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Old 06-17-2012, 06:40 PM   #267
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I started a new thread because suggestions for improvement get lost among the frequent posts on problems: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f161...ml#post1162482

Dan, one floor has standard 2x joists, the 2nd floor uses logs with paneling for a ceiling resting on the logs, then furring strips, then subfloor, then finished floor. Nothing creaks or leaks and there are no creeks or leeks.

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Old 06-17-2012, 06:57 PM   #268
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I for one am very pleased with our AS. To date we have had only minor issues. Only one item might have been prevented by better QC the three other things a cable to the BluRay went bad and after the winter storage the spray nozzle at the kitchen sink leaked and the a value in the toilet broke. Both of these could have been a result of head space and timing on my part however the Service department was great in fixing them.

I have had it in some torrential downpours but have yet to find a leak but I suspect I might overtime. If it does I will blame it on the pounding it takes when I haul it over the hills and dale of the countryside and even some dirt roads.

It does creak but I suspect that it might just have to do with me as I walk around the trailer (I am not as light as I once was). I might be wrong so I will check it out.

I will also say it does turn heads in a very positive manner. No one ever said I had a nice tent or asked to look inside my tent. They certainly do with the AS.

John
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Old 06-17-2012, 07:46 PM   #269
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John,

If you have the faucet with the filter, remove it and pour a little antifreeze in and leave the head off....I learned the hard way. Make sure to run some thru the sprayer also.

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Old 06-18-2012, 06:02 AM   #270
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So...
After read this thread and a few others; that creaking sound emanating from the floor near the shower of my 2010 Flying Cloud 27' FB has me concerned.
Wooden floors creak. Can't be helped. Every stick-and-brick home I've lived in that had wooden floors had a creaky spot somewhere. Trailers, which move on a regular basis, would be no different in that regard.

Unless the creaking is accompanied by sagging under your weight when you step on it, I wouldn't worry.
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Old 06-18-2012, 06:25 AM   #271
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Copy all. Thanks.
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:13 AM   #272
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after the winter storage the spray nozzle at the kitchen sink leaked and the a value in the toilet broke. Both of these could have been a result of head space and timing on my part however the Service department was great in fixing them.
The 2nd time I winterized the trailer, I forgot to run antifreeze through the sprayer and toilet. The toilet valve cracked and when I tested the water system in the spring, I had a fountain in the bathroom. As cool as fountains can be, this was not. We had planned to take the trailer to JC for warranty work on our first trip of the year and on the way the sprayer cracked.

The service center fixed both without charge even though I told them it was my fault and I would pay for the repair.

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Old 06-18-2012, 11:30 AM   #273
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We did sell Paul and Lisa their Airstream last fall. Whenever you have someone unhappy with a unit you dissect what went wrong and what you could have done differently. I am certain if Paul & Lisa could have just held on just a bit longer and brought it back to the factory or us as they had planned we could have solved all the issues for them. However I understand their frustration. The biggest challenge facing Airstream and the entire RV industry is going to be meeting the expectations of today's owners. It is easy to wish for the good old days but the reality is if we had new 1964’s or 72’s for sale today no one would accept the quality level.

There is no possible way there would be enough business to support an Airstream dealer on Vancouver Island yet considering the harshness of the environment I cannot think of another product that would be better to own. Though an Airstream can leak it will never be structurally damaged by one, any laminated coach can quite easily be. We sell 11 brands of RV and service dozens of others, some a few times the price of an Airstream and I can tell you there is no contest between any of them and an Airstream, no question an Airstream is the only RV I would own personally.

Having been an Airstream dealer for 42 years and having been around them for a few years before that I know every year model since 1965 pretty well. I still personally do some PDI’s just to stay on top of it. Over that 42 year period Airstreams quality has improved and waned a few times. In the late 70’s a PDI took 3-4 days to achieve a standard far below what would be acceptable today. Likely no one complains as much as I do, what I can tell you is that the current management of Airstream is more focused on solving quality issues than any that has come before, however it is a constantly moving target.

What would often seem like a simple solution in the field or even in our store can often have unintended consequences when translated to the production line. Today Airstream is pretty careful about changing anything without thorough testing. Corrosion issues are being worked on very hard. The easy solution is to go back to sprayed on clear coat instead of pre-coated metal but do we really want to go back to trailers that needed re-spraying every other year in the southwest? The other even easier solution is to use primers and then paint each Airstream, but do you really want that? Paint may not be a total guarantee either, my Aluminum body Jag has some fill-form in the middle of a perfect painted area. Sometimes something that can solve one problem will cause another there is rarely a magic bullet.

Sometimes you want to be careful what you wish for. For example about 20 years ago there were a lot of complaints about the occasional squeaks in the plywood floor. Other brands floors did not squeak why should an Airstream, so Airstream changed the floor to the structurewood that other brands used, squeaks were gone, just too bad the floors dissolved if they got a little damp. Airstream pretty quickly changed back to plywood, few others have.

One other thing to remember is Airstream is a really small company, many single car dealerships have more dollar sales than Airstream does. It is easy to think since it has wheels and is built in a factory it should have the same initial quality as a car but it will never happen the economies of scale are just not there. The Ford Assembly plant that used to be down the road from us built more cars in 6 months than the entire RV industry produced Rv’s in a year, as many cars in a day as Airstream builds in a year. All those cars were almost the same and anywhere a human could make a mistake they put a robot in to make sure it was essentially perfect. Though the initial quality of an Airstream will never match today’s auto industry I feel the long term quality, the value of the investment is better than pretty much anything with wheels on it.

I hope this helps.

Andrew T
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:45 AM   #274
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Thank you Andy! This is the perspective this thread has been missing!!!
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:47 AM   #275
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Thank's Andrew....we needed that.

It would probably help you a lot if JC did a better PDDI...Pre Dealer Delivery Inspection.

Bob
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:55 AM   #276
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We took our new-to-us 2007 Safari SE 23' camping last weekend. I've spent quite a bit of money after purchase fixing and upgrading things, working out some frustrations, and of course I'm well versed with this thread and others.

But when someone complimented my trailer and said "Wow. That's the Lamborghini of trailers!," I just said thanks. Not "And it costs about the same to keep going" or any other sarcastic rejoinders about the quality or reliability. Overall, it's a damn nice product that fits my needs almost perfectly and lets my wife and I have experiences we enjoy.

I wish it was built better. I hope Airstream continues to work to improve things. But I'm not sure I'd talk someone out of buying one beyond a caveat or two.

Tom
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Old 06-18-2012, 12:09 PM   #277
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Tom points out the problem I have when someone asks me about our trailer. I have a problem lying or telling half truths. And most of the time no one wants an extended and carefully chosen answer to "How do you like your Airstream? I'm thinking of buying one."

We stopped at a pull out somewhere in Colorado mountains one time several years ago towards the end of a trip with lots of breaking things and someone stopped and walked over with just that question. All I could say that was positive was "they look cool". He didn't want to hear about QC since he had been falling in love (just like friends who don't hear it when you tell them their new lover has lots of problems) and looked somewhat crestfallen. I still wonder whether he ever bought an Airstream. I may have suggested he look for a fairly new one to save a lot of money and hope everything was fixed.

So when I'm asked, I try to offer a balanced opinion. But if something just broke, maybe I get unbalanced.

And I'm glad ours didn't cost as much as a Lamborghini.

Gene
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Old 06-18-2012, 12:53 PM   #278
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Having owned a couple of boats and another travel trailer, I figured that our new Bambi would require some routine maintenance. However, I was really surprised when the closet, cabinet and oven doors all fell off, the refrigerator popped open, and all of our clothes and food were dumped on the floor; but that experience has since become a humorous anecdote tied to the infamous washboard road to hell near Yellowstone.

I had hoped that Airstreams were built better than the other RVs we owned in the past. However, it has turned out to be a normal travel trailer with all the accompanying problems and maintenance required to keep it running. However, it is made out of better materials and should last long enough to be handed down to our kids and grandkids to enjoy. We already have many happy memories in it; and in retrospect, I am very happy with our purchase.

It seems all RVs and boats are destined to just rot into the ground; and the key is whether you use them, or you just sit and watch them deteriorate. If you get some happiness and enjoyment out of them in the process, then they will be worth the problems and extra work. If not, they will be a money pit and a waste of time and effort. It's a matter of perspective.

Now, let's go camping!
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:24 PM   #279
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew T View Post
We did sell Paul and Lisa their Airstream last fall. Whenever you have someone unhappy with a unit you dissect what went wrong and what you could have done differently. I am certain if Paul & Lisa could have just held on just a bit longer and brought it back to the factory or us as they had planned we could have solved all the issues for them. However I understand their frustration. The biggest challenge facing Airstream and the entire RV industry is going to be meeting the expectations of today's owners. It is easy to wish for the good old days but the reality is if we had new 1964’s or 72’s for sale today no one would accept the quality level.

There is no possible way there would be enough business to support an Airstream dealer on Vancouver Island yet considering the harshness of the environment I cannot think of another product that would be better to own. Though an Airstream can leak it will never be structurally damaged by one, any laminated coach can quite easily be. We sell 11 brands of RV and service dozens of others, some a few times the price of an Airstream and I can tell you there is no contest between any of them and an Airstream, no question an Airstream is the only RV I would own personally.

Having been an Airstream dealer for 42 years and having been around them for a few years before that I know every year model since 1965 pretty well. I still personally do some PDI’s just to stay on top of it. Over that 42 year period Airstreams quality has improved and waned a few times. In the late 70’s a PDI took 3-4 days to achieve a standard far below what would be acceptable today. Likely no one complains as much as I do, what I can tell you is that the current management of Airstream is more focused on solving quality issues than any that has come before, however it is a constantly moving target.

What would often seem like a simple solution in the field or even in our store can often have unintended consequences when translated to the production line. Today Airstream is pretty careful about changing anything without thorough testing. Corrosion issues are being worked on very hard. The easy solution is to go back to sprayed on clear coat instead of pre-coated metal but do we really want to go back to trailers that needed re-spraying every other year in the southwest? The other even easier solution is to use primers and then paint each Airstream, but do you really want that? Paint may not be a total guarantee either, my Aluminum body Jag has some fill-form in the middle of a perfect painted area. Sometimes something that can solve one problem will cause another there is rarely a magic bullet.

Sometimes you want to be careful what you wish for. For example about 20 years ago there were a lot of complaints about the occasional squeaks in the plywood floor. Other brands floors did not squeak why should an Airstream, so Airstream changed the floor to the structurewood that other brands used, squeaks were gone, just too bad the floors dissolved if they got a little damp. Airstream pretty quickly changed back to plywood, few others have.

One other thing to remember is Airstream is a really small company, many single car dealerships have more dollar sales than Airstream does. It is easy to think since it has wheels and is built in a factory it should have the same initial quality as a car but it will never happen the economies of scale are just not there. The Ford Assembly plant that used to be down the road from us built more cars in 6 months than the entire RV industry produced Rv’s in a year, as many cars in a day as Airstream builds in a year. All those cars were almost the same and anywhere a human could make a mistake they put a robot in to make sure it was essentially perfect. Though the initial quality of an Airstream will never match today’s auto industry I feel the long term quality, the value of the investment is better than pretty much anything with wheels on it.

I hope this helps.

Andrew T
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:33 PM   #280
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I came into Airstreaming never having done any RVing before, just tent camping. Airstream was our first choice because I'd heard of them (even in England), they look brilliant and they did at least offer a modern and functional interior that didn't look like the inside of a log cabin (that's my opinion folks, it's a matter of personal taste). I was a little surprised at the cost when compared to other RVs but you only have to look at an Airstream to see that it's more robust than anything else so I reasoned that we were buying for the long term and in that context it was quite good value.

I wasn't surprised that the build quality didn't match that of a modern car because, as Andrew T says, the volume just isn't there to do anything else than hand build most of it so comparisons are not fair. I do think Airstream could improve some of their quality issues but like any other company trying to turn a profit, keeping costs to a minimum is their aim and they tread a fine line with producing a quality product but without putting the price through the roof. I'm sure if they doubled the price of their units they could afford to have some much improved QC, but then who would buy?

I've had a few minor issues, all dealt with most effectively by the dealer, and I expect to have a few more. Overall, though, I think I have an excellent travel trailer and I hope my kids will enjoy it too.

To close my two pennyworth I would like to retell a little story about our Airstream and its *gasp!* creaky floor. We were showing a friend around our 28' International and he noticed a little creak from the floor near the bed. He was outraged that such a thing should happen and fair demanded that we take the trailer back and have the abomination fixed; after all, "it cost a lot of money!" Well, you know what? Two edges of plywood pressed against each other will creek when you have a bit of movement. I don't think I've ever lived in a house where at least one board didn't creak a little so my Airstream is allowed to creak a bit. Anyway, the thought of someone ripping up all sorts of stuff to get to said plywood floor didn't appeal so we're living with it and happy to do so.
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