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Old 04-29-2013, 08:29 PM   #29
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One has to wonder if the 2008 Recession was a wake up call for AS when sales dropped and perceived value became an important customer watchword. In reading through similar threads, it seems that there are fewer complaints about post-recession Airstreams than those built prior to the fall of 2008.
It would be logical to assume that was due to fewer sales. All in all though, I still believe Airstream is "one of" the better built RV trailer options.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:55 PM   #30
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I think the core values of the workers are not what they used to be, but I mostly blame the management (QA). I see a similar problem as a home inspector. You would not believe the shoddy workmanship when you look in the attic at the duct work of the hvac system, even in million dollar homes. This work is done by the lowest of the employees but they can get away with doing shoddy work because the boss does not do an adequate job of QA.

I believe that the guys that assembled my 66 Tradewind had much higher core values than the workers doing the assembly work on the newer Airstreams. Materials were higher quality also. Remember, in 1966 all the parts were made in the USA.

I would like to believe that the quality is higher than it was just a few years ago, but I really don't know. Airstream seems to sell all the trailers they build, and they don't seem to have any real competition. If I were considering a new Airstream, I really don't know what other trailer I would look at in terms of competition.

My biggest complaint in the new Airstreams is the lack of a rot free flooring material, cheap vinyl floor covering materials and the lack of disc brakes.

Dan
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:21 PM   #31
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I have had many used Airstreams (and Argosy's) over the past 34 years. When I did repairs or renovations on all of them (the earliest was a 1954 Whale Tail) I found factory middens of rivet ends, little parts, sawdust, and so on. Holds for the vent pipes to the tanks were always much larger than the pipe, and no sealant used so mice entrance has been an issue. In other words, some build quality things have been around the factory(s) for years.

In the past couple of months I have inspected 3 different 2013 FC 20' at three different dealers. Each seemed to be clean in even the under bed/couch/cabinet areas. The only issues I saw were the poor flimsy blind hold downs and the Cable inlet labeled on one unit as the 120 volt power input, a sticker issue.

I have a 2014 20' FC on order now, and it should be in sometime in June, they say. I am hoping that my first ever new one will be reasonably well made and the issues will be minor, or easily repaired. If it looks as good as the three 2013's I have inspected, I will be happy.

I will keep you informed on what I see.
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:18 AM   #32
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We've had construction schtuff left in all of our TT up tp and including AS ... why would those folks be any different? Apparently brooms and vacuums are a rare commodity in all RV / TT manufacturing facilities .... we still find that the AS we've owned minimize that negative characteristic... not perfect, but much better than the two SOBs we've towed.
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:32 AM   #33
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Dan,
Ductwork? Who uses that these days? Here in the Goldigger State, they use insulated premade wireform ducting. Uncool it, make the haphazard run between joists and rafters and tape it to the collector. 10 minute job. I don't blame the installer though, they have unreasonable production expectations put upon them by a contractor who was the low bid.
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Old 04-30-2013, 05:03 AM   #34
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Dan,
Ductwork? Who uses that these days? Here in the Goldigger State, they use insulated premade wireform ducting. Uncool it, make the haphazard run between joists and rafters and tape it to the collector. 10 minute job. I don't blame the installer though, they have unreasonable production expectations put upon them by a contractor who was the low bid.
Which is demanded by the customers who expect everything for the lowest price. I call it the WalMart mentality.

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There is nothing in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and he who considers price only is that man's lawful prey.”_John Ruskin 1819-1900
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Old 04-30-2013, 05:59 AM   #35
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Thumbs down To all of you....

......who have posted about QC on the newer AS's be advised that the Factory got very involved several years ago, the kitchen got to hot and they left

I'm sure they still visit...on the stealth.

Fill a tall glass, get comfortable and be enlightened.

Town Hall Meeting.

Bob
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:02 AM   #36
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The service personnel are graded according to how many complete jobs they do in a day. Quality is not even on the radar and this is a corporate policy. It is part of the do it now do it quick, get your money and run mentality. It is the same mentality that caused our financial crises. This makes a house of cards and resulting bankruptcy.

Perry
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:21 AM   #37
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the days of Johnny Alonso are gone.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f492...nzo-40088.html

maybe it the workers had to sign their work and the public got the list, things might improve.

in all fairness many of the workers come and go as the demand changes. often the caring and concerned worker has lower production than the guy that 'gets the job done'. guess who gets called back when production ramps up?

i salute johnny alonzo for having pride in his work.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:49 AM   #38
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Unions do a lot to squash any hopes of being promoted based on merit. Unions promote based on time served and placeing workers in positions they are most suited to does not happen. Any senior employee can boot a more qualified employee from his position if he wants that spot. Employees in this enviroment have little reason to work as hard as they can because the pay is the same no matter how hard they work. Maybe not all unions are the same but the union folks around here tell me this is how it works.

You also can't fire someone for doing a bad job. The unions will protect them. The good employees know this and have no incentive to work harder.

Perry
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:33 AM   #39
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This is what happens when you build a product on a assembly line, once it leaves an assigned work area, it's somebody elses problem to fix or ignore.
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:44 AM   #40
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There are many ways to incentivize a union workforce. Merit bonus based on QC, Flatrate, etc.

Unfortunately no one has asked how do the Executives get measured on qualiy their performance.

Quality begins and ends at the top.
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:03 AM   #41
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Unions have their good side and their bad side. The do balance out management demands and protect the workers. But they protect bad workers as well as the good workers.

I think it is just human nature. You probably do not want a trailer built on a Friday. I was at the Factory about a month ago. I was surprised at how little automation was being used. These trailers are built by hand. I did see the automated CRC drill that matched rivet locations. That was about it. The rivets are hand set. One person on the inside pressing against the person on outside as they set the rivets. 1,400 rivets on average per trailer. As of last month they were building 35 trailers per week. I did see clipped wire scraps laying on the floor along with trim piece scraps.

I think it is just human nature to goof off a little. I think this adds to some of the QC issues with all manufactures.

They do need more automation.
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:43 AM   #42
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They would have to make 1000 units a day to make enough to pay for the automation equipment.

Perry
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