Originally Posted by DreamStream
Jonathan ... will try to post photos this evening after work. That was my initial impression also ... do I really want someone to take off and replace this piece? I think the only ones I would trust to do this would be the factory itself.
I wouldn't even trust "the factory". Keep in mind it is not the "factory" doing the repair work -- it is the service department which is a different set of personnel. When I needed a panel replaced on my new unit, I too thought the best place to take my unit was back to the factory. My naive blind trust in Jackson Center almost cost me my life as the service department not only created more problems than they fixed but two problems were life-threatening (i.e., unattached propane line and cracked furnace burn chamber). So, you may want to rethink the "factory" logic unless you are prepared to allot additional time for the service department to fix what they broke when they fixed the original problem.
Here is a list of what was broken by the service department when I took my unit to the Jackson Center service department to replace the kitchen side exterior panel due to clear coat peeling (covered by warranty)....
The kitchen-side interior was dismantled so service dept could gain access to both sides of the panel so the panel could be installed with the original buck rivets. I didn't want an Olympic rivet installation due to the size of the panel and the newness of the unit.
New problems introduced by the Airstream service department:
1) Failed to attached the propane line to the furnace
2) Broke the furnace
3) 1/2 of my kitchen cabinets were not re-installed correctly. Parts and screws were missing from the re-installation.
4) The toilet wasn't re-installed correctly
5) The shower door no longer latches
6) My original interior doesn't have any border decals. The service department added blue border decals in my bathroom. My Airstream interior color scheme is light brown.
Luckily for us, the electricity was turned on when I first fired up the furnace. We were inside the trailer while it was filling up with propane but the propane detector went off and my husband had enough sense to run outside and shut off the propane at the source. After the factory fixed that problem we started our 900 mile trek back home.
Unbeknownst to us at the time (because we didn't have a CO detector), the broken furnace was emitting CO while it was running. Apparently the service department introduced a crack in the burn chamber while they were removing or re-installing the furnace. On our way home, we spent a whole night in the trailer with the furnace running and emitting CO. I guess it "wasn't my time" and/or "someone was watching over us" because my husband had inadvertantly left the exterior access door open that night. When the door is left open, it creates quite a draft of fresh air into the trailer. I don't like to think about what might have happened if we didn't have all that fresh air coming into the trailer that night.
To get the furnace replaced, we took it to the local dealer because we didn't want to drag the trailer back out to Jackson Center again. During the process of installing a new furnace, the local Airstream service department put a dent in the side of the trailer just above the exterior furnace vent.
Most of the aforementioned service department problems could have been fixed prior to me taking delivery of the unit if the service department had practiced simple quality assurance. Apparently, they didn't test equipment after they installed it. Additionally, service department techs make money by the number of jobs they complete. That explains the missing screws and parts in the kitchen re-install as the tech was probably rushing to complete the work.
My lessons learned from this experience:
1) Don't trust any service department to fix the problem perfectly.
2) Go over the trailer/motor home with a magnifying glass prior to signing any paperwork. Refuse to purchase the unit if you aren't comfortable with the defects.
3) If you do use an Airstream service department, go back over the whole unit with a magnifying glass and allot time for rework.