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Old 06-24-2008, 08:46 PM   #127
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Should I go forward?

I have just read all the postings for the issues on the 2008 units. We are currently looking at those units to purchase and hopefully enjoy. I understand that you are all trying to bring up important issues with the quality control. I found almost everything helpful, but it brings up a larger question. Should I really be looking at spending $50K+ on a product with this many problems?

If this was any other manufacturer, would any of you go back again? Is Airstream now only trading on history? We were looking at Airstream as a high quality product. You have scared me into thinking that maybe I'm better off in another brand. Yes, I know that their quality maybe less, but so is the price. How do you expect Airstream to take you seriously until it affects their pocketbook? Maybe the answer is to get them to take these issues to heart as the only method to get our money.

Do I go forward or start making reservations at the B&B's?
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:17 PM   #128
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Me4Us,

Don't let these posts scare you. Most owners of new Airstreams are pretty anal but we've paid for that priviledge.

Airstreams use the same appliances, fixtures, fans, etc as many other SOB's (some other brands) so there is no difference in that regard.

Where the Airstream shines (pun) is in the way it's built. They're designed for travel and use.

I personally don't get why people want to bring the full contents of their stick home with them when they're traveling. Airstreams don't have too much storage, just enough.

The aluminum frame and skin will hold up better structurally over time than fiberglas and wood framed trailers.

If you stick around for awhile, you'll find that several of us are on or 2nd or 3rd NEW trailer so they can't be all that bad.

My opinion is that the Airstream is "so close" to being everyone's ideal trailer that it frustrates us when the factory doesn't implement all of our ideas to get it there.
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:28 PM   #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
What I'm trying to say is that the potable and grey water tanks could be bigger and the black smaller—it's the proportions between them. The 2008 Safari SS has 39 gal. for potable and grey water and 18 for black water. I don't know why. It's the same size as the other two 25's. The 25' has a 33 gal black water tank; the 25' and 27' FB have 39 gal, and the 28' has a 35 gal. The potable water tanks are all 39 gal. The grey water tanks are either 37 or 39 gal. Why all the differences—doesn't it cost more to make or buy all different sizes?
Our 2004 28' CCD had a combination 70 gallon grey/black tank. For the type of camping we do, it worked out very well. The fresh tank however was way too small at 33 gallons.

When I ordered our current trailer, 27 ft FB CCD, I asked about getting an even larger fresh tank but the factory refused to do it.
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:31 PM   #130
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hi me'

good questions...

i agree with cosmotini and this may not be the thread for answers to alot of tangentially related questions....

since it mostly is just the REPORTS of issues from a given model year.

the many other sides of "is it worth it', or 'compared to other brands' and so on, are covered elsewhere...

and there are other threads that deal with 'should i buy' 'new vs old' 'why a/s' or 'a/s vs other brands'...

and the philosophical side of rv, a/s and general build and Q issues...

so look around a bit for more reading material...

here are a few threads to chew, with links to even more...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f349...rse-39275.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f468...oid-40020.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f293...ity-27019.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f142...buy-31551.html

then there is the issue of buying new vs old to avoid issues...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f48/...bad-21921.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f353...oid-36858.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f187...oid-31944.html

MOST importantly is HOW A/S handles or DOESN'T HANDLE build errors and poorly assembled units...

their behavior is sometimes totally unacceptable...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f335...ops-25290.html

also don't miss the threads on corrosion or safety in newer units...

so ready 'em and weep

gene...

the phone connectors get gunky VERY EASY, the monitor units fail routinely and the calibration goes WACKY often...

some of the underside connectors come with covers to reduce this, and others don't and corrode quickly.

some folks COVER the connections with plastic or tape.

the wiring (once), the display control panel (twice) and the actual tank elements (3 times) have ALL been replaced on my trailer...

YES the rock guard gaskets CREEP out at the corners, the material is UNDER TENSION and slides out pretty easily...

i push it back IN every time i clean the rock guards (3-6x yearly), over 3 years the amount needed 2b re-buried has declined.....

make lemonade with that BIG black tank...

the SIMPLE thing to do when boondocking IF you know reliably how little will go INTO the back tank...

it to transfer dishwater and other gray water (all expect the shower) INTO the black tank...

in other words catch gray water in a basin and USE it to flush the toilet...

i can take WEEKS to fill the black tank solo, BUT when boondocking can nearly DOUBLE the gray tank capacity this way...

cheers
2air'
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:44 PM   #131
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Originally Posted by me4us View Post
..............

Do I go forward or start making reservations at the B&B's?
Go forward! The problems we've had with our '08 Safari have been very minor and easily fixed. It's like getting a new house. Even with the best builders you will always have a few "punch list" items.

Personally, I wouldn't own anything other than an Airstream. They really are worth the money!!
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:47 PM   #132
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Me, don't let us scare you away. I had a truck camper once that was junk and took it back to the dealer. No comparison with an Airstream. Others report junky other brands. The standards in this industry are lower than for autos and trucks. Also, it's a house compressed down to a couple hundred square feet and what house doesn't have problems? I'll leave it to you to decide whether the Forum is composed of chronic complainers or perfectionists. After reading as many threads as possible, and discounting the obviously extreme posts, a middle ground will be discerned. Cosmotini may have it right: "Most owners of new Airstreams are pretty anal but we've paid for that priviledge."

I've never owned any other trailer, but many posters report that Airstreams are much easier to tow. Unless you're never going more than a few score miles, that's pretty important.

And what RV looks so cool?

Read and read until you feel confident you understand this brand and can assess which people here know what they're talking about and that will guide you.

Gene
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:49 PM   #133
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2008 27' FB International CCD

Our Intntl CCD Front bed is a 2008 model that was manufactured in October, 2007. We took delivery in Dec. of 2007. We did a shakedown trip in Dec. to a state park near our home. The only problem I had was the bottom of the shower door leaked in the corner. I took it back to the dealer and they replaced the bottom seal and wiper and it has not leaked since. We have used the trailer quite a bit since then. I use it for business when I am on out of town projects for up to six weeks at a time. I was waxing it today and noticed some corrosion on the chrome of the taillight hoods. I am going to talk to the dealer about that and see if they will replace them. This is the first time I have waxed it since taking delivery and I have not noticed any of the corrosion trails that folks have been talking about on this thread. the trailer sits on concrete next to my garage where I have a 30 amp plug for it. I keep the AC on about 85 when it is sitting so as to keep the humidity out and temps reasonable(we live in the Houston area about 3 miles from Galveston Bay). One window shade had a hole in it, and the dealer sent me a new one which I still need to install. They would have done it for me, but I couldn't find time to take it to them for such a minor item. This is not only our first airstream, but our first RV of any kind. We have been extremely pleased with the trailer and have not regrets! My tow vehicle is a 2004 GMC Sierra Denali withe the 6 Liter gasoline engine and it handles the trailer with no problem. I have a load distributing hitch but no sway bars. The dealer suggested I try it without the sway bar first, and I have had no problems with sway. The trailer tracks straight as an arrow and if I was not constantly admiring it in the rear view mirror, I wouldn't even know it was back there!
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Old 06-24-2008, 11:05 PM   #134
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Hi, Me4Us. Let me add a few things to this subject, non year specific. I read that Airstream was #1 in name recognition; You say "Airstream" to someone and they automatically picture a shiny silver travel trailer. But they are only about 2% [guess-timate] of the RV market. Banning Airstream would hardly be noticed like if everyone banned Fleetwood or Winnabego. Next point, all things considered, I saved about $10,000.00 (+ or -) on the purchase of my trailer and it would take an awfull lot of major problems to make it a bad deal for me. I can easily live with the few simple problems my trailer had. But if you pay full list plus extra for a hitch, brake controller, prep fee, financeing, and Etc. Etc. Etc. Then you can't say the same as me.
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Old 07-14-2008, 03:07 PM   #135
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Warranty experience

I just got back from Denver to have warranty work done. A majority of things fixed, some things ordered (monitor is screwed up and needs to be replaced they tell me, dealer installed solar panel has a light out and also has been ordered, and the task light over the dinette ordered too). I had corrosion on the chrome strip at the bottom of the body and that was replaced with no questions asked.

They refused to fix the very small gouge in the vinyl telling me I should have seen it on the walk through—I only saw it when I was on the floor cursing the location of the water pump. I told them it was impossible to clean the water pump filter and was told no one cleans the filter even the owner's manual says to clean it annually. They couldn't do anything about the shower head sag except tighten the screw that immediately loosens. The ill fitting window they refused to fix—it was a replacement window that I got after the original blew out on the trip home after I picked up the trailer. The C channel on the window was crooked when I got it and I had to straighten it to install the window. A letter will go to A/S about the gouge, the shower head, the window and pump tomorrow.

Just before we left for Denver, I discovered that when I checked the battery disconnect switch the light stayed on in both positions. They found a dead short in that system and fixed it. They also rerouted the jack wire and brake wire to the side of the tongue so the propane cover no longer rests on it. They also fixed some trim inside that I hadn't noticed was crooked.

I felt I was treated pretty well except for the looney warranty denials that I attribute to A/S. I don't really want to do the 500 mile round trip for the rest and I wish A/S would establish a network of RV dealers to do warranty claims for all of us who don't live near big cities.

Gene
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Old 08-22-2008, 10:16 PM   #136
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Warranty Experience II

The letter went to the president of Thor Industries and not too many days later I received a phone call from a consumer relations guy at Airstream. We had a friendly discussion of the items I had written about: water pump location making it impossible to clean the filter, sprung window, vinyl gouge, drooping shower head and the creases in some of the rivets and the half moons around some other rivets.

The upshot was that Airstream agreed to everything i asked for. The water pump was moved forward in the cabinet with the filter facing the proper way. They installed the bypass kit I had purchased at no charge. They put in another new window and replaced the rubber seal. A floor guy came and sealed the gouge. He used grey sealer on tan vinyl, but no one can see it unless they are on the floor and looking for it, so no harm. The shower head and the part that has the screw which wouldn't hold it up were both replaced. I had noted when the "button" (that's what Airstream calls it) is used to mostly turn off the water, the water gets much hotter, not quite scalding, but uncomfortable. The replacement doesn't turn the water off as much and it doesn't get much hotter, a little hotter though. It's possible there's more pressure in the hot water line and that's causing the temperature difference.

The only thing they didn't take care of was the rivets—I asked the rivets and the half moons be coated with clearcoat to ensure the integrity of the clearcoat hadn't been violated. But Denver was getting days of rain and it just wasn't practical. Maybe I'll buy a small amount of it and apply it myself.

A few other items needed help. The drawer under the curbside dinette seat kept opening. They put a second catch on it and suggested we don't store anything very heavy in it. That made sense. The petcock on the fresh water tank was extremely hard to turn and that was replaced.

But, a problem developed when they were backing the trailer into the shop. They hit the tongue of another trailer and put a hole in the panel just below the license plate. At first they told me it would take 4 or 5 days to fix and they'd patch it temporarily. I asked if they would pay for my accommodations for that period of time. Then it was suggested they come and pick it up at my house and then return it. I told them that was a 10 hour round trip and it might be cheaper to put me up in a fine motel. We decided to talk about it when we came to pick up the trailer later. Ten minutes later I received a call. They had found a replacement panel and would have it installed the same day. Four or five days had become 7 or so hours.

It took a little longer and they seemed to have a problem with the monitor panel—they had to replace sensors too—so we didn't get out of Denver until 6 pm. We were going to go to a state park about 3 hours west and had made reservations for one night, but it was getting late, it was pouring, and we decided to go to the nearest RV park and relax. We got just about the last space. It rained all night and no leaks. Reassuring for our trip to the NW coast in September. Listening to the rain on the roof was cool, but I think a week of it would send me over the edge (I'm close to it already). I forgot to bring a raincoat though I checked the weather report for Denver before we left home and reminded Barb to bring one. I learned the joys of setting up the trailer at the RV park without any coat and getting soaked. Next morning Barb found she had stored an umbrella in the trailer, so that helped while we took everything apart.

My belief at this point is that Airstream will do what you need if you know how to ask. Explain everything in detail and write to the boss—easy to find all that on the internet. It helps to go to law school, get a license to practice and have the letterhead and know something about warranty and contracts, but I think being firm and not accusatory does work. Unfortunately I had to do that because the dealer would not fight for me on some of these items. Once they got the word from Airstream, they were extremely cooperative.

When we came home, we found two things. The edge band on the Formica counter in the bathroom was coming unglued right at the inside curve. Ironing it back on worked, though the nature of the curve makes it hard to seal with an iron. The chrome (I think it's not real chrome, but it looks like chrome) trim around the back was coming loose in three places. When they replaced the aluminum panel, they had to remove and replace the trim. Either the glued backing was compromised, or they just didn't press it on firmly enough; maybe the rain didn't allow it to set properly. I used 3M auto trim glue and resealed it. Messy stuff and it gets all over, but rubbing alcohol and scrapping with a fingernail got the mess off.

Now I'm wondering what will break next? We don't really want to go to Denver this often, though we get to see old friends and eat in some good restaurants. Because of the passes, gas mileage is less and the fuel cost is high. And it takes 4 or 5 days to deal with it all.

I'd hate to have to pay for any of these things so I intend to watch for anything that can be covered by warranty and make a claim before 2 years are up—I've got 14+ months to go.

Gene
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Old 10-24-2008, 12:31 AM   #137
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2008 19' International CCD

Well, a little late in the game but here's a report from an extended trip through the desert SW, CA to Colorado.

Old Issues we had already experienced/knew about prior to this trip:

1) Funky sound when playing DVDs. Other users here on the forums reported it as a cat purring/underwater type sound.
2) Crack in curved plexi-glass on front passenger side. I think this was there when we bought it new, but I missed it on the walk around.
3) Crazy "mind of it's own" LP gas detector. Despite no apparent smell, and even with LP gas talks turned off, water heater off, frig off, heater off, and stove off, it would alarm. Couldn't find any leaks, so, out came the detector.
4) Bathroom floor wooden trim by toilet, popped loose.
5) wooden trim in wall between tv side and bed/bedroom side (that conceals tv cables) popped out.
6) Refrigerator stainless steel facing comes undone as a result of the black plastic trim at bottom and top not holding it tight.
7) Door needs to be slammed to get it to close and latch properly, allowing both locks to be used.
8) Outdoor shower door has a key broken off in the lock. Not our key since all of our keys are intact.

New Issues noticed or appearing during this trip:

1) 5 internal rivets on inner metal skin, popped out. Jeeeeez.
2) Countertop trim near sink came unglued
3) Weird DVD noise still present. Found culprit as subwoofer. If unplugged, sound is fine. Faulty subwoofer, bad wiring? Who knows.
4) Stovetop rubber gaskets holding burner racks up are breaking, and slipping into their holes, causing the burner racks to slip down, making cooking surface uneven.


I think it's time to schedule some warranty work at our dealer, Toscano, in Los Banos, CA, once we return.

-Josh
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Old 10-24-2008, 09:48 AM   #138
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Over one year now and almost 5000 miles. No problems other than the LP sensor going off. Yes, I removed it. No quality issues and we still love it.
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Old 12-06-2008, 04:52 PM   #139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDBfreeheel View Post
Well, a little late in the game but here's a report from an extended trip through the desert SW, CA to Colorado.

Old Issues we had already experienced/knew about prior to this trip:

1) Funky sound when playing DVDs. Other users here on the forums reported it as a cat purring/underwater type sound.

New Issues noticed or appearing during this trip:

3) Weird DVD noise still present. Found culprit as subwoofer. If unplugged, sound is fine. Faulty sub woofer, bad wiring? Who knows.

-Josh
Josh - the sub woofer is probably fine. Mine did the same thing. The dealer installed a ground loop filter and the noise stopped. PAC SNI-1 RCA Ground Loop Noise Isolator at Crutchfield.com

You may also want to add a more easily accessible on/off switch so that when you're dry camping you can shut off your sub woofer and the load on your batteries will be lightened.
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Old 12-07-2008, 12:09 PM   #140
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I e-mailed the factory about the subwoofer. This is the answer I got:

"First of all when you have the DVD playing what is your equalizer set on
your radio. When you have it on DVD you want to have it set on vocal. There
are about 4 different settings. If it was set on for example "explode" you
would get a Booming sound.
If this does not help the woofer itself has some settings on the top of the
speaker case. These are set at the factory and you would have to gain access
to the top of speaker to change settings. The gain should be turned up all
the way and the frequency should be turned up a 1/4 turn from the off
position. These could have been moved or not set correctly. That is where I
would start."


On my subwoofer, one of several brands they have used, the controls are on the left side. That means they are only accessible by mice. There are two screws holding the subwoofer in place and I removed those so I could move it to access the controls. While playing a DVD I adjusted the controls so as to not hear rumble, scratchiness or whatever describes it. I ended up setting the frequency at 1/4 and the gain (volume) pretty low. I doubt the subwoofer works at that level, but I don't care. When camping I don't need booming subwoofer sounds and my neighbors certainly don't. At home, I like it loud, but the nearest house is about 1/3 mile away.

When I visit the factory I will ask them to look at it. It seems to me the sound problem is more likely to be something that can be fixed by a capacitor or filter and the factory audio knowledge is not too high.

I don't see the need for an on/off switch since you can simply turn down the bass and probably accomplish the same thing.

Gene
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