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Old 07-30-2014, 10:46 PM   #43
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Would you be this forgiving if you were driving your brand new $100K+ new car and the tailpipe fell off or a door handle ceased functioning?
I've had both of those things happen to my Interstate. Sort of. It wasn't the tailpipe, it was the generator exhaust pipe. The door handle for the sliding side door only quit working from inside, and only when trying to close it from the "hold-open" position. Both were repairable, and neither caused me to change my plans one iota; I just worked around the problems until I had a chance to get them fixed.

As long as the problem isn't life-threatening, I just get annoyed briefly and get it out of my system, then I get philosophical about it and move on. You can't let life's little setbacks set you back.
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:02 PM   #44
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My point was about expectations, not whether it was life-threatening. I don't expect to pay six figures for a vehicle and then have to carry enuf tools to start a small auto repair shop just to fix things along the way.
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:15 PM   #45
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I don't expect to pay six figures for a vehicle and then have to carry enuf tools to start a small auto repair shop just to fix things along the way.
I actually did expect to need a lot of tools. Mainly because my original plan was to buy a live-aboard boat, not an Airstream. That makes it easy to be philosophical about the relatively minor, infrequent, and inexpensive maintenance and repairs my Airstream has needed in comparison to what the boat would have needed!
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Old 08-01-2014, 06:46 AM   #46
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I agree with you shark but I learned the hard way. This is the most sophisticated vehicle I have ever owned. Compared to my Chevy avalanche (which I can take almost anywhere when its broken) the AI has 5x the number of systems on board to go wrong. Couple that with the fact that we intend to take it "into the bush" where there is no servicing dealer readily available, and one concludes that one needs to add a small toolbox at least. I don't know if I'd recommend this vehicle to a person that isn't handy. I personally enjoy the fact that it challenges my ability to be resourceful. Some folks think that "roughing it" is the second floor of the holiday inn. This vehicle is not for them. I used to own a couple of Porsches during my career. You couldn't take those for service just anywhere, but in that case the vehicle was so sophisticated that own needed to be factory certified to flush the coolant system. So I couldn't do much more than put gas in them and check the oil. The previous owner of my rig traded it for a conversion van. I understand why.
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Old 08-01-2014, 08:54 AM   #47
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The other thing that has to be kept in mind is that RVs are very low-volume products. Even the most popular models are produced in numbers that are tiny when compared to, say, mainstream automobiles. This means that there is no real opportunity for the manufacturer to shake all the bugs out. For this reason, if no other, RVs will always be high-maintenance items.
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Old 08-01-2014, 09:02 AM   #48
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There is no doubt in my mind that my two. 70s trailers were built to be hard to service on purpose.

The systems were not that complicated, but access was a problem that not all owners were willing to broach.

Now it seems that they are making systems more complex than their required function.
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Old 08-01-2014, 10:29 AM   #49
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There is no doubt in my mind that my two. 70s trailers were built to be hard to service on purpose.
The "on purpose" part may be a bit harsh. Designing for serviceability is just as difficult as designing for usability. The RV industry tends to do neither, focussing only on designing for salability, i.e., what looks good in the sales lot.

"Never assume malice when incompetence suffices".
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Old 08-01-2014, 10:50 AM   #50
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Preparation is key. This forum is an invaluable resource for learning about what can go wrong and how to either prevent certain things from happening to you, or deal with them if they do occur.
True, true, true. I spent *months* reading this forum before our first trip. Which was 3,000+ miles and over 100 nights in the trailer. I felt prepared, at least from a book learning point of view. As it turned out, I was prepared. My wife and I had one of the most enjoyable experiences of our lives.

We love this lifestyle. And it it is a lifestyle for us - much more than an interest or a hobby. Just got back from a five day Oregon WBCCI Chapter outing to the Oregon Backcountry and getting ready to leave on Monday for a 12 day trip meandering around Southern Oregon, including the North Umpqua and Crater Lake.

Although totally worn out on the topics of tow vehicles and hitches, I continue to read here to gain knowledge from those more experienced than myself. Anyway, I try to stay prepared, alert and aware of my short-comings. A certain level of proficiency is required to get the most out of this activity. (Aside: A neighbor of mine had an idea that an RV'ing lifestyle might be fun. He bought a huge MoHo, didn't bother to learn anything, just climbed in and turned the key. One crisis followed another until the MoHo was sold as quickly as it had been purchased. All very entertaining actually.)

It doesn't hurt to have a complete tool kit. After 20+ years working with Porsches I have good tools - unfortunately many of them are Metric and not SAE and I've had to buy some new sockets and wrenches. Those Metric pliers and screwdrivers still seem to work fine though.

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Old 08-01-2014, 11:35 AM   #51
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Tell Us About Your 1st Trip

I think it is OK to presume purpose in an instance like this.

Everyone knows, or should know, that many, many, components are designed with a finite and planned lifecycle.

Service is no different than parts, just a different approach at getting continued cash flow through parts and service or sale of new "trouble free" units.

If they were easy to fix more people would fix them, cutting sales and service departments out of the loop.

Car manufacturers do the same thing.

Making things hard to work on is not malice, it is business practice. Whether this practice is good or bad depends on where an individual fits in the equation.

I purposely built my trailer to be easily accessible for future repairs. I made this one of my priorities.
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Old 08-01-2014, 02:05 PM   #52
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OK Everyone, Can we please get back on topic?

If we need another Airstream bashing thread, then please start one . Actually much easier to find useful information later if kept on topic.
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Old 08-01-2014, 02:42 PM   #53
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FWIW I am not bashing AS,,,, I like Airstream.

Automobile manufacturers are even worse with their proprietary technology.

It is just how things are. Everything.
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