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Old 03-26-2009, 08:52 AM   #1
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Treated great at Jackson Center

We have just made our first trip to the Mothership at Jackson Center for some warranty issues. We could not have been treated better. Every person at the factory went above and beyond what was expected to get the warranty issues corrected and have us back on the road. The guys in the Service Center are top notch. Most have been there for many many years. We stayed at the Terra-Port which is really convenient.

We had the pleasure of meeting Larry Huttle, Chairman......he's a super nice guy. Tim Maxwell, the National Service Manager, is great to work with and goes the extra mile to see that the work is done correctly. Hats off to both of these guys.

Don gives an awesome factory tour at 2pm every day........don't miss that if you are ever in the area. It's very interesting to see how these beauties are made.
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:41 AM   #2
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Thanks for sharing your good experience. One of these days I'm going to check in with the Mothership, whether I need a repair or not.
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Old 03-26-2009, 01:30 PM   #3
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Good to know--thanks for sharing.
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Old 03-26-2009, 02:20 PM   #4
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Along with making you feel so wonderful and happy how much of your cost of returning your trailer to the factory to take care of stuff that should have been done before it left the factory was reimbursed?
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Old 03-26-2009, 04:37 PM   #5
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I also had a very positive exp when I was at the factory back in 2003 and 2005. Folks there are very nice and you are right the work done was done very well IMHO.
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Old 03-26-2009, 04:43 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by happycamper2 View Post
We have just made our first trip to the Mothership at Jackson Center
I take that the manufacturing plant is up and running now. Correct?
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:36 PM   #7
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Happycamper2,

We have also had very good experience with Jackson Center. Living in the Cincinnati area it is just a short drive North for us. Most of all it is a lot of fun staying at the terra port, doing all the impulse buying at the Airstream store, and of course the factory tour.

Our first experience was shortly after the purchase when Airstream issued a Service Bulletin for our axels. We had a camping trip planned in a couple of days and the local dealer could not get us in. We were in JC the next day. Next visit was at the end of the two year warranty period. I swapped email with customer service for several days outlining the list of items I had and also some additional things I wanted to do. Upon arrival customer service reviewed the list with me, introduced me to the techs, who had already been briefed and work began. Our last visit was October 2008 after traveling over 11,000 miles during the summer. Most of the items were very simple but once again they were very helpful and of course very knowledgeable. In addition I had an opportunity to talk to several of the techs on the floor and learn a lot of new things about my Airstream.

Only disappointment was the cost of labor. While I try to convince myself that with their vast experience and equipment they can get the job done faster than any dealer; seeing the labor rate on the bill is somewhat of a shock.
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:57 PM   #8
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I know of one dealer whose labor rate is $11/hour more than JC for body work. It appears RV labor rates are much higher than auto dealers and quality is much lower at some dealers.

I am sure they will treat me well when I bring our Safari there in a month, but I'm not happy that I'm driving 1,400+ miles because I don't trust the nearest dealer. I might try another dealer, but I've heard so much bad stuff about a lot of dealers, and we were planning on going to the upper midwest anyway, so we figured we'd go to mother ship.

Since our warranty is up at the end of October, I'm wondering what we will do about whatever breaks between April and October. Since things keep going wrong, I expect to have more problems.

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Old 03-26-2009, 08:21 PM   #9
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Gene
Just think of it as an adventure U haven't done yet. Make it a fun trip. Hey we are friendly here in OHIO.
I think you will be well pleased.
Although we have never taken our Airstream to the service center. We however have Let Don take us on the tour 3 times. I always see something I didn't see the time before.
The people are very friendly and helpful .
HEY GENE /////COME ON DOWN.
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Old 03-26-2009, 08:29 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post

Since our warranty is up at the end of October, I'm wondering what we will do about whatever breaks between April and October. Since things keep going wrong, I expect to have more problems.

Gene
You will very much enjoy being at Jackson Center.

As for what you will do after the clock strikes midnight and you turn into a pumpkin, well for a number of things, you may find that you learn quickly on how to repair things. Right now I'm fixing the sheared off pilot light feed on my oven...never done it before and it's not just a lack of a really great dealer, it can be cost driven as well. In my case I have not much to loose as labor rates could push a simple repair like this into a few hundred bucks...almost the price of a new POS oven. So, spending about $20, and some time, I'll hopefully have a working oven again.

I was very selective as you are with your Airstream and was at JC once for my warranty list. They did a great job and I enjoyed being there and hanging with the folks there...they are all very nice folks. As I started to dare dig into the unit, I found that it is fairly serviceable from anyone that has some mechanical skills. I recall the conversation about wheel bearing repacks....I took it in, but I might not next time after having learned some of the way these are built and the mechanics simply from doing things. Body work however would not ever be on my list.
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Old 03-26-2009, 08:30 PM   #11
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Mike, we're comin'! I'm not happy with the dealer network and QC issues. I've got nothing against Ohio (well, the state troopers used to have the reputation of looking to give out of staters tickets 30 years ago, but…).

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Old 03-26-2009, 08:35 PM   #12
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As for what you will do after the clock strikes midnight and you turn into a pumpkin, well for a number of things, you may find that you learn quickly on how to repair things.
I've been fixing things all my life, if for no other reason that I'm too cheap to pay someone else. I've already been fixing stuff on the trailer, but I'd rather not have to. I buy Toyotas because I hardly ever have to fix anything except do maintenance, and there's not much of that. I will enjoy learning as much as I can about Airstreams while in JC. We did take the tour last June, maybe will again. I do remember a whole lot of Basecamps parked out in the lot.

One month and we are on our way…

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Old 03-26-2009, 08:51 PM   #13
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I've been fixing things all my life, if for no other reason that I'm too cheap to pay someone else. I've already been fixing stuff on the trailer, but I'd rather not have to. I buy Toyotas because I hardly ever have to fix anything except do maintenance, and there's not much of that. I will enjoy learning as much as I can about Airstreams while in JC. We did take the tour last June, maybe will again. I do remember a whole lot of Basecamps parked out in the lot.

One month and we are on our way…

Gene
I see your point.... in our case though there are no other Airstream type trailers out there, so you and I can be frugal together. I'm PMing folks on hints about the oven as I type this. In a wierd way, it's kind of fun. Never had the guts a few years ago to even think of yanking my entire stove/oven out, and here it sits right next to me as I tinker to get it back in service.

One word of advice, leave your credit card in the trailer before going into the Airstream shop. I was at JC for about 3 days. I was like a kid in a candy store. I got so much stuff, and a lot of little items like cabinet door holders and other small parts that break that you don't think of until they actually break and of course no hardware stores carry these types of parts....so I stocked up.

I'd like to say I walked out of that store by day three with less than $300 spent, but I'd be telling an untruth.

Silkaflex good, with applicator, better.
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:41 PM   #14
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We spent about $90—the big expense was that 75th anniversary book, but I couldn't resist the Airstream Xmas trees lights—they are permanently hung on a log which helps hold up our second floor.

Good luck with that stove.

Gene
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