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Old 08-28-2016, 06:06 AM   #15
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I would think twice about dragging my trailer down forest service roads at more than a couple miles an hour, that would be abuse. Sorry, but my opinion is self induced damage by the owner. These things have enough problems on paved roads, common sense would say off pavement runs on forest service roads at speed would not be prudent. That said, I hope AS works with you to get things fixed.
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Old 08-28-2016, 06:11 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
Contact Jackson Center.....the dealer is trying to wiggle out.

Send a photo along if they give you a hard time....


Maybe the 5k for wheels and a lift was a red flag...

FWIW...only two of our cabinet doors were aligned properly, the rest of the cheep plastic latches broke, replaced with ball latch from Camping World.


Bob
Caravan speeds were very slow, note the tv. The trailers were mostly with some mods for rough travel. The older trailers didn't have all the junk like the new models have inside to fall apart. Wally knew this. Again I wonder how fast the op was traveling? Anything over ten mph is asking for trouble. I speak from experience with a 25 foot AS I dragged down similar roads. The gravel damage was serious, the things moved around inside but we had everything secured in preparation for the roughness. We never went over ten mph. Good luck, live and learn.
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Old 08-28-2016, 06:48 AM   #17
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Tire Pressure and Smoother Trailer Ride

Sorry to hear about the problems to your FC.

What PSI did you use on your trailer tires?

Airing down on rough roads and going slowly can help the trailer ride better. Even on paved roads having your trailer tires too hard can make the trailer ride much too stiffly and transmit more of the road shock and vibration through the trailer structure to the fittings inside.

On my GYM the max pressure is 65 PSI, but using the tire table for my loaded trailer weight I was surprised that the pressure should be 55 PSI.
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Old 08-28-2016, 07:16 AM   #18
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Glad our 75 has the old roll doors. I don't even know how you would do it under your insurance. Maybe get the saftey locks made for children. I can barely get them open in a non stress environment. Might be just enough to keep it from popping open.
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Old 08-28-2016, 07:44 AM   #19
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Haven't had any issues like this on our 2011, but I travel pretty slow on gravel. If you were on a washboard section, it's hard to go slow enough. I'm sitting in the trailer this morning. Our MW is mounted in the wall above the fridge. Hope it stays..
I hope the dealer works with you on this. They should have assumed you might be getting off if the blacktop, if you had the trailer lifted.
Just curious, how fast were you going?
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Old 08-28-2016, 07:50 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piggy Bank View Post
In my opinion insurance is for accidents. You didn't have an accident. You were not vandalized. You drove down a public highway, and a product you bought had a problem.
PB is right.

Clearly you were talking to the wrong person. Get in touch with someone with authority to make this right.

AS advertising is full of images of their trailers off the asphalt.

Click image for larger version

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Read more here:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...rs-154616.html
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Old 08-28-2016, 08:03 AM   #21
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I don't take my airstream on any unimproved roads, slowly over improved gravel roads....I don't want it to be shaken apart...
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Old 08-28-2016, 08:26 AM   #22
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I suspect your Airstream dealer is connected to the one I purchased from. I like them, but their prices for dealer installed options are ludicrous. They wanted more than twice what other RV dealers wanted for a solar install. Be prepared to shop around, then negotiate with the AS dealer. They want your business, and will do the work for a reasonable price, but you have to ask.

The damage is another issue. Build the case for warranty, and don't back down if it's truly a manufacturing problem. Be ready to go as high in the AS hierarchy as needed. If it was caused by your negligence, then let insurance deal with it. On rough roads, we go really, REALLY slow. There have been a few loose screw and popped rivet issues, but AS covered them under warranty.
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Old 08-28-2016, 09:12 AM   #23
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What gravel road in/near Glacier; Polebridge? Traveled that road a few weeks ago. The stretches of that road that are gravel up to Polebridge seem smooth enough even to take a trailer but I don't think there are any campgrounds off that road. Hopefully you didn't try to tow to Kintla or Bowman lakes, those roads are too rough for most towables. Campground host at Bowman did have a Casita and there were a couple of pop ups in the campground.

Road from Babb, MT to Many Glacier entrance is terrible. Parts of it require slowing way down to walking speed. I'm amazed this section of road is in such bad shape. I guess the Blackfeet Nation didn't get any shovel ready job money. Once in the park the road is good for the several miles up to Many Glacier campground.

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Old 08-28-2016, 10:38 AM   #24
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what a mess - 1st major outing

There is a lot of speculation here with only the original post to go on. You (the OP) might give an update responding to some of the posts. It would be interesting if some of the responses and their assumptions are correct. For example, there is no "Glacier National Forest" but I assume you meant "Glacier National Park." Ten miles inside the park on any of the entrance roads is regular two-lane paved highway - not gravel "forest roads." (Except to Polebridge as Kelvin says above). The bottom line on your dealer issue has been said several times. Airstream Northwest has a pretty good reputation so maybe, as has been suggested, push harder. Now if you really were bouncing around on some back-woods gravel road with potholes and ruts that's different. But those are hard to find in Glacier ("national park"). A lot of what you mention seem to be warranty issues, imo.


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Old 08-28-2016, 10:38 AM   #25
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Thanks so much for all the information

I will do my best to address all the questions and misc. variables in this response, in sequential order, by the person who responded. We really appreciate all of the detailed information, the old photos are so awesome, hope I didn’t miss anyone – thanks again!!!

* NoResults
I may have misspoke regarding Tires/Lift kit - it was probably more like 2500

* A W Warn
All modifications were done by the dealer, guided no doubt by the same service manager who eagerly took money for the mods, heard our desire to do some forest road stuff, which we haven't, but never told me about the obvious issues with pretty much everything on the interior except the bathroom interestingly enough

* Boxite
Yes, the Microwave just left there not secure is beyond ridiculous...We were versed in proper towing for sure, in small part by the dealer, in larger part by our own research and personal knowledge from other areas in our life...love your Avatar - is that Photo-shopped, we will definitely reinforce the flimsy stuff

* Piggy Bank
I have not talked with the CEO of service just yet, she wasn't in yesterday - I'm not sure what the cost is, but what I expected to hear was don't worry, will take care of it...um, did I mention to say I purchased the extended warranty - I feel like an idiot based on current events - will see how this plays out…it was the Service Manager from Airstream Adventures NW that thought it appropriate to leave me a negative message telling me what they won’t do, not asking to speak to me etc. I provided them with a detailed list of items in Excel, with a column for comments etc

* glcmranger
I will definitely check into the Centramatic Wheel Balancers

* Bill M
The TV was mounted to the wall, the window was locked and both latches bent out, I had to bend them back...I cant say if the lift kit and tires increased roughness, since the dealer installed a "custom lift kit" and tires prior to sale and "tested", I would assume that they would have said something, especially if it meant more money

* Wolfe I agree, the service manager seemed not to care - I would have handled things much differently as opposed to leaving a negative voicemail, having never talked with me directly

* avionstream
We baby the thing and were going reasonably slow, can't tell you my exact speed now, but I can tell you, we saw numerous "inexpensive travel trailers", traveling at much higher rates of speed

* PKI
We have a blue ox weight distribution system, recommended by dealer, we tow with a 2010 f150 4x4 V8, tire pressure a bit under manufacturer recommendations because of the hot weather - thanks for the info on the latches/hardware, we did find this thread very useful

* dasams
Its been a learning lesson for sure - we will definitely beef up wherever possible

* ROBERTSUNRUS
Thanks for the input -

* dwightdi
Mind you we only went 10 miles on the well maintained hwy, while I blame this hwy for the damage, I can see now this isn't really accurate, the hwy may have been the last straw, but all the miles adding up to that point, plus the poor craftsmanship (not even sure that the right word), were actually part of root cause

* ROBERT CROSS
I Agree, thanks for the guidance re: Jacson Center, we agree and won't go away easily - LOVE THE PHOTO...we will definitely make improvements

* avionstream
Are you the Service Manager from Airstream Adventures Northwest? . Seriously though, we went 10 miles up a well maintained state hwy, it was definitely not a forest service road - this being said, when we purchased the trailer, we told the dealer our intention was to take the trailer on "some" forest service roads and that's why they installed "custom lift kit/15 tires" - why would I have any reason to doubt their guidance

* Adventure.AS
Tires were inflated to 45psi, Les Swab did the tires, my assumption is that they were balanced, but I will double check, these folks have always done the right things for me in cars/trucks

* Hamptastic
Will definitely be making some modifications after this thread, its a shame that this stuff isn't addressed at the dealer prior to leaving with the trailer

* GettingAway
Again, don't remember my exact speed, but babying the thing for sure, we were the slowest travel trailer on that road

* Alluminati
Agreed. Please see my reply to Piggy Bank

* tjdonahoe
Yup

* Drathaar
Agreed, and doing just this.

* Alluminati
Agreed. Please see my reply to Piggy Bank

* KJRitchie
State HWY 486, just 10 miles in


Final Thougths
We purchased an Airstream for its reputation of quality, craftsmanship and service...The jury is still out on weather we made the right decision. I keep you folks posted as to what happens with Airstream Adventures NW, its my hope that they will do the right thing - it seems dollar wise, rather than penny foolish.

Thanks again,
Anthony/Angela
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Old 08-28-2016, 11:02 AM   #26
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I just retired from a job near the Centramatics company/factory in Alvarado, Tx. They were very friendly and helpful, and quite willing to sell their product in pairs (such as for a single axle) which is not indicated in most advertising.

But they also convinced me that their product, while demonstrably efficient at smoothing-out horribly-balanced wheels at speed....... will not remove the still out-of-balance wheel/tire combination at lower speeds. That will only be addressed by the tire installer, which is when the initial balance should be conducted.

At the speeds rough roads are taken, the centramatics will do little-to-nothing for you because they are not up to sufficient speed to reposition the internal weights effectively.

In short, Centramatics are not to be used in-lieu of proper balancing. However, they can be helpful at higher speeds if a balance-weight is thrown or if a wheel/tire combination has multiple harmonic out-of-balance points. I passed on them and had my wheels dynamically balanced and have had no problems.

My avatar amused me. It is believed to be an actual photograph, but plagiarized. Glad it gave you a smile.
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Old 08-28-2016, 11:28 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OilnH2o View Post
There is a lot of speculation here with only the original post to go on. You (the OP) might give an update responding to some of the posts. It would be interesting if some of the responses and their assumptions are correct. For example, there is no "Glacier National Forest" but I assume you meant "Glacier National Park." Ten miles inside the park on any of the entrance roads is regular two-lane paved highway - not gravel "forest roads." (Except to Polebridge as Kelvin says above). The bottom line on your dealer issue has been said several times. Airstream Northwest has a pretty good reputation so maybe, as has been suggested, push harder. Now if you really were bouncing around on some back-woods gravel road with potholes and ruts that's different. But those are hard to find in Glacier ("national park"). A lot of what you mention seem to be warranty issues, imo.


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By the time stamp it looks like my longwinded response was posted at the exact time for your ask of additional details - I think you should have what you need...i'll keep everyone posted...thank you1
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Old 08-28-2016, 11:33 AM   #28
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Hey Everyone -

My wife and I have been lurkers on the forum until now - we very much appreciate all of the fine/detailed information we have found to date - thank you all very much. Its our hope that we can/will contribute in some way in the very near future.

We just got back from our 1st major trip, which happens to be the 2nd time we have used our purchased new in Feb of this year, 2015 FB Flying Cloud.
We put a total of 1987 miles from Seattle to Montana. The trip was mostly great with some major disappointments related to, what I consider, manufacturer defects, although the dealer says I need to put these things on insurance - would love to know your thoughts on the following:

Let me start off by saying during purchase, we spent an extra 5k or so on a Lift Kit and 15 rims/tires as we wanted to be able to take the trailer to Alaska and on forest service roads, with RV parks being a last resort.

Well on our first foray on a non-paved, but relatively smooth gravel road, resulted in a wide variety of internal damage - approximately 10 miles up this road in Glacier National Forest - we stopped for lunch and were horrified to find this disaster on the inside:
[*]Microwave was not secured and came out hitting the refrigerator door[*]Refrigerator door bottom plate had come off due to Microwave hit[*]One closet door came completely off[*]One closed door had lost its bottom hinge[*]The TV had come completely out[*]One Window shade came off[*]One of the windows came open and bent the hinges out which secure it[*]2 drawer slid out completely and were laying on the floor


I had my wife pull the trailer when I was in it for a minute and was shocked to see how much EVERYTHING vibrates/moves even on a paved road.

Our assessment (keep in mind this is our 1st trailer), the latches on the cabinets stick, and the hinges come loose...the Microwave wasn't secured at all it was just sitting inside its respective hole, not sure what the heck happened to the TV...I believe the window shade came off due to faulty hinges that keep in place.

Our ask to the forum
We did some searching on the forum and see more than a few folks experienced some heart ache with cabinets, in my mind everything we experienced was due to manufacturing defects, and yet the dealer, Airstream Adventures NW in Covington WA is saying I need to file an insurance claim - this just seems wrong.

Final thoughts
I'm not sure at this point how any of you folks boondock on forest roads or travel off the beaten path - is this a matter of custom modifications on my part...we spoke to another Flying Cloud owner at an RV park outside of Missoula (Jim and Mary's - very nice!!!) she told us that one of their main upper cabinets structures just came off during a trip...do I have the wrong tool for the job?

Thanks in advance for listening and any words of wisdom/guidance.

Anthony/Angela
Your experience has been very disappointing but the airstream trailers and most of other travel trailers are not made for riding on rough roads. The only thing that can travel on rough road with cautions are the truck trailers when properly equipped. Sorry but when I moved from truck trailers to travel trailers I was knowing that and understood that it will no longer be possible to go offroading. You may have to change your lifestile if you keep the Airstream.
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