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Old 06-18-2012, 11:57 AM   #29
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Dan, Bob Wheeler told me there is a committee that includes representatives from both the service center and factory. I suggested that the factory isn't listening. A committee isn't enough.

Thus, the committee needs a strong leader who will follow up and make specific people are assigned tasks. Too often committees are ineffectual because duties are not assigned and no one checks at the next meeting on what was done. When I have chaired committees I noticed people didn't like being assigned tasks; they apparently considered that extra work, but it is the work they already are supposed to do.

More suggestions on trim:

1. In our trailer there is a brown trim that fits over the partitions to cover the rough edges. In our bathroom, one piece fell into the cavity behind the partition on the kitchen side. It was replaced in JC and it fell into the cavity too. Lately the other trim piece on that partition fell into the cavity. So,

a. Use one piece, not two. Much neater.

b. Use construction adhesive or a glue that is resistant to temp extremes to hold the trim on. So far as I could see nothing but friction holds it in place.

2. At the corner of the cabinet that holds the fridge and the wall with the TV, there is wood corner trim. This is not the only place that use the trim—the bedroom/shower corner also has it. On one trip it fell off and I wedged it back in. The finishing nails only protruded 1/4" and didn't provide enough grip to keep it in place. This is either bad design or someone who didn't want to look for the longer finishing nails for the nail gun. I used nails one quarter inch longer and construction adhesive to secure the trim and it has been fine for 30,000 miles or more. I'm still waiting for the other one to fall off. So, use longer nails (and make sure the workers do so) plus glue.

Keep the suggestions coming; it is easy to fall into complaint mode (and more fun too), but there are plenty of threads for that.

Gene
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Old 06-18-2012, 12:01 PM   #30
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Is there a better quality petcock drain available for the fresh water tank? Mine is very stiff and not very positive. Had the same complaint on the 1977 as well as the 2007.

Tom
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Old 06-18-2012, 12:09 PM   #31
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I don't know if they're still using the "Shub" shower door in some models. But on mine, it was held by double sided tape. Somewhere down the line, it came unstuck and the thing partially fell down. Suggestion: At factory caulk along both sides of attachment point in addition to the tape. Since I did that, the Shub stays in place.
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Old 06-18-2012, 12:14 PM   #32
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Is there a better quality petcock drain available for the fresh water tank? Mine is very stiff and not very positive. Had the same complaint on the 1977 as well as the 2007.

Tom
Absolutely!

I've been thinking of removing it and seeing how to replace it with something easier to use, but keep forgetting to. The 2 pipe petcock drains next to it are easy to open and close, but offset behind a tire to make it hard to reach them. I recognize that for various reasons, it is hard to move them far from the tanks and pipes and the location between the tires on tandem models may be the best we can hope for.

So, relocate all 3 drains for easier access, and use petcocks for the fresh water tank too.

Gene
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Old 06-18-2012, 12:31 PM   #33
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This may come across as a complaint but it illustrates a quality issue. I had a 1996 Sovereign 21'. I now have a 2007 Classic 27'. The Sovereign had much better quality trim and better use of space. The 21' Sovereign had almost as much storage as the 27' Classic. There does not seem to be as much emphasis on utilizing every available space. In the Classic the panels were not trimmed to meet the wall contours as well as the Sovereign. In addition, in one place a wall was miss-cut and a small piece was cut to fill the hole and just nailed into place (not my idea of a quality job).
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Old 06-18-2012, 12:41 PM   #34
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Get rid of the skill/chop saws for cutting out windows, etc. Has Airstream never heard of CAD/CAM? It would be more efficient and consistent. I would not be surprised if a side effect was less leaks and ultimately a better product with a happier customer base.
FYI some improvements that have been implemented.-All inside and exterior holes in the aluminum side walls are routed out on a CNC router before they are installed on the trailer including the windows.
End shell seams and segments have black gasket tape between segments. Lights and exterior components are installed using gaskets.
The eyebrows for the windows have been changed to a design that caps over the window frame to reduce chance of leaks.New window gaskets material has been designed and implemented for a better window fit and coated with to help reduce window sticking.
Main door hinge pins have been modified to accept a C clip to prevent pins from backing out.Main door thresholds are now made out of aluminum extrusion and new contour for a better fit.
Have added exterior LP out let for gas grille.
All exterior lights are now LED.
Upgrade castings at marker lights for Classic trailers.
Classic pull out drawer redesigned.
Bike racks now available.
Testing 16" Michelin Tires on Eddie Bauer trailers.
Improved aluminum dinnette table legs
All trailers have lino--no carpet.
No press wood floors--all plywood with water sealant arouns all floor openings and 10" wide around perimeter.
Aluminum foil insulation between plywood floor and frame.All edges of floors and underbelly are caulked.
to high lite a few.
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:00 PM   #35
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Before I get started let me just say,
Yes, I understand that we are a minority not only in the RV community but in the Airstreaming one too.

We are currently fulltiming in a Double Gaucho '71 28ft overlander with two growing kids (boy and girl). We have been on the road for just over a year. We are currently looking for a new RV as we have simply outgrown our Minerva. We have looked at most of the floorplans for Airstream including the New Models. We NEED a bunkouse. Sure Airstream made them but happy hunting, they are hard to find and get snapped up quick. They would also require a truck upgrade as well.

I know that most fulltiming families pick 5thers or SOBs with slides from the start but we already had Minerva. We love our Airstream. At the time we were thinking of hitting the road, I came across about 5 other families looking to fulltime in an Airstream and being told by SOB owners to not even try it. Not to mention the 3 or 4 already out there doing it in an Airstream, yet Airstream doesn't even make a model currently that really looks comfortable for a family to use for extended travel (more than a few weeks). Let me assure you, having to make and unmake a couch or dinette bed every night (supposing you have the twin/twin model) gets old.

It is a huge disappointed that Airstream doesn't make a floorplan that fits my family's needs right off the production line. Not to mention having to purchase a new truck tow it with. I feel like Airstream just doesn't care much about the family market. Say what you want, but there are a number of us families in Airstreams... though many of the ones I know are Vintage Owners.
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:02 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schu View Post
FYI some improvements that have been implemented.-All inside and exterior holes in the aluminum side walls are routed out on a CNC router before they are installed on the trailer including the windows.
End shell seams and segments have black gasket tape between segments. Lights and exterior components are installed using gaskets.
The eyebrows for the windows have been changed to a design that caps over the window frame to reduce chance of leaks.New window gaskets material has been designed and implemented for a better window fit and coated with to help reduce window sticking.
Main door hinge pins have been modified to accept a C clip to prevent pins from backing out.Main door thresholds are now made out of aluminum extrusion and new contour for a better fit.
Have added exterior LP out let for gas grille.
All exterior lights are now LED.
Upgrade castings at marker lights for Classic trailers.
Classic pull out drawer redesigned.
Bike racks now available.
Testing 16" Michelin Tires on Eddie Bauer trailers.
Improved aluminum dinnette table legs
All trailers have lino--no carpet.
No press wood floors--all plywood with water sealant arouns all floor openings and 10" wide around perimeter.
Aluminum foil insulation between plywood floor and frame.All edges of floors and underbelly are caulked.
to high lite a few.
Schu:

Thanks for the update.
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:05 PM   #37
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Schu, Those all sound like excellant changes. Want to take my Bambi II in trade, I would love to take one of the new Eddie Bauer's home.
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:23 PM   #38
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Schu (a/k/a Dave),

Thanks for posting and updating us on current practices. I appreciate your presence here and hope no one decides to attack you. In my dealings with Airstream I have always found Schu helpful and friendly. As most reading here know, I have not been sparing on my criticism of Thor or Airstream, but Schu has been fine to work with.

I have some questions and comments:

1. I think a "CNC router" is automated and computer controlled. Is that correct?

2. I was aware of some of the gaskets being used and hope they are of high quality. How about at all other penetrations and seams? Seems if it is a good idea in those places mentioned, it should work elsewhere.

3. The threshold on ours is wood—looks like oak. When I replaced the flooring, I had to cut the threshold to accommodate the increase in floor height. Wood is a lot easier to cut for most of us than metal, so I'm glad I have wood and unconvinced this is a good upgrade considering how many people replace flooring.

4. You and I discussed using Michelins about 3 years ago. I suggested it is a better LT tire than Wranglers and other LT tires. And you may know from following the Forums that those who go to 16" generally prefer Michelins. I realize Michelins are more expensive than most of their competitors, but this seems to be a good way to go, and I hope Airstream joins the Michelin fans soon. My test shows 24,000 miles with Michelin LTX's, little wear, and they don't lose air like Marathons did. Others on the Forum have had similar results.

5. Glad to see improvement in dinette table leg. Ours seems to be low quality and on one trip to JC the screws ripped out of the table—the table appeared to be fiberboard of some sort with a melamine facing on the bottom. It was fixed with oversized screws and lasted 'til I replaced the table this spring. Has there been a fix to prevent screws ripping out?

6. Linoleum is a very good product and I hope it is true linoleum. Some manufacturers and retailers sell vinyl as linoleum and they are very different. Here's the "but"—is this a sheet product and is it installed first and then the partitions and cabinets put on top of it? If done this way, the labor is very small, but the results are not good for the customer. With vinyl, below zero (F) temps cause the vinyl to develop humps as the trailer contracts more than the vinyl. The fix for this in our bathroom was to cut a thin strip out along the cabinet and install quarter round over the space—the hump disappeared. Afterward we developed humps by the kitchen cabinet and under the dinette table. I ripped out the vinyl and put in a new floor. Flooring (with a very few exceptions) is supposed to have a space between it and partitions and cabinets for expansion/contraction. Perhaps linoleums contracts at the same rate as the trailer body, but I doubt it. When you have to cut flooring in such a small space as a trailer and provide for expansion/contraction, it is easier to use tiles or planks than sheeting. All this requires trim to be installed and I realize that increases labor and materials costs, but is the right way to do it. So,
a. Are you providing for expansion/contraction?
b. Are you using sheet, plank, or tiles?
c. Gluing the flooring, or floating it with locking planks or tiles (floating is easier to replace)?

7. Caulking edges of plywood subfloor is different than using a sealant. Many sealants have been discussed on another thread—and using something that absorbs onto the plywood to fill the air spaces was particularly interesting, though I have no other knowledge of it. Would using sealant around the edges and the faces of the plywood be better over the long run.

8. I realize the use of OSB for subfloors didn't last for very long and was not in all models, but over the years people have assumed it was for a long time and every model. Could you inform us on what years and what models to help clear this up?

Gene
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:31 PM   #39
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While at Airstream for Alumapalooza the very nice Sales Manager met w us at our trailer and we showed him all the improvements we made, especially those regarding storage. He was so impressed he took lots of photos and was going to see about getting some of them implemented in future rigs. Additionally we talked about a better layout for the 23' and he had us draw a quick sketch of a possible change which he liked and was going to take to engineering. Also, reps from their staff had two seminar Q & A periods. One for the men and one for the women. Lots of ?'s were asked and lots of comments made. We observed them taking lots of notes. So, bottom line, yes they are interested in our suggestions.
Oh, I am going to take photos too and post them here.
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 06-18-2012, 01:35 PM   #40
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Would like to see the 16' Serenity back in the line up. We want to get our feet wet with a small airstream but would enjoy the upscale version. Thought the 16' DWR and Ocean Breeze were "fun" looking. We will definitely wait a year or 2 or 3 before making our purchase. Want to see if some of these great suggestions come to fruition. Don't want to deal with rotting floors and leaks so soon after purchase.

Dave and Nancy
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:39 PM   #41
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I Guess the Honeymoon Isn't Over Yet

***Fly at Night's owner emerges from another blissful night's sleep in the Airstream. She slept like the proverbial baby in the comfy bed, the rain pelting the roof, windows open, and nary a leak or raindrop inside. It's her day off so she casually makes her coffee in the beautifully outfitted AS kitchen, opens the fridge that is keeping the fruit salad and yogurt perfectly chilled, takes it out, sits down at the elegant dinette, and proceeds to open her laptop to peruse the AS Forum.

Scratching her head over the "Airstream Suggestion Box" thread, she thinks why? This is as good as it gets. ***

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Old 06-18-2012, 01:46 PM   #42
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[I]
Scratching her head over the "Airstream Suggestion Box" thread, she thinks why? This is as good as it gets. ***

Because not everyone is as lucky as you, plus, everything can be improved.

Glad you had a good night's sleep. We sleep well in ours too (after we added a foam topper to the OEM mattress—another suggestion there).

Gene
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