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Old 12-31-2010, 01:09 PM   #29
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age of entitlement?

if we individually and corporately know when something is done wrong, then I suppose we know what is the right way, correct? If so, why don't we just fix it ourselves? I think of those early caravans, and wonder if we would be able to make such a trek. Of course, I realize that people age, and trailers get bigger, and more complex. Both of which beg smaller, simpler rigs. The other thing is: What is the mean time between failure? Think of all the systems that a modern trailer consists of...do we know how to maintain them? or more importantly, do we know when they are working correctly, or beginning to fail? Or do we just haul away a 10 to 40 year old trailer and assume if something goes wrong, then we will be able to find someone to fix it according to how we want it done? for me, it has been shown that a great number of US citizens don't know how to build a fire safely, boil water so as to be able to drink it, layout and build temporary toilet facilities just to be able to survive a couple of weeks' time. Here WE are unable to maintain a rolling taj mahal-does that make us any different? For me, Wally's early visions were extensions of the idea of being a Boy Scout. Perhaps it is an ideal we as a society have totally outgrown-whether that is progress or not would be up to your own personal understanding of our society's current state. just sayin' ol' Bill
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Old 12-31-2010, 01:27 PM   #30
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Only MHO, but carry plenty of tools, and some credit cards. Maybe some cash. Sal.
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Old 12-31-2010, 04:22 PM   #31
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I said this in a previous thread; Airstream should be more careful in setting up dealerships. Before issuing the dealership extensive training shouldbe required in servicing . Also they should openup the ability of non AS dealers to obtain the parts direct from the factory.
In the Quad City area there are 2 mobile RV service companies. One has 20+ years of service and the other 25+ years of service. I have used both of them and they are superior to any of the RV dealers.
The parent company of Airstream of Chicago is US Adventure of the Quad Cities (Davenport Iowa).
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Old 12-31-2010, 06:07 PM   #32
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Thanks everybody.

Finding a place that does truck and trailer running gear is what I intend to do.

Those that have followed my main thread here know that I started my project with the Wiltsie family at Wiltsie Truck Bodies in Aylmer, Ontario. Iíve been around their plant for hundreds of hours and I know what to look for.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f227...tml#post182701

But youíre driving south, trying to out-run cold weather, and something happens. In a sea of strangeness you seek some comfort in the Airstream name, even when you know it might be less well done but more expensive. Itís exactly like Brianís Airstream story with his water heater Ė and a like amount of money pissed down a gopher hole.

What is Airstream doing allowing their name to be attached to a rag tag outfit like this?

Maggie says that Jolietís Davenport, Iowa mother ship is a bit of a Chinese fire drill. There are not enough personnel at Joliet to have a drill: a manager, a service manager (LOL), a meek, lonely salesman and two ďtechniciansĒ - one of whom had nothing to do all the while I was there. They all look desperate, like they fear Davenport might pull the plug on their sorry operation at any moment.

Did I express my concerns to them? I sure did; to all 5 assembled before they began their second, grumpy, pouty attempt at fixing things the next day.

I spent thousands of hours and dollars to make my rig the thing I wanted it to be. It really pisses me off to find incompetents like this masquerading under the Airstream name and putting everything that I worked at for so long at risk.


Sergei

PS:
Like Ranger Jay says, there is nothing magical about Airstream. They install the same low end RV garbage that the SOB firms use.

Also, Banjo Billy could likely get a job at Joliet if any of their own clowns fall by the wayside.
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Old 12-31-2010, 07:37 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airslide View Post
...since airstream frames are known for being overbuilt.. i guess its not an issue.
I don't think this is true... Airstream is better known for rear end sag, rust, and breakage. Although the newer trailers appear to have more substantial frames than the old ones.
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Old 12-31-2010, 07:48 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmac View Post
I don't think this is true... Airstream is better known for rear end sag, rust, and breakage. Although the newer trailers appear to have more substantial frames than the old ones.

Sorry Dan... I can get a bit sarcastic..

I know that there are concerns with overall frame strength and this is what worries me about the way they lifted Sergei's trailer. I think 2air is right as far as lifting at the tongue and rear jack points.. no harm done but once you work your way back towards the bumper I think things really start to flex.

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Old 01-08-2011, 01:36 PM   #35
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So, like Brain said, I should have done the intelligent thing and looked for a family run trailer builder in a small or medium sized town.

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I found such a place in Duson, Louisiana, near Lafayette. A major supplier of heavy-duty trailer parts recommended them.

These people carefully jacked up my trailer, removed and inspected all four wheels, found everything in order and said that they thought the problem was with the TEKONSHA brake controller being set too high. They found the braking aggressive and took it down a couple of notches.

I had followed Tekonsha’s instructions in setting it up and the Mini was not on the truck here but we have a honest difference of opinion between experts and I’ll decide later what setting I am comfortable with.

Most of the squeak / squeal is gone. (Thibs says some is squeak is normal).

The cost for all this time, service and advice?

$39.76!

Why did AIRSTREAM of CHICAGO charge $357.57 to do the same thing but provide no solution? Because they are crooks and scammers, like many, many RV places are.

In the 5-year history of my project I had contact with Airstream dealers only three times, this place and two others. Each time I was screwed over or disappointed.

And, in listing the damage Airstream of Chicago caused to my trailer I forgot two items:

A Baby Moon hubcap fell off and was lost after I drove away from their place.

The trailer was filled with the reek of sewage when I arrived at the next town.

I found that one of the bayonet fittings on the macerator was broken and the O-ring seal to the outlet was not holding.

This is consistent with the body of the trailer being twisted enough to place severe pressure on the fittings in my waste management compartment.

Luckily, I had a spare part and was able to replace it myself, even though I had to buy a heat gun to shrink the fitting into place and work along the windy, freezing banks of the Mississippi at West Memphis, Arkansas.

So to recap, Airstream of Chicago charged me $360.00 for a $40.00 job and damaged my rig in 4 places while doing it.

Advice based on bitter experience: stay away from them.


Sergei
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Old 01-08-2011, 02:12 PM   #36
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Smokless Joe:

I am glad everthing got set corrected with your rig. What I have found about this forum is all the research and experimentation done by forum members.

This forum has helped develop and preserve airstreams. This forum should be changed to the University of Airstream. This is where real development is happening. Airstream techs at the plant should be taking notes.

Sometimes it is just a person who thinks out of the box and comes up with a better idea or procedure which makes a product better. If it wasn't for this forums I would have never been able to do what I have with my airstreams.

I had the opportunity to teach for 15 years at a vocational center for high school kids. I learned so much from the other teachers and the students. The one thing that keeps me excited about teaching is when a kid comes up with a new and approved way to do something. They don't know all the rules so they can approach problems from a different perspective.

Airforums Rocks.

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Old 08-10-2012, 04:06 PM   #37
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Here's an update for those that may remember this old thread.

I am making my liesurely way to Newfoundland just now and recently stopped, again with squeeking brakes, in the awe inspiring and beautiful little university town of Sackville, New Brunswick.

The next day I had a competent looking small town garage there pull my wheels, pack my bearings and inspect the brakes.

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Pat and Brian at BEN"S SERVICE STATION jacked my trailer properly, carefully did the work in an hour and a half and charged me $84.12, labour, materials and taxes in.

They said the brakes were in perfect condition and suggested the controller might be set too high.

I backed it off later and eliminated the squeals so they are probably right.

Three things to point out here:

Anyone who charges $357.57 for this work, instead of the $39.76 in Louisiana a few years back or the $84 in Sackville, is likely a crook

Competent looking small town service stations or truck or trailer builders/service spots will likely be a safer bet than the average RV place masquerading as a service center

The instructions given by the brake control manufacturers probably assume usual circumstances. In my case, if I follow the standard set up procedure, my 5000 pound trailer is going squeal trying to stop my 9500 pound loaded truck.

Balancing things out, keeping in mind both safety and performance, is probably the best thing to do.

Sergei
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Old 08-10-2012, 04:31 PM   #38
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Sergei, I am curious as to do you travel with spare grease seals or are they sort of universal auto parts store type. I have been told AS uses an upgraded, double lipped seal. Just wondering. Thanks.
John
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Old 08-10-2012, 05:13 PM   #39
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John, don't know much about this and don't travel with seals.

My trailer is a 1976, with the original axles and wheels, and in my experience most mechanics use a device that pushes out the old grease, while inserting new grease, when they re-pack the bearings.

Sergei
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Old 08-10-2012, 05:26 PM   #40
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Thanks Sergei.

BTW, saw you and your rig at Springstream in Hiawassee a few years back. A real eye catcher. Gotta cause quite a commotion when you pull in somewhere!!

John
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