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Old 08-27-2016, 12:47 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
2015 23' FB Flying Cloud
Seattle , Washington
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 35
what a mess - 1st major outing

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 I have the wrong tool for the job?

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


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Old 08-27-2016, 01:15 PM   #2
3 Rivet Member
2016 23' International
Salem , Oregon
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 135
Sorry for all your troubles. We have had the closet door latch pull out. Had to re-do with larger screws. Doors came out and fell apart. This is just driving down major roads. This is definately not an off road trailer.

I did a lift on mine for less than $400.00 and I changed out the tires and wheels for 15 Michelin and sendel wheels for about $600 after I sold the original tires and wheels.

I mention this not to rub salt in wound but to let others know that it pays to look other places than the dealer.

I am adding locks to the drawers when I find appropriate hardware


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Old 08-27-2016, 01:24 PM   #3
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A W Warn's Avatar

2000 25' Safari
1999 34' Excella
Davidson County, NC , Highlands County, FL
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,049
Read the things that are not covered by the warranty in your owner's manual.
If you have done nothing that excludes the issues with your trailer, file the claim in writing. Ask for the dealer's response/explanation in writing.
If the dealer does not respond, follow up by doing the same with Airstream.

In other words, start building your claim history.

add edit:
Item 7.c., in the Owners Manual, in the things that voids Airstream's warranty, pretty much says if you modify the trailer then the warranty is on you. Good luck!
2014 Silverado 1500 5.3L maximum trailering package (yes, I'm towing the 34')
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Old 08-27-2016, 01:36 PM   #4
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2008 22' Sport
Spicewood (W of Austin) , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 444
We bought our 22' Sport used, knowing the microwave was kaput.

I bought a new convection microwave and removed the old... very surprised to find how little structure Airstream used to support that heavy appliance.

It was sitting on a cantilevered piece of thin plywood. (Screwed to the front cabinet and about 1" above the floor of the's weight completely unsupported!) The only thing holding it inside the cabinet were 4 thin strips of metal, tying it to the louvered frame...but only in tension! ...absolutely nothing but that flimsy sheet-metal frame kept it from shooting out of the cabinet and onto the floor of the coach!

I cut a 2x4 and used deck-screws to mount the rear of the shelf to the bottom of the cabinet so the bouncing-around at least would support the weight of the M/W. I then screwed brackets to the feet of the M/W and attached those to the floor of the cabinet-shelf. I've had no problems since, ...but it is simply beyond-belief that anyone at Jackson should have ever thought their method appropriate. It was little more than sitting on top of a flopping-countertop.....despite the "appearance only" of being installed in a cabinet. It was actually only "loose equipment".

Your salesperson should have instructed you on proper towing, to include showing you how to secure the television, close all doors/cabinets, secure all loose equipment, turn off the water pump, etc.. That dealer should be more helpful than simply telling you to collect on your insurance plan. In fact, they so over-charged you on the lift kit and wheels/tires I'd very eagerly tell them that they should cover your deductible and any repairs insurance fails to cover.

Yes, towing these things is rough on the equipment. Be careful on rough roads.
2012 Ram 1500 Crew Cab Tradesman 4.7L 4X4
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Old 08-27-2016, 01:57 PM   #5
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2015 22' FB Sport
Kansas City , Missouri
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 710
I have some questions regarding this.

As a practical matter, what is the total amount of $ of everything that needs to be addressed?

Is the dealer recommending that you put in an insurance claim because they feel that the time and effort based on the expected outcome of running this "up the chain" at Airstream corporate will result in nothing but a waste of your time and theirs? Or do you feel that they just want to be outside the area of responsibility on all of this?

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. Since the product as new should have a reasonable expectation of being able to be pulled down a public highway, you probably feel that the dealer and AS has some responsibility to fix the issues that have arisen due to this.

Why does your dealer feel differently?

Piggy Bank
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Old 08-27-2016, 02:29 PM   #6

2016 25' International
Littlestown , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 64
I strongly suggest you look into Centramatic Wheel Balancers. They help with the vibration going down the road as well as easier wear on your tires. Go to: I just installed mine and it was night and day difference.
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Old 08-27-2016, 02:54 PM   #7
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1988 25' Excella
1987 32' Excella
Knoxville , Tennessee
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I do not have a new Airstream so I do not know how the microwave and the TV are installed. but in our older unit we always secure the doors on the microwave cabinet, bungee cord in the milk, and until recently, set the TV on a bed. I finally installed a wall mount TV that is solid. The way modern cabinet doors are installed it is easy for a hinge to look okay and then come out of its slot. I think you just need to go through your unit and work out a plan to get everything tightened up and secured for travel. I can not see insurance covering loose stuff in the trailer. Was the window latched with both latches? I have had them come open when they were not latched, but never when they were. When you replace the TV get the service contract.

Do you think the lift kit and tires increased the roughness? What kind of pressures on the tires? Airstreams do not have much spring travel or shock absorption and I think a lot of the ride has to come from the tires.

And there are things you will have to figure out or learn. We used to fold down the table with the leg because we thought that was more secure. Then the screws pulled out of the edge grain of the particle board top. So after repairing it we travel with it up and a rug under the leg. And we double check for loose items.
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Old 08-27-2016, 03:08 PM   #8
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1988 Argosy 32
Lomita , California
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It Seems to me they just don't care.
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Old 08-27-2016, 04:15 PM   #9
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Vintage Kin Owner
North central , Florida
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What speed were you traveling? The newer AS are not off road ready.
1984 Avion 30p 9.1 meter. 2006 Dodge 3500 cummins srw short bed crew cab.
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Old 08-27-2016, 09:29 PM   #10
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2015 23' FB Flying Cloud
Walnut Creek , California
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 1,026
Background -

It takes a very rugged trailer to travel unpaved forest service roads. Reference the construction of the Fire Service vehicles.

We have about 23Kmiles on our 2015 FC23FB. The travel included some very rugged paved roads, but we did not experience any significant interior movement until we drove the back roads in New Hampshire and Maine where the frost heave does considerable damage to the road surface.

Drawers will fall out under spirited driving conditions, if they are heavily loaded. We have had this occur on two occasions and now secure the drawers, closet doors and refrigerator door when traveling. The closet door hinges will pop loose if the release button is activated by an internal item. The screws that hold the hinges can be pulled out if the door is heavily impacted. We have a latch that failed. Required new longer screws.

The microwave - not sure about that one. It is not a heavy unit and there is a facia that should have held the unit in place. If there is no indication of fasteners pulled out, then you should be having a serious conversation with the service manager.

The TV can be difficult to correctly secure if you do not pay strict attention to the engagement of the locking pin. Other than that, no clue as we have had no issues and the coach has been over some rough roads.

Potential solutions -

We did install the Centramatics. If your dealer changed out the wheels and tires and did not balance the complete wheel package including the drum and hub assembly, you may well have an out of balance condition.

We run the 15 in tires at about 40 PSI. The weight of the 23 does not require high inflation pressure in the tires.

There is also a possibility that your weight distribution hitch is stiffer than necessary. What hitch are you using? What weight bars are you using? What pressure do you run on the tow vehicle?

A rig is the sum of the parts and performance is tuned with a lot of different adjustments. So you may need to optimize a few.

You may also need to slow considerably when you travel rough roads.

Good luck with your development. Sorry to hear of your issues. Please continue to post your progress to help with the education of others.

Edit - search out the thread where Switz comments on the improved latches and hardware he installed. Might well be worth your time.

Travel safe. Pat
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Old 08-27-2016, 11:02 PM   #11
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Marin , California
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 70
Originally Posted by aap View Post
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.
We are on our maiden voyage and have also been surprised by the defects and lack of rigidity in the construction of our 2017 FC 25. I'm trying to take it all in stride and will address the issues either through warranty or own my own.

Did you have the wrong tool? I can't say but your FC will need beefing up if you want to continue off roading. Just my 2 cnts. Dave
2006 Cayenne S with V8, air suspension, factory tow
2017 FC25 rear bed
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Old 08-28-2016, 01:00 AM   #12
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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. Since the product as new should have a reasonable expectation of being able to be pulled down a public highway, you probably feel that the dealer and AS has some responsibility to fix the issues that have arisen due to this.

Hi, I agree with Piggy Bank on this.

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Old 08-28-2016, 04:31 AM   #13
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1989 34' Excella
Johnsburg , Illinois
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As built at the factory, newer Airstreams are not engineered to be off road vehicles. They are not marketed that way. Wally's concepts for World "back road" travel was different than the modern Airstreams. Even then, the World Caravan tow vehicles and trailers were highly modified. Watch with amazement their travels on available DVD's.
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Old 08-28-2016, 04:52 AM   #14

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Thumbs up Welcome Aboard....

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.


AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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