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Old 01-02-2010, 09:28 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by flmgrip View Post
...I think my interaction is fine with the dealer...
really?

so you've got follow up for us on this thread?

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f348...due-58518.html

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Originally Posted by flmgrip View Post
...However if I wanted to have fixer-upper I would have choosen to buy a classic... I know things can and will happen, but I should have to spend my time and personal effort on such new trailer...
they are all fixer uppers.

but some have warranties and MOST need a lot done in first year or so of use.
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there just may be MORE in play in this case, that as 3rd parties we are not privy too...

cheers
2air'
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Old 01-02-2010, 09:48 PM   #16
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As to the vent pipe I found the solution suggested worked on mine as well, another brand, and a problem of many years standing. Some things are endemic to RV's.

My parents kept theirs 27-years. There is always something to which to attend after time, use and miles have taken their toll. But not so much that one is trading trailer for trailer every 6-7 years.

Best to begin anew with another service department.
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Old 01-02-2010, 11:22 PM   #17
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2air, there is reasons for having different threads for different topics. The one you are trying to dig up has nothing to do with this topic. And there is no update to the other topic u mentioned.

The service department has nothing to do with the sales department. The only thing they have in common us that they are on the same lot. So please stop trying to veer this thread in a different direction.

However I do appreciate your great advise on the problems I noted. Further more i will make the switch to a service center with a good reputation.

Last it is said for me to hear that all AS are fixer uppers (I guess maybe all campers are?) I guess it's a shame how little money these days buys you and how little pride one takes in trying to make an reliable product.

I like the look - inside and out, I like the way it tows and I'll accept the fact that I will have to fix things myself. But I refuse to give in and fix something myself that should have been in working order from day one.

I have bought many things over the years but have never had that many problems from the get-go. Maybe I was just lucky... But my car, my home, my computer, my bike ... None of them did I have to return for fixing before I really got to use it.

There is an serious QC issue with AS (and maybe with others too)

I know and hope things will get better... And no, I'm not selling
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:20 AM   #18
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All Airstreams are fixer uppers?

I don't subscribe to that. I acknowledge that a house on wheels bumping and vibrating down the highway (Or in my case dirt roads.)will need more maintenance than a stationary one would.

In the first three years of this trailer there have been two warranty issues and three upgrades. The power jack died and was replaced and the formica veneer started peeling from the front of the counter. The factory fix was to install a metal strip. Looks very good by the way.

The upgrades were my choice to make my trailer do more of what I wanted it to do.

Yes there is the occasional tighten/refasten type repair. Are they perfect? No but they are fun and comfortable.
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:20 AM   #19
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We bought ours used, 2004 Safari. We never really checked out anything. Dumb on our part, but we have had no problems at all. I am sure that we will have issues the longer we have the A/S, but we are very pleased with our choice. Our local dealer - Sutton in Eugene Or- has been very helpful with any questions we have called to ask about. Hope you will get all your issues resolved.
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Old 01-03-2010, 08:33 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Goin camping View Post
All Airstreams are fixer uppers?
I have owned Airstreams almost continuously since 1987. I'm on my ninth Airstream (a 1994 B-Van) since then. I have refurbished and/or restored several trailers/mohos to varying degrees. Three of them needed very little, and two of them weren't 'fixer uppers' at all when I bought them. I lived in one full-time for nearly a year.

So, I think I'm as qualified as anyone to answer that question, and I'm afraid I'd have to answer with a qualified 'yes'; all Airstreams ARE fixer-uppers. I'd have to say that 'most' Airstreams are or become fixer uppers in a very short time, if not right off the showroom floor. In fact, the problems are frequent enough in new coaches that I couldn't recommend an Airstream to a friend without telling him to expect to have service issues from the get-go. If you understand that, and are still willing to buy one, great. If you're expecting a nearly trouble-free experience with your new $60k+ coach, I'd have tell them that it's possible, but the odds are against them.

After twenty years of nearly continuous Airstream ownership I can tell you (painting with a very broad brush here) that the trailers built after about 1974 had many more issues than those built before. I'll go even further to say that those built after 1989 generally have had problems built into them.

The later '70s rear bath trailers suffered from frame separation from poor engineering. That was solved by '77 or '78. The tambour doors were trendy, but difficult. The 80s trailers were, for the most part solid, but there aren't many '80s vintage trailers out there. The '90s trailers suffered from clear coat peel and headliners that fall. The trailers built in the last ten years have QC problems with fit and finish, filiform corrosion, plumbing leaks... the list is lengthy.

No obviously, not every trailer from each era exhibits those problems, but they're common enough and problematic enough that, after my '94 Limited tri-axle for three years, I went shopping for a better value for my money.

And don't get me wrong... I still love Airstreams... but not enough to plop $60k on one and have the problems that many of the folks here have had to deal with. After nearly 70 years of manufacturing, one would think that a $60k trailer would be problem-free coming off the line... alas that's not the case.

And that is possible. I've posted in other threads that the '06 25' $32k SOB I bought had a punch-list of a whopping seven items when I picked it up, and most of those had been caused by folks walking through it on the showroom rather than being manufacturing issues. My SOB, despite being used fairly heavily, hasn't had to go back to the dealership for anything since we bought it.

So... I paid half the dollars for actually more features that I find important (four-season-use insulation, dual-thermopane windows, and an 11k BTU a/c unit that we can only run on 'low' because it'll freeze us out in the summer in Iowa) and have had no issues at all. It has no seams to leak and will not corrode. The downside is that it doesn't have the "Airstream Chic" appearance that I so enjoy, but I'm ok with it because my trips are where I want to go, not from service center to service center; and my time isn't spent working on repairing the trailer.

Roger
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:35 AM   #21
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I crossed paths and recommended a solution with hard-to-close door latches yesterday at http://www.airforums.com/forums/f453...ock-59841.html. No, it's not a freezing problem for you -- for the last handful of years, this usually is an under-lubed mechanism from the supplier.

Furnace, part I: You don't have your model/year listed in your profile. For example, if this was a 2008 you bought off the lot just recently, those batteries would have sat there gradually discharging for quite some time. It's just not possible to know. I custom ordered my '06, so the batteries had not sat around at all -- I'll be replacing them before this coming season finally -- they've worked well! Batteries discharged below 50% can be damaged in terms of holding capacity and longevity. Reference (among many): http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...tml#post643843

Furnace, part II: And/or .... if I'm dry camping (no plug-in) and keep the thermostat at 70, that furnace will be on so darned much during the night that indeed the batteries will discharge most of the way. And again, you don't even want to discharge them much below 45% or they will be damaged. I usually set the thermostat down around 60 or the upper 50s and bring warm bedding if I'm dry camping. My standard is to sleep without earplugs and then have the thermostat set low enough that the furnace isn't keeping me from dropping asleep with the constant on & offs. First one out of bed in the morning raises it back to 62-64 degrees. Microfleece tops & Smartwool socks work wonders.

Please keep us filled in on your saga.
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:40 AM   #22
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this is mt 2nd airstream,1st was a 2005 safari.travel 4-5000 miles per year and the best i can tell everything is still straight and intact.other sobs that i had never held up to the road like the airstream.i bought airstream for this reason and because of their simplicity.had one recall on this current trailer and a faulty water pump in close to four years of ownership.until you get some mileage on your unit you will not appreciate the engineering that goes into an airstream.bought new ,since i intend to keep it until i pass it on to the next family member.airstreams are not inexpensive,but it beats the heck out of something that is cheap and the design is not well thought out.this classic tows so effortlessly with the hensley that my travels are totally stress free.as others have pointed out with a few adjustments you can get on the road and really understand the airstream superiority.
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Old 01-03-2010, 11:16 AM   #23
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New H/R Savoy LX 2008: 1st trip, Carrier air would trip, 80 mile trip to dealer; reset problem,returned to camp> Air operated for 1 hour. Returned to dealer. Ordered new(2 months at dealer) unit. 2nd trip; Fla. water control panel started leaking (at night) flooded sub-floor &carpet.(3 day,s dry-out) Water heater fitting developed leak( behind screw on paneling) 2 days dry out. At times; SO would not properly close with-out manual assist. I purchased that model because my 1984 H/R was almost problem free for 15 years.However, that unit was built like a tank. But creature comforts was nil; compared to all brands being built today. I think buyers remorse, is somewhat at play on some of these complains. Comparing older 7 ft W to today,s wide 8.7 plus other add on.s is somewhat unrealistic. Call Randy McNeeley AS C Sevice,973 596 6111 ext 7411 he has alway,s assisted me with a pleasant attitude. Cheer,s and have a great new year to all. Mel
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Old 01-03-2010, 11:47 AM   #24
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Not a lot of clarity is there? Some people get Airstreams with lots of QC problems and some don't. Some brands are better than others. Some Airstreams have corrosion problems and some don't. Some this and some that…

All is anecdotal evidence and only goes so far. Some "evidence" is not evidence at all, but myths. A website that has ratings for RV's offers a little guidance, but like a lot of websites with ratings, doesn't have enough of a sample.

What makes Airstreams with problems all the more irritating is the premium price for a supposedly premium product. I don't mind paying a premium for a product that delivers because in the long run that means less life interruption and is cheaper than buying average or below average products (those that follow my posts know that I am very happy with Toyotas and Michelins because they deliver). A weak dealer network and some stonewalling by the company increase the irritation.

The Forum both promotes crap and knowledge and it can be difficult to figure out which is which. When we were looking I learned a lot about corrosion (enabled me to check out the trailer for it before buying), other problems and how to buy and what to select. I didn't take the QC complaints seriously enough.

Would I have bought something else if I had more seriously taken the QC issue? I don't know. That they look cool is a big factor in buying one and not easy to measure. Looking cool is quite subjective, but also apparently performs a function—ease in towing. Ease in towing is very important for us because we drive a lot of miles each year.

When you have one, what to do when things start going badly? Once we owned one and found many QC and design issues and that we had a dealer that did more damaging than fixing, then something had to be done. Contacting the company and then eventually getting things fixed at the JC service center was first. I can fix a lot of things myself and have made modifications to make it a better designed trailer. Complaining on the Forum eases the pain, but hopefully it's balanced and creative complaining. Learning on the Forum helps avoid future problems and helps us know how to fix things. And being honest with people who are interested in buying one, especially a new one, indirectly puts pressure on the company which many help the greater community.

Gene
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:41 PM   #25
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New Airstream coaches.

First, we are a parts and service center, only.

We have never sold any Airstream trailers or motorhomes.

It has always been a mystery to me, going on over 43 years with the Airstream group, why buyers continue to support selling dealers, that lets say, are less than desireable.

As the story goes, "well" they had the best price. Not always, but usually, a dealer that sells rock bottom, is going to offer next to nothing, in terms of owner satisfaction. Get the thing delivered and "OUT THE DOOR."

Then, in short order, the owner finds all kinds of things wrong. Then they go back to the same dealer, and expect top notch repairs and/or service.

SURPRISE. All to many times, the coach is in worse condition, "AFTER" the repairs, than before.

That becomes an interesting dilemma. What biased the owners original decision, to purchase from that dealer?

Was it price??

Was it quality??

Was it location??

Or, what was it, really???

Not always, but as the old saying goes, "you get what you pay for."

There are many top quality Airstream dealers, that bend over many times, to not only satisfy the new owner with a top quality coach, but to make sure that they are properly rigged as well.

They continue, even after the fact, to satisfy their customer base, during warranty as well as after the warranty has expired. If there is a warranty issue, they go to bat, for their customers.

The issue then becomes, why did someone buy a coach, from a dealer, who does not have a good reputation, that cuts prices, but......could care less about taking care of that same customer who has some warranty issues???

Is that another case of "you got what you paid for?"

Does that customer really expect top notch and/or first class service from that dealer?

They sure do, BUT "SURPRISE". It's not going to happen. That owner can complain up a storm to Airstream, who will listen, but cannot force a dealer to do anything. Then after all else fails, Airstream may suggest that you take the coach to another dealer, that you probably should have gone to in the first place.

Bottom line, is very basic, but we all too often get side tracked because we can save a few bucks. I do not know a formula, that would be valid, that sets a dollar comparison or value, to the misery encountered.

Purchasing a new or many times a used coach, from a top notch dealer, has many rewards. It's highly likely, that the coach was serviced and checked out, properly and thoroughly, according to good business standards. That's what Airstream pays them to do, with new coaches. That in turn, will result in the owner not having to go back and back, for service, but far more important, experiencing enjoyment as Airstreaming offers, and is all about, at least most of the time.

The choice is always up to the buyer, who should memorized the phrase, "BUYER BEWARE."

Supporting those dealers that are great, might mean more traveling to see them, but, rest assured, they put their customers in the right kind of "good hands."

Unsupporting, or avoiding a dealer, that just doesn't get it, and cares less to boot, pays dividends over the long haul, to you, not to them.

Back in the good ole days, Airstream would cancel a dealer, "who didn't perform." Today, it's a different story.

You, the buyer, are in total control.

Don't let yourself down.

Enjoy the music.

And again, we "are not" a selling dealer.

Happy New Year.

Andy
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Old 01-03-2010, 01:17 PM   #26
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If there were a lot of Airstream dealers, going to another one would be more of a choice, and if Airstream kept a close eye on them, there would be very few bad ones. There weren't that many dealers before the Great Recession, there are even fewer now. There's none in Ohio last time I checked.

We have 2 dealers in Colorado, the closest being 240 miles. At the first one (even further) the salesman insulted our intelligence and then went to answer the phone and didn't come back for 15-20 minutes. We bought at the 2nd one. The salesman was more attentive, though not terribly well informed, the service dep't, executives and the warranty person were terrible. For us the next closest dealers are 6 hours away (SLC) and 10 or more (Albuquerque). Not much of a choice there. I know the smallness of the company makes it difficult to get and retain dealers, though it would seem the power of Thor could right that. Same with dealer quality. For Thor not to work on these issues means a lot of lost sales and a lot of owner frustration.

It takes a lot of reading on the Forum to know where to go. Part of the process is just looking at different models carefully and slowly. That takes time to do and time to think about it. It's difficult to purchase a new Airstream with knowledge and wisdom and difficult to obtain good warranty coverage. It takes a lot of determination to buy one wisely. The buyer has some control, but I'm not sure it's "total".

Gene
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Old 01-03-2010, 01:41 PM   #27
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first off: i truly appreciate the great support/info/anwsers on this forum !

canoestream: i'll update my profile, its an 09 25' international, on my last trip the furnace was set to 58... yes the saga will continue

woppa 4: no buyers remorse at all, i love my trailer when it works. and am i wrong to expect that from a new trailer? some say yes - some say no.

crawfordgene: yes no tracking here of good or bad. people are always quick to complain, but slow to praise... i did a little research on AS before buying, was hoping my new one would be ok and have no QC issues. but once i sat foot in my airstream i knew i don't want an SOB trailer... it's a painful marriage but i will get thru this !

inland RV: you have great points there...

why did i choose "my" dealer? the next closet one was hundreds of miles away (to my best knowledge at least), so i guess he was choosen by default... the price was probably in line with others... so location was the factor i guess...

will i support him? no, and i regret i didn't go to a dealer who stands behind AS and supports customers... lesson learned. but so will my AS dealer (and its attached service department)

"Then, in short order, the owner finds all kinds of things wrong. Then they go back to the same dealer, and expect top notch repairs and/or service.

SURPRISE. All to many times, the coach is in worse condition, "AFTER" the repairs, than before."

yes you hit the nail on the head! at my final walk thru i noticed one of the stab jacks not retracting all the way. the anything but polite "service tech" did try to "fix" it right there and then by laying under the trailer and starting to hit the jack with his feet as hard as he could... i was in total awe and speechless, this guy just started kicking my brandnew AS !! ... few weeks later they installed my solar, i was presented with the "finished" install... the interior had saw dust all over the place!!!

why did i go back for more?? i don't know... didn't know any better, didn't know where else to go...

but that will change and you will hear from me shortly...
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Old 01-03-2010, 02:01 PM   #28
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If there were a lot of Airstream dealers, going to another one would be more of a choice, and if Airstream kept a close eye on them, there would be very few bad ones. There weren't that many dealers before the Great Recession, there are even fewer now. There's none in Ohio last time I checked.

We have 2 dealers in Colorado, the closest being 240 miles. At the first one (even further) the salesman insulted our intelligence and then went to answer the phone and didn't come back for 15-20 minutes. We bought at the 2nd one. The salesman was more attentive, though not terribly well informed, the service dep't, executives and the warranty person were terrible. For us the next closest dealers are 6 hours away (SLC) and 10 or more (Albuquerque). Not much of a choice there. I know the smallness of the company makes it difficult to get and retain dealers, though it would seem the power of Thor could right that. Same with dealer quality. For Thor not to work on these issues means a lot of lost sales and a lot of owner frustration.

It takes a lot of reading on the Forum to know where to go. Part of the process is just looking at different models carefully and slowly. That takes time to do and time to think about it. It's difficult to purchase a new Airstream with knowledge and wisdom and difficult to obtain good warranty coverage. It takes a lot of determination to buy one wisely. The buyer has some control, but I'm not sure it's "total".

Gene
Gene.

I person who wants to buy or trade an Airstream, could always pose the question on this Forums, as to who is good, and who doesn't make the grade. But then that opens the doors sometimes for harsh underserving criticism, for a dealer that really tries. NO ONE, can satisfy everyone, all the time.

The investment a person makes today, purchasing an Airstream, is several times over that of buying a home, years ago.

I can only suggest that a buyer "to be" does their homework, and lots of it.

Homework, is free.

Keeping a watchful eye on selling dealers, I think, might be a thing of the past.

Back in the good ole days, when there were tons of dealers, watching and chosing them was easy. Today, it's somewhat difficult to find dealers, that are still in business, and have a decent floor plan at a bank or lending institution, in order to lay in an inventory of coaches.

It does appear though, that the RV business has reasonably survived, and that sales have already increased.

Wish the same thing could have happened to the automotive business.

Locally, 2 of my friends who respectively owned a Buick and Chevy dealership, are now on vacation, unfortunately, permanently. And, it appears the bottom hasn't shown it's face yet.

Fleetwood, I forecasted, several years ago, was going to fail. I was laughed at by many. What did they do to deserve that ending?? They set up factory owned selling lots, around the country, with little to no supervision. HELLO!!! What do you think would eventually happen???

When Fleetwood finally woke up, it was way way too late to stop the sinking, of what once, a huge giant.

Wade Thompson, had the smarts to make it work, even during the recent tough times. Hats off to those that know how to "properly" manage.

Wade Thompson, you were a genius. God rest your soul.

Andy
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