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Old 05-13-2013, 08:32 PM   #155
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Dakota

Thanks for the update on your trip. I am from Michigan originally, so your trip is quite interesting to me.

Regarding the problems with your dash and vacuum hose problems, that is a good example of why I bought a trailer and a TV. I can afford to buy a new TV and an old Airstream and rebuild it my way. I can not afford a new motorhome.

Glad that you are having fun and getting to hang out with your parents for a while.

Dan
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:20 PM   #156
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Zipdee is a good example of private ownership. When Henrys son in law decided to sell conglomerates wanted to pur. But 4 employs persuaded him to sell to them they are a private co. with no bean counters a good product and honest and back up there product line also very friendly
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:47 PM   #157
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I don't think ZipDee is a good example. They are not that easy to open or close, the hook that is supposed to lock it comes open, the arms are kinda clunky and instructions are difficult to understand unless you find the video (that's not all that clear either). Power model for upgrade is unbelievably expensive. Pulling the arms all the way out is difficult for anyone not pretty strong and considering the average age of RV'ers, that should be a consideration. There is a fix for that at extra cost—a handle that makes it easy to hold on to the arms, but why should a product be sold where you have to buy extra parts to use it?

I know people say they are easy to open and close, and maybe that is true for some, especially those who use them all the time, but if you don't open them more than a few times a season, it isn't easy.

I have recently dealt with another family owned company—Marvin windows. Consumer relations is very difficult and slow. And I had to contact 3 dealers before one could even get it together to give me a quote. Their windows are not the quality I expected, but the house came with them. After my experience with the windows and the company, I'd never buy their windows. On the other hand, when I had a problem with a thermopane glass insert in a door made by Masonite, they sent me a new insert under warranty in 2 weeks without any problems. Masonite is publicly traded.

I don't think a privately held company is necessarily better. It may be that Marvin was founded more than a century ago and the present family doesn't have the standards the founder had.

Gene
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:06 PM   #158
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I don't think ZipDee is a good example. They are not that easy to open or close, the hook that is supposed to lock it comes open, the arms are kinda clunky and instructions are difficult to understand unless you find the video (that's not all that clear either). Power model for upgrade is unbelievably expensive. Pulling the arms all the way out is difficult for anyone not pretty strong and considering the average age of RV'ers, that should be a consideration. There is a fix for that at extra cost—a handle that makes it easy to hold on to the arms, but why should a product be sold where you have to buy extra parts to use it?

I know people say they are easy to open and close, and maybe that is true for some, especially those who use them all the time, but if you don't open them more than a few times a season, it isn't easy.

Gene
Gene.

If Zip Dee does not deserve a "10" for their all around everything, what would you then rate the other awning companies?

I know a couple that don't even get a "1".

Andy
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:43 PM   #159
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I know nothing about the other awning companies, Andy. Maybe they all are lacking and some get a .001. Sounds like what people say about RV's—generally less quality than cars and trucks, but that doesn't make the better ones a 10. Anyway, I wouldn't give ZipDee a 10. If the scale is relative maybe a 10 would be ok, but if good design is part of it, they get something less.

Gene
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:23 PM   #160
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For once I have to agree with Andy about zipdee if there are problems with awning they will bend over backwards to rectify problems. I have had other makes [junk] ps. I do not have any connections to zipdee just a happy owner.
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:51 PM   #161
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Wink

You've never really been pinched, 'til you've been pinched by a ZipDee.

Bob
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:03 PM   #162
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You've never really been pinched, 'til you've been pinched by a ZipDee.

Bob
Did that on our first trip out. Hurt like crazy but 3 band aids stopped the bleeding eventually :-)

User error I'm sure...thankfully, not a lot of kids at the campground in that moment :%#}*%_:
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:43 PM   #163
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What's the 25-foot trailer which is superior to the Airstream today?
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:34 PM   #164
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What's the 25-foot trailer which is superior to the Airstream today?
None.

doug k
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Old 05-15-2013, 05:14 AM   #165
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What's the 25-foot trailer which is superior to the Airstream today?
I have only read about the Arctic Fox line of trailers with all composite/aluminum, thermo pane windows, heated tanks. Would like to see one in person to see the quality of the "fit&finish".
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Old 05-15-2013, 05:46 AM   #166
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At the end of the day it boils down to a hand built product, none two are exactly alike, and a good 6 months to work out the fit and finish bugs....
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:27 AM   #167
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I have only read about the Arctic Fox line of trailers with all composite/aluminum, thermo pane windows, heated tanks. Would like to see one in person to see the quality of the "fit&finish".
Two of my friends bought new ones in 2011, some tires wore out in 1,000 miles so Arctic Fox put heavier axles on for them. A series of ongoing maintenance issues, leaking toilet, stuck slide, electrical. We had some clearance light moisture and a loose door hinge the first year, camping with them.

The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence.

doug k
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:06 AM   #168
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None.

doug k
Exactly. Before we laid down the heavy cash for a new Flying Cloud, we looked at all brands and styles of new trailers including some of the so-called high-tech ones (now out of business!) and there was not even a close race comparing them "as they sat." Which means, not knowing what might be wrong with them potentially.

I already knew that the manufacturing quantities of this were so absurdly small that they would be a hand made product - no two identical. That means it isn't going to be like buying a Honda Civic made by precision robotics on a nearly faultless automated line.

The second thing to notice is that it is an assemblage of parts made by others. The whole RV industry uses the same set of internal parts out of the same catalogs. Refers, heaters, stoves, vents, electrical parts, TVs, stereos, awnings, toilets, monitors, fans, and dozens of others. You can see this when they hand you the "briefcase" full of manuals. So now you have the "weak link in the chain" effect to deal with too. But that's standard across the industry, so nothing you can do about that.

When people see a $75,000 or $95,000 price tag for something on wheels, they think (incorrectly) in car terms. $75k is a lot for a car, and your expectation rightly should be sky high knowing that cars are built more or less by computers. But for an RV, $75k is not so much. And RVs ain't nothing like building cars.

A better comparison is to look at the construction of a new home. Homes are also built by hand - one off - cut and fit, or whatever you want to call it, and they carry very high price tags, and they are filled with third party components. Look behind the walls of a new home folks! If you don't find half a dozen beer cans along with the candy wrappers you musta bought yours in a different country.

I watched out last new home being built and it was a sad, sad operation. Errors covered up by errors, which are creamed over by more errors is how I would describe it. Yet, when it was done and handed over, it was "functional" and more or less ok for its purpose and relative to other houses, was on a par. Now, that was $300,000. It would be absurd to have walked around saying, "$300,000 and they left beer cans in the studs! What poor quality!" Cuz, it wasn't a $300,000 Bugatti, it was a $300,000 stick built, suburban new home in the 21st century.

I think Airstream does a good job at building these in such low volume. If they were making 100,000 units a year on a automated line, I think you could expect them to be like a Honda Civic - nearly perfect. But with hand labor, and keeping the price to a reasonable amount?

I don't see any company out there doing it better. If I did, I'd probably own that one.
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