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Old 01-24-2015, 07:31 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by BoldAdventure View Post
So which one in Florida, because there are only 3 and I know which one I think is a stinky.

And on the topic of stealerships.
I imagine we are talking about the same one. It would be difficult to believe there is another one worse than this one.

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Old 01-24-2015, 07:32 PM   #16
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So do we need to go to NJ to get our new Airstream?

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Old 01-24-2015, 08:28 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by ZBoater View Post
So do we need to go to NJ to get our new Airstream?
You might want to shop for best price where you can find it, then head north for a couple of hours to get service.
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Old 01-24-2015, 09:09 PM   #18
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Well, let's eliminate one possibility -- JD Sanders in Alachau has been and still is run by the same family forever. Can't speak to sales but their service is excellent as is the parts department. Really nice, honest people.

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Old 01-24-2015, 10:11 PM   #19
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Hi, well as far as I'm concerned, we got our best deal from the best dealer, about 900 miles away from our home. While living in Southern California, we bought our trailer in Eugene, Oregon and couldn't be happier. Due to the distance, all dealer repair work was done in Bellflower, California at "C&G Trailer Service". When in the Bay area, we get great service from "Vinnie's Northbay Airstream Repair". Now after ten years, we are now about 60 miles from our selling dealer [George Sutton RV] and had great service there too.

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Old 01-24-2015, 10:31 PM   #20
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Our AS also came from Sutton. Have had some local service, but that dealer got moved out of easy reach due to freeway widening in our area.

Mostly I do it myself if possible

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Old 01-24-2015, 10:57 PM   #21
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As you live in Montreal, you might schedule a trip to Can-Am in London, Ontario. They carry a variety of RVs, but they've been an Airstream dealer for a long time. We got our first AS from them, and found them extremely helpful. They advertise themselves as the "towing specialists," and I think this is justified.

We got our current AS from Airstream of Spokane, in Washington state. Probably too far for you to travel, but for anyone else in western Canada or the northwestern US reading this thread, we've found them very helpful and good to deal with.

Of course, as others have noted, buyers always have to do their homework in advance.

Too bad you had such a rotten experience.
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Old 01-25-2015, 09:56 AM   #22
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They are geographically located very close to me. See my profile location to the left, do the math.

They make used car dealers look good. Seriously, made the mistake of giving them our contact info, they bugged us for months calling every other week to see if we're still interested. They also employed high pressure sales when we where there, trying to keep us from leaving the show room floor. Just trying to actually see Airstreams in person, and the sales rep was annoying, clueless and wouldn't leave us alone long enough to experience things on our own. This is our experience.

I imagine that since Airstream is a business owned by a larger business called Thor Industries, that being a dealer is like becoming a Ford Dealer and a matter of money and licensing fees and ability to sell X number of units. Not based on how nice and polite the dealer is.

That being said, whom ever owns or runs the business sets the atmosphere of the whole business and it's companies beliefs and standards it's employees follow. This is why some businesses are better than others.
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Old 01-25-2015, 09:59 AM   #23
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I second the opinion on JD Sanders as being an excellent Florida dealer. Now there are only two to figure out which is the culprit.

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Old 01-25-2015, 10:00 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by ZBoater View Post
So do we need to go to NJ to get our new Airstream?
I wouldn't, I would go to Gulfport and get it from Foley RV. Best experience I've ever had making a large purchase like this.
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Old 01-25-2015, 10:52 AM   #25
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We have purchased three Airstreams, and I will name the dealers here for those interested and give a little insight.

We bought one from Colonial in NJ we found them to be fair and honest to deal with and a very good service department. We enjoyed the experience and they had the used unit we were looking for in stock with a complete open book history on the unit.

Our second and third Airstreams came from Airstream of Western PA. A small dealer located in Greensburg, PA. Our first purchase was a trade of the used we purchased from Colonial, they beat Colonials price on the net to trade and we too enjoyed the experience.

The third is complicated, but George their only sales person got the job done. We had sold our Airstream and purchased a new SOB 37' Gas Motothome by Newmar. Great coach great to luxury camp in but a pain to drive (we both have CDL licenses and have for years). While on a trip in the West I called the selling dealer of the Newmar and asked if they would consider selling it for us on consignment, they said yes and we got into a discussion as to what if anything we were going to go to. We told them a 30' FC and a new Diesel truck. They said sit tight, meanwhile I called WP Airstream and talked at length with George and worked out options etc. Two weeks later we had a deal where WP Airstream took the order for the AS, sold it to the Motorhome dealer and they in turn took our MH in on trade and sold us the AS. It cost us some to get all this done, but no where near what we thought and as the Motorhome dealer said we've never sold a unit and written a check to the buyers at the same time, a large check.
WP Airstream received the unit, spent a day and a half going through it in prep as they always do and we picked it up and they went through it with us. The three mechanics are great in my opinion, Alex, Carl and Tom. And the whole deal was done via, phone, email and text.

So, I recommend Colonial - a big place tons and tons of knowledge, nice people and they treated us very fairly. I also recommend Airstream of Western PA, George is very knowledgeable, gets back to every question and is very patient and their mechanics are excellent. You will not be impressed with the dealership, but having hired and fired a number of dealers over the years while in business I often referred to the book by it's cover rule.

Good luck - there are awful dealers, good dealers and great dealers but understand once a dealer relationship is established with a large manufacturer it is no simple matter to just close them down and open a new one it's a long and tedious legal path one must follow, been there done that.

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Old 01-25-2015, 11:05 AM   #26

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AWP treated us very well on several recalls we had done. and yes, the tech's were top notch.

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Old 01-25-2015, 11:07 AM   #27
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Papa Smurf, as a Florida resident and Airstream owner I will share that dealers seem to be easy come easy go. Consider that three years ago when I bought my Airstream, there were three dealers just like BoldAdventure said. Now, as of Jan 2015, there are six dealers in Florida listed on the Airstream site. I can tell you that the one in my area, Fort Myers, is about a year old. They have been selling RVs for many years but are new to Airstream. They are a huge RV dealership- North Trail. I have visited and can tell them more about them than they know, at least in sales. They're nice but just getting started. I am sure that this would be true for the other two new ones. The one that has been on the list for a long time is JD Sanders in Alachua, FL near Gainesville. I took mine there to have a panel replaced as their panel guy has been doing it for about 30 years. Airstream even recommended that I go there for that kind of work rather than drive to Jackson Center- seriously. They are not a large dealer but they know Airstream.

I believe you have to go in with most of your questions answered other than sales stuff. Ask the people on here. They will also not have a dog in the race so you should get a bit more truth.

When I was shopping I had phone contact with Colonial and Bates. My sales person at Bates (no longer open) was very nice though there was dispute over who was to get the sale in front of me when I did buy- made me feel bad. One of the three talked against Airstreams for about a half hour with my father, "you should see em after a hail storm,etc." There is a story to how three sales people got involved which, wasn't my fault but regardless, they were good to me. My Colonial experience was based on two phone conversations. One good and one bad. I believe this forum can just about answer any technical question and even perhaps help you with pricing to an extent. Go in loaded with info- as a cousin of Wally Byam via Airforum!
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Old 01-25-2015, 11:20 AM   #28
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There are actually seven Airstream Dealers in Florida. There is one each in Dover, Winter Park, Alachua, Ft. Myers, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, and DeFuniak Springs.

I have bought new Airstreams at two of them, a 2005 Safari at Sanders in Alachua and a 2015 Flying Cloud at Dixie in DeFuniak Springs. I also bought a one year old 2012 Flying Cloud at Foley in Gulfport, Mississippi.

All three provided a good buying experience. No one sold me an Airstream as I already knew what I wanted. I was shopping inventory, price, and distance.

It has been my experience that sales people at RV dealers are not super knowledgeable. Many have never towed anything or never spent a night in an RV. The folks at Sanders are probably the most competent that I have dealt with.

As far as service and repairs go, I try to have all my work done at the Airstream Factory Service Center in Jackson Center, Ohio. I have had some really bad service experiences at Airstream Dealers over the years. One dealer was doing some service work for me. I asked him if he had equipment to handle my Airstream with the Hensley Arrow installed. He assured me that he could. When I returned to pick up the Airstream, my Hensley had been removed from the trailer and was in a box next to the trailer. I had to reinstall it myself in their parking lot as they didn't have anyone who knew how to do it. When I balked at paying the full amount of the bill, he called the Police. I ended up paying the full amount of the bill. I wrote a long letter to Airstream about this. This company is no longer an Airstream dealer.

On another occasion, I stopped at an Airstream dealer on a trip to have the Safari's wheel hubs serviced. When they were done, the tailer brakes didn't work. I ended up having to readjust the brake shoes myself as they did not have anyone there who knew how to do it. This company was a brand new RV/Airstream dealer that was already a big Chevrolet Dealer. They were using car mechanics to work on my Airstream. All of these guys were too young to know anything about drum brakes. I realize that they were just setting up their RV business, but if they were not ready to take on service customers they should have sent me elsewhere.

I did have a good service experience at an Airstream dealer when I had brake failure on the Safari near Mount Shasta, California. We limped into Eugene, Oregon where Sutton Airstream took us right in and competently completed the necessary repairs. Sanders has also done some minor repairs for us and done a good job.


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