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Old 02-16-2013, 09:24 PM   #43
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Don't forget the "Falls".....

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Nice, all we have is swamp on the way to the Gulf.
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:29 PM   #44
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I see no point in rehashing my QC issues with my AS here. However, I have no problem in making an issue of the fact that AS has been remiss in creating a dealer network that makes geographical sense. I'm sure that there are independent AS techs that would benefit from an "Authorized AS Tech" program that could handle warranty issues and have the factory training to address routine maintanence repairs. While there are certainly excellent AS dealers mentioned here on the forums, they are not easily accessable. And those that are, are not necessarily ones I want to do business with. The lack of good dealer coverage would make me have second thoughts about buying another AS.
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:35 PM   #45
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My take on Airstream dealer network is that most of the equipment in the Airstream is standard RV stuff, any (good) RV shop can fix a bad faucet or replace a water heater. Many RV shops are authorized to do warranty repairs on equipment/appliances, covered by the manufacturer of that equipment.

It is the shell that is unique, and that's where only Airstream shops (and not all of them) really know what they are doing. This may be where a trip to get there would have to be planned.

doug k
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:31 AM   #46
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I see no point in rehashing my QC issues with my AS here. However, I have no problem in making an issue of the fact that AS has been remiss in creating a dealer network that makes geographical sense.
I agree I would of not bought my new Airstream if I did not trust the dealer. In my case the owner of the dealership is also a Airstream collector,I am told he owns 3 vintage units. The location is a little more than a hour from my home and the staff is easy to deal with. The dealer is east of us which is the direction we most often travel when we go on the road, so we will drop the trailer at the dealer on the way home and pick it up on the way out for our next trip. They have no issue with storing the trailer, as they can work on her when they have slack time.

Doug, yes the shell is the issue the rest is standard RV equipment.
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:33 AM   #47
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Jim, I am jealous.

I would love to see a good Airstream dealer in western Colorado—Dennis would want it in Durango and I want it in Grand Junction (maybe we can compromise on Rico). But I think Dennis' idea of a network of Airstream authorized repair facilities is an excellent one.

Right now I am 5 hours from a bad dealer in Denver and 6 from a dealer I know nothing about in SLC. Since the warranty ran out, I have done everything myself with one exception. Not everyone can do that and it seems the Airstream business model is for mostly skilled mechanics, electricians, plumbers and carpenters to buy them.

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Old 02-17-2013, 12:19 PM   #48
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A well organized and properly run service/parts department, that has tons of business only equals the selling profits of a couple of trailers or so, per year.

Some manufacturers associate themselves with service, others run from it.

Years ago, good service brought on far more sales of trailers and motorhomes.

Today it seems like the objective is more so,"how cheap can I buy it", which basically supports those that sell cheap, but service poorly, if at all.

It was a little bit that way, in the early 70's, but is increasing, or so it seems, as time goes on.

But, many owners do strongly feel that a "sale without good service backup", is a place to run from.

That will not by any means, run off the cheapies, as they come and go, every year.

Andy
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Old 02-17-2013, 05:00 PM   #49
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Who needs an Airstream Dealer? Sorry, but I just don't get it.
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:00 PM   #50
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I think we all need good dealers. I have purchased parts from Andy several times over the years and his knowledge and advice could not be duplicated. In Andy's case he has knowledge of the older units many of us do not. I purchased parts for my 69 Globetrotter and my 2005 Safari and always received the correct information and parts. When I had my panel damaged it was Andy who provided the first estimate and recommended a dealer who did good work near me. I rolled the dice and went with the dealer closer, who actually called me and solicited my business. I need the dealers to stay in business and when you find 2 Like Andy and Foley RV who are actually interested in the trailers they sell we all win.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:58 AM   #51
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My Point Exactly

When I needed parts for Old #3, they came from Inland Andy.
The UPS man kept me supplied with a stream of parts delivered right to my door. When I needed advice, it came from this forum.
I have an Airstream dealer here in Albuquerque.
In fact that's where I store my Airstream when we are there.
But I prefer to do my own maintenance and repair.
Only if I have skin damage will I take it to a dealer.
I've noticed that the happiest Airstream owners are those that do their own maintenance.
They seem less paranoid.
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:24 AM   #52
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I've noticed that the happiest Airstream owners are those that do their own maintenance.
They seem less paranoid.
Good point.

There is less concern when I can identify what is wrong and know how to fix it. When your motor vehicle breaks it probably happens near home, but RV's are for traveling. RV's break on the road, you are better off if you know what to do instead of trying to find a good RV mechanic in a place where you've never been before and know no one.

Even so, you can get ripped off or take a lot of time to get a part. Last year while traveling down the northwest coast, the stop on a drawer failed and the drawer flew out. We put it on the bed until we could find the broken part and when we got to Astoria, Ore., went looking for an RV store. It took a while, but we found one and had to pay about 3 times what it was worth and twice what it cost on the internet. If it happened at home, we could order from the internet and get a bad deal instead of an awful one.

My collection of spare parts for things that easily break (those drawer stops are cheaply made, but there seems to be no alternative) keeps growing and the tools I bring are heavy. Pretty soon I may need a giant van to keep everything and tow the trailer. But I will be able to take apart a locomotive while on the road should anyone ask me too.

I can see how Airstream owners can get nervous about traveling when they don't know much about how these things work. I know some stuff, but there's plenty I don't know and don't want to learn. If we have a sink full of dishes and the water heater won't go on, I'm not enthused about fixing it (especially if it's raining or 30˚ out), but taking time to learn about it saves a lot of anxiety. By following the Forums, I knew when ours wouldn't light, the most common thing was corrosion on the wire contacts, so I cleaned them and the heater worked. The next things to look at would be the circuit board and the igniter.

So, if you lack RV skills (mechanic, plumber, electrician, carpenter, floor installer, metal worker, etc.), my advice to avoid paranoia is to spend most of your time reading Forum repair threads, or if you have a life, get books on RV repair. Woodalls has one on many common repairs; easy to find on Amazon. If you have pretty constant internet access, you can check the Forum to get info on repairs and when desperate, start a thread asking for help. Often you'll get advice fast. It is very expensive to have repairs done at an RV shop and I avoid that as much as I can.

Gene
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:56 AM   #53
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Ken and Gene, you speak from the standpoint of having the requisite skills to achieve these repairs and maintenance tasks. Not everyone, me especially, has the wherewithal or even the desire to be proficient in such things and it's for people like us that dealers need to be available when things go wrong. I know that there's always a certain amount of work required with a trailer but my inability to replace a rivet shouldn't mean that I'm not qualified to enjoy an Airstream; that's what the dealer's for.

I applaud the self-help attitude amongst Airstream owners, it does you all credit, but for ham-fisted people like me, the dealer (a reliable and trustworthy dealer) is our lifeline.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:41 PM   #54
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Ken and Gene, you speak from the standpoint of having the requisite skills to achieve these repairs and maintenance tasks. Not everyone, me especially, has the wherewithal or even the desire to be proficient in such things and it's for people like us that dealers need to be available when things go wrong. I know that there's always a certain amount of work required with a trailer but my inability to replace a rivet shouldn't mean that I'm not qualified to enjoy an Airstream; that's what the dealer's for.

I applaud the self-help attitude amongst Airstream owners, it does you all credit, but for ham-fisted people like me, the dealer (a reliable and trustworthy dealer) is our lifeline.
I understand and agree with you that it should not be hard to find a good repair shop knowledgeable about Airstreams. I don't want to do my own dental work and wish I could find a reasonably priced dentist who knows a lot (easy to find one who charges an arm and a leg). I don't think I'd be paranoid if I didn't have any repair skills, but it does add to anxiety.

I do think it is a good idea to become fairly knowledgeable so you know which shop to trust. I have no interest in dental work, but I try to understand it so I can pick the best dentist.

Gene
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:42 PM   #55
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Our local RV dealer will work on some of the stuff like Dometic, Atwood, etc, but will not touch solar installation, awnings, windows and other stuff exclusively Air Stream. I'm experienced in things mechanical, but as I grow older I have physical limitations that preclude doing certain tasks on my AS. Again, the limited AS dealer network will costs sales in certain areas.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:47 PM   #56
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I understand and agree with you that it should not be hard to find a good repair shop knowledgeable about Airstreams.

I do think it is a good idea to become fairly knowledgeable so you know which shop to trust. I have no interest in dental work, but I try to understand it so I can pick the best dentist.

Gene
Gene.

Unfortunately, a non dealer cannot by parts from Airstream, as a dealer.

That leads them to using off brand parts, that many times work, and sometimes doesn't, or charging a greater amount for a part than a dealer would..

Thanks to this Forums, many questions are asked, sometimes even seemingly dumb questions, but only some answers fit that category, so they can learn.

No questions are "ever" dumb.

A couple of dealers post helpful information depending on their available time.

Sharing knowledge, is helpful to almost everyone, which makes this Forums, number ONE.

But sometimes a disagreement may take place, which most always is a different point of view, which is also usually helpful.

It would be great if everyone was on the same page, but it "AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN".

So........ask away.............solicite answers........think about it........and have a beer.

Andy
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