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Old 05-04-2004, 10:49 PM   #1
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Talking 2005 model year quality tracking.....

Ok, history repeats itself (in a good way). Last year I got a bit of a late start, but as youíll be able to see, that didnít stop the linked thread (below) from overflowing with great data. This (model year), I was hoping to start from the beginning (which is just about upon us).

Now that we have a good baseline on the 2004 model year, I propose that we do the same with the 2005 model year that is just about to arrive, if it hasn't already and compare the two.

Here is a link to the 2004 thread that you can look at when you have LOTS of time:

http://www.airforums.com/forum...5627#post95627

Like last year, we will need one **very important** bit of info besides your observations with your 2005, and that is the month/year of manufacture.

You can find that info on the streetside front of your coach on a little metal plate that is riveted to the outside shell. On that plate you will also find your GVWR and serial number. All we need off that plate is the month/year of manufacture.

Remember, this thread is ONLY for units that are titled as a 2005. If you have a 2004 comment to share, please use the link above.

Hopefully, folks that buy 2005s will be able to provide the same level of detail we all received when we were talking about the 2004s. I hope folks will find this useful as we continue to move forward and track Airstream's overall quality.

Eric
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Old 05-06-2004, 11:08 AM   #2
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Eric:

You answered my first post on this forum recently. You know I'm a newbie and by the time I buy it will be a 2005 model. When I first started surfing this forum, I read every thread relating to the quality of the 2004s, and even went back and read about the quality of the 2003s.

The last time my wife and I looked at airstreams was back in 1992. We lusted after one; however, constant military reassignments precluded our making the plunge. We hadn't really gotten serious again about camping and a camper until about the last 2 years. I'm a year away from military retirement and we want to do LOTS of traveling rather just sitting rocking (and probably rotting)away in Happy Acres.

We decided on a camper, and given having a Toyota 4-Runner with V-8, we quickly realized it would have to be light. We had narrowed our choice down to a Sunline. Then we saw some Trailmanors and quickly changed our approach. Finally, the wife asked, why are we wanting to give up luxury when we are really going to spend lots of weekends and 1 week trips in a camper. We quickly evolved back to our first love -- Airstream.

This is a long way to get around to what I wanted to say/ask as it relates to the quality topic. When we went to the Airstream Dealer in Fredricksburg VA this past weekend we were -- frankly, disappointed. They didn't have any 19' (which we are really interested in), but we looked at a few 22', 25', and 34' models. None of what we looked at seemed to convey the quality I remember when we were looking back in 1992.

Reading all the threads about quality on this forum concerned me based on my own observations. There does seem to be a general trend (from what I read) -- quality was poor in early 2000s, got somewhat better in 2003, getting better in 2004. I guess that's a good trend; however, these RVs are anything but cheap. We are talking $35-$38,000 just for entry level.

I love the A/S. From reading the threads here -- so do almost all of you. I would like your (and other's) honest opinion on whether A/S is getting their act together on quality. For as much as these cost, that's exactly what I expect. I've looked at Sunlines (even visited the factory), and have yet to see one that didn't impress me with fit and finish, workmanship quality, construction, quality of the wood, etc... and they come in $10 to $15,000 less than a comparable sized A/S.

I know it sounds like what I really ought to buy is the Sunline. But I really want the A/S -- just want to have some degree of confidence that the quality is there for the price differential.

Thanks -- and sorry for sending this thread in possibly a different direction than you intended.
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Old 05-06-2004, 11:29 AM   #3
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I'm gonna PM you so that the '04 and '05 threads can stay seperate but equal.

Eric
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Old 05-06-2004, 12:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bevedfelker
I love the A/S. From reading the threads here -- so do almost all of you. I would like your (and other's) honest opinion on whether A/S is getting their act together on quality. For as much as these cost, that's exactly what I expect. I've looked at Sunlines (even visited the factory), and have yet to see one that didn't impress me with fit and finish, workmanship quality, construction, quality of the wood, etc... and they come in $10 to $15,000 less than a comparable sized A/S.
I would say that the quality of the A/S shell, frame, axles, etc. have NEVER been questioned. And there is no equal in the industry, IMHO. Try putting those SOBs through the A/S storm test tunnel and I bet they would be flooded. I remember seeing rays of sunlight in the corner of a closet in a Fleetwood! And how many SOBs are on the road ten-fifteen years later?
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Old 05-28-2004, 09:22 PM   #5
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Just keeping this on the radar screen for those of you who purchase a 2005.
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Old 05-28-2004, 09:40 PM   #6
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(I hope this post can fit in this thread. Move it or delete it, please, monitors, if it is inappropriate here.)Ed and Bev, you mention loving the quality and fit of the '92 that you once admired, and raise questions about the new units. Have you considered a 90's vintage AS, gently used? You would have to consider weight with the 4-Runner. We finally let our Land Cruiser go so that we could safely pull our '96 Limited. A '90's in the Excella (or other??) line rather than the Classic may meet your weight requirement. Somewhere I found a thread that lists all AS trailers by year, model, length, and weight. This may help you. We love the quality, finish, comfort, and solid feel of our '95. You may only be considering the '04 or '05 AS with full warranty and shiney-penny newness, but I can assure you from our experience that slightly used AS's can function very well without demanding a lot of rehab, and their AS charm and quality still shine through. just another idea
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Old 06-21-2004, 09:02 AM   #7
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I was at the dealer's Saturday to drop off the Classic for some minor warranty work. Asked to see some 2005's, most as it ended up were in Kansas for the big Good Sam rally.

What I did see was interesting. First a 2005 International with the vista view windows. The window is single pane and has a accordian type shade which pulls bottom to top. I also saw a 28' Safari. What caught my eyes on this trailer was the new aluminum wheels which are mag style with a brushed finish, not shiney like the Classics. Also noted on the wheels were metal valve stems....finally!

Jack
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Old 06-21-2004, 09:25 AM   #8
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Metal Valve Stems

Yes, My new Safari has the metal valve stems. Only problem is I can't get my pressure tester on to the stem now. Besides a new pressure tester any suggestions? I think I saw some extensions in a catalogue.
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Old 06-21-2004, 10:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dee
I would say that the quality of the A/S shell, frame, axles, etc. have NEVER been questioned. And there is no equal in the industry, IMHO. Try putting those SOBs through the A/S storm test tunnel and I bet they would be flooded. I remember seeing rays of sunlight in the corner of a closet in a Fleetwood! And how many SOBs are on the road ten-fifteen years later?
I don't want to sound negative, BUT...I will question Airstream's shell, frame, axles, etc. based on my first month of ownership. (I posted some of this the 2004 quality thread, and one or two of these items on other threads):

1. I had my trailer's running rear balanced, thankfully. One was so out of balance is took hours to correct, and required 12 oz of weight to do so.

2. I know of another person who told me he purchased a new 2004 Airstream that didn't have any grease in the wheel bearings, and only found this out when it was too late. (I made an appointment with my local garage to check mine later this week.)

3. The lower bumper trim and at least one screw (I assume it is a sheet metal screw) on the front of my new Airstream have separated.

4. My new Airstream came from the factory with an abundance of rather large, unsightly scratches, gouges, in the aluminum sheet metal.

5. I have a significant squeak in the floor in the middle of my trailer (I would think the decibel level of this squeak would not overshadow my Honda EU200i generator at a distance of 30', but at least I know, and feel comfortable with the cause of my generator's noise.

Also, I owned 2 Sunline's before buying this Airstream. Although a number of the components used in Sunlines are certainly less costly than those in my new Airstream (formica countertops versus Corian, for example) there is ABSOLUTELY NO COMPARISON between the 2 as far as workmanship and craftsmanship - Sunline's are FAR SUPERIOR, at least compared to my Airstream.

I'm certain that the 1995 Sunline I owned is still on the road, and (knowing its present owner) I suspect it is in as good condition as your average comparably aged and used Airstream.

However, don't get me wrong, I'm not throwing in the towel on Airstream, and maybe 10 years down the road I'll feel the same love that all of you seem to have after years of ownership. I really do LIKE my Airstream; but I can't admit to LOVING it after just a bad, brief first date!

John
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Old 06-26-2004, 01:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
Ok, history repeats itself (in a good way). Last year I got a bit of a late start, but as youíll be able to see, that didnít stop the linked thread (below) from overflowing with great data. This (model year), I was hoping to start from the beginning (which is just about upon us).

Now that we have a good baseline on the 2004 model year, I propose that we do the same with the 2005 model year that is just about to arrive, if it hasn't already and compare the two.

Here is a link to the 2004 thread that you can look at when you have LOTS of time:

http://www.airforums.com/forum...5627#post95627

Like last year, we will need one **very important** bit of info besides your observations with your 2005, and that is the month/year of manufacture.

You can find that info on the streetside front of your coach on a little metal plate that is riveted to the outside shell. On that plate you will also find your GVWR and serial number. All we need off that plate is the month/year of manufacture.

Remember, this thread is ONLY for units that are titled as a 2005. If you have a 2004 comment to share, please use the link above.

Hopefully, folks that buy 2005s will be able to provide the same level of detail we all received when we were talking about the 2004s. I hope folks will find this useful as we continue to move forward and track Airstream's overall quality.

Eric
We just purchased a 2005 30' Safari with the bunkhouse floor plan. As a newbie to Airstreams, I am very impressed with the quality of this unit but please keep in mind that my comparison is a 2001 Kodiak hybrid. So far we have had no major issues with the unit, but I will say that the dealer spent a lot of time prepping the unit (Woodland RV in Grand Rapids, MI). The awning is a little odd to us (you gotta admit the ZipDee units are different from the others). I will post additional comments as we get more age on the unit.

Towdaddy
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Old 07-02-2004, 07:58 PM   #11
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We bought our 2005 Interstate and were on the road two days later.

We just returned from a six day event at Buttonwillow Raceway, California. It was our shakedown cruise and it did very well. The Mercedes diesel pulled it up the hills from the coast with little effort. We experienced very heavy winds for the 125 mile trip, and even with it's high profile and narrow track the Interstate handled well.

Six days of 100 F and blowing dust at the track and it was still comfortable.

The 2.5K propane generator worked well with the AC, although wouldn't support AC and microwave at the same time. Our driver was able to stay cool and well fed. We refilled the propane tank once, at 1/3 full on the 5th day.

Since we could only fill the fresh water tank 1/4 and still close the rear doors, we saved dish washing etc for the evening on the pad with hookups. Airstream says that it has a fix. I hope our dealer can handle it.

The bed was pretty comfortable for one or two. Since this is primarily a support vehicle for us we still expect to get a motel room for those who get really dirty and require 10 minute showers.

QC issues.

Over expanding fresh water tank. Fix pending, says Airstream.

Lavatory cabinet door falling off. Airstream is puzzeled.

Overhead laminated wood cabinet door warped. Dealer noted.

DVDs and CDs got extremely hot, almost untouchable, after playing, even with the entertainment cabinet doors open during the cool evenings. Dealer noted.

Like the LCD TV. Saves space and runs cool.

No caulking between kitchen walls and counter near sink. We fixed.

Very wimpy but good looking awning. Who knows if we'll use.

Generator exhaust system hangs down. Limits road clearance. Just noticed today while following the already low slung Interstate on the way home.

The RV really begins to smell when the gray/black water tank gets near full. Dealer noted.

The electric sewer waste pump is very nice.

So I wonder if Airstream ever;

filled one of these model's freah water tanks with the spare tire mounted in the back and tried to close the rear doors,

played a DVD for more than 2 minutes,

looked up at the overhead doors,

filled the black/gray tank with smelly stuff,

opened a lavatory cabined door more than a couple of times,

drove it over a big speed bump without hitting the generator exhaust system.

We e-mailed AS and got a reply about the tank issue. Our dealer has noted the issues.
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Old 07-02-2004, 11:07 PM   #12
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Can both of you post the month of manufacture?

One note on the fresh tank....when you fill it, how much volume are you allowing in? The reason I ask is that it was discussed here that filling the fresh tank to fast can result in an expanded tank since the air in the tank cannot evacuate as fast as the water rushing in. It has been suggested that the fresh tank be filled slowly. Just a thought.

Thanks for posting your findings so far. Keep us posted.

Eric
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Old 07-03-2004, 09:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by interstateflyer

So I wonder if Airstream ever;

filled one of these model's freah water tanks with the spare tire mounted in the back and tried to close the rear doors,

played a DVD for more than 2 minutes,

looked up at the overhead doors,

filled the black/gray tank with smelly stuff,

opened a lavatory cabined door more than a couple of times,

drove it over a big speed bump without hitting the generator exhaust system.

We e-mailed AS and got a reply about the tank issue. Our dealer has noted the issues.
Interstate:

I just left the factory where we spent a couple days getting service repairs on my new 2004 Classic. The folks at the factory really went out of their way to correct a number of my concerns. However, based on several of the obviously deficient design and workmanship in my unit (such as you couldn't take a shower without water pouring all over the outside floor) I asked what kind of program they had for their employees to actually use/test/inspect these trailers before selling them to the unsuspecting public. As I understood the reply, they had a program years ago for employees to use the trailers, but it was discontinued a long time ago.

Too bad vis a vis quality inprovements, imho. ...I asked how many of the Airstream managers even actually stayed in Airstream units when they attended the recent international rally?

John
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Old 07-03-2004, 12:10 PM   #14
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[QUOTE=flyfisher]Interstate:

I just left the factory where we spent a couple days getting service repairs on my new 2004 Classic. The folks at the factory really went out of their way to correct a number of my concerns. However, based on several of the obviously deficient design and workmanship in my unit (such as you couldn't take a shower without water pouring all over the outside floor) I asked what kind of program they had for their employees to actually use/test/inspect these trailers before selling them to the unsuspecting public. As I understood the reply, they had a program years ago for employees to use the trailers, but it was discontinued a long time ago.

Too bad vis a vis quality inprovements, imho. ...I asked how many of the Airstream managers even actually stayed in Airstream units when they attended the recent international rally?

John; How did the factory "go out of their way" here? I'd expect them to do these repairs. Did you ask them what the heck is going on with QA/QC? What has happened to the new QA position we heard about? Do they think they are still making a quality product? Do they care? If so, how is this being demonstrated? Did you talk with anyone down on the floor? It is sounding like the problems voiced for the '03 and '04 model years continue. It seems we hear a lot about AS standing by their product, but very little as to how they plan on improving their quality.
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