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Old 07-04-2015, 10:01 AM   #15
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To answer the OP's recent question, I think you need to contact JC, advise them of the problems which have not been resolved by your dealer, and ask how they will handle and resolve them.

You are under warranty, and they are ultimately responsible for their product.

Start with JC, as you have already been to the dealer three times.

They may need to authorize something the dealer needs to do.

Get names, email addresses, document everything in writing, and follow up.


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Old 07-05-2015, 05:49 AM   #16
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OK Folks, this is a distrubing thread to a chap who just 2 weeks ago picked up his new 2016 Grand Tour. On the surface, the fit and finish looks excellent BUT from what I'm reading here, that's like lipstick on a pig.

Sounds like a new owner needs to:
Interior: Get into all compartments and crannies checking joints/connectors/drains for poor workmanship trying to prevent a problem generated by the factory crew.

Exterior: Get up on the roof and replace all screws with stainless steel and be sure chalking is correct, or as implied on this thread, re-chalk all seams.

Check the running board attachment to MB body - refit with stainless hardware.

Odd that Airstream notes repeatedly in the literature to the new owner about the dangers of condensation, mold, rot, etc, yet doesn't do their part in preventing it in the first place. I feel secure in saying there is far less risk from my exhalation of moisture from breathing or my wife's cooking vapors causing mold than a leak at the roof air conditioner, bath vent fan or other fitting!

In short, I bought a $158K+ rig to use it, not to spend my time repairing what Airstream choose to cheat the buyer on - quality craftsmanship. At 68 years of age, the last thing I expected when I wrote the check to pay for the GT was climbing on the roof to learn what was not done correctly!
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Old 07-05-2015, 08:36 AM   #17
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The running boards re not attached the same way on your model.

I would not replace all the hardware this time. And there are no seams on an Interstate to seal (one of the things that can get confusing when trailer owners respond to an Interstate topic).

I wouldn't worry about anything at this point. Enjoy it, and who knows, maybe the crew did most of the install correctly. What they didn't do right will make itself known soon enough after a trip or two. Then have the dealer fix it under warranty. This is typical with most if not all of the manufacturer's. You may get lucky and have zero defect unit (I doubt every one made has the same issues). Forums like this tend to bring out those folks who have problems and not those who don't and have not had any at all-and there are many of them.

Owning any RV requires ongoing inspection, repair and maintenance. So, don't worry, be happy, and enjoy.
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Old 07-05-2015, 09:38 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
...

I would like to see every Airstream product come with a list in the set of owner's manuals, that identifies exactly who did what, so that you know that John Doe installed the air conditioner and Joe Blow set the rivets, and Anon Y. Maus performed the final inspection on the Airstream. Then when repairs are needed that can be traced back to a factory defect, Airstream would know exactly who messed up, ....
This is a nice summary, and the general procedure is, of course, done that way with a wide variety of other consumer products and especially industrial deliverables where the potential ramification and liability can be much higher. (Even if those worker names are not revealed to the customer, the employer sure as heck knows who they are... and their managers).

If someone's turbine throws a blade, there's no telling what could happen. In the case of United #232, the answer was the loss of 111 passenger lives. But, you say, that was a DC-10 and these are just Airstream Interstates. Sure, but smaller-scale analogous situations are easy to imagine. If someone's black water vent shears off under normal use because of a defect and their tank is spewing water within inches of their electrical converter, that's a situation that could become a danger to the passengers.

I've worked with some operators who simply would not change their corporate culture until one of two things happened:

(1) They got sued
(2) Their insurance costs ballooned to become unmanageable

The most common pathway seems to be (2). The type of corporate culture that engages in messy workmanship in the product and leaves rivets and scrap metal on the production area floor tends to be a culture in which the employee injury rate will eventually catch up with them. I've seen companies screw up to the point where they began struggling to pay their Workers' Comp. That's when the epiphany tends to occur. But it can take years to proceed through that cycle and emerge in state of higher operational quality.
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Old 07-05-2015, 10:13 AM   #19
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If you are worried about leaks on the roof, I would simply check all of the Sikaflex caulking around all of the penetrations. On mine while the appearance is pretty sloppy, it does seem to be functional.

Unless yours is new from the factory, the first thing to check would be the capacity of the house batteries.
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Old 07-05-2015, 10:46 AM   #20
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Protaginist said, "I would like to see every Airstream product come with a list in the set of owner's manuals, that identifies exactly who did what, so that you know that John Doe installed the air conditioner and Joe Blow set the rivets, and Anon Y. Maus performed the final inspection on the Airstream. Then when repairs are needed that can be traced back to a factory defect, Airstream would know exactly who messed up, and thus would know who needs additional training to keep it from happening again— or if one person is responsible for an inordinate number of defects, who needs to be fired to make room for someone better."

My LTV Unity came with a 100 page loose leaf owner's binder specific to my model that included not only all of the components, but the serial numbers of said components and the name of the employee who signed off on the installation.
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Old 07-06-2015, 06:32 AM   #21
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My LTV Unity came with a 100 page loose leaf owner's binder specific to my model that included not only all of the components, but the serial numbers of said components and the name of the employee who signed off on the installation.
That is excellent, especially if you use that list and send a message to the company every time you have non-routine maintenance done, telling them that "Joe Blow's" work was sub-par.
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:02 PM   #22
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I am a former owner of an Airstream Interstate, and was once a frequent contributor to this list. I was more or less hounded off of the forum by a particular member who took offense at my occasional negative (although always factual and constructive) comments about Airstream quality issues. He seemed to believe that this was an "enthusiast" site, and that criticism was out of bounds. I have no interest in insinuating myself where I am not welcome, so I have stayed away since then. For old times' sake, I decided to stop by this evening. I was amused that this was first thread I came across. I will not make a habit of this, but in fairness to those who come here looking for objective opinions, I want to add my voice to those honest enough to admit just how poor Thor build quality really is. The Airstream brand is very cool, and the designs and components are typically first rate. But the Interstate is among the most expensive mass-produced B-vans on the market, and IMO the build quality is inexcusable. The list of issues in my van read like "amateur hour". Those of you who choose to drink the Cool Aid can believe what you like, but the fact is that there are FAR better options on the market available to those who shop objectively. Thor is riding on a great brand, but a great brand is not the same as a great product. The Interstate may be a good choice for some, but only those who are willing to fix (or get fixed) what should have been done right at the factory.
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Old 07-07-2015, 06:33 AM   #23
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Sad, sad, sad.....and the same old story I've been reading here for years.

Used to be just the trailers we heard about with these problems.

Maybe the Interstate have become victim over the years, as more have been produced.

Once we resolved the install issues on the roof, we have been fine.

Off the line with QC issues......return, return, return to get them fixed.



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Old 07-07-2015, 06:52 AM   #24
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...He seemed to believe that this was an "enthusiast" site, and that criticism was out of bounds. ....
I've seen evidence of this behavior and it annoys me. My take is, post the actual information about what's going on with mechanical and build issues, conveying experiences and opinions with photos if possible, with everyone else being grown up enough to generate within themselves an a priori realization that they are NOT the same as every other buyer's outcomes. Even if 9 out of 10 owners don't experience the same failures or quality issues, issue-specific threads are not written for the casual entertainment of that majority - they are written for the people who are seeking resolution of specific issues. And with mass production, specific issues tend to repeat from unit to unit, which is why it's important to convey the information.

I don't know what is to be gained by efforts to interject the waving of pom-poms into this process. Of course, the same argument could be made about the interjection of the inevitable grumbling, but I find it easier to forgive those who are adversely affected by apparent product defects than those who would hope to invalidate or at least minimize those owners' objections to defects.

I most appreciate those comments which could be construed as "critical" while conveying additional information. For instance the person who responded that LTV's quality control process is apparently different from Airstream's... that comment prompted me to glance at the 2015 Free Spirit. LTV has made some interesting changes and product directional decisions. It's a data point I'll keep in the back of my mind for future reference. At this point my husband and I intend to keep customizing our existing Interstate over the long term, but things can change. Who knows? The point is, I have the data courtesy of the thread comment.
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Old 07-07-2015, 07:26 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti View Post
I am a former owner of an Airstream Interstate, and was once a frequent contributor to this list. I was more or less hounded off of the forum by a particular member who took offense at my occasional negative (although always factual and constructive) comments about Airstream quality issues. He seemed to believe that this was an "enthusiast" site, and that criticism was out of bounds. I have no interest in insinuating myself where I am not welcome, so I have stayed away since then. For old times' sake, I decided to stop by this evening. I was amused that this was first thread I came across. I will not make a habit of this, but in fairness to those who come here looking for objective opinions, I want to add my voice to those honest enough to admit just how poor Thor build quality really is. The Airstream brand is very cool, and the designs and components are typically first rate. But the Interstate is among the most expensive mass-produced B-vans on the market, and IMO the build quality is inexcusable. The list of issues in my van read like "amateur hour". Those of you who choose to drink the Cool Aid can believe what you like, but the fact is that there are FAR better options on the market available to those who shop objectively. Thor is riding on a great brand, but a great brand is not the same as a great product. The Interstate may be a good choice for some, but only those who are willing to fix (or get fixed) what should have been done right at the factory.
Agree that there are lots of documented problems with these vans. I do think it is more obvious with Airstream than with other manufacturers because of airforums.
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Old 07-07-2015, 08:04 AM   #26
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Here is the Given:
I've owned 4 Sprinter based conversions: Roadtrek Agile, Roadtrek Adventurous, Great West Vans Legend EX and now the 2016 Grand Tour. Also owned 2 new American Eagles and one Dream. I've also had 3 Airstream trailers, 16, 19 and 22 Intl's. All this is to demonstrate that I've seen more than most folks and I'm a realist when it comes to what I expect from any product.

Hey, I like toys, not Golf, Drinking or chasing anyone but my wife, and I can afford it!

Now ALL, that's not some, but ALL of the initial three Sprinters had problems. All of which was related to QC at the factory. The RoadTrek was the worse by far, yet they claim to be the number one seller - go figure. GWV was exceptionally good BUT when there was a problem the dealer support was nonexistent (and is even worse today).

Before I buy anything I take it apart. On RV's, I pull out drawers and look at what is behind the scenes, etc.

Now, the GT looks good and my first impression on our drive home from the dealer in Orlando to Atlanta then home in Chapel Hill, NC is positive of the unit we have. I expect there to be problems (I've already posted our first problem - Back up camera comes on when you hit the Hazard switch - that's entertaining and a creative bug!) that will require fixing and could have been avoided IF the factory had used Robots to build the thing, not folks like you and I. But, we do want to keep the Unemployment numbers down don't we?

In short, I use this forum to learn about the paths others have taken to self resolve the problems from a device created by humans and managed by lesser quality humans. I'll fix the problem myself but hope to find someone who has experienced it before me and learn from them. I have no problems with NIH logic (not invented here). Doesn't have to be my solution.

Back when I had my software business, I had one chap who was very sharp. His ONLY task was to spend the day trying to break the code/software in any way possible. This was the best money I ever spent on development and produced a environment with the programmers that if they did it incorrectly, my "virtual customer" would find it and I'd know about it. QC was assured and product was bullet proof.
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Old 07-07-2015, 01:43 PM   #27
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Question Everything old is new again.....

Airstream needs to have a "Town Hall Meeting" right here on the Forums to address all the Quality Control problems with their new products.....no wait....never mind.


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Old 07-07-2015, 02:12 PM   #28
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I make sure that every issue - large and small - that I experience during the warranty period is passed back to the dealer. The dealer has to refer it Airstream for warranty authorization and repair costs. The costs can be pretty high at dealer labor rates, so Airstream cannot ignore this drain on their profits.
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