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Old 04-30-2013, 10:59 AM   #43
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I don't see Airstream factory workers as any different than most of us, just a slice from the American pie. Thank goodness for that.

Airstream management is there to make money for the larger company. A factory tour indicates to me there is pride in their company and product as well, and that is reaffirmed in the two new Airstreams we have bought. The product has improved significantly in the past few years.

It's never going to be perfect, but there are also responsibilities after the factory that contribute to quality and satisfaction.

RV dealers are often not holding up their end of the deal. Many of the complaints we see on the forum should have been taken care of by the dealer before delivery. It seems some just peel off the shipping materials, wash it, and present the customer with the keys. Or it sits around the showroom, on the lot for extended periods, and hauled off to RV shows to get kicked around. Even though Airstream has dealer standards, they are not always followed.

And how about us. We have a responsibility to maintain the Airstream according to where and how we use it. The two biggest gripes, corrosion and leaks, can be controlled by regular inspections, treatment, and timely repair. There is a two year warranty, use it to fix defects. Then it's yours to take care of, or hire someone to inspect and service it for you.

The way we use and store the Airstream is important. We have been advised to choose tow vehicles and hitch systems that match the trailer. Pulling it through wet, salt-treated winter roadways, or parking it for long periods at salt-water coastlines will corrode metal trailers. Storing it outside in hot sunny climates will deteriorate seals and clear coat over time.

If you have a good dealership, you are fortunate as they can be a great asset.

To me, quality and satisfaction go beyond the the assembly line. I think they are improving. I am also glad we have this forum to learn how to set up, maintain and repair our Airstream from experienced users.

doug k
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:09 PM   #44
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Having read a good part of this thread, I am sympathetic with all of you. I too believe that the quality and care, pride of fabricating something so unique to our own particular society has lacked in the past decades.
I too work in the manufacturing industry.
Maybe this was stated somewhere in the last couple of pages but maybe a group of AS owners should bond together and take over the stocks of AS and get them back on the right track.
As they say "if you don't like where your feet are walkin" change the trail."
Quality is governed by those who care, purchase, and complain.
AS has all the right qualities just governed by those who only want to make the most $$.
The equation is as follows: Better Quality + Greater Craftmanship may = a little less profit in short term but equals greater long-term satsfaction + better reputation which in turn ='s greater sales which ='s greater profits.

Hopefully I have not offended anyone. Just my humble opinion.
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:33 PM   #45
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Overland, no offense here. I couldn't be happier with the design and build quality of our new Airstream; this may not be everyone's experience, but the product we have is excellent. Others have similar reports.

doug k
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Old 04-30-2013, 01:48 PM   #46
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Overland, no offense here. I couldn't be happier with the design and build quality of our new Airstream; this may not be everyone's experience, but the product we have is excellent. Others have similar reports.

doug k
Everyday at Airstream, is trash day.

Waste disposal in Jackson Center, is expensive.

So, Airstream just ships it out.

Just like California ships out the bad air in Bubble Wrap.

Not really for Airstream.

Are they perfect? HECK NO.

BUT............they try really really hard to be pretty damn good.

Over the course of 40 years visiting them, it has always been very nice.

The plant is great and the workers always have time to say "Hi" when you visit.

Service also does a very good job.

Perfect? No.

But darn close to it.

Parts department? WOW. They doooooooooo get the job done. Sometimes it may take a little longer, but they get it done in support of their dealers. They too, sometimes must contend with back orders from some of their suppliers.

Overall bottom line?

If you can find an RV company from top to bottom that tries harder than those at Airstream, then "jump" on it, because you will look long and hard to find it, if ever.

Andy
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Old 04-30-2013, 02:08 PM   #47
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I am happy with our 2012 FC purchased new, and really no problems to speak of. A couple of little things I fixed myself. I'll keep my fingers crossed though.

We have to remember - if we can, that very little of what we buy any more is hand made like this. We are now accustomed to buying iPODS and flat TVs and PCs that are all built 99% by automated equipment, and the parts are all precision made in molds of exquisite precision. An Airstream trailer is not an iPOD. It is all basically cut & fit pieces handmade. It is simply not feasible to hire $50/hr. craftsmen or artisans to build trailers. First, you'd probably not be able to find them in enough numbers, and second the price of the trailer would be even higher yet.

An Airstream is built a lot like an average new tract house. Very low skilled labor, at pretty low wages, but managed into a performance level that is acceptable. I bought a new house 10 years ago and watched it being built. At some point I just had to stop watching. But, at the end of the day it was "ok" considering the price paid.

The world today is not what it was in 1950, so forget it. If you really want a trailer built to a "craft standard" buy one from "Timeless Travels" or whatever that guy is who builds 'em for $150Gs. And keep in mind it's not at all like the auto business where automated assembly lines crank out thousands of units a week with hair-fine tolerances.

I think they do a decent job, but always room for improvement too. And no, I don't blame the workers. I bet they are average young guys like anywhere else.
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Old 04-30-2013, 02:29 PM   #48
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I think if Airstream would spend a little time of these forums they would really know what to improve. Most of the problems are easy to fix before the trailer is built. Changing the design of that rear bumper plate that is such a problem would really do a lot. Airstream GET RID OF THAT PLATE.

Perry
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:35 PM   #49
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I think if Airstream would spend a little time of these forums they would really know what to improve. Most of the problems are easy to fix before the trailer is built. Changing the design of that rear bumper plate that is such a problem would really do a lot. Airstream GET RID OF THAT PLATE.

Perry
They have a Service Center at Jackson Center that provides plenty of input; they repair rotten floors and corroded components every day, on warranty. I believe they are well aware of these problems and I see improvements in the new Airstreams intended to fix them.

An example is the rear bumper plate. Starting 2012 models they install a tubular seal compressed between the shell and the plate. It's early to know if this works. On earlier models I believe they caulk the area at the Service Center.
They probably have a reason for the plate, because it would be easier to build without it, maybe wet road crud blown up onto the back of the trailer.

Another example is leaking screws/rivets attaching awnings and rock guards. They now have a seal there plus caulking under the screws, and caulk the head of the pop rivets. There was leaking under the tail lights; they now have an inner mould that directs any water out the unsealed lower side of the fixture.

Another is corrosion around the belt line. For several late model years they have installed and sealed a moulding around the area.

These are a sampling of improvements I am aware of. The point is they are not just sitting on their laurels and hoping for the best.

doug k
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:40 PM   #50
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....No just sitting for two years 'til the warrantee runs out....

Bob
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:59 PM   #51
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Whatever . . .

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Old 04-30-2013, 08:51 PM   #52
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Very pleased so far with our 2012 - no other experience to compare...given the abuse a rolling home is going to take, I'm amazed they last as long as they do! We also went to an RV show and no offense (my inlaws are SOBowners) but the build, feel, level of materials really didn't even come close to the level of quality we feel we got with our AS. Just sayin...
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:51 PM   #53
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Griping about quality.

I'm going to dive in again!
Please notice I did not actually mention any specific company in my post. Now I am going to.
I have to agree that Airstreams of all ages are definitely on the higher side of the RV bell curve.
For comparison, have you looked at a ten year old Southwind lately?
Have a pint , All the best. Cheers.Rich.
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Old 04-30-2013, 11:56 PM   #54
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Have you looked at a Montana?
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:25 AM   #55
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Heck, yes, not only looked at ... but we live in the best Montana! or...oh, did you mean TT? How about a Forest River product ...the local dealer said to expect those to last about four years!
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:28 AM   #56
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My bad...Montana by Keystone. But yes, I love Montana the State too!
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