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Old 06-08-2012, 11:51 AM   #127
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All, like my wife says maybe I just will never be satisfied. I have a practiced eye and by training look for flaws.

Is it me, or is it AS. Maybe a little of both.

Anyway I am done with this. I got rollon yesterday because I felt bad about Mohave and I felt if this thread took off AS might notice and maybe make things right for him.

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Old 06-08-2012, 12:01 PM   #128
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Looking at this as a claims adjuster, a couple of notes:

The whole issue of the dealer is a red herring. Mojave bought a travel trailer from Airstream. He had the reasonable expectation that it would be fit for its intended purpose, camping. It wasn't, as the roof leaked. Airstream was well aware of roof leakage issues and should have taken steps to correct the problem long ago. If they had delivered a trailer fit for its intended purpose Mojave wouldn't have had to take it to the dealer in the first place.

If Mojave signed a contract stating that, at Airsteam's option the trailer might have to be taken to the factory to complete warranty work Airstream might have a case. If not, telling a customer that they will have to tow a trailer over 2,000 miles at their own expense just to get the seller to honor their warranty seems to border on egregious conduct.

Several people have made the case that trailers today involve complex systems that require special training to repair. This may be true, but remember the customer's original complaint - the roof leaks. Building a non-leaking roof is not rocket science, it's one of the first steps in civilization. Any competent RV repair shop should have been able to fix the problem.

Back in the 80's I handled a lot of claims involving high-end cars. It was not unhear-of for Lamborghini to fly a mechanic out from Italy to the U.S. to oversee the repairs to a customer's car. Perhaps Airstream could have a similar program?

Lastly, requiring a customer to sign a non-disclosure agreement before performing warranty repairs is over-the-top. I feel confident in saying that if the case went to court Airstream would be slapped with punitive damages for this.
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Old 06-08-2012, 01:18 PM   #129
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The whole issue of the dealer is a red herring.…

If not, telling a customer that they will have to tow a trailer over 2,000 miles at their own expense just to get the seller to honor their warranty seems to border on egregious conduct.…

Lastly, requiring a customer to sign a non-disclosure agreement before performing warranty repairs is over-the-top. I feel confident in saying that if the case went to court Airstream would be slapped with punitive damages for this.
'Bill,

First, the dealer is out of this (probably, did they cause the leak? —unlikely, but possible). The trailer was brought to an independent RV shop, apparently with Airstream's OK. I agree, Airstream is responsible for the initial leak. Subsequent damage seems to have occurred at that shop and that shop seems to be responsible for it, but since Airstream adopted them, they may share liability.

This would not be the 1st time Airstream suggested an owner bring it to JC. I can understand that—it was the a way for Airstream to find out exactly what happened, but it is not practical for most people. Nonetheless, Airstream should go out of their way to solve such problems. Look at the blow back from not doing so—however, maybe there are things we don't know about that. Mojave is out $20,000, but how can the damage to Airstream's reputation be quantified? If one or two sales are lost because of this, Airstream would do well to express a check to Mojave, announce it, apologize, and cut their losses. Will they do so? Unlikely.

This also would not be the first time Airstream wanted a customer to keep quiet about repairs made. One instance I am aware of was where 2 trailers were repaired out of warranty for a pretty serious problem. But the failure was not a warranty issue—it was a product liability issue. The product was designed so badly that liability is independent of warranty coverage. Nondisclosure (another way of saying confidentiality) agreements are common. I hate them, but sometimes it is part of the bargain to end a dispute. I would love it if they were banned in all except a few special circumstances (privacy issues, for ex.), but it isn't going to happen unless some courageous court bans them because they compromise the openness of court proceedings. That won't help where, as in these cases, no courts are involved.

People post that execs at Airstream watch the Forum. They do. One has 2 memberships here (maybe too many people figured out the first one). But the people who watch don't have absolute power or you'd think (or hope) change would be faster.

Gene
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Old 06-08-2012, 01:42 PM   #130
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Wood subfloor rot is a non-issue if you get a Moisture Detection Meter and use it.

Corrosion is a non-issue if you treat the metal edges and openings, and clean and coat the filiform early.

Isn't this the easy way?

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Old 06-08-2012, 02:05 PM   #131
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Wood subfloor rot is a non-issue if you get a Moisture Detection Meter and use it.

Corrosion is a non-issue if you treat the metal edges and openings, and clean and coat the filiform early.

Isn't this the easy way?

doug k
Filiform is a side effect of the iconic design. I truly don't believe there is a solution with hundreds of rivet holes. There's always flexing at these points and avenues of corrosion open up. Yes treat it, be aware of it.

The floor is an issue I believe can be solved, probably rather easily. Excessive maintenance requirement is a workaround to poor design, IMO. Quite a few trailers are in very humid climates, stored offsite, or hard to access, and this maintenance can be burdensome. RVs are already a handful to maintain relative to their use level. Lets strip out needless maintenance through good design!
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Old 06-08-2012, 02:28 PM   #132
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The owners obligation was to return it to the nearest authorized dealer. This is something they elected not to do....

Bruce
I don't think this is right, my warranty says I can take it to any dealer. Warranty work is profitable for the dealer so choose one carefully and the nearest, or the one who sold you the unit, is not always the best choice.
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Old 06-08-2012, 02:31 PM   #133
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Do this maintenance once a quarter and you are way ahead of the problems. Takes about an hour to inspect and treat.

doug k
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Old 06-08-2012, 02:48 PM   #134
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Video for newbies and others unfamiliar with filliform corrosion:

aluMATTER*|*Aluminium*|*Forms of Corrosion*|*Filliform Corrosion
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:07 PM   #135
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Video for newbies and others unfamiliar with filliform corrosion:

aluMATTER*|*Aluminium*|*Forms of Corrosion*|*Filliform Corrosion

"The metal was first produced in 1825 in an impure form.."

Maybe it's time to keep the shape and change the material. OMG did he really suggest that!!!

"Corrosion resistance can be excellent due to a thin surface layer of aluminium oxide that forms when the metal is exposed to air, effectively preventing further oxidation."

Filiform solution..

Don't use the pre-coated panels, would you be happy with the patina? or go back to doing the clear-coat in house after assembly.

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Old 06-08-2012, 04:25 PM   #136
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Don't use the pre-coated panels, would you be happy with the patina? or go back to doing the clear-coat in house after assembly.

Bob
Bob, didn't they stop coating the panels themselves because they would have to have a clean room, special outfits for the workers and all sorts of ventilation? I don't know if they could dab the edges with clear coat when they cut them without an OSHA problem.

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Old 06-08-2012, 05:28 PM   #137
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Bob, didn't they stop coating the panels themselves because they would have to have a clean room, special outfits for the workers and all sorts of ventilation? I don't know if they could dab the edges with clear coat when they cut them without an OSHA problem.

Gene
That was the reason given, but there are many shops a lot smaller than AS that have all the needed equipment and trained personal.

I think it had more to do with the bean counters and convenience.

Bob
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Old 06-08-2012, 06:40 PM   #138
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Bob, the floor space at the factory seems to be used up, so they might have to build an addition. I think they've had OSHA problems and I think that's why they prohibit photography during the tour. They are also very anti-union.

I wonder where they draw their labor force and what type of background they have. It probably comes from surrounding counties. They are mostly rural with some small towns. Do their workers get good pay? Do they have any experience with metalwork, RV's, plumbing, electrical, flooring, etc.? I would expect that they don't and may not get much training before they become journeymen who may be much on their own. Those must be the guys who screw the skylights on too tight and do a sloppy job with sealant.

One of the beginning jobs at the factory is doing the insulation. It is difficult to do fiberglass correctly (there was an article in Fine Homebuilding about this in the past year). It needs to be sealed all around and never compressed. Many guys in the construction trades do a bad job with the "pink stuff" and the R value comes out low. Do these guys at JC know how to do this right? The article showed R-19 fiberglass at best comes out R-16 or 17 in real use. Two inches used in Airstreams would be nominally R-8.5, but if not done well, could be R-5 or less.

It is hard to build these things—so much crammed into a small space and so many different trades involved. It would take a long time to teach someone how to do it, and do they? The evidence comes from the sloppy practices often reported—crap left in the trailers shows a disdain for the product—and poor workmanship seen in so many trailers. If you buy one, hope you have one built by old timers.

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Old 06-09-2012, 07:00 AM   #139
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Sad to hear.

There has got to be a way for Airstream to provide more consistent quality assurance off the assembly line.

It's inexcusable, in my opinion.



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Old 06-09-2012, 02:01 PM   #140
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Mr. Bill wrote...."Back in the 80's I handled a lot of claims involving high-end cars. It was not unhear-of for Lamborghini to fly a mechanic out from Italy to the U.S. to oversee the repairs to a customer's car. Perhaps Airstream could have a similar program?"

I am curious as to the qualifications of a dealership's "Airstream technician" especially when the dealership sells other RV brands besides Airstream.

Do the dealers send their tech to JC for training or does JC send a technician to train the dealership tech or does the "Airstream technician" simply read a service manual in his spare time - and darnnit all - he never did get to the chapter about fixing leaks?

I suggested on this forum long ago that it would be wonderful if Airstream sent one of their best techs to the various dealerships to oversee/assist in repair and warranty work. A once or twice/year visit /dealership. The AS owners would be advised of this visit and would book their trailer for service in advance. It would be wonderful if the tech could also host a seminar for all AS owners while there.
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