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Old 08-06-2007, 10:08 AM   #1
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
Ottawa , Ontario
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Uneasy Airstreamer Leakin' Agin

Okay, I don't want to come across as a complainer, but I think the truth must be told. We were at our dealer's lot getting our relatively new converter replaced (we have used the trailer about 21 days now) and as he was searching for some hefty rivets to permanently fasten our dinette table to the wall (the screws keep jiggling out each trip) we noticed water drizzling down the wall under our dinette window. A brand new leak that was not leaky before. They fixed it. They fixed it all. What I want to know is, is every new trip down the holiday road going to bring on a new leak or something newly-not-working? The trips back and forth to the dealer are exasperating enough, but when the warranty runs out this could be a very expensive toy, or should I say, a very expensive sieve.
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Old 08-06-2007, 10:51 AM   #2
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Hi, our experience is--and that is with all of our RVs--they take constant attention ie $. This is partially because I was/am not a mechanical type

Our Airstream has been no different from our past RVs--not every trip, but on a lot we have a new difficulty. Last fall it was all new tires; bless Marathons they give out in the middle of nowhere.

Stripped lug bolts/nuts had to be replaced. All air-conditioning (that means heat pump, furnace, and the air-conditioner) quit working last summer.

We had leaking windows in The South (it never quit raining after Houston) 2 years ago. This was my fault, I think, because I had tightened the window latches too tight. This caused the glass at the tops, especially the rear window, to pull away from the gasket at the top of the window.

Do not be discourage. Remember what motels/hotels cost And our pets can be with us......
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Old 08-06-2007, 12:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Hi, our experience is--and that is with all of our RVs--they take constant attention ie $. This is partially because I was/am not a mechanical type
I am the mechanical type and that usually means work plus $$! We, also, have some sort of problem on almost every trip. Most are not with the basic Airstream, but with the components in it. Some examples: I have taken our furnace out innumerable times and have finally discovered that whacking the side of the thing (I have an access hole) unsticks the sail switch so the furnace works again. Despite that, we have a replacement igniter board and sail switch with us. Two water pumps gave in last year, the first still within the warranty period and the next a brand-new replacement. Then there are things like stove knobs.

Despite all, we love being in our trailer and the dog likes it, too. We keep telling ourselves that it is cheaper than a boat.
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Old 08-06-2007, 01:13 PM   #4
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You have to remember that you're dragging around a VERY complex toy with LOTS of parts and components... and in an Airstream... holes filled by rivets. They do a good job at the factory of sealing them up... most of the time... but there is the odd spot that will not have enough sealant, or whatever in a new coach. There will also be vendor-supplied components that fail, and Airstream (and every other manufacturer for that matter) is only as good as their parts suppliers in that regard.

A new coach will have issues for a while, hopefully few, and hopefully they're resolved quickly. Once the initial stuff is taken care of, there should be smooth sailing... at least until the warranty runs out... which generally happens simultaneously with failures... but that's a whole different subject...

Hang in there. All coaches need TLC. It's just part of owning an RV.

Roger
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Old 08-06-2007, 01:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annemac
Okay, I don't want to come across as a complainer, but I think the truth must be told. We were at our dealer's lot getting our relatively new converter replaced (we have used the trailer about 21 days now) and as he was searching for some hefty rivets to permanently fasten our dinette table to the wall (the screws keep jiggling out each trip) we noticed water drizzling down the wall under our dinette window. A brand new leak that was not leaky before. They fixed it. They fixed it all. What I want to know is, is every new trip down the holiday road going to bring on a new leak or something newly-not-working? The trips back and forth to the dealer are exasperating enough, but when the warranty runs out this could be a very expensive toy, or should I say, a very expensive sieve.
Well you have lot's of components and to be honest it takes a few trips to exercise everything. From an electonics standpoint, normally those problems will show up in the first year of use. Consider that you probably really haven't started using the furnace yet or if you have a heat pump, that feature either. I'm not saying it all breaks, but truly consider how much a typical RV is in use vs. a product at home or a motor vehicle.

Once you get past warranty most of the early problems should have shown up. Obviously the more you use the trailer, the better chance these things will show up on the early side of the ownership.

I'm on year 4 of ownership and I've had two "out of warranty" issues. One being a cracked skylight which occured in year three, and the UV deterioration of the A/C shroud in year three (both dealt with in one service call).

Initially I dealt with a skylight water leak, a leak at the shower door (lots of us have this problem), a bad water pump, a dirty window curtain, a broken window shade, a wheel bearing recall, some assorted trim pieces (inside screw covers), and a screw that scratched a pocket door, resulting in it's replacement. I have probably made 5 trips to the dealership to deal with these items in and out of warranty.

Next year it will be time for tire replacement and most likely battery replacement. These items are within the normal timeframe for replacement as maintenance items. The rest of the trailer seems to be holding together ok. I'll only be back to the dealer now for those things which are beyond the scope of my own repair prowness.

My gut feeling is that the next trouble that might show up will be the Classic style window shades. There is a lot of wear and tear that goes on when you open and close these. Most of the stress is on the cords that the shades travel on. They are under a lot of tension.

Jack
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Old 08-06-2007, 01:49 PM   #6
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"Misery loves company" it is said I forgot about my A/C shroud--have the same problem..... I just put on body-shop washers. I forgot the name but I was advised about that "fix" on this website.

I also forgot my only "warranty" work; the step came loose on one side. The dealer had to cut out a piece of the sealed bottom to get to it and do the job. I certainly hope they fixed it for 10-15 years. They did put the piece of the bottom back.

We have never enjoyed/liked an RV as much as our Airstream AND there is no motor to worry about. I could write volumes about our previous MH.

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Old 08-06-2007, 09:07 PM   #7
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I have a 38 year old Airstream. Most trips nothing goes wrong, but then on other trips, it's not so good.

This year seemed to be my year for problems. On our 1 week + trip this year several things broke. The awning (A&E 9000) lifter arm broke (second time, so I had the part and replaced it on site). The door lock malfunctioned, also the second time since I've had the coach. About 6 years ago I disassembled, cleaned, reassembled, and lubed it and got it working fine. This time I could only get it to "sort of work" by pushing in and turning to open. Good news is, it broke the night before we headed home. I was able to repair it when I got home thanks to information and pictures in a great post on this forum. Also the day I was leaving, the black tank dump valve started to leak. After trying to clean our any potential blockage around the slot, I capped it and left the valve open to mix grey and black for the one night we spent traveling home. Unfortunately, that was a major repair effort because the valve is under the skin, in a metal box, encased in solid block of very soggy, hardened spray foam insulation, and the replacement part was slightly different than the original part, shifting everything out about 1/2 inch.

The front bed / gaucho separated out from the wall and was moving up and down a bit. I screwed it back into the wall while on the road, but have a more robust repair planned for that one. Lastly, the curb side exterior plug completely disintegrated. It is apart now and being replaced. Not bad actually, it's pretty much all original equipment (fridge, air) still and I don't recall any problems the last couple years of usage.

We've had water leaks from time to time. Because of the double hull / coach wall, water leaks on the interior may not show up in the same place where the water is entering on the exterior. Every several years (twice in 11), I pull out all the old caulk around any and everything attached to the coach and re caulk. That stops the leaks.

IMHO you should not be experiencing continued leaking problems on a new coach. A couple years ago we had some work done at Jackson Center (adjusted the door, minor skin repair) and stayed overnight in the terra port. Another couple staying there was scheduled to leave the next day after their 3rd or 4th week at Airstream. Their coach had persistent leak problems and Airstream was completely removing sections of the interior to re caulk and seal to stop them! I think Airstream worked on it during the day and they slept in it at night. I thought those folks had the patients of saints. I don't know if it was under warrantee or not.

Jim
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