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Old 05-05-2013, 09:16 AM   #113
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You think you've got problems?!

A couple of the seat cushions in my 79 Safari are badly worn. You can't tell by looking at them individually, but when you hold them side-to-side in direct sunlight with the others, the stitching around the zippers is definitely a little different. I will eventually get around to making the repair.
But first, I need to make some frame modifications which will allow my trailer to withstand a side-on collision with a mack truck while hauling loose water poured in through the astrodome without spilling a drop. -And somehow outperform a Dyson vacuum cleaner in every test possibly imaginable. Camping will just have to wait.
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:19 AM   #114
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Even with all the warts the AS is better than most other rv's.
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:22 AM   #115
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I read these complaint threads a few years ago before I bought my first Airstream and realized, for the most part, there's a few people posting the same complaints and the same photos over and over.

We bought the Airstream anyway, it was an excellent product and we enjoyed it immensely. So much so, we bought a larger Airstream in a couple of years and spend even more time with it. Again, an excellent product.

However, it is your responsibility to maintain, or have a good dealer maintain, your Airstream. They need regular inspections for leaks, corrosion, and proper operation. And repair of any problems found. Unlike many Rv's, it is always repairable and worth the effort for years to come.

Take care of it and it will last a lifetime.

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Old 05-05-2013, 11:16 PM   #116
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"I read these complaint threads a few years ago before I bought my first Airstream and realized, for the most part, there's a few people posting the same complaints and the same photos over and over."

It just may be that new owner's are experiencing some of the same problems we did ten years ago, and asking the same questions.

Proud to be one of the few....Semper-fi

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Old 05-06-2013, 05:11 AM   #117
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Interesting thread. A couple of my thoughts...
*Why do people complain so much about their Airstreams? If you don't like the quality and craftsmanship, try a Prowler out for size. I think you'll love your Airstream after that.
*The trailers made before Wally's death in 1962 are never filled with debris. The people building them took great pride in what they did. Many of them were so proud, they signed their work. I do find dropped rivets, but never any trash. After 1963, the trash starts showing up.
*In the day, a man/woman went to work for an employer as a career. Most of what they produced was made to last forever. It was built so that if it broke, it could be serviced or repaired. Now a days, everything is built to be thrown away and replaced.
*We live in a society that really only cares about the bottom line. The buyer wants it as inexpensive as possible and the stock holders want it with the biggest profit margin possible. The result is cheap products.
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:05 AM   #118
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Maybe we are reaching the point where lowering your expectations to zero will allow the individual to be not disappointed.

The Airstream is an upmarket house on wheels that we call a camper.

One could easily say camping at the basic level involves a back pack and a sleeping bag. Going first class in that scenario would add a small tent. One would cook over an open fire and use a pit toilet.

So the tent is replaced with an aluminum shell to which we add a gas stove and oven, toilet, shower, hot water, air conditioning, beds, storage of fresh and used water, electric lights, etc. The shell has wheels so we can move it from place to place and we expect that shell to withstand the bumps and undulations of any road without any issues.

Having seen a regular house being moved on huge trucks/trailer bodies and taking up entire streets and the cracked walls that need to be repaired at the destination, the Airstream really holds quite nicely, thank you.

When I was on going to active duty eons ago, we bought a 12 x 65 mobile home. The unit was to be moved from Bloomington, IN to Tiverton, RI. We drove on ahead and awaited the unit. The box tubular frame breaking a weld delayed the arrival by 69 days as the unit was returned to the factory for a new I-beam frame. We lived out of our two suitcases in a motel room for the duration. That trailer was to be our home while in the military.

For a significant percentage of Airstream owners, this is a camping hobby. It is an expensive hobby at that.

We are just starting this adventure. The forum threads are full of other folk's experiences and we are able to discover where there could be issues and be on the lookout for signs of an issue before it becomes a major problem.

After all, water heaters fail , check, roofs need to be repaired, check, plaster cracks, check, plumbing backs up, check. Gee, all these issues have occurred in fixed homes I have owned. I would expect a moving home to possibily have these issues as well.

These events are all part of the "adventure" we bought into when purchasing our Airstream.

Thanks for sharing your experiences. And thanks for sharing your suggestions on fixing the issues so others do not have to recreate the wheel.
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:02 AM   #119
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While I would agree with most posters here that there is a responsibility to do routine maintenance and that the unique design and construction of an AS creates issues not usually found on other TT's, nobody has addressed the elephant in the room; perceived value. Add to that a dealership system that is hit and miss as well as geographically undesirable.

Somebody needs to explain to me why an AS owner should drive thousands of miles to have warranty work done at the factory. There are countless 25' TT's
out there that retail for less than $20,000. Quality expectations for those units should be low. However, when you pay three times that amount, it is not unrealistic to expect a higher level of quality and service.

It's taken me four years to work out the kinks and fix things that I think should have been warranty issues.

Yes, the AS is a great TT, but the lack of a strong dealer network and QC issues need to be addressed by THOR.
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:35 AM   #120
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Dennis, the QC issues have been addressed by Airstream. But the dealer network has been lousy, and I don't blame Airstream for this. Our dealer is part of a larger network of businesses. And they sell many types and brands of RV's and service them all.

I understand this as well. Few dealers can sell enough Airstreams to live on that alone. The ones who do seem to have much better Airstream service departments, because that is what they fix every day.

You may be surprised how many people, those who travel a lot, plan trips through Jackson Center to have their Airstream serviced on a somewhat regular basis, not because they have to, but because Jackson Center is so good at what they do. Not a good plan for the working man.

I would also like to see better local Airstream service around the country. I see new Airstream dealers opening so there is hope for that. Meantime we're just enjoying the heck out of our Airstream. Still looking for that loose candy wrapper and when I do I'll be sure to tell everyone about it, with photo evidence.

doug k
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:40 AM   #121
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I agree with Dennis and will take it a slight step further—when I pay a premium price I expect premium quality.

Usually premium products cost less over the long run because they last longer and work better. That's why I used to buy Sony, but now buy Samsung; still may buy Toyota and still buy Michelins.

That's the unspoken deal with a manufacturer. Airstream did not live up to the deal.

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Old 05-06-2013, 09:43 AM   #122
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Actually, the only sawdust I have found so far was created by the dealer when they carefully installed the Solar display panel at eye level beside your head when lying on the bed.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:19 AM   #123
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I'll say it again.
"The best of the worst"
Thor is just riding on the A$ name.
If the auto industry were to follow the same path as A$, we would all be driving a Model T with an air conditioner bolted to the roof and a 3 speed manual transmission.
I would expect to see some minor problems but things like floor rot have been going on for 60 years.
Don't you think it's time to resolve this issue.
If I were buying a brand new unit. I would not want to be faced with the same issues that I would have with a 60 year old coach. In as little as 2 years.
After all. These units are sold as a trailer you can pass on to your children and grand children.
And "yes it is true" on the average A$ is a better product than a Prowler. But we have become a society of people that accepts mediocre as the standard for good quality workmanship.
I bought the Argosy because of it's relationship to A$ and expected to have "issues" with a 36 year old unit.
Based on what I have seen and read here on this forum. I would prefer to spend my money either buying a new "not A$ product" and replace it every 5 years. Or buy an older A$ and spend the same money (as a new unit) to have the older unit upgraded with floors that don't rot, drainage for the inevitable leaks, frames that can stand up to time. It might be a little heavier and cost a little more to pull it down the road in fuel costs.
You can buy an awful lot of fuel for what you pay to have the floor replaced or repaired once the unit is out of warranty. Not to mention the inconvenience of not having the unit available for travel while it sits for long periods of time for repairs.
Just as those who think A$ is a great product and will defend the brand until their dying breath.
I will say until my dying breathe. "I DO expect a lot more" because when you buy new. "You pay a lot more"
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:41 AM   #124
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Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
I will say until my dying breathe. "I DO expect a lot more" because when you buy new. "You pay a lot more"
What other products do you own? I think I have found my replacement for Consumer Reports.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:57 AM   #125
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Interesting thread. A couple of my thoughts...
*Why do people complain so much about their Airstreams? If you don't like the quality and craftsmanship, try a Prowler out for size. I think you'll love your Airstream after that.
*The trailers made before Wally's death in 1962 are never filled with debris. The people building them took great pride in what they did. Many of them were so proud, they signed their work. I do find dropped rivets, but never any trash. After 1963, the trash starts showing up.
*In the day, a man/woman went to work for an employer as a career. Most of what they produced was made to last forever. It was built so that if it broke, it could be serviced or repaired. Now a days, everything is built to be thrown away and replaced.
*We live in a society that really only cares about the bottom line. The buyer wants it as inexpensive as possible and the stock holders want it with the biggest profit margin possible. The result is cheap products.
I am a former Prowler owner. NOW, most of you know I am quite detail oriented (anal retentive) about maintenance and repair and I had it of 17 years.

Besides all the usual vendor issues, like fridge cooling unit replace, water pump replace.....which are common to all RVs (since all RVs use common vendors) I still had to replace a substantial portion of the floor. The roof was replaced due to leaks, which in turn rotted the WOOD wall structure. I could go on, but at age 17, it was a throw away. I suspect that, had I not been an attentive maintainer. it would have been a throw away at a much earlier age. I am VERY confident, barring an accident, that my AS will outlast me (I'm 53) and will be a solid piece to pass on to my kids.
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:29 AM   #126
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"the QC issues have been addressed by Airstream."

Are we then to assume that, leaks, filiform, shoddy install of outsource parts, second tier electrical,(converters, inverters, transfer switches, water pumps, solar), floor wasting away, poor fit and finish are no longer a concern for the new buyer?

I'd prefer to think so, but doubt it based on the number of threads on these subjects.
Overblown? Maybe some, but new owners have questions and start threads to ask them, some may feel thats repetitive bashing when actually it's just new members with concerns.

Some things have improved, but shouldn't "price point" expectations be taken into consideration? We pay more, we expect better. Sorry if thats deemed inappropriate by some.

Granted the Airstream Service facility is top notch. We had a fridge replaced on our 63 Safari, while on the road, emergency appointment during a very busy time. They were doing "Bismark" repairs from a WBCC Rally in North Dakota.(hail damage).
In and out in one day with a new Dometic conversion. Quality job with great customer interaction!
I believe if that attitude could be incorporated into the build side it would help QC immensely.

Bob, the repetitive basher…..with pictures.
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