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Old 07-02-2018, 02:04 PM   #1
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Hanover , Maryland
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Getting ready to retire this summer and strongly considering a 2018 30' AS Classic. Have done some light research on the internet about rv's in general and ran into some articles expressing concern about less than ideal construction and customer service. Hopefully this is not applicable to AS's.

Q1. Knowing what you know now, what would you do different if you were to buy an AS today?

Q2. What is the industry standard (i.e. best in class) weight distribution hitch?

Q3. Has anyone experiences any issues with 2015 to 2018 AS's?

Recently got a 2018 Ford F250 SD 4x5 Platinum diesel for my tow vehicle. I'm looking forward to traveling the North American continent full time for the next 2-3 years. Thx.

Cheers
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Old 07-02-2018, 03:13 PM   #2
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You are not alone in your concerns. There have been several threads over recent years related to quality control and manufacturing issues with late-model Airstreams. You can find them without too much difficulty.


I don't own an Airstream yet, but from what I've read on Air Forums and seen in person, I have come to the following conclusions:


1. All RVs, regardless of brand, have continuing build and maintenance issues...blame the companies for putting profits before quality, including Airstream's parent company Thor. And don't forget the fact that these "homes" are bouncing down the highway at 60+ mph...things break or come loose.

2. Keep in mind that any complaints on any forum represent a minority of owners. This may be because most owners choose not to post their issues for whatever reason, so the actual percentage of faulty products is unknown. Or they have just accepted the problems, fixed them, and moved on.

3. From what I can determine, Airstream trailers seem to be better built than most while at the same time demanding a higher price. And that appears to be the main sticking point with most people..."I paid more so I expect better quality".


4. Airstream just expanded their manufacturing facilities, so maybe there are some growing pains until they catch up. Apparently, they are selling all they can make though. And yes, with their profits, they need better Quality Control.



On the up side, 2019 models now have a 3 year warranty...it's been 2 years for some time. The down side seems to be getting quality and timely warranty and repair work done at the dealers, especially if you did not buy a trailer from them...not like car dealers. Quite a few owners make one or more trips back to the factory for warranty issues, where the repairs seem to be excellent.



Good luck with your decision.
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Old 07-02-2018, 06:34 PM   #3
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2018 30' Classic
Franklinton , North Carolina
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 7
Hello and welcome
My wife and I bought an 2018 Classic last year and we did have issues. All we’re due to bad quality control.
The first issues was the most concerning which was a water leak that took awhile to find.
It ended up be a drill hole inside the wheel well
Second was the Alde which was simply setup improperly
Lastly were annoying electrical issues which I finally resolved
Would we buy another , yes . This is our second and I think our final one .
We’ve owned fifth wheels and other travel trailers and they don’t stand up to travel as well.
We bought this one because of the new heat and ducted AC and learned you need two AC units in these rigs to keep cool
The Alde is great in cold weather
As for hitches, I made the dealer swap out the Blue Ox for a Reese hitch which was more stable. One other issue I had was I kept bending hitch pins. This was due to to much slop with the adapter so changed the shank to a 2.5 inch. I also tow with a F250 super duty diesel and luv the performance
Hope this helps and good luck
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Old 07-02-2018, 08:03 PM   #4
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2018 30' Classic
Ivins , Utah
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Also keep in mind that a lot of the traffic here is from owners trying to solve problems, and/or venting frustration (rightfully so). Those whose trailers are without or have only minor issues are not likely to complain ;-)

In answer to your questions:

1. No.

2. I'm not touching that with a 10 ft tension bar. See the hitches threads for opinions there - its been discussed many many times before.

3. 2018 Classic, previously a 2017 Flying Cloud 27FB. I guess I've been fortunate. No major issues with either. As with any hand built product, there will be things that need to be taken care of, both initially as well as it shakes down the road. It's best to be handy with tools when you get an Airstream, or any RV for that matter, otherwise shop charges will eat you alive.

Towing with a 2017 F350 Platinum. It's a beast.
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Old 07-02-2018, 08:18 PM   #5
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1975 27' Overlander
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Hi and welcome to these Airstream Forums: I've been to the Jackson Center factory and find there processes that I saw typical of the industry. Built by humans. Their cabinet shop is excellent. I have read many good reports on the Airstream trailers and the service Airstream provides. But there are always those with problems. Same thing with our Super Duty pickups. I've had good luck with mine, but others have not had such good luck.

I went to a RV show here in Denver some years ago. We were studying "U shaped dinettes." We walked in many travel trailers and fifth wheels and I was surprised how "cheaply" they were made . The dinettes were quite flimsy. RVs are built to a "sell price" so to speak it seems to me. There are makers like Oliver, Tiffin, Airstream and others who say price be damned and build the best product they can. We were blown away when we stepped into the Airstreams. Beautiful compared to the other "brown wood" trailers. And the dinette was solid as a rock. The Airstream trailer was in a different class.

We have a 1986 Classic although called the Limited back then. It was the top of the line model like the current Classic is now. It is 33 years old and looks and travels very well. Airstreams last a long time with their aluminum bodies. That said, the "appliances" inside are standard RV fair, like the water heater or air conditioner.

It helps to be handy when owning any RV. Things break and I fixed them myself for the most part. These forums can help you diagnose a problem and help determine the best course of action.

I recommend Airstream as a very comfortable, easy towing travel trailer. They are on a record sales pace so there are others who feel the same way. They ain't the cheapest trailer on the lot, but they are very special indeed. It's like camping in a luxury business jet. Small, but very comfortable.

David
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Old 07-02-2018, 08:35 PM   #6
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Indian Wells , California
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Welcome to the Forum, we would do it all over again! E Qualizer hitch is very adequate for the job which is what Airstream recommends.
You have plenty of towing muscle to do the job.
For us the twin bed model works perfect and storage is awesome.
Yes there are warts, but worth it!
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Old 07-02-2018, 09:21 PM   #7
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2018 30' Flying Cloud
Gig Harbor , Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Hi and welcome to these Airstream Forums: I've been to the Jackson Center factory and find there processes that I saw typical of the industry. Built by humans. Their cabinet shop is excellent. I have read many good reports on the Airstream trailers and the service Airstream provides. But there are always those with problems. Same thing with our Super Duty pickups. I've had good luck with mine, but others have not had such good luck.

I went to a RV show here in Denver some years ago. We were studying "U shaped dinettes." We walked in many travel trailers and fifth wheels and I was surprised how "cheaply" they were made . The dinettes were quite flimsy. RVs are built to a "sell price" so to speak it seems to me. There are makers like Oliver, Tiffin, Airstream and others who say price be damned and build the best product they can. We were blown away when we stepped into the Airstreams. Beautiful compared to the other "brown wood" trailers. And the dinette was solid as a rock. The Airstream trailer was in a different class.

We have a 1986 Classic although called the Limited back then. It was the top of the line model like the current Classic is now. It is 33 years old and looks and travels very well. Airstreams last a long time with their aluminum bodies. That said, the "appliances" inside are standard RV fair, like the water heater or air conditioner.

It helps to be handy when owning any RV. Things break and I fixed them myself for the most part. These forums can help you diagnose a problem and help determine the best course of action.

I recommend Airstream as a very comfortable, easy towing travel trailer. They are on a record sales pace so there are others who feel the same way. They ain't the cheapest trailer on the lot, but they are very special indeed. It's like camping in a luxury business jet. Small, but very comfortable.

David
David,

I read through your current project thread and am truly impressed. Nothing like seeing quality and craftsmanship come together and also help newbies like myself. We purchased a 2018 30' FC Bunk and plan on full timing for 6 - 12 months, or how long my wife can stand me in a 200 plus sq. ft. aluminum home.

Thanks again for sharing your re-build project it inspires me to learn about my rig and fix things myself as opposed to bringing it to a dealer. There is also the satisfaction aspect of doing it yourself and learning.

Jason
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Old 07-02-2018, 11:08 PM   #8
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Our 2007 was bought by our family after one trip by the original owners.

Touch wood, we have had few issues with the AS itself. Most of our problems were with accessories, tires, low voltage damage from bad campground power to the Air Conditioning, and a few scuffs and dings caused by sloppy driving. I have no idea what issues may have been there when it came out of the factory. I’ve looked for evidence of low initial quality and found none.

A large portion of the current issues with what Thor is building nowadays is “low initial quality” which is related to hasty builds and some structural issues with the assembly line, like not taking time to clean up scraps and waste during construction. Stuff like that does not sit well in the aircraft or automotive business. Fixing it will take too-down commitment to initial quality.

The key to this argument is the many who solve initial quality issues during warranty and go on to a great experience for the rest of the unit’s service life. To me, that says most of the design is fundamentally sound.
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Old 07-03-2018, 06:56 AM   #9
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I thought about the 5th wheeler also. Your post confirms my hunch that I would be better off with the AS. Thx.
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