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Old 06-28-2012, 10:05 AM   #1
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GranTime's Avatar
2012 27' FB International
Saint Marys Georgia , Charlotte North Carolina
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 5
Thumbs up New Owner Observation

First let me say that I am new to the Airstream community after owning other RVs in the past. I have always thought of Airstreams as being a quality product.

After reading the forum I do realize that some owners are not happy with their purchase due to quality issues. Fortunately, I am not one of those that are unhappy with the Airstream name. After spending the last month as a full timer, weathering out two tropical storms on the SE Georgia coast with total rainfall approaching 38 inches, along with 60-70 MPH winds, the 2012 International Serenity 27FB is still water tight and solid as a rock.

The quality in fit and finish has exceeded my expectations. The only problem so far has been a sticking table leg that after a call to Colonial Airstream was replaced with the updated 2013 leg. I do realize that regular inspection, maintenance, and correct procedures such as proper leveling using blocks under the wheels instead of excessive stabilizer jack pressure (warping of frame and window/door openings, causing leaks) are instrumental in maintaining the integrity of any RV.

I look forward to reading the forum and contributing from time to time, but what I most look forward to is enjoying many years in the Fluffin and the adventures it will provide.

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Old 06-28-2012, 11:16 AM   #2
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2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 8,281
Images: 33
It is good to hear from a happy "new" Airstream owner. If someone only read the nagative reports Airstream would never sell another trailer.


Do you know what a learning experience is? A learning experience is one of those things that says "You know that thing that you just did? Don't do that."
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Old 06-28-2012, 03:06 PM   #3
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2012 27' FB International
Charlotte, NC , St. Marys, Ga
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 20
Love Happy Campers!!!
Mike and Myra
Saint Marys, GA and Charlotte, NC
"Lovin' The Life"
O'Flitter and Muffin The Wonder Dogs
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Old 06-28-2012, 03:23 PM   #4
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1988 25' Excella
Sunnyvale , California
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Welcome and thanks for sharing some positive news... While tempting to compare Airstream with automotive design and construction, I don't think anyone would argue that BMW's or 3/4 ton tow vehicles would be a bunch more expensive if production was mostly by hand and at the rate of around 5 units per day, with each customized... For folks reading and traumatized by negative reports, here are some possible causes for "problem trailers" beyond Airstream's control or ability (under today's business models) to really do much about...

1. Some trailers spend a lot of time on the "RV Show Circuit" before sale, and hosting hordes of ADHD children and adults who poke, push, bend and yank is really rough on a trailer.. "Show Specials" are discounted for a reason, and can be really rough if not carefully inspected and restored..
2. Delivery drivers have every incentive to get from Ohio to selling dealer (or end customer) location as fast as law enforcement will permit.. Rough roads and rough treatment can shake, rattle and roll a trailer a lot, and those impacts are hard to detect and fix as well..
3. Many Airstream dealers are recruited and signed in anticipation of service revenue, since non-Airstream dealers are really unable to service or repair many of the Airstream-unique elements.. While there are some good mechanics out there, and a brake or bearing service is pretty generic, having a non-Airstream dealer working on the shell or internal systems is high risk, and Airstream rightly is slow to approve and pay for this work.
4. While they(Airstream) own the scraps, cuttings and candy wrappers dumped in the recesses during manufacture, it is not from encouraging workers to do so.. I've seen worse in car assembly plants, and lament that someone feels so cavalier about their manufacturing job these days they believe they can get away with it.. Counseling should be provided at the exit interview for these workers, who seem to think it's still 1973...

It's tough to justify major investments in automated tooling, etc for a handful of variously mixed units per day.. It's also tough to make demands on a small supply chain (component and subsystem vendors) when you are a small piece of their business, and you need them more than they need you. The only real solution to vendor quality is to join hands with other Thor and RV makers and make collective demands with more clout.. That is what car and plane makers are doing, and it is paying off..

In Theory, there's no difference between Theory and Practice, but in Practice, there is usually a difference...
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Old 07-01-2012, 07:51 PM   #5
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2012 27' Flying Cloud
Currently Looking...
San Angelo , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 28
Adding another new owners observation to the discussion. We picked up our new Flying Cloud 27 back in February. It's been out on about four one week trips since then and I couldn't be happier. Everything works (well almost), no leaks, heating works, AC works, hot water system heats the water. Oven works and the fridge keeps things cold and overall everything fits very well. I've got a non functioning gray water tank sensor that quit working on the second trip- well it sort of died and slow death. Airstream sent me a new tank sensor but that wasn't the problem. But hey, if that's the only thing not working I'm happy. I'll get that worked out. The trailer was spotless, Camper Clinic II in Buda TX did a fantastic job of dealer prep. Have to admit, the first thing I did when I got it home was to replace the factory, Goodyear tires (different make and load range E) but that's my experience base showing up. (I wouldn't put Goodyear marathons on anything but a lightly loaded utility trailer that I was pulling around town). Oh, also put Pressure Pro tire sensors on the trailer. I can without a hesitation say that Airstream lived up to my expectations.
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Old 07-01-2012, 08:11 PM   #6
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1958 22' Flying Cloud
Folsom , California
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 467
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If yours doesn't leak, it sounds like you got a lemon! Just kidding. Glad to hear your enjoying it. I'm sure there are many happy owners that have nothing to complain about.
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Old 07-01-2012, 08:18 PM   #7
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1976 27' Overlander
Missoula , Montana
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 384
Jim A,
I'm curious what you replaced those Marathons with... size and brand... and what you plan to do with them old, ratty, pieces of junk, Goodyears?
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Old 07-01-2012, 08:19 PM   #8
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1976 23' Safari
1962 22' Safari
1961 16' Bambi
Philly burbs , PA
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 183
It's great to hear from happy streamers! 38" of rain!? Does the Fluffin float well?
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:13 PM   #9
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7,716
Welcome aboard GranTime! Good to hear of your Airstream experience. We are also extremely pleased with our new trailer, having spent over 6 months in it since last fall. We have been campers for some 50 years but have never had the overall comfort and pleasure our Airstream has given us.

doug k
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:18 PM   #10
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2012 27' FB International
Fremont , California
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 268
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You're not alone.

My 2012 27FB International has about 8,000 miles and probably 20-25 nights of camping. The only problem was a bad fresh water gauge that was replaced under warranty.

This is our second RV and we're about as happy was we could be, among other things we are having a blast with our local WBCCI group and look forward to our first caravan in September. The Airstream community is enough for me to weather a few problems should they pop up.
"The bad news: there is no key to the universe.
The good news: it was never locked."
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Our travel log
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:28 PM   #11
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2015 27' Flying Cloud
2011 30' International
mooresburg , Tennessee
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 206
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Right there with you, had ours a year and love it. have been going a lot and it has been great.
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:35 PM   #12
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2006 22' International CCD
2007 Base Camp
Elk Valley , British Columbia
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 657
The problem with RV leaks, and Airstream leaks in particular, is they don't tend to reveal themselves as little 'Old Faithful' geysers... In my FB model, the front pano windows were leaking, but the way the inner trim is setup it hides the water under the trim as it works it's way to the inside. Since the inner skin aluminum is curved, and unsealed, underneath the trim (hence the trim), the water then runs along the inner skin, to the bottom where some goes into the C channel, and the rest under the vinyl floor.

Without peeling back the vinyl (which is stapled), you won't see this damage until your floor is squishy. And, since you can't walk under your bed, things will be really haywire before you catch it.

On my unit, I just finished gutting it, redoing the floor, and putting it back together. I didn't remove the shower or galley, which are impossible to take out without dismantling the shell. Guess what... another leak behind the 1 piece fibreglass shower... no internal access, no external access... by some act of contortionist I was able to get the sink out and access part of the problem... but there is a 90 degree elbow leaking that can only be accessed by removing the shower... which requires removing the galley and closet.
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:57 PM   #13
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
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Friday, there is a way to see moisture under the vinyl floor without lifting, and this is it: Sonin 50211 Rapitest 10% to 28% Pinless Analog Wood, Concrete, Plaster, Carpet, and More Moisture Meter: Home Improvement

I use it with regular inspection of the trailer and have already found a tiny leak under the floor when the door hinge became slightly loose (after 6 months steady use). Wouldn't have an RV without it.

doug k
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:57 PM   #14
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2002 19' Bambi
Lafayette , California
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 823
Oh my, it does not take long before a thread by owners of new Airstreams reporting how happy they are is hijacked with a complaint about leaks. Please, let's have a few more of the positive experiences before we head off into a litany of complaints.

To help us get back on track, let me report that our 2002 model started out and continues to be wonderful and has remained a great source of pleasure to us.


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