Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-09-2012, 03:11 PM   #155
Rivet Master
 
danlehosky's Avatar
 
2012 25' FB Flying Cloud
Gig Harbor , Washington
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 780
Damn that auto correct......
__________________

__________________
TAC
Hope is not a plan.
danlehosky is offline  
Old 06-09-2012, 03:22 PM   #156
Rivet Master
 
2005 19' Safari
GLENDALE , AZ
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,441
A rhetorical comment and question...

Some car manufacturers remove moisture and reduce corrosion inside doors by adding drain holes, zinc dipping the entire door and/or forcing air through the inside of the assembly. Is this practical in an Airstream or other RV?

It seems an Airstream is a hybrid of older aircraft and home construction materials and techniques. Perhaps, updating the design to take advantage of modern automobile and aircraft materials like carbon fiber and honeycomb stainless steel, would reduce the affects of moisture and corrosion, improve rigidity, strength and impact resistance, and minimize weight; and, as a bonus, reduce assembly labor by replacing inefficient rivets with modern adhesives and fastening systems.

But, then, would the end product still be an Airstream?
__________________

__________________
Phoenix is offline  
Old 06-09-2012, 03:24 PM   #157
tpi
Rivet Master
 
2005 25' Safari
Trabuco Canyon , California
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 866
Images: 2
Phoenix, I think thats an excellent point. I think if the updated materials were basically hidden, such as flooring material, it would still be an Airstream. If it had obvious changes such as dumping the riveted construction, then it wouldn't.
__________________
tpi is offline  
Old 06-09-2012, 03:54 PM   #158
Rivet Master
 
2005 19' Safari
GLENDALE , AZ
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,441
I have seen alloy wheels with rivets in them, which probably serve no function other than as superficial decoration. Also, several pickup truck accessories, like locking fuel doors, have simulated rivets or screw/bolt heads to make them look "rugged". I suppose this could be done on Airstream skins, too. At least in this application, rivets wouldn't contribute to leakage and/or structural problems.

In addition, many aircraft and missiles use flush rivets in fuselage panels. An Airstream skin could be stamped to look like it had flush rivets, which were in actuality only dimples in the aluminum. Or, a carbon fiber skin could be plated, bonded with metal foil or covered with metallic paint to give the appearance of an aluminum panel. The question then becomes how important it is to preserve the actual use of aluminum panels in construction.

Is an Argosy an Airstream? I think most of us consider them so; or, at the very least, a fraternal twin. What if the Argosy was carbon fiber painted white, instead of aluminum painted white? Would it still be an Argosy?

Similarly, would a carbon fiber Airstream painted metallic silver, or with a thin metal film bonded to the outside surface, still be an Airstream?

I think if Thor could answer these "philosophical questions", they could reduce costs and increase reliability by switching to newer materials and construction techniques.

Then, if we could just get Thor to quit putting Goodyear Marathons on Airstreams, we could move our discussions to the best boondocking locations that look remote, but are close to town and nobody knows about them.
__________________
Phoenix is offline  
Old 06-09-2012, 04:00 PM   #159
tpi
Rivet Master
 
2005 25' Safari
Trabuco Canyon , California
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 866
Images: 2
Good points Phoenix. For me the rivets aren't a deal breaker if the product could be made better. I'm not sure for others. I'd even go so far as silver painted aluminum skin like the Camplites, as long as it had the traditional Airstream shape. Not so sure others would go with such a stretch though. The current clear coat aluminum is beautiful. Perhaps it would be incompatible with welded construction, etc. The rivets help facilitate panel replacement.

For me they solve the floor rot, which should be possible with just the floor material, then you have a heck of a sturdy long life trailer. At that point any little leak would not be such the emergency issue.
__________________
tpi is offline  
Old 06-09-2012, 04:04 PM   #160
Rivet Master
 
danlehosky's Avatar
 
2012 25' FB Flying Cloud
Gig Harbor , Washington
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 780
Phoenix, interesting ideas. I have never thought of AS as being in a rut. The economics of production limit the ability to support engineering. They simply cannot support the design changes and innovate like the big automakers can. Numbers are numbers. I do think QC could be much better. Boy this thread is really off topic......

Dan
__________________
TAC
Hope is not a plan.
danlehosky is offline  
Old 06-09-2012, 04:26 PM   #161
CLOUDSPLITTER "Tahawas"
 
ROBERT CROSS's Avatar

 
2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 11,153
Images: 1
"I have never thought of AS as being in a rut"

1936-2012 without a significant improvement in materials, construction techniques, or functionality, that's a rut.

If it's badged Airstream it's an Airstream.

The factory is afraid to offend the "purists". If it's not shiny, has rivets and panels with lots of leaky seams and filiform it's not an Airstream.

Hard for me to believe they couldn't keep the basic's and still bring the whole into the 21st Century.

OMG...take me outback to the woodshed.

Bob
__________________
PFC.....

“After all these years the reason I continue to love Thanksgiving.....I still sit at the kids table.”
RLC

Sandra wanted to go to Cleveland on vacation,
but I’m the Husband, so we went to Cleveland.
RLC
ROBERT CROSS is offline  
Old 06-09-2012, 04:49 PM   #162
Rivet Master
 
RangerJay's Avatar
 
2002 19' Bambi
Northwestern Ontario , - on the backside of the map and just above the big green spot
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 818
Images: 44
This thread has taken an interesting, but not so positive, turn when it starts talking about urban vs. rural strengths and values.

My wife and myself were raised and educated near Toronto but have spent our entire married lives and careers in what many would consider remote small communities (villages even) that range from a few hundred folks to a few thousand.

In our almost 40 years of marriage we have both come to a very clear conclusion that rural community values far outweigh urban community values. Today - in our retirement years - we've become small town folks (country hicks some might say) and are proud to say so.

How might this relate to Airstream and this thread?

The service end of the Airstream organization in (rural) Jackson Centre has a lot of respect - from pretty much everyone.

The manufacturing end of the Airstream organization - in the same community - 100 yards away - does not enjoy the same respect.

I wonder if it is a stretch to speculate that the strength of the service end might be a direct reflection of long standing and skilled employees mirroring their communities rural strength and pride ......

And I wonder if it can be further speculated that the challenges of the manufacturing end might be a direct reflection of unreasonable and unsupported corporate (urban) drive that cannot be reasonably met by the workforce ......

I dunno - but there is clearly something wrong in the manufacturing end ..... and 100 yards away ..... a service organization enjoys nothing but accolades.


Jay
__________________
Bambi - 2002 (The Toaster)
Pathfinder - 2009 (The Buggy)

"I'm not young enough to know everything ....."
(Oscar Wilde)
RangerJay is offline  
Old 06-09-2012, 05:35 PM   #163
Rivet Master
 
danlehosky's Avatar
 
2012 25' FB Flying Cloud
Gig Harbor , Washington
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 780
Bob, you're somewhat right. But the rut is working for them.(somehow)
Ranger Jay, The manufacturing end has a much different model of profitability than the service end. The culture of manufacturing is get em out the door, where service tends to be more thoughtful and the outcomes vary with the individual problems.

Warranty service however would be much different than out of warranty service. One can be very profitable and one can significantly cut into into your profits. Has anyone on this forum had warranty and then non-warranty service done on their coach and noticed any difference in the quality or perspective of advice or work?

Dan
__________________
TAC
Hope is not a plan.
danlehosky is offline  
Old 06-09-2012, 07:35 PM   #164
Rivet Master
 
Gene's Avatar
 
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,840
Rural areas have lower incomes that urban ones. With that comes fewer opportunities for education and exposure to modern skills. The smartest people who can't afford college or grad school, will never develop their skills as much as someone with the opportunity to do so. Isolation is far less than it was before instant communications, but they are still isolated. Urban areas have the resources to advance skills and education and these things gradually spread outward. In having lived in rural and urban places (as well as ex-urbs), I have noticed a stubornness to change in rural areas. That can hold them back.

This leads to a workforce that has fewer skills and a resistance to change. Pride in workmanship seems to be a problem that I would expect to be the same (or even better) in rural areas, but it sure doesn't seem to exist at the factory.

Of course, someone runs the factory and someone else runs the shop. Management sets the tone and that counts for a lot. If the manager is resistant to change, learns nothing of what others are doing in the industry, and is content to keep things as they are, that will affect the product regardless of the quality of the workers. And workers in the shop have to be detectives and be able to fix many, many different things. Diagnosis is a valuable skill needed in the shop, but not in the factory. Workers in the factory start with insulation, and learn things little by little, and may never learn much about anything but their area of work. Shop mechanics should get higher pay. Higher pay attracts better skilled workers, maybe even some from the big cities.

Re-engineering Airstreams and modernizing production is very expensive. Airstream may not have nearly enough to do this fast, but it could be done at less of a pace. And they do change, ever so slowly. Faster would be good. Rather than piecemeal change, they could look at major changes.

There are differences between rural and urban culture, education and skills. If the factory draws labor from the local area, does this affect production values? Is there a rural mindset in management that resists change? Or is it just that the business plan is working well enough and why rock the boat?

Gene
__________________
Gene is offline  
Old 06-09-2012, 07:57 PM   #165
Rivet Master
 
SilverRanger's Avatar
 
2005 19' Safari
1968 24' Tradewind
Rural , Delaware
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,475
Quote:
Originally Posted by danlehosky View Post
...
Warranty service however would be much different than out of warranty service. One can be very profitable and one can significantly cut into into your profits. Has anyone on this forum had warranty and then non-warranty service done on their coach and noticed any difference in the quality or perspective of advice or work?
Dan
Dan,
I've had warranty, and non-warranty, service from the dealership where I bought it. Where the work was actually done under warranty, the quality was virtually indistinguishable. When I say "actually done", I mean the items that Airstream gave approval to repair. They did not approve things like the defective (from day one) black tank flushing system, and any corrosion. I've forgotten all of the items on the list, but still have the paperwork somewhere.

In some cases, like the corrosion on the tail light bezel and grab handle, the dealership replaced them at their expense, in the interest of good customer relations. For what it's worth, I consider all corrosion on Airstreams during the warranty period, as a factory defect or caused by sub-standard aluminum components and, in no way, to be environmental, and should be covered under the warranty. I say this because all items that were replaced by the dealer began to corrode in less than a year. I've been to the factory four times, and have seen first hand how the edges of some of the aluminum panels are slid across the concrete floor on their edges, which likely abrades the clear coat. This type of corrosion showed up on my trailer during the warranty period as well.

I just had some non-warranty work at Jackson Center, and it was exceptional. I thought the cost was reasonable, and being able to watch and talk to the mechanic during the work was priceless.

Oddly, the best work I have had done to date, was at the dealership under the 7 year extended warranty I bought at the time of purchase. They did extensive work on the heating and plumbing systems (including the black tank flusher), and replaced the entire audio/video package originally installed by Airstream with all new equipment because it was also defective from day one. Ironically, it was the installation that was defective, and not the equipment. So I ended up with two working systems, as they returned the original back to me. Most people would advise against extended warranties and, for the most part, so would I. But this one paid for itself twice over. I made quite a long repair list, and asked them to contact me if there were any problems or deviations. They did the entire list, no questions asked. The warranty expires on the 15th of this month.

This is my experience and perspective. Hope it helps.
__________________
2005 Bambi
1968 Trade Wind
2007 Ford F250 4x4 Crew
WDCU
SilverRanger is offline  
Old 06-09-2012, 08:37 PM   #166
Rivet Master
 
SteSpot's Avatar
 
1968 28' Ambassador
1982 24' Airstream 240
Ventura , California
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,641
Images: 17
The RV Industry as a whole

As one who is trying to restore a 1982 Airstream motorhome, I am finding it very difficult to find replacement parts because the industry as a whole has shrunk. Take gas ranges for example. I called Airstream to see what they are using and they told me that Magic Chef had shut down and they were now using Atwood ranges. I had to order one (2-3 week) delivery because the dealer in CA nearest to me doesn't keep them in stock and apparently Atwood doesn't either....they make to order....when it arrived in CA from Florida, it had been packaged so poorly that the range was damaged......my choice was to reorder and hope they could figure out how to ship across country without damage or find another......there is a Seaward Princess range made in Whittier, CA 4-6 week delivery....more money and maybe a better stove made for the yachting market.....

Trying to find a RV round shower faucet to fit the round hole in the abs shower....could have used a house one but the fittings in the back are bigger.....finally found a Scandvik made in Sweden for yachts...had to order that one too....it is beautiful but pricier than I had in mind.......

So I guess my point is that things are really tight in the RV business. I am not trying to excuse Airstream just trying to understand what is.....we are lucky that they even make them at all. I also understand that Airstream is in the business of making NEW ones.....they really aren't interested in the restoration market understandably so because they don't make anything off of a restoration. And maybe they have figured out if they make them to last forever, they will sell fewer in the future....

That said, if they are going to be made at all, they should be made the best way for the current times.....but just because they should does not necessarily mean they could......times are tough now. paula
__________________
Paula & Ed
Suite Spot
WBCCI # 8252 Air#13593
1968 28'Ambassador
2011 GMC Yukon Denali
1982 24'Motorhome (82Ste P)
SteSpot is offline  
Old 06-09-2012, 08:45 PM   #167
Rivet Master
 
danlehosky's Avatar
 
2012 25' FB Flying Cloud
Gig Harbor , Washington
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 780
Ranger Jay, I guess it's all in what you're looking for. I like the cultural and economic diversity of large cities where I have worked all my life.

Quality of life is what you, as an individual make of it. There are lots of meth labs in rural parts of Washington state and in some where logging and fishing are no longer the economic engines they once were, the poverty is staggering.
For you, living in a rural area is satisfying and I applaud that. For many it's a life they can't escape. Generational and geographical poverty are hard nuts to crack.

I also live in small town, close to a big city, and like it here. My family and friends are here and I have a good life. A career here would have been difficult as a young man though.

Cities, and those in particular that have a university presence are generally the best places to thrive, both financially and culturally. I drove 40 miles every day for almost 30 years to take advantage of these opportunities.

The internet has been a game changer for many, but only in you can afford and have access to services

Jackson Center has built a business model that works and is profitable for them. Many of the workers may have little choice and AS may, and I suspect is the largest player in town. I believe the assembly center was consolidated in JC instead of LA is because labor in LA was becoming to expensive.

Does AS Contribute to health care benefits or 401K's. I don't know. Are employees represented by a union where they can collectively bargain for better conditions? Again I don't know. Being in the rural seting they are and the probable poverty level of this part of Ohio I think not though. I hope AS is doing the best they can.

Assuming that high workmanship standards are a concequence of a country life is flawed. I've worked with people all my life who brougt high standards and the work ethic to succeed no matter where they came from. Many of these virtues were cultivated in cities and rural areas as well.

The big question is why am I sitting here on Saturday night writing this. I'm going to go out to the trailer and make some HURINE. Wake me up at 11.

Dan
__________________
TAC
Hope is not a plan.
danlehosky is offline  
Old 06-09-2012, 08:52 PM   #168
Rivet Master
 
SilverRanger's Avatar
 
2005 19' Safari
1968 24' Tradewind
Rural , Delaware
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,475
Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerJay View Post

The service end of the Airstream organization in (rural) Jackson Centre has a lot of respect - from pretty much everyone.

The manufacturing end of the Airstream organization - in the same community - 100 yards away - does not enjoy the same respect.

I wonder if it is a stretch to speculate that the strength of the service end might be a direct reflection of long standing and skilled employees mirroring their communities rural strength and pride ......

And I wonder if it can be further speculated that the challenges of the manufacturing end might be a direct reflection of unreasonable and unsupported corporate (urban) drive that cannot be reasonably met by the workforce ......

I dunno - but there is clearly something wrong in the manufacturing end ..... and 100 yards away ..... a service organization enjoys nothing but accolades.
Jay
Jay,
I agree with your insightful assessment. Especially your speculation that the 'challenges of the manufacturing end might be a direct reflection of unreasonable and unsupported corporate (urban) drive that cannot be reasonably met by the workforce ......'

I think that may be spot on because, if you look at the pedigrees of most, if not all, of the executive staff, you'll probably find that they do not come from the community, and did not rise to their positions through the ranks of the Airstream company. I have met many of them, past and present employees, and believe this to be accurate. I also believe most of the production, and repair staff to be from the Jackson Center area, or nearby communities. Many are long term employees, but get their direction from management. Anyone who implies that the production problems at Airstream are because of under skilled, or under educated employees may be off base. I suppose there are different kinds of smart. I managed and worked with employees with master's and doctoral degrees and the smartest person I ever met was a friend of my grandfather who had a sixth grade education. Hey, that's my opinion. I'm told everyone has them.

While out in Jackson Center last week, I had an interesting encounter at a nearby campground. While in line to dump the tanks, we were approached by a very nice lady with two young kids. She asked us if we liked our Airstream. I know this has happened to many of us Airstream owners. Of course, we said we loved it, and that we had two of them. She gave an audible sigh of relief, and told us that she and her husband both worked at Airstream. I told her that she seemed relieved at our answer, and she told me that sometimes the answer isn't always as positive as ours. The best part... she and her husband owned an Airstream, and they were on vacation at the campground with their grandchildren. It was a vintage, but I was still encouraged that an employee really likes the product, and obviously took pride in their work.
__________________

__________________
2005 Bambi
1968 Trade Wind
2007 Ford F250 4x4 Crew
WDCU
SilverRanger is offline  
Closed Thread


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:59 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.