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Old 08-09-2006, 11:10 AM   #1
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Not just talk at Jackson Center - 2004 Classic

Two years ago I took the plant tour at Jackson Center. It was very interesting to see how the trailers were made. The guide told us that every thing that went in the trailer went through the door frames, so that if the owner had to remove an item, he could. I listened and thought that the guide may have stretched the truth a bit. I was thinking about the sofa and recliner in our rig.

Well, I have to eat some crow. This morning my son and I removed the recliner from the trailer. At first it looked as if it wasn't going to make it through the door, and I was getting concerned. My son, the guy with a good back and a pair of strong arems, tried to pick the recliner up by its back, and the back came away from the bottom section. To my amazement, the back of the recliner slides into a pair of brackets. After that, both pieces then came nicely through the door frame without a scratch or tear.

My hat is off to Jackson Center, and the guide with the wealth of knowledge about Airstream.

____Tom
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Old 08-09-2006, 11:47 AM   #2
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He is usually right on

Don Ambos, the guide for the tours, usually gets it right. He has a reputation for honest discussion about the factory.

John
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Old 08-09-2006, 02:49 PM   #3
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Usually, but not always. There was a discussion on the forum sometime ago dealing with insulation in the Classcs and specifically the Limited. People were saying that they were being told on the tour that there was extra insulation in the Classics which wasn't and isn't true.
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Old 08-09-2006, 02:58 PM   #4
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Recliners that Disassemble

Greetings Tom!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stream 1529
Well, I have to eat some crow. This morning my son and I removed the recliner from the trailer. At first it looked as if it wasn't going to make it through the door, and I was getting concerned. My son, the guy with a good back and a pair of strong arems, tried to pick the recliner up by its back, and the back came away from the bottom section. To my amazement, the back of the recliner slides into a pair of brackets. After that, both pieces then came nicely through the door frame without a scratch or tear.

____Tom
As someone who has moved a few more times than anticipated, I can appreciate the feature that allows Lazy Boy recliners and recliner sofas to have their backrests separated from the seat unit. My Lazy Boy dealer introduced me to this feature in 1978 when I wanted a recliner for my dorm room that could be moved in my Toyota Corona LE Liftback -- have since found that my Lazy Boy endcliner sofa also has this feature when I moved two year ago.

Kevin
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Old 08-09-2006, 03:20 PM   #5
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Recliner out Macaw in

Well, it's not a Lazy Boy, but I like the feature. We took the recliner out so that we can put the cage for our Macaw in its place. The cage is fairly good size, as is the Macaw, so the chair had to go.

Now all of the birds will be able to travel with us, and have their own place in the trailer.

____Tom
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Old 08-09-2006, 04:55 PM   #6
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No crow for me

Gees Craftsman,

Sure am glad I added that word "usually". Otherwise I would also be eating some bird. I figured somebody would have a contrary story.

John
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Old 08-10-2006, 09:58 AM   #7
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Not always accurate

When I took the tour, Don Ambros showed us a torsion axle mockup that had a gear-shaped axle. He boasted that that was what set Henschen axles apart from Dexter and the others. I didn't say anything, but I knew that Henschen was currently using a square axle.

A couple of days later, we toured the Henschen plant, I asked about the gear-shaped axle and was told that they had briefly tried that years ago and went almost immediately back to the square axle because the gear shape didn't produce signifigant results and was terribly costly to machine.
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Old 08-10-2006, 02:01 PM   #8
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When I took the tour, the tourguide explained that Airstreams should only be jacked up with the jacks in certain positions. When we went through the repair shop, I saw several jacked up with the jacks in positions they were not supposed to be in according to the guide. When I pointed these out he said, "Well, er, these guys know what they are doing."

So now, when I jack mine up, I use the positions that the "guys that know what they are doing" use.
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Old 08-10-2006, 06:50 PM   #9
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hi timemachine, stream 1529 and don bashers......

time' i missed the title for your reply first go round and the bird connect...funny.

i've been on the tour...make that 15 times.

never heard a word don says because i'm deaf.
but i have lip read a whole lot of good info from him.

he worked in the factory 30+ years
and has given the tour thousands of times.
has he ever made a mistake? sure
but given the volume of facts and info he's offered
not nearly as many mistakes as folks here...

part of the tour is in the lobby, some outside,
and the rest in a noisey factory....
with lots of moving people and machines....
and lots of questions from the peanut gallery

many on the tour have hearing loss,
poor comprehension, misunderstand,
or just make up stuff.
of course no one will admit these things...

i have never understood him to say the classics had "extra insulation"
given he knows the walls are all the same thickness....and that the space in the walls are all filled to the same extent....that would be silly
i have understood him to say he felt the classics were better insulated with the fuzzy walls, padded and vinyl ceiling, window styles, rock shields, woodwork and so on....especially when compared to the first round of ccd style models.
also that seemed to be his opinion...
not offered as an offical airstream fact.

reports IN these forums have been all over the place on insulation...

also when they moved from pink stuff to bubble foil in the floors...that was confusing. and there was lots of miss info on slide insulation...done of this came from don imo.

as for axles,
i have understood him to say with pride the torsen axle made by henschen (another jackson center company) was unique to the airstream..of course some others do use them...but not many.

he said this while holding up a segment from the model that had a star shaped axle version...but he knew they were using the square version...the star shaped was the only example supplied by henschens for the tour...

he even kept using it after the dexter change...
because it was the only model he had....
and the visual helped folks understand....
then some smarty pointed out it WASN'T what as really used...
so he stopped showing folks anything....OUR LOSS.

and as for jacking....there ARE specific locations...
given to customers that take into account liability as well as function...
the factory service techs don't follow the customer owners manual...
and have different liability issues....
and different jacks and different levels of experience
and i doubt they were jacking up a '72 sovereigns on that day...

keep at it don....you DO get it right most of the time....

cheers
2air'
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Old 08-10-2006, 07:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stream 1529
Now all of the birds will be able to travel with us, and have their own place in the trailer.

____Tom
hey tom...

i know zip about travel with birds...
but met a couple that did travel with one of those big feathered things...
they mentioned several states to avoid,
as customs would seize the bird...and exterminate it....
they also mentioned paper work to carry and so on....

what do you know about these issues?

cheers
2air'
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Old 08-10-2006, 07:16 PM   #11
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Well if you never heard him say there was better insulation in the Classics, I take it back. What ever he said, the impression of some was , that the Classics are better insulated.. Considering the fact that he's worked at Airstream for 30 years I would expect that he would know more than most anyone here. Don's not your father or father -in-law or uncle is he?
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Old 08-10-2006, 07:18 PM   #12
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Not so

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
he said this while holding up a segment from the model that had a star shaped axle version...but he knew they were using the square version...the star shaped was the only example supplied by henschens for the tour...
Then why at the 2004 Homecoming did he claim during both of the two tours that I took that the star-shaped axle was what set Henschen apart from Dexter and other axle manufacturers? This was said in the lobby where there was no problem with hearing him.

Perhaps someone straightened him out in the interval between my tours and your tour(s).
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Old 08-10-2006, 07:30 PM   #13
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2air, take a look at the thread "Insulation in the Classics and Limited". In a phone conversation that I had with Vicky in sales, even she was aware of the better insulation myth on the tour. Don seems like a great guy and very knowledgable but even the best get it wrong once in awhile.I still enjoyed the tour.
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Old 08-10-2006, 08:18 PM   #14
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craftsman....

not we are not related....
but he did tell me if he needed a sub, to expect a call.

i did look at that thread..........

http://www.airforums.com/forum...assics+Limited

and this one too.........
http://www.airforums.com/forum...assics+Limited

from my interpretation...
a member here...made the statement about insulation in limiteds....

then when challenged/questioned about it...attributed it to don...in 2001.

where is the proof he actually said this? also during the move to bubble foil in the floors there was lots of confusion...for many here, dealers and so on...

there still is confusion....and don didn't start it all.

and one view is when they started using foil in the floors...
they WERE better insulated...

does he keep up on every factory change? of course not.
do they keep him tuned up on every model change? of course not.
he is retired. he leads the tour. he has a wealth of info...
and some outdated ideas...

i also see in this thread posts about the axles....seems these stories change a little every time they are told here too....

both of the theads above and all the others on this issue are full of fluff...
with a little correct stuff...

anyone with teaching experience knows
that someday you will say something....
and someone in the seats...
will tell you that you are wrong...
and you are spouting outdated facts...
because facts change...

craftsman, i think you were right to call. got good info and that is what matters....so tell folks this info...

for anyone that goes on the tour....you can SEE what insulation they get.

go back to the first post '1529 didn't believe everything inside went in the door...but if ya watch 'em attach the shell to the floor/frame...then cut the door hole...then install the door....or look at any of the assemblies before the shower station...all the trailers are empty....so every thing has got to go in through the door!

i'll dig up some pics now.....

cheers
2air'
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