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Old 12-31-2017, 12:29 PM   #1
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2018 Interstate Lounge Ext
Bend , Oregon
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New Delivery 2018 Interstate - our 5th

5 Interstate lounges in 5 years...

Since 2014.5 each new AS Interstate model year has evolved beautifully...which is the reason we continue to order a new unit every year. We review the product model-year changes online and place our order with the dealer. We order the product with “faith” trusting Airstream. Sometimes there are months of frustration associated with a new purchase such as the “Fusion Quiz” from last year or others. But eventually, we work it out and hopefully AS benefits from the feedback (example Fiamma is gone, wavy body moldings solved, and perhaps Fusion also).



New Order - 2018 9 passenger 4x4

This year we followed the same procedure, and placed our order, reluctantly (trying to justify the $9,000+ price increase). Like all of our previous units, the order was placed without physically viewing the 2018 van.




November 16th (projected) delivery

Our order was placed September 7th to be sure it would be delivered in advance of our annual family Christmas trip from Bend, OR to Scottsdale, AZ. Delivery was projected to be November 16th.

Sadly, our unit finally arrived at the dealership December 28th - necessitating four expensive Christmas airfares to be purchased. Oh well, that’s life sometimes. And we value and understand the “short supply” of the 4x4 Mercedes chassis.



December 30th (actual) delivery

Our new 2018 lounge 4x4 was delivered to an agreeable OR location to legally avoid CA sales tax (We are Oregon residents with no sales tax).

When the transport company pulled in, and our van first came into view, I noticed several expected / anticipated changes including the addition of the awning end-caps and tankless water heater. Nice additions. We are happy to have another AS in the family.



Then I opened the side door to our new Interstate:


Deflated is the best way to describe how I felt. My enthusiasm dissipated immediately.

So bummed


I honestly felt like AS abused our trust and deceived us.


Really bummed.


With each new model year for the ASI we anticipate, and have been rewarded with, continuous improvements and modest price elevations as this product evolves. What I wasn’t anticipating was “value engineering” with a corresponding $9k price increase.

I’m confident a Project Manager was given the task of improving profit and reducing costs for the ASI line. With a $9k price increase, and value engineering they’ve accomplished their goal. As the ASI Product line Manager, and staff accountants proudly review their improved financial statements - you might want to consider the immeasurable impact of your decisions. Customer Satisfaction.


I’ll contact AS Jackson Center on Tuesday.
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Old 12-31-2017, 12:52 PM   #2
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I'll be waiting for the Paul Harvey moment...
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Old 12-31-2017, 12:56 PM   #3
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There is a sweet spot in the lifetime of each design - after the initial bugs are worked out but before new ones are value-improved in. Improvements or not, I can't imagine trying to learn all the idiosyncrasies in one year, only to have to start all over again the next!
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Old 12-31-2017, 01:03 PM   #4
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I certainly didn't expect that ending of the story . But was the reason for disappointment? Does it look ugly? Cheap? Or what?
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Old 12-31-2017, 04:37 PM   #5
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I certainly didn't expect that ending of the story . But was the reason for disappointment? Does it look ugly? Cheap? Or what?
Exactly. All the build up and then "I didn't like it"????

I find the interior of my '17 to be stunning, and everyone that sees it is equally impressed. I don't believe the '18 is much different, so what's the deal?
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Old 12-31-2017, 04:54 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by FlyFishinRVr View Post
Exactly. All the build up and then "I didn't like it"????

I find the interior of my '17 to be stunning, and everyone that sees it is equally impressed. I don't believe the '18 is much different, so what's the deal?
I think that is it...expecting major improvements for a 9K price increase from last year but with finding no major visual/substantial improvement or design changes when they got it...
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Old 12-31-2017, 05:07 PM   #7
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2016 28' Land Yacht
2018 Interstate Lounge Ext
Bend , Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyFishinRVr View Post
Exactly. All the build up and then "I didn't like it"????

I find the interior of my '17 to be stunning, and everyone that sees it is equally impressed. I don't believe the '18 is much different, so what's the deal?


Hey All,

Sorry for the suspense, next time I’ll proof my post


Photos didn’t post correctly, my apologies.


These new interior seating surfaces are nothing close to the great ultra leather fitted on our previous ASI’s ...


These seating surfaces, which were delivered on this 2018 unit, are best described as cheap, thin, vinyl seating surfaces (immediately obvious the moment you open the sliding door). Think of a very cheap imitation of ultra leather - very cheap. And in a nine passenger lounge… It’s obvious everywhere!


When I ordered our unit - I expected a product quality consistent with what we have been delivered on the previous four units. If I were to order new Mercedes S550, I wouldn’t feel the need to rush down to the dealer to be sure they have not cheapened the seating fabric.

Unacceptable.

And a waste of my time.

I’ll repost photos from desktop when I return on Tuesday and will discuss with AS Ohio on Tuesday.

Apologies again for the “suspense.“
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Old 12-31-2017, 05:38 PM   #8
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Five new ones in five years!!!! No comment.
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Old 12-31-2017, 06:28 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ScottP View Post
Hey All,

Sorry for the suspense, next time I’ll proof my post


Photos didn’t post correctly, my apologies.


These new interior seating surfaces are nothing close to the great ultra leather fitted on our previous ASI’s ...


These seating surfaces, which were delivered on this 2018 unit, are best described as cheap, thin, vinyl seating surfaces (immediately obvious the moment you open the sliding door). Think of a very cheap imitation of ultra leather - very cheap. And in a nine passenger lounge… It’s obvious everywhere!



I doubt very much they changed the ultraleather between '17 and '18 and the seats in my '17 are AMAZING. Incredibly soft and since they're stuffed with memory foam, they get more comfortable the longer you sit in them. They are very similar, if not identical, to the ultraleather found in the Leisure Travel vans, which are also incredibly comfortable. Definitely more comfortable than the actual leather in my past BMW and MB cars.

Sorry you're disappointed with your coach. Maybe talk to Mike over at Advanced RV. He'll custom build a van for you using whatever seat covering and stuffing you want, whatever flooring you want, custom cabinetry, etc. They start around $250k, but it will be exactly what you want.
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Old 12-31-2017, 09:25 PM   #10
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As the former owner of a beautiful Interstate, I too am curious to see photos of the interior of the op's van, to see what is so disappointing about it. What a bummer.
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Old 12-31-2017, 11:47 PM   #11
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$9k

Can’t tell from your thread but is this you first 4x4? $9K is about the price for that option from MB.
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Old 01-01-2018, 12:41 AM   #12
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2016 28' Land Yacht
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Bend , Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyFishinRVr View Post


I doubt very much they changed the ultraleather between '17 and '18 and the seats in my '17 are AMAZING. Incredibly soft and since they're stuffed with memory foam, they get more comfortable the longer you sit in them. They are very similar, if not identical, to the ultraleather found in the Leisure Travel vans, which are also incredibly comfortable. Definitely more comfortable than the actual leather in my past BMW and MB cars.

Sorry you're disappointed with your coach. Maybe talk to Mike over at Advanced RV. He'll custom build a van for you using whatever seat covering and stuffing you want, whatever flooring you want, custom cabinetry, etc. They start around $250k, but it will be exactly what you want.


You “doubt?”


Oh my, I take offense 🤣 oh fisher of flies... do you not think after four previous Interstates and 120k miles in these late model Interstates that I can’t tell the difference in seat coverings?

Pllllease!

Was I “off base” when I posted the Fusion problem on the 2017’s last year far ahead of other users? I think not my good man ( insert: tongue in cheek emoji)

While I can’t recite the wiring schematic in these coaches (Mike can) nor do I ever care to ... I clearly have enough time and experience with these coaches (and enough common sense) to tell you yes - my seating surfaces are not even close to the same quality material used in my previous coaches (2014.5, 2015, 2016, 2017).



The $9k extra cost did “not” cause me to scrutinize the coach any more carefully than any other coach. Extra solar panels, multiplex, tankless are all positive improvements and worth the extra cash. Plus, I don’t have time to go over the coach with a fine tooth comb - we don’t get attached to these units and hug them each night. But we do have a process where we accept delivery, and during the first month create a punch list and then bring the coach in for service after 30-45 days to fix what’s broken. Could be an awning that doesn’t retract, or stays retracted, a dead battery because of an incorrectly wired Fusion unit, wavy body moldings which have lost adhesion or whatever else comes up. Then, we enjoy the coaches and take great care of them for the remainder of the year - after the infant mortality issues are managed. We typically put 10-30k miles on them and order a new unit. If that sounds odd, I won’t apologize ...we did the same thing with Cirrus Aircraft between 2003-2012. Every 12 months. With product improvements and rapidly escalating list prices, we recover(ed) very close to, our acquisition cost. And we benefit with new features to enjoy along the way with each new aircraft or van. After 10 aircraft and four previous vans, I’ve never had a situation like this. So doubt all you’d like “fly” while you lounge in your lovely ultra leather featured on your 2017 Interstate. But understand clearly - I kinda have some experience in this area. Like, “kinda” a lot of experience in this area.


Of course, nothing beats the immediate visceral “gut” reaction when you open the sliding door, and say to the delivery driver from the dealership “what the hell is this?” within the fist 3 seconds of seeing the seats.

Double check ...

I asked my wife to stop over at the airplane hangar today and check out the new van. Later on, she called from the hangar, and said “hey, just saw the van, and I like the new lcd panels, but what the heck is that cheap vinyl on the seats? Why aren’t the seats upholstered like our previous vans? Did you downgrade for some reason?”




Advanced RV:

Oh, if I want the same seats as my 2014.5, 2015, 2016, 2017, Interstates I should just go build a new van at Advanced RV? Are you smoking crack on this lovely New Years Eve?



Communication:

Let’s all take a look back at the Fusion fiasco shall we? How long did it take AS to communicate and acknowledge the problem? I know our family scrubbed three trips due to a dead chassis battery (gear all loaded, food all loaded, guests and family all loaded) . Our Fusion power drain wasn’t isolated until we paid the dealership to install a kill switch at the dash, at our expense. But happily our van started every trip after we figured out the solution. So please pardon me if I have zero faith AS will voluntarily communicate about this cheaper alternative fabric. Communication isn’t something which I consider a strength of Airstream - unless they are in a “documentation” panic as we all recently experienced.


Solution:

We will have the seats freshly upholstered in the correct 2017 fabric. - and we will waste a lot of time and energy in the process. Regardless, we will make this coach “right.”

Without having to leave AS and build a custom coach at Advanced RV that is.



Happy New Year to everyone!!!
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Bend, Oregon & Rye, New Hampshire

Previous 9 pass Interstate's owned:
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Old 01-01-2018, 02:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottP View Post
You “doubt?”


Oh my, I take offense 🤣 oh fisher of flies... do you not think after four previous Interstates and 120k miles in these late model Interstates that I can’t tell the difference in seat coverings?

Pllllease!




Advanced RV:

Oh, if I want the same seats as my 2014.5, 2015, 2016, 2017, Interstates I should just go build a new van at Advanced RV? Are you smoking crack on this lovely New Years Eve?


I'll be at the NorCal RV show next weekend and will check out the '18s and see if indeed they've changed the seat covering to "cheap vinyl". Again, I doubt it, but since I'll be in the AS booth anyway looking at the Atlas and other goodies, I might as well see what's what. I'll be sure to report back in this thread what I find.

Not sure why you think ordering a custom RV to get exactly what you want is smoking crack??? Obviously you DIDN'T get what you wanted in your new AS (you made the comments of "value engineering", "unacceptable", and "a waste of my time"), so I was just offering a possible solution for more than just your apparent dissatisfaction with the seats. Oh, and ARV builds them, you just send them the money....they don't come as a kit that "you have to build"......
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Old 01-01-2018, 07:37 AM   #14
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I just saw one of Colonials walk through videos, a 2018 classic (I think) and Patrick mentioned that it had a new fabric "which is much more stain resistant" so that might be what it is.

Although everything states the Interstate still comes with ultra leather.

http://www.colonialairstream.com/201...417/index.html
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