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Old 10-18-2015, 07:36 PM   #15
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Last night a 2016 22' was next to me on it's first trip. This morning they were not happy campers due to the shower leaking on the floor. QC???
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Old 10-18-2015, 08:12 PM   #16
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Overall, I would say we have had pretty good luck so I've always imagined we had a unit built on a happy Wednesday but then who knows. The cabinet door catches and the hinges have been the biggest bother, toothpicks, glue, screws, and looking for better solutions, methods, and products that Airstream could have found. Interior lights have all been converted one by one from cheap spring pushbutton to heavy duty metal toggles, the horrible folding couch bed removed and replaced with comfortable club chairs, made my own storage ottoman. The contour rear twin beds were never good after the third night but we had custom firm and extra firm foam made up to replace them. Everything has been a work in progress and you just find that you want your own personal touch to your coach to truly make it your own. I never did understand the plexiglass stone guard on the front window. It cupped badly, de-splined itself until I had a sign company order and custom cut me a replacement of clear lexan. Glad to report it is still straight and tight with no spline needed. I've added the rear and street side awning with a visit to Zip Dee in Chicago. Each of these items (and there are more) I've always felt were items that Airstream could have thought of on their own and included/made these improvements to be sold on all their units. Being semi retired, and not expecting paychecks ever again, it's likely this is the only Airstream I'll own, but then it's the only travel trailer I ever wanted. The warranty that we purchased on top of the included warranty was a waste of money. Every time I called about an issue with the interior or a part I was always told it wasn't a factory issue. I am very comfortable however, knowing that the Airstream like any other RV is ever depreciating with years of wear and tear and like a house you live in, will eventually need a new this or a new that. I'm still proud as hell to be an Airstream owner. It's just like buying a Harley, that Cessna, a Rolex, or a much sought after classic car. Yes I hope this gets read and that whomever is in charge in Ohio reads this and endeavors to make sure a better job is done. Thanks again (a big thanks) to all the knowledge base on this forum. It's made the difference in knowing how to tackle the challenge of ownership.
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Old 10-18-2015, 08:21 PM   #17
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Isn't it funny how they don't have the time to do it right the first time but they always have the time to do it over. That's if you take it to JC.


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Old 10-18-2015, 08:34 PM   #18
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Wink What goes around.....stays gone.

Does anyone remember the "Town Hall" thread started & closed by JC.....back in 2009 I believe.



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Old 10-22-2015, 03:16 AM   #19
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More thoughts on quality control

We were discussing this last night, and I was thinking, always dangerous, that there may be a reason why no one is producing aluminum trailers like Airstream. I suspect, if one were to take the time to produce one like the quality required for an aircraft, we would be looking at a 30 foot Serenity which costs close to $200,000.

How JC gets the price down to $100,000 is by taking all the cost cutting measures that one can and applying the formula used in the automobile industry as a certain percentage of defects per unit. The bean counters calculate the costs of repairing/warranty service, and balance this against the increased cost of having more quality control on the line, correcting all the defects of every unit and coming up with their proprietary formula.

It is indeed these secrets in the front office which no doubt account for the fact we can never get a response from JC if we inquire about the issues of quality control.
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Old 10-22-2015, 03:39 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilo3 View Post
Gotta chime in here on this one. We bought a new 2015 FC FB twin early this year. Have spent about 30 nights in it and pulled it a few thousand miles. Not one problem. Nothing. Everything works perfect, and I have never taken it back for repairs of any kind. We love it. There are some good stories out there.
Hallelujah!
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Old 10-22-2015, 03:32 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Msmoto View Post
We were discussing this last night, and I was thinking, always dangerous, that there may be a reason why no one is producing aluminum trailers like Airstream. I suspect, if one were to take the time to produce one like the quality required for an aircraft, we would be looking at a 30 foot Serenity which costs close to $200,000.



How JC gets the price down to $100,000 is by taking all the cost cutting measures that one can and applying the formula used in the automobile industry as a certain percentage of defects per unit. The bean counters calculate the costs of repairing/warranty service, and balance this against the increased cost of having more quality control on the line, correcting all the defects of every unit and coming up with their proprietary formula.



It is indeed these secrets in the front office which no doubt account for the fact we can never get a response from JC if we inquire about the issues of quality control.

These formulas have not been used in automotive mfg since Japan started kicking our butt. They are not used at Airstream. A manufacturer cannot inspect quality into a vehicle (QC), it must be built into all the systems from concept through shipment (QA).
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Old 10-22-2015, 03:58 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Msmoto View Post
We were discussing this last night, and I was thinking, always dangerous, that there may be a reason why no one is producing aluminum trailers like Airstream. I suspect, if one were to take the time to produce one like the quality required for an aircraft, we would be looking at a 30 foot Serenity which costs close to $200,000.

How JC gets the price down to $100,000 is by taking all the cost cutting measures that one can and applying the formula used in the automobile industry as a certain percentage of defects per unit. The bean counters calculate the costs of repairing/warranty service, and balance this against the increased cost of having more quality control on the line, correcting all the defects of every unit and coming up with their proprietary formula.

It is indeed these secrets in the front office which no doubt account for the fact we can never get a response from JC if we inquire about the issues of quality control.
It is my opinion based on personal experience and observation that most of the quality issues are vendor issues. Furnace, Water Heater, AC units etc. These are not AS parts, but vendor supplied. However, a 2015 Flying Cloud with a kitchen counter that was attached with ONE screw from the base to the counter top IS an AS issue and we had this. Our dealer unfortunately soon to be former dealer, repaired it so that we could probably tow the AS attached to the counter.

Quality starts at the top and it's not or cannot be driven by margins and contribution margins, it can only be driven by customer satisfaction - and ultimately new sales to existing customers. We could buy three SOB trailers, throw the first one out after four years and buy another etc and still be cheaper than an AS. Won't, but could.
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Old 10-23-2015, 09:38 AM   #23
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More Thoughts on Quality Control at Airstream

Quote:
Originally Posted by Msmoto View Post
We were discussing this last night, and I was thinking, always dangerous, that there may be a reason why no one is producing aluminum trailers like Airstream. I suspect, if one were to take the time to produce one like the quality required for an aircraft, we would be looking at a 30 foot Serenity which costs close to $200,000.

How JC gets the price down to $100,000 is by taking all the cost cutting measures that one can and applying the formula used in the automobile industry as a certain percentage of defects per unit. The bean counters calculate the costs of repairing/warranty service, and balance this against the increased cost of having more quality control on the line, correcting all the defects of every unit and coming up with their proprietary formula.

It is indeed these secrets in the front office which no doubt account for the fact we can never get a response from JC if we inquire about the issues of quality control.
Interesting, you are a dangerous thinker! You got me thinking so I discussed this with my wife, who was an accountant (bean counter as you say and a term she hates) at a major American corporation. She says they would never have done what you are advocating is done at Airstream. Fixing problems under warranty is expensive and lowers customer satisfaction. It's generally cheaper for the manufacturer to do it right the first time.

Also, a comparison to the airline industry is not a good fit. For example, airplanes have lots of redundant systems in the cockpit and elsewhere in the aircraft that drive costs up. Trailers are primarily stick built so quality in the build depends on the skill of the worker and his/her mood that day. Airstream would have to catch the worker's error on the line that same day before it's potentially covered up. Here is where I think Airstream could do a better QC job.

Finally, I think part of the quality problem is at the vendors who supply the RV industry. Airstream uses the same vendors supplying the SOB side out of necessary. What I'm saying is the RV industry as a whole has a QC problem, not just Airstream. Think I've said enough, time to let someone punch a hole in my thoughts.
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Old 10-23-2015, 10:11 AM   #24
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One rule of QC is that about 5% of customers will be unhappy no matter what.

Forums; well as a rule forums like this magnify the negatives as few people feel inclined to post that they have little to no problems, or ask for help when everything works great....

Concerning RV fixtures and appliances provided by outside suppliers, the industry uses what is available.


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Old 10-23-2015, 11:09 AM   #25
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Quote:
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Also, a comparison to the airline industry is not a good fit. For example, airplanes have lots of redundant systems in the cockpit and elsewhere in the aircraft that drive costs up. Trailers are primarily stick built so quality in the build depends on the skill of the worker and his/her mood that day. Airstream would have to catch the worker's error on the line that same day before it's potentially covered up. Here is where I think Airstream could do a better QC job.

I agree that quality should be checked along the way. You are not going to catch everything at the end once it is all put together. They should check quality (perhaps a sampling) at every step and address issues as they find them. This also means addressing the issue with the employee or system that caused the problem. If they put a serious effort into this, they would quickly find and fix many of their poor workmanship and poor manufacturing processes and then be able to back off the quality inspections somewhat once better discipline and systems were in place.

I have been in production management in the semiconductor industry for nearly two decades and I have seen time and time again how you just cannot "inspect in" quality. Inspections are useful for some things, but ultimately you have to build in quality with better discipline, better systems, better materials, and better equipment. This is especially true when inspections are done by human eyes.
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