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Old 11-27-2011, 08:19 PM   #1
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Frame question

Don't know if this is the best place for this question, but the moderators may move it to a better place if necessary.

Who makes Airstream's frames? I'm particularly interested in the 1995-2005 era.

Thanks.
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Old 11-27-2011, 11:08 PM   #2
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Interesting question. I assumed they were made at the factory... maybe not?
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Old 11-28-2011, 05:42 AM   #3
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Hi David,
Here is some good reading for you. All about suppliers. Mostly about the Euro spec Stream, but references to Dexter. From what I know, Dexter owns a frame builder that makes frames for Airstream. If you search enough, you may find price quotes from Dexter for a completely new frame for someones 1970s AS.
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
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Hi David,
Here is some good reading for you. All about suppliers. Mostly about the Euro spec Stream, but references to Dexter. From what I know, Dexter owns a frame builder that makes frames for Airstream. If you search enough, you may find price quotes from Dexter for a completely new frame for someones 1970s AS.
I think it is Dexter. I went and checked out a frame that a guy out here had ordered for his trailer. It was not cheap as I recall. I believe it was around 4-6 K?
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Old 11-28-2011, 01:19 PM   #5
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I expect they are made by various sub contractors if not made by Airstream. I expect they are made by the lowest bidder. I would say that depending on the year it could be several different companies. Any decent size welding shop can make frames.

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Old 11-28-2011, 09:08 PM   #6
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Here's the reason for my question. We own a small Heartland product, an mpg 181. Most, if not all, of Heartland's frames come from Lippert. I've read enough about Lippert's lack of quality (broken welds seem to be pretty common) that I'd rather not buy something with a Lippert frame for our FT coach.

On another forum I read something about Lippert buying at least some of Dexter, but there seemed to be confusion about just what was purchased, whether the whole company or just part of it.

I suppose that if we got serious about a particular Airstream I could always call the factory, give them the serial number, and see what they could tell me.
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Old 11-28-2011, 10:07 PM   #7
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The day we were at the factory last year they were unloading a shipment of frames. I can not remember who they said those particular frames came from. They came right off the truck and onto the assembly line where they installed the Dexter Axles with brakes already attached. After a little work, they were flipped over and they started attaching the ribs and end caps. The roof in now flown in to match the ribs that are standing up. I did not see any receiving QC inspection being conducted before the frames were placed on the line.
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:06 AM   #8
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You said it, 90% of problems can be prevented with proper QC at every step. I expect that Airstream uses union workers and competence and a good work ethic is not rewarded in that environment.

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