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Old 06-25-2016, 08:35 PM   #1
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Airstreams Aluminum Wheels Made In China

When I recently removed the spare & both the two trailer tires (the original China GY) from my 2016 Sport Bambi to have the Michelin 235/75 R15 XLT 109T remounted on the Aluminum Sendal TO3 Black Inlay style wheels I could see the original Aluminum wheels Airstream put on my 2016 Bambi has stamped made in China. Its bad enough Airstream installed the cheap China tires. I guess I should have known, after all it only cost us around 50 grand with all the other fees added so I guess I just expected to much for a trailer with a $50,000 price tag. In case there is anyone who needs tires/wheels, I now have three 15" Marathon GY tires for sale with three wheels . Two aluminum & one steel. Both original tires/wheels with less than 50 miles road use. The third, spare still new unused.
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Old 06-25-2016, 09:37 PM   #2
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Old 06-25-2016, 11:02 PM   #3
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You have to realize that for all that money you're just buying into a style, a history, and a look made by a company whose sole purpose is to maximize profits because they will sell all the trailers that they can build.

They've built a myth of being the "absolute best" that many buy into.

When I bought mine, I already knew that wasn't the case. But, I like the way they look. I know they aren't built that well and that they use the cheapest materials they can.

Most people realize that $50k is a lot of money, but there are also alot of elitist Airstream owners who scoff at such a miniscule low-rent trailer in their minds. Even the Sport trailers are going for half the price of a house. But, in Airstream-land, $50k is scraping the bottom for a new trailer. I once spent 10K at Jackson Center for what I thought was expert factory service and modifications and when they were done horribly wrong and completely incompetently, the fact that I thought that 10 THOUSAND DOLLARS was a boatload of cash did not register with Chris Burch or Dave Schumann. Only a peon would spend such a smidgen amount for custom work...at least that's the impression I got when I was told my expectations for quality work were too high-of course after they accepted by 10 THOUSAND DOLLARS.

The lack of high-end workmanship and materials is ridiculous...but not as ridiculous as the current Classic trailer, which is SUPPOSED to be the absolute pinnacle of travel trailer manufacturing. But, Airstream is selling all they can, and they are built no better than the cheapest Sport.

The Classics have poor electronics, the cheapest converters and inverters, incompetent wiring, awnings that don't work, absolute shoddy workmanship, and to top it off, only the cabinet doors are REAL wood...the rest of the cabinetry is plastic el-cheapo laminate usually reserved for $9000 bottom-of-the-barrel starter trailers. Nothing wrong with those trailers...but the Classic should get THE BEST for 130 THOUSAND DOLLARS. And it is nowhere NEAR that.

But, Airstream gets away with it because of the name and the choice of alot of Airstream elites to ignore such cost cutting cheapness who come up with excuses such as, "The plastic's easier to maintain than real wood." I'm sorry, for something that's supposed to be the "top of the line handcrafted by the best trailer manufacturer in existence" it's an embarrassment to find such shocking lack of quality.

You would NEVER see fake wood in a real top of the line Class A motorhome. NEVER. It would be unheard of. But, for the sake of the "Airstream" brand and the sense of "elite-ness" that some feel for owning one, such buyers are willing to ignore such slaps in the face.

Shameful.
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Old 06-26-2016, 04:48 AM   #4
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Old 06-26-2016, 04:49 AM   #5
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Before we decided to go Airstream we had an Oliver Elite 22' 8" double wall fiberglass trailer. My wife talked me into selling it for the larger bathroom of the 22 Sport Airstream & now I am thinking we should have kept it. Both trailers have the same great towing due to their same design but the Oliver is better built but heavier due to the fiberglass which is also bullet proof when compared to the outside skin of my Airstream Sport. I still like our Airstream but if Oliver starting making a trailer with the same floor plan as our 22" Sport Airstream or larger I would buy another Oliver before upgrading to another Airstream. Since the Sport is are first Airstream & possibly are last I can not comment on the quality of the other more expensive models but I did tour the Oliver plant before our Oliver purchase & saw first hand the making of the best built high quality travel trailers one can buy in America. Having said this my wife loves our Airstream but she just sees all the expensive looking aluminum with the modern gadgets that are inside. When I ponied up the funds to get rid of the China GY Marathons on our Airstream which by the way Michelin's are standard on all the Oliver trailers , all I heard was a tire is a tire why waste all that money just to have Michelins". I am just waiting now for our first Warranty repair needed on our Airstream so I can remind my wife the time when Oliver had sent one of their tech's over a thousand miles to our driveway in upstate NY just to fix a warranty issue. Who thinks Airstream would ever do that ?
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Old 06-26-2016, 05:08 AM   #6
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Buyers remorse? There are lots of options available.
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Old 06-26-2016, 05:54 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by avionstream View Post
Buyers remorse? There are lots of options available.
Going from a Custom Oliver trailer to the Airstream 22 sport maybe was a mistake for me but I am still madly in love with my wife so upgrading & trading her in is not a option right now. Maybe in five more years when we will have been married for fifty years that will change
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Old 06-26-2016, 06:28 AM   #8
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But, in Airstream-land, $50k is scraping the bottom for a new trailer.
That is what I have been concerned about as a consumer. Many on the forum may be high-paid professionals but when you look at the U.S. average salary and then look at Airstream prices, they are very expensive. When they asked us for our opinion on the new Land Yacht that is around $145K I said that it was too expensive for most campers.

Now, check this SOB out. There are companies building good products and throwing in all kinds of great features for the "scraping price of an AS" the only thing is, it isn't shiny and round. Check this one out for an MSRP of around $53K. Listen to the whole thing. The guy goes through tons of features.

https://youtu.be/ZiJekZSsjzY
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Old 06-26-2016, 07:15 AM   #9
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Old 06-26-2016, 07:58 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by RareStream View Post
You have to realize that for all that money you're just buying into a style, a history, and a look made by a company whose sole purpose is to maximize profits because they will sell all the trailers that they can build.

They've built a myth of being the "absolute best" that many buy into.

When I bought mine, I already knew that wasn't the case. But, I like the way they look. I know they aren't built that well and that they use the cheapest materials they can.

Most people realize that $50k is a lot of money, but there are also alot of elitist Airstream owners who scoff at such a miniscule low-rent trailer in their minds. Even the Sport trailers are going for half the price of a house. But, in Airstream-land, $50k is scraping the bottom for a new trailer. I once spent 10K at Jackson Center for what I thought was expert factory service and modifications and when they were done horribly wrong and completely incompetently, the fact that I thought that 10 THOUSAND DOLLARS was a boatload of cash did not register with Chris Burch or Dave Schumann. Only a peon would spend such a smidgen amount for custom work...at least that's the impression I got when I was told my expectations for quality work were too high-of course after they accepted by 10 THOUSAND DOLLARS.

The lack of high-end workmanship and materials is ridiculous...but not as ridiculous as the current Classic trailer, which is SUPPOSED to be the absolute pinnacle of travel trailer manufacturing. But, Airstream is selling all they can, and they are built no better than the cheapest Sport.

The Classics have poor electronics, the cheapest converters and inverters, incompetent wiring, awnings that don't work, absolute shoddy workmanship, and to top it off, only the cabinet doors are REAL wood...the rest of the cabinetry is plastic el-cheapo laminate usually reserved for $9000 bottom-of-the-barrel starter trailers. Nothing wrong with those trailers...but the Classic should get THE BEST for 130 THOUSAND DOLLARS. And it is nowhere NEAR that.

But, Airstream gets away with it because of the name and the choice of alot of Airstream elites to ignore such cost cutting cheapness who come up with excuses such as, "The plastic's easier to maintain than real wood." I'm sorry, for something that's supposed to be the "top of the line handcrafted by the best trailer manufacturer in existence" it's an embarrassment to find such shocking lack of quality.

You would NEVER see fake wood in a real top of the line Class A motorhome. NEVER. It would be unheard of. But, for the sake of the "Airstream" brand and the sense of "elite-ness" that some feel for owning one, such buyers are willing to ignore such slaps in the face.

Shameful.
I read a lot of posts in this forum, on popular "themes", and sometimes think others live in an alternate universe. Thanks for keeping it real.
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Old 06-26-2016, 08:26 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by rodsterinfl View Post

Now, check this SOB out. There are companies building good products and throwing in all kinds of great features for the "scraping price of an AS" the only thing is, it isn't shiny and round. Check this one out for an MSRP of around $53K.

https://youtu.be/ZiJekZSsjzY
Boy! There's a company that takes customer feedback to the next level. Maybe we should contact them & see if they would wrap one in Aluminum for us !
Seriously though, i'm not really fond of anything with a slide out, but that's a nicely equipped rig.
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Old 06-26-2016, 09:17 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by truxpin View Post
Boy! There's a company that takes customer feedback to the next level. Maybe we should contact them & see if they would wrap one in Aluminum for us !
Seriously though, i'm not really fond of anything with a slide out, but that's a nicely equipped rig.
It has some serious thought and accessories for sure. It lost me, though, when he went inside and saw all that dark over-styled wood and fireplace. To me, the clean, bright interior on an AS is what makes it extra special. Now, if AS would add some of the accessories and extra thought that went into that SOB would be best of both worlds.
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Old 06-26-2016, 09:27 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by RareStream View Post
The Classics have poor electronics, the cheapest converters and inverters, incompetent wiring, awnings that don't work, absolute shoddy workmanship, and to top it off, only the cabinet doors are REAL wood...the rest of the cabinetry is plastic el-cheapo laminate usually reserved for $9000 bottom-of-the-barrel starter trailers. Nothing wrong with those trailers...but the Classic should get THE BEST for 130 THOUSAND DOLLARS. And it is nowhere NEAR that.
Yes, the Classics have a high quality laminate on the large flat panels of the cabinets and walls. It is beautiful and high quality. I do need to point out another inaccuracy. All cabinet face frames and roof locker ends are also real wood, not laminate, so it is not just the cabinet doors that are real wood as was incorrectly stated above.

The laminate used on the large flat panels (mainly the end of the kitchen counter and the bathroom walls) is nothing like the low quality laminate used in cheap trailers and it is certainly nicer than the laminates used in other Airstream models. It does not bother the owners of the Classics. It looks great and is easy to maintain. We actually prefer the laminate to the cherry plywood that was used in the early 2015 Classics.

Your mileage, as always, may vary, but I had to provide a contrasting opinion as one who actually owns a 2016 Classic.

But yes, the converter, inverter, skylights, and "add on" other bits are not up to the quality that I would expect on a trailer in the price range of a Classic. If this is a deal breaker for you, don't buy one. Just realize that no product (trailer trailer or otherwise) is perfect. We all have different requirements and preferences. Find the best fit for you and get that one. You then can decide to live with the imperfections you perceive or you can "resolve" them yourself.

Unfortunately complaining about them on the internet does not do anything but perhaps make you feel better for a moment. A nicely written letter to the manufacturer might achieve more, especially if you own the product you are making suggestions about. This has worked in our case, several items we mentioned to Airstream have been upgraded on Classics built after ours.
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Old 06-26-2016, 09:59 AM   #14
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What did you expect? We live in a world built of Chinesium.....
Before we go down the xenophobic path of bashing everything Chinese we need to accept the fact that we, as consumers, are constantly demanding lower costs for everything we buy. Why else do we have Wallmarts popping up like mushrooms. China just happens to be the current low cost supplier for a great many items. I am old enough to remember when "Made in Japan" was a sign of the lowest quality products.

As long as business owners (CEO, Board of Directors) and stock holders (us) keep demanding ever higher short term return on investment (profit) the siren call of low cost supplier is impossible to ignore.

If you want better quality they you have to back that demand up when it comes time to open your wallet.
I for one have chosen to stop frequenting Walmart far a variety of reasons. Does the Walton family know or care? I doubt it. But just as it is often said that if you don't vote, you really do not have a right to complain about your elected officials. I am voting with my wallet.
When it comes to quality, I use warranty coverage and length as a relatively reliable predictor. B to B coverage for a good number of years was a major consideration for the last three new car purchase. If all I can get is a short warranty then I expect a very low purchase price so I can afford to buy a replacement.
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