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Old 01-24-2015, 03:56 PM   #1
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2016 27' International
Montreal , Quebec
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Posts: 149
Not impressed

After countless hours gathering information on this site I took advantage of a business trip to Florida to visit an Airstream dealer. I really was not impressed, from the lack of knowledge of the sales person to the used car salesman attitute of the manager the experience left a lot to be desired. Does anyone knows how Airstream choose their dealers.It seems to me if you build a quality product you should take better care in choosing who will be representing you. Have you ever left a dealer saying to yourself , no matter if these guys have the best price I would never buy anything from them? And I guess another question would be have you ever had such a good impression of a dealer that you were willing to pay more just to do business with them.

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Old 01-24-2015, 04:07 PM   #2
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2002 19' Bambi
Northwestern Ontario , - on the backside of the map and just above the big green spot
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That's too bad you had a bad experience. No question Airstream has had, and obviously still does have, some iffy dealerships - no idea what the criteria is to become a bona fide dealership but apparently it's not a very high bar (we had our own questions in Calgary, Alberta when we purchased our Bambi) - in Ontario, CanAm is a long serving and well established dealership - and one of the best anywhere for marrying your Airstream to your Tow Vehicle.


Bambi - 2002 (The Toaster)
Pathfinder - 2009 (The Buggy)

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Old 01-24-2015, 04:10 PM   #3
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Well, I live in a city without an AS dealers.

We have visited three.

The first was in our state, and I knew more about the specs on the unit (16) than the salesperson did. He didn't know it only has one waste tank, and couldn't get the dinette table lowered. But this dealer sells a whole lot of other SOBs, so maybe we didn't get the right salesperson.

Second was equal distant from our home, in another state. Sales person knew a whole lot, answered many questions, and was a good salesperson.

Third was farther away, in a city we were visiting on vacation. Great salesperson. VERY knowledgable about everything. By far the best combination of salesperson and AS expert. But that dealer is twice as far as either of the first 2.

There is still one more dealer that is in our state, but further than dealers 1 or 2 by a little. We will probably visit there this summer (we don't expect to buy until 2016).

We want to know where we will trust our unit for warranty work, and where we feel like they know what they are doing.

Piggy Bank
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Old 01-24-2015, 04:27 PM   #4
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Tucson , Arizona
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I myself, have NEVER had a "good" experience at any dealership! I always recommend a buyer do their own research and educate themselves. Sales people usually are usually poorly trained along with being poorly paid. I've seen it so many times I literally gave up on talking to sales people until I've found what I want.
I realize this isn't the way it's supposed to work but most salespeople who don't know the correct answer to questions, will just lie to you. But, there ARE good dealerships and salespeople out there. Maybe you will be lucky enough to live close to one!
2013 Ram Power Wagon 2500 4X4 5.7 Hemi
2001 Airstream '34 Limited
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Fulltime in 2013 and LOVING it !!
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Old 01-24-2015, 04:31 PM   #5
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Northwestern Ontario , - on the backside of the map and just above the big green spot
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Well Mr. Bank - it sounds like you might be on a similar path as the one we took - we spent six months researching the model we wanted - consulted the internet, talked to owners in campgrounds, did a trip to Jackson Centre, visited 3 Airstream dealerships and got prices from 4. In the end we purchased from a dealership that was less than stellar - but we already knew what we wanted - they happened to have it in the lot - and we got it for the price we wanted. We never had to go back to the dealership - Airstream in Jackson Centre dealt with the warranty issues we had - so we were happy.

Bambi - 2002 (The Toaster)
Pathfinder - 2009 (The Buggy)

"I'm not young enough to know everything ....."
(Oscar Wilde)
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Old 01-24-2015, 04:58 PM   #6
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My nearest Airstream dealer is Foley RV in Gulfport, MS. I have only good experiences with them, on sales, service, and parts. I have yet to hear from anyone who had a bad experience with them.

I suppose it helps that owner Rick Foley doesn't just sell Airstreams, he has owned Airstreams since even before he started up his dealership.

Sales - When I bought my Airstream interstate at Foley, the saleslady I dealt with had a spiral-bound notebook chock full of information about Interstates that she had gleaned from a factory tour. Including stuff that wasn't in the owner's manual that I downloaded and studied in advance. Her ability to correctly answer every question I asked was one reason I bought from them. Though I have to admit, when I laid down on my back in the gravel and wiggled up underneath to look at the holding tank placement, I did kind of take her by surprise.

Service - When I bought my Honda Fit to use as a toad, they did the toad conversion, installing supplemental brakes, rewiring the taillights with blocking diodes to work as trailer lights while an umbilical is hooked up, and installing the towbar baseplates. Foley's service department even had the good sense to bring in a Honda service technician from a dealership a few blocks away to install the vacuum line and check valve that allows the supplemental brake system's vacuum pump to operate the Honda's power brakes. Takes a real professional— in my opinion— to admit that he's outside his comfort zone and bring in someone who knows what he's doing.

Parts - Whether I was ordering over the phone or in person, the parts manager has made a point of shopping around with various wholesalers to get me the best price on the parts and equipment I ordered, since multiple wholesalers often carry the same parts, but at different prices and delivery times.
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Old 01-24-2015, 05:09 PM   #7
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2014 25' FB International
2007 20' Safari SE
2005 19' Safari
Qualicum Beach , British Columbia
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When we decided that we wanted an Airstream, I did the same thing. Researched and shopped all over. Unfortunately we live in an area (BC) that only had one dealership , the next closest being Calgary.
It was so disappointing to talk to one , and the other one wasn't interested.
I finally ended up in Eugene Oregon. and couldn't have been happier.
For my second I didn't even bother with the locals, and dealt with a new dealer in Saskatchewan who gave me the difference price I wanted. For our 3rd( and final) there was a new dealer 40 miles away who could not have been more pleasant and more professional to deal with.
We ended up dealing with Midtown in Penticton BC even though I could have paid less difference in Saskatchewan.
I couldn't be happier with their sales and after sales service. In my opinion, price isn't everything.

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Old 01-24-2015, 05:17 PM   #8
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Colfax , North Carolina
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One thing to consider when perusing is not only the price but how they will be able to take care of any warranty and service issues. There are dealers that have great prices, then after you sign on the dotted line they forget who you are when you need warranty or service work. Sometimes, it is better to pay a little more, and know the dealer will take care of you after the sale.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
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Old 01-24-2015, 05:54 PM   #9
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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.
Family of 5 exploring the USA with a Ram Power Wagon & Airstream in tow.
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Old 01-24-2015, 06:20 PM   #10

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Thumbs up

Be careful, don't stink on a dinky...mod alert.

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Old 01-24-2015, 06:24 PM   #11
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Why is this posted here?
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Old 01-24-2015, 06:41 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by mrprez View Post
Why is this posted here?
Cause this is where you wrote it!

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Old 01-24-2015, 08:19 PM   #13
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Tampa , Florida
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I've been researching Airstreams intensely, watching videos, brochures, forums, etc., and the three places I went to in Florida to see them I knew more than the sales reps. In their defense, I probably spent more time studying Airstreams and they had 10 brands to learn.

I'd love to talk to someone who KNOWS the difference between a Flying Cloud and an International and a Classic. Yes, I noticed how the nice factor went up, the real wood cabinets and power bed in the Classic (plus the extra 1000 lbs.). But I had to find these out by myself, and I'm sure I've missed some things. The AS brochures are too markety and the detailed differences between the models are glossed over.

One rep offered to get me in touch with an AS factory rep. That was nice. I may take him up on that, although this forum has answered a lot of my questions already!
2014 Airstream Flying Cloud 30' Recliner: Base weight 6422, GVWR 8800
2013 Cadillac Escalade Tow Vehicle: 6.2L, 403hp, 417 ft-lb., 4x2, 3.42 axle ratio, Max Payload 1573, Max Towing 8300.
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Old 01-24-2015, 08:29 PM   #14
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2007 25' International CCD
1993 32' Excella
Largo , Florida
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I'll make you a bet that Bold Adventure and I are thinking about the same Airstream dealer. I've heard nothing , but negative reports about them to include a friend who purchased a new 30' Classic a few months ago. As a local Floridian I've learned that you have to be real careful when driving on the I-4 corridor.


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