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Old 03-14-2012, 11:59 AM   #1
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Warranty Issues

Just wondering if anyone here has dealt with any warranty issues and what their experiences were like. It's been almost 6 months now and they still have yet to approve the final details of the repair. It's been very frustrating to say the least...
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Old 03-14-2012, 12:33 PM   #2
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My Interstate is back at the dealer for some warranty work right now on the water heater and the retractable step at the sliding side door. It has been less than a week, so I'm not too concerned. Yet.

I expect there to be some drama later, because for any warranty work first they have to find out what the problem is. If it's a manufacturing defect, it's covered under the individual warranty for the appliance in question. If it's an installation defect, it's covered under the Airstream warranty. If it's neither, then it comes down to "Did you mess with it?" but I might end up paying out of pocket regardless of the answer. Though for the record, no, I didn't mess with it.

The drama will come in because my information packet that I got with the Interstate did not include owner's manuals OR warranty cards for either the water heater or the step, so there may not even be a warranty in force for either appliance. I downloaded an owner's manual for the water heater, which helped me troubleshoot the problem so I knew what to tell the dealer's service department, but didn't have any luck finding a manual for the step. In fact, for the step, it was made in Italy, and I couldn't even find a webpage in English for it!
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Old 03-14-2012, 12:35 PM   #3
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I'm not sure what kind of issues you had, but I spent the past 1-2 days back at the dealer to clear up a hit list of issues. Luckily most were minor and fixed in a day. The two issues that could be potential issues were two leaks that developed Sunday. After driving for over 4 hours in the rain, one leak in the front by the bed was confirmed. After setting up I had noticed a leak from the access panel under the refrigerator. I was fortunate that a rug in front of the shower had soaked up most of the water. We couldn't find any other wet areas other than the street side access compartment behind the refer. (I think this was caused by the road splash caused by the rain. At times the front of the trailer looked like the bow of a boat plowing through water, and passing semis didn't help). All the work was covered under my warranty, and all I needed to do was sign the paperwork. I did have the work done by the same A/S dealer we bought the trailer from. Except for the leaks, everything else was small stuff - I just waited so I could get them all taken care of at the same time before my warranty expired...

Good Luck
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Old 03-14-2012, 12:44 PM   #4
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Supposidly the dealer mails in the warranty cards for you. I had some problems with the shore power connection outlet and a spray faucet. I had called both vendors up, and I had replacement parts in 3 days...I look at it that stuff happens. For me the neat thing is A/S ownership is like owning a house... it's not a question of if something will happen - it's when...
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Old 03-14-2012, 12:57 PM   #5
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We purchased it across the country so the place we took it to was somewhere closer to home (still requiring a 12 hour round trip). We bought it brand new and within a few weeks there were several leaks causing the entire interior to require gutting - even down to the mattress and bed frame. The repair shop can't do anything until Airstream approves it and ships the materials and for some reason this seems to be taking an unreasonably long time.
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Old 03-14-2012, 01:31 PM   #6
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I recently had a few issues taken care of, and Airstream was very accommodating. Of course, it was nothing as extensive as what you describe.
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojave View Post
Just wondering if anyone here has dealt with any warranty issues and what their experiences were like. It's been almost 6 months now and they still have yet to approve the final details of the repair. It's been very frustrating to say the least...
I have dealt with numerous warranty issues, from the relatively simple, to the complex, and understand your frustrations. I tried to fix as much small stuff as I could, like peeling laminate, misaligned cabinetry and door latches, loose screws and electrical connections, minor cosmetic issues, etc., and let the dealer and Airstream concentrate on the more complex warranty problems. Some of these included a serious plumbing leak, broken or incorrectly installed black tank rinsing system, incorrectly installed Audio/Video package, sagging and discolored (from aluminum dust) interior wall liner, corroded exterior aluminum parts, etc.

Because of some of these issues, it was nearly two months before I could legally use my Airstream in my own state parks, for whom I worked (leaking contents prohibited). Ironically, it was my job for state parks to ensure these laws and regulations were enforced.

Part of the reason for the wait, was that approvals from Jackson Center for some items were slow to come: the plumbing leak behind the shower wall, sagging discolored liner (and I would have to travel to Jackson Center for that one). Some approvals were refused by AS: Corroded aluminum parts, black tank flusher.

On one separate item, when my rear vent cover disintegrated after about a year, Airstream mailed me one as quickly as possible, without question. By the time it arrived, I had already purchased, and installed, an OEM replacement from a local dealer. Apparently, it was the cheapest one on the market, so I kept the one from AS as a spare. I used it about a year later.

There was a silver lining, nearly all items that were not covered by Airstream during the warranty period, were covered by an extended warranty I purchased from a third party after the AS warranty expired, without question. Realizing there are some strong opinions about extended warranties, all I can offer is that it worked for me when the Airstream warranty did not. I'm not suggesting anyone get an extended warranty. Especially since the prices recently quoted on this forum has been 2-3 times what I paid. The point I would like to make, is that for the premium price paid for a new AS, no one should have to get additional protection.

Essentially, the only advice I can give about warranty work is, if you think your dealer is dragging it out, contact Airstream directly for advice, and to meticulously document every communication with both the dealer, and with Airstream. After reading about some of the floor and leakage issues that some on the forum have had with their new Airstreams, I'm grateful mine haven't been as severe.


My apologies to those who may have heard this before. Typically, I don't volunteer this information unless someone asks about warranties, or quality control. I love the Airstream brand, and always will. I'm just concerned with how Airstream, the company, is evolving.


Best of luck with your new Airstream. Once you get those kinks worked out, I hope it will be smooth sailing.
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:13 PM   #8
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We didn't have major or expensive issues to deal with under warranty, but for those items that did need attention, we never had any delays waiting for approvals or any other issues having warranty work done... My sense was that anything that was wrong was the responsibltiy of Airstream to deal with/fix, no questions asked.
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:31 PM   #9
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Thanks for all your feedback. I ended up taking the above advice and went directly to Airstream and their warranty department has been extremely helpful. I wish I had honestly done that MONTHS ago (basically it was the repair shop that dropped the ball and not Airstream). They were super nice and took care of everything. I wish more companies looked after their customers this way!
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:00 PM   #10
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Mojave, we had problems with the dealer where we bought over warranty. I eventually contacted Thor's president and things started happening quickly. Eventually, because the dealer was so bad, we took it to JC for warranty work where things are done right.

If you are going to the BC dealer, there have been mixed reviews on them. Unfortunately I understand it costs up to $400 for a round trip on the ferry to the mainland and back, so every trip to the dealer is a big bunch of money.

You'd better make sure they test for leaks with a lot of water before you take it back. Good luck with the repairs.

It is interesting you have taken a Forum name associated with a very dry desert and live where it rains a lot.

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Old 03-14-2012, 07:16 PM   #11
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Hey Gene - The Mojave desert is truly wishful thinking at this point If we could, we'd move there in a heartbeat though! We'll be in JC in a few months and they plan to give it a once over and complete the repairs which makes me feel a lot better.
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Old 03-15-2012, 06:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Hey Gene - The Mojave desert is truly wishful thinking at this point If we could, we'd move there in a heartbeat though! We'll be in JC in a few months and they plan to give it a once over and complete the repairs which makes me feel a lot better.
Good luck on your JC trip.

Hope all goes well, the repair side duz things rite.
Dealers can be rather spotty,

Don't forget to start your "Airstream Repair Order Thread" before you leave.

Bob
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Old 03-15-2012, 07:07 AM   #13
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Would echo the comments on AS customer service department. They treated me fairly when the AC unit failed on my 2011, and helped facilitate the replacement even though the warranty was from Dometic.

Smart move in the plan to go to JC. I'm planning to go there in 2013, as I expect there will be warranty issues to fix by then.

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Old 03-15-2012, 04:29 PM   #14
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If the repairs weren't so severe and needing immediate attention I would have rather waited and taken it to JC or to the place we bought it. Both are unfortunately thousands of miles away
We won't see work that's been done on it till May...kinda nervous based on our experiences so far. At least I know it will get a thorough inspection during Alumapalooza!
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