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Old 05-15-2013, 09:11 AM   #169
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There is a website that rates RV's. It is not well known and the sample is not all that big, but it is the only one I've found: RV Rating - Customer Survey of RV Makes and Models

Airstream rates 61.6 out of 75, but that appears to be about average. The number is brought up by components of the rating on design and ease of towing (that relates to design). The design was created generations ago, not by the present owners. Arctic Fox gets a 68.6.

Conventional wisdom is that reviews are more negative on websites because mostly complainers post reviews. Trip Advisor found that not to be true at all—reviews on their website average higher than average. That may be true of this and other review sites. On the review site I gave the link to, most are rated above 50 with few below that. So the average is not 37.5 out of 75, but more like low 60's, just where Airstream is. I looked up a few other Thor products and they rate a little below Airstream down into the 50's.

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Old 05-15-2013, 05:19 PM   #170
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post

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.

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Agreed Doug... "The grass may be 'greener' on the other side of the fence, but it often chokes your MOWER!"
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:43 PM   #171
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A$'s are NOT hand made any more than any other trailer. They are assembled in most part by hand, as are other trailers.
The parts are fabricated in a jig or on a computer controlled machine for uniformity. That'a why you can buy a new segment and install it on a trailer made years ago.
Most travel trailers have "after built" issues.
Any comparison of A$ trailers to other brands such as Arctic Fox are not really equal comparisons. Since in most cases you can buy 2 1/2 Arctic Fox units for the price of one A$.
When one pays 2 1/2 times as much for anything, one would expect to get that much more in quality of fit and finish. At least, I do.
I don't want to pay Cadillac prices and get a Chevy. Don't get me wrong, I think that a Chevy is an OK product. But, it's not a Caddy.
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:50 PM   #172
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The funny thing is that buying a Cadillac doesn't mean you get fewer problems than with a Chevrolet. In fact, since there are usually so many more jeejaws on a Caddy than a Chev, the opposite is more often true..
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:26 PM   #173
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Exactly! that's my point.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:01 PM   #174
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When one pays 2 1/2 times as much for anything, one would expect to get that much more in quality of fit and finish. At least, I do.
I don't want to pay Cadillac prices and get a Chevy. Don't get me wrong, I think that a Chevy is an OK product. But, it's not a Caddy.
I don't understand why you are so irritated with Airstream. Nobody is requiring you to buy a new one.

Several people in this thread have indicated that they chose to buy an Airstream after looking at number of other trailers. When we bought ours new 11 years ago, it was considerably more expensive than other trailers of similar size. Do you think we buyers are particularly naive or gullible to have paid the premium for our Airstreams?

We love our Airstream and have since the day we bought it. Would we buy again at today's prices? Yes, except we don't need to because ours still looks practically new and has all the improvements we have made to it. And those are improvements and are not changes to make up for low quality in the trailer.

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Old 05-16-2013, 12:24 AM   #175
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If I am irritated. It's because A$'s have a long history with their name. But that long history also includes the same problems in the product that it has had for many decades.
If I am irritated. It is because A$ has done nothing to resolve the rotten floor problems and others that plaque the brand.
If I am irritated. It's because we as consumers continue to buy their products in spite of these issues. Only because we have been sold on the idea that they are built to last for years. And based on that idea we are willing to pay the high initial price. Then are told we have to take it to Jackson Center if we want to have repairs made.
If I am irritated it's because of the stories I see here about the poor service given to SOME buyers by SOME dealers.
I am sure that A$ is not the only brand that has happy buyers.
I am also sure that there are plenty of OB's out there with poor service and dealerships.
If I am furious. It's because we put up with this list of on going problems and defend with our last breathe this particular product.
But we would NOT put up with it. When it comes to our cars and trucks. That is why we have "LEMON LAWS" for our vehicles.
My A$ product is 39 years old and is still on the road. It is still in reasonably good shape. I have spent considerable time and $$$ to make it that way. Which I expected when I bought this unit.
I am glad you are happy with your purchase and would buy another.
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Old 05-16-2013, 04:06 AM   #176
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Years before our actual purchase, I acquired the sales literature of Airstream because of the "image". It is truly a unique visual experience. I knew nothing else about their products. I had never even camped in a trailer.

Having acquired our unit, the only gripe I have is my own fault. If I had "walked" the lot before purchase instead of looking at a floor plan from the UK, I would have seen that the 25FB bed has access issues that do not exist in a 27FB or larger because of orientation.

We still think it is great. I have the local dealer doing a through first "annual" inspection while installing a Maxim skylight and a custom rear cabinet by the door like on the 27FB Classic to store a pair of ZipDee chairs and better utilize the space and give another flat area to put "stuff".

Could their be improvements, you bet. You kind folks on this forum have shared your experiences and I have dutifully trotted out to wherever to acquire recommended upgraded equipment and installed same. As a result of these shared experiences, I have great tires, a Hensley Arrow hitch, a better battery charger, better switching electronics and surge protection, upgraded plumbing like water heater components etc. The modification list is ever growing.

I see all this as part of the customization process. This is all part of learning about a new activity that does have significant cost factors associated with it and there will be surprises along the road, so to speak.

I did a similar modification process to attempt to use my existing Mercedes to tow by having the hitch modification done by CanAm. That did not work out so well due to weight issues. I have heavily modified my Dodge truck to do the same basic job of pulling my Airstream.

All part of the "experience". I am glad at my age to be still learning and being able to accept input that what I thought could be in error. Now that's a novel concept.

YMMV
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Old 05-16-2013, 09:43 AM   #177
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Great message - thanks!

I would be grateful if you would share a few facts....what kind of tires? What kind of battery charger? And, the upgraded plumbing...did you install or did the dealer? I am keeping a list of notes as I continue with the research. Many thanks for your kindesss! Kristine
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Old 05-16-2013, 09:44 AM   #178
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TG, you keep saying we, what do you mean we? Have you appointed yourself the Airstream Consumer Advocate?
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Old 05-16-2013, 12:25 PM   #179
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Somebody has to do it. I am not alone in thinking that A$ needs to solve the on going problems of floor rot etc.
In the past 30 years or so. It seems that the OH WELL attitude has over taken this country. We have come to accept mediocre as the replacement for high quality work.
In general I feel that A$ products are above the mediocre level. But there is significant room for improvement.
Until the consumer demands more of A$, nothing will change.
A$ commands a high price for their product and the consumer should expect the quality to consistently meet the high price.
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Old 05-16-2013, 01:00 PM   #180
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Somebody has to do it. I am not alone in thinking that A$ needs to solve the on going problems of floor rot etc.
In the past 30 years or so. It seems that the OH WELL attitude has over taken this country. We have come to accept mediocre as the replacement for high quality work.
In general I feel that A$ products are above the mediocre level. But there is significant room for improvement.
Until the consumer demands more of A$, nothing will change.
A$ commands a high price for their product and the consumer should expect the quality to consistently meet the high price.
Yes, you should own it! Having a liaison between Thor/Airstream would benefit both the consumer and Airstream. An Advocate who would present the concerns and issues in a concise and informed manner would be such a benefit. We as owners of Airstream products would know that the information was being passed to Airstream. A single point of contact would enable recorded keeping and not present Airstream with multiple contacts involving the same issue. The Advocate would be a conduit to keep the consumer apprised of Airstreams resolutions to ongoing issues. Your thinking is clear and correct on the issue.
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Old 05-16-2013, 01:40 PM   #181
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But aren't there some credibility issues of an advocate who uses a 39-year-old Airstream (Argosy) complaining that the company has a long history of producing trailers that aren't built to last?

doug k
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Old 05-16-2013, 02:02 PM   #182
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But aren't there some credibility issues of an advocate who uses a 39-year-old Airstream (Argosy) complaining that the company has a long history of producing trailers that aren't built to last?

doug k
Doug, I think that Airstream would respect TG, he had to belive enought in the product to purchase a 39 year old trailer, he could not have purchased SOB as there aren't any left.
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