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Old 01-28-2003, 01:06 PM   #29
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I have no idea on Canadian pricing. The local Minnesota and Iowa dealers must consider themselves regional monopolies too - as I bought the unit in Florida for $4000 less than the best "local" price.

My unit does not have the tilt-up table by the couch - I have no idea why. It does have a small fold-down TV shelf in the rear bedroom.

I'm considering buying a Panasonic combination 11" flat screen TV & DVD player as it's light and compact - if it will run on 12 volts. It uses a "brick" type transformer to convert 110 VAC to 15 VDC - I have an email in to Panasonic to see if it will work on a direct 12 VDC feed.

The quality issues I have found with my unit (so far) are:

- The screws that hold cabinate door hinges on are too thin and short and pull out. Easily fixed with slightly larger ones.
- The handle for the under-couch access cover fell of in my hand the first time I used it. Fixed with longer screws.
- The screws that hold the upper kitchen cabinates are poorly installed - they are basically long drywall screws that go through the cabinate into the aluminum inner shell (I hope they attach to some structure, but don't know). The poor fit of the cabinates against the ceiling make them show. I have not figured out how to address this yet.
- The water inlet for the brack water flush is not labelled.
- The aluminum wheels have "worm tracks" of corrosion appearing under the clear coat.


Design issues:

- The rear corner bed is difficult to make.
- The switch for the water heater is near the bathroom sink, while the water pump and indicator lights are near the kitchen sink. Would be nice to have all these controls in one spot.
- Battery tray configurations differ from unit-to-unit, I believe even within the same model and year. Some have a substantial steel box behind the LP tanks, mine has a steel shelf with a plastic boat battery box attached - kind of cheap.
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Old 01-28-2003, 02:03 PM   #30
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dmac, if you have the same pantry as I do-Beware!
Mine is approximately five feet tall and is located on the curb side between the sink and the closet. If you have this same pantry see my post titled 'Pantry-Door coming open'.
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Old 01-28-2003, 02:22 PM   #31
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Unhappy Airstream's quality

In recent months I've been amazed at the quality related problems that I've been reading within this forum.

There's a thread listing many post about the quality problems with the 2003 International and now the Safari owners are sharing minor, but still quality problems.

I wonder what is happening up in Jackson Center. Have the older craftsman retired? Or is A/S just taking short cuts to save a couple of dollars?

I'm sure people felt they were spending more money for a superior product because the name "Airstream" is on it.

To many of us, owning an Airstream is a dream come true. We own the "best" built quality trailer travel, but the more I read, the more it seems like Airstream isn't living up to their past standards.

My 2 cents-John
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Old 01-28-2003, 03:48 PM   #32
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gwsullivan - I have the same pantry as you and will check to make sure the latch is secure or supplement with a second latch. Thanks!

John - The quality problems are disappointing... Airstream could have prevented them with minimal effort and cost. But at least they are minor. It's too much hassle to get the trailer to a dealer (300 miles from my trailer, which is stored at my second home in northern WI) so I will fix them myself.
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Old 01-29-2003, 07:26 AM   #33
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Safari Quality

Back in Feb of 99 I bought my first Airstream......a 25C Safari. Over the course of a month and half had numerous problems with it, leaking around the rear window, spring popping up through the couch, cabinet door opening, and leak from under the toilet.

When the dealer replaced the rear window they replaced with one for a twin bed model, they said Airstream sent them the wrong one. This meant that the emergency release for the window was back behind the shower so they made me a long rod to release the latch. Can you imagine?

Since I was already late for a rally, I took the Airstream. Dealer said they would replace the window with the right one later. While at the rally, the leak developed under the toilet. This was the last straw for me.

I called the dealer, said I was coming in and wanted to talk to the head bottle washer. I told them I had a lemon, wanted satisfaction and next stop was Airstream and then an lawyer. Well, they wound up giving me all of my money back and extended me the same per-centage discound that I had received on the Sarfari on a new 30 ft Excella. Things went a lot better with the Excella. Other than door hinge problems on the entrance way and the shower door, not much has gone wrong.

Bruce
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Old 01-29-2003, 08:06 AM   #34
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I bought my Safari the year before the LS package was released. I added the spare tire carrier and tire, two Fantastic Fans, and the power hitch jack. I replaced on my own, the mechanical thermostat with a digital thermostat. Total cost of these items was about about $750. The black tank flush system would be a nice item (don't have).

Based on my camping needs the heat pump would be nice but I don't consider it a necessity. My furnace only comes into use in early April and during our October trip. My total gas usage is about one to one and a half tanks a year. Not really enough to justify the heat pump and its associated complexities.

Personally if I did it again, I probably would pass on the LS and add on the components I really want. They will do it if you ask. An example the spare tire carrier was not an "official option" on the 2001 Safari's.

I also ordered a new build trailer rather than take one from the lot. I told the dealer that I wanted the options to be put on at build time rather than have them tear off hatches and the underbelly to add my extras.

Jack
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Old 02-03-2003, 11:14 AM   #35
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At the risk of being called ignorant ... I am a Hensley owner who really dislikes the hitch. The hitch works and allows otherwise incompatible tow vehicles to work with large and heavy trailers. (30' Holiday Rambler, 7500 UVW pulled with a 1/2 ton Ford, short-bed SWB stepside pick-up.)

I've always found it a pain to hook-up. Down here in Florida with our 100% humidity, it is impossible to hook up without working up a good sweat. I've also found it hard to hook back up when on uneven ground.

Thinking about going to a 30W Classic Airstream but plan to try out the new Ford F250 6.0 PSD. I also plan to get rid of the Hensley with the Holiday Rambler when I sell it.

Here's a question ... what hitch/swaybar combination is the easiest to hook-up and go on a moments notice? This quality is very important when you want to do a lot of week-enders.

Thanks.

Airstream Dreamin'
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Old 02-03-2003, 11:35 AM   #36
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Dream Stream

A Reese twin cam load leveling hitch came with our 23' Safari.
Works great.

The sway control is built in. I would think this would be one of the most simplest hitches to work with.

Some Hensley owners may have some tips for you as far as simplfying the hook up. I think I read some tips in the forums here somewhere.

PS.. Re Humidity.. We have the humidity problem here in Ontario in the Summer. Some days are so hot you can break out into a sweat just by walking outside. Without air conditioning it can be brutal.
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Old 02-03-2003, 06:56 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally posted by DreamStream
At the risk of being called ignorant ... I am a Hensley owner who really dislikes the hitch.
I'm not going to call you ignorant, but you really must be missing something to have all that trouble and effort.

John has already addressed that he has no problems even being disabled, and if you'll note, he's in Sanford, FL. I also know of two single women who each tow their own Airstreams with a Hensley, sometimes in Florida, and don't complain of working up a sweat... actually the opposite. They love it.

All I can say is that for me, the Hensley is no harder to hook up to than any other conventional hitch, regardless of terrain. And I have to hookup to my trailer at about a 70 degree turn angle, with the trailer nose down on my sloping driveway, one rear truck wheel down on the driveway, and the others up on the street with the front wheels on the crown of the road. The key is to get the hitch lined up with the drawbar in height, and in pitch, roll, and yaw planes.

It sounds like you've already made up your mind about the hitch, and you didn't ask for any advice, so I won't offer any. If you change your mind, let me know.

Perhaps you should look at the Pullrite hitch. It's no less safe than a Hensley.

Best wishes,
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Old 02-04-2003, 07:45 AM   #38
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DreamStream,

I've used all three hitches, a reese WD hitch, a pull-rite, and the hensley. I've used them all over the country, even in Florida. I broke a sweat with all three but the least with the Hensley. Maybe it's because I use a Yukon with the panel doors in the rear, I always line up the center of the panel doors with the center of the window on the trailer and am able to hit the hitch almost always the first time. Without a reference point such as center panel on my door post, I suspect it would be very difficult to line up the tow vehicle with the trailer.

That being said, we also have a 30W and love it. We like to travel and never stay in one place for more than three days. Airstreams are meant for the road. Good luck with your decision, we love ours.
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Old 02-04-2003, 08:07 AM   #39
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DreamStream,

We like to travel and never stay in one place for more than three days. Airstreams are meant for the road
Mark... We agree. An Airstream was made to be in motion. Yes you can park them too but we enjoy the ride almost as much as our destination. I think it would be next to impossible to tow an A/S and then go back to a non aerodynamic trailer.
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Old 02-04-2003, 08:20 AM   #40
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Travel

Mark & Wayne,

I too agree that A/S are made for travel. That's why I take a month between locations. I wish I had an endless well of money, then I'd always be fluid!!!

John
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Old 02-04-2003, 11:48 AM   #41
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markjoandall

I never had much trouble getting square to the hitch and lining up properly. Getting the angles set when on uneven ground so that the hitch shaft will slide in properly can cause some sweat to break out. Then, after the cams are closed and the pins set, your work is just beginning. You pull out the crank and crank a little on one side and then a little on the other and then a little on the first side and then a little on the other and then a little more on the first side and then some more on the other, etc, and etc, until you are totally soaked in sweat. (I usually change shirts after hooking up!)

Just seems like there should be a better way. Years ago I drove a semi for a while and hookups were a breeze, nearly everything completed from the cab of the air conditioned truck.

I've often thought of switching to a fifth wheel but I think they are ugly and it seems like fuel mileage would be a lot worse.

The pullrite sounds interesting but you still have the bars to tension which seems to cause a lot more sweat.

Are there any hitches that convert a nice, aerodynamic trailer like the Airstream to use a fifth wheel hitch by bolting/welding some sort of gooseneck to the trailer frame? Seems like this would get rid of the need to do weight distribution and provide for a very quick, almost semi like, hookup.

This is a great site and I really appreciate all the responses.
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Old 02-04-2003, 04:10 PM   #42
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DreamStream,

Essentially the pullrite hitch turns your trailer into a fiver. You have all the stability and handling of a fiver. Yes you do have load bars. I think you will have that with any trailer hitch.

The problems I had with the pullrite was lining the whole thing up so the load bars can work. Remember, the load bars on the pullrite disengage the ability of the trailer to pivot in the ball and transfers the pivot point immediately behind the rear axel.

It's kind of interesting watching your trailer go down the road on a pullrite, it wags any where the wind blows it, but the tow vehicle doesn't move because the pivot point is so close to the rear axel.

I think the hensley works on a different principle. Any turning movement in the rig has to be initiated by the tow vehicle. The trailer and tow vehicle are locked as one unit until the tow vehicle makes a turn.

I've found that with the hensley, you must take special care in unhitching the rig correctly. If you've unhitched it correctly, hitching is a breeze.

Food for thought, you may want to remove the hensley from the HR because there is a very strong secondary market for the hitch and you will probably get more for it than if it is included with the HR on trade. Go to hitchtrader.com. There may also be a member of this forum very interested in the hitch.
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