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Old 09-23-2010, 04:33 PM   #85
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Pictures of brand new Airstreams

Hi, these are pictures of brand new Airstreams on a dealer's lot; For sale.

(1.) Top of wardrobe cabinet loose.

(2.) Wall moulding loose.

(3.) (4.) Microwave oven drawer won't open all the way to gain access to controls.

(5.) Screw in wall backed off / loose.

(6.) Huge gap in headliner in new Class B Chevrolet van.

I saw a lot more, but those would be considered Nit-Picking.
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Old 09-23-2010, 04:37 PM   #86
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Pictures of slightly used Airstream

Hi, these are pictures of a slightly used Airstream on a dealer's lot; For sale. I'm guessing it is about two years old.

(1.) Dent or soft spot on dining table top.

(2.) Plastic base moulding and screws. Very sloppy, and the brand new ones were made the same.

(3.) Base moulding in bedroom.

(4.) Air conditioner vent cover and filter missing.

To me, these are total turn offs for someone wanting to buy an Airstream, new or used.
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Old 09-23-2010, 05:43 PM   #87
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The molding is really poor. We have that in the 23' and it is not attractive and barely functional. Another thing I thought was odd is on the tour at the factory we were shown a state of the art saw represented to have cost a great deal of money and yet all the ends and bottoms of cut pieces in the walls and beds are terribly split, jagged, hacked and ripped or twisted off. The only way to make these hacked off cuts better after assembly is to cover them with trim or sand, fill and seal. The worst case of sloppy cuts and I hazard to guess I am not alone in finding this is the splintered bed platforms where I get splinters and so does the mattress and bed coverings from all the raw and damaged edges. I am thinking no more than stricter standards, and new blades would remedy Airstream after Airstream suffering from passing a very lax inspection.

Bob good representation. I have walked through units and mentioned items to salespeople only to tell you they can fix some items, yet they are still shown as is. Very poor way to show units, I agree. One almost has to consider the purchase of an Airstream as a DIY project to a much higher degreee than would possibly be anticipated for the purchase price and even the parts one tries to order from Airstream are greatly inflated rather than discounted for owners. The bedspreads alone are $500.00 and things like tables are more than twice their cost to AS for the AS purchaser. Clearly there are issues with QC and trying to hit some magical bottom line, however building the units once and done it, and not repeatedly through service might be a positive savings rather than relying on customers tiring out or doing the fixes themselves and letting the AS shortcuts remain a viable technique for cost cutting on the production lines.
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Old 09-24-2010, 09:03 AM   #88
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The last custom home I was involved in, had all masters and journeymen doing the work. Highly regarded in their trades.

We still had snafu’s after owners took possession.
Flashing at an eyebrow dormer (tricky detail) installed improperly, caused water damage (discovered only after heavy snow, subsequent thaw)… concrete sonotube footing at terrace settled, causing interior plaster and exterior stone cracking… circuit board in automatic power switch for emergency generator smoked… just to name a few

Even with vigilant construction supervision, careful soil borings, and top-of-line components, we still had “issues”

It was an inconvenience, to be sure. But the owners continue to tell me it was the best investment they’ve ever made- even after they did some of the minor repairs themselves….

Furthermore, I’d say the comparison on investment for them, in RV terms, would be like buying an Airstream over a similar sized, and appointed, Jayco.



Everytime one of these threads pop-up, it’s the same ol’ story- it’s got less to do with the Airstream, and more to do with the buyer.
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Old 09-24-2010, 09:21 AM   #89
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I looked and mine was built in Aug 05 so maybe I lucked out. If I remember they made cosmetic changes for the 07s so maybe that was part of the problem. Still lovin our 06!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fmrcaptevil View Post
There's a scene in the movie "Patton" in which C. Scott stands overlooking the battlefield, and says (to himself) something like: "God help me.....but I love it!"

Jack, I've owned six new Airstreams within the last ten years, and I want you to know that in terms of "initial quality" and "fit and finish" the one made in late 2006 (2007 model year) was the absolute WORST, but my new one is the best. During the first year with that '07 I went through the same anguish that you are experiencing now.

Either someone went through that place and broke some balls, or maybe it's just that due to the current economic situation, they aren't under pressure to crank out over forty trailers a week. (Interesting that the worst QC seems to have coincided with the height of the financial and real estate bubbles). Since all I know is what I see, and I can tell you that I'm a happy camper now, I'd like to encourage you to look at the new ones before you give up on Airstream.
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Old 09-24-2010, 10:49 PM   #90
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'joe, I think the comparison between a custom house and a production line trailer doesn't go beyond the fact they are both houses. While an Airstream is hand made and they don't make a lot of any model, it is still like an enhanced tract home and not a custom job. The custom trailers are made by a few companies like Timeless Travel Trailers. A custom home has high quality components, but a lot of the Airstream parts are tract home at best. The custom house has a lot more parts, so more can go wrong.

The problem I have is the Airstream is promoted as top quality and it isn't and the price is too high for what you get.

The people who criticize Airstream QC, design issues and price back up their statements for the most part. To dismiss us as chronic complainers as one poster strongly implied is to ignore the facts. And we could be chronic complainers who are right—there's a lot to complain about.

Almost every one who has complained about these issues wants to keep their Airstream, but we feel, I believe, cheated. We bought ours for good reasons, but feel the company haas not kept up their end of the bargain.

Gene
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Old 09-25-2010, 07:55 AM   #91
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Complaints are justified, I would be complaining big time over something sub-par new and have them fix it. It's also sad that quality craftmanship in many goods has declined but that runs par with our consumer consumption culture.

Also keep the issues in perspective. The majority of what I've read people complaining about here are minor problems easily remedied, tighten the damn screw It's still a great trailer that will bring enjoyment for decades to come and retain value unlike other campers. With the aluminum shell structure and higher end components, the price is high but not outrageous. Be grateful that you can afford such luxuries TO complain about, some people have no roof over their head at all.
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Old 09-25-2010, 08:20 AM   #92
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Complaints are justified, I would be complaining big time over something sub-par new and have them fix it. It's also sad that quality craftmanship in many goods has declined but that runs par with our consumer consumption culture.

Also keep the issues in perspective. The majority of what I've read people complaining about here are minor problems easily remedied, tighten the damn screw It's still a great trailer that will bring enjoyment for decades to come and retain value unlike other campers. With the aluminum shell structure and higher end components, the price is high but not outrageous. Be grateful that you can afford such luxuries TO complain about, some people have no roof over their head at all.

Amen!

I love "improving" our AS and she is a great trailer. Just like taxes, I'm greatful to have a career that allows me to pay them.
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Old 09-25-2010, 08:46 AM   #93
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Rovercamper , I think things are in perfect perspective.The fit and finish, sucks in a lot of these units. Using your logic of just"tighen the damn screw": If you spent $1000.00 + on a good suit and one pant leg was shorter than the other, I guess the solution is "just let the other pant leg out". It's minor , easily fixable, stop complaing and just be grateful you can afford an expesive suit, others are wearing off the rack.Poor workmanship is just that.Plain and simple and no excuses can me made for it.
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Old 09-25-2010, 09:48 AM   #94
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It's funny (not really) .....

..... our last 5 vehicles have been terrific – not a lemon in the bunch – 1 Volvo, 2 GM's, 2 Nissans. Cost? – all less than the Bambi. Fit and finish? – no complaints. Corrosion? – non-existent through our ownership. Leaks? – none that I can recall. Warranty? – very clear, unambiguous and long-lasting. Warranty Issues? – a few – all handled locally, quickly, permanently and to our complete satisfaction. Purchase choice? – mainly family circumstance – what we could afford – and Consumer Report reviews. General satisfaction level? – all high. Why did we sell/trade? – mostly habit – trade after 4 years or 150,000 KM (last vehicle started to change the habit – 8 years and 230,000 KM).

.... now the Airstream.

.... competitive choices? – Airstream, Bigfoot, Award.

.... main criteria? – quality, longevity.

..... final selection? – a memorable quote from my wife: – "Get the best and f--k the rest!".

The outcome .....

Fit and finish? – numerous cabinetry issues, moulding/trim issues, shower stall issues, atrocious caulking lines, clean-up issues. Corrosion? – belt-line, filiform (modest so far). Leaks? - refrigerator compartment doors, shower stall. Wear? – carpet (4 seasons). Appliance issues?: hot water tank, refrigerator, stove. Design issues? – 48" bed, noisy frig fan, noisy stove exhaust, sun-rotted roof vents. Warranty?: clear - but short. Warranty Issues?: a number, none handled locally, some masked, several addressed with parts supplied (my labour). General satisfaction level? – here's the rub – stupidly high. Will we sell/trade? – not likely – still in it for the long haul. Why do I love it? – hmmmm ....... well ........ love the look, love hauling it, love camping in it, love showing it, love maintaining it, love fixing it, love upgrading it, love polishing it ..... damn thing feels more like home than my home ......

Go figure ......



Jay
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Old 09-25-2010, 11:09 AM   #95
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Comments on AS Quality

Recently, our Actibrake actuator failed (not under recall). Due to other demands on my time, I tried to find a local trailer shop to do the remove and replace operation. I was not comfortable with what I found by talking to several shops, so I did the repair.

The unit is a 2006 model year 30 ft. Classic, and we are the third owner. The unit is equipped with Dexter axels and Dexter hydraulic disc brakes, so I elected to install the Dexter 1600 psi actuator. The remove and replace was actually very straight forward. What I found while doing the work is interesting.

The trailer has two house batteries, wired in parallel. When I removed the couch at the forward end of the trailer to access the wireing, I found that one of the two battery ground wires was not connected to anything. This battery was just going along for the ride, without carrying its share of the load. There is no way to determine whether the factory, or one of the two previous did this. However, the unused ground cable was neatly tucked underneath one of the battery boxes, totally out of sight. I only found it because I was pulling on wires to determine where they went. I happened to pull on the ground cable, and out it came.

There was an Actibrake wireing diagram with the trailer. I traced the wires and found all of the wires shown on the wireing schematic. They went into a wire bundle underneath the trailer that was taped with electrical tape. This was an obvious factory install. When I opened the wire bundle by removing the electrical tape, I found one of the wires from the Actibrake unit had been neatly cut off and went nowhere. It just terminated inside the factory wrapped wire bundle. I have no idea why this was done in this manner, or what effect it might have had.

What I found reinforces my long term feelings that if one is capable of making various types of repairs, then one is better off doing them yourself. You are then in a much better position to troubleshoot problems while on the road, and oversee the repairs if you are not in a position to do them in a foriegn location.
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Old 09-26-2010, 05:06 PM   #96
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It's not difficult to come to the conclusion that the reality is, this is the best this shop (Airstream) can produce. It's certainly not a level of quality that Airstream would like you to think it is or one some owners would like others to believe it is, but this is what you get for your money. The list on my unit went up nearly $20,000.00 in two years and that doesn't include most of the options that we ordered or does it include the special changes we made. I would guess that if you could order a 25'Classic with the options of mine it would be near $90.000.00. today.
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Old 09-26-2010, 06:01 PM   #97
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It's not difficult to come to the conclusion that the reality is, this is the best this shop (Airstream) can produce. It's certainly not a level of quality that Airstream would like you to think it is or one some owners would like others to believe it is, but this is what you get for your money. The list on my unit went up nearly $20,000.00 in two years and that doesn't include most of the options that we ordered or does it include the special changes we made. I would guess that if you could order a 25'Classic with the options of mine it would be near $90.000.00. today.

Why do you keep bumping this thread just so you can gripe some more?

I think you've said it all.

Go find another forum to complain to.

Ken
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Old 09-26-2010, 07:26 PM   #98
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Well I stand with Jack on this issue. It's about quality and getting beat down because you stand for quality is just is not right. The pictures provided earlier were enough to put a knot in my stomach. How could anybody produce that kind of work and not be ashamed? Maybe Jack's just trying to raise awareness of what's going on, or maybe he thinks he's been taken advantage of. In my world, he's earned the right to complain as he see's fit!
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