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Old 03-08-2008, 12:19 PM   #1
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Airstream of Chicago question...

I was thinking of bringing my Safari to this dealership to have the bearing service done and the brakes inspected. Does anyone have any comments about US Adventure RV DBA: Airstream of Chicago?
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Old 03-08-2008, 01:19 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
Does anyone have any comments about US Adventure RV...
hi twink

indirectly yes.

this is an enthusiastic bunch of guys who started with one dealership in the quad cities.

then added the 2nd location near you.

90%+++ of their business is other brands.

and they have almost NO experience servicing a/s specific issues.

i took my unit to them (at their iowa location) for replacement of the a/c unit.

this is pretty straight forward work. remove the ac, remove the drip pan (if cracked) and reinstall both.

usually the drip pan does NOT need to be removed on newer units, unless the service guys break it...

they removed my ac and in the process cracked the drip pan.

the explanation was the drip pan as attached with "some sort of gray really sticky stuff" they'd never seen before.

then they reinstalled the NOW cracked original drip pan (without telling me) UNDER the brand new ac.

when i returned to the trailer later in the day i smelled vinegar(acetic acid) inside the unit....

immediately i associated the smell with household silicone sealant, and thought OH NO what the hell did they do!!!

when asked about this (using silicone) they replied "sure that's the best stuff to use. we don't know what that gray stuff was"...

i then spent 20 minutes explaining what silkaflex, vulkem, parbond and acrly-r were and how/why each are used on 'streams...

and why silicone is not used on the exterior.

the service boss, who is an OWNER (a former vending machine repairman) listened in TOTAL DISBELIEF and commented that...

he had done 3 WHOLE DAYS of service orientation in j/c and NEVER ONCE did anyone mention these sealants or issues with silicone.

my reply was..."well if it only took 3 days to teach u all the service issues, they had to leave something out"

as u can imagine the a/c LEAKED water right away.

i called the service shop a week later to report this, and the service guy said "HEY we've now got that 'sealant stuff' u mentioned!

and "oh we sort of expected it to leak, because we reused the CRACKED drip pan", "SORRY"....

eventually i had to drive to j/c and have the work ALL redone, the trip was at my expense.

so while it is possible they've hired some EXPERIENCED a/s trained service people...

i sure won't ever go back to either location, and cannot recommend their work, or their honesty.

cheers
2air'
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Old 03-08-2008, 02:06 PM   #3
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Wow...thanks 2Air....I'm wondering, outside of jacking the trailer up, if doing wheel bearing and brake adjustments are farily common to them since wheel bearings and the electric brakes are fairly common.

As you know, there are not a whole lot of qualified folks out there. I was thinking of taking it to Kramer's Kampers up in Zion since they seemed to do a good job on the Dometic recall. I know that I'd have to teach them where to jack up the RV, but I'm wondering what is the lesser of the two evils.
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Old 03-08-2008, 02:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
... I'm wondering what is the lesser of the two evils.
no question finding reliable and honest rv repair/service shops is a challenge.

IF i was in the chi town area, i'd be tempted just to visit the dealer/service shop just to check'em out.

my experience was at their iowa location but it's the same owner/leader group.

they really only had one (out of 4-5) owner that was an a/s enthusiast.

the rest of the sales/parts/service folks considered the a/s customers as too demanding (which we are)...

i viewed them as a big fleetwood/coachman/holidayrambler shop with few a/s on the side.

i can accept some learning-growth-experience curve, but not dishonesty.

IF the shop that did the fridge recall was satisfactory, i'd be inclined to call them and ask about the bearing and brake work.

this isn't a/s specific stuff, and you might ask them IF they've done repacks and drum brake service on YOUR brand of running gear...

have you got henschens bits? i know some of the safari models went to dexter parts earlier than the classics.

cheers
2air'
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Old 03-08-2008, 02:46 PM   #5
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Camping World in Bolingbrook for service?

Is Camping World worth a try? They do have a location in Bolingbrook in that same neck of the woods as the RV Adventure place. In any case, the Chicago area traffic would not be fun to navigate with your AS in tow. Hopefully most of the road construction in that area is completed by now. Traffic used to thin out by the time you hit Bolingbrook but that's not the case anymore.

Overlander64 --- didn't you used to live in Decatur, IL? Where did you go for service? I notice that R & R RV in Gilman, IL that used to be an AS dealer and service no longer has a web site. They had been letting their inventory get really low so I'm thinking they may not be an option anymore.

maccamper and I have decided that when we need service on our AS, we're heading for Searcy, AR and Airstream of Arkansas so we can also make a side trip to Whole Hog BBQ in the North Little Rock location. It will be a long drive yet worth the effort.

We might make a trip over to the Jackson Center in Ohio before we move back to Oklahoma. (the Mothership, right?)

RV Parts, Accessories & Camping Gear, Bolingbrook, IL - Illinois Camping World - Camping World
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Old 03-08-2008, 02:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maccamper
...maccamper and I have decided that when we need service on our AS, we're heading for Searcy, AR and Airstream of Arkansas so we can also make a side trip to Whole Hog BBQ in the North Little Rock location. It will be a long drive yet worth the effort....
don't wanna hijack a thread 'bout chi town service, but...

the aoa service department is very very good and continues to learn and grow.

they don't have a huge, fancy service area with 10 bays.

but the work is good and the service guys are skillful, polite and HONEST.

this is a reflection of the ownership folks,

who emphasize customer service, personal honesty and value our business.

of course GOOD BBQ near by is a bonus!

cheers
2air'
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Old 03-08-2008, 03:10 PM   #7
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Airstream of Chicago question....

Greetings maccamper!

Quote:
Originally Posted by maccamper
Overlander64 --- didn't you used to live in Decatur, IL? Where did you go for service? I notice that R & R RV in Gilman, IL that used to be an AS dealer and service no longer has a web site. They had been letting their inventory get really low so I'm thinking they may not be an option anymore.
Regardless of where I have lived in Illinois or Wisconsin, I have towed my Airstream/Argosy to Cedar Falls, Iowa for most service and repair work (Ace Fogdall RV). When there has been a problem with a safety-related issue that would make long-distance travel ill-advised, I have utilized Kamper Supply in Carterville, Illinois (they have been in business for more than 40 years and have built their reputation on quality repair work and aren't afraid of Airstreams). When I lived in Livingston county Illinois, I took my Minuet to R & R RV in Gilman, and was satisified with the quality of work performed -- but repairs took MUCH longer than anticipated. When I last visited Livingston county in November, R & R RV had a similar number of Airstreams to other times that I had passed their shop, and I note that they are still listed as an authorized Airstream dealer in the current WBCCI Directory.

Kevin
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Old 03-08-2008, 03:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander64
Greetings maccamper!



Regardless of where I have lived in Illinois or Wisconsin, I have towed my Airstream/Argosy to Cedar Falls, Iowa for most service and repair work (Ace Fogdall RV). When there has been a problem with a safety-related issue that would make long-distance travel ill-advised, I have utilized Kamper Supply in Carterville, Illinois (they have been in business for more than 40 years and have built their reputation on quality repair work and aren't afraid of Airstreams). When I lived in Livingston county Illinois, I took my Minuet to R & R RV in Gilman, and was satisified with the quality of work performed -- but repairs took MUCH longer than anticipated. When I last visited Livingston county in November, R & R RV had a similar number of Airstreams to other times that I had passed their shop, and I note that they are still listed as an authorized Airstream dealer in the current WBCCI Directory.

Kevin
Overlander64, thanks for adding your comments. I remember you recommending Fogdall RV in Iowa when we were first considering buying an AS. R & R RV in Gilman may just be having web site problems. That has happened before. When we visited them a year or so ago, they were very friendly and helpful and low pressure and easy to find. It is good to know that you have positive feedback on Kamper Supply in Carterville and to know that they are an option when we're in Southern Illinois. We've driven past their location many times over the years -- only we never had an AS or SOB before. We're planning lots of camping visits to Giant City State Park.

Thanks again for sharing your experience.

Nancy Mac
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Old 03-08-2008, 08:20 PM   #9
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I have dealt with R and R in Gliman...not all that great of a dealer IMHO and to be honest, I wouldn't bring my lawnmower to them.

I may shop around. My Safari I believe has Henschen axles, as the Henschen axles were the recalled ones and I didn't here the name Dexter until many, many months after I picked up the Safari.

I agree that I've heard great things and seen them from Ace Fogdall, the issue for me is that I can travel 5 hours to Ace Fogdall or 5 hours to Jackson Center. If this were a complicated or Airstream specific issue, these two and perhaps Bill Thomas in STL would be my top three picks and all are about 5 hours from me. However, for something along the lines of a somewhat standard wheel bearing repack I may drift to a decent local place like Kramer's in Zion. From the sound of it, they can't be much worse than what 2Air exp from USARV.....
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:15 PM   #10
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Once the weather gets a little better it would only take 3 hours to run the trailer up on a set of ramps or a jack and do the wheelbearings and look over the brakes yourself. Here is a link to how to do it. A Grease Adventure - Repacking Trailer Bearings
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