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Old 06-23-2012, 02:28 PM   #155
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Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
The comparison between airplanes and Airstreams is inevitable. The design of the trailer was inspired by an airplane. Some of the materials are similar. We can learn from airplanes and adopt the things that will work for a trailer.
Gene
Of course it's inevitable to compare Airstreams to some airplanes, especially small aircraft. I've also seen their production compared to cars, houses and boats, etc., and suppose it all can have some relevance to their construction. I was commenting on the difference between the design, construction, and maintenance of a towed travel trailer, being compared to that of a self-propelled craft designed to be cruising at 485 MPH, at 35,000 feet, while carrying 136 passengers, with very demanding maintenance requirements. While I agree that anything that can be adapted from the aircraft, marine, automotive, etc. industry can be of use, I think comparing them to smaller aircraft may be more realistic.


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Originally Posted by Fly at Night View Post
Silver Ranger, I meant they did not elaborate the corrosion/condensation issue. My dealer also put me through an extensive walk-through -- they actually did it twice because I was pathetic.
Fly at Night
I took lots of notes and pictures, and even compiled a list of additional questions for the next day, and still wish I could have done it all over again. I do recall that there was no mention of corrosion prevention or maintenance, only the importance of the recommended maintenance as outlined in the manual, which I followed. Looks like both of our dealers had a very thorough orientation.

Meanwhile, back at the Airplanes and Airstreams Rally:

Some planes, rivets, and screws. How about the aerodynamics on that Cadillac.
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Old 06-23-2012, 05:43 PM   #156
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SR,

LOVE that Caddy!!!

1946 Series 62?

Bob
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Old 06-23-2012, 07:17 PM   #157
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SR,

LOVE that Caddy!!!

1946 Series 62?

Bob
It's a 48 body on a 75ish Oldsmobile chassis and engine. We caravanned with the owner to Canada a few years back, and it really hauls ass. I could barely keep up. I'll put up a better picture later.
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Old 06-23-2012, 09:35 PM   #158
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I got a new BMW 550i this March and a new 23' AS Int'l. Serenity last August, both roughly the same price (BMW slightly more). The difference in build quality is stark. Virtually no issues with the BMW. The AS, while having no significant problems, had a number of examples of poor quality control that I found surprising. I think that AS, given the price of its product, should be expected to do a much better job of manufacturing their product, both in sourcing and in assembly.

I am at heart not a negative person, and in fact love using the AS, but in my opinion (am apparently not alone here) AS needs to do a significantly better job of building their product.

John S.
It has been some time since I last participated on this here forum.

Our Airstream, however, continues to be be a very BIG part of our lives.

The above post, IMNSO opinion SAYS IT ALL related to this here thread.

Our Airstream has had what we consider significant problems since we purchased it new in October 2007. To it's credit, the service at the Airstream factory deserves kudos galore. Never was anything questioned; all was just taken care of; while it was under warranty.

We did not bother to receive any warranty service, except in one instance, from any dealers; they, frankly, did not have a clue about how to repair Airstreams in any way, shape or form. Also, the factory service facility was spoken of highly by everyone we spoke with.

Having said all that, I do understand many of the issues of difference between the production of an automobile and a RV.

But, even with that, it is hard to accept that products that are produced by third parties and installed in RV's are not subject to the same STRINGENT demands that auto makers like BMW require of their suppliers.

Therein lie many of the problems we had.

But, the door on our trailer that had to be repaired at the factory is an issue that Airstream itself owns..

The repair led to the pins on the hinges being drilled and pinned and the screws through the hinges into the trailer frame being replaced by bolts and nuts to keep the hinges against the trailer (all by the factory service department) speaks volumes about the lack of build quality associated with the production of Airstreams.

The door once again is not closing properly because it is torqued out of shape.

The problem is not solved and this is nothing but something that Airstream itself owns given that they make their doors in the factory.

We have only owned one BMW automobile, that being a 1984, and build quality in those days was nothing like it is today. But, not one of the doors on that car had problems and it cost nowhere near the price of our Airstream.

I am also in vehement agreement with a previous poster about build quality being reflected in warranty expiration.

We now have a 5 year old trailer on which my wife can barely pull the door open.

If Airstream wants to do something for its product it needs to do something about quality.

Our trailer retailed for more than $80,000 and five years later we can barely get the door open and/or closed. Does anyone here honestly think we will be repeat purchasers?

Come on Dave, this is really, really simple stuff and your customer have been beating y'all over the head about this for as long as I have been on this here forum; here are three KEY things on which Airstream should FOCUS:

If you charge a premium price (you do) - you have to provide a premium product (you, sadly, do not).

If you charge a premium price you have to provide a premium warranty (again, sadly, you do not).

If you charge a premium price you have to provide a premium service experience (you do not) - your dealer service network, frankly, stinks. OK, there are about four, count them, four, really good Airstream service facilities in the USA, and one of those has had its license to sell new Airstream's revoked, sigh.

Jim
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Old 06-24-2012, 02:39 AM   #159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverRanger View Post
It's a 48 body on a 75ish Oldsmobile chassis and engine. We caravanned with the owner to Canada a few years back, and it really hauls ass. I could barely keep up. I'll put up a better picture later.
Here you go, Bob.
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Old 06-24-2012, 06:22 AM   #160
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I would like to see the number of Keys needed to operate the trailer reduced. I do not like feeling like a janitor with this wade of keys,
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Old 06-24-2012, 05:45 PM   #161
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Some great ideas, here.

I, too, like the idea of boondocking with a manual pump for the water supply (as one of a number of ways of having true independence).

Same for the use of DZUS fasteners (and fewest keys; that is too easy and a real irritation full-timing).

Plans/schematics availability should be a given.

None of these trailers should have a wood floor. Or drum brakes.

The biggest change needs to be weight control. These trailers are far too heavy nowadays. "Wood" has it's place, but a 1960's Streamline still has a nicer interior what with the use of aluminum cabinetry throughout: more space within them, the addition of structural strength to the trailer as a whole, no rot, and enduring quality.

1969 Streamline Trailer Brochure

That those trailers weighed the same or less than the Airstream contemporary to it should give pause.

The avoidance of cars altogether by a significant portion of young adults altogether should make better aerodynamics (improvements needed) and lowest weight with longest life a planning priority for those who would be future customers . . they likely aren't going to favor pickup trucks as commuter or family vehicles.

As was also mentioned above: singletons are likely to increase and would want interior options (how to change something out in favor of something else, not necessarily a production line option); as conventional homes are not so attractive to a significant portion of younger adults (in a desirable income bracket). "Commuting" may mean parking at one city for few years, then another per contractual obligations.

Access to the great outdoors (camping) makes something that should be a lifetime purchase for vacations -- and for the time between job obligations -- more attractive than any standard worker or executive housing.

An A/S could do that.

.
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Old 06-24-2012, 11:20 PM   #162
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
I believe at one time Airstream would sell shells with frames for those who wanted to outfit them. I think it would have to have a subfloor too to make it last through shipping. I don't think they do that anymore. I think if they did, their lawyers would have comprehensive waivers of liability stapled to the subfloor. Electrical would be installed because wires go between the skins. Whether it came with windows is another question—they strengthen the shell.

If you had the shell, frame and subfloor, would you then remove the inner skin and upgrade insulation, seals, subfloor?

A better kit would be the skins and maybe the frame and ribs unassembled for you to build.

Since you could not get the appliances, water tanks, etc., at the cost Airstream can get them at, your expenses might be too high even if you build your own cabinets and partitions. But some people would do it including restoration companies wanting to build specially appointed Airstreams. Large companies such as Ford, Chrysler, GM and others supply partially built trucks for Class and A and C MH's, and make money at it. The modifications done by people who buy kits could be useful for Airstream to generate ideas for Airstream built trailers. Research for modifications would be done by these individuals and companies at no cost to Airstream except for Airstream to follow the process and adopt what makes sense.

Schu is at the WBCCI International Rally and is reading the thread, but is understandably busy and can't reply.

Gene
You are correct about the economy of scale, but Airstream could sell the components as you needed them and they could put a reasonable markup on them and still make a profit. A person could build and buy with "cash" as they could afford it. This idea isn't for everyone, but I would rather build a new one than rebuild an old one. I'm currently rebuilding an Avion C-11 and for a minimal amount of money and some time I could have made it into an outstanding camper, while it was being built. There are folks with an incredible amount of talent. I would build my own frame, stronger, and make it fit the shell, if I could buy just the shell. I would put a premium floor and then use Airstreams different models for the interior. I figure that I could finish the entire project in about 6 months if money wasn't a factor. I think it would be a lot of fun and I'll bet there would be quite a few folks who would do it. In kit form, you could purchase it completed to the degree that fits your talents.
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:10 AM   #163
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Silver Ranger, lots and lots of rivets. Wish I was there.
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Old 06-25-2012, 04:43 AM   #164
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Thumbs up Perfect example....

You can please none of the people all of the time.

Bob
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:42 PM   #165
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So, back to suggestions.

More hooks.

The cushions in ours were covered poorly. The material on one was loose and tightened at the service center, but none of them fit well. They had no liners. The fabric got dirty easily, cleaned badly. We found a seamstress who could recover them for next to nothing ($25 for 7) and they fit better. Certainly Airstream can do better.

There's a light over the sewer connection, but it needs to be brighter.

Gene
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Old 06-28-2012, 06:31 AM   #166
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We have been away this past 10 days. I will get those photos in the next couple days. We have some new ideas yet to be implemented, hopefully soon. K

b
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Would love to see your improvement photos. We're going on the tour in the next couple weeks. I plan on asking lots of questions about quality and the issues with dealers et al. I would be happy to share what we learn. I don't know all the questions to ask so if someone would like me to ask specific questions, just list them and I'll ask them!!
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:58 AM   #167
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Sewer light upgrade

Here is a suggestion for an exterior sewer light. My trailer had the typical round license plate light and I replaced it last month with a mini LED license plate light. This little light gives off an incredible amount of light. The holes for the screws are the same width as the previous light that is mounted to the stainless steel rectangle. I also put one of these on the tongue jack.

LED Strip Lights, Accent Lighting & LED Modules - Super Bright LEDs


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Old 06-28-2012, 09:00 AM   #168
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Cataia

Well since aviation has been mentioned several times I will add my two cents about the CATAIA (Computer Aided Three-dimensional Interactive Application) System that many aircraft manufacturers have been using for several years. Especially the ergonomic function of the design program which allows manufacturers design equipment that is easy to operate and maintain. This is especially important in the aviation industry where time is so important. Access panels are placed in easy reach of the maintenance staff. The size of the persons hand is considered and also if they are wearing gloves in the winter. Consideration is given to whether or not you will have to bend over or twist your body to access a part for repair. Now consider the average middle age or older Airstream owner bending over with his drill or worse the hand crank lowering the stabilizer jacks. Worse yet try to access the gray or black flush valves to repair or replace. Try removing a headliner just because a wire has chaffed and shorted. Or review many of the forum post and look at the number of ways folks have had to maneuver themselves to make a very simple repair.
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