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Old 05-06-2004, 04:29 PM   #57
crazylev's Avatar
2004 19' International CCD
Chicago , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 905
Images: 10
Here you go....

This is long, so get yourself something to eat or drink and read on...

First off, thanks to everyone on this list that helped me make an educated decision regarding Airstream, both new and used.

Monday AM I drove five and a half hours from Chicago to Piqua, Ohio to be met at the front of Paul Sherry RV by Jerry Penley, my salesman. We immediately went out and did a walk-around. On the walk around, Jerry found two very small dings on the aluminum just above the curbside stone guard and and almost identical twin to that one on the street-side. There was also a small rock-like ding on the actual rock-guard street-side, so I guess it did it’s job. There was also a small dent on the black metal part of the trailer that is between the bottom trim piece and curves under the trailer to attach to the belly pans. You only see this by getting on your hands and knees.

Meanwhile, I am still in awe over the fact that I now have an Airstream after all this time of driving my wife nuts with all thing Airstream and did not really say anything about the ding matter, but Jerry was not happy about it! Through out the almost three days “camping” at the dealership, about a half dozen people looked, probed, and prodded into this ding-thing: service, managers, the guy who actually pick the trailer up from the factory, calls made to Airstream.

What is suppose to happen is the guy that picks the trailer up at AS goes over to make sure there is no damage. The gentleman who picked up my trailer admitted to me the worst time for them to pick up trailers is when it has snowed, or when it is raining. The rain makes it hard for them to see any little blemishes. It was raining when my coach was picked up.

I walked around the lot to look at about 20 other new units that were there to see if any of them had any “delivery” damage. Most did not, though one had a minor scratch.

What I am thinking at this point: Am I going to be able to live with this? The marks are very small, they are not going to rust. but it was very obvious that the only way to take care of this matter is to replace the two end panel sheets of aluminum, drilling rivets, pulling the door frame, and in my opinion, possibly opening up a whole can of worms. There is always the possibility that the first time I go out and a bolt, rock, evil politician, or something else will fly out of nowhere and do the same thing. On the way to the dealership, something hit the hood of my Eurovan and put two rather larger nicks in the paint, even with a bra!!!

I am thinking of leaving this as it is. Not because the dealership does not want to make it right, but I see this as something that I will notice even less, the more “character” my trailer gets from road use.

I also suppose that had the people at Paul Sherry NOT made such a big deal out of this, then my intentions might have been swayed by their idefference and lack of care for the customer. They really were more concerned about this than me, and I think of myself as pretty much a nit-picker. Had these blemishes been much larger may have made a decision on what to do much easier to make.

They are a superb lot of people. More on Paul Sherry later.

Moving on, the trailer in a word is beautiful, and as I would expect from an overworked and underpaid crew at Airstream, there are little flaws here and there.

The way I see it, if Airsteams were built in Hanover, Germany or Bavaria with strict tolerances, they would be absolutely flawless....and my $35,000 trailer would cost $120,000 dollars!!!!

It is what it is.

Since Paul Sherry had two other 19’ CCD’s and a few Safari Bambi’s, I was able to crawl around those units to compare certain idiosyncrasies with my unit. Very convenient indeed.

When I arrived at Sherry, they had my unit hooked up, fridge on, furnace, lights, all systems were working as they should. Great!

BTW, setting the fridge to 7 will freeze a bag of salad quickly, and that was going to be my dinner, and the pizza place across from Paul Sherry burned down not to long ago. Thank heavens for my Tombstone Pizza.

This seems obvious, but I was delightfully suprised that all the appliances except the oven are electronic ignition. For some reason, I packed enough of those long lighter things to start a new Chicago fire!!! I guess I thought I’d be crawling all over the place lighting this and that. It is a little odd that the ignition for the hot water heater is right next to the vanity sink. It would have been nice if that were in a cabinet, or somewhere out of sight, and out out the reach of curious hands. Oh well.

The water tank was filled, pump goes on anytime you turn a faucet on. I used the toilet, but I will let the wife poop in it first, as she is the Queen and has this unmentionable task. It was highly recommended that we use the Tethford brand TP. I also through a packet of the blue tank stuff in the toilet.

The Sony CD/AM-FM is incomprehensible!!! I work on a Mac, I can work on a PC, but the stereo will take some time to master. It does seem to work though. If you push and hold the off button, it will turn off the whole unit and the accompanying light show. Or just put the round pizza cardboard from the Tombstone in front of it to block the light. Do this only if you have had 5 or six Negra Modelos.

After spending the first night in the unit, I wrote out my punch list for service:

1. Bathroom door not shutting properly- the strike plate needs to be morticed into the door frame just a bit. Fixed.

2. The main door did not seem to close very tightly. That was fixed because I did not close it hard enough! Works fine. Fixed.

3. The univolt/converter/inverter thing looked as if it were installed unevenly. This would have made me nuts!!! They straightened that out.

4. Oven did not light on “Pilot” setting, only on “Warm”. I was lighting it in the wrong place!!!

5. The outside blemish things as mentioned above, which they are still working on as I write this.

6. Battery for smoke detector missing. Fixed, but I wish it wasn’t because it goes off anytime I light the stove. That is real annoying before my first cup of coffee in the morning. Why did Airstream mount the detector above the dinette, and not in the bedroom??? If I move, I end up with two screw holes to deal with.

Tuesday night was my firstime behind the wheel of the Eurovan with the trailer hitched using the Equilizer system, and Prodigy controller.

I pulled out of the dealership driveway, and about 400 feet later, there is a woman at a gas station looking at me, and decides to try to make here turn- ABOUT TWO FEET IN FRONT OF ME!

The brake controller works! I skidded to an even stop, and the lady in the explorer went off the road!!! I did not get out of the VW to mince words.
My first drive was excellent after that. You definitely know the trailer is there, but the V-Dub handles her well.

And that, ladies and gentlemen was my list.

On my second night, I had a faulty LP detector, which rang continuously from 2:30AM until service opened at 8:00AM. I now had a headache on both sides of my brain: one from the beer, and one from the LP alarm. I tried to silence the alarm by putting my underwear and clothes in front of it, but I think my stinky laundry made it worse!!!

The furnace was malfunctioning due to an arc from the start capacitor, to a blue wire. The symptom would be the furnace trying to start the main burner, but it would fail after three ignition attempts, and then a little red LED would flash inside the furnace.

After the furnace was taken care of yesterday morning, it was time for me to go. I did my first dump at the dealers little dump station and found it oddly arousing!!!

My Prodigy is set at 6.0 and B1, whatever that means. Service thought this is a good start, and that I should read the instructions too. They also told me about just using the controller to slow the trailer as well, in a wagging situation.

After realizing that I put the water supply hose on the city water intake on the trailer and correctly hooked into the tank flush, that went fine too.

The ride home was uneventful, though I definitely hear a creaking sound that I under stand is the sway control doing it’s thing. You hear at very low speeds especially. Maybe it’s a lube thing.

When any trucks, cars or any speeding vehicle passed, I did not notice any sway. In fact, the van seems to sway worse when I am not towing anything. Interesting.

The drive from Ohio to Chicago is very flat. I did keep the transmission in third when going up any kind of incline, but when it became flat again I put the V-Dub back in Drive.

At home, the wife was very pleased. Both with the fact that I got home alive, and that we got a real cool trailer. I am not sure in which order though...

Finally, I can only highly recommend the folks at Paul Sherry. They did not even bill my credit card for the deposit on the trailer!!! Thanks to Jerry, Jake and Dale in Service, Tina in finance (no more caffeine for her, though), even the other sales people who did not make the sale with me where very friendly and outgoing.

And a final note, while I was a the dealership, a woman came up to me and asked whether or not I wanted the dealer sticker on my unit. She said she asks people, because sometimes they don’t want another sticker on their unit. I took their sticker, and put it in my Airstream notebook. She also gave me a cool plastic raised letter one that looks neat enough where I might just go ahead and put that one on.

Good night.


Sometimes I wish I were living in the stone age. Then I would know I'm the smartest person in the world.
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Old 05-06-2004, 07:36 PM   #58
Rivet Master
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1963 24' Tradewind
Highland , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,057
Images: 83
Lookin' Good!



Looking forward to seeing it at the Rally.


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Old 05-10-2006, 07:28 PM   #59
crazylev's Avatar
2004 19' International CCD
Chicago , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 905
Images: 10
Exactly 2 years later....

My how time flies....when you're in debt.

Looking back at the last post I made 2 years ago, there must have been a sale on Sudafed (the good stuff) because I seem to jabor on like a meth-amphetamine addict in heat!


just wanted to note that I no longer noticed the little factory equiped dings. They are covered with bugs and bird poop.

Got to give it first out-of-warrenty bath soon.

things are fine, but i lust for that 23' ccd safari le se xlt thing...thank suh lot twink,

Sometimes I wish I were living in the stone age. Then I would know I'm the smartest person in the world.
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Old 05-10-2006, 07:48 PM   #60
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1966 22' Safari
Armada , Michigan
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 939
Images: 4
And I miss your crazy coyote avatar you used to have - creepy and funny.

Visit my Camping Blog!
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Old 05-11-2006, 12:53 AM   #61
Rivet Master
1992 34' Limited
Falls Church , Virginia
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 945
Any book coming out soon!?

Jonathan -

Missed this thread the 1st time round, but REALLY glad you resurrected it with your addendum...

You write really well... any books (with PHOTOS?) coming out soon???? Real easy read.... with great real life bits tossed in hither and yon.... "Wait a minute, my editor is on 2....." No, seriously...

I'll buy!

Your obvious personal creativity extends into the writing arena!!! Stay at it! I enjoy all your contributions!

Keep us all posted...



BTW - Go CUBS! and SOX! Is another WS far off? Another Chi-town boy here!

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