Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-17-2013, 01:30 PM   #15
Rivet Master
 
Jim Clark's Avatar
 
2012 28' International
Currently Looking...
New Orleans , Louisiana
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,077
Images: 6
Airstreams are not that much trouble, many here have exceptionally high standards which can be a little intimidating. Many here are restoring 30 and 40 year old trailers that have had a lot of use and in some cases abused. Also you get a lot posts defending their own slant on the way things should be done by the factory or a vendor, all of the information taken as a whole provides a great education into the Airstream trailer and how the different owners view and use their trailers. In the end they are all here because they believe the Airstream is the best trailer for their needs.

If you want to see some serious issues spend some time reviewing RV.NET. You will find very little information on restoration, not many other brands can be brought back to life. You will find all sorts of issues from bent frames to stuck slides to bad tires , it is well worth a visit.
__________________

__________________
Jim N5TJZ Air# 174
2012 International Serenity 28
2005 Safari 25 SS Traded
1968 Globetrotter Sold
2011 F150 Ecoboost
Jim Clark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2013, 01:30 PM   #16
Moderator Emeritus
 
overlander64's Avatar
 
1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,396
Images: 183
Send a message via Yahoo to overlander64
Discouraged

Greetings Dave!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Airstreams!

Please don't get discouraged! The typical Airstream owner finds a great deal of enjoyment from his or her Airstream product RV. While it may seem like an Airsteam is maintenance intensive, it is no more so than any other RV . . . and often is much more durable than many of its competitors. Often, the repairs that you see discussed are on Airstreams two or more decades old . . . something that is rare among many of the "stick-framed" white boxes where a 20 to 25 year old RV wouldn't be considered worth repairing.

Both of my Airstream product RV were acquired as 20-plus-year-old trailers. Neither was without its problems, but once the initial "sorting-out" phase was completed each trailer has provided many memorable and trouble-free excursions. My Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre has been less trouble-prone than the Airstream, but much of that can be attributed to its "experimental" composite aluminum floor that doesn't rot as the rest of the trailer is pure to the usual Airstream construction techniques.

There are some caveats that go with Airstream product ownership, but they aren't any more demanding of the owner than most other RVs.
  • Vigilance in leak detection and repair is important to prevent rot from developing in the floor system. Semi-annual waxing (Walbernizing) of the exterior goes a long way in keeping the coating on the aluminum functional.
  • Hitch rigging, particularly with the older Airstream products, is important to the long-term health of the Airstream as it is comparatively easy to "over-hitch" an older Airstream with hitch weight distribution bars that are too heavy/strong when combined with the use of a truck-based tow-vehicle. Prior to the 1980s, Airstreams were designed to be light enough to be towed by the then "typical" full-size family car with its "boulevard-ride" suspension . . . so when one of these trailers is attached to a 3/4-ton pickup with heavy-duty rear suspension and 1,000 pound weight distribution bars the result is often front end separation, popped rivets, and/or stress cracking of the skin as well as other "hard-ride" related issues. I experienced these issues with my '64 Overlander as back in 1995 when I purchased it, there wasn't an Airstream web presence to offer advice so I relied upon a Brand-X dealer to set up the hitch for my Overlander on a 1995 Chevrolet K-1500 Z71 pickup --- 1,000 pound weight distribution bars shook rivets loose and caused a stress crack on the interior wall above my entrance door . . . I found an experienced Airstream dealer who repaired my coach's stress crack and pointed me in the direction of a correctly rigged Reese Dual Cam Hitch setup.
  • The rubber rods in the Airstream/Argosy axles (post 1960) need regular exercise to keep the rubber pliable. With many older coaches it is inactivity rather than miles traveled that takes its toll on axles. Axle replacement is really a part of regular maintenance for a coach beyond 20 years of age (much as timing belt replacement is part of 60,000 mile maintenance intervals on many of our small economy cars).
As with the purchase of any significant financial impact, it is important to perform research (as you are doing) prior to purchase. An Airstream product RV has the capability of lasting through several generations of ownership, but that doesn't mean that any older Airstream is a good buy. As with used automobiles, an Airstream travels down the road and is exposed to widely varying road conditions and widely varying degrees of maintenance. An Airstream that has seen regular use with good maintenance practices can prove to be a viable choice even if it is several decades old. I often suggest to friends considering the purchase of a pre-owned Airstream to consider getting into contact with their local WBCCI (Wally Byam Caravan Club International) unit to see if any members are selling their rigs due to retirement from travel or when upgrading to a larger unit . . . these Airstream RVs are often the subject of loving care by owners who have used them regularly for club activities. When considering a new Airstream product RV, the purchase has many similarities to purchasing an automobile where dealer experience, reputation, and the availability of quality warranty and repair service can play an important role in the purchase decision.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
__________________

__________________
Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
overlander64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2013, 01:37 PM   #17
Rivet Master
 
m.hony's Avatar
 
2013 30' Classic
Greenwood , Mississippi
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 11,828
We use the Airstream quite often- 3 week and a half long trips and 10-12 weekends per year. We used our previous SOB just as often. Difference is- we have had no warranty or repair issues with the Airstream since the initial problems. With the other trailer we were taking it back to the dealer almost weekly. I got to the point that I still loved the RV lifestyle, but I hated/resented/ dreaded that other trailer and its constant breakdowns. Now I have a beautiful trailer that so far is holding up to the lifestyle.
__________________
2013 Classic 30 Limited
2007 Silver Toyota Tundra Crew Max Limited 5.7 iForce
2006 Vivid Black Harley-Davidson Road King Classic
1999 Black Nissan Pathfinder LE
TAC #MS-10
WBCCI #1811, Region 6, Unit 56
Airforums #70955
m.hony is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2013, 01:39 PM   #18
Rivet Master
 
Fly at Night's Avatar
 
2010 27' FB Flying Cloud
Fraser Valley , British Columbia
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,693
Images: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
The problem with the AirForums— and in fact any specialty forum (such as Fit Freak, the Honda Fit forum that I also participate in)— is that the vast majority of people who have no problems with their units are out enjoying them, not posting about them.
Well said. Or, they are bored because everything is working great and can't ask a question/complain about something, so post something ditzy
that's totally unrelated to trailering and offend the mods like I did/do.

If you have mechanical ability - you're laughing! I was pretty clueless about everything and have no mechanical ability whatsoever. I actually enjoy learning about maintenance (within reason). Anythng above and beyond, the dealer looks after it. I have not had any major repair issues. They will eventually leak if you are not vigilant. Any insult to that outer skin is a possible leak. (vents, windows, etc.)

Like everything else, be aware of the challenges, but do not let the negativities define your choice or experience. The reason for choosing an Airstream is unique to the individual -
as is the experience and response to those inevitable bumps in the road.
__________________
easily distracted by shiny objects
Fly at Night is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2013, 01:44 PM   #19
Rivet Master
 
Fly at Night's Avatar
 
2010 27' FB Flying Cloud
Fraser Valley , British Columbia
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,693
Images: 10
One more thing - about Walbernizing. As overlander stated, Walbernizing will go a long way in preserving the outer skin. I was so paranoid - I probably over Walbernized, but I have not noticed any skin defects. My trailer is relatively new, but it has also sat through three harsh Canadian winters, and some 100F. days of heat in the summer. It is also regularly pelted by torrential rain, here on the wet coast.
__________________
easily distracted by shiny objects
Fly at Night is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2013, 01:54 PM   #20
Rivet Master
 
PharmGeek's Avatar

 
2014 30' FB FC Bunk
Hoover , Alabama
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 3,377
My wife and I are going to be likely buying this year and I understand where you are coming from here with these questions.


We too are trying to make sure it is for us...so far based on reading this site, sooo many people are very happy campers...the rallies, people contactin me personally to invite me to see their RV up the road from my house...inviting me to go camping with them over in their area and feel things out....there is every sign of both a very happy group of campers, but also a very grounded group in "streamers"...

All good points made. Let us know how your thoughts go on this matter as they evolve and why they evolve in your case.
__________________
“The atoms of our bodies are traceable to stars that manufactured them...We are not figuratively, but literally stardust.”


PharmGeek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2013, 02:29 PM   #21
Rivet Master
 
Fly at Night's Avatar
 
2010 27' FB Flying Cloud
Fraser Valley , British Columbia
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,693
Images: 10
"The atoms of our bodies are traceable to stars that manufactured them...We are not figuratively, but literally stardust.”

Off topic, sorry, but I love that quote.

The escape from urban light pollution -then reconnecting with that Alpha via the Airstream - it is an ethereal experience!
__________________
easily distracted by shiny objects
Fly at Night is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2013, 02:52 PM   #22
2 Rivet Member
 
callmedave's Avatar
 
2013 28' Flying Cloud
Cohasset , Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 44
Images: 8
Less Discouraged

WOW, we're very grateful and impressed with all your replies and advice…there's quite a sense of community here, from Louisiana to British Columbia.

We realized we had a "romanticized" notion of hitting the road to discover the US and Canada and saw this forum as a bit of a reality check.

The process of finding the right TV and TT has been daunting and we have tons of questions.
Gotta say though that some of the issues mentioned here weren't even on our radar yet(yikes)!

We did go to a small gathering of the New England club and met some nice folks, but they were obviously enthusiasts. We also spent 4 days in an older FC 25FB we rented at a KOA campground, which was very informative. It showed us what wear-and-tear and too little maintenance could do to an AS.

Spending north of $100,000 on TV and TT is nothing to take lightly so we're going slow.
Again, many thanks and regards to all,
__________________
callmedave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2013, 03:29 PM   #23
Rivet Master
 
PharmGeek's Avatar

 
2014 30' FB FC Bunk
Hoover , Alabama
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 3,377
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fly at Night View Post
"The atoms of our bodies are traceable to stars that manufactured them...We are not figuratively, but literally stardust.”

Off topic, sorry, but I love that quote.

The escape from urban light pollution -then reconnecting with that Alpha via the Airstream - it is an ethereal experience!

More signs that streamers are not only having fun - they are enlightened - even having deeply spiritual experiences!

__________________
“The atoms of our bodies are traceable to stars that manufactured them...We are not figuratively, but literally stardust.”


PharmGeek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2013, 03:35 PM   #24
Moderator
 
DKB_SATX's Avatar

 
2017 26' Flying Cloud
1976 Argosy 28
Alamo Heights , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,400
Images: 1
Blog Entries: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fly at Night View Post
"The atoms of our bodies are traceable to stars that manufactured them...We are not figuratively, but literally stardust.”

Off topic, sorry, but I love that quote.

The escape from urban light pollution -then reconnecting with that Alpha via the Airstream - it is an ethereal experience!
I like Carl Sagan's original version of it even better:

"The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”

He was my favorite hippie stoner scientist.
__________________
— David

Zero Gravitas — 2017 Flying Cloud 26U | Il Progetto — 1976 Argosy 28 Center Bath | WBCCI# 15566

He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. — Sir Winston Churchill
DKB_SATX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2013, 03:37 PM   #25
Rivet Master
 
PharmGeek's Avatar

 
2014 30' FB FC Bunk
Hoover , Alabama
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 3,377
Quote:
Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
I like Carl Sagan's original version of it even better:

"The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”

He was my favorite hippie stoner scientist.

rAmen!!!
__________________
“The atoms of our bodies are traceable to stars that manufactured them...We are not figuratively, but literally stardust.”


PharmGeek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2013, 05:17 PM   #26
Rivet Master
 
1963 19' Globetrotter
Currently Looking...
Moline , Illinois
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 635
50 and going strong

My Airstream turned 50 this year and is still going strong. Do I have to maintain it , sure but I enjoy doing it. As far as an investment ,it's worth about 7 times more than it originally sold for.
__________________
63air is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2013, 05:30 PM   #27
BAB
Rivet Master
 
BAB's Avatar

 
2015 30' Classic
2012 28' International
Greensboro , North Carolina
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,574
Anything that generates as much passion as Airstream has a lot going for it. A couple of weeks ago at the Alumapalooza rally (held for the 4th year right outside the factory in Jackson Center), you could have experienced this first hand. One particular event was especially noteworthy. The Airstream management team (marketing, design, engineering, electronics) had sessions where they listened to US .... well the women got their time, and then the men! But, this team was in the receive mode...."you are important to us, you are our customers, and we want to know what you like and what you don't like." How many companies today would take that kind of time (or care) to actually listen. At no time did I detect defensiveness, either. It may be that what we want (or prefer), isn't viable....but some of the owners had very interesting and thought provoking suggestions. I have a new trailer. I've taken 7 trips in the last year, over 12,500 miles. I've done some major customizing, not because the trailer had a problem, but because I want it to be UNIQUE to how I like to do things. My trailer has had no downtime due to any quality defects by the factory...and if you go there you'll see that these trailers ARE handmade. Then go to an auto plant and compare....
__________________
_________________
"SilverLeaf II" 2015 30' Classic
2014 RAM 2500 Laramie 4x4 CC w/6.7L Cummins
ProPride 3P
AIR# 58452
WBCCI # 3430-Unit 21
BAB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2013, 06:03 PM   #28
Well Preserved

 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,189
The best advice I can give to someone with the means, and no experience, is to buy brand-new (yes, I know, $$$), and USE IT. By the time the warranty runs out, you will have: 1-found and gotten fixed any "bugs", and 2-learned how to use your Airstream, and how to take care of the basics yourself.
__________________

__________________
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
Terry
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:07 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.