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Old 10-13-2015, 09:16 PM   #1
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Since new manager at airstream has the quality gone up

Since airstream is under new management did anybody notice quality improvements , maybe on late model 2015 or early 2016s, as I was very disappointed with the quality on my last two airstreams 2012 and early production 2015

Don
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Old 10-13-2015, 09:29 PM   #2
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Are you referring to this announcement:
"Jackson Center, Ohio ( February 18 , 2015 ) – Airstream today announced the appointment of Bryan Melton as General Manager of Travel Trailers, effective immediately. Reporting directly to Airstream’s Vice President of Sales, Justin Humphreys, Melton will be responsible for all sales activities for the travel trailer division and management responsibilities for all Jackson Center factory sales representatives."

If so, it doesn't sound like quality improvements are Mr. Melton's responsibility.

Tim
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Old 10-14-2015, 03:57 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Tim A. View Post
Are you referring to this announcement:
"Jackson Center, Ohio ( February 18 , 2015 ) – Airstream today announced the appointment of Bryan Melton as General Manager of Travel Trailers, effective immediately. Reporting directly to Airstream’s Vice President of Sales, Justin Humphreys, Melton will be responsible for all sales activities for the travel trailer division and management responsibilities for all Jackson Center factory sales representatives."

If so, it doesn't sound like quality improvements are Mr. Melton's responsibility.

Tim
Yes this is what I'm referring to, I was hoping that new management would realize that quality needs big improvement for future sales of airstream .

Don
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Old 10-14-2015, 04:56 AM   #4
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JC management and quality

As I have heard, the new Classic undergoes a better inspection protocol than the other models. Maybe this is not accurate, but if it is, progress is being made.

As the owner of an early run Serenity, I have experienced a lot of frustrating small items which are simply from sloppy work from the folks on the line, apparently combined with a lack of any real quality inspection. Such simple items as to torque screws so as to strip the threads resulting in at least half dozen which have simply fallen out of their holes. Sometimes I can find where they came from, other times, not. About five door latches have fallen off due to this phenomenon, easily repaired with toothpicks, but frustrating and for some, non DYIers, would require a trip to a dealer.

So, if the General Manager can take the responsibility for doing some basic things such as encouraging of the line workers regarding better fit and finish, wow, we would have a much better product.

Of course we do not want all the quirks removed, or it may be just a product without personality. I am still wondering why the front pano-window rocks guards have such a huge gap, allowing dirt and rain to run down the window, creating an "always dirty" situation, IMO....?
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Old 10-14-2015, 05:41 AM   #5
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The announcement has what feels like an exclusive focus on sales - not operations/manufacturing. Of course, good sales folks understand the negative impact poor quality has on sales so one would hope for a connection there - but the current head of sales shouldn't need a new direct report for that. Either way - it's doubtful this one announcement has had any impact on product quality rolling off the line since February.

The company could benefit from a top-down cultural (r)evolution shepherded by Wheeler, driven by a lean/six sigma black belt and owned by every employee in the factory.

The product is very good (my 2012 has had no major flaws as others report) and could truly be great if they want it to be.
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Old 10-14-2015, 06:08 AM   #6
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SSM.....Whacked that rivet right on the head!

Sales drive profit....

QC drives CSI....

We can hope that trickle down profits will eventually help quality....but don't hold... keep breathing just in case.

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Old 10-14-2015, 06:38 AM   #7
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Our 2015 had odd issues during our 10,000 mile trip this summer. A/Cs, both worked fine but made a lot of vibration noise. (Found out the plastic outside caps had come loose which allowed lines to move and then vibrate against them). Same issue with the latch screws working loose. Undid them all, one rainy day, put in Gorilla Glue and reattached, no more issues.

Only continuing issue is furnace. It starts and stops many times before running as it should. Limiter switch replaced, worked for a while and then back to off and on.

A GM reporting to sales VP is not a GM, the position is only and enhancement of sales.
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Old 10-14-2015, 09:34 AM   #8
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Over the past 13-14 years I've been closely following Airstream and have owned two Airstreams in that time-- both had fallen significantly short of the QC propaganda the company drives home. Over the years I have seen these types of threads come and go, yet the same QC gripes have been fairly consistent all these years and yet the prices have gone up nearly 2x from where they were when I got into Airstreaming. What are you getting for that money? The new Classic literally looks like a rolling palace. It's absolutely stunning. Then I go back to my own exp, read these threads and all the ones like it over the past 13-14 years and ask myself the question: Do I really want to take a chance, roll the dice and see what I get, cause once you sign on the line, it's yours. Heck even the average units are over $50k. Do I really want to take the gamble that this new one won't leak before my first trip, this one won't have broken or missing lag bolts, will it develop significant corrosion before the age of 2, will skylight cover(s) crack or blow off, interior/exterior trim fall off, etc. I'm I really gonna be the one to give it a 3rd try at these prices buying new....and the answer I keep coming back with is: I simply cannot in good conscience do it.

A few years ago, I found a balled up breakfast sandwich wrapper stuffed into my umbilical cable opening inside the trailer when I was installing a subwoofer. If they can't even throw away a wrapper properly should I or anyone else be surprised that many of the same complaints have been happening year after year? The problems almost seem systemic looking at all the QC talk. Nothing is perfect, but do a search for the QC threads here and you'll see what I'm talking about. The forum is rich in data, one only has to use the search feature to find what everyone has been experiencing. Yes, Airstream is built better than many of the SOBs, but what does that really mean when we all know most SOBs are built like rolling garbage?

I was talking with my brother about my Airstream experience while on my last trip of the season a few weeks ago. He asked me if I'd get a bigger Airstream now that I have a 3 year old and a lot more stuff to haul that comes with having a little one. He has zero personal Airstream exp, and his comments were.... "it would appear that you have the Harley Davidson of RVs." Those of you that know Harely's story, it pretty much sums it up nicely and why I will most likely never buy another new Airstream again.....pre-owned perhaps, or maybe take a 50s or 60s unit and refurb it....but never new again, not with what I've been reading and seeing first hand. I just don't see a reason to spend the kind of dollars they are asking with a very high potential of being disappointed a 3rd time. I'd rather wait to find a gently used one where most of the depreciation has already occurred so I won't kick myself when all these little nickle and dime things that shouldn't happen, do happen....also a good way to see which units and to what degree a trailer might have the corrosion issue.
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Old 10-14-2015, 10:30 AM   #9
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Alice and Bud

Had a similar issue on my 2015 Classic furnace. Had replaced a bunch of parts. Went back to JS for warranty work with the furnace at the top of the list. The one part I had not replaced/checked was the sail switch. It was bent and rubbing so depending on temps would not freely move and rubbed against the plastic of the blower cage.

Slight bend back and the start/stop problem is a thing of the past. Easy fix.
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Old 10-14-2015, 12:15 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 10-14-2015, 01:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scamp View Post
Since airstream is under new management did anybody notice quality improvements , maybe on late model 2015 or early 2016s, as I was very disappointed with the quality on my last two airstreams 2012 and early production 2015

Don
We have had many many issues with this new trailer.. To many for as much as we have paid for it... For that kind of money there should be no issues as small as they are should not habe happened.. As QC sucks!!!!!!!!!! Very sad to tell my friends and strangers of the problems this trailer has when it should not if QC was doing there JOB!! As I talked to a repair manager about why these trailers are breaking down when a simple QC could have fixed it before leaving the mother ship... He said that they are building these trailers to fast cause they are trying to meet demand and that they are missing all the small issues that are causing other lots of headaches and desapointments!!! SO be very aware of buying any new models as they are making them to fast and care NOT ABOUT QC...... In short expect there will be many small issues that will led to lots of trailer shop visits and all your hard own money to go to a product that was built in a speedy time.. And ignore QC so they can get it out of the factory and in your face... Knowing this speedy time and not telling anyone at all that it was built to fast so they can get you money!!!!!!!
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Old 10-18-2015, 02:43 PM   #12
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It's my opinion that the quality of Airstream trailers varies considerably from one unit to another. That statement is based on my personal experience but mostly from conversations with other Airstream trailer owners I've had the honor meet. I think present Airstream management is aware of the QC deficiencies so maybe the consistency of overall build quality will, or has already, improved.

I had a 2011 28' Flying Cloud that had no quality issues during the short time I owned it. I sold it (for other than quality reasons) a year later for my present trailer, a 2012 31' Classic. Nice trailer with great features, but it had numerous quality issues from day one. For two years, I made trips at six month intervals to Jackson Center for service work. Fortunately, I'm retired and had the time. It has taken three years to work all the bugs out, some serious, some not so serious. I won't elaborate on the problems. Most the issues were resolved under warranty and Airstream service management treated me well, and I think fairly.

I'm also of the opinion that trailers take a beating just going down the road. Imagine your house subject to the same abuse. So some perceived quality issues are more maintenance related, certainly the farther out you go from the manufacturing date. Finally, I also think the quality of Airstream trailers compares favorable to those SOB trailers, which I had the distinct displeasure of experiencing prior to my Airstreams.
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Old 10-18-2015, 04:45 PM   #13
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I can speak for myself & my new AS as I'm unfamiliar with their quality control department & methods good or bad. I took delivery on 7/16/2015, have since spent 21 nights & traveled 2600 miles & have NOT had a single incident. This is the only RV I've owned (it's #5) that I can say that about. Next year we're going cross country & I know their will be problems of one kind or another and that's expected.
For now 100% satisfied!
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Old 10-18-2015, 06:20 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by SteveSueMac View Post

The company could benefit from a top-down cultural (r)evolution shepherded by Wheeler, driven by a lean/six sigma black belt and owned by every employee in the factory.

That IS the only answer. I do believe there is evidence of efforts to change the culture. This is a very difficult task in a traditional mfg company. I've worked with hundreds of mfg companies as a SixSigma blackbelt and Lean coach/consultant and the change is difficult and time-consuming. A company with an 80+ year history and lots of high-seniority production staff in the middle of Ohio (not very proximate to other companies on the Lean journey) is especially challenged. This is a multi-year process and I think they are plugging away at it.
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