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Old 11-26-2015, 01:55 PM   #15
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My service experience

I purchased my AS from a dealer 500 miles from where I lived. Did not plan on using them for service. AS has a certified service center in Reno (where I live) that works on "ANYTHING" last time I went to them they set an apt. 8 weeks out. It was summer and things have been a lot busier this last 18 months. But 8 weeks? Then I found my self back in Boise in Sept. And needed service. I called the dealer and they got me in the next day, excellent!

While I did buy it from the Boise dealer they would not state that had any influence on a quick appt. time. Honestly I think it had more to do with the fact they ONLY service Airstreams.

Having your dealer close by could be a huge benefit as, at least in my experience they need a fair amount of tinkering.
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Old 11-26-2015, 03:16 PM   #16
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I just called a dealer. They were booked for a month. Most systems in the unit do not come under the Airstream warranty, rather the component warranty and there many service centers approved.
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Old 11-26-2015, 04:24 PM   #17
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Airstream Dealers and Mobile RV Service Technicians

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I just called a dealer. They were booked for a month. ...
We tow about 12,000 miles per year, on mostly a one trip per year basis. Over the past five years, I have had only two problems that I could not handle on my own. In both cases, different local Airstream dealers (who also sold SOB's) would give us no consideration for service under emergency conditions on our Airstream. The answer was always get in line and wait your turn.

We found that by asking around for recommendations for a mobile RV service technician, we could get service within one or two days (and sometimes the same day). The quality of the service was excellent in each of the two cases that we had.

No matter where the service comes from, the problem is always one of finding a qualified service technician when you are away from home.

I wish that the Forum would set up a help line that one could call when traveling to assist in locating assistance. This could take the form of a list of Forum members, with locations and phone numbers, that would allow us to take advantage of the collective knowledge of the membership. The Trawler World List had such a setup, and it worked very well.
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Old 11-26-2015, 08:48 PM   #18
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Bought our AS at Colonial in NJ. Took it home to Montana. Bretze RV in Missoula wouldn't do any warranty work without a CC number. (BAD) Airstream of Spokane - no problem, no cost, nowaiting, good work, no CC.. Did make an appointment tho.
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Old 11-26-2015, 11:25 PM   #19
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Always make an appointment. A five minute time investment could save you hours, days, or weeks.

Here in SoCal, we purchased new in 2010 from Southwest Coaches and worked right away with their service department to install solar. We found them friendly and knowledgeable--not about everything, but quick to let us know when something was out of their comfort zone. Due to our initial purchase and then large use of service department, they made us a sweet storage deal, which was great for them and great for us--they would do any service work right before our departure date, and wash for free for a short trip or wash and wax (pricey, but we negotiated a fair price) when wax was a good idea. High hourly rate, but often would discount hours worked without being asked to--great service manager, allowed you owner to run his own shop.

Over the years, they were forced to relocate the shop twice, farther and farther away from us, and during the last relocate, gave up their storage yard. Airstream granted another local dealership, and this hurt our guys. Last year, the service crew scattered.

So we started working with Ron and Darlene at C&G in Bell, CA. Ron has been servicing Airstreams exclusively (and no sales) forever. He is the AS recommended shop for aluminum repair, and has the only axle straightening rig in the area. I was very impressed with their speed, promise of delivery being met, and honesty--Rod talked me out of several service items that he said I didn't need yet. He seemed particularly appreciative of the business. Only shortcoming is that the shop's storage is a bit iffy--but he swears they've never had a theft in all these decades. And his asking price for a wax was lower than anybody else's negotiated price locally. (Cheaper in Texas!)

But then I found out that all my Southwest guys ended up together at the new AS dealer, AS of LA. So this spring, I will give them a try--they've already pre-ordered and holding done esoteric parts fir a custom weather station I designed and they custom installed.

The service manager has already hinted that management there is not as nice as Southwest Coaches, who pretty much let him discount or waive charges as he saw fit. So I may go back to Ron & Darlene if the experience is not a good one--he's strongly hinting that he won't have as much control.

For anything new solar or electric, it's Lew Farber (Lewster) all the way now that we know him. Fortunately for us, we are summer neighbors in White Salmon, WA which is his summer workshop, and where we met. Lew is a fellow windsurfer., and a great guy as well as talented.

We have found great independents for other specialized services around our route, which stretches from Corpus Christi through LA and all the way up the coast of CA and OR to WA state.

As mentioned, most RV components are the same, and we have been fortunate to find non AS RV folks who are honest, talented and even sometimes reasonably priced!

While on warranty, all of our work was done by the very good Southwest Coaches crew. I would guess that any smart dealer would be happy to provide warranty service. Of course, we always try to do our work out of season--late fall or through the winter--when most shops are less busy. Protagonist has it just right here for the balance. I'm surprised at the stories of people who turned some of you away. How nice for them that they're so busy that they can turn away paying customers. Hard to believe that they'll make it with that kind of attitude.
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Old 11-27-2015, 01:33 AM   #20
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Glad to hear the Southwest Coach service crew is still together. Had used them when they were in Corona, CA with great results. And they never grumped about the ProPride hitch, either. I'll go see them in LA if I need something I can't handle.


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Old 11-27-2015, 06:29 AM   #21
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We have one Airstream dealership in our area, but they have two locations. I've tried them both. So far my experience is less than satisfactory at both. The common denominator in why service takes what seems like way too long is "we're waiting on parts from Airstream." I've even offered to pay for overnight shipping and have been told Airstream doesn't offer speedy shipping. One of the locations had our unit for 5 weeks. The other would have had it that long, but had me pick it up while they waited on parts. It's been a month now and I'm still waiting for them to call and tell me to bring it back.
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Old 11-27-2015, 06:51 AM   #22
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With two locations one would think they could stock a lot of parts sharing the expense between the two. Car dealerships used to do that. I'm sure AS has a parts package available to the dealers. With experience the dealers should be able to decide what parts they use most and stock these along with any additional parts needed to complete repair. Divide this between two locations, dividing the cost of inventory between the two, that have no reason not to stock most everything needed for maintenance and most repairs. All it takes is an owner and parts mgr with the knowledge and desire to do this. A review of sales records would give them an idea of what parts they are having to order repeatedly and allow them to stock the part. All it takes is a desire for good customer service and a little work to figure out what is needed.
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Old 11-27-2015, 08:20 AM   #23
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Short answer based on my experience is, yes, it matters.

I bought at Colonial because they are great, but far away. I have tried to get service in Stoughton, MA but they won't pick up the phone or call me back.

Oddly, I would have considered buying there if they had called me back.

I think that Stoughton lost or surrendered its dealership since it is no longer listed on the Airstream website as a dealer. I was there last April and the setup was less then impressive (not even an Airstream sign). Not certain where you are located in MA, but suggest trying Profile Stateline in Nashua, Purchased my AS there and a are great guys.
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Old 11-27-2015, 08:24 AM   #24
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With two locations one would think they could stock a lot of parts sharing the expense between the two. Car dealerships used to do that.
Inventory control became something of a lost art with the introduction of "just-in-time" procurement. Now nobody stocks parts that they mightó or might notó need, they just have the parts shipped overnight by FedEx freight. Less expensive in the long run because they don't have to worry about stocking (i.e. buying) spare/replacement parts that they might never use. Especially since the cost of overnight delivery is passed on to the consumer.

Not saying it's the best thing from a customer service point of view, just that it has become standard practice in nearly every industry.
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Old 11-27-2015, 09:00 AM   #25
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I think that Stoughton lost or surrendered its dealership since it is no longer listed on the Airstream website as a dealer. I was there last April and the setup was less then impressive (not even an Airstream sign). Not certain where you are located in MA, but suggest trying Profile Stateline in Nashua, Purchased my AS there and a are great guys.

Really? I thought Martin was having his Argosy MH work done there this year? I guess it wouldn't surprise me. When we bought there in 2012, there must have been 30 on the lot. Each year since they've been below 10 and then 5. They seemed more dedicated to the used Fords they were selling. I had warranty work done there (for convenience) and at the factory (geeked out to see the place and also have some custom work done).

To the OP's question...

I've had non-warranty work done at Colonial - knowing what I know now - I wish I hadn't feared the "long" drive to Colonial and just purchased there from the beginning. They really know their stuff. I did set the appointment in advance (not an emergency situation) but was treated like royalty even though I didn't buy it there.

I think a dealer's service department could be their best sales tool. If I'm ever going to buy another, there is no question I'm going to buy from Colonial. If anyone asks me where to buy one, I'm recommending Colonial. Highly recommend them for service too though you HAVE to make a pilgrimage at least once to the Mothership for service 😄

Also note that many of the systems/appliances are standard RV fare that your local RV service department can handle.
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Old 11-27-2015, 09:34 AM   #26
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Inventory control became something of a lost art with the introduction of "just-in-time" procurement. Now nobody stocks parts that they mightó or might notó need, they just have the parts shipped overnight by FedEx freight. Less expensive in the long run because they don't have to worry about stocking (i.e. buying) spare/replacement parts that they might never use. Especially since the cost of overnight delivery is passed on to the consumer.

Not saying it's the best thing from a customer service point of view, just that it has become standard practice in nearly every industry.
The just in time only works if the dealership is willing to order every day for over night delivery and if the factory has the parts in stock. Some won't or can't order everyday because of personnel not having the knowledge or will to do this.
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Old 11-27-2015, 10:35 AM   #27
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If you take it to the only Airstream dealer in Houston Tx -- even if you bought it there you will wait forever to get it back. We bought ours there + I purchase the extended warranty - took 2 months to get the AC unit replaced and yes I did have an appointment. Terrible service.
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Old 11-27-2015, 10:59 AM   #28
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Based upon the issues with both the exterior and interior off our new 2015 23D International Serenity, I truly think the PDI was done over coffee in the lunch room. Even the "wash" job was haphazard.

Since it was a relatively lower priced unit (selling price of $61,500) and was being titled out of state, they figured they would never see it again. It had sat on their lot for over eight months, so there was more than adequate time to have made sure everything was fixed before I got there. The issues were blatantly obvious if anyone was doing an actual PDI checking things.

The local dealership could function as a source of parents, but I use an independent shop, Airstream warranty work qualified, where repairs are accomplished with the parts Airstream should have used in the first place.

Under warranty, the dealer usually replaces a cheap plastic latch with a new cheap plastic latch. How long before it too fails? Enough said.

There are many threads in this forum on how an owner can fix issues themselves and know the job was done correctly with no secondary damage or filthy interior afterwards (my experience).
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