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Old 09-22-2004, 09:58 PM   #15
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I have an '04 Safari that still has some open issues, mostly cosmetic, & Airstream is working with me under warranty. We have been to Jackson Center once, for a week (some of that time was to fix post-purchase damage) & still need some cosmetic warranty work done. I feel A/S is wholly committed to our satisfaction, & they have been very open & willing to work with us. I'm just not excited about another 2400 mi. R.T. if that is the only solution.

The major concern is where, when , & how long it will take your unit to be repaired, & if you can live with that. There are some good auth. A/S shops in Texas (you're in Austin?). I would still probably 'note' the purchase agreement & buy it. There would be no concern on my part with A/S standing behind their product, no matter where you bought it.

It is a shame that ours, and a few of our friends, have experienced a plethora of infancy problems with our new units. In this price bracket expectations are high, & "IMHO", A/S still has a 'hill to climb'.
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Old 09-22-2004, 11:57 PM   #16
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To me it's a big gamble that there is meat behind the trim piece to mount it.

I mean it could be that the skin was so short/mis routed that it is the reason the trim piece is where it is. If we were talking a $15-$20k coach, I'd say take the risk site unseen, but we are talking about a coach upwards of $40k and like AE said, if you already see issues, there is a fair chance that this could be the tip of the iceberg. Back to the point though. What if there is no meat to re-mount (which could be the case here). Then what, a tear out of the inner skin? I'd want to verify that the window trim has the skin behind it to mount correctly before signing off on the purchase.

I totally agree that the factory and the folks there (Jackson Center) are very good at working with the customers to make it right. I've had beyond great exp dealing with the folks there. They have exceeded my expectations each time. I've met the trailer production manager when we were at Jackson Center. He knows his stuff, no doubt as do the other there. However, it doesn't make it any less disappointing or frustrating to deal with all the issues which I'll be real honest, some that shouldn't have happened in the first place, hand made or not. Keep in mind I qualify my remarks having been a 2003 owner and a current 2004 owner. The '04 is better than the '03, however, both had/have issues. Some honest mistakes, others just line workers putting units together as fast as their hands can make them as it is my understanding they get paid based on the number of coaches they produce. The fact that you are already seeing one fair issue at this very early stage, would give me pause.
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Old 09-23-2004, 12:02 AM   #17
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BTW, as bad as some of the issues with new Airstreams can be, the SOBs are about 1000x worse. FWIW. It's just the way the industry has become I suppose.
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Old 09-23-2004, 10:44 AM   #18
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Will the paneling be a future problem--not likely. Would I accept this unit--Not on your life. After having "been there--done that", and reconstructing my Bambie I have a whole new attitude. There is really only one way the Quality Control issue will ever be resolved , that is when people quit BUYING their thrown together junk!! As long as people are standing in line with hands full of money they will NEVER change. If every buyer did a walk around before paying and when this type of thing was found refused to take delivery things would change!!! Do we deserve perfection ??? YES or very near,especially when you concider you can purchase three of many brands for what these cost. More than anything else the this workmanship reflects an ATTITUDE at the factory that frankly insults me as a customer.---Pieman
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Old 09-23-2004, 10:54 AM   #19
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Have to disagree with you about the other brands being worse. While the product may be more desireable the workmanship is in my opinon is some of the poorest in the industry. Have owned new Rv's of every shape and size over the years and my airstream had more problems than all the others COMBINED. pieman
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Old 09-23-2004, 10:58 AM   #20
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BB.

I will check the seams in my 19' CCD as soon as I can get to the storage facility 35 miles away...

Until then:

Is the window unit actually installed cock-eyed? Or is the aluminum behind the window trim just not lining up?

If the window is crooked, then AS should make that right, and I know they will. If the skin is not lining up, I would think about that one.

Considerations: The defect in question is in the bath, with the door ussually closed, and the time you spend in there is not so great. Sort of out of sight, out of mind kinda thing.

Is it worth the time and effort to mess with it?

If AS wants to replace the coach and you don't have to wait 12 weeks to get another one great, but if they have to pull the closet, vanity, shower, and who knows what else, to get a new piece of interior siding in there, just for the sake of two pieces of aluminum to line up, I'd be concerned that in the process, something else will get screwed up, scratched, broken....

IS this the ONLY really bad thing going on in your trailer? If it is, you should probably consider yourself lucky...

Here was my situation:

I picked up my new CCD at the dealer which happened to be less than an hours drive from Jackson Center. One consideration was that the closer to the factory, the less chance of something being disturbed during transit, right?

Wrong.

During my initial walk around, the dealer, not me, noticed what looked like little rock marks just above the Stainless wrap protectors, on the aluminum of the trailer. They were very small, but they are noticeable if you look for them. I had to make a decision, based on a few things. The only way that this issue was to be dealt with was either a replacement coach, or replace the panels in question, meaning tearing the new AS apart, removing just about everything from the door to the fresh water tank fill door.

I chose to leave it alone, based on that fact I was pretty sure that in no time, I would have more of these little dingie things the longer we own the trailer. I was right, because as of this moment, I have a few more road dings, scratches, and the trailer is less than five months old.

Since I have owned my AS I have personally done the following:

1) Re-mounted outlets that were installed crooked, and put in "blocking" so that when you pull a plug, the whole outlet does not come out!

2) Reinstalled the two drawer fronts under the oven/stove. They just completely pulled off in my hand. Oh, that's right. No dovetail or box joints like the good ol' days. Cost to much.

3) I sanded (320 grit) every edge of anything that was laminated, due to the sharp edges, and I was running out of bandaids for my sliced fingers.

4) To many screws to even count that had to be replaced, either they were striped, or just missing in action. I could go on and on.

5) Awning safety hook, fell off, and was lost. Had to argue with Zip Dee to get replacement for free.

6) And I still have a punch list of about 20 things for Jackson Center when I finally get over there, sometime next spring.

I'm pretty handy, so many of my fixes were straight forward.

I am not saying in anyway that this is acceptable on something that costs 35k and is a purchase out of pleasure, rather than nesecity. After all, Airstreams are suppoes to be the Cadillac of travel trailers, arn't they?

It seems to me that the only thing that Americans can manufacture that are really well finished and machined, are guns. Colt, Smith and Wesson. They are beautiful to behold.

I'm convinced that due to the high cost of labor and the urgency to get a product out there like automobiles, RV's, so a corporation can make large profits, that the consumer is the loser.

If you sit in a VW, Mercedes, or BMW, they ooze quality. And they will run forever! Sure they may cost twice or more, but you are gettting something that just isn't a thrown together buck of bolts.

I can't tell you how unimpressed I was looking at tow vehicle considerations: Ford trucks/SUV: the whole side of the vehicles undulates when you close a door. Chevy, same. The Japenese vehicles were better, but here again more expensive.

Airstream, as well as other big name companies have a quota to get a certain amount of product out the door, and it is apparent that it is a "no matter what" situation.

Does this make it OK to produce a product with defects like your's or mine, or anyone else who is spending hard earned money in this, a crappy economy? Absolutely not.

In order for our 19' CCD and all new Airstreams to be built with the attention to detail and tight tolerances of our european counterparts, I think our 35.000 trailer would fall into the 80,000 price range.

This really agravates me, and thank goodness I am handy with tools, or I'd be really pissed. The factory, and it's few dealer/service places are nowhere really close by, unless you live around Dayton, Ohio.

Sorry for my rant. Usually I write something funny, but this just gets me.

Airstream should hire me to watch QC. There may only be six units coming off the line a week instead of 25, but would they ever be nice. You'd be waiting longer to get your's, but it would be worth it. I'd also give more to my workers, whatever it takes, to motivate quality over quantity. I would also listen to what they have to say.

Jonathan
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Old 09-23-2004, 11:29 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A.E. Milliman
I will not say for others, but little things like this has ALWAYS gotten to me. I know ---picky, picky, picky!! Items that are not level or square, fingerprints on walls in out of direct sight locations,etc, are to me an indication of the integrity of the workers performing the assigned tasks. If they can leave something like this where I can see it, what is in the areas I can not see? Now that I'm older & less refined they seem to annoy me even more. It is always a personal choice to accept what I would call "shoddy" work ethics, whatever it may be. Others may be more accepting of little items, saying that's just the way it is now days. I will say for us that when we purchased an 04', it OF COURSE it had problems, major problems. What we found & I think that I may have mentioned it previously, was that the A/S management team was great to work with in getting items made right. What we were told they would do, they did & more. I have now come to a much greater degree of confidence when dealing with them ( the management). What I can not figure out is how the workers, in such a small rural town & area, can possibly believe they have it made with such bad work ethics. One would think management would get tired of repeating Quality, Quality, the buyers EXPECT QUALITY. And who ever said they had Quality control ? That's the first place I'd look for changes!!!! Get it right the first time or get out! When I was at the factory ( picking up our reconstructed unit) I wanted to visit with the QC supervisior to just to get a feel, as to how the supervisior could accept such short comings of the QC unit. I was told the supervisior was out of town. Probably better for both of us. Anyway enough of this, I'm getting upset again & that's not good!!!!
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Old 09-23-2004, 12:29 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike l.
Have to disagree with you about the other brands being worse. While the product may be more desireable the workmanship is in my opinon is some of the poorest in the industry. Have owned new Rv's of every shape and size over the years and my airstream had more problems than all the others COMBINED. pieman
It may have been a generalization (sp), however most of the units I've been in (SOB) have been pretty bad...worse than the Airstream line.
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Old 09-23-2004, 01:12 PM   #23
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Look closer

After looking at your pic closely, I feel that it is NOT the aluminum wall panels that are crooked, but it is INDEED the trim around the window. Look closely at the attached pic and what I have circled in the middle. You can see that at the left end, there is a noticable gap between the trim and the actual window that has vanished by the time you get to the right side of the window, which is exactly mirroring what you see in the wall panel seams. Provided that the trim ring is totally removed and properly centered (and there is adequate trim to cover the old rivet holes, then there should be no issues with fixing this.
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Old 09-23-2004, 04:12 PM   #24
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I sort of agree...but I have a strange feeling based on my personal exp that when things are installed like that, there is a reason for it. Not saying it is, but it could be that the inner skin was cut too short and the trim placed that way for a reason. Also I agree it all depends on how much skin is there to screw to...and if there is enough skin there to not only remount the trim, but also cover any existing holes made by the screws that held the trim piece that far out.

Seeing that the potential owner is out of the country right now, none of these can be answered until they get out there an get a look at it. I would not blindly take any sales persons word for it...heck and I'm not even from Missouri!
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Old 09-23-2004, 09:33 PM   #25
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Jonathan-- I totally agree with your perception of the manufacturing industry with one exception. That being your statment concerning the cost of AS would be increased if their quality was as we would like. In a nutshell, I ask the question does it take longer to mount a dinette table to a wall level than off an inch. Does it take longer to mount a dinette base flat on the floor than it does on top of wireing harness and conduet, does it take longer to mount window trim rings level and paralell than off 1/2 inch, does it take longer to adjust wheel bearing preload than just runing the nuts down tight, does it take longer to run a screw completely in instead of half way. As you know and read the list goes on and on. Finally wouldn't it make more sence to spend the energy and expence they do correcting problems making them better to begin with. -----Pieman
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Old 09-23-2004, 10:55 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
It may have been a generalization (sp), however most of the units I've been in (SOB) have been pretty bad...worse than the Airstream line.
We have owned 2 sob's in the past 5 yrs. Both were finished better than our '04 A/S. Our Casita and most of the other Casita owners we know had no, AND I MEAN NO!, fit, finish, leak, or other detectable manufacturing errors. We bought their fully loaded, '02, top-of-the-line trailer at MSRP of $12500.-. Airstream could learn a lot from them. Their workforce is almost entirely from south of the border!! Go figure.
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Old 09-23-2004, 11:50 PM   #27
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Hey, I just noticed you had an '04 25' Safari. We have the same unit, I'd love for you to PM me you laundry list of items and we can compare notes.

Also, if you haven't posted anything to the '04 quality thread, please do so.

It can be found here:

http://www.airforums.com/forum...ighlight=track
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