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Old 06-21-2014, 06:48 PM   #1
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Airstream reliability

Had my Interstate for just over a year now, and for the entire year itís been a long standing joke with friends that I keep a running list of issues that I report to the dealer on a regular basis. There are usually half a dozen items on the list - nothing so drastic, just annoying - that I feel need to be resolved before the warranty runs out. But Iím tired of the 250 mile round trip to the dealer each time, usually leaving it with them for a few days, so the round trip becomes 500 miles.

So last weekend I collected it from the dealer - and the list was finally down to zero and I was feeling pretty elated! But on the way back home I suddenly noticed the Pyle monitor was blinking off and on. The list was back!

Then today I was flushing out the tanks, and noticed the light on one of the valve switches wouldnít come on, although I could hear the valve was opening and it was flushing fine. So the list is back to two already!

I have friends with Roadtreks and one with a Leisure Vans Unity, and they tell me they never have any problems whatsoever. Whatís wrong with Airstream that they charge more than most for their products and yet their quality control is so bad, and they appear to use cheap components.
If I had the skills to fix some of these problems myself, I probably wouldnít mind so much, but as it stands, I feel Iíve wasted a large chunk of my retirement money and could have bought a better product for less from another company.

Does anyone else feel the same way? Would be interested in othersí opinions.

(Phew! Glad Iíve now got that off my chest!)
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Old 06-21-2014, 07:02 PM   #2
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Their Roadtreks and Leisure Vans (or Winnebago ERAs or Great West Legends or Pleasureways, etc.) don't necessarily use better components than Airstream. A lot of the equipment is exactly the same, in fact. An Atwood water heater is an Atwood no matter what kind of van it's installed in, for example.

That said, I suspect that newer models have somewhat less quality control than older models did. As the vans became more popular, and Airstream tries to shove as many out the door in a year as possible, the number of spot-checks performed probably doesn't increase to keep pace with production. The same number of checks spread out over a larger number of units produced means more problems are potentially missed.

That's why warranties exist.
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Old 06-21-2014, 08:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
Their Roadtreks and Leisure Vans (or Winnebago ERAs or Great West Legends or Pleasureways, etc.) don't necessarily use better components than Airstream. A lot of the equipment is exactly the same, in fact. An Atwood water heater is an Atwood no matter what kind of van it's installed in, for example.

That said, I suspect that newer models have somewhat less quality control than older models did. As the vans became more popular, and Airstream tries to shove as many out the door in a year as possible, the number of spot-checks performed probably doesn't increase to keep pace with production. The same number of checks spread out over a larger number of units produced means more problems are potentially missed.

That's why warranties exist.
And then again, maybe the others are built and tested better. The president of RT stands behind his units personally and provides assistance to owners through their FB page. Obviously he is more in tune with maintenance and repairs and most likely this translates into better Quality Control and product selection. I not only appreciate this I also appreciate spending tens of thousands less I paid for my Sprinter based RT van. So far our 2014 is living up to our expectations. I do believe RT is more transparent and receptive to owner issues. Oh and BTW, I have an Alde hydronic hot water / cabin heating system and LOVE it.

The more I read about the issues with the trailers, the less I want to remain an AS owner. The cache is meaningless if the product is substandard. The most recent issues with corrosion and rotting floors leaves me really regretting what will ultimately be a maintenance nightmare. Folks are running from Thor products for good reasons it seems.
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Old 06-21-2014, 08:45 PM   #4
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And did I mention that RT's have a five year warranty. They really do stand behind their product, maybe because it IS built better.
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Old 06-21-2014, 09:12 PM   #5
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I have owned a 1976 boler trailer , 1998 scamp trailer, 1997Coleman ,( bought it used )and a 2012 airstream ,out of all of them ,the best for quality was the boler then the Coleman and then the scamp and in last place the airstream it was the shortest time I owned a trailer ( airstream) I got rid of it after two years it had way too many problems , it's a shame they don't make a better product it was also the most expensive trailer I owned.
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Old 06-21-2014, 09:56 PM   #6
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My experiance has been just the opposite. I have owned a series of rv's including 3 trailers, two class "A" motorhomes, a class "B+" motorhome and now the AI. Every previous motorhome came new from the factory with a punchlist of a half dozen or so things that needed fixing and many items required two trips to the dealer for correction and I item required a trip to the manufacturer. On the other hand, I have not had any issues with the AI. Granted I only have 2500 miles after a year of ownership and hopefully my good fortune continues. I did make several improvements to the coach but no repairs other than the Propane Regulator recall. I will be using it for two trips totaling 1400 miles next month and 7,500 miles in Sept and Oct.
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Old 06-21-2014, 10:17 PM   #7
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I purchased a Leisure Van Unity TB last fall and after half a dozen trips and 8,000 miles, I have had zero defects! This is the first brand new RV that hasn't been back to the dealer with a punch list. Can't say the same for my Safari. The Unity is made in Canada by Mennonites and the workmanship as well as the fit and finish is far superior to the AI. As a side note, I also have a 1985 Avion and it too is better built than the Safari.
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Old 06-21-2014, 11:46 PM   #8
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Don't get too excited about the Roadtrek product. We have partnered with them at our Mercedes-Benz dealership. They have problems just like everyone else. From latches to knobs and more cheap hardware throughout... Many of the appliances are the same as Airstream but I find the fit and finish is better with Airstream.
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Old 06-22-2014, 12:20 AM   #9
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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.
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Old 06-22-2014, 01:33 AM   #10
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Airstream Quality?

My wife an I purchased a new 25' International Series travel trailer a year ago. We've been back to the dealership for warranty work after each trip we've taken. The refrigerator hasn't worked properly from day 1; we've just gotten the trailer back after an 8 day evaluation and repair and we're hoping like heck the refrigerator will stay cold now. It hasn't been able to stay cold for more than a day or two when running on propane so we lost food and have had a lot of frustration. It's a shame to spend that kind of money and not have a basic component work. Also have had problems with the shower door falling off the frame, although that's been fixed by the supplier and seems to be holding up now. We've had continual problems but keep hoping that we'll get past all this and experience some trouble free trips.

Have others had significant problems with 2013 models?

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Old 06-22-2014, 09:21 AM   #11
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From the talk I've seen around various RV forums and discussion groups the entire RV industry suffers from quality problems. My 2013 Interstate has had a few minor problems, all covered by warranty. Luckily I'm able to do most repairs myself, saving trips back to dealers. With all the quality issues in RVs they become a DIY project like owning a boat.
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Old 06-22-2014, 09:30 AM   #12
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Seems to justify the rationale to buy several years used. Let the previous owner deal with all the issues and have them repaired by the time I get it. Bought our 11 years old, like new and no problems to deal with. Life with our Airstream is good. Er, so far.
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Old 06-22-2014, 09:42 AM   #13
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I feel you UKdude. I bought mine brand new in late April and now it is in the shop for almost 3 weeks. My one month payment is almost wasted and the dealership still hasn't received any parts from Airstream. I thought Airstream quality was better than the competitors, but I'm wrong. I wish I could just go back to the dealership and return it.
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Old 06-22-2014, 10:05 AM   #14
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http://www.airforums.com/forums/f483...ry-121405.html

But didnt ya'll watch this video and see the thread?.
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