Lite truck campers, staying undecided. Unexpectedly retired this past summer about the same time I learned about the new Escape 5th wheel and 21. We had previously looked at a 19 but deemed it too narrow and a bit too small for us, the new models being as wide as what we have now and 4 or 5' longer fit the bill pretty much to a T. Airstreams were not revisited, they just don't fit our requirements for a small camper as well as the Escape, the Class B's, or the truck campers. The Escape is the most cost effective route for us.

Cypherian 01-03-2014 06:12 PM


As has been said above by Jim and CpaHarley you will have to consider price, weight can you TV handle it dry a 19 foot Bambi weighs 4500Lbs compared to 3000 lbs +/- of an escape. The materials for the air stream some are better and yes they look cooler but for that cool effect you get a lot more maintenance and up keep. Repairing an air stream skin is problematic unless your skilled with metal and have the tools to do so. Even then the corner caps can not be done by hand with out a lot of equip and time. Resale is percentage wise on par with a full fiberglass trailer ( CPAHarely Check Me on That :} ) Metal corrodes and shrinks and expands causing leaks, rivets will shear or heads will pop so you will have to inspect and become adept at changing / replacing. Buffing an all metal trailer is time consuming requires a fair amount of skill and equipment. Where as waxing an all fiberglass is nothing but rags wax etc yes you can do if faster with a buffing wheel with little risk to the surface metal will require a buffing wheel and skill so as to not over heat and distort the metal. Air stream will not be accommodating on changes you wish nor will they use different materials inside ie laminates, upholstery etc.

I too considered the Air Stream for almost 2 years even went to the factory , as someone who spent 23 years fixing Aircraft structure and corrosion control for the USAF. The tour pushed my decision against an air stream the underlying structure and such lends it self requiring more care and up keep.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:23 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.