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Old 09-17-2008, 04:35 PM   #1
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Angry We Quit

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.
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Old 09-17-2008, 04:56 PM   #2
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hmmm...I don't think he liked his AS
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Old 09-17-2008, 04:58 PM   #3
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Ouch! Sorry to hear you had a rotten experience, and I do hope your ECO lives up to your needs better. Best of luck.
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Old 09-17-2008, 04:59 PM   #4
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Why tell us how much you hated it?
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Old 09-17-2008, 05:01 PM   #5
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Too bad. My 79 Argosy that I just bought has no rust anywhere save a little on the inside bumper and a bit on the frame. Service from AS in Jackson Center and else where have been super. I wonder how many non AS are as good as this after 30 years.
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Old 09-17-2008, 05:13 PM   #6
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Nice rant. I sympathize with many of your points, but keep in mind...

- if you think the hardware on fiberglass trailers is any better
you're in for disappointment.

- It's a 16 foot trailer...were you expecting a king bed?

- poor dealer support is unfortunate, but not really the fault of Airstream

I'm sorry your Airstream experience was not more positive.

Gary
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Old 09-17-2008, 05:16 PM   #7
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Still having fun in my 1978 Argosy and 1976 Airstream, after all these years. I know things are not built as well now as they once were; however, I think that probably goes for SOBs too. I know there are well made SOBs out there, just as I know there are well made Chevys, Chryslers and Fords. I have a Toyota and I love it. My husband won't drive anything but a Ford. However, I will remain an Airstream lover no matter what we pull it with or what anyone else experiences with their trailer. No company stays in business for all these years while making trash. Not many companies have a great percentage of what they've made still on the road. Sorry for your bad experience. I know we all hope you find your camping enjoyment with your new purchase. After all, camping and having fun is what it's all about.
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Old 09-17-2008, 05:19 PM   #8
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When my house was remodeled I found sawdust in the oddest places for a shockingly long time. I did not view that as poor workmanship, rather the natural result of a great deal of sawdust blowing around during construction.

My over 30 year old Overlander is covered with dull spots and duller spots. I suppose this is corrosion. It is however also quite strong. I've accidentally put my hand through fiberglass much less than 30 years old, give me corroded aluminum any day.

Small Airstreams contain small beds, larger Airstreams larger beds. I presume the same holds true for tanks and refrigerators.

Batteries are drained through use, conservation, or the use of larger/better batteries will give longer periods of potential use.

Admittedly I've not had occasion to use an Airstream dealers service department, so can not comment upon that.

I do not intend to come across as ornery in my post, but it sounds to me as if the dissatisfaction with the Airstream was because too small of Airstream to fit your needs was chosen, as opposed to an inherent problem with the product itself.
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Old 09-17-2008, 05:25 PM   #9
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the post is NOT a rant,

the poster is NOT a troll...

the poster is reporting EXACTLY THE SAME ISSUES many owners have posted....

take a swing by the 'q' threads or the corrosion threads or any of the fit/finish/new-ownership issue threads....

the DIFFERENCE is he has decided NOT to tolerate these issues nemore, and has CHOSEN another product....

i which him ALL the best with the new rv and hope we'll see some pics and read some user reports....

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericinrb View Post
After 3 years of trying to enjoy our camping trips in our 16' Bambi...
GOOD POST eric!

it's EXACTLY the sort of feedback a/s needs to LISTEN 2...

it's EXACLTY the sort of feedback a/s needs to RESPOND 2...

it's EXACTLY the sort of feedback MANY experienced CAMPERS, new to 'streams should provide TO THE COMPANY.

look people, this is an experienced mature camper with a lot of years in others products...

who was attracted to the a/s product and community for the SAME reasons many new buyers are.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/show...9&postcount=83

he's tried to improve, modifiy and LIVE with the limitations and issues as spelled out.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f295...6-a-26379.html

the fact is there are MANY camping products at 1/3-1/2 the price...

with better features, more capacity and no less camping utility.

there are LOTS of innovations in less expensive products too.

REREAD the o.p. 4 what it is, not some interpretation based on ones OWN ownership experience

the post is about a 2005/6 BAMBI, not a 50s, 60s or 70s unit, that has had DECADES of fixing and survived.

long term 'streamers PUT UP WITH or otherwise TOLERATE many issues....

BUT the new buyers, largely will NOT do that. they EXPECT the CURRENT PRODUCT to be EQUAL to the legend.

it isn't

so thanks eric for the 3 year TRY and i sure hope u send a letter to the LEADERSHIP at j/c.

they need to see this feedback from reasonable buyers, now former customers like YOU.

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-17-2008, 06:49 PM   #10
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Nicely said 2Air and to ericinrb, I'm sorry to hear you had such a poor experience. It sounds similar to Harley Davidson ownership. Some people buy the icon of the Harley and some people buy the durability of the Honda. The Harley experience just wasn't for you.
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Old 09-17-2008, 07:14 PM   #11
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Hey- I'm with you- I look at the crappy workmanship on the new rigs and lol.Just read some of the bitchin on the forum. My view always manages to tweak some here. It's just a drain pipe on wheels!!
anything less than 22 feet is a joke no matter what it's made of.
I like fiberglass, carbon even more, lasts a lot longer than the old sheeted sob,s.
Heck you can buy a new glass rig every 5 years and save more than owning a new pita airstream
I really like my older Airstreams- I do- very nice drain pipes, very nice indeed.
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Old 09-17-2008, 07:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinLoaf View Post
Nicely said 2Air and to ericinrb, I'm sorry to hear you had such a poor experience. It sounds similar to Harley Davidson ownership. Some people buy the icon of the Harley and some people buy the durability of the Honda. The Harley experience just wasn't for you.
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
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Old 09-17-2008, 07:22 PM   #13
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Well said 2air. The workmanship could be better considering the cost and Airstream is light years behind the Europeans in interior design and layout. There's still a lot to like about them but they are not the pinnacle of travel trailers like some gushing fans would have us believe ....but it's pretty good for production work. To get truly top quality I guess you'd have to take a shell and do it yourself.
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Old 09-17-2008, 07:50 PM   #14
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Garfield, I agree with you on everything except this point:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garfield View Post
poor dealer support is unfortunate, but not really the fault of Airstream
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!

I'm no business major, but if most people deal with the Airstream brand through authorized dealerships, then Jackson Center must do whatever it takes to make sure those dealers are keeping the coaches clean and prepped in the showroom, repaired quickly and correctly when problems arise, and that customers are treated in a way that befits a 75 year old leader in their industry... and cultural icon.

Don't mean to pounce on you... guess I got on a roll.
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Old 09-17-2008, 08:01 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, 08:02 PM   #16
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Quote:
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, 08:18 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??
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Old 09-17-2008, 08:42 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/supervise...at 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.......
Dennis
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Old 09-17-2008, 08:52 PM   #19
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Dennis,

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.

Roger
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:07 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 corrected...now just some corrosion, with nothing that can be done about it....so 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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