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Old 06-07-2012, 09:35 AM   #57
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That just sucks!
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:41 AM   #58
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Yeah, it's kinda sad when my 17 year old Airstream has far fewer problems than you've had. Our issues have mostly been things like bulbs burning out or POs stripping the threads on the water pump, stuff like that. I understand why you wanted rid of it.
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:56 AM   #59
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I'm sure we'll never know every detail of this story (or Friday's either), but the problem is that some Airstreams leave the factory in bad condition and these things are not caught at dealers. The dealers range from good to awful. Some things may be impossible for even the best dealers to discover before sale.

Airstream is responsible for their dealers—they picked 'em. We don't know exactly what happened between Triangle and Airstream and Mojave, but it was the trailer that leaked almost from the beginning. Airstream adopted Triangle for this job, but maybe it didn't—liability is unclear and nonetheless, Triangle appears to have had it in their care and was responsible for damage that occurred on their lot.

When we bought ours I had been following the Forum for 2 months and saw there were some QC issues, but most seemed to be corrosion. I checked the trailer we bought for corrosion (none) and for as much as I could learn over those two months. I looked carefully at the tires being aware Marathons were causing problems. I imagine many new buyers don't discover the Forum before purchase, or have the time to go through everything. Some, when following threads about QC, decide not to buy new and there have been many over the years (then add it those who read but never post) so I expect Airstream has lost millions in sales.

But they keep on trucking, only sometimes phased by the QC complaints here. I guess they make enough profit that no one at Thor really cares. Extracting as much cash as possible from a business, paying the top execs enormous amounts, passing a bit onto ordinary shareholders, bribing* politicians, hoarding cash for the next depression—that is the American business model today.

Few people have the knowledge and time to check out everything on a trailer when they purchase it. Would you like to go through the computers, engine, transmission and everything else on a new truck or car? How many people could? But we buy them and find for the most part the very complex systems work pretty well, and we don't find construction debris under the seats, in the truck, under the carpets and in the glove box or consoles.

Airstream's excuse is that RVs are more complex than cars and trucks—so? What they are really saying is that RV's are too complex for us. And maybe they have a point. Airstream is a small division of a large company and does not have the clout or money to research everything. But Thor does. And, the repeated complaints about the same, and often simple, things year after year that are not fixed or improved, indicate a rigidity that often kills a company as times change.

After we bought ours, the complaints on the Forum increased. Ours had approximately 60 items that needed fixing during the warranty period. Other people had little or nothing. There appears to be a great difference between worker quality on the factory floor. While the company will tell you they have a good QC system, they obviously don't. Bad workers seem to co-exist amongst good ones and no one notices.

Airstream made an attempt to communicate through the Forum several years ago, but couldn't take the heat. So long as the Thor and their division, Airstream, are run by the same people, things are unlikely to change. Individuals get varied treatment and if you figure out how to work the system, you can do better. But why should people have to play these games?

I said this on the other thread, and others have too, but I'll repeat it—why blame the victims? Why are those who get lemons supposed to go far out of their way to get things fixed? That's asking more from the victim than from the company.

I hope things change at Airstream. If for no other reason, if the company fails, our trailer will loose more value and will be harder to get fixed as Airstream mechanics disappear. Lew's getting old—in 11 years** when he is my age, he may not be able to fix trailers anymore, so who do we call on then? It is an icon and it Wally's creation deserves to live on, but it should be in better hands.

Gene

*"Bribe" is a word that corporations don't like, but seems to fit "campaign contributions", money for lobbyists, and money to SuperPacs and such—because the result is the same as bribes.

**Actually 10 years, 361 days. By then I may not even know I have a trailer.
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:05 AM   #60
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I can't help but wonder if this entire fiasco could not have been prevented with a simple trip to a competent dealer for proper repairs in the first place.
1. It would have cost far less!
2. It would have been much faster.
3. You would have had a nice trailer in the end.

No one wants to be on the receiving end of a defective product but hey, life happens! Ask anyone who has had their Toyota in for recall in the past few years....Or Ford or Chevy, Mercedes.....

Lemonade from lemons might have been a trip with some camping along the way on the return home from the dealer or factory. I have no idea what it would have cost to get the trailer delivered there but I am sure it would have been less than the $20,000 spent!

This is all hindsight of course....

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Old 06-07-2012, 10:19 AM   #61
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IF, IF, IF can go on forever. These people didn't deserve this much pain. AS buyers are not born experts. 7 months of TALK with AS is ridiculous. IF all these IFs are true than only engineers and the like should buy ASs, not regular people.

And quit blaming the dealers for everything. AS should take some responsibility for monitoring the "approved" dealer/repair system. IF they don't perform well DEauthorize them. That whole thing about an "agreement" with a dealer to provide the parts under warranty, but letting the owner do his own repairs reeks of illegality. I not blaming the owner, but how is the dealer explaining this to AS in order to get warranty compensation for the cost of parts? Are they secretly claiming to do the work, and getting paid for work they didn't do? If so, no wonder they are happy to oblige. I don't want rock the boat for the owner who likes this operation, but I wouldn't advertise it here. AS does apparently monitor these threads some times (maybe not enough, however).
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:22 AM   #62
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like I said; For the money it should be fixed "NO QUESTIONED ASKED" and fixed fast.

AS better step up or they will go away. Like many other companies where profit is the bottom line when Customer Service should be the bottom line.
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:30 AM   #63
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This has been an interesting thread. I applaud Mohave for having the courage to pull out, even at a loss; it's something that even governments and big corporations fail to do sometimes and waste a lot of money in the process.

One lesson I've learned here is that you need to establish good relations with whoever is looking after your Airstream. I'm in the fortunate position of being within an hour of my (excellent) dealer and not much more than a couple of hours from Jackson Center. QC issues on my new International have been minimal so far and those that have required work were fixed promptly and effectively by the dealer. I don't think I would take the Airstream to Jackson Center because I trust the dealer to do any work, which I'm sure would be done as well or better than at the Mothership. But that is my good fortune rather than any special efforts made by Airstream or Thor.

I hope that Airstream do have people that read these threads, even if they don't respond directly; they could learn, and remedy, a lot.
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:41 AM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich of SCal
IF, IF, IF can go on forever. These people didn't deserve this much pain. AS buyers are not born experts. 7 months of TALK with AS is ridiculous. IF all these IFs are true than only engineers and the like should buy ASs, not regular people.

And quit blaming the dealers for everything. AS should take some responsibility for monitoring the "approved" dealer/repair system. IF they don't perform well DEauthorize them. That whole thing about an "agreement" with a dealer to provide the parts under warranty, but letting the owner do his own repairs reeks of illegality. I not blaming the owner, but how is the dealer explaining this to AS in order to get warranty compensation for the cost of parts? Are they secretly claiming to do the work, and getting paid for work they didn't do? If so, no wonder they are happy to oblige. I don't want rock the boat for the owner who likes this operation, but I wouldn't advertise it here. AS does apparently monitor these threads some times (maybe not enough, however).
You assume Airstream is the reason the talks took so long?

I agree this is a stupid amount of time. I'd have given them 7 days. Then the trailer would have been going for a ride.

The OP made a bad decision in repair facilities. This is the issue.

I dont believe Airstream should be there to save us from ourselves. I do know they would have made it right given the chance. The time involved had everything to do with the repair facility.

I have received everything I've asked for immediately,

Im still sorry for the owner but they were part of the problem too.

Bruce
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:45 AM   #65
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Jeeze.....this thread is like a pregnant woman - a minefield of emotion!

I like what dkkotum and UKtoad wrote, though.

Aside from that, I don't know if I'm coming or going....nor does the FaN. Right now it's parked in the driveway! I've owned it for 14 months, and it has less than 500 miles on it. Maybe that's the key to hassle-free ownership - kidding!

BTW, the FaN goes to the same dealership hospital as Friday's. We also have had a very wet, cold Spring, and I'm dry. So, whatever they did for the leak worked.

That dealership has treated me well - might be out of pity - I dunno.
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Old 06-07-2012, 11:05 AM   #66
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That dealership has treated me well - might be out of pity - I dunno.
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Old 06-07-2012, 11:06 AM   #67
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Quote:
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You assume Airstream is the reason the talks took so long?Bruce
Really???
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Old 06-07-2012, 11:20 AM   #68
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Water penetration is a problem on any structure. One with numerous simple overlap seams might be a challenge.

There is nothing like fixing the problem yourself, and then finding out it did not work as planned. You cuss a bit and then analyze what the problem might be and try again. This is the same process that takes place at any dealership. Sometimes they get it right, sometimes not so right. Finding a water source for leaks is not something that can be done with a computer.
Every time the wind blows, or the unit is parked on a different angle, will change the possible point of entry of water.
Constant vigilance is a necessity.

Deficiencies in OEM build quality will eventually determine the survival of the company itself.

It seems obvious that some RV units are built for a southern climate, and some for more sever conditions.

Dave




Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich of SCal View Post
IF all these IFs are true than only engineers and the like should buy ASs, not regular people.

And quit blaming the dealers for everything. AS should take some responsibility for monitoring the "approved" dealer/repair system. IF they don't perform well DEauthorize them. That whole thing about an "agreement" with a dealer to provide the parts under warranty, but letting the owner do his own repairs reeks of illegality. I not blaming the owner, but how is the dealer explaining this to AS in order to get warranty compensation for the cost of parts? Are they secretly claiming to do the work, and getting paid for work they didn't do? If so, no wonder they are happy to oblige. I don't want rock the boat for the owner who likes this operation, but I wouldn't advertise it here. AS does apparently monitor these threads some times (maybe not enough, however).
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Old 06-07-2012, 11:33 AM   #69
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A question to a question?

Why would Airstream have slowed this process?
Unreasonable requests from the repair facility?
Or maybe requests for repairs that fell outside the normal? Who says this has to be an open checkbook from Airstream? I see this all the time, "mechanic x says the only way ti repair this is....." and mechanic x has never worked on one before.

What I object to is the idea that Airstream somehow abandoned this couple. They have every reason to want the trailer repaired and the customer happy. Every reason! They also have to be careful of presidents they establish. If we all want free transport to and from the dealer anytime there is a problem we are going to pay more for the trailer.

You can argue that the owner should never have had the leak in the first place, that is valid! To say that once things went wrong a new trailer should have been offered or something along these lines, well you lose me there.

The owners should have yanked the unit from the repair facility at the first sign of difficulty. Inconvenient, yes. 20,000 worth no!

A sad example of multiple failures by multiple parties.

Bruce
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Old 06-07-2012, 11:35 AM   #70
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Report from Jackson Center.

I suppose this thread is as good as any to put my take on the Mother Ship during our annual visit to Jackson Center during Alumapalooza. I think I did this last year, but I can't remember whose thread I invaded.This is my take of the "Airstream Product Feedback" seminar. Again, this is simply my opinion, based on my experiences. My perception, and hearing, may vary. It is what it is...

This seminar was headed by Justin Humphreys, VP of Sales, and other executive types whose names escape me. Dave Schumann, General Manager Customer Relations Group, was there too. They made it clear in the brochure, and at the beginning of the seminar, that the emphasis would be on current models and how to improve them, but I attended anyway and took some notes. Some of the highlights (or what I can remember) were:

Tires: Much of the discussion was about tires. Many suggestions were made about, what many considered to be, one the most important components of any trailer. Marathons were predictably criticized, and it was suggested that Airstream should use the best tire available, and that many in the audience would pay extra for them. I concur, along with many others present. A member of the Airstream panel said they did "extensive tests" on tires by driving at "elevated speed" in order to get the temperature of the tires up, and had no failures. It was suggested that the speed wasn't elevated enough. I concur with that, too. Someone opined that they had spent too much time on tires, so they changed the subject.

Suggestions: To me, this is always the most interesting part of the seminar. Some of the suggestions for improvement were:

-Better skylights. Many said theirs were prone to leaking and fogging up.
-USB outlets. Because of the prevalence of electrical devices that charge up from a USB port, it was suggested that these be incorporated into the AC fixtures in a couple places in a trailer. I think it would be nice, too. Airstream seemed to be very interested.
-Magnets to secure the venetian blinds, instead of those unwieldy brackets.
-Slide-out parts. One participant said problems were frequent, and parts availability was dismal. I have no reason to believe otherwise.
-Water Pumps. Need a light to indicate when it is on. Good idea.
-Disc Brakes. It was suggested that they be put on all trailers.
-Miscellaneous: Stoves should be leveled better. No tires made in China. Construction debris (this always comes up!) Airstream assured the audience that progress is being made.

Interesting Facts:
-Airstream executives were required to spend a week in one of their trailers. They said it seemed to be a "catalyst" for change. It was suggested that their factory staff do the same, and tow it to a campground.
-
Airstream said they made approximately 240 design changes in the current models, and that most were based on suggestions from past seminars.
-Airstream mentioned the phrase "on the forums" more than once, so they are listening, but I'm not sure what they're hearing.

Sorry about the brevity. It was early, and there were many opportunities to socialize on the night before.
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