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Old 06-06-2012, 06:01 PM   #29
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I believe a strong dealer network is essential to the survival of AS I don't know if they believe that, but I do. We have a local dealer who has done very well with our service problems. We, I guess are lucky. It shouldn't be that way. When we were looking at this purchase I never envisioned service would be so difficult for most people. On the appliances, any dealer who can get authorization from Dometic can do the work. Same with the other fixtures as well.

AS sells virtually every trailer they produce so the market at this time is defining the way they treat aftermarket service issues. If sales dropped dramatically things would change quickly. I think on some of these issues you need to be able and ready to butt heads and be persistant. Threats of legal action may work but I think documentation, knowledge and the ability to negotiate aggressivly will serve you best. Perhaps Mohave had other things to do and was just sick of dealing with the situation. Maybe he was bullied. Who knows. I feel bad he had such a disasterous experience.
As far as I know other TT manufactors may be worse. We may be dealing with the best the industry has to offer. I hope not.

I never expected perfection, but I did expect close. These trailers have been built the same way for over 80 years now. I would like the company to be more proactive in the areas of quality control and overall service. I know they spray the trailers, but for some this has proved worthless. Why not change this procedure? Maybe air testing with inside pressure should be added.

I keep seeing the same problems popping up time after time on this forum so I know they are seeing it as well. A company that is only reactive to complaints and does not address issues in mfg. will eventually lose it's lustre. Look at Harley Davidson when AMF took over. They lost their cachet and almost lost their company. The same thing can happen here.

We have had our trailer for about 7 months now and our issues have been minor and addressed by the dealer. Maybe this is the experience most people have. Generally speaking if things are going well, people are quiet. Has anybody ever done a percentage study about posts on this forum vs members. Perhaps most people are very well satisfied. I have to say I am. But I'm a bit worried. I know everything requires maintenance and expect to deal with that. Some of the issues I see on here go way beyond mere maintenance issues though.

Has anybody thought about engaging AS in another round of Town Hall exchanges? Mr. Wheeler how about it? Are the complainers on this and other forums a small minority you see as just impossible to satisfy? Are you interested in addressing some of these issues with an honest dialogue where concerns are respected and bring in your team to make things better?

Dan
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:08 PM   #30
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Agree with Bruce B. Without any statements of fact, the volley in the kangaroo court plays itself out again.
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:11 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Bruce B View Post
I might be more sympathetic if I had more specifics. From what I have read here and on the other thread it seems as if:
  1. The trailer had some kind of leak and the owner elected to try repairing it at a non Airstream facility?
  2. Airstream balked at paying a non dealer for repairs so the owner finally elected to take it back to the factory for the repairs that where subsequently made to the trailer?
  3. After this the trailer was somewhere else and somebody said that it needed something else???? The owners then cut their losses and sold?

What else was wrong with the trailer? Who determined that it was wrong? What is the consignment sale you are referring to? Who determined the value of the trailer?

There is a lot that is not clear that I'd like to know before I decide to criticize....

Bruce
My experience with Airstream was similar with my Basecamp... and Airstream does not require repairs to be done at an Airstream dealer... you can get approval and have them fixed at any RV shop.

BUT... they asked me to take mine to a US, west-cost Airstream dealer... a 1500 mile trip for me, because they were 'experts'. Went to pick it up, the repair was dismal, most of the work wasn't even complete, and they sent us away for '2 hours' so they could repair the hitch jack... got back and the jack wasn't repaired, it was in a box and they told me to fix it myself... and it didn't even fit.

Anyway... like the OP, we ended up selling the Basecamp, because even after we did all the fixing ourselves, it just made us bitter and hate it.

Now, I have an International, which has bent outriggers and a floor that split in 1/2... and Airstream has ignored all my calls and emails...

So... all I can say is owning any RV is a pain... and you can only try have as much fun as possible to make up for all the headaches.

Really... Airstreams suck. You wouldn't find ANY car, truck, boat, airplane... that would have such a high number of problems in initial quality... let alone longevity issues...

The only thing that keeps Airstream alive is they look pretty. If it was square, they'd have been dead a long time ago.

I don't like it AT ALL when people start blaming owners for crappy Airstream build quality... we PAY a lot of money with the expectation that we're getting something MORE.

We aren't.
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:19 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Friday View Post
My experience with Airstream was similar with my Basecamp... and Airstream does not require repairs to be done at an Airstream dealer... you can get approval and have them fixed at any RV shop.

BUT... they asked me to take mine to a US, west-cost Airstream dealer... a 1500 mile trip for me, because they were 'experts'. Went to pick it up, the repair was dismal, most of the work wasn't even complete, and they sent us away for '2 hours' so they could repair the hitch jack... got back and the jack wasn't repaired, it was in a box and they told me to fix it myself... and it didn't even fit.

Anyway... like the OP, we ended up selling the Basecamp, because even after we did all the fixing ourselves, it just made us bitter and hate it.

Now, I have an International, which has bent outriggers and a floor that split in 1/2... and Airstream has ignored all my calls and emails...

So... all I can say is owning any RV is a pain... and you can only try have as much fun as possible to make up for all the headaches.

Really... Airstreams suck. You wouldn't find ANY car, truck, boat, airplane... that would have such a high number of problems in initial quality... let alone longevity issues...

The only thing that keeps Airstream alive is they look pretty. If it was square, they'd have been dead a long time ago.

I don't like it AT ALL when people start blaming owners for crappy Airstream build quality... we PAY a lot of money with the expectation that we're getting something MORE.

We aren't.
I'm sorry for you. I'd still say that beyond the original issues that forced you take your Basecamp in for repairs, your issues are with the dealer not Airstream. I would be hopping mad too!

I have spent my life servicing and repairing automobiles and I have learned a thing or two about the service industry. I find that it always helps to let the people you are hiring to know exactly what you are expecting before you hand over any project. That includes a discussion about how the repairs are to be made, who is working on the project and the quality I expect at the end. I even ask if the job includes cleaning or not! Then I have a discussion about the time frame the job is expected to be finished in. What happens if there are problems or delays? When will I be notified? Everything before I even hand over the project. If I don't like the sound or tone of the answers I keep looking for someone else to do the work. Try it, you may be surprised at the extra attention your job receives!

As for the 22' International am I correct in assuming that this is one of the models with the outrigger failures that is talked about in these forums? Did you purchase it new? Did the issues show up while still under warranty? Manufacturers all have specific liabilities under Federal and state law. They tend to honor those liabilities. They also need to draw a line in the sand after the warranty period is over. Some companies are better than others about helping after the warranty expires. I have heard of a lot of "good will" warranty done by Airstream in these forums. Just wondering what happened in your case.

Bruce
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:20 PM   #33
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Opinions vary, jim
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:39 PM   #34
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I too can relate to this experience. We had purchased the 'Cadillac of trailers' and had big plans for it. A 27Safari with one previous owner and a warranty that had just run out.
The issues started in the first week: cabinets coming loose, metal shavings for us to step on, brown goop dripping from the windows, condensation in patches on the ceilings, leaking windows front and back, a door handle that locked itself if slammed just the right way, corrosion on all the usual parts,
a jack that was not retracting anymore and loved to scrape speed bumps, etc etc, and of course- a rotten floor discovered later!
The dealer in Langley washed their hands of us and said we'd bought a used unit so deal with it. Airstream gave us a huge run around when we complained about the rotten floor of a two year old trailer. They were no help whatsoever!
Our plans were cancelled because we just did not have the confidence that this particular trailer would survive the trip.
We ended up fixing all these issues and selling it.
Now we are craving to buy another rv and wonder if an Airstream is worth it?
Will the new 2012 that we have our eye on (at a different dealer) be any better?
Will all the knowledge we have gained from the forums enable us to at least be pro active in maintenance? Burn me once-shame on you Burn me twice shame on me
Do I dare to step near the fire again?
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:52 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by woof View Post
I too can relate to this experience. We had purchased the 'Cadillac of trailers' and had big plans for it. A 27Safari with one previous owner and a warranty that had just run out.
The issues started in the first week: cabinets coming loose, metal shavings for us to step on, brown goop dripping from the windows, condensation in patches on the ceilings, leaking windows front and back, a door handle that locked itself if slammed just the right way, corrosion on all the usual parts,
a jack that was not retracting anymore and loved to scrape speed bumps, etc etc, and of course- a rotten floor discovered later!
The dealer in Langley washed their hands of us and said we'd bought a used unit so deal with it. Airstream gave us a huge run around when we complained about the rotten floor of a two year old trailer. They were no help whatsoever!
Our plans were cancelled because we just did not have the confidence that this particular trailer would survive the trip.
We ended up fixing all these issues and selling it.
Now we are craving to buy another rv and wonder if an Airstream is worth it?
Will the new 2012 that we have our eye on (at a different dealer) be any better?
Will all the knowledge we have gained from the forums enable us to at least be pro active in maintenance? Burn me once-shame on you Burn me twice shame on me
Do I dare to step near the fire again?
I'd say that you are a different consumer now! Choose your dealer carefully, purchase new, notify the dealer of your expectations before you purchase and be ready to find a few things that are wrong. It should not be a deal breaker and you will be on the road with a great trailer. I do my own repairs and the dealer was informed of this before I purchased the trailer. We have a deal, I ask for the parts and they send them to me for installation. this way I can control the quality (time) of the job. I probably sounded credible to them or they may not have agreed to the arrangement.
If you need to rely on the dealer expect to go back a few times. The clean up of construction debris is actually easy to accomplish on your own once you have the trailer at home. Just understand it will need to be done....
Bruce
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:56 PM   #36
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We have had our Airstream for over a year and had no real problems. I guess the odd good one escapes the factory.
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:07 PM   #37
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Woof, as I said we are happy. Just somewhat edgy because of all of the problems we read about. We live in similiar climates. I just don't know why some trailers are so problematic and others are not. They should all be well built.

SOB service may be a nightmare. I have nothing to base this on.... Anybody have any opinions about service with other brands?

I would give it another go. I think Bruce B has some good ideas about expectations and reality. I like to do as much of the work as I can as well. I have the tools and the space.I also think establishing a good working relationship with the service advisor is crucial. I usually do it with a smile and a couple of 6-packs though. Communicate, document and be picky.

Dan
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:23 PM   #38
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Just to add to my sad story... went into the trailer to inspect the repair they did, as it has been pouring rain all day. It's leaking like crazy... back corner is now flooded... lino is lifting...
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:36 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Bruce B View Post
I'm sorry for you. I'd still say that beyond the original issues that forced you take your Basecamp in for repairs, your issues are with the dealer not Airstream. I would be hopping mad too!

I have spent my life servicing and repairing automobiles and I have learned a thing or two about the service industry. I find that it always helps to let the people you are hiring to know exactly what you are expecting before you hand over any project. That includes a discussion about how the repairs are to be made, who is working on the project and the quality I expect at the end. I even ask if the job includes cleaning or not! Then I have a discussion about the time frame the job is expected to be finished in. What happens if there are problems or delays? When will I be notified? Everything before I even hand over the project. If I don't like the sound or tone of the answers I keep looking for someone else to do the work. Try it, you may be surprised at the extra attention your job receives!

As for the 22' International am I correct in assuming that this is one of the models with the outrigger failures that is talked about in these forums? Did you purchase it new? Did the issues show up while still under warranty? Manufacturers all have specific liabilities under Federal and state law. They tend to honor those liabilities. They also need to draw a line in the sand after the warranty period is over. Some companies are better than others about helping after the warranty expires. I have heard of a lot of "good will" warranty done by Airstream in these forums. Just wondering what happened in your case.

Bruce
Well, here's the thing... I did my homework and had the trailer inspected at an Airstream dealer, and paid extra to have the frame examined for any issues. They found none, and the Airstream factory said the issue was solved prior to my model year and there was no update for them.

After having the trailer delivered (2000 miles)... the curb side was obviously sinking. Not much, about 1/2 inch. But, enough that rivets on that side were popping, the seats detached from the wall on the dinette... the trim on the door was bending...

So... what to do??? When I had it in Langley to get the roof fixed (or apparently NOT fixed), I asked them to look at it and check with Airstream if they could put the kit on it. I also asked for a quote on a solar panel, and to check the tank flush vacuum breaker.

They didn't actually DO anything but the labour cost was $260.

The roof repair was > $5000 and was an insurance claim (I don't know the exact amount as my copy doesn't show the $$$)

Believe me, there was a lot of communication with this job, as previously we drove from Telegraph Creek to Oregon (> 3000km) to get the Basecamp issue sorted out, and although this trip is 'only' 800km each way (!!!) I wanted it done right. I have an RV shop 100km from here that really wanted to 'learn how to fix Airstreams' (!!!) and try fix mine... but nope, I have to go to an actual Airstream dealer... where they also are apparently wanting to learn how to fix Airstreams as well.

If there is an Airstream god, please come to my house with a big bag of money and tow it away. I really, really wanted this unit to be something my new family could enjoy (new baby, which was another reason we ditched the Basecamp).

I have no more time to travel for fixing... no more money... and no more patience. This whole thing makes me hate myself for being so freaking stupid to try this again.
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:38 PM   #40
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Sorry to hijack this thread... But I am so mad right now... sad and mad...
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:45 PM   #41
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Mine is 17 years old. Bought it used. Am happy with it. There are construction techniques that I shake my head at, but that is how they build it.
My dad has a white trailer and the construction in that is appalling!!!
But that is how they build it.
In my opinion Airstream is much better built, but it is still just a trailer.
I try to fix things as they come up by doing it better than original. So far that has worked for me.
Good luck with your problems.
Al
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:45 PM   #42
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Sorry to hijack this thread... But I am so mad right now... sad and mad...
No need to be sorry! Id be mad too. If insurance paid to fix the roof then you may have a claim on the further leaking and damage! If a dealer said the frame was ok and it is not then...... I'd be having a little conversation with them now too.
Hang in there, you may be able to see this through yet. Sounds like tonight is just not your night.
Bruce
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