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Old 07-06-2016, 11:06 PM   #1
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Was my trailer built on A Friday?

New 26u, that I am very happy with. However, some odd issues make me wonder if it was built on a Friday?

Rig has 2 ac units. Both use one thermostat controller, but requires a second pickup sensor to report inside temp in rear of coach.

When the sun shines on the rear of the coach, the thermostat reads an indoor temp of something like 90 degrees. The front temp reads 74. Both units running, commanding 72.

In a small space of perhaps 6 feet apart, there is no way there was that big a difference.

Turns out, the production guys, installed the second sensor, but never pulled it through the interior wall, left the sensor between the inner and outer skin!?

The service mechanic, had to cut the lead,and install a new harness, run it through the ducting, into the closet, and out into the interior space, where the sensor is now installed. Works great now.

But, it makes me wonder, what happened? How did the installation on the factory floor make the mistake? How did supervision of theprocess not catch it? How did QC department, miss the lack of a second sensor? How did the dealer prep miss it?

So many mistakes, along the chain of leadership is disappointing to see because it indicates, IMO a lack of pride, and commitment to a first class product.

It is a machine, I expect it to break, I expect mistakes, human errors. However, someone has to stay up to the plate and break the sequence of events that leads to such things.

What if it was a brake line, or faulty wiring next?

I am proud of my rig, I think AS is a great product. I also think there is lots of room to improve simple things to make a greater product.
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Old 07-07-2016, 05:56 AM   #2
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A constant vigilant review of the production systems will make the difference. Humans will make errors but the production system should prevent these errors from reaching the consumer or happening in the first place.

And it all starts with top management, Mr. Wheeler. They need exposure to and an adoption of the Toyota Production System and Lean Manufacturing. It would save them a lot of money and the consumer a lot of heart ache!
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Old 07-07-2016, 07:56 AM   #3
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At least your faulty wiring was an air conditioner sensor. That's not gonna kill anyone.

On my trailer, I kept getting a "no connection" warning about 90% of the time on my brake controller. Sometimes they'd work, usually not, and sometimes they'd slam on for no reason. I checked all my wiring and even re-installed the 7-way plug on my truck. Same problem. I was too naive at the time to assume the problem was with Airstream's workmanship, but it was. I know better now.

The problem was the connections at the wheels themselves. The wires were just loosely crimped together, but the heat-shrink tubing while hanging loosely on the wires was never actually applied over the spliced joints. So, not only were the joints now rotten, loose, and literally falling apart but they were also wide open exposed wires with nothing keeping them from shorting out against each other. Also, the wires were zip-tied in place so haphazardly such that there was enough play in them to chafe through the insulation shorting the wires to the metal casings of the shocks.

Good thing my truck had good brakes of its own.
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:43 AM   #4
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Every day was Friday for RareStream's trailer. The inconsistency at the factory is appalling.

Larry
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Old 07-07-2016, 11:11 AM   #5
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Similar reports of AC install issues seem common on the newer units. QC and proper training?
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Old 07-07-2016, 11:56 AM   #6
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A tour of the Airstream factory in September 2014 answered many of my questions about QC.
The plant was cluttered with air hoses and extension cords running across the floor everywhere and parts sitting on the floor everywhere.
The tour had to step over and around clutter.
There are simply too many people inside a trailer working at one time. 4 or 5 or more people in a trailer working at the same time is too much.
The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing.
Hopefully the plant expansion helped relieve some clutter and mess.
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Old 07-07-2016, 01:12 PM   #7
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I had the same problem with the 2 AC units in my 28 FC. The sensor was somewhere between the inside and outside walls. In the winter the inside temp got to 74 degrees, but the sensor showed 43 degrees. I just unplugged the sensor. Now both units work off the same sensor. I'm not having the dealer rip my Airstream apart to fix it. Who knows what they will screw up trying to fix it.

Bruce
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Old 07-07-2016, 01:51 PM   #8
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My 2014 had the wire out of the crimp used to connect the Electric Brakes to power. I would not have noticed it had I not had to get down low to close the hot, cold and fresh water tank valves.

Loose wire(s) are always worth some extra attention. Might have been your AC thermostat installer working on Thursday's shift.
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Old 07-07-2016, 04:33 PM   #9
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Quailty control and management

Some time ago -- before retiring -- I wrote and lectured on quality manufacturing. Those who have mentioned management awareness and follow-through are spot on. And, yes, Toyota set the pace after Arthur Demming could not get Detroit to adopt sufficient quality standards and processes so he went to Japan where annually the nation awards a "Demming Quality Award" -- like an Oscar. As I am about to purchase a new AS, this gives me pause to re-consider. Seriously. Let us hear more! Let those in manufacturing and inspection be wary. Quality IS job one.
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Old 07-07-2016, 04:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Rob Cope View Post
Some time ago -- before retiring -- I wrote and lectured on quality manufacturing. Those who have mentioned management awareness and follow-through are spot on. And, yes, Toyota set the pace after Arthur Demming could not get Detroit to adopt sufficient quality standards and processes so he went to Japan where annually the nation awards a "Demming Quality Award" -- like an Oscar. As I am about to purchase a new AS, this gives me pause to re-consider. Seriously. Let us hear more! Let those in manufacturing and inspection be wary. Quality IS job one.

Agree. And not to pick nits with you, it's W. Edwards Deming - and you are certainly entitled to call him whatever you want now that you've retired 😀

As soon as I retire, I'm going to clear out all my "work files" in my brain and make room for travel stuff! 😀
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Old 07-07-2016, 04:49 PM   #11
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This TT has been back to the factory spent a week getting it rebuilt. Have had it laid up for 9 months total for repairs. When I was at the factory, I asked were the QC was and upper management said didn't you see it. I asked them were was it. I got no answer from them.
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Old 07-07-2016, 05:00 PM   #12
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It is quite sad that there is such a lack of quality control in brand new Airstreams. We looked at the new Classics and there is no way I could have dealt with those window shade issues for that kind of money. Just silly.
And I've also read about the mirrors just falling off the bathroom walls. What? We just bought a used 2015 30 Serenity and have already had a toilet leak. Fortunately my hubby is extremely handy and found that nothing was wrong with the seal but it just wasn't tightened down properly.
I halfway expect some problems but QC is lacking. Just holding my breath.
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Old 07-07-2016, 06:20 PM   #13
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As soon as I retire, I'm going to clear out all my "work files" in my brain and make room for travel stuff! 😀

I could not agree with you more. I retired on March 31 after having spent 50 years working in the service segment of heavy industrial construction. On my first Monday home in my small office I went through all my files and shredded anything related to my former work. What an incredible relief! Try as you might though, some stuff remains in your brain. This topic reminds me that it is possible to achieve that which, on first blush, seems unachievable, like "Zero " lost time accidents in the construction industry. Achieved in many jurisdictions in North America.

How about "Zero" defects in the manufacturing process.

"Zero Defects seeks to directly reverse the attitude that the amount of mistakes a worker makes doesn't matter since inspectors will catch them before they reach the customer.[2]:4 This stands in contrast to activities that affect the worker directly, such as receiving a paycheck in the correct amount. Zero Defects involves reconditioning the worker "to take a personal interest in everything he does[,] by convincing him that his job is just as important as the task of the doctor or the dentist."[2]:4"

The path to "Zero" is the same regardless of industry segment and it starts with TOTAL commitment by the company president and 100% buy in by management.

Part of the process also involves listening to your customers. See TQM and the fore mentioned Mr. Deming. I trust (hope) somebody at Airstream reads these forums. Jim


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Old 07-07-2016, 06:28 PM   #14
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Careful, Jim - if they're reading, they're going to offer you a job 😂
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