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Old 09-19-2008, 01:30 AM   #61
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Our A/S' is bitchin'! Just like our Harley. Q/C issues? Yes! Are they perfect? Nope. Why did we buy? Emotion... Probably more right brain, than left. Do we care about the nuts and bolts? Not until something doesn't work. We do like the novelty of American made, though. The history and lineage is cool. Yes, there are corrosion issues and I think A/S needs to not only listen, they need to address these issues. It perplexes me, as to how a company like A/S can remain silent. Did anyone else see the big white elephant in the room? Would we shell out the money again? Ummm... yes. Probably would. They're just too damn cool looking. So come on Airstream, for a minute, pretend that you're listening and you care.

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Old 09-19-2008, 06:04 AM   #62
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Reading this thread has gotten me to think why I bought the Airstream I did. First and formost when entered the 1988 Limited, it felt comfortable with it's oak cabinets and panoramic windows. The longer I stayed the happier the space made me and my wife. After I plunked down my hard earned cash and brought it home, I began making it mine. During this process I discovered that my dream trailer had a leak issue that caused floor rot, which I had to gut most of the inside to make repairs. Panic set in, and I had some buyers remorse. That was 10 months ago, and now with many hours of work, and a lot of cursing my Airstream is ready to go. During this process I came to realize that anything made by humans will have flaws, but even with those flaws my Airstream makes me feel happy when I am in it. Airstreams in many ways are a state of mind, and if you can see past the flaws you will see the beauty that lies within...


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I think there is a big difference if you buy new vs. used.

Would you have felt so philisophical if you had paid over $100K for a new 34' and found a host of quality problems that are frequently posted here?

Harley is a great example for AS...they are now both an icon AND a very high quality product. Sure would be nice if AS got their act together...it is NOT impossible for them to improve w/o losing the "panache". Like someone mentioned a few post ago...why not start with a galvanized frame and water resistant floor and insulation?...and go from there?

Thanks...Tom R
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Old 09-19-2008, 06:49 AM   #63
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AS is pretty comfortable. They do rely on their good reputation... So far except on the forums you will never read an article or TV show mentioning the AS flaws.

But if it ever start it won't take long to hit several medias... And they will be in trouble.

So yes for the price we pay those unit should be close to perfect. I do not have too much problem with the material used. But I wonder why my bathroom walls can move while traveling (may be having only 2 screws at 45 degrees angle at the bottom of the door frame just sucks), I wonder why the microwave was tight with 1/2" screws when the flange is already a 1/4", I wonder why my door was not sealed properly and provide me two big fresh entry air etc... Mostly engineering problem. Even if a machine could do the work it wouldn't make any difference... as far as I know a machine will do what she's told to no more.

I also wonder why don't they vacuum the unit before they bring in all the cabinets, bed etc... Because when everything is in place it's a hell of the job to get rid of all the crap that survive in those trailers. And there is.

In the other hand I was provided with 2 big screwdrivers and 1 drill bit.

My dealer took pictures of the problem I had when we took our unit to send to the factory... so he does his job. But will AS fix the problem at the plant? Not sure... how many new owner of new units have/had a leaking shower? and for many years...
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Old 09-19-2008, 09:16 AM   #64
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I don't know what is!

Willing to talk at 11 PM... Just that I read your post, and didn't understand if you were happy with your dealer or not.

We just have to talk Andy into moving to Aurora. It's not too far for you Toronto Guys, and would suit me fine! Until then, we'll just blame him for being too far away, OK?

By the way, I know what you're talking about too far away, but hey, you could be a thousand miles from home, and chances are probably slim that you're near any dealer. I don't know what the answer is to that one, 'cause after all, they were made to travel in...
Sorry for the confusion. I was posting while sleepy. I AM happy with the dealership, and the service. They were very accomodating to us while we camped out in their showroom on the day we picked up the AS.

The only issues we've had so far have been minor. I discovered the hard way that if my water heater gets wet it simply won't start, the ignitor knob on the oven has broken, and the black water tank indicator seems to have a unique sense of humor (but who's doesn't).

I've come to terms with the fact that it's more cost effective for me to deal with any minor issues that come up on my own, and that's not the fault of AS, or the fault of my dealership. The water heater issue can be solved with a hair dryer... and I'll contact Amana directly to get a new knob for the stove. Even if minor issues cost a few dollars to fix versus getting warranty work done at the dealership, I'd have to factor in the lost time (potentially taking a whole day off work for me) and the cost of gas round trip! The gas alone round trip would be $60.
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Old 09-21-2008, 01:50 PM   #65
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I guess reading all the comments on my post are interesting. Yes, we knew it was small to start out with as we sold a 17' "Aerolite" which we had for 9 years (tent camped for 30 years before that so you can see we are not interested in towing some 1 BR condo behind us with a 6 ton truck to go camping ...). We like small and light trailers and many spots we camp in have limits of about 20-22 feet (total length including the tongue). The bed seemed OK the first time we tried it but after great trouble getting sheets to fit that strange, rounded shape and using it for longer trips it was not satisfactory. Quality was the main issue and it really went beyond the shavings and saw dust. We cleaned the trailer and polished it monthly and it just seemed to keep corroding. We live in "San Diego" by definition but probably 10-12 miles from the ocean, up in the hills so I doubt if the problem was from ocean air. The dealer admitted that many trailers new Airstreams on his lot were already corroding. Some people seem to think you just tow it to somewhere in Ohio and wait for a few weeks and Airstream will make it all right again. The poor design and poor operation of the refrigerator only speaks negatively of Airstream. Again , we knew about the water but figured we could make do with 20 gallons (plus 6 in the hot water tank) but the problem was with the 20 gallon combined grey/black water tank that would fill up when we still had adequate fresh water. Actually the list of dislikes were longer (like never buy a travel trailer with a single axle) but I was not willing to put up with it just to drive around with the Aluminum Marshmallow behind us to just look cute or "be with it". We wanted functionality !!!!

Oh, by the way I own two Harley Davidson motorcycles and it their quality and service was as poor as Airstream they would not be selling 350,000 bikes a year and have 1+ million HOG members !!!!
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Old 09-21-2008, 02:54 PM   #66
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These should be right when delivered if they want to be "the quality product". There is no acceptable excuse for trash in the holding tank, a hole in the shower floor, or no grease on the bearings. These are workmanship issues. Prehaps those building them don't see themselves as craftmen. Since the job was good enough for the boss to be promoted I guest you'll have to live with it. Too bad because they finally got the design mojo warming up.
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Old 09-21-2008, 04:38 PM   #67
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I am candid when folks ask about our Airstream's quality. My answer is, "Remember Detroit and Harley-Davidson at their worst? That's Airstream today." From what I continue to see here, quality control at Airstream is after-the-fact, i.e. rework. Those of us near Jackson Center are fortunate enough to be able to take it back there. Being able to buy a classic like the Airstream today is great, but getting the lack of quality of the past is nostalgia I can do without.
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Old 09-21-2008, 07:08 PM   #68
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well i want to put in My .2 cents,
The fit and finish of these trailers new or older is something that needs attention. for the cost of these trailers they need to be so damn close to perfection that it should be mind boggling.
case in fact i work next to a Mercedes Benz dealership, and i am pretty good friends with there lead tech. he has taken me with him on several test drives in brand new Mercedes that cost the same if not more then any A/S. those car are so nice its crazy, if they have a problem with any of the higher end model's they can have parts shipped from Berlin and have the car fixed in less then a week that's what a 50 to a 100k gets you when you spend your money there.
A/S should be know different if not better since there made here in the USA.
don't get me wrong i like my A/S but after digging in to it and fixing somethings with it i am disgusted with the craftsmanship and quality that was used in Assembling this trailer. Now will i sell it and run to a different brand No and a big reason for that is this forum and other A/S owners and the trailer its self is cool.
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Old 09-21-2008, 07:31 PM   #69
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Even if the newer Airstreams survive 40 years no one will be towing them because the fuel will simply be to expensive if you can get it at all. We are the last generation to tow these condo's on wheels across the American landscape with trucks getting 10-15mpg.Gotta think about tent camping again.;-)
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Old 09-21-2008, 10:22 PM   #70
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With all the gripes about quality issues, what years were the best? I reckon all the years had little nuances about them.

Anyone ever buy a new house or had one built? Is it perfect? Punch out list/crew? What? You spent $250,000 on a house and they have to come back and fix something in your house?

We spent $50k on a trailer and it's not perfect?



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Old 09-21-2008, 11:02 PM   #71
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Thanks 2Air for resurrecting the 2005 Bambi 16' thread. I was one of the responders in that thread who talked up the Bambi; I have since recanted and we are currently purchasing a 23 footer. The 16 is CUTE. It's also SMALL with limited capacities, some of which can by modified, such as electrical, but some of which cannot, such as water and space. Factory workmanship and dealer support are definite problems, but when all is said and done, they're still Airstreams and I love 'em.
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Old 09-22-2008, 12:43 AM   #72
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2005 was a good year.

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With all the gripes about quality issues, what years were the best? I reckon all the years had little nuances about them. We spent $50k on a trailer and it's not perfect?
Hi, we are happy with our 2005 Safari.

Was it perfect? No.

Did we have to fix a few things? Yes.

Did I make a few repairs and/or modifications myself? Yes.

Do we feel that we got our money's worth? Yes.

Did we choose the right model, floor plan, and size? Yes.

Satisfaction with Airstream? .................................B+

Satisfaction with selling dealer? ............................A+

Satisfaction with Goodyear? .................................C-

Satisfaction with Fantastic [Fan] Vent product? .......B+

Satisfaction with F.F.V. customer service? ..............A++++
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Old 10-23-2008, 03:44 PM   #73
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So, I guess I screwed up

I just purchased a 2006 Bambi after having a Casita 17' Liberty. I thought I was moving up in the world to a camper that would last the remainder of my life. On the Casita site I never saw any thing like the disgruntled people. I guess if I have the same issues I can sell my Bambi next spring. Geez, come on here to find other owners to get Bambi tips from and find that Airstream is not what I thought them to be?
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Old 10-23-2008, 04:36 PM   #74
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Is your glass 1/2 empty or 1/2 full?

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Originally Posted by Nightwind15 View Post
Geez, come on here to find other owners to get Bambi tips from and find that Airstream is not what I thought them to be?
I don't think you screwed up at all!

Out of the 30,000+ members here, and 42,000 threads, not to mention the nearly 615,000 posts...very few of them are actually focused on disgruntled owner's complaints. Most deal with all the fun times, travel adventures and friendships that have been made due to Airstream ownership. There's always going to be a few owner expectations that are not met - I doubt you will find a 100% satisfaction rating for ANY product! Nobody's perfect and no one product is going to be "right" for everybody...otherwise, why would there be so many choices?

Shari
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Old 10-23-2008, 05:01 PM   #75
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I couldn't agree with you more. We have been A/S for close to 30 years and I have never know a unit that has not had a few problems, not only with their trailers but with the organization too. You get out of it what you put into it and right now there are some problems that need to be worked through. However this shall pass in time. Hope to see you down the line at one of the rallies in Colorado.
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Old 10-23-2008, 05:53 PM   #76
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Hope to see you down the line at one of the rallies in Colorado.
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Thanks ~ Hope meet you someday soon too...neighbor!

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Old 10-23-2008, 06:14 PM   #77
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[quote=osolow;619027]well i want to put in My .2 cents,
The fit and finish of these trailers new or older is something that needs attention. for the cost of these trailers they need to be so damn close to perfection that it should be mind boggling.
case in fact i work next to a Mercedes Benz dealership, and i am pretty good friends with there lead tech. he has taken me with him on several test drives in brand new Mercedes that cost the same if not more then any A/S. those car are so nice its crazy, if they have a problem with any of the higher end model's they can have parts shipped from Berlin and have the car fixed in less then a week


I am the Service Director of a Mercedes Benz franchise and we do strive for perfection... but dont be fooled, we have our issues as well. You wouldnt believe the things we see here on the inside. If the dealership or repair facility is taking care of the issues with your A/S and they are honest and courteous then stick with em.. The industry goes in waves both with quality and profit. When they are achieving both then thats the sweet spot but when one or the other faulters its always felt by the consumer. When a Mercedes Benz customer buy a 100k vehicle its like they are joining an exclusive club.. they expect a certain level of service.. i kinda feel that should be the case with airstream as well but the RV industry is not under as much scrutiny as the automobile industry and it will be something like JD powers that will motivate them to make sure those bearings get packed.. I love my airstream. I think of it as a family member nearly and always stick up for it. I guess you have to be that kind of owner..
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Old 10-23-2008, 06:27 PM   #78
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I dunno.... If you know of a better travel trailer out there please point me in that direction.

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.

yakman
Interesting perspective. First regarding the "better" trailer... better for what? The SOB I bought had seven punch-list items from the factory; all resolved in less than two hours at the dealership, and some of them were probably from folks walking through it on their lot. My trailer is a true four-seasons trailer with dual-thermopane windows, heated tanks, and no seams to leak. It's a two-piece fiberglass shell that will last as long or longer than an aluminum monocoque, and weighs about a thousand pounds less than the same sized Airstream (25'). In the two years I've had it now, I have had no problems with it at all, and the dealer has immediately answered all three calls I made to him with questions. It was about half the price of a 25' Airstream.

Now, the interior may not be as sleek, or stylish as the current crop of Airstreams. I'm OK with that. It's pleasant enough and is quite functional given the operational aspects of the trailer.

All that said, in post 19 in this thread, I've had six Airstreams over twenty years, so I've had plenty of time and experience with them. They have some really excellent features. They have some real failings as well.

Regarding the Harley analogy, I had an ancient Harley when I was in high school. I've had Japanese motorcycles. My all-time favorite, though, was a BMW R100RT. There are always alternatives in any choices.

Nightwind, you didn't screw up at all. You've got a great trailer to make lots of memories with. Use it to it's fullest. If it works for you, then you've done well. If it doesn't work for you, you've added to your knowledge base about what you like and what you don't like. Airstream is still one of the coolest products out there. The cost to benefit ratio in quality issues are what folks are complaining about most. If the trailers cost a third of what they do today (and I paid $2k for my first '70 Safari 23', and $1100 for my first '61 Bambi) it's worth putting up with the eccentricities of Airstreams. At a price new that's nearly twice what the same quality competitition in SOBs are getting, maybe that quirkyness isn't as appealing. It's all about how you see them yourself.

Roger
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Old 06-27-2009, 01:22 PM   #79
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Harley

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Only error in your analogy is that Harley is still an Icon...but they also have improved their reliability up to par with the rest...appears AS has not...Tom R
Now you have me started. Harley is not junk but it certainly does not live up to the standards of the industry in any form or fashion, not to mention price. This is an honest statement on my part and I have ridden bikes for over 40 years, If I had to ride a Harley, I would not ride. Check out the mileage figures on Metric bikes vs Harley when it comes to longevity. There is simply no comparison.

Airstream......Harley, what a comparo!!!! hrrrmmmpppp
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Old 06-27-2009, 02:04 PM   #80
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Now you have me started. Harley is not junk but it certainly does not live up to the standards of the industry in any form or fashion, not to mention price. This is an honest statement on my part and I have ridden bikes for over 40 years, If I had to ride a Harley, I would not ride. Check out the mileage figures on Metric bikes vs Harley when it comes to longevity. There is simply no comparison.

Airstream......Harley, what a comparo!!!! hrrrmmmpppp
Hey Nightwind...what was the last Harley you owned for any length of time?

My wife and I have a '97 Electra Glide and a '98 Road King (wife's bike)...over 10 years old with only regular maintenance...no oil leaks and very comfortable cruising. We tend to take long trips and have had NO problems. My guess is that your comments are a few years (decades?) old. These two bikes are our 4th and 5th Harleys...dating to a '92 FXR...and have had no problems on any of the bikes.

I just wish AS had made the improvements that Harley has since the 50's/60's and 70's...maybe 80's...

Also, wish AS had made the improvements similar to the general auto industry. You can now pretty much plan on 150k to 200k miles with proper maintenance...and they don't rust out up here in the northland in 2-3 years. My last vehicle went 202K miles with no rust and only routine repairs...and still ran fine when sold.

AS's today likely don't meet the quality standards of 30 years ago...yet cost a real premium over SOBs. At some point the perception of "premium" and the value of AS "history" will need to be supported by fact...or customers will not pay the premium price.

I am encouraged by the recent post from AS Marketing suggesting a sort of "Town Hall" where they will address submitted questions. Could be interesting and beneficial.

Keep the rubber side DOWN...and the aluminum side UP...Tom R

P.S. BTW...what brought you back to that somewhat dated post? TMR
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