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Old 02-11-2009, 09:03 PM   #61
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Mercedes builds what? Quality cars for a high price right?

Airstream builds what? Quality trailers plus for a high price right? That is the claim to fame.

What would happen to Mercedes if they had the same quality control problems as Airstream? Corrosion, leaks, poor sloppy workmanship, unresponsive company...

An airstream trailer can be bought new for about the same price as a new Mercedes Benz. Forgive the automotive analogy... But What the hell, a whole lot more goes into making a Merc. than an AS trailer. Complicated propulsion systems, suspension, electronics, interior and exterior. Let me tell you... A trailer has the basics... Fridge, stove, B-room, plumbing, bedding, cabinets. Believe me I know, I have taken one apart and put it back together. I know how simple the systems are and just how easy it would be to make them better. I wouldn't even try that with a Mercedes becasue I know they are made the best they could be... Their standeards are high and quality is un compromising.

It seems to me they have a similar reputation and price range as an Airstream. People have a right to expect them to be made of lasting quality.

What do I know I'm just a dumb copper from California.
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Old 02-11-2009, 09:10 PM   #62
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Speaking about rivet shavings, ect.

During my 67 restoration, I found the same.

Also, I have seen less than acceptable construction methods.
Different things here and there.

The 60's, I thought were the good years.
I still like it and do not have buyers remorse.

I wonder if the 50-60's "original owners" commented on QC like we do today?
Was there high QC in the 50-60's?

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Old 02-11-2009, 09:38 PM   #63
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During the past half dozen years I took the Airstream factory tour at least a half dozen times.

Some changes and improvements in manufacturing were obvious over this time period, but one thing that I observed on my last tour said volumes about Airstream managements' attitude toward quality.

As we passed along the row of Airstream trailers that were nearing their final finish, several employees were working on one of these trailers. It's door and at least one of it's windows were open.

One of these workers apparently needed to use an air impact wrench inside the trailer. Rather than taking the wrench with him through the door, or pass it through the open window, he threw it in through the window opening and let it bounce, heavily, off the vinly floor - or off whatever else it may have happened to have bounced off when it hit.

Actions like that speak volumes.
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Old 02-11-2009, 10:28 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepsi View Post
Mercedes builds what? Quality cars for a high price right?

Airstream builds what? Quality trailers plus for a high price right? That is the claim to fame.

What would happen to Mercedes if they had the same quality control problems as Airstream? Corrosion, leaks, poor sloppy workmanship, unresponsive company...

An airstream trailer can be bought new for about the same price as a new Mercedes Benz. Forgive the automotive analogy... But What the hell, a whole lot more goes into making a Merc. than an AS trailer. Complicated propulsion systems, suspension, electronics, interior and exterior. Let me tell you... A trailer has the basics... Fridge, stove, B-room, plumbing, bedding, cabinets. Believe me I know, I have taken one apart and put it back together. I know how simple the systems are and just how easy it would be to make them better. I wouldn't even try that with a Mercedes becasue I know they are made the best they could be... Their standeards are high and quality is un compromising.

It seems to me they have a similar reputation and price range as an Airstream. People have a right to expect them to be made of lasting quality.

What do I know I'm just a dumb copper from California.
Mercedes Benz has gone through a rough period too. At one point consumer reports could not recommend any of their models. Reports showed that we (i am a service manager) had 146 problems per 100 cars in a 90 day period. Thats alot of return visits to the dealer before the first service is due. Customers were justifiably upset. Profits before quality. Then a new commitment by the company in 2005 to be back in the top 3 according to JDPowers. In our dark days of 03' and im sure there are folks reading this that owned these cars during this time, we were listed as #22 in initial quality. Right down at the bottom with Jeep and Kia. So why all this background? We are now #2 striving to be #1 and with the current product the star will shine again. And its mostly due to listening to the people who spent their hard earned dollars on the product. Once they had the arrogance to say they were the best regardless of what the customers said and now they let the customers speak and reflect their opinions through JD Powers surveys. Airstream and the rest of the RV industry, whats left of it, need to follow suit. Whats measured will be improved. If you dont measure it then who cares. Why is the RV industry not tied to this as the auto industry is? They are asking all the money and you can compare to various price points? Airstream better do what MB did and let go of the arrogance as they are just better because of the name and listen to the people. I've seen it played through and know it stands the test of time and wish it for airstream to get it together.. one mans opinion.

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Old 02-11-2009, 10:48 PM   #65
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I will say that I was quite disappointed in the quality of Airstreams when I went to a dealership in 2003....It really broke my heart...I noticed that the AS has become more 'boxy' and the interior does not seem to have the 'high end quality' that AS has built it's reputation on. The interior has vinyl on the walls that have 'gaps' as well as 'kinks' and I noticed the smell of formaldehyde so strongly that it burned my eyes--then again--I DO have allergies! The CCD seems to be the vision of what AS has always deemed to be--unique...Although I do not have the finances to own such a fine and beautiful CCD, I do have my 1974 Sovereign, and I can testify as to the quality and uniqueness to inwhich it was designed and built for it's era. All of the interior and exterior was built to last--but alas, after all of these years, it now needs renovation---then again---most SOB's NEVER LAST THIS LONG AND AS STILL HAS VINTAGE AS OWNERS 'TRADING' PARTS!!! AS needs to look at what their repuatation was built upon, especially during these hard economic times when consumers that have the luxury to purchase a vehicle for recreation....What would Wally think????
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Old 02-11-2009, 11:10 PM   #66
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"is it management at any level that's to blame for No Q/C or is it the assembly workers not heaving enough pride in the product they build or the guts to say something to there Foreman or manager?"

In the end it's always management. They are responsible for setting the standards and seeing they are adhered to.That's what management means.

I'm sure there are plenty of employees who want to do a good job and who have ideas that would allow them to do their jobs better, faster and cheaper - if management would only listen. I've never worked in a factory where there weren't.

I'm sure there are also goons who sabotage their own jobs every day and laugh about it over a beer every night.

If management doesn't do their job neither will anyone else. You don't learn how to run a factory at Harvard. One good experienced foreman is worth a dozen MBAs when it comes to keeping a factory going and turning out good products on time and within budget.
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Old 02-11-2009, 11:50 PM   #67
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We have been seriously looking at Airstream for almost three years now as retirement nears. I have crawled under, over, around and through every one I can find. I have made myself a pest at more than one AS dealer. I have embarrased myself and a few unsuspecting Airstream owners I have ran into, although to be honest most AS owners are more than willing to let me look over their trailers as are most RV enthusiats. Then my 81 year old uncle shows up from Colorado with His 29 year old Holiday Rambler. He knows I want an AS so bad I can taste it. He starts in about the Quality of HIS Holiday Rambler and how trouble free it has been in the 29 years HE has owned it. Everything in it is original except the Hot water heater. IT ALL WORKS and the cabinets are still sound and it don't leak. NOW, mind you He takes exceptional care of it. Stores it in a barn but also travels exstensively year after year. He put new wheel bearings in it twice. He says it has well over a hundred thousand miles on it AND its still a solid trailer. So don't tell me ONLY airstreams last. I think the biggest reason AS last is owners take more pride and treat their trailers with a HARLEY like attitude.

I have changed my focus as of late to other models...also crawling over then with a fine tooth comb. GUESS WHAT.....There are brands out there TODAY with much better fit and finish, cabinets that put Airstreams to shame. With wireing and plumbing the actually looks like someone cared when it was assembled. Unlike the mess I see in the new Airstreams. Other than the COOL FACTOR of a new Airstream I cannot justify paying over twice as much for a trailer that has less features and poorer assembley than "some" other new SOB's. It hurts to know the truth. Yes there is junk out there in some SOB's.....so don't come back with that one. But let me tell you....other than haveing a cool aluminum shell that LEAKS Airstream has lost my business. The only way I would buy AS is an older model. Sorry but thats the way I see it and I think I know construction quality when I see it.
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Old 02-12-2009, 12:02 AM   #68
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Hey, I AGREE with you totally!!! Thanks for your honesty...I really appreciate your uncle as he knows quality when he sees it...Too bad AS has seemed to have 'lost' it's vision....Perhaps ANDY should oversee AS production!! He could be our GURU!!
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Old 02-12-2009, 12:24 AM   #69
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Holiday Rambler IMHO has always been the best square trailer.
Riveted skin to an aluminum frame with Mor-Ryde suspension.
Heavy and Boxy.

Imperials from the early to mid 80's were sweet.

HR also had ASCS as an option.
( Automatic Stabilization Control System)

Sample Imperial below.
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Old 02-12-2009, 03:46 AM   #70
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I have a Mercedes Benz Airstream, an Interstate, And i have had many more problems with the MB part than the AS part. zz
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Old 02-12-2009, 06:46 AM   #71
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Interstate is pretty cool ride, but totally different beast than the trailers.....the factory simply installs components and kits, with only some custom work, whereas the trailer, they build from the ground up. Yes they don't make everything, but significantly more than what is found on an Interstate. To compare the Interstate to the trailer line is an apples to oranges comparison.

In addition, many of the components and point of assembly of the Interstate/Sprinter chassis are a combo of parts between then Daimler/Chrysler/Freightliner depending on the model year. The Interstate based off the Sprinter chassis from what I understand is not a 100% Mercedes chassis with 100% Mercedes parts, again, depending on where assembled and what model year.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:28 AM   #72
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Lots of people telling others what to do, misery loves company. Except for the corrosion issue most of these problems should have been corrected by the selling dealer, mountains out of molehills. jim
Jim,

What year is your coach?

My money, my mountain, your molehill.
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:34 AM   #73
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This may not be the place to say it but frankly there are a lot better built trailers than Airstream and always were.

Avion, Streamline, Silver Streak, Boles Aero, and Holiday Rambler just to name a few.

But Airstream and Holiday Rambler seem to be the only ones still in business. Which proves that making a better product is not necessarily the way to make money.
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Old 02-12-2009, 09:01 AM   #74
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Hey everybody I think one of the Airstream Factory reps are reading these posts...
Some threads are being read back in JC. I know because I was told so by someone who knows.

It seems this thread has opened the floodgates of anger. There's several hundred thousands of dollars worth of new Airstreams never to be sold judging by the reactions of just those who have posted in the last few days. Since a lot more people read these threads than post on them, maybe a million dollars lost to the company, or, maybe a lot more. It will take a long time to turn this around.

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Old 02-12-2009, 11:44 AM   #75
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Gene,
As I said earlier,

"As customers I feel we need to send a message to Airstream. We love you guys. Don't let us down". The sentiment others are posting is, as I interpet it, we are all interested in Airstream's continued success. We want to see them build a quality product and prospher as a result. Am I right people?
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Old 02-12-2009, 11:50 AM   #76
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Gene,
As I said earlier,

"As customers I feel we need to send a message to Airstream. We love you guys. Don't let us down". The sentiment others are posting is, as I interpet it, we are all interested in Airstream's continued success. We want to see them build a quality product and prospher as a result. Am I right people?
DITTO...Now how do we get the word to the powers that be???

When we got our '06 I was very pleased with the fit and finish. It sounds like I may be one of the few. Where I got disappointed was when I started getting into the nooks and crannies and saw all the construction detritus. I felt like a lot of others...I paid a ton of money for this coach and the least they could have done was clean up after themselves.
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Old 02-12-2009, 11:52 AM   #77
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As the originator of this thread I would like to ask anybody else posting on it to keep the message positive. Anything else is just bitching and that does no good.

If you fight evil with evil only evil can win.

I am proud of my Airstream and what I have been able to do with it. I look forward to many miles of family fun in our aluminium palace.
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Old 02-12-2009, 12:30 PM   #78
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I would like to know this.
1. The name of the company that fabricates the frames used in all Airstream trailers and, how long have they been used as a source for this.
2. Where they get the specification for the frame's metal, the welding rod material used and, the specification for the type of paint used to paint the frame. I have heard that it's a water based paint, if that's the case, what justification is cited for this?
3. Freedom of information related to any and all research work (covering the last 20 years) issues that may have been raised by customers and, studies done related to a search for a floor replacement material other than what has been used for the last 20 yrs.
I am sure that others may have a valid point or two for this list from "concerned owners".
At some point, I would then suggest that the list be "registered" as public information and, a demand for improvement be present to the executive management at Thor, Inc.
BTW, I have personal knowledge that it's no secret: The forum pages have been read and read (for years now) by the "Factory Reps" from Airstream. I don't mean to imply that this is bad, either~
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Old 02-12-2009, 12:44 PM   #79
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Gene,
Am I right people?
You bet.....

But it's hard being positive on such a negative subject.

I'm sorry, for the $ PAID I think we all have the right/obligation to demand more.


Is it the buyers fault the Mother-ship is Lost In Space?
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Old 02-12-2009, 02:43 PM   #80
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As the originator of this thread I would like to ask anybody else posting on it to keep the message positive. Anything else is just bitching and that does no good.

If you fight evil with evil only evil can win.

I am proud of my Airstream and what I have been able to do with it. I look forward to many miles of family fun in our aluminium palace.
I'm also so proud to have purchased my Airstream, fresh from the factory with almost no grease in the wheel bearings. And just because the company refused to acknowledge this was anything to be concerned with should not be a reason for being anything but positive. After all, another forum member with a similar issue told me to check my wheels bearings before my first trip, and it's not like my wife or I were killed as a result of towing our Airstream with no grease in the wheel bearings.

However, if spreading the truth about Airstream is viewed as fighting evil with evil, then I plead guilty.
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