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Old 06-25-2008, 04:02 PM   #15
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2004 25' Classic
West Chazy , New York
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Well, my Airstream does not leak, nor does it have inferior construction, especially when compaired to other RV's. As a matther of fact, I have seen terrible construction issues with expensive 5th wheels as well as motorhomes. My observations are that you need to spend close to 400K for a quality MH. When I look at 80K 5th wheels and see staples attaching the corner mouldigs, I am thankfull that I own an Airstream!

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Old 06-25-2008, 05:34 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by romap View Post
Well, my Airstream does not leak, nor does it have inferior construction, especially when compaired to other RV's. As a matther of fact, I have seen terrible construction issues with expensive 5th wheels as well as motorhomes. My observations are that you need to spend close to 400K for a quality MH. When I look at 80K 5th wheels and see staples attaching the corner mouldigs, I am thankfull that I own an Airstream!
I have been blessed with two relatively hassle free Airstreams. The only problem I had with our '06 was a slow drip in the water check valve, which was resolved by a 1/4 turn with a wrench.
As a testament to their quality, we purchased the '87 last October and all I have done to it was replace the ugly mauve carpet with a floating laminate floor and strip, polish and re-clearcoat the exterior. The cabinetry, plumbing, wiring, curtains, and interior upholstery is all original and should last another 20 years. The AC and refrigerator are two years old, and I may replace the water heater and furnace this year, just for more efficiency. But getting 20 plus years out of those components is pretty darned good. Plus most RV companies use the same AC, water heater, furnace, toilet, vent, and refrigerator manufacturers.

I always think this statistic sums things up; When Wally started the company there were over 400 travel trailer manufacturers. Of those 400, guess how many are left today...That's right, only one, and it is AirstreamSo they must be doing something right. Another sales statistic is that something like over 60% of all the Airstreams ever made are still on the road. How many SOB manufacturers can say that?

I will agree with 2air with regard to the fact that you had be better darned sure that the RV life is for you before you sink your hard earned dollars into any kind of trailer. And it doens't hurt to be a handy many and a tinkerer. That is why we spent the first year camping in an SOB before I sprung the idea of an Airstream...and then a second Airstream on my wife

So get out there and try camping and start looking at ALL the trailers you can. Looking was a lot of fun and I am still gawking. What next, maybe an Airstream 345 LE mobile home???.

Good luck and keep us posted and keep asking questions.

Carl, Elaine & Finn The Beagle
2006 30' Classic W Slide & Limited Package Katarina
2006 GMC 2500 HD 6.6 Turbo Diesel Crew Cab 8' Bed
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Old 06-25-2008, 06:48 PM   #17
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Airstream sales literature indicates that an A/S lasts about 40-years, and conventionally-built trailers about 15-years. I see nothing while "on the road" to contradict that, there are but few "old" SOB's as all-aluminum trailers keep on rolling.

I don't own an Airstream (though I'd be happy to), and I don't see owning this type of RV as being different than owning a boat, airplane, classic car, Harley or other. All of them need maintenance and repairs. I agree that A/S should be better when brand-new. That said, all these machines have a break-in period to the new owner, whether it is 26-weeks old or 26-years old.

Some problems are serious, but most are not . . with an attitude of accommodation. I have spent several nights at an RV repair shop in Dallas in 105F degree heat. And enjoyed getting to know the techs, the owner and and other customers. (And the yard dogs, with whom we played after hours in that industrial district; frisbee-fun). I learned more about my rig, about the business of RV service, and am better able to judge these things in the future.

Travel by hotel may be painless (not really, one is always aware of some shortcoming), but it is impersonal for the most part. At an RV park I can always find someone to help (or I can be of help; I've washed the RV's of disabled couples, and helped a college student get his back to par by the park rules), and this is our opportunity to share something. I would have missed out on some roads, restaurants with good parking and better food, etc.

My trailer is 25-years old and I guess I can go out there and list (again) what needs work. There's always something, but virtually none of it keeps me from going anywhere. When it does, I have to spend a little more time with it.

Were I retired, I'd just be glad not to have to maintain a house and yard anymore ('cause when I am ready to retire and travel 200-nights per year it will be from a place that needs next to nothing from me); for, much as I enjoy house and yard work -- and I do, greatly -- my energy would be on a new phase of life.

What am I supposed to do, watch TV? It'd be like insisting on frozen dinners because I don't want to cook, demanding something one of these rigs can't really deliver. None of them. It's a pleasure to do the little problem-solving.

The benefits of this type of trailer far outweigh any negatives. And this site is one of the best, if not the best, enthusiast sites I've seen. The level of detail about problems but more importantly, their solutions is outstanding. I wouldn't want to forget that part, as it is central. The forest is hidden when the spotlight is on some trees.

Hope to read about your travels.
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Old 06-25-2008, 07:33 PM   #18
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I have an idea. Why don't U rent something(SOB) Try your hand at RV'n and see what your made of. Come visit Airstream in that rented RV (u can camp out back of the Service Dept for a small fee) Take the factory tour and See how they are made. Then continue on west and visit the Factorys of the SOB's (some other brands) and compare for your self.Then U use your own judgement.
Wife and I are both retired. We opted for our '77 because of its purchase price and its need only for a small amount of repair after 31 yrs. of service in which it was used without regard to any maintainance.
We are newbies also ,Purchased OCT 2007 without ever owning an RV.
Issues YES we have em. Overwhelming NOT AT ALL.
Best of luck to U Whatever U decide.
We Love our Airstream!
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Old 06-25-2008, 07:49 PM   #19
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We have had our Airstream for three full years and are just starting our fourth camping season with it. We will spend our 100th night in it sometime this year.

As some others have mentioned, take a plant tour at Jackson Center and then tour some the NE Indiana RV trailer plants. The construction and build process is totally different.

We have had only minor issues with our '05 28' CCD and most of them were with installed components (common to all RV's) that were not functioning properly. No waterleaks, no corrosion,.......and absolutely no regrets with our purchase.
Hi Yo Silver, Away II?
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:55 PM   #20
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The environmental conditions of anything that moves and is exposed to temperature extremes will certainly show some issues. That being said, as we have travelled in many states, we see many vintage Airstreams. The only other vintage trailers we see that are being used on the road are of similar construction such as Avions. We have an 86 MH. We took a vacation last year passing thru OHIO and "had" to stop at the Mothership. On our way out at 3:30 on a Friday (after hanging out for 3 days at the Terraport and having a blast), our transmission began leaking fluid as we exited the town. Two miles down the road we were stranded on the side of the road. Not knowing anyone, we called the factory we had just left. They enthusiastically came and helped us get off the road by bringing requested transmission fluid and then helped us fix the problem by running back and forth for a couple of hours for fluid, clamps, hoses, etc. We came back to the factory that night so we could get a start in daylight. Although it was quitting time, Airstream helped us out very enthusiastically. When we went to thank them, their response was, "If you ever buy another RV, we want it to be from us". I do think Airstream cares about quality and their customers. If you need a part for an old Airstream, they will give you part numbers and help you find the part if it can be found. To me, when people care about how a product works 20 years after they made their money, they certainly care about the new customers and products.

All that being said, I surf many camping websites. The extent of problems on other trailers and MHs appears to be much more extensive than Airstream. If I bought something new, I would buy Airstream without concern (other than trying to pick my favorite floorplan)!

Good luck in this truly life changing experience.
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Old 06-26-2008, 09:44 AM   #21
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The problems we've had with an '06 Safari FB SS were very minor and easily fixed at home. I've had any number of RV's and other than the AS, the only decent units were a 1992 23' Itasca MH (still have it) and a Featherlight car hauler with living quarters. Quite frankly, the Featherlight quality was as good or better than the AS. Of course, it was priced accordingly.
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Old 06-26-2008, 06:35 PM   #22
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Buying an Airstream is like buying a Porsche 911. You don't buy a Porsche because it's more reliable than a Chevrolet.(My Porsche breaks down a lot more often than my Chevy truck, and I drive it a lot less.) You buy something like that for the way it performs. It makes a lot more sense to buy a $20K economy car than a gas guzzling $90K sports car that will only carry two people and won't go over a parking lot speed bump, but people still buy new Porsches every day. There's nothing else like them on the road. They have a classic shape and an antiquated drivetrain layout, but that's what makes them what they are. Nothing else on the road accomplishes getting you from point A to point B in quite the same manner as a 911.
An Airstream is similar in every comparison. They have a classic shape that hasn't changed much throughout the company's history. Some of the quirky features of the trailers are a bit antiquated, but that's part of the uniqueness of them. Most importantly, they tow like nothing else on the road. A cheaper white fiberglass box will provide a roof over your head, a place to prepare a meal, a basic bathroom, and a bed to sleep in. However, that white box won't do all those things with the same amount of style or performance while towing as an Airstream. Yes, they have their problems, but nothing manufactured by human hands is completely without flaws 100% of the time.
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Old 06-26-2008, 07:12 PM   #23
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Most people have the same concerns, questions, thoughts. I know we did. We thought SOB? New/Used Airstream? Vintage Airstream? Following one year of searching and getting many answers from the wonderful Forum community; decisions made.We decided on Vintage.

We purchased a Vintage Airstream 1967 Globetrotter 20 ft. The seller was 100 miles from us and represented the trailer honestly.

We check all, made minor adjustments and started our travels. We are happy with our purchase and the good times we are experiencing. Take your time...there is the trailer for you waiting.
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Old 06-26-2008, 08:30 PM   #24
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Many great comments along the line of what REDNAX said. My Airstream is bone dry and I've never had what I would consider to be major problem with it. I think that what represents a major problem for many is simply perceived by others as a challenge. That's why you'll find so much discussion on the forums about how to fix something - rather than "Where can we find the closest repair service?"

2003 GMC 3500 D/A, CC, LB, 4x4 and 2000 Airstream Excella 30. WBCCI 7074
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Old 06-26-2008, 08:56 PM   #25
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We have a 2005 25FB named Lucy that we bought new two years ago. We have spent 260+ nights in her, and have pulled her 31,000+ miles all over the place. We have had a couple of minor problems and a couple of minor leaks. The leaks were probably due to pulling her extensively off-road in Wyoming last year.

We couldn't be happier with Lucy. She is our vacation home, motel room, time share condo, traveling bathroom, getaway place, refuge from the storm, safe place, and our love shack.

Don't get hung up on the small stuff.

SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
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Old 07-01-2008, 08:54 AM   #26
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I generally agree with the old saying, the sins we regret most are those we do not commit.

So, what happens if you buy an Airstream and it doesn't work out? You recover much of your money on the resale and you live the rest of your days knowing you gave it a try. If you don't... you spend the rest of your days wondering how it might have been.
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Old 10-24-2008, 09:11 PM   #27
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holland , Pennsylvania
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i have read these airstream forums with great interest.the people on these forums are a wealth of information.this is my first post on this forum,and most of what i know about trailering has been learned through reading and research.i like to roam around when i get time off from work.this airstream that i have now is the second one that i have owned.i have owned other trailers ,popups etc. and i can say that nothing that i have ever owned tows like the setup that i currently have.campers always comment to me about this airstream and always ask why i chose to purchase this brand.what sold me was the factory tour that i took in jackson center and the craftsmen that i spoke to at the plant about the quality construction of these trailers.i never experienced any leaks on either unit that i have owned.the current unit that i own will be making its third trip to fla,for thanksgiving.i think if you want to travel,airstream is one of the best units available for a comfortable towing experience.i also beleive that compared to other brand trailers that i have owned,airstreams hold up better to the abuse of over the road the way the water test done at the plant in jackson center oh test every airstream to hurricane force rain before the components are installed inside.
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Old 12-06-2008, 02:13 PM   #28
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It might help to put things in perspective. It is true, you read about a lot of problems on this board. But it is an Airstream help board and naturally if there is an Airstream with a problem anywhere in the world it is likely to be aired here. Add the fact that many thousands have been made and that Airstreams 40 years old are still in regular service. So it could be that you see what seems to be a large number of problems even though 9 out of 10 Airstream owners have few or no problems.

There are other factors too. Most typical trailers are moved to one location and stay there, to be used as a vacation home. Or are used only a few weeks out of the year.

Airstreams are made for travel and are very expensive. They appeal to the hard core traveller, full timer or retiree. So the typical Airstream is used far more, and far harder than the average trailer.

In spite of this Airstreams outlast other brands by 20 years or more. So they can't be all bad.

Another factor is the aircraft type construction. This is good for light weight, streamlining, immunity to crosswind sway etc. But it brings along disadvantages too. Principally that the trailer will not take a lot of pounding. If you use too heavy a tow vehicle and too heavy sway bars you can cause problems of loose rivets and even crack the frames.

The cure for this is to listen to the experts and set up your tow vehicle and hitch as the factory recommends. And then, check your tire pressures regularly and do the regular maintainance and inspections just as you would if you were the pilot of an aircraft.

The beauty of this board is that you can take advantage of 1000's of years of combined experience by owners, dealers, travelers, service men and mechanics.

You can start right off with the right trailer, the right tow vehicle, the right hitch, and other equipment. You can learn all the tricks and start right off as savvy as someone with years of experience.

In this way you can avoid a host of problems and get the maximum of enjoyment out of your travel experience.

So don't let all the "war stories" scare you. Look on them as the chance to enjoy all the adventures, thrills, and chills at no cost and to go right to the top of the learning curve.

Living in the trailer park of sense, looking out the window at a tornado of stupidity.
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