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Old 11-05-2013, 09:15 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
It's not just Airstream, or even the RV industry. It's a problem endemic to all industries. Safety is an intangible. You can't say, "Anti-lock disc trailer brakes would prevent X number of accidents and save Y number of dollars." The X and Y in that statement would be pure guesswork. And without some way to compute a return on the investment, few companies will want to pay the money. Especially since they also can't really say they'd sell more trailers if they came with anti-lock disc brakes. Airstream is already selling all the trailers they make; if you order one, you'll wait months until it rolls off the factory floor. So in the choice between, "How many will you sell if you don't change anything? All of them!" and "How many will you sell if you improve the safety features but run up the cost? Maybe all of them," the choice is simple. At least for any corporate management I've ever seen.
Protagonist, I beg to differ. Many corporations hold safety as a core value and find ROI through lower accident rates and improved reputation. I observed this directly as a manager of safety for the largest in a high-risk industry. Others must be brought to focus on safety through liability and regulation. Airstream manages to sell it's product largely based on the perception (flawed, IMHO) of design & quality that hasn't required change in 50 years. As you say, why should they bother to improve when buyers are lined up? Perhaps if owners like us sent our safety suggestions directly to Airstream, some of the ideas might take root. I suspect that most buyers of new Airstreams ( it is a discretionary luxury purchase, after all) would pay more for significantly improved quality & safety.
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:51 AM   #58
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Oh Ida know, ...
I had a friend years ago, (back in the early 90's) that worked for GM at our local Chamblee plant.
He was fairly high up in managment there.
He used to have lake parites and there were many other GM managers there.
I remember having many conversations about quality and safety of GM Products.
Bottom line was they weren't going to add quality or safety innovation unless it sold more cars. they might add quality if the competition threatend the bottom line but they certainly weren't going to get out in front. This was during the era that a lot of manufactures' were adding airbags.
If it weren't for Honda threatening GM's bottom line GM would have stalled even more.
Nowdays cars have like 7 or 8 of them.
Domestice Car manufactures seem to have finally had the V8 moment that quality can be built in as part of the manufacturing process.
Personally I'd have little appitite for domestic excuses that argue that quality is cost prohibitive.
that is Lame Lame Lame.
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:45 PM   #59
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Disc brakes require hydraulics. Just another component that requires maintenance.
Electro/hydraulic controller; brake fluid.
Add anti-lock and you have a complicated system.
Complication leads to expensive maintenance and repairs,
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:33 PM   #60
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Disc brakes require hydraulics. Just another component that requires maintenance.
Electro/hydraulic controller; brake fluid.
Add anti-lock and you have a complicated system.
Complication leads to expensive maintenance and repairs,

Add to that the amount of "down" time.

My knuckle busting experience reminds me how problematic ABS can be when not on a daily exercise regimen, especially here in WNY.
Plus ABS requires a reliable electrical system, with a diagnostic computer interface.

Bob
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:18 AM   #61
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Anti-lock [disc] brakes on a combination vehicle are a night & day difference. NHTSA mandated them on tractor-trailers years ago. I cannot begin to tell you what a difference they make . . and they do, statistically.

When we buy into the misleading arguments loved by corporate attorneys (always looking to gum up the works and slow change to decades versus a year or two) we forget that some things are obvious, and better.

Platinum exhaust catalysts were invented in 1957 . . took nearly 20-years to be made standard. Same for airbags. Ask our company driver in a recent near-70/mph head-on collision with another semi if, having walked away how he'd feel about the lack of three-point belts and airbags if such were not mandated.

The goal is road safety. For a family vehicle pulling a travel trailer we know that a lightweight, aerodynamic, low ground clearanc and low center-of-gravity design with independent suspension is more likely to remain up-right and lane-centered . . in a straight line with the tow vehicle. The correct brakes on both vehicles makes this more likely yet no matter the difficulties faced.

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Old 02-09-2014, 06:53 PM   #62
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I seen several in here mention about the tankless hot water heaters, AS tried that already in the late 90's. A few lawsuits over people getting burned by steam cause they turned on the hot water with no water in the system yet and just air, not to mention the major cost that AS ended up paying to remove all those systems and retro fit a water tank. I have one of those trailers and the previous owners who ordered the trailer new had AS remove the tankless heater and install a water tank at no cost to the owners. I have met a few that had that option and also had it removed because of constant expense of repairs as they failed on a regular basis, so I don't see AS ever stepping back into that quick sand again.
As far as outside entertainment NO NO NO and I hope that is loud enough voice from me, 2 years ago I had entertained that same idea as I like to either catch the news or listen to a little music in the mornings while I wait for everyone else to get up (I am an early riser) anyways there was a mid 50's couple (who thought they was 18 and dressed like that), and I laughed until my side hurt, who parked next to us late one day later that night most of the night everyone got a treat to rap music, the kind where the thump rattles windows and tables from outside speakers. around midnight I politely asked to reduce the volume once I got them to answer the door, and was given some very colorful words as why not and what I could do. I left them alone before my temper took over and caused a major problem and went back to my camper. I had had enough at 2 am and was on my way out the door with a pair of wire cutters to silence the noise when just about the time I got as far as my vehicle the law showed up, much disturbance as you can imagine ended in the couple packing up and leaving with the stereos still near or at full volume.
Another time at a state park some got peeved at the noise ordinance turned on the stereo switched to outside speakers locked the trailer and left. For 2 days we had to listen to this, the campground could not unplug the trailer as they would have been liable for fridge goods, someone though did unplug the trailer and cut the power wire, but it still continued on bats which ran down by the end of the day thank god.
So as you can see no outside electronics for me and I wish they would outlaw them.
Now I take my droid phone, plug in my headphones, turn on I-heart radio on my fav country station and enjoy my morning coffee until others are up moving around that I can talk to.
And I am afraid to say that you will not see any real improvements in the aluminum trailers because the parent company does not want them to out sell their trailers, so AS prices will stay high and quality low until one day someone buys AS away from the god awful adopted parents.
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Old 02-09-2014, 07:13 PM   #63
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I did not check through the entire thread but I have an idea to share with Airstream for the betterment of the product. So much attention is spent to sealing the outer shell from leaks, as it should be- who wants that kind of trouble. What if, instead of adding seals on the outside, etc an inner covering seal was used of some sort on the wall of the outer shell some kind of seamless material that would not react with aluminum and keep any moisture from ever passing through. At the bottom frame connection, perhaps a similar seal with a breathable membrane- to allow for condensation to escape and any moisture to drip out that made it through the outer shell to the seal. Such a plan would protect against leaks, deal with condensation and, help prevent floor rot.
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Old 02-09-2014, 07:42 PM   #64
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Such a plan would protect against leaks, deal with condensation and, help prevent floor rot.
I similarly have not read the entire thread (I promise I will) but...

We are undecided and considering a CampLite 21BHS. For roughly half the price of a similar-sized AS, they still manage an all-aluminum floor.

We're a little put off by stories of floor rot in AS models as little as 7 years old.

Sorry for the hijack, but I will start a thread on our continuing decision process.
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Old 02-09-2014, 09:00 PM   #65
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We are undecided and considering a CampLite 21BHS. For roughly half the price of a similar-sized AS, they still manage an all-aluminum floor.

We're a little put off by stories of floor rot in AS models as little as 7 years old.

Sorry for the hijack, but I will start a thread on our continuing decision process.
That's ok, I am glad you posted. I do not think, from what I saw as a newbie when shopping myself, that Airstream is unique to leaks. I witnessed a slew of 5th wheels and trailers with musty interiors that would put your eyes out when entering a few years ago shopping used. The salesman wanted to show me the "bargains" but they were the leakers. I found leaks just walking through in the form of stains, etc. in ceiling and along the joints. None were Airstreams but all were nearly new. What I have found is that Airstream had some issues when they first started putting those wrap windows on, I believe in 2005 or so. There are reported issues with the windows from time to time. I would not be afraid of an Airstream though leaking any more than other brands. I learned that most others have those self destructing roofs good for about 10 years at most in average use then you have to replace the roof for $$$ or forfeit your trailer. The ONLY option I found FastEddieB was Galileo RV with its all fiberglass roof. I don't know what your investment strategy is but I would consider roof life. My father and I go back and forth on these things as he has begun to look at RVs too. He talks about how long he's got to live vs. durability, etc. we go round and round. I find it interesting that although Airstream has wood floors, more of them seem to still be around. I think much of it has to do with how you store it and maintenance. I just tried to pull information on the Galileo but cannot - another problem with startup RVs will they be there a few hears down the road?
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Old 02-09-2014, 10:25 PM   #66
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No need for a tankless waterheater or outside speakers, but please Airstream make the following improvements:
1. a floor that won't rot
2. 3 stage converter
3. disc brakes
4. a fridge that cools in hot weather (include fans and a remote thermometer)
5. quiet AC.
6. top quality tires

New electronics is cheap. I just replaced the Sony radio in my 95 34'. I installed a Pioneer radio with cd, aux input and usb jack, and bluetooth to stream music from my Android phone. Easy installation and only $104 delivered from Amazon (DEH-X6600BT).

FastEddie- Rather than a new sob, spend the same money on a carefully selected used Airstream. You will be glad you did down the road.

Dan
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Old 02-10-2014, 12:27 AM   #67
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No need for a tankless waterheater or outside speakers, but please Airstream make the following improvements:
1. a floor that won't rot
2. 3 stage converter
3. disc brakes
4. a fridge that cools in hot weather (include fans and a remote thermometer)
5. quiet AC.
6. top quality tires

New electronics is cheap. I just replaced the Sony radio in my 95 34'. I installed a Pioneer radio with cd, aux input and usb jack, and bluetooth to stream music from my Android phone. Easy installation and only $104 delivered from Amazon (DEH-X6600BT).

FastEddie- Rather than a new sob, spend the same money on a carefully selected used Airstream. You will be glad you did down the road.

Dan
X2.......Perfect recommendations.

I hope someone is paying attention in JC.

B
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Old 02-10-2014, 12:56 AM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TouringDan View Post
No need for a tankless waterheater or outside speakers, but please Airstream make the following improvements:
1. a floor that won't rot
2. 3 stage converter
3. disc brakes
4. a fridge that cools in hot weather (include fans and a remote thermometer)
5. quiet AC.
6. top quality tires

New electronics is cheap. I just replaced the Sony radio in my 95 34'. I installed a Pioneer radio with cd, aux input and usb jack, and bluetooth to stream music from my Android phone. Easy installation and only $104 delivered from Amazon (DEH-X6600BT).

FastEddie- Rather than a new sob, spend the same money on a carefully selected used Airstream. You will be glad you did down the road.

Dan
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Originally Posted by SuperTrouper View Post
X2.......Perfect recommendations.

I hope someone is paying attention in JC.

B
Hi, forget about disc brakes unless you can make them function and dependable like automotive disc brakes; So far your disc brake systems have been a huge failure. At least my drum brakes always work. Stopping better isn't good if it doesn't work every time.
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Old 02-11-2014, 11:15 AM   #69
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Hi, forget about disc brakes unless you can make them function and dependable like automotive disc brakes; So far your disc brake systems have been a huge failure. At least my drum brakes always work. Stopping better isn't good if it doesn't work every time.
Robert

I agree that disc brakes need to be reliable. They should be. The technology is here. It is a sad situation that the only premium trailer manufacturer, Airstream, does not even offer disc brakes as an option; They offer it as an after market conversion. What seems to be lacking is the consumer demand for disc brakes.

I guess that what also is lacking is competition for Airstream. What incentive do they have to offer disc brakes? None. Especially since reliability issues have cost them money in the past.

I am ready to order new axles for my Tradewind. I really do not want to install new axles with new electric drum brakes. If I do this then I am admitting that disc brakes are still not a viable reliable option. I don't think I can do this. We shall see.

Dan
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Old 02-11-2014, 11:55 AM   #70
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I'm the original poster of this very cool thread and I'm gonna highjack it again.

It seems to me that there is an inherent flaw with wooden subflooring.

the question I have is why hasn't AS employed an alternative?

1. Cost?
2. No reasonable cost effective alternative?
3. Wood isn't a conductor of electricity and for some reason that's an issue.

And back on my topic, ...

So, when AS's were introduced as many years ago wasn't the inspiration of the shape and materials greatly influenced by Airplanes?

Yes I know AS's don't do stuff just because it's new but to improve. But think about it, ... back in the day from a camper perspective AS's were on the cutting edge of innovation.

IMHO, 'innovation', is/should be in the credo of every AS today as it was when they were first introduced.

After as long as the company has been in business the issue of floor rot ought to be the subject of campfire lore not active forum discussions....Certainly for the newer models.

We never here of a car having issues with rot from water leaking into the interior. I know I know, all you engineers are gonna say a trailer is NOT a car and I get that, ... but campers and motor vehicles share attributes. I just think that since it's a problem that apparantly can't be solved maybe AS, (or the camper industry as a whole), might wanna have a coffee with the autombile industry and ask, 'Hey, how did ya'll solve this leaking problem?

I'm just saying.
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