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Old 09-27-2010, 07:52 AM   #113
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Perhaps the analogy for Craftsman is: "The Honeymoon is Over" - not uncommon in many relationships .....

And perhaps the lesson - for Airstream - is to recognize that it's heavy reliance on history and the "cult-following" factor is diminishing - exclusively because their focus on the design of award-winning eye-candy has left manufacturing excellence and functional longevity as nothing but dusty notions.


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"I'm not young enough to know everything ....."
(Oscar Wilde)
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Old 09-27-2010, 09:20 AM   #114
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Say goodnight, Gracie. I mean, Jack.


Somebody, please, point me to the road.

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Old 09-27-2010, 09:40 AM   #115
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I agree Jack should have checked out his trailer sooner, but sometimes life intervenes. Instead of having empathy for his problems with his Airstream, it seems like it's pile on time. If Jack had used his trailer a lot in the first two years, all the same problems he had later would have happened earlier and he could have tried to get them fixed under warranty. But the point is that QC was not good.

It seems whenever someone challenges the Airstream story—a premium quality product with a rich history—others will attack the challenger. I'll leave the psychology of that to someone else. Suffice to say people who challenge established beliefs always get a rough time.

It is correct there are many threads about quality divided into years and trim lines. It appears to me this thread is of a more general nature—more about QC in general. The Forum being what it is—somewhat anarchic and lively—this is to be expected and something may be gained of this. Calling it a "rant thread" is to dismiss the real issues faced. It's ok to be angry and engage in a rant when you feel ripped off and have been ripped off.

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Old 09-27-2010, 11:10 AM   #116
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Gene you have some points here but, in my opinion, the rant should be addressed with the company that sold him the unit and check it out in the first place, or with the manufacture. There is nothing we can do to fix his situation. Right now it just a revenge thread set to do as much damage to Airstream as possible. As The Pill pointed out, a lot of the blame is on the OP for not looking before he bought or at least using it under warranty and having it fixed for free during that time.
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:29 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by pmclemore View Post
Say goodnight, Gracie. I mean, Jack.


I cant help but laugh! 2air has been very helpful to me and not much gets by him. Good luck with the sale.
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Old 09-27-2010, 12:04 PM   #118
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Responsibility can be apportioned, though differently in every case.

The Company has not been all that responsive to suggestions about design and materials and workmanship improvement. Some people get treated better because they write letters and work with Airstream executives, but everyone should get treated equally.

Some dealers share responsibility. 2air has said that dealers get paid by the Company to go over each trailer and fix things missed at the factory. Some seem to treat that payment as additional profit and do not do what they are supposed and then get paid again when a warranty claim is made. The Company does not watch dealers carefully enough to make sure neither it nor the customer is cheated.

I think owners have a justifiable expectation they are getting a premium quality product. I know our legal system tolerates a certain amount of puffery in advertising, but, nevertheless, it is not right that customers should have to tolerate that. Some companies do produce quality products and do not have to resort to overblown claims of quality.

Jack admits not having watching his situation as carefully as he should have. But everyone else who has cited QC and other issues has used their trailers during the warranty period. I long ago lost count of the warranty claims I made. When it reached 40, I stopped counting. Some things I never made a claim about sticking to the most serious ones. Fit of the partitions I did not make claims about because it would have meant ripping out large parts of partitions and cabinetry and possibly causing more damage. It was annoying to have to keep bringing the trailer for more and more fixes, to fix things temporarily while on the road, and to put up with poor workmanship. I don't think I've ever bought any other product with so many issues.

I cannot know whether Jack is trying to damage Airstream. But Airstream's failings in QC and design which lead to damage to its reputation are brought about not by the messengers, but by the Company. Many people have brought these problems to the Company's attention through letters, discussions with Company executives, and through the Forum (I have done all of these), but results have been spotty. So, in the end, some must feel contacting the Company is hopeless and vent elsewhere, or believe publicizing the issues here will get the Company's attention and help in the long run.

Some people have no or few QC problems. Others do not. This indicates to me serious differences in worker quality at the factory and little or no oversight. Design questions indicate factory execs are not listening and are stuck in the past. Cheap materials show excessive cost cutting.

I think the publicity of these issues through the Forum has not much moved the Airstream or Thor management. It does, however, resonate with some owners and potential owners. For a time there were a number of posts from potential buyers saying they did not want to buy an Airstream because of lack of QC. Airstream has lost a lot of sales and money because of this, but has not responded so far as I can tell. Owners find out they are not alone and find out how to deal with the problems, so that is a positive result from the many rants, venting and calm statements about problems. These are real issues for many of us and, unfortunately, they are not going away.

And a word about screws. I've never had a screw head strip in an Airstream. I have had plenty of heads strip from the junk screws they sell at big box stores; maybe Airstream has used low quality screws like that sometimes. But I have had screws loosen and fall out. Sometimes they were too small for the fiberboard under the laminates. Because fiberboard does not hold screws well, and once they work out, a much bigger screw has to be used, screws are a perpetual problem. This is a design issue. My solution is to push some wood putty into the hole, use a slightly larger screw and hope the putty bonds to the fiberboard and the screws don't back out. Crossing Illinois while going to JC for warranty fixes, I discovered the dinette table upsidedown on the floor and the leg next to it. The screws holding the leg had ripped out of the fiberboard. Illinois's I-70 was badly maintained, so I guess the state shares in responsibility, but the screws were too small and the fiberboard a bad medium for that application.

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Old 09-27-2010, 12:25 PM   #119
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I keep hearing the word "handmade"... Have any of you been to the factory? Very little is "handmade". The latest technology is used to cut out just about everything. The rivets are put in "by hand" but the holes are all punched by a machine. Do you think AIRSTREAMS are more handmade than say a Prowler or a Tango? I know the answer and it is no.

It is not unreasonable to expect a good quality product for something billed as a premium item.
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Old 09-27-2010, 12:51 PM   #120
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I don't argue that most TTs are made "by hand", but in no sense of the word is their assembly automated.

Have a look at a "somewhat" modern car factory. In every other sentence you hear the word "robot".

Perhaps if there were hundreds of thousands of AS TTs made every year, some of the assembly would be automated, but with the variety of sizes and styles they have, even that is doubtful IMHO.

However, what those two films do is clearly show why there won't be anybody restoring 50-year-old Tango trailers. It's obvious where the expression "stick and tin" comes from. More stick than tin, too!
“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
...John Wayne...........................
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Old 09-27-2010, 01:14 PM   #121
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A thread becomes a rant thread when the op feels the need to repeat his rant over and over again. Make your case once, maybe twice, and then give it a rest. jim
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Old 09-27-2010, 05:19 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by zigzagguzzi View Post
A thread becomes a rant thread when the op feels the need to repeat his rant over and over again. Make your case once, maybe twice, and then give it a rest. jim
Words to live by.

Unfortunately, another thread is closed due to strafing by a few. Try to get along folks...

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