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Old 04-20-2005, 02:39 PM   #1
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Trip to Jackson Center

Just had a tour of the plant today and had a few interesting finds that some may find interesting...keep in mind you should ask your dealer or call the factory for exact details as my info is just based on what I saw:

1) The 16' CCD now as the wrap around windows in the rear and front like the orig prototype had.

2) The 25' FB (rear door unit) has the door that does not open "suicide like" like the rest of the line....the rumor is that the wrap around windows will maybe be an option on the 25' FB for the rear.

3) The 25' Special Edition that has the CCD interior skin, windows with the standard Safari furnishings is now also avail as a 19' unit...they were working on the 2nd such unit built.

4) I notcied a unit that had an autotrack sat dome on it...it appears that there is an option now, but not sure on which models or cost, but I guess the price would be high.

5) Disc brakes are now on all the Classics, every one on the line had them.

6)2006s sound like they may be about 6 weeks away from starting.

7)Classic motorhome is slated to go into production in 2006 sometime, but the new addition to the factory for the motorhomes has yet to start.

I'll post some pics when I get back home. This time I also have a few shots of the axle plant as well.
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Old 04-20-2005, 03:21 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
Just had a tour of the plant today and had a few interesting finds that some may find interesting...keep in mind you should ask your dealer or call the factory for exact details as my info is just based on what I saw:

1) The 16' CCD now as the wrap around windows in the rear and front like the orig prototype had.

2) The 25' FB (rear door unit) has the door that does not open "suicide like" like the rest of the line....the rumor is that the wrap around windows will maybe be an option on the 25' FB for the rear.

3) The 25' Special Edition that has the CCD interior skin, windows with the standard Safari furnishings is now also avail as a 19' unit...they were working on the 2nd such unit built.

4) I notcied a unit that had an autotrack sat dome on it...it appears that there is an option now, but not sure on which models or cost, but I guess the price would be high.

5) Disc brakes are now on all the Classics, every one on the line had them.

6)2006s sound like they may be about 6 weeks away from starting.

7)Classic motorhome is slated to go into production in 2006 sometime, but the new addition to the factory for the motorhomes has yet to start.

I'll post some pics when I get back home. This time I also have a few shots of the axle plant as well.
Do you know if disc brakes will be an option on any of the non-Classics? Would also like to know if I could special order a Safari 30' Bunk with Classic windows and could they put the "portholes" in the bed areas and curbside saloon. I know the wrap around window wouldn't be available in front because of the shirt closets on either side, but I like the fact that there is a larger amount of ventalation area with the Classic style windows than the type they put in the Safaris.
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Old 04-20-2005, 04:46 PM   #3
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Twinkie---you missed another big change----on our 25' Classic there is nearly a $4000. price increase!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Pieman
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Old 04-20-2005, 05:10 PM   #4
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Did you happen to get one of those cool Airstream pens?
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Old 04-20-2005, 08:24 PM   #5
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I was out in Jackson Center several week ago for service on my 2004 International CCD. During our factory tour I observered them putting a Sat dish on some travel trailers. I asked sevice if they could put one on my travel trailer and they advised me that they have never put one on a travel trailer (in service). I asked them if they would like to try putting one on my trailer and what would be the cost. They agreed to insstall one. I am glad they did it because it turned out to be a very detailed job and they did a great job! Cost was in the $1500 - 1800 range.
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Old 04-20-2005, 08:26 PM   #6
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Twink ..

I was on the phone with Jim Parrett at Airstream today ... he mentioned that you were STILL there.

He said that the disc brakes are Kodiaks and can be retrofitted to non-disc brake Classics. They have already done a few. He didn't have a firm price ... but figured at least a couple of grand.

Also, he believes the upgraded axles could be retrofitted ... but they haven't done any yet.
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Old 04-20-2005, 08:47 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Mike Lewis
Twinkie---you missed another big change----on our 25' Classic there is nearly a $4000. price increase!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Pieman
ya hey! they be expensive brakes.......
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Old 04-21-2005, 07:43 AM   #8
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I did get a few pens...I took the tour each of the three days I was here for service.... What was neat about going 3 days in a row was that I actually got to see how things progress a bit....the pens were just an added bonus.

I figured an annual price increase went without saying.

As for the windows, you'll have to call. I special ordered our Safari SS and asked the same question and was told....no. I also asked for the Classic dual entry steps and was also told not possible ....Then about 11 months later the Special Edition Safari with the CCD interior panels, cool windows and standard Safari interior came out....that was only the 25'...now the 19' has it....my guess (and this is just my guess) is that it will be a matter of time before the 28' and maybe the 30' gets it. Add to the fact that a Safari line also got a dual step for 2005....I had one added to our Safari and it's a night and day difference....standard install for our model year (2004) was around $250 to retrofit the Safari (not the Classic) dual steps. Well worth it IMHO. Your rate could vary depending on year, condition, etc I would guess.


As of right now, it's my understanding (today) that the discs are only on the Classics, if you wanted to see if you could get them added to the non-Classics, you'd have to call. See on the Classics, the batteries are in the front of the coach, not like the Safaris that have the dual batteries in the battery box/storage box in the A frame. While I was on the line, I noticed that the Classics front A-Frame storage now has between 1/4 and 1/2 that storage area for the brake fluid tank. Since the Safaris have 2 batteries in that storage area, I am not sure where they would put that tank, but if it's important to you, call Airstream and I think you need to speak to Vicki.

One last thing I forgot to mention...Airstream bought 40 acres to the west. The property had a few buildings on it and Airstream is going to create a museum with all their old coaches inside for display.
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Old 04-21-2005, 07:53 AM   #9
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Thanks Silvertwinkie. We plan to place our order in early June with a delivery date around September 1. The main reason for the delayed delivery date is that of quality of production. I have read many times on this forum that during spring and summer quality goes down because so many orders are placed and production is ramped up to fill them.

One more question, I know you have been to the factory before this trip and I think I read you were there when they built your coach. Is this correct? If so, will they let you be there on the date they build it and watch them build your actual coach? I mean, can you be there to 1) kind of do your own quality control; 2) watch or even photo or video how things go in so you will have a record in case you ever want/need to take something out and replace it yourself, i.e. replace the hotwater heater, furnace, fridge, etc.?
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Old 04-21-2005, 12:50 PM   #10
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Watching your Airstream being built

We have been on two plant tours, the second when our 28' International was on the production line. We were only allowed to take the regular tour that day, there are no special tours for people with a unit being built, and we were allowed to go into our unit for a brief period of time. Not enough time to really look at the total quality of the package. You could theoretically take the tour several days in a row as your unit progresses through the plant, but I do not think you will get to spend a whole lot of time with your trailer.
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Old 04-21-2005, 01:10 PM   #11
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My son and I are driving to the factory tomorrow (just under 500miles) to take the tour prior to ordering a 34 LTD. I just got off the phone with factory sales about a concern of mine regarding the kitchen layout of the 34. The range is situated right next to the credenza, where I would like to have a TV and the drapes at the window over the credenza. In the 34 slide it's next to the wardrobe, in the 30 non-slide it's next to the door. Only in the 16' Bambi is the range positioned as close to the actual living area. It just seems like if you like to cook, it's not the greatest location for the cook top in the trailer that has the most space and is the most popular for fulltiming. I don't consider either myself of my wife a messy cook, but would you hang your favorite suit or your wifes silk dress next to the stove? Any comments?
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Old 04-21-2005, 01:38 PM   #12
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I don't consider either myself of my wife a messy cook, but would you hang your favorite suit or your wifes silk dress next to the stove? Any comments?
Our stove on our 30' SO is next to the wardrobe. This really isn't an issue as far as I'm concerned since even if you are messy you aren't going to hurt anything in the wardrobe. You have a hood to exhaust any cooking odors if you wish. Personally I really don't want the stove close to the door due to the potential of wind blowing through that door and affecting the flame on the burners.

Maybe the only down side is that since the wardrobe is on the right of the stove, your work space is all on the left and not on both sides. It might also affect the length of the handle you can use on a pot if you use the right rear burner.

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Old 04-21-2005, 06:27 PM   #13
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Hi again. I would not worry about the quality issue too much. They are busy, but they are down from peak production of 40 per week. If I were buying, I'd feel more than comfy ordering now, especially after having left the service center which not only met, but exceeded my expectations....but that's for another post when I get back home. Bottom line, if you're gonna wait, then wait for the "Special Edition" if it's to your liking since that gets the special windows, but as for quality, everthing I saw on the line looked very good and it also "looked" as if they had several new QC steps since I was there last time-- not that I couldn't have missed it last time, but these looked different than last time. I noticed several sheets on each unit that appeared to require 2 sigs for issues and work in addition, I saw a status board at the end of the line.

As for visiting your coach while being built, it's been my understanding as well that you can only see it during the factory tour. You are welcome to take pictures of it at that time, go into it, etc, but that is about it unless you are able and they allow some sort of special arrangement, but to be honest, I'd be shocked if they did due to safety concerns and OSHA, etc....

We were not able to make the build week for our Safari, but it came out just right.
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Old 04-21-2005, 06:29 PM   #14
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Oh, one more thing...a lot (not all) the new coaches are getting larger stainless steel guards up front. These guards are up to the center rivet line now. A HUGE plus since a good number of my dings are lower than the center rivet line, but higher than the old style protectors. Not sure which coaches don't have them yet, but I do seem to recall the Safari and Internationals (and CCDs) seemed to all have them.
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