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Old 01-27-2013, 03:23 PM   #43
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After bad experiences with a Colorado dealer, we took ours to JC. it was still on warranty, but I did find out JC charged less per hour than the bad Colorado dealer.

I thought they did good work, far superior to the work done in the factory. We had a leaking rear pano and it took 2 guys quite a long time to pull out the original sealant and many tubes of new sealant to fix the problem. I don't remember how long, because this was several years ago. It was labor intensive. Sealing the roof penetrations may mean removing old sealant and that takes a very long time. Some items we weren't charged for.

Washing and waxing a 25' trailer is like washing and waxing a whale. It takes 2 of us more than a day and we usually do it over 2 days. We use Griot's One Step Sealant and it lasts at least a year and is much easier than wax (it is now available on Amazon). Yours is smaller, but they are deceptively big compared to a car or even a full sized truck.

Like Awchief, we fix what we can and have someone else do what we can't. RV's are expensive to maintain and repair. Parts are outrageously expensive and we look hard to find the best prices. RV's usually break when you are away from home and it is good to know how to fix things, or at least, how to explain what is wrong to a RV mechanic and know what he or she is doing. Woodalls has a book that tells you how things work and how to fix them—it is pretty good, though not an Airstream book Amazon.com: woodalls rv owners handbook

The Forum is very good for all things Airstream.

I hope you get to enjoy your new-to-you trailer soon and after a while repair "sticker shock" will subside.

Gene
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:11 PM   #44
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UPDATE: Experience at AS Service turned out FANTASTIC!!

Today we picked up our trailer from the Airstream Factory Service Center. I had remained fairly skeptical during this entire experience, and through our many interactions with the service center. We dropped in to check out the progress a couple of weeks ago, we met the guys working on our trailer and they were awesome (Bill, Garret and Darrin). They seemed to really be doing a good job and although I remained a little skeptical, we felt much better about the care our trailer was getting.

During the process of fixing the leak we had in the front of the trailer, we found out that one of the panels that had been replaced by the previous owner at Bill Thompson Camper in MO (a certified AS repair center), was not fixed correctly. They didn’t use seam tape (although it was on the work order and they charged the previous owner) and was most likely one of the reasons for the leak we were experiencing. The repair had taken place just under 2 years ago. To fix the panel, the rivets needed to be drilled out, and the seam tape needed to be added, panels then riveted back together and the seam resealed. AS Factory Service Center quoted us approx. $450 to do this repair (in addition to the other services we were having done). I promptly called Bill Thompson to see if they would help cover these charges, as it was clearly due to their error that we were having this problem, they refused. They told us that it had been longer than a couple of months, so they felt no responsibility in correcting the problem! The kicker of all of this is that they had the tape on the work order and charged the customer. I sent them pictures that AS Factory Service had taken of the tape not being on the panel they replaced. The service folks at Airstream did at one point say that even though they train the certified centers to use seam tape, they don’t have to, and may feel comfortable not using seam tape. My last point with this is that the trailers leave the factory with seam tape, mine didn’t have it after the repair, I got a leak. Who and how would you check for seam tape?

The GREAT NEWS…..I kept Airstream up to date on my communications with Bill Thompson. After I told them that Bill Thompson said they were not going to pay for the repair, they offered to do the repair anyway, at no charge to us. When I dropped in a couple of weeks ago, they had the panel taken apart, and were putting on the seam tape!! I thought this was very “Stand Up” of Airstream and I was very thankful….trust being built between us…..a great feeling. This is what this brand is and should be known for, a superior product. And that can’t be without superior service.

Last night, as we prepared to pick up the trailer today, I printed a copy of my work list, and made notes so that I didn’t miss anything that I wanted to ask about and check out when we picked up today. I was honestly expecting to catch things that they didn’t really fix, or do a good job fixing. I couldn’t have been MORE WRONG!! We did go ahead and pay for a wash and wax, and although it was pricey, she was beautiful, and they had done an awesome job…..the 2007 trailer looked brand spanking new! They had resealed almost every single panel on our trailer, and only charged us for the roof and front area by the window…..unbelievable. Their sealing work was impressive and looked as good as new trailers that we have checked out! They had perfectly knocked out everything on our punch list and more. We had scaled back on much of our list and opted for parts only (taking our 4K estimate to 2K), as we didn’t want to pay the labor…..but another surprise was waiting for us, they had put all the parts that we ordered and installed them for us….”FREE OF CHARGE”. Items like the little bumpers I talked about before, a new switch on the fan in the bathroom, a bumper on the dinette, etc. All replaced perfectly. They even took the rub rail at the back of the trailer, to make sure they proper sealing had happened (we had told them that we read out here on the forums that some 2007 units had problems that were causing leaks and floor rot). I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears. I was so happy and grateful that they took their service over and beyond our expectations. I really love our new Airstream and wanted very badly to have a great relationship with the service center…..after all, they have to be the very best, and they are only an hour away.

If anyone has any questions or would like more info, please feel free to contact me, I will be happy to share more of this experience with you. We recently registered for Alumapalooza…...maybe we can share our story with you face to face!
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:13 PM   #45
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Doug....it was a very happy ending...read my latest post!!
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:42 PM   #46
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Looks like you had great success in a very short time seeing your original post was on 14 January. Of course it probably felt longer than that.
I looked over the paperwork of very similar services we had done back in 2010 with complete window seals and a roof resealed. It was a 14 hour labor cost just for that.
The good news like you found out with prior work is it eventually gets worked out. We had the floor replaced and somehow a leak on the curb side ruined some of the flooring. The original sub floor is in great shape, so the damage was just to the top. The dealer did the floor work originally so the dealer took out the bad flooring and replaced it after they figured out where the leak was. NO COSTS!
The Airstream dealers do stand behind their product and work. The technicians that work on our Airstream take pride in their work and their product.
enjoy the camping season and have fun.

SL4BLLT
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:18 PM   #47
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Glad to see you got it all done, saved some money, and are happy. Not good news about the Missouri dealer as it was clear they didn't do a proper job.

Gene
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:15 AM   #48
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Looks like the Missouri dealer a normal repair. Poster said factory told him it was okay to not use the tape but better if it was used. Repair by dealer was done to factory specs so be careful about useless info. Jim
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:20 AM   #49
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Another point. Seems as if the factory was eager to criticize this and other dealers. If the factory sees the dealers as substandard, then the dealers should be dropped, or just be in sales. Maybe there should be regional FACTORY repair centers around the country. Jim
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:47 AM   #50
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The company was talking out of both sides of its mouth—should use sealing tape, but ok not to. Sounds like trying to say tape is best, but we won't criticize our dealers. And they made it up by doing it right for the customer.

Read between the lines.

Gene
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:58 AM   #51
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Bill Thomas RV - BAD BUSINESS

Quote:
Originally Posted by zigzagguzzi View Post
Looks like the Missouri dealer a normal repair. Poster said factory told him it was okay to not use the tape but better if it was used. Repair by dealer was done to factory specs so be careful about useless info. Jim
Jim -- You are incorrect with your statement above. Here is exactly how this transpired and why Bill Thomas RV was responsible for the seam tape, and clearly not a reputable service center that stands behind their work (although they are currently certified by AS).

When Airstream Factory Service was working to repair my leak by resealing the roof and around our front panoramic window, they discovered there was NO SEAM TAPE around the replaced panel.
After AS notified me that the previous service center (at the time they did not know who the dealer was) did not use seam tape, I obtained the Work Order from the previous owner....this Work Order detailed all work done, and ALL PARTS ordered to complete the repairs. On the work order, among other things, it listed the panel that was replaced, as well as the seam tape. Knowing that Bill Thomas RV was a certified AS Repair center, I asked AS Service what it takes to be a “certified service center”…..at this time they still did not know who had done the previous work…..and they explained that there are standards that need to be met and that they do bring techs in from the certified dealerships to train them. When I asked what the protocol was for replacing a panel, he said that Airstream DOES train them to use SEAM TAPE.

Now, I don’t know if they were trying to protect one of their HUGE certified service centers or what when they eventually told me that it was what they were comfortable with, this did come after they found out who the center was that originally repaired our Airstream. The facts are that Bill Thomas had the SEAM TAPE on the work order, and it WASN’T on the panel and WE HAD A LEAK. They ARE trained to use seam tape. I definitely hold Bill Thomas RV responsible, but luckily, I do not have to have service there…..EVER! It could have been an honest mistake on their part, but they CERTAINLY should have stood behind their work, and in my mind at the bare minimum reimbursed Airstream for the work they had to do to fix the problem. I wasn’t even asking them for anything for the water damage that some of the interior suffered or compensation for our wasted time.

Shame on Bill Thomas RV…..and I will be posting more info on this for awareness for those who have done business with them or may have to in the future.

Leah
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:59 AM   #52
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Seam tape

Using seam tape, is OK, but it has drawbacks.

When used on a seam, a small gap is created.

Seam tape, also does not last forever, unless you use the black stuff which again, increases the seam.

Most dealers, at least those that care to do a "top rated" job, as well as the factory, use "Vulkem" sealer instead of seam tape.

It does a fantastic job, although it can be a bit messy, and lasts forever.

We have used it ever since it became available, and have never had an issue with a leak.

Andy
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:06 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zigzagguzzi View Post
Looks like the Missouri dealer a normal repair. Poster said factory told him it was okay to not use the tape but better if it was used. Repair by dealer was done to factory specs so be careful about useless info. Jim
I am curious why you would view this as useless information? Just having had a panel repair done and having two estimates from dealers one being Andy seam tape was listed on both estimates. The OP stated that the non use of the seam tape may have been a contributing factor to the leak, and the factory felt the same to do the work at no charge to protect the reputation of their product. If applying the tape provides a better chance of success of avoiding leaks why would you not apply the tape, considering the amount of work and cost. Listing the tape on the invoice and not applying is a very interesting oversight.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:38 AM   #54
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Quote:
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Looks like the Missouri dealer a normal repair. Poster said factory told him it was okay to not use the tape but better if it was used. Repair by dealer was done to factory specs so be careful about useless info. Jim
The Missouri dealer charged their customer for the seam tape, which would suggest to a reasonable person that they USED it. Unless they provided the seam tape to the customer (the previous owner of this trailer) they misrepresented the work they did.
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:28 AM   #55
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Quote:
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I am curious why you would view this as useless information? Just having had a panel repair done and having two estimates from dealers one being Andy seam tape was listed on both estimates. The OP stated that the non use of the seam tape may have been a contributing factor to the leak, and the factory felt the same to do the work at no charge to protect the reputation of their product. If applying the tape provides a better chance of success of avoiding leaks why would you not apply the tape, considering the amount of work and cost. Listing the tape on the invoice and not applying is a very interesting oversight.
Jim.

I trust your not talking about this Andy.

We have never used seam tape and have never placed it on "ANY" estimate.

Andy
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:01 PM   #56
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With reluctance of breaking a 40 year old seam and the integrity of settling panels, we had segments # 12-#22-#10 and the three front vista window replaced last year (Feb 2012) by an authorized Airstream Dealer on our 1972 International. Two panels had major dents and one looked crumbled from just age. As I look over the materials, only Vulkem and Silkaflex 221 are recorded on the work order for any sealant. I see no word of "tape" within the materials. This was done professionally and a small leak was noticed in which they quickly fixed being a awning rivet that came loose. The leak, also due to the possibility of bringing the coach from heat indices of over 115 degrees in temps (NC beach area) that day to the mountains of NC, where the temps dropped to 61 and we had two inches of rain that night. I mentioned this in a previous forum back in Jul 2012.

BTW, the price wasn't as painful due to how we worked with the dealer for the repairs. It could have been very expensive doing these individually one at a time, over time. What we figured out was to do all of the major repairs at once keeping the parts within reason with the cost of labor for the complete replacement in an isolated area. We probably saved 8-10 hours in labor costs, which made the difference. Also we were amazed that about 350 different rivets were used, just in that one area.



On another note with Airstream repairs on older Airstreams, folks often ask why would we spend some much on a 40 year old Airstream? I quickly ask them how many trailers they have owned, with the answer normally three and all of them being SOB's. I do the math with them IRT their SOB costs and respond with this is our only RV and it is still on the road and we are still in it for under $25K.

So for those newer ones, you still have allot of road and many years left in them.

Good insight for those considering new panel replacement so they can find out who does what regardless of how it is supposed to be done. Good time to gain standardization so if a repair is needed down the road, or purchasing an Airstream that panels have been replaced on, the owner can be ahead of the game with this insight and knowledge.

SL4BLLT
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