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Old 04-21-2004, 08:30 AM   #309
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Knock on wood...my sensors seem to be dead on, other than my battery showing on tick short of full charge. Interesting Twink in that your one sensor shows empty ok, but shows full prematurely. Maybe it isn't a calabration issue. If it was I would have expected it to possibly show a level when the tank is empty.

For all intents from the years of enduring poor sensing equipment the only reading I have ever been interested in was the grey water tank. And that has always been the one that consistantly has worked on my older trailers.

Black water I always used the eyeball and LP was always touching the tank after the furnace or water heater ran for a bit.

Jack
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Old 04-21-2004, 10:11 AM   #310
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I agree with both your assesments. In the broad scheme of things, it isn't a huge issue, but one that at some point, after some shake downs and a season's use (just to shake out any remaining things that have yet to show), I'll address with Jackson Center.
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Old 04-30-2004, 07:03 PM   #311
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Just a follow up. You know, I've contacted Jackson Center for a few odds and ends, nothing large and you know, each time, they really have gone that extra mile. It really makes life easier. Those folks are really great to work with.....

I had mentioned earlier that I had an LED on the new tank monitoring system that was inop. Well, Airstream contacted the manufac and they are sending me out a new display. I asked if I could replace it myself since it was not a difficult install...two power wires and 3 RJ-11 plugs (rather than lug the coach to a dealer a few hours away-- one way). This may also fix my tank levels being funky too. At any rate, it sounds like one issue will for sure be fixed and hopefully the other issue as well. Sure wish I could have made the homecoming.......

Anyway....just another kudos to Airstream for taking care of one of their own (as usual).
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Old 05-03-2004, 06:26 AM   #312
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My wife and I just got home a short while ago with our new 2004 30' Classic Ltd that we purchased from Jim Turner at Turner's Airstream in Jeannette, PA.

Although we're almost to the start of the 2005 model year production, I thought I'd add to the list of issues with the 2004's, because some will probably follow over to next year's production.

First off, let me preface these comments by saying I'm still in love with my new unit, and I came away from Turner's feeling pretty good about our interactions with the dealership people there. However, when I step away from my long term love affair with Airstreams and my adulterous sins leading up to this point in my life with my first Airstream purchase (remember the commandment "Thou shall not covet thy neighbor's life, when thy neighbor owns an Airstream?) I'd have to say that my Airstream had some pretty crappy visible quality problems. I'd hate to imagine what else is invisible lurking just under that shiny skin of my new unit!

Some of my concerns are relatively bigger than others, and some we might just have to live with. To put them in perspective however, I will say that it didn't fall apart completely yet, so that's a plus.

The most serious thing from my perspective that we have so far is there are punctures, cuts and indentations in the vinyl flooring in 3 separate areas. (You can see my other post regarding these in more detail under the heading "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Airstream Ownership". I find it inexcusable that a new unit could leave the factory in that condition.

The unit had not been cleaned inside when we arrived to pick it up, (my wife and I cleaned it ourselves to the extent practical) and there were several small grease spots on the carpeting in the living area. Although we still haven't tried to clean these, I suspect they'll come off with some "Spot Shot" carpet cleaner.

Many of the cabinet doors and drawers were assembled out of alignment, so they don't fit flush with the cabinet face. For example, doors may be touching at the top, but there's a " gap at the bottom. I've had this with new homes we had built in the past, and the builder just adjusted or bent the hinge to correct it, but I don't want to do that myself without knowing what I'm doing, and the dealer didn't seem too concerned. A couple drawers also popped open when we took the trailer for a test drive while we were at the dealership, and these were fixed by the dealer on the spot by bending a bracket at the bottom of the drawer.

Similarly, the shower door doesn't close tightly at the top (there's a full 1/4" gap there although it closes tight at the bottom) and it is caulked improperly around the rubber seal on the inside (something I'll fix myself shortly). The dealer looked at the shower door, but didn't have an easy solution. I'm pretty sure it's due to the hinge side of the doorframe being installed considerably out of parallel with the facing side of the doorframe where it closes. Also, it's almost impossible to open the door after you take a shower without water dripping all over the outside vinyl floor and wood wall below the shower door. That's more of a shower design issue than a manufacturing defect, and I might come up with a solution if I think some about it, like putting a cap of some sort over the end of the drip plate at the bottom of the shower door. I guess we could always park the trailer on the side of a hill so the water drained inside the shower!

The bathroom ceiling vent/fan was improperly installed and caulked. I hadn't noticed this before leaving the dealership, and I may be able to fix it myself. Also, the on/off switches for the water heater in the bathroom were installed with 1 of the 2 switches popping out of the switch plate, and the plate didn't fit flush to the wall. The dealer said this was caused by trying to put too many wires in too small a space in the wall behind the plate, and he tried but was only able to partially able to fix it.

One window valence in the bedroom fell down from where it was screwed in to the ceiling. The dealer gave me a handful of assorted screws, and I temporarily fixed it myself. (If the valence was about an inch longer there'd be a more secure place to screw it to, but as it is I suspect it, and the one on the opposite side of the trailer, may fall down again before long.)

Lastly, the dead bolt on the outside door won't lock completely. It probably just needs a minor adjustment.

Other than those, I still like the trailer overall, and we're looking forward to using it.

John
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Old 05-03-2004, 06:51 AM   #313
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Oh, a couple more things. I've just looked at the roof of my trailer (for the first time) through the second floor window of our house. It's parked in the driveway about 15 feet away. I looked at it through my 10x42 Swarovski EL binoculars to get a closer view - anyone who is familar with these binoculars can appreciate their optics quality.

The caulking around several of the roof vents and skylights appears HORRIBLE!! One skylight is caulked with something that looks like it came straight out of a DUMPSTER!!

As soon as it stops raining, I'll have to get my ladder out to get a closer inspection, and perhaps some pictures! I can't believe what I'm seeing!

John
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Old 05-03-2004, 08:10 AM   #314
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John....sorry to hear that you have issues with the unit. I would have thought for sure, little to no issues would have been present. I'd like to share a few things.

First, the caulking in all the areas that are mostly unseen are very unsightly. Another area you might find is the inside area accessed through the exterior of the fridge. My take is that if it is out of sight and it works, I'm not going to mess with it. Caulk is cheap and easy to do if I ever get an issue. But I'd agree for a premium price, you'd think that they might have taken a bit more time. It is unsightly when you actually see it.

I had one cabinet door not fit right. They are hinged on an adjustable hinge. It too all about 2 minutes to get the one door that was out of sync back in the groove, so I know what you might be seeing. In my case the one door was not too big, but if a good number were like that........

Airstream does clean the units, but also the dealer does what is generally referred to as a PDI (pre delivery inspection). At that time, the dealer is to act as a safety net. It's pretty clear from your comments that the unit left the factory in less than 100% shape. The dealer should have caught some of the issues and fixed them. Cleaning the unit, should have been a no brainer. Now I will say that even after I cleaned what was already a clean unit when I got it, in transit, some wood shavings and metal shavings worked out of the spaces they were at, and I had to clean up a few times.

The grease on the carpet might not have been there when it left the factory, but it could have...here again, the dealer should have stepped up to the plate.

Deadbolt on my unit binds. I've totally taken it apart and coated the internals with white lithium grease. A bit better, but the bolt seems to move a bit causing the bind. Before the warranty is up, I'll be making a trip to Mecca (Jackson Center) for some of the small things like this....

The valence thing is a bit strange, but things happen sometimes. The dealer should have not just handed you some screws...as an authorized dealer, they should again have stepped up to the plate and dealt with it on the spot as they should of in the next item list as well......

.....the water heater switch. As you know, we've owned 2 Airstreams in the past 2 years. A 2003 Bambi and now a 2004 Safari. The Bambi did have issues, however neither unit ever had the issue with the switch you are talking about. I find the dealer's comment a bit of a cop out. The wires fit just fine (if we're talking about the same switch assemb). The one on ours is quite bulky. Although you prob have 1 or 2 more actual switches installed, it's designed for it and the wires also fit inside the trailer walls. The comment from the dealer that it's too full is a total joke. Others have the same unit and this is one of the first, if not the first were it's been mentioned, let alone such a lame excuse from the dealer and lame attempt to correct. If there is something wrong with the switch case, the dealer should have ordered a new one and worked with you to resolve this. I'm still kind of miffed still about the handing over of the screws part though from the prev comments.......

Last that I see are the cuts and scratches in the floor. There is NO excuse for this. A small grop of others have had the same issue and in the end, Airstream removed the interior furnishings and replaced the entire floor. Given that a few folks have had this problem, I doubt very seriously that this was done by the dealer.

Ok now for the Reader's Digest (and I'm hoping John that you don't feel that I'm pointing any fingers in your direction) is that on most of the issues mentioned, the dealer failed miserably. I count of the list above at least 5 things the dealer could have done to make it a better exp for you.....and in some cases not made the excuses and taken a bit of ownership. Second, and I can say from exp here....don't take delivery of the unit. I almost did and Brandi brought me to my senses. As you might have read in December when we went to get our coach...there was an issue and we refused to sign any papers and/or take delivery. The dealer and Airstream took very good care of us. Once sure the issue was resolved the dealer delivered the unit (at no additional cost) to us and we signed the papers and took delivery. This was after a few phone conversations between the factory and the dealership who worked together. I was in the loop on the root cause throughout the process and that is where my comfort level was when the unit arrived and I did a final walkthrough in my driveway (300 miles away from the dealer and the factory-- and could have again refused it if was not right).

That is one of the biggest things to remember here. If you find a unit that is not up to the standard...DON'T take delivery. I learned that one from Brandi and Kimili. If you recall, Kimli also took delivery and told us all not to if you were not fully satisfied.

Now that you have, I would be careful about having that dealer service it given some of what I see here. I'd prob be on the phone to Airstream to discuss it.

Incidentally, do you have any photos to share about some of the issues...I know I'm interested in seeing the scope of it, particularly the cabinets and floor issues, and I know Airstream is gonna want to see them as well.

Sorry for the novel.

Eric
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Old 05-03-2004, 08:13 AM   #315
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Sorry I missed the shower door gap. This might have been dealer resolved too, but I agree that it should not have left the factory if it was not installed squarely. While on the subject of things installed squarely, I noticed (only cause I'm a bit ACD) that the kitchen sink on our unit is sightly out of square too. But to me, it's good enough...still I hear ya on the things being installed squarely.

Eric
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Old 05-03-2004, 09:02 AM   #316
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...In retrospect, I wish I had refused delivery. It took AS three weeks to work through a list of 18 items, and a lot of it we pointed out when we visited the factory (and our AS was nearly finished) and they still delivered it with those issues.

The worst was the galley metal backsplash had been marred pretty badly by a drill or screw gun. It was very obvious -- you can even see the mark in our photo gallery...the upolstry on the dinnette was pretty misaligned, and the stripes did not line up at all -- they line up now, but they are still not straight...ours had slits on the wall fabric, and door alignment issues ect.

Ours was delivered at the end of a month -- my theory is both the dealer and the factory felt pressure to deliver the unit...ours still had AL shavings and wood dust in it, and it was given back to us last week with more debris in it.

I reported a brake issue (see the thread 'prodigy strangeness') and they did check the brakes out. After I got it back home (still having issues), I called the service coordinator back, he said he would have a technician call me to walk me through some additional troubleshooting -- that never happened...and I have not called back yet, to make that happen.

I have not used the upper-level contacts -- I have been just calling them up and working with the folks who answer the phone, and with tech@airstream.com. The level of service we are getting is adequate through this method, but if it were any worse, I would be using the upper-level contacts to get the stuff straightened out...we are only 60 miles from JC...so my threshold is higher than those farther away, I guess.

The only remaining issues we have are with the shower insert (it bulges out in the middle, for some reason) and the brakes. The brakes might be a controller issue. The tech said the shower bulging was normal. It is about a 2 inch bulge, and I am not sure I accept the explanation...plan on checking out the new Safaris at the midwest rally to confirm...

I also plan on taking a good look at the shower door situation, too...I have not looked at that real close.

-Rob
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Old 05-03-2004, 09:04 AM   #317
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Eric-

Thanks for the thorough reply. First, of all, in my opinion Jim Turner could, and probably should have handled some of these items better, but I don't hold him at fault to the extent that I do the factory, and as far as my taking delivery of the trailer, I made that decision knowing full well the pros and cons on both sides of the issue. (I dealt with dealers on warranty issues in a much larger company than Airstream and Thor in my former life, so I'm not totally unaware of the consequences, but Airstream love can blind you, or so they say.)

As far as the screws for the valence, I told Jim Turner if I had a screw I'd fix it myself, because I was staying over on his lot for a second night (we planned to stay the first night, but then with all the problems he said I could stay longer). He actually came by Saturday evening, long after the dealership had closed for the weekend, to see how we were doing, shortly after I had just noticed the valence hanging down at one end. He said he'd get some screws for me -- and I know he'd have fixed it right then if I'd asked him -- however, we both walked together to his service shop, and he got out a handful of screws in various sizes and gave them to me. I'm just as satisfied putting the screw in myself as if he'd have done it. My real concern is that the valence is cut about an inch shorter than it should be so the only place to screw it in to is the bottom of the wardrobe hanging over the bed (we have twins) and the wood that it is screwed into is (what?) 1/4" thick at best.

I understand the caulking issues - There just seems to be more missing caulking than there should be leaving the factory. I just took pictures, in the rain, of the caulking around one skylight on the roof of my trailer. It may be functional, but it LOOKS HORRIBLE! My picture isn't very clear with the rain, but trust me, if you tried to thoroughly mix caulking with garbage out of a dumpster, black cinders out of a coal bin, and straw from the barn, you could come pretty close to what the caulking looks completely surrounding the skylight. However, you'd have to work hard at it to get it that dirty and scuzzy looking.

Jim Turner personally worked on the water heater switch plate for about 10 minutes, while I stood close by. It sure looked to me like too many wires for too small a space, but then I'm not an electrician. Maybe I'll have one of my sons, who's really good with those types of things, look at it.

I just sprayed some Spot Shot carpet stain remover on the carpet, and removed all the grease marks, or whatever they were. There were actually about 6 or 8 places with these stains. All of them came off with no problems.
The carpet now looks like it was showroom fresh! (We planned to get some type of matching throw rugs for over it in any case.) If I could, I'd put something other than the cheap stuff that Airstream uses installed in the first place.

When all is said and done, I'm not sure that I hold the dealership all that responsible. In my opinion, maybe they are culpable for 10% of these issues, but I'd think the factory is at least 90% to blame. The unit should never have been assembled that way to begin with, in my opinion. The way to solve quality issue is to build in quality during the manufacturing process, not try to correct it much later.

John
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Old 05-03-2004, 09:08 AM   #318
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I'll jump on the wagon that most of your issues are things that should have been caught by dealer prep. I'm perplexed by the dealer telling you there is no easy solution or he could only make partial fixes. As far as I'm concerned you fix it or you don't give it back to the customer.

Caulking on roof tops is never pretty on any unit I have bought so I'm not sure of your problem there. Shower door....sigh! While mine is square, I have a very small leak which I will fix myself. The door design allows for a gap between the door bottom and the frame. That drip plate does hold water, and if you do a good job leveling, water will be on that plate and when you open the door, yes it drips on the floor when you open the door to get out. I guess that's why we use a bath mat that we throw down on the floor when we shower.

Cuts and damage on the floor is unacceptable.

Looks like the drawers poping out seem to be a very common issue.

Keep us posted as to how these issues are handled. Also let us know what the build date is on your trailer.

Regards,

Jack
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Old 05-03-2004, 09:13 AM   #319
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Flyfisher,
Sorry you had to deal with all of this, hopefully a few months from now when you're enjoying the AS the memory of the aggravation will have diminished a bit. Have you posted your experience (even copy and paste from here) on the Airstream.com website? There's forum where you can post complaints, etc. AS monitors the site and it's important for all of us that they hear this stuff in a public forum and it doesn't get lost in one persons inbasket at the factory.
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Old 05-03-2004, 09:18 AM   #320
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You know, I went that route, due largely to similar issues that hohne described with contacts not being done. I got a hold of a customer service rep and each of my contacts with him had not only met my expectations, but exceeded it. I'm not saying don't post, but I would not post to gripe without making a call to Airstream first. I found the customer service folks to be very customer focused....kind of like ABT Electronics is around here. Mr Abt is quoted as "saying the answer to any reasonable request is yes!" I found that same philosophy from the customer service folks. I've had about 3-4 interactions with them each better than the previous! Then after resolution, you can fully post to that site and this one, the issues you had and how Airstream dealt with the issues. I inititally posted gripes only to find later that Airstream really stood behind the product. I know it's of little help at this point in the game, but they are there and I have found them very helpful.

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Old 05-03-2004, 09:20 AM   #321
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Jack and Rob -

Thanks for your comments. I think my trailer was built about April 21, and left the factory about the 23rd. Jim Turner told me about the month-end factory push for sales, but I don't know if that contributed to someone being in a hurry or not. I know from the dealership side, this is a busy time of year when everybody wants things done right now, but that's just my observation and not intended to point fingers one way or the other.

Oh, and one other item, somebody apparanently mistakenly drilled a hole inside the wardrobe, then covered this up very sloppily with wood filler, or something similar. At least its not readily visable on the outside, but it does make me wonder what the rest of the manufacturing is really like beneath the surface???

John
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Old 05-03-2004, 09:30 AM   #322
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John,

To put your mind at ease, I will say that all RVs, even my current one have the putty somewhere (and issues here and there--heck they are moving houses). I know how you feel, I too was there in 2003, but I will say this, for all the issues I had in 2003, the shell, structure, frame, and other parts are very well made. This continues in our 2004. I think most (not all) will agree that for the most part, some of the internals have a bit to be desired, but that does not and should not mean that the rest of the trailer is not well built. I was impressed that our 2004 was light years ahead of our 2003. Is my 2004 flawless...surely not!

But as I said, I can relate to how you feel at this point. Know that once you get the bulk of the issues resolved, I think you'll find that overall it is a great coach. If you need any reminders, take a peek at a few new SOBs.

Eric
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