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Old 05-23-2008, 10:06 PM   #1
1996 34' Classic
 
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Locust Grove , Virginia
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2nd outing breeds discontent

We just returned from our 2nd outing (10 days) with our new Safari '08 27 FB SE. This will be our final AS as it's features, design and spaciousness really does meet our needs and towing it with the F-150 does work well but we're seriously disappointed with the quality and workmanship delivered by AS.

Now on to the discontentedness. The quality on this unit doesn't come close to the '03 22AS International we had. The fit and finish might as well be SOB. What we got is not what we expected for the $$$'s spent.
  • There is an aluminum panel for the center of the ceiling that runs from above the dinette through to the entrance to the bedroom whose edge looks like it was cut by a drunk with a pair of tin snips.
  • The screws holding a number of hinges to the pantry structure were screwed in either too fast or too tight so that the hinges are loose and the screws won't 'grab' any more.
  • The rubber retaining strip that fits in the channel to hold the screen in has already popped out
  • AS has failed to cover the furnace outlet with any sort of screen material to keep mud daubers from building their nests in there and possible starting a fire when it's lit for the first time after sitting for a while (I can buy the screen at any RV dealer but on one whose price tag is 2x SOB, I'd expect it to be part of the package). Ditto for the Hot water heater.
  • Faulty electrical connector in the Hot Water Heater which caused us to have to make a special trip to the dealer to get fixed.
  • Repeated problems with the tongue jack blowing fuses (Now fixed at our expense with having the dealer install an automatic reset circuit breaker)
  • The Awning
    • The awning isn't aligned correctly so that when it's 'stowed', the hold down clip doesn't match up with the anchor without getting on a step stool and moving the awning into the correct position.
    • The hold down (big screw knob on a threaded piece doesn't fit into the awning without manual intervention
    • The extension bar on the front of the trailer appears to be torqued so it doesn't slide easily or setup correctly.
  • Television
    • The catch release on the TV swivel is in such a position that you almost have to be a contortionist to make it work.
    • When the TV is swiveled so it can be viewed in the bedroom, the infrared sensor on the TV is blocked by the refrigerator door causing the remote not to work.
  • The Heat Pump wouldn't come on. (Tried it just to make sure it worked)
  • We have the Midnight Sun interior and the fabric has already snagged and I swear I haven't sat on it with a screwdriver in my back pocket.
  • JC failed to completely undercoat the areas in one of the wheel wells and it is already showing signs of rust.
  • The latch on the propane tank cover is already rusting.
  • The hand held spritzer in the galley area leaks.
  • The entry door is very difficult to close completely. It's almost as if the entire chassis has been torqued some how.
  • The black coating on the inside of the rear bumper is already starting to flake off.
I guess that's about it for now. Sorry for the rant but thanks for reading.
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:11 PM   #2
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Wow. Better make a third outing, this one to Jackson Center to get this stuff taken care of. There are several fixes I can tell you about, but you shouldn't have to "fix" anything on a new trailer. That's why there are warranties.
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:12 PM   #3
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You wouldn't want to give it to me would you? A little work and I'd have a fine trailer to go with my 25' Sovereign.
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:19 PM   #4
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discontent

On the Awning, the latch piece mounted on the skin will cut the awning and airstream will tell you that you closed it wrong and they are not at fault. $1081.00. Don't open it until you move the latch.

"And the fun never stops"

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PS: Good luck and I do hope you have better luck than I have had with airstreams so call warrenty.
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:23 PM   #5
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Sorry about the bugs (no pun intended) with your new coach. There seems to be a problem with workmanship nowadays. Aside from not being able to afford it, your complaints reinforces my position better off taking an older, cheaper unit and making it work like it is supposed to.

The only possible exception to your comments is Suburban recommends bug screens not be installed on their furnaces.
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumatic
...The only possible exception to your comments is Suburban recommends bug screens not be installed on their furnaces.
I guess Suburban will pick up the tab I had for my '77 Excella 500 furnace when mud daubbers built numerous nests in the combustion chamber? Better cover it or pay the big bucks.
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:40 PM   #7
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I had the same problem with my power jack.

First it was blowing fuses then it would only go in one direction. No fun there.

Both problems were in the limiter switch under the head. Oddly the entire unit shorted out and fried. The brand new under warranty one works perfectly.

The awning would really worry me though.
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Old 05-24-2008, 07:49 AM   #8
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Ford Truck,

Most, if not all of your problems should be easily addressed under warranty, except the exterior screening for the furnace and water heater. Not one RV manufacturer includes these, as most component manufacturers do not recommend them. That said, I have them on every opening on my CCD! IMHO, they are a good idea and they work!

Your heat pump is probably a re-set of the thermostat or an improperly set dip-switch in the upper unit, and your awning travel lock needs to be re-positioned. Simple fixes, but ones that you should NOT have to do with a new trailer, especially an Airstream!

I would definitely find a competent dealer to do the work, or return to JC and have them go at it. I had a similar list of problems when I got my CCD, but I did the work myself and the dealer, who was 4 hours away, paid me to complete the repairs, rather than having me return with the trailer.

Good luck in your quest!
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Old 05-24-2008, 08:13 AM   #9
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I am sorry to hear about all of the issues you've seen with your unit. I too had a laundry list of about 19 items. Of course I hauled it to JC on my dime and they did address everything, it wasn't conv by any means. Back then gas cost less than $2/gallon. At $4+/gallon any long trip is going to be far more costly though......so perhaps you may incorporate a trip into the mix should you make the trip to JC.

At any rate, here is a link to the 2008 model year quality thread. I would implore you to cut and paste your post, adding the build month and date that are found on either a sticker or piece of stamped metal on the front street side.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f142...ity-31210.html

On a side note, my 2003 Bambi was a POS. I upgraded to a 2004 and though it was better than the 2003, my 2004 has the dreaded fillform corrosion everywhere...so perhaps you too may have something additional to look forward to:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f142...ams-31743.html
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Old 05-24-2008, 09:02 AM   #10
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Do over?

Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
Wow. Better make a third outing, this one to Jackson Center to get this stuff taken care of.
I'm thinking "why take it back? they couldn't do it right the first time.

Better make a third outing, this one to Jackson Center to STUFF it.
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Old 05-24-2008, 09:47 AM   #11
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That really sux! We had a few things wrong with Lucy, but nothing like your list of problems. If it were me, I'd be heading to Jackson Center as you are fairly close (relatively). We took Lucy there last October, and the experience was really good. They do it well and they do it right the first time, You have a lot of items to be dealt with. Don't mess with a dealer; they sometimes create more problems than they fix.

Out of curiosity, did you custom order your unit, or did you buy it off the lot? We have thought about custom ordering an Airstream in the distant future, but hearing your story scares us about doing that now.

Please don't give up on Airstream, they will make it right. We have a number of friend who bought brand new SOBs and had similar or worse problems.
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Old 05-24-2008, 09:49 AM   #12
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Hmmmm, nothing was said of lead from China in it. It seems many products of today lack the craftmanship of yesteryear. I am sometimes 'amazed' at some of the shortcuts I find in the workmanship in our '66 TW. I then quickly am 'amazed' that our's and many other vintage AS are still being enjoyed. How many 40+ year old SOBs are still 'alive'. If the quality of the new AS is indeed suffering I am truly disappointed.
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Old 05-24-2008, 10:44 AM   #13
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Quote;
The entry door is very difficult to close completely. It's almost as if the entire chassis has been torqued some how.

The required door effort will NOT get any eaiser. I had a similar issue that required a new latch and door alignment. Prior to repair, it got where I couldn't even lock the dead bolt. The sad part is I had to point this out at delivery after AS and the dealer ignored the issue claiming it was an AS charastic. Not so!
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Old 05-24-2008, 11:24 AM   #14
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The dealer from whom we bought the '03 had received our unit about a week before we called just to see what they had on order, hoping that something similar to our wish list might be on it's way. In other words, it wasn't a special order.

We have confidence in the dealer to make things right but there is that little nagging in the back of my brain that JC might be the best choice.

The dealer is 133 miles from home and JC is 472 miles away. The main problem in getting the unit to JC is time off from work to make the trip.
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Old 05-24-2008, 12:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FordTruck
...We have confidence in the dealer to make things right but there is that little nagging in the back of my brain that JC might be the best choice.

The dealer is 133 miles from home and JC is 472 miles away. The main problem in getting the unit to JC is time off from work to make the trip.
FordTruck,
I understand your frustration. You would think that quality control would be tighter but then there is no tighter quality control than that given by the owner as they wring out shortcomings in their trailer. I made the trip to Jackson Center the week before Christmas '07 to have outer/inner fender wells replaced. They did a fantastic job or repairing the $2,200 worth of damage as a result of brake/bearing/tire failure which took out both fender wells. They even found an unopened box of dog biscuits which had fallen off the bathroom shelf and wedged itself next to the fender well. They were from the PO who had a dog.

JC does an excellent job and will have a few people working on your trailer rather than one or two from the dealer. Only you can determine if the dealer can fix the problems but I'd sure let them know that you will not be leaving before everything is fixed to your satisfaction.
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Old 05-24-2008, 12:03 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FordTruck
The dealer from whom we bought the '03 had received our unit about a week before we called just to see what they had on order, hoping that something similar to our wish list might be on it's way. In other words, it wasn't a special order.

We have confidence in the dealer to make things right but there is that little nagging in the back of my brain that JC might be the best choice.

The dealer is 133 miles from home and JC is 472 miles away. The main problem in getting the unit to JC is time off from work to make the trip.
If you bought from the dealer in Virginia that would be most of your problem. If you bought from NC I would have expected better.
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Old 05-24-2008, 12:25 PM   #17
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No excuse for Airstream but is seems to be the standard of the industry. From my few conversations with class A owners you are looking at a year to break a class A unit in. Take Lewster's advice he knows what he is doing, in fact I am ordering screens for my heaters today and will inspect everything closely.

My unit came from a dealer going out of business in Atlanta so I had no support. New Orleans is to far to return to Jackson Center for warranty work so I fixed all my problems myself. I had one problem with an awning bracket and a leaking fresh water pump, I contacted the vendors and they sent the repair parts no questions asked. I did keep wood glue and caulk in the trailer for the first few trips to fix loose edge coverings and leaking shower door.

It would be a good idea to present the dealer and factory with a punch out list to ensure that if you can't get to Jackson Center with the warranty period they will cover it especially the bad metal work as I can see that being a problem for a dealer to correct.

Keep asking for opinions and help on the forum everyone here has worked through many problems with the help offered by others.

The good thing is you will have the tailer 5, 10, 20 years from now that would not happen with a SOB.
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Old 05-24-2008, 12:37 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnyusmc
On the Awning, the latch piece mounted on the skin will cut the awning and airstream will tell you that you closed it wrong and they are not at fault. $1081.00. Don't open it until you move the latch.

"And the fun never stops"

Gunny

PS: Good luck and I do hope you have better luck than I have had with airstreams so call warrenty.
Sorry to hear that the 08's are coming out rough! Sounds as though nothing has changed, too bad, there are a lot of great folks at Jackson Center.

I am going to second Gunny on the awning problem, but since I was not fortunate enough to be warned I now have a nice 6 inch tear in the awning, and yep, as usual, JC says it is my fault.....sooner or later they are going to be paying for these issues. Right now it is us that is paying. Does anybody know the name of the person who is in charge of quality control????

Just a thought, wouldn't be nice if someone like Inland Andy or Uwe/Area 63 was in charge of quality control at Airstream.

time
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Old 05-24-2008, 04:47 PM   #19
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If it get to bad?

Ford Truck,

If it gets to bad, sell it, take the money up to Dave and Martha Makel in Nellysford, VA (right up the road from ya) who own "Trailer Buff". My guess, Dave and Martha could have re-done a vintage unit for you for around the same price(maybe a little more). That's the great thing about Airstreams, there's always somebody willing to buy if you don't like it.

Good luck with your problems, we hope to see you guys at the "East Coast Vintage Rally"(everyone is welcomed to join us, new/old/MOHO/non-WBCCI/etc....) in Staunton, Va June 19-23rd.
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Old 05-24-2008, 05:47 PM   #20
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That all is a list that should be taken up with a dealer on warranty (2 years coverage). An airline would do the same on a new flying machine (though they haven't been as simple since the DC-3). I believe Jackson Center does want you to work with your dealer first before they'll perform repairs under warranty. I deliberately bought from a dealer whose service department has an excellent reputation.

Heat pumps provide a subtle change to temps being blown out. I trust you let it run a while and came back and checked the interior temp change.

The furnace you see is the way it comes from Atwood's factory. I didn't have any trouble and spent very little protecting against possible mud daubers.

A tongue jack blowing fuses is either due to the tank cover pinching & shorting wires (if driven without tanks in place) or else due to the limiter switches inside the jack needing adjustment. Yes, I saw the threads about installing a circuit breaker instead.

The awning requires that one recognize when the parts are aligned. The dealer did a walk-through with you? I broke a part once and it was entirely my fault. A lot of folks like to camp nearby the first night or two so that they promptly can clarify questions back at the dealer. The new Zip-Dee is a great improvement over the awning on my old trailer.

Yes, the pantry door hinges still bug me -- and my warranty ran out a year ago. An RV isn't the most complicated bit of technology but there are many parts. I'd certainly want to live in my Safari and ID the issues rather than let an RV tech take it on 2 weeks of vacation to find them.
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