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Old 02-18-2019, 04:06 PM   #1
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A/S of Tampa the World’s Largest A/S Dealership

I went to the “World’s Largest A/S Dealership” for a part for my A/S door latch. I was very impressed; Now I know why they cost so much. WOW it was like I imagine a Bentley car dealership would be.

I was having problems with my door latch not springing back as it was supposed to.

So, let me share with you my experience…
I walked into the World’s Largest A/S Dealership and first checked out a new A/S latch on a new A/S. It sprung back as expected.

A sales person walks up and promptly directs me to the parts person after I explain that I already own an A/S and I’m looking to get parts for my door latch.

The parts person told me they only sold the entire latch, and that they had one in stock. The parts person went to get the latch. I was slightly shocked at the prices on the bag, however when I put it in perspective, I thought either of the prices were reasonable. The tags had $33.?? on one tag and $36.?? on the other tag. The parts person said the part was obviously mismarked and proceeded to look up the correct cost. The cost quoted me was over $65.?? dollars. I was blown away.

I told the person, that I would tear apart the latch and see if I could fix it myself and left.

When I took it apart using a single screw driver, I found a spring missing. I looked inside the door and found a broken spring about twice the size of one you would find in a Pen. I bent a new hook on the broken end of the spring and reinstalled it. TaDa the latch was fixed in less than ten minutes.

How do you not carry inexpensive springs for a latch? Mine failed on a 2016 trailer. I’m thinking this part must fail on many latches. The parts person also told me that that I would have to buy a new latch assembly if I wanted a new key. They can’t make a key either? What a racket! Neither of these parts could be ordered either.

I later found a bag of springs at Home Depot with a spring that would work for <$5.00.

Bottom line, If you have a problem with your latch or anything else, take it apart first. You may be able to fix it for a lot less than the parts changers at A/S.
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Old 02-18-2019, 05:10 PM   #2
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That is the way the modern world works. You do not get the one little part you need, you get the entire module. You don't get a set of points for your distributor, you get the coil assembly.
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Old 02-18-2019, 05:16 PM   #3
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Welcome to the 21st century

look at BMW, after 2009 they stopped selling engine parts. Want something fixed, they would only sell you a sub assembly

want parts for a valve job, no, they will sell you the entire head

most OEM are doing this AS included,. it reduces their inventory size , thus lowers their costs
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Old 02-18-2019, 05:32 PM   #4
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"...thus lowers their costs" and increasing ours. grrr.


There are times when it makes sense to sell an assembled unit rather than individual tiny pieces, but those are pretty rare. Airstream is part of Thor, which is one of the larger conglomerates in the RV world. It would probably pay them to do a certain amount of standardizing across their various lines. If Thor could figure out how to get by with, say, five different door latch mechanisms for all of their lines, they could buy them in larger quantities, and maybe save a bit on each unit. For the customers, if their owners forum (this one, for example) knew that three other lines used the same door latch, it would make shopping for parts somewhat easier. It might even make some of those parts cost a bit less.
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Old 02-18-2019, 06:40 PM   #5
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If this was the screen door latch, they’re ripping people off. $25 at Airstream of South Florida two days ago (I bought two, since mine has failed twice in 3 years), and if you can wait for shipping, half that price on Amazon.

As for the keyed latch, bull$***. Airstream sells the key blanks on their web site, you get your local locksmith to make the copy. And my local locksmith told me that Airstream lied when they said you can only get the blanks through them; he keeps them in stock. No need to replace the latch just to get a new key.

Methinks Airstream of Tampa has a problem.

Jim
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Old 02-18-2019, 06:41 PM   #6
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Commonality of parts problem

Interchangeable parts are what brought us the modern industrialized age, its true. No doubt if every RV used the same door latches, license plate holders, tail lights, steps....oh wait a minute, they do! And here is the shame of it:

Your premise is that if everyone used the same part, the parts would be cheaper, but in a capitalist society where corporations are duty bound not to the customers, their employees, or even the end user but to the company share holders, they are obliged to charge as much as the market will bear. The cost savings from common parts are not passed to the end user but to the profits of the corporate overlords.

Further, the extensive use of cheap common parts results in lots of cheap common trailers. General Motors was (in)famous in decreeing that its cars all use the same parts. For a while there in the 80s, your Caddy shared some crazy high percentage of its parts with Chevys, and looked what happened to Cadillac. The Caddy target market was not fooled into paying champaign prices to get a coke, and abandoned the brand in droves for better values elsewhere.

Today, look at an Airstream and compare it to one from the 70s. For example, in the 70s, AS trailers had a custom forged aluminum exterior 120 outlet box that folded flush with the skin when closed and cleverly angled the outlet downward to drain any condensate. Today, AS trailers have broken out in plastic acne, with common industry parts for the power outlets, RF jacks, water spigots plastered willy-nilly all over. The ugly square steps are the same as any other RV, and no longer fold flush with the body. This is an improvement? Where is the cost savings? Every year the trailers go up in price, even as the cheap plastic common parts increase in number.
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Old 02-18-2019, 06:50 PM   #7
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Largest AS dealer?

Well, maybe. We were at this dealership in January when the Tampa RV Show was open. Very impressive property. We received an exceptional price quote on either a brand new 2019 FC 30 rear bed twin or a slightly used 2018 FC 30 rear bed queen. Should have taken the 2018. This dealership may be the largest by lot size or building size, but I think Colonial Airstream in New Jersey sells the most.


Still very nice place and has a really nice display of a de-constructed AS hanging from the ceiling.


Kicking ourselves for not taking the used FC 30 RBQ.
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Old 02-19-2019, 09:16 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Totlh View Post
The cost quoted me was over $65.?? dollars. I was blown away. I told the person, that I would tear apart the latch and see if I could fix it myself and left.
2016? Is your trailer still under warranty? If so, should this have been warranty repair?

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Old 02-19-2019, 09:43 AM   #9
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Overlander63 really points out the process of today. Example: On our 2013 F-150 the window defog switch failed so I took the Red Dragon in to be fixed. What I discovered was that entire electronic control panel on the dash had to be replaced (all switches are integrated into this single panel) cost was over $400.00. I would have left it had this not also defogged my tow mirrors! That is the way the modern manufacturers are building product these days.
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Old 02-19-2019, 09:45 AM   #10
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A/S of Tampa

I bought my AI from the former owner of that site. I had occasion to deal with their Orlando location on a small warranty issue and had the absolutely worst customer service experience of my life. Beware, notwithstanding their size.
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Old 02-19-2019, 10:04 AM   #11
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Most RV manufacturers, Airstream included, and dealers, are only interested in 1 thing and that is selling new units, People who are first time RVers, usually are shocked when they face this reality.

People who have been using RVs for a long time, have learned that there are certain things that you can fix yourself, all it takes is a little thought and fairly basic tools

For whatever it's worth.

Larry
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Old 02-19-2019, 10:46 AM   #12
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Is this the dealer

Is this RV One?
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Old 02-19-2019, 12:45 PM   #13
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Is this RV One?
Yes
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Old 02-19-2019, 01:28 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by skyguyscott View Post
The ugly square steps are the same as any other RV, and no longer fold flush with the body. This is an improvement? Where is the cost savings? Every year the trailers go up in price, even as the cheap plastic common parts increase in number.
You obviously haven't looked at a new Airstream Flying Cloud or International in the last several years. The main entry steps are the exact same ones introduced in 1973.
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