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Old 06-14-2011, 07:16 AM   #15
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Very little to do with "maintaining".

We expect that.

Sorry... should have said "I"
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Old 06-14-2011, 07:24 AM   #16
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Well, 'maintaining' includes 'fixing' things that break. Not just changing the oil.

I suspect some new airstream owners never changed their own oil or spark plugs, and this whole experience is a bit daunting the first time around.

Kinda hard to communicate this to someone who would think a punctured tire is a warranty item.
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Old 06-14-2011, 07:43 AM   #17
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The Airstream Legacy did not come with lots of mistakes. The 1972 31' LY with rear bath that we have owned for years was built by Beatrice Foods. Not a high demand coach, based on some folks assessments. However if these were not purchased and refinished based on the owners needs, the Airstream legacy of over 65000 Airstreams or 85% of Airstreams made are still on the road, would not be fact. So all of us are part of keeping the Airstream Legacy alive. The coach with five WBCCI stars representing 25 years of loyalty to the Airstream Club, by the previous owners is part of this great community, that gets passed along to some degree.

Remember that we all learn by our mistakes over the years, even Airstream.
Enjoy what you have.
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:13 AM   #18
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Someone else on here gave a very good alternative view to the quality issues that Airstream owners perceive; I can't find it but maybe another can. Essentially, Airstream does not produce enough units for the company to get into the same quality bracket as an auto manufacturer. If they went down the Rolls Royce precision craftsmanship route then each unit would cost $250,000 and they'd be out of business in no time. So, we have reasonable quality and a trailer that does, at least, stand the test of time. No other trailer manufacturer can do that.

Anyhoo, in buying an Airstream (new or otherwise) you do have to buy into the fact that they are not perfect and do require some maintaining. But that, my friend, is all part of the experience.

As many others have said, get out there and enjoy your Airstream, it's what it was built for. Mrs Toad and I only get to camp at weekends but during the week we sit out in our baby whilst she's on the driveway, having cups of tea and enjoying the ambiance, planning the next trip and (of course) spotting some of the less than perfect construction. It matters not, though, because she does what she was designed to do and that's all that we care about.

We're two VERY happy Airstreamers!
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:35 AM   #19
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25 years later you will still have a very nice trailer. good decision to buy a new Airstream if you can afford it. Some people complain a lot. I know one person who bashes his new airstream. It is at least his 5th Airstream. He must both like Airstreams and likes to complain. If you have a problem fix it and move ahead.

If you can, go on one of the WBCCI caravans. you will meet and travel with people with vast experience and knowledge of airstreams. And people who do not devote their time to sitting around and complaining about Airstreams and WBCCI on the forums. Many of these people bought their Airstream new when they retired and now it is 20 to 35 years old and they are still traveling in it.

We could not afford a new Airstream. We bought one that was 19 years old. We have put about 50000 miles on it in the last 4 years and have stayed in it abut 4 months a year for the last 3 years. Sure, there have been problems, but all fixable.
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:51 AM   #20
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My bad....Love our Airstream, love to "fix" things, love to "complain"...not so much.

Don't understand why so many confuse "fixing things" with Quality Control.
One has NOTHING to do with the other.
We should not have to spend so much time fixing QC issues.

Doubt it? Spend some time reading the QC threads.
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:54 AM   #21
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Forget the people who complain, nothing is ever perfect (especially in their world).
Best therapy is taking your trailer to some lovely spot and simply enjoy where you are.
I've had some issues with my trailer and was a little disheartened for a spell but when all is said and done I love my escape pod and the friends I've made threw the Airstream community.
Be happy and go camping!
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:41 AM   #22
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I have borrowed SOB for camping and been camping in SOB with my parents and friends. I took a wrong turn on a camping trip and found my first camper, dead end street small for sale sign. Next thing I know I was the very proud owner of a 26 foot 1973 Argosy. Me and my family loved it. Did it have problems? Yes, was it a blast to camp in and get to meet other people because Airstreams are very unique and they wanted to look at it yes! I had it for 8 years and sold it for more then I paid for it. I can not think of any other brand of camper that anyone can say that about. I only sold it to "upgrade" to a 29 foot 1973 Airstream that is very shiny and has three beds and air-conditioning. The extra bed is important since my kids do not like sleeping in the same bed anymore 4&6 year olds. Is this one perfect? Nope. Is my family way excited about camping in our new trailer? YES! I do not know as much as I would like about Airstreams and consider my self very much a newby. Don't listen to people that are whining. Some people are never happy and just need to complain. Enjoy your camper, the memories and adventures of camping a possibly fixing some small problem with your ingenuity is priceless. And sorry if this is long, I always talk/type to much my wife would say.
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:09 AM   #23
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We were excited with our new Airstream in late 2007. After the first night, we had to bring it back to fix things that should have been done right before it was delivered. Then, on the way home, we stopped after 100 miles (of 240) and discovered one side window had blown out. The latches had not been adjusted properly—neither at the factory nor at the dealer. After some wrangling, Airstream paid for the new window. It didn't fit right and eventually had to be re-worked at Airstream to get it to close correctly.

For the first few years, scores of problems came up. They had to do with quality control (poor workmanship), cheap parts, and bad design. The dealer would not fix some things, so I had to contact Airstream to get the warranty honored. The dealer damaged our trailer by backing it into another trailer—they fixed some of it, we had to argue for 6 months over the rest. They paid us just as we were getting ready to sue them. After that we took the trailer to Airstream for warranty work, a 1,400 mile trip. For the most part the Service Center does a far better job than the factory across the street where the new ones are made.

There are items in newer Airstreams that are lowest bidder type things. For example, the shower head broke three times. I finally replaced it with one from Lowe's that cost less than $20 and works a lot better. Poor design: the water pump is installed backwards so you can't clean the filter (unless you are tripled jointed and have very small hands). They could mount it on a rubber pad for pennies to have it run quieter, but don't. An example of poor workmanship is the way they installed the skylights for years by torquing the screws so much the plastic skylight cracked and leaked within a year—any slightly experienced worker should know to use washers under the screw heads to distribute the force and prevent cracking. At present the vinyl flooring separates from the subfloor causing ripples—in hot weather it may return to flat. It is installed improperly because Airstream does not follow the most basic principles of flooring installation. Roof items are sometimes not sealed well and leak soon. The upholstrey is cheaply done and the fabric stains easily. We have some early aluminum corrosion. I could list scores of problems.

Many people have experienced these type things. For those whose Airstreams have no problems, that is great. I wish we were you.

I get it that many RV's are badly made. Some cars are badly made, but for the most part, cars and light trucks are made very well and have become nearly bullet proof in recent years. Airstream's president told me RV's are complex and things will break, but I replied, look under the hood or dashboard of a car or truck and tell me they aren't incredibly complex.

Some RV's are made better than others and some have excellent reputations for QC and design. They are not priced higher than Airstreams and sometimes less. Airstream is sold as a premium product, but is not one. I think it is probably average.

But, others will say, "they last 40 or more years". Well, the ones made 40 or 50 years were possibly made better. The basic design dates even further back and is responsible for trailers lasting so long, but has this type of innovation and quality been maintained? In 40 or 50 years, we will see if today's Airstreams hold up so well—I'll be 110 to 120 years old, so wake me up and tell me.

Bashing? Complaining? We drank the Kool Aid too and were disappointed over the next 2 years with 60 or more warranty issues. On one trip to Jackson Center something broke every day—sometimes 2 things. We discussed selling it, but held on. Things have settled down somewhat by now and we hope that it stays that way. It is overpriced and you are paying for reputation and that icon status.

In the past year or so there have been fewer threads and posts about problems. Maybe Airstream improved QC (or maybe people gave up). When I was last at Airstream 1 1/2 years ago, there was concern and some defensiveness among executives. They were listening more than ever before and there were some positive responses for a while through the Forum.

These are problems that really have happened to us with our trailer. If the Safari cost half of what it did, I'd expect lots of problems. Those that have better built trailers are lucky they got the experienced and qualified workmen. Perhaps they don't work on their trailers themselves and don't see the design issues or how cheap some parts are. I suggest dismissing people as "complainers", "whiners" and the like is unfair and not supported by facts.

It is a design icon and we like the way it looks. I didn't just "complain". I made numerous suggestions to Airstream directly on how to improve their trailers. I was treated well at the Service Center and they fixed some things for free they didn't have to. We are keeping it. Some people have had far worse problems—frame separation, bad appliances, tire failures, more leaks than I could tolerate and so on.

Fly, I hope you are one of the lucky ones. I hope you go to a good dealer (the nearest one to you does not have the best reputation and some people in BC go to the dealer in Eugene, Oregon). Maybe you will tell us about problems in several months and be labelled a "whiner" too.

Gene
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:18 AM   #24
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Hey Fly at Night, let me offer this analogy: ever met friends at the local doughnut shop or neighborhood tavern......and occasionally one (or more) complain about their spouses? Doesn't mean they've retained divorce attorneys......just enjoying a safe place to vent.
So, try to relax and enjoy our virtual "doughnut shop" and its cast of personalities, from the humorless to the blowhards, and all those in between.
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:22 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by fmrcaptevil View Post
Hey Fly at Night, let me offer this analogy: ever met friends at the local doughnut shop or neighborhood tavern......and occasionally one (or more) complain about their spouses? Doesn't mean they've retained divorce attorneys......just enjoying a safe place to vent.
So, try to relax and enjoy our virtual "doughnut shop" and its cast of personalities, from the humorless to the blowhards, and all those in between.
My wife is excellently designed, very well built, has been more than serviceable for many decades and has no leaks.

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Old 06-14-2011, 11:42 AM   #26
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I've commented on this so much I'm a broken record so I'll generally refrain.

But Gene's comment illustrates something:
Quote:
Poor design: the water pump is installed backwards so you can't clean the filter (unless you are tripled jointed and have very small hands). They could mount it on a rubber pad for pennies to have it run quieter, but don't.
On mine I have no idea of how the water pump is mounted. I've glanced at it a couple times to see it isn't leaking. But not a thought to the filter at all. I could be in some state of blissful ignorance. But it's worked for 6 years, and there's a heck of a chance it could work for 5 more. Perception is a lot and if we don't see a problem, then there isn't a problem.

Airstream should be ashamed of themselves for installing the flimsy skylights.

But the bottom line is far removed from all of this. The value or lack of it in an RV is very closely tied to how much its used and enjoyed. Sitting around and deteriorating is a lack of value. Rust never sleeps. Use and enjoyment is value. If you want to cheer up, read Moosetag's posts.
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:55 AM   #27
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have you guys noticed how very few new airstream owners sign on here just to say that everything is fine and they have no problems or questions with their trailers?

I humbly submit that we, as an online group, are much more likely to hear from dissatisfied customers than we are from the satisfied ones.
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:19 PM   #28
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have you guys noticed how very few new airstream owners sign on here just to say that everything is fine and they have no problems or questions with their trailers?

I humbly submit that we, as an online group, are much more likely to hear from dissatisfied customers than we are from the satisfied ones.
That is true. There are a lot of dissatisfied ones, however, and that group seems to be a fair percentage of total owners. A lot of people never become members or are members who rarely post—both groups appear to follow threads. Satisfied and unsatisfied people from those 2 groups let others speak for them. We will never have absolute numbers of how many people have problems. If you do have problems, it is human to tell people and let them know they are not alone. Hopefully reports of problems come with ideas how to solve them. Once I wrote to the president of Thor, things got better. It is my understanding Thor Industries is not know for making the best RV's and some of their brands are not well regarded (Keystone is one I believe).

tpi, if you use an exterior water filter, there is less likely to be any crud in your pump filter. I have found a little grit in mine (not much of a filter actually), and a lot more in the faucet strainers, even with an exterior filter. It is true that enjoyment is related to use—we have put something over 35,000 miles on ours in 3 1/2 years and gotten a lot of enjoyment mixed with the frustrations. We may never catch up to Brian and SuEllyn in miles, but we will keep trying.

Gene
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