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Old 06-22-2014, 10:27 AM   #15
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1976 31' Sovereign
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I have had AS since 1963 still do as for problems they are numerous. I call them trash cans for 2 reasons, they look like 1 & other is obvious. Die hard owners do not like it because I call them that but after 6 AS I have a opinion of them plus failure to notify me of a life threat recall for furnace that several people died from. Original pur. 1976 AS that I still own, in my opinion this failure borders on criminal.
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Old 06-22-2014, 01:20 PM   #16
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I too am lucky that I have a full garage and the ability to do much of the work on my AI that I do. Keep one thing in mind when you think about AIRSTREAM. It ain't the old Airstream Company that Wally started. Its now part of Thor Industries. Got some data from Wikipedia: started in 1980 when 2 guys bought out Airstream. Wend public in 1986. largest RV manufacturer with 9RV lines, 2 Motorized RV lines and several bus manufacturers. Presently 8300 employees, 2ales in 2008 $2.3BIL. And this is the scary part, employees receive incentives based on productivity." Yup, push them out and get paid more.

We could not close the bathroom door. My dealer is 2.5 hr away. Phone calls with them and the factory and I discovered the factory installed the door latch backwards. Why take it to the dealer? Fixed it myself. Found from new that the kitchen spigot leaked at the gooseneck due to a twisted rubber gasket. Yes I could have gone to Lowes and got a gasket but I asked them to get me one. Can't happen that way. Its too easy. Instead the factory sent a whole new spigot to the dealer. He wanted me to drive down to have them "replace" the spigot. I said all I need is the gasket. Send me the gasket. Nope, they sent the whole spigot. Didn't want it back to the factory. Told me to keep it. Yup. Bought a new gasket at Lowes and kept the whole spigot. That's the way to make money for Thor.

Stepped on the driver door running board and it twisted probably because I'm a big guy. Looked it over. Removed the brackets and improved them structurally in my garage, for both sides. If I would have taken it to the dealer, they would have kept it until the factory sent them new brackets and the first time I would have stepped on them they would have broken. We redesigned and took pictures and sent them to the factory. They still have not made any change in the way they are built.
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Old 06-22-2014, 01:30 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by David M View Post
UKDUDE, did you see my post on how I fixed my intermittent Pyle Monitor problem from a few weeks ago? I tied the connector into a knot. The connector is located in the overhead map light cluster.
Thank you DavidM, I did see the post. As I mentioned above, I'm not that handy but I see this as something I ought to be able to do myself - and will.
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Old 06-22-2014, 02:18 PM   #18
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I had no illusions of quality when I bought my 1983 Airstream 310 turbo diesel a year and a half ago. It was sold to me as the Caddilac of RV's.

If I remember correctly, Caddilac in the early 80's designed by bean counters and built by unions had just released the Cimmaron, which was a tarted up Chevy Celebrity or Cavalier. The Caddy V8 sported the hideous V8-6-4 cylinder deactivation hardware. The Seville looked like a hatchback with a wart and Caddilac quality and service were questionable at best, horrific at worst. I don't think anything has changed with GM and Caddilac today, let alone Airstream.

All I can say is that in my efforts to pull apart and fix the problems as they have cropped up, I have become much more aware of my motorhome and its secrets. This has me feeling far more comfortable about taking it on far flung journeys as I do know what how all the systems in my motorhome work and what's the culprit if something breaks.

It is what it is. Don't fall for the Airstream quality myth.

Cheers
Tony

PS The only saving grace is the Japanese built diesel, the bulletproof 475 transmission and the Dana 70HD rear end. Everything else is so-so.
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Old 06-22-2014, 03:26 PM   #19
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I had no illusions of quality when I bought my 1983 Airstream 310 turbo diesel a year and a half ago. It was sold to me as the Caddilac of RV's.

It is what it is. Don't fall for the Airstream quality myth.
Depends on how you define quality. If you mean 100% trouble-free for as long as you own it, you're on the wrong planet, 'cause on this planet there ain't no such thing.

But consider… is there any OTHER brand of motorhome where you could reasonably expect to buy a 1983 model that's even in repairable— let alone usable— condition? Say what you want about Airstreams— you own one, so you're entitled to say what you want about it. But what they lack in quality they make up for in staying power.

Rather than being the Cadillac of motorhomes, maybe it's the Willys Jeep of motorhomes?
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Old 06-22-2014, 03:50 PM   #20
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Depends on how you define quality. If you mean 100% trouble-free for as long as you own it, you're on the wrong planet, 'cause on this planet there ain't no such thing.

But consider… is there any OTHER brand of motorhome where you could reasonably expect to buy a 1983 model that's even in repairable— let alone usable— condition? Say what you want about Airstreams— you own one, so you're entitled to say what you want about it. But what they lack in quality they make up for in staying power.

Rather than being the Cadillac of motorhomes, maybe it's the Willys Jeep of motorhomes?
Please don't take my post the wrong way but the OP was questioning quality and reliability, not durabilty.

You're right about why I bought an Airstream Classic motorhome as it just may outlast me but I'm pretty sure the modern Airstream motorhomes will not last as long as mine. That being said, quality wasn't exactly a watch word in early 80's American manufacturing.

Funny you should mention Willys as I also own Toyota Landcruisers…..again built like the proverbial sh!t brick houses, but also like a sh!t brick house, you don't tend to pay attention to detail or use the finest materials when building them.

Cheers
Tony

PS…One D, two L's…have to remember that, oneD, two L's….sorry Cadillac.
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Old 06-22-2014, 03:59 PM   #21
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Why leave the vehicle at the dealership? Have them order the parts and call you when they come in! Unless it is a safety item, it is foolish to let the thing just sit there. Jim
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Old 06-22-2014, 04:29 PM   #22
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I have always done repairs on all my AS as dealers that I dealt with are defunct except Woodland in Grand Rapids Mich. to far to travel for repairs, I will say that they have always been friendly and helpful with ordering parts by ph. They were whom I pur. my new 31ft. 1976 from and last time I talked to them I was still in there system. The only repairs I have pd. for were several boo-boos, fixed at JC was front corner then later rear corner sheet metal that I could not do, rear not happy about as they used steel screws that rusted and reflector that does not match [both jobs very small]
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Old 06-22-2014, 04:32 PM   #23
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Why leave the vehicle at the dealership? Have them order the parts and call you when they come in! Unless it is a safety item, it is foolish to let the thing just sit there. Jim
Yes - that's another inconvenience: for warranty work Airstream expects the dealer to see the vehicle first and identify the source of problem before any parts can be ordered.
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Old 06-22-2014, 05:49 PM   #24
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We loved our '05 Interstate for all the years that we owned it. The design was outstanding for the era. But to suggest that the workmanship was of even average quality would be a joke. I have documented the disgraceful as-delivered workmanship of our van (inside and out) before, so I won't repeat it here. By the time we sold it, we passed on a vehicle in great condition. But it got that way through the sweat of my brow. Early on, I tried getting warranty work done, but it was like pulling teeth and just wasn't worth the hassle, so I ended up fixing everything myself.

There is a current thread on Sprinter-Source on build quality of Thor products, and as stated above, Airstreams are just another Thor brand. We take delivery of our new Great West Legend next week. We'll see how that compares, but we did our research before we choose an upfitter, and I am optimistic that the experience is going to be much better this time. I certainly hope so. We looked carefully at this year's Interstates. (We know what to look for now.) Didn't even make the first cut.
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Old 06-22-2014, 08:11 PM   #25
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Sadly, some things never change.

When I joined the Forum in 2007, we were looking at Airstreams. The style was cool, Barb really wanted one and we bought the myth of Airstream quality. I noticed some owners were complaining about poor quality, but I was focused on learning about RV's since we had not owned a real one (a brief time with a truck camper, built awfully, had in years past turned me off to RV's).

We looked at them at 2 dealerships and let ourselves get sucked in. The dealership was awful—when we brought it in for warranty work (240 miles each way), they did more damage than fixing. They were difficult to deal with. They had prepared the trailer badly. We had scores of problems. We gave up on them and took the trailer to Ohio (1,400 miles one way) for service at Airstream's Service Center. They did great work—unlike the factory across the street.

Looking at old threads on the Forum I eventually noticed members were complaining about poor quality, cheap materials and bad workmanship since the Forum began. Some problems with Airstreams dated back decades (poor location of water pump in some models, for ex.). I learned the Airstream president had been brought by in Thor as a cost cutter and it showed.

Barb at one point was ready to sell it; she had been in love, but felt betrayed and was tired of the constant problems We held on. I, like others, can fix a lot of things myself. And I made lots of improvements. For ex., I replaced the super cheap paper thin vinyl flooring and sealed the subfloor; the cheap fabric on the cushions quickly looked bad, so we found a seamstress who worked cheap and did good work and replaced it with a high quality vinyl, replaced the crappy tires with Michelins, and the list goes on and on.

After 2 years, the problems pretty much stopped. We've taken the trailer about 45,000 miles and the basic design, perfected long, long ago, is strong. it tows well and is very cool. And we made it through the dark times.

If we were to do it again, I would look at other brands. Airstream is an average brand made by a company with mostly below average brands. Average in RV's means much lower than average in the auto industry. Some of the problems identified years ago got solved, but it took years to make it happen. The company tried to engage owners (the Town Hall thread, possibly disappeared by the mods) and seemed shocked when owners told the truth about all the issues. The company ran away after trying to keep the discussion only about corrosion.

Some will say they never had any problems with their's—good for them. Some will say we who have had problems are just complainers. They love the myth I guess. I could post all our work orders, but why bother? Some say all RV's are not well made, so suck it up—nothing ever gets better with that attitude. Some say Airstreams are well made of great products; many of us disagree.

I'm sorry to hear people are still having problems. When you can sell everything you make, there's little pressure to improve.

Gene
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Old 06-22-2014, 08:38 PM   #26
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Somewhere around here I read,,,, We don't make changes, only improvements.
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Old 06-22-2014, 08:40 PM   #27
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I don't believe A$ has a engineer or designer on their staff.
But they must have a copy machine.
Because they don't appear to make the necessary quality improvements.
So far they still have leaks, but haven't upgraded the flooring material with a product that doesn't rot away.
Just one example of many.
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Old 06-22-2014, 09:08 PM   #28
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Wow

Purchased my AI new in Oct 2013, from Colonial, and have NO issues (no problems, no issues and no complaints. Colonial has bee mover the top with any operating questions we have had and with over 21,000 miles on this bad boy and we will buy another Airstream from Colonial in the future. Looked hard at Leisure Travel during the Hershey show and found them to be average or best with the bump out offered in their standard van comical. Good luck it's all good.

Joe
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