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Old 08-11-2007, 01:34 PM   #1
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Airstream Maintenance

Good Day,
I have joined this forum in search of information about Airstreams. My husband, recently retired, and I are thinking about buying one. The nearest dealer is about a 3 - 4 hour drive. I'm wondering how important it is going to be to have an Airstream close by for maintenance and repair service.

I appreciate hearing opinions from seasoned Airstreamers (I hope that is the correct term!)

Thanks,
Diane
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Old 08-11-2007, 01:50 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DianeS
Good Day,
I have joined this forum in search of information about Airstreams. My husband, recently retired, and I are thinking about buying one. The nearest dealer is about a 3 - 4 hour drive. I'm wondering how important it is going to be to have an Airstream close by for maintenance and repair service.

I appreciate hearing opinions from seasoned Airstreamers (I hope that is the correct term!)

Thanks,
Diane
Diane,

Welcome to the forums!
If you're buying a new Airstream, then more often than not the owners must take care of Airstream's warranty services. Things just go wrong from time to time. Usually the bugs get worked out sooner or later.
If you're buying a pre-loved model that is out of warranty, then it's just good to have a competent RV service near by, and visit a specialized Airstream facility only when it is absolutely essential. Like for body repairs etc.
The appliances and other systems in an Airstrem as the same as any other trailer.
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Old 08-11-2007, 02:09 PM   #3
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Diane---The importance of nearby service depends on your interest and skills in things mechanical. Think of the trailer as a car with household utilities and appliances. You'll be servicing the mechanical part similar to what you do with the car. Checking tire pressure, brake pads, battery function, etc. The house part takes more frequent attention than your own home because of the motion and vibration associated with going down the road. If the two of you currently do the maintenance on both the house and cars, and you like to do this, then servicing your AS and taking care of the little things is similar. If this is not you, then having a convenient AS service facility is important.

If buying new, these trailers do not have the initial build quality that we get with our new cars and trucks. They are more like new cars from the sixties, when generating a substantial list for the dealer to fix was typical.

The next step is to locate any AS specialist shops near you. Expect upstate NY folks will chime in here soon.
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Old 08-11-2007, 02:14 PM   #4
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An Airstream dealer who has excellent service would be a gold mine even if 3-4 hours away. You need to find individuals who have purchased their trailers or had their trailers serviced there and what kind of work was done. If service is terrible then I would look elsewhere. A local independent RV service / repair place a few miles from me has taken care of furnace repair on my '77 Excella and the wheelbearing/brake service on my '86 Sovereign over the last several years which I have not had time to work on because of other projects on the trailer. He, his wife and father are nice people and I feel confident in any appliance work they might do. Sheetmetal work? I'd only take it to those who do the very best work and are recommended by the forum from previous work done.
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Old 08-11-2007, 07:10 PM   #5
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Okay, that makes sense to bring it to a competent RV dealer in upstate NY, but what about items covered by warranty? That would be a long trek.

Does it ever make sense to buy a much-loved Airstream? My concern is that I don't want to "buy" problems, and I wouldn't know where to begin to know what to look for. My husband is a retired engineer, and he believes the Airstream has excellent structural integrity....

Diane
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Old 08-11-2007, 09:40 PM   #6
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Diane,
First:
WELCOME to the forum.
Second:
There's just so much to learn before you "jump".
A. Life style
Are you planning on living in one as a "Full Timer" or, use it for weekend trips??
B. FLOOR PLAN..
Before you buy a trailer. you really want to check out the floor plan and, see if this is really the one that suits your activities. Simple things like getting in and out of bed or, going to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
C. New or Used.
New units can be pricey, depends on your resources. Much beloved used units can be had somewhat cheaper (depending on the age curve).
D. Health
I hate to say this: I have seen more than one couple who waited until it was too late, health wise, to start thinking and looking at a RV life style.
E. Knowledge.
Not everyone fit this; There's always a few that never study fully what's available and, put the right package together successfully the first time around. This includes the correct and proper towing vehicle for the purposed trailer. If you're buying new, then you do have the luxury of picking the dealer's knowledge. A good reputable dealership should /will educate you on the proper equipment you need. Lord knows, the list in this instances is huge~A reputable dealership should walk you thru the entire unit, explaining the function of the unit. A reputable dealership should check out and, prep your new unit free of charge. This includes cleaning the inside and the outside. Test all appliance functions for you and, walk you thru it with you understanding. The dealership should help you with the understanding of all of your paper works. If you request, they should setup the TV with the unit and, explain just what you need to do. The sign of a reputable dealership is one, in my opinion, who offers to let you camp overnite on the premise of the dealership. This way, if by morning, you have found issues, they can looked at and fixed before you leave.
Like I said in the beginning, there's a lot to learn.
You have to do your homework.
The forum is an excellent place to jump start that process.
Good luck to you and your husband. (And, on his retirement~!)
ciao
53FC
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Old 08-11-2007, 11:57 PM   #7
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Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

We have a 2005 Safari 25FB that we purchased at our nearest Airstream dealer who is 300 miles from us. We just plan service in conjunction with our travels. We have traveled 20,000 in our Lucy in the last year, and living this far from a dealer has not been a problem.
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Old 08-12-2007, 05:34 AM   #8
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The Importance of Being Close

Quote:
Originally Posted by DianeS
Good Day,
I have joined this forum in search of information about Airstreams. My husband, recently retired, and I are thinking about buying one. The nearest dealer is about a 3 - 4 hour drive. I'm wondering how important it is going to be to have an Airstream close by for maintenance and repair service.

Thanks,
Diane
Diane:
I think most members of the Forum would agree<having a good quality dealer close by is one of your MOST important considerations. Our dealer is within 45 min of our home, Sh..i.g Time RV in Darian N.Y,but I wouldn't trust them to put milk on my cereal. I know I have, and from my limited experience here on the Forum, I realize that most members have spent considerable time and resources in the search for a quality dealer and service department.
So I guess that just like in your Marriage, being close very,very important.


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