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Old 02-04-2010, 07:32 AM   #1
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2010 25' FB International
Arlington , Texas
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New is BAD - Airstream

It seems like as I scan over the threads in different parts of this Forum, I'm coming across that new is bad on airstreams. Very few members have praised their new ones. Or is it that mostly only the complaints surface. Am I making a mistake by buying new? I'm a little worried. Could I get LUCKY and get one that has a grade A on quality control?

I know quit worrying, it what it is, A trailer not a Mercedes. But still just need a little reassurance......but you know what.......

She's already bought and paid for and getting her today. Wish me Luck.

Fingers Crossed......


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Old 02-04-2010, 07:40 AM   #2
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I wish you luck. Look at it way - it's the same with anything you buy today versus what was manufactured 40-50 years ago. There was a pride in workmanship that seems pretty much absent today. Everything is profit driven. But the current Airstreams are still good and well made. Yes, you hear complaints but generally when there is nothing to complain about most people are silent.

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Old 02-04-2010, 07:40 AM   #3
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I thing one gets a distorted perspective reading the posts. Not to say that there are no problems with the newer models, but I think on balance that people with negative views are more likely to post than others.

Ours is not as new as yours, but we have a 2005 that we bought used not too long ago and so far we are pretty happy with it, and after researching the market pretty thoroughly (looking at new SOB's) couldn't find anything that appealed as much.

Enjoy your new Airstream!

Brian & Connie Mitchell

2005 Classic 30'
Hensley Arrow / Centramatics
2008 GMC Sierra SLT 2500HD,4x4,Crew Cab, Diesel, Leer cap.
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:42 AM   #4
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Ottawa , Ontario
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Hi Shane,

Just like the news on the tv every night, it's mostly the negatives that get publicized. I doubt you'd get very many people starting threads just to talk about how much they love their Airstreams - though there's a great one you can look at to boost your spirits:

Nerve-wracking day, I can understand fully. With every product there's bound to be issues, nothing's perfect.

You're going to have a blast - please post some pictures. And have fun!
[SIZE=1]Michelle & family
[COLOR=Blue] 2005 28' International CCD
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:50 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by THEPILL View Post
It seems like as I scan over the threads in different parts of this Forum, I'm coming across that new is bad on airstreams. Very few members have praised their new ones. Or is it that mostly only the complaints surface. Am I making a mistake by buying new? I'm a little worried. Could I get LUCKY and get one that has a grade A on quality control?

I know quit worrying, it what it is, A trailer not a Mercedes. But still just need a little reassurance......but you know what.......

She's already bought and paid for and getting her today. Wish me Luck.

Fingers Crossed......

Jezum Shane

You have one of the worse cases of pre-buyers remorse I have ever read about. I cannot figure out if you just regret selling the Argosy or if you are just rubbing it in that you bought a new fancy trailer.

Which is it?

Sounds like you are already disappointed with this new one...have you even seen it yet???

I hope it works out for you. It is hard to complain about older trailers and part of them fun is fixing them up.

Maybe it will be just as fun to find problems and fix them too!

Here is to hoping you will love the one you are with.

Good luck.
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:59 AM   #6
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1993 21' Sovereign
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I don't remember ever seeing a post stating "Oh my God! I have a 2009 Flying Cloud and there's nothing wrong with it! What do I do?"...
There is plenty of evidence that our 35+ year old trailer was far from perfect when it was new, including some paperwork from a couple of dealers performing warranty repairs. We always remember the past through rose-colored glasses, and forget the little things that went wrong back then. Today's trailers are far different critters than those of 20, 30, and 50 years ago. They have more stuff, and it is more complex, and the more complicated a thing is, the more likely something will break.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
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Old 02-04-2010, 08:11 AM   #7
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Central , Connecticut
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There is also a different inherent level of acceptance based on how much you paid for the trailer.

We saw this when we were shopping. Looking at trailers on dealers lots, we saw trim issues in brand new trailers that were disappointing at $50k.

Then again, we were willing to accept a whole lot more when we bought our old Argosy for a little more than a tenth of that...

Personally, I do think there is something to be said for buying a newish trailer that's a few years old. The depreciation blunts the pain of dealing with issues, and the previous owner probably made some fixes anyway. It's sort of like buying a new car and worrying about the first dent, vs buying used and being more accepting.

But I still envy those with new shiny trailers.

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Old 02-04-2010, 08:20 AM   #8
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Terry, I think you hit the nail on the head. Somewhere in the past I picked up this explanation. " The perfect tool as defined by Science is the tool with the fewest moving parts". That definition came before electronics, etc. Current models of trailers, cars, planes etc. have all become complex. So we have had our manufactures create these complex tools because we want them to do everything when we want it and at the the "perfect" state we want. Moving something down a highway system at highway speeds is a very dynamic situation. And yet we want it to stay in its original "static" state. I'm restoring my second Airstream. My experience with these trailers is that they were not build any better in the past. They were just simpler tools. I have to get out of our Bambi sit on the ground, remove a panel, strike a match, hold it for a time until the pilot light stays lit, turn the dial to the "on" position. After all of that I have to wait for the water to get hot before I can take a shower. I have less trouble with my old trailer than many do with newer trailers. But I have to do more my self. So here is the thought. We all have to find a balance we can live with. Do I have to take my trailer, etc, in for repairs more often than I would like. Or do I do more myself.
Just some thoughts.
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Old 02-04-2010, 08:32 AM   #9
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I hope you are joking. Nobody has trailers still on the road in the numbers AS has that are forty or fifty years old and still doing the job they were built for then. Almost no RV today in this recession will sell as fast as an AS used. Demand is there for the product. The best you can do is to enjoy the product and quit fretting about what may never happen. Depending on your age, the trailer may well outlast you! So, why worry?
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Old 02-04-2010, 08:43 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by jmtandem View Post
Depending on your age, the trailer may well outlast you! So, why worry?
Oh GOD... now you've got me thinking about my own ceaseless, steady march towards impending doom!
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:04 AM   #11
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Yeah, it isn't what it used to be. I remember going with my dad back in 1963 as he worked with ordering a new Chev family wagon to replace the 1956 we had. Both were green. It was all smiles as we picked up the '63 a number of weeks later. I watched my dad dutifully keep a list of maybe fifteen issues that we then took back to the dealership together for making it right. And that's what I did with a list of about 9 things for our '06 Safari after buying it too -- just makes sense, right? It does take a full season of pulling and road vibrations before all becomes evident, so take full advantage of that 2 year warranty.

Let's go through some complaints...

Please don't buy an Airstream for best dollar three states away and then come back posting about how they expect you to get it back there to do warranty work on minor lighting/cabinet/laminate issues.

Marathons do work well if maintained at proper inflation. I've about had it up to here about balancing my valve stems on new units or I'll end up in the ditch and kill my family...

I've got nothing but good to say about my OEM Mega-Tron lead-acid batteries which got me through 4+ seasons of camping. There are right ways to manage batteries for long life -- foremost of which is to avoid discharging them below 45%. At multiples of the price, AGMs don't last longer. Solar won't keep me camping, so I saved the $$ and bought a quiet, efficient Honda genset. Skip the AGMs.

Clearcoat? I can see some issues but I'm satisfied. The bigger issue is that we cannot expect any plastic coating to be doing well after .. say 10-12 years. Owners & I look at the sunburn peel on early '90s Airstreams and shrug our shoulders. It's not getting worse by any means. Salt will make it go faster. No, it's not cool if it's falling apart in 2 years. A better idea of what's happening would be good, but I don't think I'll ask Lancet to do the study... Take a look at the powdery dry finish on an SOB at 10 years.

Leaks? It's a complex vehicle but at least doesn't have O-rings in the solid rocket boosters. "New" does not mean that the owner can suspend maintenance for 2, 4 or 8 years or more. From frame to skylight, there can and will be issues that we all will continue to post on as long as an Airstream drives this planet.

5 meter Langford Nahanni

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Old 02-04-2010, 09:23 AM   #12
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I suspect, as others have said, we all tend to gripe more about a problem than praise something that is problem free. We bought 2 new AS's in less than 12 months (we aren't right) and neither had any glaring manufacturing defects other than a leaking AC condensate drain tube. I suspect there are many folks out there with the same good luck that we had. Are they perfect, no. But very little in life is. We are happy and would buy new again (but only if this one was destroyed by some terrible act). Go enjoy, get on the road, get it dirty and tell us how much fun you are having.
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:37 AM   #13
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Congrats on the purchase Shane!! What happened to the Argy??
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:39 AM   #14
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When a new 'gadget' is introduced today on cars, especially the electronic computer dependant ones, my dads comment always rings in my head, "Just something else to go wrong." Dad passed away in 1962. He would be speaking of the then emergence of things like power windows and AC. I can't help but agree with him still. I am amazed with and support progress. It has, however, made me gun shy because I grew up with the ability to understand and repair my own vehicles. (Can you symphasize with my frustration after paying $200 to a mechanic to reconnect a vacuum hose.....after I was too intimidated to mess with a problem with our '94 Camry!). The true test of todays cars and trailers I like to think is their potential lasting ability. So I think we need to hold todays products to, "they don't make 'em the way they used to". Which of todays rigs will in the future be spoken of as such. Our '66 has it's inherent flaws but I am impressed with Airstream's lasting record. Anyone wishing a vintage model has no problem in locating one.

Neil and Lynn Holman
FreshAir #12407

Kirk Creek, Big Sur, Ca. coast.

1966 Trade Wind

1971 Buick Centurion convertible
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1969 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight
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