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Old 11-24-2007, 04:50 PM   #1
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Incline Village , Nevada
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Quality Issues

Hi Community Members... I just registered and this is my first posting... and I am interested in any comments on the quality of the newer Airstreams...i.e. since Airstream was acquired by Thor Industries several yearsa ago has there been any noticable decrease in the overall quality?

I have been RVing for 15+ years...started with a 29' Holiday Rambler Alumalite...progressed (?) to fifth wheels...then 2 diesel motor homes and quickly grew tired on the maintenance,expenses, and not being able to stay in State and National Parks...

I am seriously considering a 27' FB...and apprecaite your comments on quality and related maintenance\ warranty issues...


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Old 11-24-2007, 05:02 PM   #2
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1975 25' Tradewind
Dewey , Arizona
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Thor purchased Airstream from Beatrice Foods in August of 1980.



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Old 11-24-2007, 05:15 PM   #3
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Define Quality?

hi b' and welcome to the forums...

it might be helpful if you offered your views on this issue (whatever q is) and your expectations.

using the phrase 'newer airstreams' suggests suggests some impression of 'older airstreams'...

as IF there is a difference.

next you might wanna just use the advanced search tool with the q word and limit the looking to the sub forums for 'newer' units.

there are LOTS of pixels here on this stuff.

they all have maintenance issues, while different than diesel mohos.

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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Old 11-24-2007, 07:07 PM   #4
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Incline Village , Nevada
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Quality Issues

Thank you for the info... I am considering purchasing new... 2007 or 2008. Quality to me is what kind of shape are the Airstreams in when you take delivery from the dealer...and how many warranty issues can you expect in the first 3 - 6 months... and how difficult is it to get a service appointment within a reasonable time frame...and how well to they hold up if you put 15 -20,000 miles per year.

In 2001 I purcahsed an Alpenlite 5th wheel...great trailer... only 2 warranty items in 12 months. Then I "traded up" in 2003 to a diesel motor home... and then another in 2004 thinking the first was a lemon...big mistake.

I understand motor homes are more complicated...both motor homes were purchased new...and both had 75+ warranty items that required trips to the dealer and or factory..and it would take 60 days+ to get a factory appointment. That does not include the normal annual maintenance. As I spent time at the various centers I learned that 75+/- warranty items on a new motorhome is normal...and not be concerned until you pass the 100 mark.

I am trying to learn what I should expect in term for warranty work and trip to the dealer and or factory in the first 12 months on a new Airstream. If I purchase an Airstream, I plan to use it and put 15,000 miles + per year in touring the Country.

Also, I am leaning towards the Classic 27' FB... any comments as to th livability of that floor plan...i.e. storage, comfort. etc.

Thank you for your input!
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Old 11-24-2007, 07:29 PM   #5
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well the great thing about using it a lot is shaking all the loose stuff up!

i suspect your a/s experience would be somewhere in the alpinlite and the mohos...

i did about 40k miles during the 2 year warranty time, and my dealer was very responsive to fixing things in a timely fashion.

not all of them are.

also made 3 trips to the factory. generally the customer experience in j/c is outstanding.

mine was 2/3 times.

in term of road worthiness, a/s excels.

there have been many issues with laminates (peeling) and some interior bits on the safari and ccd lines.

the classics with solid wood and corian have fewer of those issues than the 'ikea' like particle board/laminate interiors.

generally the shells and running gear are rock solid...

occasionally someone accepts a unit built by drunken elves, and they have all sorts of issues.

the appliances are industry standards and some (zipdee, fantastic fan) are the best offered by anyone.

fit/finish issues seem to have improved in 2007 as compared to 2003.

i've had about 5 big things fixed and another 75-80 little things that in a unit costing 1/3 of an a/s might be ignored.

we a/s owners are a picky customers....

again read some of the existing threads but don't get overwhelmed by how much is reported here...

airforums folks are even more picky than typical a/s customers...

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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Old 11-24-2007, 07:57 PM   #6
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
tigard , Oregon
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I have a 2006 25' safari FB. There are some minor things like the hinges on the cabinets have not been tightend enough and they come loose after a while. They do not seem to do a good job caulking around the shower. And the wallpaper trim is coming off around the bathroom trim area. I will replace this with tile. The laminate they use is very poor quality and I am replacing it with a nice combination of wood and formica. Other than those things everything is rock solid. Overall quality of the rig itself is great.

Hope that helps,

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Old 11-24-2007, 08:24 PM   #7
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1963 24' Tradewind
Highland , Illinois
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I can only give you quality comparisons between our 2004 A/S and our 2008 A/S.

It has improved considerably in my opinion.

Specific examples: our 04 had a lot of lumps under the vinyl that the dealer and the factory both worked on to remove. Several pieces of aluminum were covered when they laid the vinyl because they failed to clean the floor before hand.

When traveling with the 04, you could count on having all kinds of metal filings and sawdust work out of the secret places where the workers hid the stuff. Even after several cleanings and vacuum efforts.

Overall, the fit and finish of our 08 are much better.

Issues with our new unit are:
Squeak in bedroom floor. It's been there since delivery.
Black tank monitor not working correctly. Always displays empty.
Subwoofer makes a "purring" sound when watching a dvd. Not necessarily an Airstream quality issue in that it doesn't affect using the trailer for what it was intended.
I haven't addressed these YET because I wanted to get some use of the trailer to see if there were any other issues that could be addressed in one visit to the dealer or factory. At this point, I plan to get it in the shop early spring. I'll probably take it to the factory because it's a neat place to see and I've not yet taken the factory tour.

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Old 11-24-2007, 10:27 PM   #8
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
Santa Cruz , California
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"occasionally someone accepts a unit built by drunken elves, and they have all sorts of issues..."

The elves had apparently sobered up enough to do a decent job of assembling our 07 Safari, and after a year of ownership we're still pretty smitten! We just took it to the dealer for some minor issues, which they addressed to our satisfaction. Our one ongoing concern is the battery function, which we lost while boondocking. Although they replaced our factory-issued Interstate batteries, we still intend to get AGMs. We've also upgraded to a 3-stage converter. Other issues, like a couple of missing rivets, untrimmed flooring in a sofa floor cabinet, funky hinges on the bedroom floor cabinets, and corrosion on a stabilizer foot were all taken care of. We feel confindent that we can go back to our dealer with any concerns within the next year and have them taken seriously. After that, who knows? But so far, we're pretty impressed by the quality of our Airstream and feel happy that our issues have been minor.
Best of luck,
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Old 11-24-2007, 10:51 PM   #9
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2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
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Here is the link for the 2008 model year....

If you do a search, there is a QC thread for as far back as 2004. I would encourage you to read them all as they can show trends, common issues and, in some cases, some good engineering.
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Old 11-24-2007, 11:26 PM   #10
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2005 25' Safari
Salem , Oregon
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Quality, what does that mean?

Hi, what does quality mean? Well most people assume it means good, but in actuality, quality means nothing until you insert a word in front of it; Like good, excellent, poor, crappy, average, lousy, or superior Etc.

My Safari was not perfect. I had a tank monitor with a few concerns and a fresh water hose that leaked. Other than that, if I listed any thing else, it would be just nit-picking. I also considered the fact that for the price I paid [less than MSRP] I could live with a few minor defects or just fix them myself; And I did. I think Airstream did a great job in late 2004 building a 2005 model, complete house, on a twenty five foot chassis.

2005 Safari 25-B
"Le Petit Chateau Argent"
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Old 11-25-2007, 09:20 AM   #11
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2006 31' Classic
Jefferson Co , Ohio
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Hi Everyone, We currently have a 06 31` classic with around 5-6 thousand miles on her. Our issues have been very minor and have been handled by our dealer in a reasonable time frame.(I might add that they worked around our time frame for delivery and pick-up) We are pleased with the overall quality of this unit. Best towing trailer I have had to date.
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Old 11-25-2007, 09:59 AM   #12
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2005 25' Safari
Trabuco Canyon , California
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Only the "drunken elves" trailers are getting 75-100 warranty items in the first year so I think you'll be a lot better off than that with any luck. An Airstream has much simpler systems than a diesel motorhome.

My experience with my '05 has been about what I expected. I've had to repair an electrode in the refrigerator, the black tank monitor is grossly inaccurate, I replaced the Sony stereo due to failure, replaced the roof vent caps due to UV damage, fixed the power converter fan, recently had to fix the roll out shower door because the double-sided tape didn't hold and it was falling down. I've also glued edges of laminate which was starting to peel, and am watching for water intrusion in the spare tire area. I've probably fixed other nickel and dime stuff which I can't remember.

I'm not fussy about minor detail and trim work, and I always weigh the consequences of a repair before having it done. Example: The floor squeaks occasionally but I don't think it hurts anything and access to the squeak may cause more damage than its worth to have it fixed.

That may sound like quite a bit but it was over 3 years, and a lot of miles and camping. It doesn't seem "like I'm always fixing things." Its a good idea to carry basic repair tools, caulk, and other household supplies to make minor repairs. After a year or two it should really settle down and be mostly trouble-free. My '05 still looks very good inside and out, and I think it has held up well compared to other RVs.

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