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Old 10-10-2019, 06:55 AM   #1
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Fort Myers , Florida
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26U and General Repair Questions

Hello all,

We're now considering the 26U. Found a 2016 at a dealer for $60,500. Slight damage up front down low, like something hit it on the road.

Man, I gotta tell you the more I read the more scared I get before we pull the trigger. These trailers seem to be awesome looking, but the number of people complaining about this problem or that problem is amazing! The nit noid stuff doesn't bother me, but one poster wrote he had to have both his AC units in his 26U replaced twice. How can that be? 2 units twice, really? Huh?

Refrigerator, furnace, plumbing, electrical, leaks you name it and it's all on this forum.

I'm handy and can fix anything. I don't mind small projects or the work/effort of camping, but man I don't want another perpetual headache.

Are these problems real or is it just people complaining about things they shouldn't complain about? 26U Anyone have good or bad stories about the 26U?

Thanks
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Old 10-10-2019, 11:39 AM   #2
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Keep in mind the nature of forums, be they cars, planes, rvís ó the loudest, most persistent posters are those with a problem. Airstreams are certainly not perfect and, occasionally, you will see a post about a new one that will have you shaking your head at the lack of QC and dealer prep. But the people with minor glitches and the people with no glitches donít post about being happy so you get a very unbalanced viewpoint.

Refrigerator, furnace etc. are not Airstream products and there arenít a lot of alternatives for Airstream to go to so you will face those challenges in any brand of RV.

Sixty grand for a four model year old 26U with damage sounds excessive to me but I havenít spent much time on Airstream Classifieds lately so what do I know?
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Old 10-10-2019, 11:45 AM   #3
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Go for it! If you are handy you will be very happy with an Airstream.

I will say this and probably get blasted for it but.....

Most problems with Airstreams are earned. Meaning that those with major problems probably neglected something or rely solely on others to find issues, and those issues developed over time
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Old 10-10-2019, 05:52 PM   #4
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Fort Myers , Florida
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Originally Posted by n2916s View Post
Keep in mind the nature of forums, be they cars, planes, rvís ó the loudest, most persistent posters are those with a problem. Airstreams are certainly not perfect and, occasionally, you will see a post about a new one that will have you shaking your head at the lack of QC and dealer prep. But the people with minor glitches and the people with no glitches donít post about being happy so you get a very unbalanced viewpoint.

Refrigerator, furnace etc. are not Airstream products and there arenít a lot of alternatives for Airstream to go to so you will face those challenges in any brand of RV.

Sixty grand for a four model year old 26U with damage sounds excessive to me but I havenít spent much time on Airstream Classifieds lately so what do I know?
n2916s

You make a lot of sense with regard to "unbalanced viewpoint." People rarely go out of their way to state how happy they are with something.

So, on to your thoughts on price. I got them down from $60,500 to $56,970 AND they fix the damaged panel with a replacement.

Nada guides has low retail the unit at $51,500 and average retail is $62,050. The unit inside and out is like brand new, other than the damage they are going to fix. So with tax tags and title and bla bla I'm at $61k out the door.

I probably could have beaten them up a little more, but it is what it is.

Lastly, I called Airstream and spoke to customer service. I gave them the VIN number on the unit and asked them to tell me what warranty work the unit had done over the past few years. They guy looked it up and said, "Wow, this unit has never had any warranty work."

Well, that will either be a blessing or a curse for me. Time will tell.

Thanks
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Old 10-10-2019, 05:56 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by GMFL View Post
Go for it! If you are handy you will be very happy with an Airstream.

I will say this and probably get blasted for it but.....

Most problems with Airstreams are earned. Meaning that those with major problems probably neglected something or rely solely on others to find issues, and those issues developed over time
GMFL

I agree, a lot of folks bring a lot of the problems they have onto themselves. Gotta inspect and lube and not put things away wet. LOL!

Thanks
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rumple View Post
Are these problems real or is it just people complaining about things they shouldn't complain about? 26U Anyone have good or bad stories about the 26U?

Thanks
I just returned from a 4400 mile trip over a month and nothing failed. Yes, I read the horror stories, and I try to keep a keen eye out, but both my a/c's work fine, the fridge gets to 34 on level 3, I have no leaks, and it tows like a dream.
Now, I'd caution you the 2016 will have Good Year Marathons, and my first project would be to replace those with Good Year Endurance.
I'm skeptical of the electric toilet, since the black tank is quite a ways away. But so far, it soldiers on.

Now, 60K for a damaged 2016 isn't too much cheaper than a discounted 26U. Most dealers will chop off 20% without batting an eye.
Shop, shop, shop!

Ft. Meyers? I bought mine from North Trail, it was on the lot. I had a very good experience with the sales people. I shopped four states.
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:23 PM   #7
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Hi

The concept of "gently used" = "all problems fixed" is *highly* dependent on who owned it and how observant they were. It's quite possible that the trailer really didn't have any issues at all. It's equally possible that the PO didn't bother to dig into this or that.

The fridge, furnace, lights, batteries, charger, fuse panel and all the other "bits" in an Airstream are the same as in dozens (if not hundreds) of other trailers. There is no "high end" to the RV fittings empire. They all use pretty much the same stuff.

If you are going to pay anything near $50K or $60K, the trailer should be repaired and any (obvious) issues fixed. If you are close to the dealer, see if they will toss in a 90 day warranty. That way, stuff that isn't quite so obvious on day one still gets fixed. Just be sure you get out and camp in it several times before that warranty runs out !!!!

Why get it fixed? You only really know how much damage there is when you go to fix it. It may be as simple as a single piece of aluminum. There might also be damage to this or that *behind* the aluminum. In addition, water (while towing down the road) can blow into a problem area. Getting the plywood flooring wet a lot leads to rot ... that's not cheap to fix.

A bit does depend on the dealer. Some dealers are pretty good. Others are utterly useless when it comes to service. A warranty from somebody who can't open a can of beer is not worth much

I know we're talking Florida. In the "rest of the country" it starts to get cold about now. That tanks the prices on used RV's. Even in Florida, I would not pay top dollar this time of year.

Lots of variables ....

Bob
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Old 10-11-2019, 10:05 AM   #8
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Hi

Just as a point of reference, in another thread a member is saying they have quote on a similar new 2019 for not much more ($12,000) than your original $60K number. Since that comes with a 3 year factory warranty and no damage, I'd go with it. No idea if the post is accurate or not.

Bob
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Old 10-11-2019, 10:15 AM   #9
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We have a 16+ year old International that still has 90% of it's original equipment and is in great shape. There is some discoloration with the aluminum but nothing to write home about.

Bottomline we love our Airstream and would buy again over any "White Box"
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Old 10-11-2019, 10:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rumple View Post
Hello all,

We're now considering the 26U.

~
Are these problems real or is it just people complaining about things they shouldn't complain about? 26U Anyone have good or bad stories about the 26U?

Thanks
I've had my 2016 26U for a while. Bought it new. I've only had minor issues and no problems with the appliances. I honestly think some folks may be too hard on their trailers like some people are hard on shoes... they don't mean to be, they just are... then, I'm sure some appliance manufacturers have faulty runs, too. In any case, it's a great trailer, so make it yours. Remember, it's not a tank and all the jumbling down the road will cause problems and failures. You just have to be handy and willing to address what comes. Good luck. 👍🏼
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Old 10-11-2019, 11:59 AM   #11
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Hi

Trailers are not assembled by robots on giant automated production lines. They are put together by very normal human beings. It would be nice to think that they all have been dong this for 30+ years and are highly skilled at what they do.

The total workforce at the Airstream plant was down to around a hundred people not that long ago. It now is up around 10X that. It is a pretty good bet that just about nobody who worked on your trailer was there 10 years ago. It'd guess that the majority of them actually have < 5 years on the job.

That said none of this is at all unusual in the RV, or boat industry.

Bob
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Old 10-12-2019, 03:16 AM   #12
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I have the same airstream and can tell you that I haven't owned a better made RV than this. Yes there's been some very minor issues but nothing much I couldn't take care of myself. I've owned mine for 9 months and have towed it nearly 8000 miles and couldn't be happier. Can't say that about my prior SOB white box trailer. Good luck on your decision!
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Old 10-12-2019, 04:58 AM   #13
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16 months on the road full time in my 26 - no significant issue.
I do question the price. A no damage 2019 FC27 was just posted on the classifieds for $73k, and that is at a dealership. I love my 26, but if I was looking, there are deals out there.
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Old 10-12-2019, 07:52 AM   #14
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We have a 2018 26U and use it extensively. Most problems have been with items not made by AirStream. Not that the construction is "Perfect", but it is not what has caused any concerns.
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Old 10-13-2019, 06:41 PM   #15
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So, today was the first day we actually were able to go and see this trailer in person. I had said previously that the trailer was in really good condition, except for the banged up panel in the front. It was the salesman that had walked through the trailer describing it to me over the phone, where I got the overall "great" condition impression from. He knew we had to come look at it and that we weren't buying it if we didn't agree on the condition/parameters.

So, we get to the lot and started looking at the trailer. They had fixed panel in the front already. There were 2 other Airstreams on the lot and we noticed that they switched the panel out with one of them. Ok, that was fine from our standpoint.

I then got down on the ground in several places and started looking up underneath. By the steps something impacted the metal pans on either side of the steps. These pans were quite punched in by several inches in diameter and inches deep. Then I looked back toward the big silver belly pan between the axels and to me, it was bulging down a little in the middle. I'm not sure if this is normal? I looked under the other 2 Airstreams and the belly pans on them didn't seem to protrude down as much right in the middle.

In the back of the unit there was a pretty good crease in the left side of the bumper. They obviously backed into something.

The inside was actually in good shape. No odd smells and things looked a lot better in there. I just think the original owners weren't very good trailer drivers.

The finish on it was dull. It hadn't been waxed in a long time. Don't know how easy it is to bring the luster back or if not cleaning it has damaged the clear coat?

Anyway, we left and told them we had to think about it. I'm not moving on it at $61k as I know that isn't a "fantastic" price considering it's not in "fantastic" condition.


Thanks all.
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Old 10-13-2019, 07:50 PM   #16
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I then got down on the ground in several places and started looking up underneath. By the steps something impacted the metal pans on either side of the steps. These pans were quite punched in by several inches in diameter and inches deep. Then I looked back toward the big silver belly pan between the axels and to me, it was bulging down a little in the middle. I'm not sure if this is normal? I looked under the other 2 Airstreams and the belly pans on them didn't seem to protrude down as much right in the middle.
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Old 10-14-2019, 09:14 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Rumple View Post
So, today was the first day we actually were able to go and see this trailer in person. I had said previously that the trailer was in really good condition, except for the banged up panel in the front. It was the salesman that had walked through the trailer describing it to me over the phone, where I got the overall "great" condition impression from. He knew we had to come look at it and that we weren't buying it if we didn't agree on the condition/parameters.

So, we get to the lot and started looking at the trailer. They had fixed panel in the front already. There were 2 other Airstreams on the lot and we noticed that they switched the panel out with one of them. Ok, that was fine from our standpoint.

I then got down on the ground in several places and started looking up underneath. By the steps something impacted the metal pans on either side of the steps. These pans were quite punched in by several inches in diameter and inches deep. Then I looked back toward the big silver belly pan between the axels and to me, it was bulging down a little in the middle. I'm not sure if this is normal? I looked under the other 2 Airstreams and the belly pans on them didn't seem to protrude down as much right in the middle.

In the back of the unit there was a pretty good crease in the left side of the bumper. They obviously backed into something.

The inside was actually in good shape. No odd smells and things looked a lot better in there. I just think the original owners weren't very good trailer drivers.

The finish on it was dull. It hadn't been waxed in a long time. Don't know how easy it is to bring the luster back or if not cleaning it has damaged the clear coat?

Anyway, we left and told them we had to think about it. I'm not moving on it at $61k as I know that isn't a "fantastic" price considering it's not in "fantastic" condition.


Thanks all.
Hi

At half that price, it's a good deal. At that price, this is *not* a trailer you want to buy. Save up the $15K and get a brand new one with a 3 year warranty.

Bob
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Old 10-14-2019, 10:00 AM   #18
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Iím the one with both a/c units replaced twice on the 2016 26u. The story I get is that Dometic went to a different refrigerant and the seals were not compatible. All 4 units lost refrigerant. So far so good on the replacements.
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