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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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Originally Posted by yakman View Post
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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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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Shari
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.
Bob
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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.
Bob
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Thanks ~ Hope meet you someday soon too...neighbor!

Shari
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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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Old 06-29-2009, 07:26 AM   #81
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The quality of our 2000 Harley Road King is orders of magnitude better than that of our "top of the line" 2001 Airstream 34 Limited. Airstream quality at that time (early 2000s) was like Harley WAS back when they marked their spots. Yes, Jackson Center treated us like royalty when there was plenty of time to do the job right the second time, but Airstream still seems to address quality after the fact, and in this case (Town Hall), by the marketing department rather than production.

I owned and rode rice burners (Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki) for decades before getting into Harleys in the 90s. I have friends who still ride rice burners, ducks, and guzzis today. So I know for a fact, Harley's quality is on par with them. Comments like Nightwinds are usually just sour grapes.
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Old 06-29-2009, 07:35 AM   #82
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Old 06-29-2009, 08:42 AM   #83
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My "Airstream" is 1947.
My Harley is 1949.
My wife is 1947.
I love 'em all.
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Old 06-29-2009, 11:16 AM   #84
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I'm on my second AS now. The first was a 72, this one is a 2008. I've also had a chance to look over a lot of older AS.
First, AS uses the same appliances as aveyone else. They usually pick out the higher end stuff so you have a better chance that everything will work. Many of the items in my 2008 are the same brand as my 72. They are just up-dated and are all new. I had to repair or replace many items in my old AS and I expect to have to maintain the systems in my new AS.
The big thing you get with the AS is the trailer body. They are very strong and very durable. My old 72 was still tight right up until the end. I expect my new AS to do just as well. There is simply no equal to the life that an AS trailer will give.
I see a lot of small changes in the construction of the new AS coaches. In the vintage trailers, panels were cut on breaks and trimed with hand shears. The new trailers have the panels trimed with power niblers. This may sound like a small thing but the result is that little edge of corrosion at the edge of the panel. New owners are dismayed at this. I've really got no problem with it. The aluminum will oxidize at the edge and then stop. This is normal for aluminum. The owners of the vintage AS trailers take a little corrosion as just a normal part owning an old trailer. New owners want perfection. The point of this is that if you don't plan on owning your AS for 10 years or more, SOB is probably a better choice.
The next big issue is the laminant inside the trailer. AS, like everyone else, has to buy what is on the market. The laminants that were made in the 60's and 70's are just not made anymore. I don't expect the interior of my 2008 to hold up as well as my 72 did. When it looks bad, I'll redo the interior.
The next big problem is the lack of AS dealers. My nearest dealer is 360 miles away. To be honest, it's easier for my to fix problems myself than it is to haul the trailer 720 miles round trip to get it repaired. Thor is a little too protective of it's AS dealers. There is a Thor dealer just a few miles from here, but he can't touch my trailer. I do wish that AS would make it a little easier for me to get parts and service.
Back in the old days, when AS was owned by Wally Byam, all changes were tested out before they were used on production trailers. Everything was based around it's practical use as a camper. Today, the market for AS trailers has changed. Most new owners want looks and luxury. I'm not in that group. I got the 2008 Safari Sport 17' because of it's small size and light weight. The tanks, electrical demands and function are much the same as a vintage AS. The design is almost the same as a 1960's or 70's AS. This little trailer was designed from the ground up to be as small, easy to tow and easy to set up as posible. It does all that. I was also looking at the Casita and Fun Finder trailers. They are about the same in function but not nearly as nice. One of our friends has the Fun Finder and when they had a chance to check out the AS they found it a much better trailer.
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