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Old 05-23-2013, 10:01 PM   #225
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If Airstream built every little gadget and gizmo and delivered a surgery room clean trailer to a dealer, no one, or very few could ever afford it.


Andy
I don't think anyone expects surgery room clean but guarantee you that every bit of construction debris from the cabinet, plumbing, and electrical installation on my unit was "swept under the carpet". I don't believe that was an accepted practice at Airstream but was more of a lack of craftsmanship, pride, and work ethics by individuals. The original topic of this thread.

The rest of the world used to crave made in the USA for innovative quality products. I fear we've lost that edge.

I have to say that it is a pleasure to deal with helpful people that don't act like they are doing you a favor. The people at Inland have been wonderful.
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Old 05-23-2013, 10:18 PM   #226
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I have to think that is why the weren't sold with a 40 year warranty.
my 62 still has the LIFETIME warranty in it. me = 31, i could EASILY get 40 yrs out of that warranty had i bought new.

Just sayin. :/
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Old 05-24-2013, 06:13 AM   #227
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my 62 still has the LIFETIME warranty in it. me = 31, i could EASILY get 40 yrs out of that warranty had i bought new.

Just sayin. :/
I forgot about those, didn't you post the picture of it, I remember seeing one. It would be fun to find an original owner with one. When did AS stop providing that warranty? I don't think the warranty was still issued in the seventies and eighties, Andy would know.

Jim
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Old 05-24-2013, 06:29 AM   #228
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Just to add a bit to the conversation...

My 1975 Sovereign International listed for ~$13,000 in 1975, according to the inflation calculator that would be equal to $54,700 in 2012. The 2012 Classic 30' lists for ~$80,000. That means there is an extra $25,000+ being charged. I realize that there are some variances in materials and the overall expenses. I would love to see a comparison of the cost of building an AS today with the costs of one built 40 years ago. I also suspect that the production line moves quicker today than it did 40 years ago.

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Old 05-24-2013, 06:31 AM   #229
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I forgot about those, didn't you post the picture of it, I remember seeing one. It would be fun to find an original owner with one. When did AS stop providing that warranty? I don't think the warranty was still issued in the seventies and eighties, Andy would know.

Jim
Probably around 1969 when Beatrice Foods bought the company.

Aaron
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:40 AM   #230
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Probably around 1969 when Beatrice Foods bought the company.

Aaron
The Feds had a big hand in killing the lifetime warranty.

Andy
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:03 AM   #231
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Just to add a bit to the conversation...

I also suspect that the production line moves quicker today than it did 40 years ago.

Aaron
The NBC national news ran a story on how RV sales are up 72% and they showed some fifth wheels being built, those guys were running with the parts in their hands. The unemployment rate in Elkhart, Indiana has gone from 20.9% to 8.2%.

RV comeback drives hiring boom in Indiana town - NBC News.com
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:46 AM   #232
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One theme I see on this type of thread is that RV's aren't made as well as cars and we should be happy with whatever we have. If they were made as well as cars, the argument goes, they would cost too much.

I don't buy that argument. Cars (and trucks, of course) have improved tremendously in my lifetime and the prices have not gone up much when you consider inflation. Part of the reason they have improved is competition (i.e., Japan) and part is regulation that have made them safer and more fuel efficient. RV's have virtually no such competition and very little regulation.

Since we bought our Safari in late 2007, prices of Airstreams have gone up and up, exceeding inflation, but has quality? It appears there have been some improvements, but not enough to justify the increases.

Airstream is a big money maker for Thor. As is often said, they sell whatever they make (unless it is a Basecamp and they're long gone). If Thor were interested in a truly premium product, they would take less profit and improve QC and material selection, seek better quality workers (and would have to pay them more), thus protecting the long term reputation of the product, and still making a respectable profit.

After 5 1/2 years we have made lots of improvements in our trailer and solved a fair amount of the screwed up stuff. Besides the scores of warranty items, we first made the very uncomfortable bed much better with a topper. And we haven't stopped fixing since. We bought new and regretted it pretty quickly. We expected something like the advertised premium quality—yes, we drank the Kool Aid. We enjoy the trailer and have gone more than 48,000 miles with it. Things are sort of under control now, though I wonder about the things that haven't shown up yet. Our two soil stacks (sewer vents) haven't deteriorated like so many others have. Our A/C doesn't leak inside. We don't have front end separation. No pipes have come apart (except I did have to tighten the kitchen sink drain long ago because it was hardly screwed together). I haven't found too much trash. The fridge still works and so does the water pump. Leaks are under control for now.

As was said by Lauren or Adam, "people who do this for a living and are supposed to do it better than me, the amateur." Not all the work done at the factory is bad, but enough is to make me think I could be hired as a top line worker there. I am not applying for a job (at my age, I could put in a good 3 hour day before I'd need a nap and ibuprofen and a sixer). I do almost all the work on our house and the trailer because I can do it better and a lot cheaper than so called professionals and even some real professionals (not much work to do on our motor vehicles because they are well made, but I do the maintenance).

When I do hire someone to do work I either can't do or don't want to, half of the time the work is substandard. I don't think this only happens in the US or has anything to do with unions (the Japanese can and have made lousy cars). Some people are motivated, some are not. Some motivated people become discouraged by bad managers and working conditions. Bad workers are not encouraged and trained to do better China may prove that last point. China has a reputation for poor quality, but working conditions are usually terrible, pay is bad, and management is corrupt. This leads to quality issues. It is not that Chinese manufacturers always make lousy products—the iPad is a very good product even though working conditions are poor (though worse elsewhere) because management makes sure they are well made. Management sets the tone and enforces quality; if they send other messages to workers, the product suffers eventually.

Gene
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:28 AM   #233
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Old 05-25-2013, 02:12 PM   #234
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Nice!
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Old 05-25-2013, 02:39 PM   #235
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
If Airstream built every little gadget and gizmo and delivered a surgery room clean trailer to a dealer, no one, or very few could ever afford it.

(snip, read the original post a page back)
Andy

Great post Andy, you hit the nail on the head as far as I am concerned. Thanks.
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Old 05-25-2013, 03:29 PM   #236
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I think 1974 or 1975 was last life time war. 1976 was not.
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:56 PM   #237
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Very few can afford them today.
There is NO excuse for poor quality workmanship. I don't care if it's the so called technician or the guy cleaning the coach.
When they took the job. And by taking the job, they agreed to the pay. I have never heard of someone that said. "If you pay me the wage I agreed to, I will do a lousy job"
There is very little, if any "PRIDE IN WORKMANSHIP" today. And it shows in the products. Be it A$ or some other brand name. But the other brands are far less expensive.
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Old 05-26-2013, 06:02 AM   #238
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Airstream....an Icon of design...not of execution.

WWD?

Bob
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