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Old 07-22-2007, 06:19 PM   #1
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We're looking for our first AS, and would hope to avoid bad experiences with dealers. We live in St. Pete, FL, and can travel as far as necessary to be sure to have the very best experience. What are the Forum's recommendations as to the VERY BEST AS dealers. Southeastern US is preferred and of course FL would be best; but we'll travel is there is a real consensus telling us to hit the road for a distant dealer. Thanks, Tom
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Old 07-22-2007, 06:38 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgrichards
We're looking for our first AS, and would hope to avoid bad experiences with dealers. We live in St. Pete, FL, and can travel as far as necessary to be sure to have the very best experience. What are the Forum's recommendations as to the VERY BEST AS dealers. Southeastern US is preferred and of course FL would be best; but we'll travel is there is a real consensus telling us to hit the road for a distant dealer. Thanks, Tom
I and others here have had great experience with Airstream of Arkansas.

The sales manager (Airhog1) is a frequent poster.

Did everything by email and telephone.
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Old 07-22-2007, 07:30 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgrichards
We're looking for our first AS, and would hope to avoid bad experiences with dealers. We live in St. Pete, FL, and can travel as far as necessary to be sure to have the very best experience. What are the Forum's recommendations as to the VERY BEST AS dealers. Southeastern US is preferred and of course FL would be best; but we'll travel is there is a real consensus telling us to hit the road for a distant dealer. Thanks, Tom
Tom, Bates RV just East of Tampa on I-4 has a very large selection of Airstreams, and has the advantage of being very close to you. Airstream of Arkansas is very good, with many forums members being counted as his customers. If you don't want to go West of the Mississippi, Colonial Airstream in New Jersey has a group of loyal followers here on the forums, as well.
I am splitting your question off from this thread, so someone skimming through the thread doesn't think because these dealers are mentioned in this thread, they are bad. Good luck in your hunt.
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Old 07-22-2007, 08:06 PM   #4
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Tgrichards –-

The "best dealership" may not necessarily have the best service department.

Factory warranty service can be done at any qualified Airstream Service place.

Your first decision is to find the "best dealer" who you can feel comfortable with and who will sell you exactly what you want at the best price AND provide the best prep (at a reasonable price). You should research this along with finding out which dealer has a record of being trustworthy, friendly, easy to work with, and delivering trailers in the best condition, well-prepped AND undamaged (by them!)

Once you have bought and accepted your Airstream, you can than research, which qualified Airstream place of service, will provide you with the best and most trustworthy service at a reasonable price and be responsive to your needs.

A good place to start is by communicating with others (including those on this forum) who live in your area. The forum search engine here is a useful tool for your research.

Good Luck… Research thoroughly to save yourself heartache down the line!

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Old 07-22-2007, 09:02 PM   #5
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Colonial Airstream probably has the best website of any dealerout there including the mother ship, Airstream Inc. I have zeo experience with their sevice but the sales staff is excellent. Also I've heard very good things about Airstream of Arkansas.
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Old 07-22-2007, 11:22 PM   #6
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I can tell my experience with Bates And Sanders RV in Florida. I stopped at Bates un-announced with a problem with my stereo. They told me it would be a few minutes and that was fine since I did not call ahead. Tech came out looked at my trailer. It took him 10 minutes to reposition the sub-woofer and my annoying problem was gone. Sanders did not want to touch it. Since it was electronics. They did not even try.
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Old 07-23-2007, 08:05 AM   #7
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Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

We bought our new 2005 25' Safari FB in June, 2006, at Sanders Airstream in Alachua, Florida, which is near Gainesville. We would highly recommend Sanders. We got the best price that we could find on the new Airstream that we wanted. We have found their service department to be competent and cooperative. We have had a number of warranty items handled there, and also had our hubs servred there. We were satisfied on each visit.

Sanders is a family operation, and are very nice to deal with.
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Old 07-23-2007, 09:10 AM   #8
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One thing I have found travelling and using many different dealers. I have hit the "you didn't buy it hear we really don't want to help you" attitude. Not very service oriented in my opinion. There a a few exceptions. I did not get that with Bates. I have a feeling that was happening to some degree with Sanders.
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Old 07-23-2007, 09:57 AM   #9
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The Very Best

Tom---Congratulations on your decision to buy an AS.

In addition to the responses you already have, there are a couple of things you can do to maximize you satisifaction with the transaction. Define for yourself what are your expectations that are important for you in this process. Both what you want to see, feel, experience and what you want to avoid. Is this just the purchase part or the overall ownership experience? Some responses have already alluded to the connection of the two. Are you handy and able to fix and adjust warranty issues or will it be a trip to a dealer everytime? Then think about good enough vs THE WORLDS BEST. Convenience and proximity to home may be a factor for you. Do your homework on what you want to buy in the AS product line and what a reasonable price is. This is the same homework you would do in buying a car or truck.

Best of luck to you and enjoy the new AS.
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:26 AM   #10
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I second Dennis' vote for Airstream of Arkansas. Good folks!
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:40 AM   #11
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The folks at Colonial changed our opinion of TT dealers. We had been under-whelmed by SOB dealers. The Colonial folks were fair and easy to work with.
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Old 07-23-2007, 02:44 PM   #12
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Bill Thomas - St. Louis

We've had really great experiences with Bill Thomas Camper Sales in St. Louis, both parts and service for our vintage units and discussing buying a new one. Their prices are good, the service is outstanding, and they have one of the best prep guys in the business. They've been around a long time - I think they advertise being the oldest Airstream dealer still in business - and they really know their stuff. While they don't advertise as extensively as some of the others, they do a large number of out-of-state sales. Call Thomas and ask for Glenn. We've been up at the dealership a great deal lately for different things and have enjoyed it every time.
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Old 08-04-2007, 12:33 AM   #13
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The Best vs. The Bad (remember that thread?)

One more word of advice before you select a dealer:

Check their Reliability Report with the Better Business Bureau!
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Old 08-04-2007, 07:48 AM   #14
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I've had very good experiences with Out of Doors Mart in Colfax NC and not so good with my local DonMar RV right off I-95.

Good luck with your quest.
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