Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-22-2014, 09:45 PM   #29
Rivet Master
 
2014 Interstate Coach
Arroyo Grande & Central Point , California & Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 531
I suppose a case could be made for shoddy workmanship on some of the AI's but that can certainly vary from coach to coach and it affects all manufacturers, not just Airstream. One of the things that sold me on the AI over the other Class B's I looked at was the quality of the components that went into the AI's. This starts with the upline Sprinter chassis instead of the base chassis used by some RV manufactures and continues with quality stuff like Lifeline AGM batteries, Magnum Invertor Chargers, Garmin GPS, high efficiency AC/DC frige, thru bolted steel cabinet hinges not to mention the high gloss laminated & lined cabinets, etc, etc. And in the case of my twin model, memory foam pillow top mattresses. If I had it to do over I would wind up with the same coach.
__________________

__________________
c21bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2014, 10:09 PM   #30
3 Rivet Member
 
2005 22' Interstate
Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by c21bill View Post
I suppose a case could be made for shoddy workmanship on some of the AI's but that can certainly vary from coach to coach and it affects all manufacturers, not just Airstream. One of the things that sold me on the AI over the other Class B's I looked at was the quality of the components that went into the AI's. This starts with the upline Sprinter chassis instead of the base chassis used by some RV manufactures and continues with quality stuff like Lifeline AGM batteries, Magnum Invertor Chargers, Garmin GPS, high efficiency AC/DC frige, thru bolted steel cabinet hinges not to mention the high gloss laminated & lined cabinets, etc, etc. And in the case of my twin model, memory foam pillow top mattresses. If I had it to do over I would wind up with the same coach.
I completely agree that the design of the Interstate tends to be first rate (although not uniquely so). We bought ours for the same reasons. But we are talking about execution, not design. I also agree that the workmanship can vary from unit to unit. The previous poster, for example, apparently got lucky. I'm glad for him.

But, I don't understand why you say that this "affects all manufacturers." My careful reading of the available evidence is that there are some manufacturers who consistently have much higher levels of owner satisfaction than does Airstream.

IMO, Thor has been coasting along on the stellar Airstream brand for a long time now without consistently delivering the quality needed to sustain it. This game can only be played for so long.
__________________

__________________
avanti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2014, 10:29 PM   #31
Jeff
 
jkinglet's Avatar
 
2013 Interstate Coach
Seattle , Washington
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 184
Images: 37
Thought I'd chime in. Opposite experience. We love our "new" 2013 AI. Usual battery problem from on-lot time after delivery, but resolved amicably and no money out of my pocket. We've pounded just over 6,000 miles on it since March with no issues -coach or Mercedes. Averaging 18-22 mpg. Adding some upgrades this week including an inside propane switch. Water heater (Atwood) won't ignite at altitude, but just needs a slight adjustment. Parked the AI next to a Winnebago Sprinter (2500) recently and the owners asked for a walk through. Both were ga ga with the quality of the AI interior compared to their 'bago, especially the removable table, bathroom and the mood lighting. They also liked the overall look and finish along with the 1 ton chassis. Too, it's tough to ignore all the compliments as we travel around the northwest. Bottom line..we're delighted.
__________________
jkinglet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2014, 10:42 PM   #32
Rivet Master
 
2014 Interstate Coach
Arroyo Grande & Central Point , California & Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 531
Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti View Post
I completely agree that the design of the Interstate tends to be first rate (although not uniquely so). We bought ours for the same reasons. But we are talking about execution, not design. I also agree that the workmanship can vary from unit to unit. The previous poster, for example, apparently got lucky. I'm glad for him.

But, I don't understand why you say that this "affects all manufacturers." My careful reading of the available evidence is that there are some manufacturers who consistently have much higher levels of owner satisfaction than does Airstream.

IMO, Thor has been coasting along on the stellar Airstream brand for a long time now without consistently delivering the quality needed to sustain it. This game can only be played for so long.
I base that statement on my previous experiance with 3 travel trailers and 3 motorized rv's. Every one of them came from the factory with a handfull of issues, many of which took two or more trips to the dealer or factory to resolve. Maybe there is a manufacturer out there with a perfect record but I seriously doubt it, after all, there are human beings involved in the assembly of all of them.
__________________
c21bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2014, 12:32 AM   #33
2 Rivet Member
 
2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Houston , Texas
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 33
The reason I had to leave mine at the dealership because it is more than an hour away from my house and the service advisor told me it will get fix by the end of the week. The weekend came and I called her and she said all the parts are not in. I think Holiday World Rv service is so bad when it comes to repairing my Interstate. I told the wifey, if there is one more problem with this Rv I am getting rid of it.
__________________
Dungrace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2014, 11:35 AM   #34
Rivet Master
 
Gene's Avatar
 
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,842
Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti View Post

IMO, Thor has been coasting along on the stellar Airstream brand for a long time now without consistently delivering the quality needed to sustain it. This game can only be played for so long.
They've been playing the same game for decades and are still getting away with it. People who see our trailer always think they have great quality. If they ask, I correct them. Airstream probably could have sold more Airstreams if the quality were better, but they don't seem to care. Towards the end of the 00's there was an outpouring of complaints about build quality, material quality and design issues on the Forum.

Quite a few people posted that they decided not to buy an Airstream based on the complaints. Assuming others made the same decision, but did not post, Airstream lost millions of dollars, but the response from the company was weak. That was during a period when sales had dropped from about 2,400 units/year to about 700 or 800.

The only heads that rolled at Airstream were those of the marketing people. Actually one person at a time, but for several years one head/year rolled out the door. No one at the factory, just marketing. The Airstream president (really just a division head since Airstream is wholly owned by Thor) had family ties with the CEO of Thor, so he had a sinecure, and even with the CEO having moved on, the cost cutter is still in charge. I have met him and he is quite personable. We had a very long talk about quality and he wrote down a long list of suggestions. I am not aware of any changes. There are some good people at Airstream, especially in customer relations and the Service Center. I was told there is a committee with people from those divisions and the factory that meets regularly. Certainly the people in the shop and customer relations know what the problems are (if you ask the mechanics what they think of build quality, they kind of avoid the answer, but you can tell what they think). It appears the factory people just don't listen.

Thor Industries is well run by today's standards. It has healthy earnings quarter after quarter and has built up a lot of cash. It got through the worst of the Great Recession without problems, even lending $20 M to Camping World at 10% interest. Airstream makes a big profit and gives Thor a reputation for quality. When Wally ran things, they did make improvements, pioneered RV technology and were industry leaders. After he died the company was sold to Beatrice Foods around 1970. Why Beatrice bought the company is beyond understanding, but it is know they cheapened the product and '70's models had some structural problems (rear end separation is best known). The guys who founded Thor bought up Airstream (1980) and other RV manufacturers. They did fix some of the messes made by Beatrice, but eventually succumbed to modern corporate culture—doing everything to bump up stock prices, perpetual cost cutting, marginal quality, minimal reinvestment in the company and paying themselves lots of money. Ironically, by the 00's some models were structurally weakened to save money, and once again rear and front separation occurred costing the company lots of money on repairs.

During a long lifetime I have seen famous and reliable brands go in the toilet. Sears was once a great retailer and had developed trust with good reason. Now the company is being sold off, part by part, with divisions fighting each other for scarce resources. Products have been cheapened and it is a matter of time before they go under. GM made the best production cars and trucks in the 1950's, then started a long decline. Now it is struggling to rebuild trust, have excellent quality and design. These efforts are working (despite the recalls) and GM may regain their long lost reputation. Meanwhile Toyota quality has slipped as sales have increased—are they going the way of GM? So ups and downs are common in the corporate world as zombie leadership often takes over after a phase of excellence and runs the brand into the ground. Some come back from that, others don't. There once were many competing aluminum brands that built better trailers (Silverstreak comes to mind)—maybe they will be resurrected.

We haven't been able to travel far for a few years, so we have had relatively low maintenance. Maybe everything is fixed or improved. Leaks are far less since all the bad sealing from the factory has been fixed. If you've got a new one, hold on and take it to Airstream since they are better than many of the dealers (the dealer network is another sad story) for warranty work. Learn to fix things yourself. After all, most things break on the road when you are defenseless and have no idea where a good RV shop is. I would never take the trailer anywhere without lots and lots of tools. And if you get disgusted and decide to sell fast, you will lose a lot of money on the initial investment.

Gene
__________________
Gene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2014, 11:40 AM   #35
Moderator
Commercial Member
 
eubank's Avatar
 
1967 30' Sovereign
Bosque Farms , New Mexico
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 6,428
Save for one, whose problems were owner caused, I haven't seen any brand new Airstreams with problems here, but have seen lots of brand new SOBs with issues. It gets to the point that you don't even want to have a new one here; it's just like asking for problems. (The one we had here over last weekend had all 25 amp fuses blown. I replaced them all, but the dealer's going to have to figure out why it was blowing them.)

Lynn
__________________
WBCCI 21043
eubank is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2014, 12:00 PM   #36
Rivet Master
 
SteveSueMac's Avatar

 
2012 27' Flying Cloud
W , New England
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 5,412
"It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory." - W. Edwards Deming

Personally, I'm very happy with my trailer. I love the product. I'm also aware that a company like GM which sells millions of units is going to focus more energy on consistent process, automation and improvements than a company like Thor/Airstream who produces in the thousands.

However - those principles of Six Sigma and Continuous Improvement would be of GREAT benefit to Airstream.

Here's a question - how many of their factory workers own one? They all should - or at least they all should have access to one they can use for 2 weeks/year camping to have direct real world experience with the product - in rain storms, on long trips in very hot areas, etc.

And I would hope the President and many others read these forums to sniff out clues for improvements that could both improve quality and lower the price (oddly enough, those coexist quite well) so they could grow in the market.

Moreover, there is such a wealth of insight from their customers - including deep experts and noobs like me from whom they could mine unbelievably valuable information about quality, evolutionary improvements, revolutionary ideas, and the heritage aspects that shouldn't be changed. Imagine the advocacy that would create!

Then again - survival isn't mandatory...

Again - I'm VERY pleased with the quality, features, and functionality of my trailer and highly recommend it to others. It's befuddling to me to see anyone disappointed with stuff that is a HUGE dissatisfier but something so SIMPLE that could have been caught before leaving production. Really no good excuse for that.
__________________
SteveSueMac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2014, 12:14 PM   #37
Rivet Master
 
Gene's Avatar
 
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,842
Since Thor doesn't pay workers well and is very anti-union, I doubt any factory worker could afford anything but a very old one and slowly fix it up.

Some people at Airstream do follow the Forum, somewhat quietly.

Gene
__________________
Gene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2014, 12:15 PM   #38
Rivet Master
 
richw46's Avatar
 
2006 23' Safari SE
Lexington , Kentucky
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 2,175
Images: 6
Owner ratings

Here's a survey I came across a while back where owners rate their satisfaction with their purchase. Some have reviews from only a few people while others are a much larger sampling. A smaller sample will skew the results. For example, 6 brands had the perfect score of 75, but only 1 reviewer for each of them. On the other hand, Driftwood by Rockwood scored 74.9 and had 72 reviewers.

RV Rating - Customer Survey of RV Makes and Models
__________________
-Rich

Rich & Yvonne
2006 Safari SE -Dora-
2004 4Runner SE

richw46 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2014, 01:57 PM   #39
Rivet Master
 
UKDUDE's Avatar
 
2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Sedona , Arizona
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,038
Quote:
Originally Posted by richw46 View Post
Here's a survey I came across a while back where owners rate their satisfaction with their purchase. Some have reviews from only a few people while others are a much larger sampling. A smaller sample will skew the results. For example, 6 brands had the perfect score of 75, but only 1 reviewer for each of them. On the other hand, Driftwood by Rockwood scored 74.9 and had 72 reviewers.

RV Rating - Customer Survey of RV Makes and Models
Very interesting - the statisticians would have a field day interpreting this huge table.
A couple of things that caught my eye:
1) The table purports to address motorhomes only, and yet perhaps 75% of the names on the table are unknown to me.
2) You see Roadtreks everywhere but at this time there re only 42 Roadtrek surveys compared to 103 Airstream surveys. I wonder if that's because only disgruntled owners compete these surveys.
__________________
UKDUDE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2014, 02:30 PM   #40
Rivet Master
 
richw46's Avatar
 
2006 23' Safari SE
Lexington , Kentucky
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 2,175
Images: 6
Toyota is on the list, as well as Ford, Dodge and others. I worked for Toyota. I know they make boats (Japan), manufactured housing (Japan, stack-able prefab housing) and looked at aviation for a while, but never RVs or trailers.

There are also no dates on when the last time the survey was updated. At the very least there should be something that discounts those that have only a few reviews. You can also take the survey a number of times, there's no protection there either. Yeah, all in all, pretty worthless.

Some things are just status symbols, regardless of quality. The Jaguar car has been known to spend as much time in the shop as on the road but then.... it's a Jaguar I'd rather have the Airstream than SOB, warts and all. Ya gotta love when they come up and say "wow, an Airstream! They still make those? Sure looks nice, I've always wanted one...." and so on.
__________________
-Rich

Rich & Yvonne
2006 Safari SE -Dora-
2004 4Runner SE

richw46 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2014, 02:42 PM   #41
Rivet Master
 
lsbrodsky's Avatar
 
2012 25' FB International
Trent Woods , North Carolina
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 1,687
I agree with Rich. You want an Airstream because you want an Airstream. I do not know why anyone should expect better quality or reliability. They look nice inside and out, they have class.
Coming from a perspective of having owned sailboats, including blue water cruising sailboats, RV's seem to be poorly made with junky fixtures and appliances. But then RV's are not built to withstand extended offshore cruising away from any technical support or repair facilities.
So my expectations were low when I bought my Airstream, yet we love our Airstream. From what I have seen at rallies, these Airstreams seem to age more gracefully than the ocean environment lets sailboats age.
Larry
__________________
lsbrodsky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2014, 02:50 PM   #42
Rivet Master
 
73shark's Avatar
 
2011 Interstate Coach
Overland Park , Kansas
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,748
Quote:
Originally Posted by richw46 View Post
You can also take the survey a number of times, there's no protection there either.
It does state that while you can do the survey more than once, only the initial submission will be counted.
__________________

__________________
Glass half full or half empty to an engineer is the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

PM me for sale info on my 2011. SOLD!
Upfitted Transit 350 sitting in driveway.
73shark is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Technology equipment - reliability wingfoot321 Off Topic Forum 10 10-12-2008 12:46 AM
Reliability of GMC/Chevy 'Burbs,Yukons? JeepinAudiophile Tow Vehicles 30 08-25-2005 11:07 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:45 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.