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Old 03-17-2005, 06:47 PM   #1
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Smile Post-Delivery Problems, 2005 30' SO Classic

We took delivery on our new unit a few days ago, and have been doing the initial "get aquainted checkouts." We were concerned about out transition from a Monaco Diesel Pusher to the Airstream trailer, but that appears to not be a problem. However, we are surprised and somewhat disappointed at what appears to be Airstream's lack of attention to detail and quality control. We have owned several RV's, and expected this one to be of top quality, but now are not sure. In contrast, we purchased a new Ford F350 Super Duty Power Stroke as out tow vehicle, and it has almost no problems.

We have 5-pages of "problems" to address with our dealer next week, that range from minor to pretty serious, such as:
1. When the sun reflects on the exterior, it looks as though someone cleaned the sides with a stiff brush, leaving brush marks all over the surface.
2. The black-water valve would not close completely after the first dumping. After 2-hours of flushing and washout, during which time several pieces of "constriction trash" (plastic tank cutout, plastic plumbing parts, etc.) came out, the valve worked okay. However, what is yet in the tank is unknown.
3. Roof has leak around air conditioner and shower leaks on floor.
4. Tear in ultra leather under sofa drawer latch.
5. Headliner material not secured in one area.
6. Carpet on one wall of slide has lumps and "bubbles" as though it was installed by an amatuer.
7. Some of the windows are difficult (if not impossible) to open and close from inside the trailer.
8.----- Numerous other less serious things such as monitor panel not reading correctly, entry door requires "slamming" to latch, incorrect GVWR shown on ID plate, batteries won't take full charge, shower door latch broken, etc.

Is this the "norm" for Airstream?
What should I expect for level of correction, especially for things like the experior scratches?
Should I insist they some way verify the black-water tank is free of "construction garbage?"

Thanks in advance for any advice from "those who have been there" with Airstream.

Tom Riley
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Old 03-17-2005, 07:35 PM   #2
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Dang! That's a big list. I can't say if it's normal or not - our trailer was made in 1977. But as a data point - our roof still doesn't leak, our shower doesn't leak, our dump valves closed right up untill the day we replaced their dried and brittle carcasses with new ones...... and all the windows are operable by one person.

I would carp! Best of luck.
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Old 03-17-2005, 08:50 PM   #3
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hi tom

sorry to hear about these issues. sadly airstream does not have the same level of refinement as a monaco and fit/finish issues still seem to haunt airstream. i saw several safari trailers for sale on the lot of one midwestern dealer who has a great rep......every single one of them had lino. in the bathrooms that was peeling at the edges and bubbled. on the outer wall of one the rivet line looked like it was made by a drunk blind sailor.

i will post pictures of this once i've settled into mine.....don't want to mess with my karma yet.

posts like yours make me nervous, as my unit will begin construction next week. i'm going to visit the plant during construction and hope the unit will arrive at the dealer with a minimun of issues. leaving construction debris inside seems to have a long tradition with as. if i get the chance at the factory i might just sweep or vacuum mine out.....

do you have any pictures of the exterior issues? it appears that the newer alum skin seems to have a brushed grain under the clearcoat....so much so that sometimes two panels appear as different color/tints if the grains don't match. i saw several on the dealers lot that looked awful in this regard. if there are actually scratches in the clearcoat.....that's an entirely different issue and only fixed my replacing that panel.

as for what to expect....i think we need to hold them to a high level and ask that all fit/finish issues be corrected....they will only do as good a job as we request. no one likes confrontation but i read here of one buyer who declined 2 units and sent a 3rd back to the factory before settling. if enough folks do this they will have to do better.

i don't know about the holding tank litter but a roof leak is totally unacceptable.

door closing is often an issue and some doors need to be bent/unbent to get a good fit.

it's revealing that none of the issues you mention are appliance related....seems to be all related to as build.

cheers
2air
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Old 03-17-2005, 08:54 PM   #4
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Tom,
for the price you paid, I would return the thing as a lemon and get a new one, if possible. Maybe then Airstream would start to pay attention.
I go to the Airstream dealer in Irvine quite a bit to get ideas for my vintage trailer rebuild, and I am sorry to say that most of their brand new coaches are in similar condition as yours. Of course I don't know about dump valves or batteries, but the fit and finish is a big embarrassment for " made in US".
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Old 03-17-2005, 10:27 PM   #5
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Not that I don't agree with returning it as a lemon, but in fact, repair attempts need to be made before that can even be considerd. Additionally, once a unit is titled, it's just not that simple to say, gimmie a different one. That should have happened before taking delivery.

Some of the issues are not small, but a fair number seem fairly small and easily fixed (of course I haven't seen it myself). Trust me, I know your pain....I had a 2003 and now a 2004 and though the 2004 was far better built than our 2003, the reality is that it can be very emotional to see such a beauty that you paid the GNP of some 3rd world countries fall short of expectations. The worst issue I see in your list is the lines issue. As a matter of fact, I too noticed last summer if the sun hit the side skin a certain way, I too had the same thing. I'm unsure what causes it, but the sun has to hit it a certain way to see it.

Beside the outer skin issue, tne burning question that comes to mind (and it's not meant as a jab) is why would you take delivery on a coach with so many obvious issues? I mean some of the issues should have been clear as the nose on your face doing a pre-delivery walk through. Like any vehicle, refuse delivery until you are satisfied. At this point, you'll have to work with the dealer or the factory to get the issues resolved.

Fear not though, although you are currently disappointed, a fair number of Airstreams need a bit of shake down. Once you get the small list of issues resolved, you should be in good shape.
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Old 03-18-2005, 05:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomriley
We took delivery on our new unit a few days ago, and have been doing the initial "get aquainted checkouts." We were concerned about out transition from a Monaco Diesel Pusher to the Airstream trailer, but that appears to not be a problem. However, we are surprised and somewhat disappointed at what appears to be Airstream's lack of attention to detail and quality control. We have owned several RV's, and expected this one to be of top quality, but now are not sure. In contrast, we purchased a new Ford F350 Super Duty Power Stroke as out tow vehicle, and it has almost no problems.

We have 5-pages of "problems" to address with our dealer next week, that range from minor to pretty serious, such as:
1. When the sun reflects on the exterior, it looks as though someone cleaned the sides with a stiff brush, leaving brush marks all over the surface.
2. The black-water valve would not close completely after the first dumping. After 2-hours of flushing and washout, during which time several pieces of "constriction trash" (plastic tank cutout, plastic plumbing parts, etc.) came out, the valve worked okay. However, what is yet in the tank is unknown.
3. Roof has leak around air conditioner and shower leaks on floor.
4. Tear in ultra leather under sofa drawer latch.
5. Headliner material not secured in one area.
6. Carpet on one wall of slide has lumps and "bubbles" as though it was installed by an amatuer.
7. Some of the windows are difficult (if not impossible) to open and close from inside the trailer.
8.----- Numerous other less serious things such as monitor panel not reading correctly, entry door requires "slamming" to latch, incorrect GVWR shown on ID plate, batteries won't take full charge, shower door latch broken, etc.

Is this the "norm" for Airstream?
What should I expect for level of correction, especially for things like the experior scratches?
Should I insist they some way verify the black-water tank is free of "construction garbage?"

Thanks in advance for any advice from "those who have been there" with Airstream.

Tom Riley
Tom -

I feel your pain in more ways than you know, because I purchased a 2004 30' Classic Ltd almost a year ago now with many problems similar to yours. I think I probably had even more
problems.

I don't know whether this is the norm with Airstream, but there are a number of us who have purchased new Airstreams over the past couple years with problems so apparent that the units should NEVER have left the plant. (On the other hand, there are many other people who claim their new unit is flawless.) My own opinion is that, contrary to what they say, Airstream management is not committed to making a quality product.

Take your leaking shower as an example. MANY of us have had this problem. Airstream management knows this has been a problem yet they continue to foist these seives off on unsuspecting customers. I'm not sure what causes your leaky shower, but mine was leaking due to (1) incorrect assembly of the shower door, (2) inadequate caulking, and (3) a poor manufacturing design of the door and surround that ensures continual leaking - it is vitually impossible to take a shower without water coming out - it can be remedied with a $0.02 cure - Apparently, Airstream management doesn't have enough "cents".

Most people will tell you that Airstream will stand behind their product and will fix it for you. Personally, I have not found that to be entirely true -- I hope your experience is better than mine.

John

ps - good to hear about your Ford Powerstroke - I worked for Ford and have the older 7.3L, with 75,000 miles and without any major problems to date. -- it is possible to build quality products if customers demand them.
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Old 03-18-2005, 07:54 AM   #7
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So, tell us who the delivering dealer was...
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Old 03-18-2005, 08:37 AM   #8
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Purchased a 02 Safari and two years later a 04 Classic. Experienced several of the same problems and a few more. Had a tough time finding a good dealelr to fix. Spoke to A.S. on each with out much satisfaction. I think there assembly/finishing leaves a lot to be desired.
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Old 03-18-2005, 09:45 AM   #9
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problems

I had a long list as well with my 2005 CCD28. I think the AS concept & design is top notch, but fit & finish, and assembly QA is mediocre. Fortunately my dealer - Happy Camper Ft. Worth- has been good about fixing it all. There's a couple of things I'll just have to live with because the fix would cause bigger problems.

On the AS official website forum I would post your problems under the "groans and moans" thread or other appropriate spots. AS responded back to me and it's important they get critical feedback to drive improvements.
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Old 03-18-2005, 10:05 AM   #10
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@air--- Like Riley we had the same kind of experience with or 04 Bambi CCD. The list of little fitment and assembly defects about drove me crazy. Without going into detail it was a year and 2 months before we had a trip that didn't require some repair either while traveling or after we arrived back home. Was begining to think it was endless but we finally worked things out. Our dealer, while great, was 450 miles away so I fixed all the items except one and they furnished the parts to fix it. Last Nov. we traded our now perfect Bambi for a 05 25' Classic. This one is as near perfect as I would expect. It's almost scarry! From my experience my advice to anyone taking delivery of a new unit. DO NOT GET IN A HURRY AT DELIVERY. It's really hard not to do this but it is essential ! Don't let the excitement of a new trailer Blind you. looking back at our Bambi purchase I can hardly believe I walked through it and didn't see all the problems it had. They were so obvious yet in my excitment I missed them. like Silver said once it's titled it's YOUR"S. This is especially true with physical damage. If you get home and find dents scratches etc in most cases it's your's also. Once you have signed off on the inspection it's very hard to get any thing done much less trade for another unit. Bottom Line---Don't sign anything or lay out any $$$$ untill you are totally satisfied with your unit!!!!! --------Pieman
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Old 03-18-2005, 10:25 AM   #11
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Tom,

That's too bad about all the issues you have with your unit. When we picked up ours in 2001, we didn't have near the number or critical issues you have.

Tell the dealer and Airstream if you have the opportunity, the money you gave them was perfect. It didn't have any tears, it didn't become worthless the next day, the ink didn't bleed and the numbers changed. Therefore because your money was perfect, you expect similar treatment with their product.

Just my opinion

Mark
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Old 03-18-2005, 10:28 AM   #12
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Mike is right on. I also had the blinders on when we got the Bambi....but not really as much when we picked up our Safari. Most of the issues we found come up during a few shakedowns. Before I posted any type of groans on the Airstream site, I'd call customer service and ask for Jim. He and (I believe his name was Tim) Tim, took great care of us and have continued to throughout our ownership of Airstream coaches.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I went down that path of posting to the website after a few emails and phone calls were not returned. Jim saw my comments and contacted me as if it were yesterday.

Not that I think you're about to post to the Airstream site, the bottom line, give 'em a chance before doing anything...... just my .02
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Old 03-18-2005, 10:43 AM   #13
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Hi 2 air; We have a 16 which had the usual, and some unusual, problems including no cable between the roof antennae and the tv outlet (try to fix that!). Back in OCt. 2004, AS told me they had hired a new QA/QC supervisor. I'm not sure they ever did, but if so I would LOVE for you to seek this guy out during your visit and get the measure of the man. Is it a volume/quality issue, union problems, new hires?, dealers, suppliers?, what? What has he done to improve quality? What remains clear is this guy does not go down on the floor and make sure each unit is ready to go.
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Old 03-18-2005, 11:37 AM   #14
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I've also had a long punch list of items that I discovered that needed to be corrected. So far Airstream and Safford RV have done well to correct the items. Nothing is perfect, not even Airstreams, but given the opportunity, Airstream and their dealer service will try to get it to your liking.
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