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Old 05-22-2011, 08:58 PM   #1
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HI everyone! just bought(mortgaged) a 2011 30 international serenity. We're very excited to own our first travel trailer and are getting ready to head back north. I hope I've bought quality, that was my intention. Just a couple of minor things we noticed right away.Seems like the little rubber window latch handles are all loose, some don't even have set screws. Also ,first time we changed dinette into sleeper ,velcro betweem faux leather and wood just tore off since in was only fastened with cheesy staples. (happened right in front of guy doing the walkthrough with us.) i'm a retired luxury home builder so i'm familiar with different grades of construction. My major concern is that this isn't an indication of future headaches. We only picked it up 2 days ago and haven't really used any of the systems yet. why would these things be acceptable to their quality control.? I know these are minor things, but it shows me indifference on their part.
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Old 05-22-2011, 10:19 PM   #2
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congratulations dave, I'm sure you will love it. When you get around to asking questions pictures are a great help.
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Old 05-23-2011, 03:47 AM   #3
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Welcome

Dave,
Glad to have you here. A lot of great information on these forums. As with anything man made, you'll find some things are going to need a little fixing.
Hopefully not to much.
Get it out and camp and enjoy your new AS.
Regards,
Joe
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Old 05-23-2011, 05:57 AM   #4
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I know these are minor things, but it shows me indifference on their part.
Welcome Aboard!!

I a lot of folks have have gone thru the same anxiety, the best way to deal with it....

This too will pass.
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Old 05-23-2011, 07:04 AM   #5
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It does seem odd to me that the entire RV industry has not embraced the same manufacturing technology that auto makers were ultimately forced to embraced, that of statistical process control. SPC was first embraced by the Japanese after being rejected by US automakers. Only after getting beat to death on quality, did the American manufacturers change. Unfortunately, RV's are more hand made than machine made and depend too much on a person rather than a process. In the old days every car was said to come out of the factory with 13 defects that would need warranty attention. I suspect the modern RV, Airstream included, is in that range also. Totally unacceptable for a high priced TT. You should, as an owner of a new Airstream, point these things out to Airstream and their owners, Thor Industries. If they, Thor, have a real committment to quality as they profess on their web-site, they will welcome your comments. The good news, however, is that Airstreams have better suspension and a better frame than most and that is what will keep them going when SOB's are in the junk yard. You will really appreciate how well they tow and improve your mileage over other box type trailers.
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Old 05-23-2011, 07:16 AM   #6
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Airstream reminds me of Hobie, in some ways. An American company in a rapidly disappearing crowd. To try to make a quality product and stand behind it while being competitive with the rest of the industry and paying US wages......it ain't easy.

I haven't experienced Airstream's way of handling customer support yet, but if they're anywhere near as good as Hobie at standing behind their products, I'll be supporting them for a long time to come.

Congrats on your new Airstream. We just bought a 2011, too. I spent a big part of my first two days in it making minor adjustments, and taking notes on things I will need to attend to eventually. I've been able to tell myself that despite a few minor glitches, it's still the best trailer you can buy. Take it out and play with it.
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Old 05-23-2011, 07:18 AM   #7
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... You should, as an owner of a new Airstream, point these things out to Airstream and their owners, Thor Industries. If they, Thor, have a real committment to quality as they profess on their web-site, they will welcome your comments.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f318...eam-53083.html

We tried that here..

Others can decide how well THAT worked...
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:00 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f318...eam-53083.html

We tried that here..

Others can decide how well THAT worked...
Interesting, I see the problem here on multiple points. But, specifically here to the quality issue, it is IMPOSSIBLE to inspect your way to quality. Quality must be built in the process. That is why "Process Control" works and quality control doesn't. With good process control you don't rely on inspection. And that explains why American cars are now up to speed with Japanese. Design, of course is another issue. BTW, SPC is an American invention. The Japanese give an award for quality , the "Deming Prize" for the American who is largely responsible for the transformation of Japan from a cheap product manufacturer to the industrial giant whose products are known for quality.
The W. Edwards Deming Institute: The W. Edwards Deming Institute
You can read of this at the above link.
The history of why American manufacturers rejected this is even more interesting if anyone cares to research it.
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Old 05-23-2011, 02:01 PM   #9
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Congratulations on your new trailer. We just got a 19' Serenity in feb and have have a few issues, including a leaking running light. But leaning back next to our fire and staring at it this weekend makes any issues totally worth it.
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Old 05-24-2011, 06:33 AM   #10
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Good Morning, I want to thank everyone for their comments. I called Airstream, seems they discontinued use of those window latch handles recently ,that would not tighten. they are going to send the new version to me so i can switch them out myself. the gentleman at customer service was helpful but i still stand by the motto"do it right ,at least as close as possible the first time". The company saves a lot of money ,maintains a better reputation and the customer stays happy. My tow vehicle is a new 2011 crew cab limited 4x4 5.7 liter toyota tundra 48k msrp. (no visible manufacturing defects)Yes a japanese company, but completely built in the U.S. Airstream has been around alot longer than Toyota. I think by now they should have adopted similar pride in workmanship. I'm not knocking any individual but why use a part they know is going to have to be replaced, especially one handled everyday. when they put those plastic handles on ,they knew they were bad.
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Old 05-24-2011, 06:48 AM   #11
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On another note ,purchased Hensley hitch, expensive yes, but very impressive. Never have had one before but i think for someone that travels longer distances ,its a good investment. customer service is very helpful and the installation manual is one of the best I've ever seen. I like the fact that it comes with lifetime warranty.
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Old 05-24-2011, 07:01 AM   #12
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On another note ,purchased Hensley hitch, expensive yes, but very impressive. Never have had one before but i think for someone that travels longer distances ,its a good investment. customer service is very helpful and the installation manual is one of the best I've ever seen. I like the fact that it comes with lifetime warranty.
I'm sure you will like your HaHa. Nice truck to tow with also!
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