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Old 10-18-2012, 11:32 AM   #1
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Autoweek's review of an Eddie Bauer 27'

Airstream Eddie Bauer Trailer Review - Autoweek
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:57 AM   #2
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Kind of a bummer the dealership didn't take them through a full how-to checkout.

The tone of the article would have been a lot better if the author left the lot knowing how to use the awnings, made sure all the appliances worked, practiced hooking up to his TV, etc.

Sounds like the dealer just focused on getting the TV hooked up and let the author head off into the sunset.

This is really a failure from the Airstream PR department - they should have made extra sure the author got the full hand holding at local dealer in LA. The cost is just too high for a journalist to not have the best possible experience - and experienced PR people should know this - they have to have seen this before.
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:17 PM   #3
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A long time friend in the automotive magazine business started a company twenty years ago that preps new cars for the automotive press and does all of the orientation stuff on features, etc. AS would do well to use a company like his for their press pool trailers.
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:33 PM   #4
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Even beyond the prep shortcomings, there are disappointing errors in that article. Do mice really chew through the walls of SOBs parked in storage? (Probably not.) Water tanks aren't steel. Load-levelling doesn't really do much - weight-distribution does.

Maybe more information from AS would have helped. Car reviews usually involve both a day-long press event (with lots of slides) from the manufacturer as well as a later visit from a press car. Doesn't quite compare to grabbing a trailer from a dealer.

It's a bit of a shame, because I wonder if the article would likely had been more positive if they got the Interstate that was originally planned.

Tom
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:43 PM   #5
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Really it seems like the most negative things they had to say were about the price and the awning and the general issues of towing a trailer. Having an old Carefree awning, I think the ZipDees are a bit fiddly, I can see how someone who'd never touched one and had no instruction in its use could have a problem with it.

I'm guessing if they'd gotten the Interstate they would have focused on the price and the tight quarters. Everyone's a critic! I definitely think it would have been a better experience for the writer (and likely a nicer review) if someone had given them a good walk-through.
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Old 10-18-2012, 06:41 PM   #6
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The customer was given the same walkthru that all our customers are given, all the systems were explained. A 1000# weight distributing hitch and sway control were installed, Prodigy brake controller. A brief driving instruction was given on the paved lot west of the dealership, explaining braking, turning, and backing principles with a trailer in tow. The refrigerator operation was explained, when the unit was returned the refrigerator was checked and found to be functioning correctly, to date no trouble has been found with that system.

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Old 10-18-2012, 07:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg@AirLA View Post
The customer was given the same walkthru that all our customers are given, all the systems were explained. A 1000# weight distributing hitch and sway control were installed, Prodigy brake controller. A brief driving instruction was given on the paved lot west of the dealership, explaining braking, turning, and backing principles with a trailer in tow. The refrigerator operation was explained, when the unit was returned the refrigerator was checked and found to be functioning correctly, to date no trouble has been found with that system.

Greg
It is a shame that more thought and preparation had gone into to this. It surely did not improve the dealership's image in my mind or potential buyers.
It sounds like the typical dealership walk thru, get them in and out. It sounds like more time should of taken place on running appliances on electric and gas, and why air has to be bled out of the system for gas to start etc. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give the dealership a 2!!
As far as the price was concerned, it should of been explained at the beginning this is not a trailer this just thrown together to last for three years and you get what you pay for!!
Myself I started out with pop-up campers and than to other fiberglas trailers and by the time I was serious about purchasing a trailer that would hold it resale value I purchased an Airstream and never looked back!!
Rich Gallagher
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:07 PM   #8
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An Airstream review by a writer with no knowledge, experience, or point of reference with travel trailers is of negative value to everyone including Autoweek. What a waste.
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:17 PM   #9
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Doesn't sound like it's the dealers fault.

Just a sarcastic writer/critic who feels his job is to be critical.
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:30 PM   #10
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Greg - appreciate the posting and glad you took the reporter through a thorough checkout.

I'm a chief marketing officer in my not-airstream life - so I know a bit about the media and product demos. So let me be super clear - whatever happened, it's not your fault. I would never ever ever blame one of my people in the field for a less than 100% positive story that comes out from a media person that they interacted with. Because dealing with the media is not your day job - you are just helping out the corporate team.

When this kind of stuff happens, and it does, who I do hold accountable is my media team. Journalists are notorious for not listening, not paying attention, and being in a hurry - they've got deadlines and tons of competing pressures. I would never ever give a complex product to a reviewer without a product marketing person or local rep shadowing them the whole time, being instantly on call, going onsite to show him how to operate his awning / refrigerator, answer questions, etc.

Of course it's possible that this was in place, and the journalist went out of his way to call factory tech support instead of a local person assigned to coddle him, but I kind of doubt it from what he wrote.

The lesson to corporate PR is that the cost is relatively low if you have a customer that comes in for training and they miss something - but if this happens with a journalist it can be a much bigger problem.

Now how do we go about getting more of those models like you have in the brochures into our local KOAs - I do think he was on the right track there...
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:37 PM   #11
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I agree with MoJo. Sounds like bad journalism to me. Sal.
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:52 PM   #12
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I recall when Dan Neil (then of the LA Times, now at WSJ) borrowed an Airstream in 2008. He was more resourceful, calling to get a charging problem solved when the Expedition tow vehicle lacked the proper relay. (Why Ford doesn't install those at the factory...)

Tom
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:55 PM   #13
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From the first paragraph one could tell that this journalist was going to take a negative, sarcastic approach to this review. I'm sure the writer thought this to be entertaining, in a "cutesy" way.
I think this person #1 knows nothing of RVs, and #2 would have battered anything he/she doesn't understand (including the handsoap dispensers in a Hilton suite.)
When a journalist takes this negative attitude it really becomes a waste of the writer's time, the publication's money, the manufacturer's effort, and reader's time.
I would think Autoweek's editors would be able to find more positive, objective people to evaluate products. This writer certainly does the publlication no favors with such an obviously sarcastic bent.
I guess he/she misunderstands the term "critic" when it comes to objective journalism.
I was hoping for a useable evaluation of the unit's strenghts and weaknesses. What I read was an attempt by a whinner who thinks his/her writing is 'cute' and 'entertaining'.
SAD
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Old 10-19-2012, 04:20 AM   #14
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I'm sure when the refrigerator didn't make any noise he assumed it wasn't working. Too bad he didn't have a cell phone to call the dealer with his questions about the awning. Sal.
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