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Old 06-27-2008, 08:35 PM   #421
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Right will prevail

iHaley,

Don't panic. Even if you have it or it happens in the future, don't let it ruin your enthusiasm for Airstreaming. Eventually, some fix/cure will be discovered. If it is truly a manufacturing defect, Airstream will end up taking care of those afflicted, there are too many strong owners who will insist on being treated fairly. Stay hopeful and enjoy your Airstream.

After all, I keep hearing this old question, "What would Wally do?" I think we all believe that he would do the right thing and maybe that message will make it to the right person with authority who will follow Wally's creed.

As you know, life is too short to let little things waste your time.
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Old 06-27-2008, 09:30 PM   #422
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...I could be wrong in my assessment. It might just be manufacturing scratches...
take a picture or 2 and POST them...

we can tell ya quickly what it is.

or just LOOK at the pix others have posted, it's pretty easy to label a scratch vs corrosion.

but it IS manufacturing 'scratches' in the clearcoat that allow salts to penetrate and cause this problem...

this is a cosmetic issue, the surface issue folks are ticked about isn't a structural threat to the 'stream.

and the only 'error' i see in your thinking is the notion of the a/s as an 'investment'...

it's a travel trailer, not a stock fund.

it IMMEDIATELY lost dollar value as it was towed OFF the dealer lot.

sell or trade it tomorrow and it is WORTH LESS than your purchase price...

keep it for 30 years and much of that depreciation will be irrelevant.

the scabs might affect resale value, but so might the future scratches and dents YOU will give it...

so please don't think of vehicles or rvs and INVESTMENTS in the same sentence.

the 'stream is a tool for camping and travel.

the 'stream is a tool shared by many in the 'stream club...

the 'stream is a tool envied by many (without one) who have a romantic image of what might be...

the COMPANY is a TOOL (the other meaning) for not dealing better with the scabs growing on their new trailers...

cheers
2air'
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Old 06-27-2008, 10:24 PM   #423
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No, no, no... I didn't mean it in that sense. I don't see it as an investment in the same way I view my stocks or my IRA or such... It's just a shocker. Lot to take in after only a day. Let me catch my breath.

I bought the thing so I could have a way to travel and enjoy my leisure time. I bought an Airstream because I wanted quality and a company that stood behind it's product. I'm not saying that I'm unhappy with my camper or that either statement is 100% untrue about Airstream... just that I'm more than a little shocked, is all. I know it depreciated the day I bought it, and I accept that there's depreciation with use. My truck is scratched up because I USE it, instead of polishing it and keeping it in the garage, and I'm okay with that. I do understand that it's cosmetic... but when I see some of the pictures posted on here, I know that I as a buyer would have ran a mile from a unit that presented such issues, as would many others. Will my options ultimately be severely restricted because of this in the future, when in 10 years I'm ready to retire and I want to trade up?

Just musing here...

I think the thing that makes this so frustrating is the sense that there's not a workable, reliable solution for this issue from Airstream themselves, and that my camper is so NEW.

Give me the chance to get through the grieving process here.
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Old 06-27-2008, 10:37 PM   #424
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No, no, no...Give me the chance to get through the grieving process here.
sure take your time.

along with the corrosion,

there WILL be faulty wiring, shell leaks, battery failures, loose plumbing, poorly closing doors, frame separations,

brake/hub failures, peeling graphics, defective charger/converters, crapy water pumps and so on...

to keep ya busy.

a/s ownership is love drenched in grief...

thank goodness for the camping (and beer)

cheers
2air'
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Old 06-27-2008, 10:59 PM   #425
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Will my options ultimately be severely restricted because of this in the future, when in 10 years I'm ready to retire and I want to trade up?
No more so than a '97 or '98 model sold today. Your current trailer is unlikely to deteriorate at a faster rate than those models. In fact you may want to look at some 10 year old trailers to get a feel for what you're in for. I think you may be pleasantly surprised.

As far as price depreciation goes, well that's RVs!
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:02 PM   #426
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Hi, corrosion is just a fact of life; In a sense we as people corrode too. I think I found about four little spots on my trailer. Not a big deal. And it won't cause me to not use it or worry myself sick over it. As of yet, I haven't seen or heard of any Airstreams with sheets of aluminum flying off on the freeway. [I have seen chrome pieces fall off of Harleys on the freeway.] As I have said before; My trailer sits outside all year around, only gets a good wash job before a trip, gets hosed off several times a year, and has never been waxed. Yet other's who park inside and wax the heck out of their trailers have corrosion everywhere. No rhyme or reason. If it ever looks too bad, my wife and I agreed to just have a custom paint job done on it. Or maybe by then we will be so old that we just won't care about the looks as much as camping and traveling. Resale means nothing to us because this is going to be our only trailer for many years to come; We don't need or want the latest and greatest, the fanciest, the biggest, or the Flying Cow or whatever the next generation has to offer. Our trailer will only be replaced if for some reason it is damaged beyond repair. Enjoy life. Enjoy your Airstream. Unfortuneatly there are things in life that we can't do anything about, so we move on, and don't look back.
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Old 06-28-2008, 08:12 AM   #427
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Hi, corrosion is just a fact of life; In a sense we as people corrode too. I think I found about four little spots on my trailer. Not a big deal. And it won't cause me to not use it or worry myself sick over it. As of yet, I haven't seen or heard of any Airstreams with sheets of aluminum flying off on the freeway. [I have seen chrome pieces fall off of Harleys on the freeway.] As I have said before; My trailer sits outside all year around, only gets a good wash job before a trip, gets hosed off several times a year, and has never been waxed. Yet other's who park inside and wax the heck out of their trailers have corrosion everywhere. No rhyme or reason. If it ever looks too bad, my wife and I agreed to just have a custom paint job done on it. Or maybe by then we will be so old that we just won't care about the looks as much as camping and traveling. Resale means nothing to us because this is going to be our only trailer for many years to come; We don't need or want the latest and greatest, the fanciest, the biggest, or the Flying Cow or whatever the next generation has to offer. Our trailer will only be replaced if for some reason it is damaged beyond repair. Enjoy life. Enjoy your Airstream. Unfortuneatly there are things in life that we can't do anything about, so we move on, and don't look back.

Thanks Bob.

It's important to keep a little perspective on this.

Is this simply a cosmetic issue or is it structural & functional?

I am quite concerned about the implications of this whole issue in terms of usability and function more than cosmetics. I am not one of those guys who washes & waxes the heck out of my vehicles ( I don't have the time or the passion for that). OTOH, I am not interested in buying a relatively expensive trailer that leaks or starts to fail structurally at a faster rate than the stick & staple junk, I've come to loathe...

I read here on this forum that Airstream is failing to honor their warranty obligations or refusing to fix water damage from a warrant related leak. This is a much more serious issue in my book but this corrosion question is also very concerning.

-evan
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:01 AM   #428
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Airstream and life

The question I ask myself is whether I would buy it now since I have had it since last October and have learned a lot more. I did a lot of research before I bought the Safari, but I didn't learn everything. I certainly read this thread before buying—it's been around a long time and is always pretty depressing. It almost stopped me before I bought; when I did the walkthrough, I looked for and didn't find any filiform. I also read other threads before buying, some depressing, some informational, some both.

Barb and I like retro and Art Deco. That set us up for an Airstream. Barb really, really wanted one and I have a hard time saying no to her.

Would I do it now? I don't know. I like using it, I hate motels and looking for them. I like having our own food and bed. I like having a real table to eat on—motels sometimes, usually don't, have a decent sized table. I like not having to look for a bathroom while traveling long distances—just stop and go. I like having a good radio and CD player and HD TV. I like not having to carry luggage and food and a big, heavy cooler in and out of motels. I like the original design for its beauty and strength—form and function come to together. I am not enthralled by towing or gas costs, but I am getting used to the former and can do nothing about the latter.

I have come to believe the company is run by empty suits who try to avoid all responsibility for their errors and think they can screw the customer. This is not an unusual attitude in the corporate world. They will get theirs someday (I hope), but how many people will they hurt in the meantime? There are some problems with Airstreams, no doubt, and there are also positives.

Like most questions in life it's a decision what to do after weighing all the things that need to go on the scale plus knowing enough about yourself to know what you can accept or not.

Most people buy a house, if they can afford it, rather than stay in an apartment where the owner has to fix the things that inevitably break. This is a house on wheels and has things to fix, but it's mine. A motel is like an apartment and has an owner to fix things.

As I wrote before, until you accept delivery, you may be able to get out of the deal, but may require a lawyer to do so. At the least, if on the walk through, you discover filiform corrosion, don't accept it and demand one without it. But for iHayley, you already have one and are upset. I would be too—we, so far, have no corrosion. People have very different experiences with corrosion as you have probably learned by now. Since I don't have it, I haven't gone through the warranty carefully and haven't considered every word and composed the letter I would send if I were hired to write one to the company. Having written plenty of those kind of letters before I retired, I know what much of it would say and I know it might get results, but not every time.

The company is stonewalling a lot of people. That is stupid PR and this thread among others has I think persuaded some people not to buy. That eventually will be noticed in Jackson Center, but right now the empty suits are being defensive even though that never works in the long run.

If you have a problem and getting no satisfaction, get a lawyer to write a letter and see what happens. Let us know too. Also, wax, wash, watch and try to contain the problem. If you don't know whether to buy or not, it's an individual decision and you have to be comfortable with what you do. I can't know what I'd do now because I already have one. I ask myself the question, but I know there's no real answer. I try not to have regrets about past decisions because I know I did the best I could at the time. So, iHayley, don't blame yourself and figure out what to do with what you have and find a way to enjoy it. Talk to a lawyer if you have corrosion. Also note that almost any older Airstream has dents; other brands that old are in a junk yard.

Gene
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Old 06-28-2008, 11:51 AM   #429
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The question I ask myself is whether I would buy it now since I have had it since last October and have learned a lot more. I did a lot of research before I bought the Safari, but I didn't learn everything. I certainly read this thread before buying—it's been around a long time and is always pretty depressing. It almost stopped me before I bought; when I did the walkthrough, I looked for and didn't find any filiform. I also read other threads before buying, some depressing, some informational, some both.

Barb and I like retro and Art Deco. That set us up for an Airstream. Barb really, really wanted one and I have a hard time saying no to her.

Would I do it now? I don't know. I like using it, I hate motels and looking for them. I like having our own food and bed. I like having a real table to eat on—motels sometimes, usually don't, have a decent sized table. I like not having to look for a bathroom while traveling long distances—just stop and go. I like having a good radio and CD player and HD TV. I like not having to carry luggage and food and a big, heavy cooler in and out of motels. I like the original design for its beauty and strength—form and function come to together. I am not enthralled by towing or gas costs, but I am getting used to the former and can do nothing about the latter.

I have come to believe the company is run by empty suits who try to avoid all responsibility for their errors and think they can screw the customer. This is not an unusual attitude in the corporate world. They will get theirs someday (I hope), but how many people will they hurt in the meantime? There are some problems with Airstreams, no doubt, and there are also positives.

Like most questions in life it's a decision what to do after weighing all the things that need to go on the scale plus knowing enough about yourself to know what you can accept or not.

Most people buy a house, if they can afford it, rather than stay in an apartment where the owner has to fix the things that inevitably break. This is a house on wheels and has things to fix, but it's mine. A motel is like an apartment and has an owner to fix things.

As I wrote before, until you accept delivery, you may be able to get out of the deal, but may require a lawyer to do so. At the least, if on the walk through, you discover filiform corrosion, don't accept it and demand one without it. ...

The company is stonewalling a lot of people. That is stupid PR and this thread among others has I think persuaded some people not to buy. That eventually will be noticed in Jackson Center, but right now the empty suits are being defensive even though that never works in the long run.
...

Gene

Thanks Gene,


You've articulated all this very well.

We have, as a family, travelled a lot towing a trailer & generally like it for the same reasons. You have your bed and gear with you as well as easy access to good washroom facilities and a kitchen to cook your own good healthy food.

Towing can be stressful if you get into tight quarters en route or if you're tackling long high altitude grades in the mountains but I actually don't mind the travel style while towing if everything is working well. What I haven't enjoyed is limping home with a trailer brake system that is acting up or the feeling that the SOB unit is falling apart with plastic fittings degraded by the sun & the knowledge that if the rubber roof isn't leaking this week , it will be, soon enough.

I have an Airstream sitting at the dealer with my name on it but if I can't have the confidence that this A/S unit will be good for 20 years of use with responsible maintenance & care, I don't think I want it. The reports of Airstream using weasel words & failing to honor their warranty obligations when the units are failing prematurely are very concerning. I do not want to gamble on getting a non-lemon unit if there is no recourse if I lose on the draw.

We too are really attracted to the spare 'Bauhaus" form following function interiors of the Safari SE line. The typical RV "Aunt Tillie" school of interior design, with garish florals, colonial lighting & brass filigree leaves looking for the barf bag. Why do they do that?

Anyways, the horns of a dilemma are not a soft & comfortable resting place.

Have you been happy with the quality & fit & finish of your unit? Have you had any significant repair issues with yours?

Thanks for your comments


-evan
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Old 06-28-2008, 12:35 PM   #430
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Evan,

There's a thread under Airstream Trailer Forums called "2008 model year quality" that will further distress you.

The short answer to your question about "quality & fit & finish" is yes and no. I have a tendency to focus on the problems, but most things are fine. Some of the problems are expected, some are stupid sloppy mistakes, some are design issues that should have been solved long ago. Since I haven't taken it to the dealer yet (240 mile trip) I do not yet know how things will work out.

As you've discovered, there are other A/S owners near you. Safari57 posts frequently and you've discovered cameron already. Maybe some PM's with them will help you sort it out.

Gene
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Old 06-28-2008, 12:37 PM   #431
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good post

Gene

Very well written, I think most of us bought our Airstrems based on the same perspective. No matter how bad any issue is with our Airstreams, we should not loose sight of the enjoyment they bring to our lives and the lifestyle it permits.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
I have come to believe the company is run by empty suits who try to avoid all responsibility for their errors and think they can screw the customer. This is not an unusual attitude in the corporate world. They will get theirs someday (I hope), but how many people will they hurt in the meantime? There are some problems with Airstreams, no doubt, and there are also positives.

The company is stonewalling a lot of people. That is stupid PR and this thread among others has I think persuaded some people not to buy. That eventually will be noticed in Jackson Center, but right now the empty suits are being defensive even though that never works in the long run.
Gene

Empty suits, probably right, sad but true, it is especially bad for those long time Airstream employees who really take pride in their work, they will also suffer from poor corporate decisions.

I agree with your analysis of their stonewalling, eventually it will catch up to them, and hopefully with a parent company as large as Thor, the judgements and/or settlements will be enforceable.

John
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Old 06-28-2008, 12:39 PM   #432
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sure take your time...

a/s ownership is love drenched in grief...

thank goodness for the camping (and beer)

cheers
2air'
... and meguiar's wax.
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Old 06-28-2008, 12:42 PM   #433
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I have an Airstream sitting at the dealer with my name on it but if I can't have the confidence that this A/S unit will be good for 20 years of use with responsible maintenance & care, I don't think I want it.
I think you can go back to late '80s models, talk around and get a very good feel for what this care entails. Why not start a thread requesting info from long term owners? One thing though, any vehicle sitting outdoors for 20 years is going to need at least a paint job (and it is likely to have water leaks), most houses require paint before 20 years. If I keep my Airstream beyond 10 years I will anticipate painting the trailer-I've seen them painted a silver color which looks very nice.
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Old 06-28-2008, 12:48 PM   #434
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not just cosmetic

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Thanks Bob.

It's important to keep a little perspective on this.

Is this simply a cosmetic issue or is it structural & functional?

-evan
In the past this question has come up with many suggesting it is only a cosmetic issue, I have always maintained it is a potential structural issue and I believe this link provided by vegasdan concurs with my belief:

Corrosion Control
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