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Old 07-08-2015, 06:16 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
You overestimate the total sales of Airstream Interstates. Sure, one-third of all Sprinter-based B-vans are Airstream Interstates, but Airstream's total production of everything, including trailers, was only about 2000 units for 2014. I'm not sure how many of those units were Interstates, but I'd hazard a guess that a hundred complaints on Interstates in any given year would be well up into the double-digit percentages compared to total Interstate production. Complaints on over 10% of total production is an epic fail in any QA/QC program.
Over one third of all diesel class B's sold are Interstates. Of course, good luck finding verified total sales figures.
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Old 07-08-2015, 06:59 PM   #16
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We only read on AirForums complaints from owners who happen to find their way here.

We don't really know what non-AirForums owners are experiencing, but I can't imagine that the issues laid out by owners who happen to be on these Forums are the only ones that exist.

More likely, they are representative.


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Old 07-08-2015, 08:25 PM   #17
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Over the years, I've been very vocal about the issues with my AS trailer. My point is that the price of an AS or International sets up the perception that these are top of the line RV's and one shouldn't have to tolerate the problems associated with SOB's at one third the price. In many respects, Thor/AS have marketed their products at the top of the price point but have failed to deliver products that meet the expectations they have created.
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Old 07-09-2015, 01:11 PM   #18
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Airstream quality control

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Originally Posted by overlander63 View Post
Over one third of all diesel class B's sold are Interstates. Of course, good luck finding verified total sales figures.

The Class B Forum regularly post the sales data from RVIA. Total monthly B-van sales run between 250 to 300 units. Airstream's market share is about 25%. So Airstream is selling about 60-70 units per month.

My 2013 Interstate as been fairly trouble free. Only had one issue with connector on the Battery Isolator. Did have a warranty item when the toilet paper holder cracked. Also had a recall for the propane regulator. I look at an RV, of any kind, like a boat - it will require some repairs.

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Old 07-09-2015, 02:50 PM   #19
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Not all class b are diesel so the above stats may be a little off, but pretty close.
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Old 07-09-2015, 04:52 PM   #20
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Airstream pushes 3 per day out the door, ready or not.

The issue, I believe, is the expectation that the name Airstream will have the quality that one is paying for. That is not the case. It is no better than any of the mass produced Class B's on the market, and likely worse than a few.

Basically, we are paying more for the name Airstream. Not more for quality. And thus lies the disappointment after delivery and the realization hits home that you didn't get quite what you expect for that premium. It's not horrible quality, it's just not what it should be. And yes, a RV is a land based boat. Things constantly have to be repaired, checked, and fixed. That's the nature of the beast. But the things that shouldn't need fixing on delivery is what is annoying. Things that if someone simply wasn't so rushed on the line, they wouldn't connect the wrong wire for the camera, or mis-align the window gaskets, or crack all the plastic trim or vents with power drills, or fail to properly prepare the surface so the trim doesn't fall off, or fail to tighten the AC down so it leaks, or fail to seal the roof penetrations correctly, or fail to tighten the propane lines, or any number of similar things and just leave them that way for someone else to discover and fix after delivery. But that simply isn't the case.

To do so would require pushing fewer out the door. And that means less sales, and that means less profits.

It's not rocket science. It's just production trumps quality. It's obvious that Thor is not concerned with issues that relate to quality. If they were, these issues would not be repeated, over and over again.

It could be worse. Winnebago has such little faith in its quality of its products that they won't even warrant it for more than 12 months! At least Airstream has more faith in its quality than Winnebago does by giving buyers a 3 year warranty, even if that faith is not deserved. And although there are a few posts that indicate otherwise, my experience was they didn't hesitate to go out of their way to try to resolve any issue with me (although it depends on who you deal with to some degree). It's too bad that production doesn't have that same level of quality.

I'm in my forth year, and still have issues to resolve that I should not have to deal with (such as replacing all the plastic outside that is now fading).

But, I think, overall, I'm about done at this point with build issues.

I hope.
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Old 07-09-2015, 05:32 PM   #21
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It's not rocket science. It's just production trumps quality. It's obvious that Thor is not concerned with issues that relate to quality. If they were, these issues would not be repeated, over and over again.

I agree.... it's such a sad commentary on overall work ethics and the lack of pride in workmanship that shoddy and sloppy seems to be acceptable.

I hate it.


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Old 07-09-2015, 10:00 PM   #22
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Before our 2014 Classic finished the last quality control stop point on the assembly line in mid January 2014, I gave the supervisor of quality control photos of issues on my trailer pointed out to me by others on the tour group.

None of those issues were corrected before the trailer left the factory.

I had all the initial issues addressed by a third party during the first modifications (solar system and disc brakes) to our trailer and paid to have them repaired properly the first time. I have had other issues repaired (replaced all the plastic catches with brass ones in addition to the several that had broken) on the two subsequent trips for more modifications.

So, the factory is relying on the dealer to fix the defects before delivery. The dealer does not get paid for fixing everything before delivery. So they let the customer find the issues and live with taking it back, and back, and back...to get repairs done that should have been completed at the factory when the issues were seen.

When I see this Airstream workmanship and assembly and think about the assembly line at Cessna aircraft where a defect could cause a really serious or fatal accident.... Oh attention to detail is the issue and the stop watch does cause sloppy looking work when folks are rushed at Airstream....
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Old 07-09-2015, 11:01 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by gmillerok1 View Post
Airstream pushes 3 per day out the door, ready or not.



The issue, I believe, is the expectation that the name Airstream will have the quality that one is paying for.....



....

Three per wouldn't be an issue if they had a large production line and lots of people - but they don't. I understand that a place like Advanced RV builds about 50 units a YEAR with a small crew - that results in real quality.


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Old 07-10-2015, 12:16 AM   #24
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I think Advanced RV's production is much less than that to be honest. But, the price for that build quality is about $175,000 or more, and a very long wait. For that kind of time and money, you basically are getting a one-off custom job. It's a completely different philosophy and approach, with much lower sales and profits.
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Old 07-10-2015, 05:45 AM   #25
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I ran a couple of manufactured housing plants for 10 years. This was a similar type of production to RV's. We had a monthly meeting with corporate to go over our financial statements. Among the many emphasis points was holding down service costs.

The easiest way to hold down service costs is to build it right the first time. To that end I had daily meetings with my service and production managers. If my service manager noticed an uptick in service calls for a specific issue, we would all go out to the line to try to figure out why we were having problems. Occasionally it was a problem with one of our suppliers but more often it was a person on the line that decided he had a better way of doing something. Couple that with a foreman who didn't notice the change in procedure and the results were predictable.

Unfortunately, by the time we found such an issue, the nature of volume production meant we had a number of those homes in the field that had to be repaired. I am sure those people felt that we were letting them be our quality control. That was not our intent as it is much more cost efficient to build it right at the factory than to pay a service man to drive to their house. However, when you have human beings involved, there are always opportunities that arise.

I have had very few issues with my 2013. With the help of people on this forum, I have been able to address those issues without taking the AI to the dealer, as they have been minor.
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Old 07-10-2015, 12:50 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmillerok1 View Post

I'm in my fourth year, and still have issues to resolve that I should not have to deal with (such as replacing all the plastic outside that is now fading).
Mine's not fading as much as it looks like the paint has sand scratch swelling setting in. I was thinking about getting them stripped and repainted by someone that actually knows how to paint flexible parts.

Also that would be a good time for me to replace all of the 3M VHB tape since Airstream did such a poor prep job on the body that the leading edge of most of the pieces is coming loose. I fixed those but still think it should all be redone especially the front bumper cover since all that holds it on appears to be a few small rivets on the fender lips. I remember one poster here had his fall off when he was stopped at a lite.
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Old 07-10-2015, 12:59 PM   #27
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Yes, that's the same issue. I said fading but it's really scratch like markings showing through. And many of the panels are coming loose as well (I've repaired two or three so far on my own). I'lll eventually replace them all except the bumpers, which so far, have not shown the same issue.
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Old 07-10-2015, 06:12 PM   #28
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Do you think stripping and repainting would work?
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