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Old 09-17-2008, 07:01 PM   #15
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To elaborate on ericinrb's comment on "Poor to non-existent dealer support", with the recent closure of Revolution RV, San Diego (the second largest city in California), now has no Airstream-authorized dealer/service center.

The nearest one is 83.3 miles away... which is two hours away in morning rush hour traffic. One would expect a better situation where camping is enjoyed year round.

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Old 09-17-2008, 07:02 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by ericinrb View Post
After 3 years of trying to enjoy our camping trips in our 16' Bambi, we finally traded it in on an 18' Eco ..... reasons:
<snip>Too bad as the Bambi was cute but basically an very expensive, non functional camping trailer.
But really, whaddya think? Try a bigger AS this time? Mebbe a 25 footer?

Anyways, best of luck with the Eco...

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Old 09-17-2008, 07:18 PM   #17
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there are a lot of people redoing older AS that are 50 or so years old. How many 50 year old ecos are there out there??
"AIR 17559"

wear it out, don't rust it out

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Old 09-17-2008, 07:42 PM   #18
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I don't get it....
I've only been on these forums for a little over a year now.
How long has the quality of our Airstreams been declining?
There are no members of this forum that work/manage/ Airstream?
Airstream doesn't listen to the "dealers" or "commercial dealers" that are forum members for advice and suggestions? You would think AS would listen to their #1 this and top 10 that dealers since they rely on these dealers to move their product.
I don't get it.......
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Old 09-17-2008, 07:52 PM   #19
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I'm also one who fled after twenty years and six Airstreams. Airstream quality has been spotty since the early '90s in a variety of areas, and those areas seem not necessarily to be consistent from year to year. There are a number of threads here on those issues. The '90s vintage headliners fall, and the clearcoat peels off. The late model trailers have filiform corrosion issues. They also have some fit and finish issues, more than one should have to expect in a product in this price range.

Don't misunderstand... it's a good product yet. But there are issues with Airstream that Airstream shouldn't have.

AIR 2053 Current: 2006 Born Free 32 RQ Kodiak Chassis, & 1995 Coachmen B-van
Former Airstreams: 1953 Flying Cloud, 1957 Overlander, 1961 Bambi, 1970 Safari Special, 1978 Argosy Minuet, 1985 325 Moho, 1994 Limited 34' Two-door, 1994 B190 "B-Van"
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Old 09-17-2008, 08:07 PM   #20
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Been there done that wrote the book. Two Airstreams and first one worse than the second. Keeping mine though for now. If I ever upgrade though, would be a pre-owned unit for sure or an SOB.

Love the product, hate the QC and corrosion issues. Too many problems for an RV that costs this much. In 1.5 years I had 19 items needing repair and out of warranty I myself have fixed about 9. It's to the point where I have all the things just some corrosion, with nothing that can be done about I feel for Eric...I can clearly relate to his problems with QC and corrosion. He and Roger are the first two that I know who have walked....and they won't be the last.
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Old 09-17-2008, 08:43 PM   #21
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I dunno.... If you know of a better travel trailer out there please point me in that direction.

I've been to RV shows and was kicking around an RV lot today. My folks are looking at FW's. Big and spacious they are, but if you look closely... gaps in trim, overtorqued screws etc... all the same...I see it in other brands, boats, new homes... It's certainly not exclusive to any one particular brand.

The price on a 25 ft SOB is usually less than my 25 foot AS, however if I were to spring for an aluminum outer shell and inner shell on the SOB, I wonder what my new SOB price would be? We all paid a little bit more for that silver tube.

I've found plastic scrap in my kayak from the manufacturer. Does it mean low quality?

A small offer of cheese for the wine.

Since Harley's were mentioned. I've never known anyone to buy a Japanese cruiser when they could afford the Harley and say "look at the money I saved."

The same applies for Airstreams... you either feel it or you don't.

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Old 09-17-2008, 09:04 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by ericinrb View Post
After 3 years of trying to enjoy our camping trips in our 16' Bambi, we finally traded it in on an 18' Eco ..... reasons:
1. poor workmanship on trailer (after 4 years we still found shavings and metal filings everytime we used the trailer)
2. Corrosion (door handles, door hinges, rear bumper and some body parts are corroding ..... license plate light and tail light frames are rusting). This trailer has been cleaned and "walbernized" regularly. Quit bragging about Airstream .... a plain old fiberglass trailer will hold up better than this !!!! I know, I had one for 9 years before we fell for this "cute trailer".
3. Bed ... less than a standard "double bed" made sleeping difficult at best.
4. 20 gallon water and 20 gallon combined black/grey water tanks don't support "boondocking" very well.
5. constant drain on batteries by ???? We had a solar system installed and that helped as the trailer was always ready to go but once camping the battery was low every night.
6. Poor to non-existent dealer support.
7. Refrigerator too small and barely worked due to poor heat venting in the rear. We added 3 small, low amp computer fans in the back but that hardly made a difference.

Too bad as the Bambi was cute but basically an very expensive, non functional camping trailer.

Sounds to me like poor planing in buying to small a trailer for your needs.
When you live next to the ocean even the best things rust and corrode.
Good luck with your SOB.
GOOD BY now go get under the porch,and stop
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:32 PM   #23
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There's a difference between brand loyalty and blind loyalty.

One of the reasons we bought a vintage Airstream is because of the community. AS folks were very welcoming and helpful before we bought our '67 Overlander. If, for some reason, our vintage Airstream did not work out for us, I would hope we would experience a bit more graciousness than the original poster on this thread.

It seems a fairly well-documented fact that new (sub-20 years old) AS travel trailers have some problems that some purchasers find surprising given the trailer's reputation and price. As with 70s-vintage Harley owners, some people are willing to tolerate the price and problems. And, on an interesting note, both Airstreams and Harleys have aging fan bases. According to Wiki, in 1987 over half of Harley buyers were under 35. Now less than 15 percent are under 35. The median age of a Harley owner is now 46.1. I don't have any data on AS demographics.

The good news is that Harley Davidson "got the memo" and started building better rides. Hopefully, Airstream will address its QC issues and "reinvent" itself for a new generation. In any case, I wish the original poster the best of luck and safe travels.
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:42 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by bredlo View Post
I think Airstream (and any company that has resellers, partners or representatives) must keep repair and cust svc. at whatever level of excellence they'd like to be associated with. And if a dealer isn't holding up that standard... yank 'em!
Of course you're right, Brad. Good comment.

And my apologies to the OP -- "rant" was inaccurate and uncalled for. I guess I'm just lucky my experience has been better. It did help that our Airstream was not our first trailer, and that I researched Airstreams and our specific model enough to know what we were getting when we bought it. So far I have no major complaints.

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Old 09-17-2008, 09:49 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Garfield View Post
And my apologies to the OP -- "rant" was inaccurate and uncalled for.
Yet a totally understandable response to being told to "quit bragging."

I mean c'mon... Airstreams are so cool that telling us to not brag is like asking water to stop being wet!
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Old 09-17-2008, 10:21 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by 85MH325 View Post
.......after twenty years and six Airstreams.
I'm on my 6th now, and haven't hit my 2nd year anniversary
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Old 09-17-2008, 11:22 PM   #27
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Good Luck

Hi, Eric. I just read all 16 of your posts on this wonderful trailer; Seems like you bought a bad [not up to parr] trailer from a bad [no longer in business] dealer and rest was a down hill ride. Kind of like a personality conflict; your first impressions weren't great and in time only got worse. I also have to agree with some of the other posters; From what you said, it implies that indeed you bought a trailer that was too small. So, for you, it is time to move on to bigger and better things. [18' Eco] Good Luck to you and write home [Air Forums] about your new adventures in camping, because that is what it is really about, enjoying camping and your RV.

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Old 09-18-2008, 05:02 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by millvalleyca View Post
I don't get it....
I've only been on these forums for a little over a year now.
How long has the quality of our Airstreams been declining?
There are no members of this forum that work/manage/ Airstream?
Airstream doesn't listen to the "dealers" or "commercial dealers" that are forum members for advice and suggestions? You would think AS would listen to their #1 this and top 10 that dealers since they rely on these dealers to move their product.
I don't get it.......
Hi Dennis;
Your statements address the problem to the point. Airstream is trying to live on iconic past as Harley did. Harley however after many failures has realized that things must be drastically changed in order for the icon to survive. Airstream today is living in Harley's AMF era. I had one of those, and in order to avoid insanity I have parted with it.

The Airstream's problem most likely is blamed on work force by the management. Did they forget what management means? One cannot manage a factory from the office enclosure. It is exactly as you have put it Dennis. If the worker has an issue with a certain step of the assembly process, the management is the one that should notice it. But that is impossible to see from the office cubicle. Many have talked about innovating, radical design changes etc. We need innovations, forget radical changes because Airstream is surviving based on tradition of the design and practicality of such. Within the forgotten meaning of the word QUALITY, is where innovations are needed. But those decisions do not belong to the labor performing employee. This is the assembly engineers responsibility, which he cannot see from his desk. If he has baby soft and clean hands he should be fired instantly, and I tell you why.

For number of years I was in a position of Field Engineer with a Japanese Outboard manufacturer, representing US market. I was also the head of Technical and Warranty Departments. After many years I was forced to quit due to my first wife's illness with terminal cancer. Today, I still run my own boat business, but I still maintain very close ties with them [by their choice]. Repeating issues demanded instant attention even if it meant traveling to some remote place to visit the dealer. Reason was to identify and diagnose the problem and report to Japan with recommended corrective change. We even had technical personnel at the warehouse to handle new modifications to stocked engines. Every month a trip to Japan with reports and recommendations. Assembly engineers were solely responsible for introduction of changes and for instructing the worker about the changed process. Each month as the meeting was held, every assembly floor engineer was present along with many designing engineers who never spoke a single word for days. After four day meeting, the assembly engineers were fully expected to show me the new process while observing the workers performing each implemented step. Constant and unbroken chain of communication was a priority #1.

Therefore, knowing and understanding the importance of that unbroken chain of communication, make your statements right on the money. What about workers input and suggestions? Are they accepting and review them? Often, the best solutions come from a person performing the task. Perhaps some of those Premium workers are tired of making recommendations if they fall on deaf ears and they no longer care to suggest how to make thing easier and better. Obviously there is a problem, but that will not change if it is viewed from the office cubicle. In the end, I would be very interested to know how often do Airstream dealers get a visit from a field rep or assembly engineer during their attempts to resolve any warranty issues. Thanks, "Boatdoc"

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