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Old 08-18-2016, 06:18 PM   #1
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Potentially Concerned

I'm a new member to this community and am about to sink a lot of money into a 2017 28' International Serenity. I grew up with AS and always thought them to be world class. As we approached retirement I voraciously consumed all the available information on RVs both powered and not. I always came back to the AS as what I really wanted for a lot of reasons. However, I have read so many negative comments on this forums about the new AS that I am not so sure I want to take delivery on my trailer next week. I would rather forfeit the $5K I put down to order the trailer than to have nothing but problems with my investment. I need some reassurance from the community that it isn't all bad news.
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Old 08-18-2016, 06:25 PM   #2
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Great Trailer. No Problems

My 2017 is without any serious problems. You will love your AS. I believe that there are trailers with problems but when you think of the number of AS the problem units seem to be a very, very small percentage. We purchased from Can-Am in Ontario and they did a very thorough PDI.
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Old 08-18-2016, 06:37 PM   #3
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Well, you're in luck. It isn't all bad news.

An internet forum attracts people with problems. We come together to seek help. It is not human nature to simply say "hey! I have nothing wrong with my trailer!". It is however common for internet forums to attract a lot of negativity.

Think about it like a hospital. People go there to get well when they are sick. So if you walk into a hospital and ask "anyone sick in here?", you are going to get a lot of affirmative answers. Would you think the whole world is sick because so many people answered yes? Of course not. You understand you asked the question at a place that attracts sick people, so the answer is skewed.

Now, having said that, are Airstreams perfect? No, of course not. As with anything made by man, you will find imperfections. If you want the perfect trailer, I am sorry to disappoint you. It doesn't exist. Go to any manufacturer's internet forums, and you will find the same thing you find here.

So, best you can do is minimize your risk. Have a thorough checklist. You already gave money down. Can you walk away from the deal if your trailer does not meet some minimum requirement? Are you willing to accept a trailer with something broken or with a leak? Many people here buy these things and are not prepared to walk away from the deal. They are too emotionally invested, and even with obvious defects, they still buy it.

Sorry, but that's on them.

If the trailer does not meet your standards, do not buy it. Don't accept promises of "we will fix it later". If you do, that's on you.

Follow a thorough checklist, check everything, and only accept a trailer that has had everything you found fixed. That won't guarantee you won't run into problems later on, but it will minimize your risk.

Are you handy fixing things, or will you rely on your dealer to fix everything? I have a good relationship with a mobile RV repair guy. Because I can't fix everything. Sure, I'd love for every problem to be fixed under warranty, but I don't want to take my trailer in for repair to the nearest dealer a couple of hours away. My time is more valuable than that. So I either fix it myself or get the mobile RV repair guy to fix it. I have an extended service plan from Good Sam in case something big enough happens that I will bite the bullet and take it in for service. Thankfully that has not happened yet.

So, long story short, don't let the naysayers in this forum dissuade you from buying an Airstream. However, be prepared to do your homework and inspect the unit well first. Be prepared to walk away. And manage your expectations. You will be fine.
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Old 08-18-2016, 06:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VaTravelers View Post
I'm a new member to this community and am about to sink a lot of money into a 2017 28' International Serenity. I grew up with AS and always thought them to be world class. As we approached retirement I voraciously consumed all the available information on RVs both powered and not. I always came back to the AS as what I really wanted for a lot of reasons. However, I have read so many negative comments on this forums about the new AS that I am not so sure I want to take delivery on my trailer next week. I would rather forfeit the $5K I put down to order the trailer than to have nothing but problems with my investment. I need some reassurance from the community that it isn't all bad news.
Welcome to the forum! The news you have read is just that -- some good and some bad -- and no one can promise you anything about your specific new trailer in my personal opinion. Hopefully yours will be one of the units which has escaped the major quality control issues.

At this stage of your purchase, your dealer is the key to your satisfaction. Are you using Colonial in NJ? Regardless of who the dealer is, you must prepare them to go through the new trailer with a fine-tooth comb, and to spend as much time with you as YOU need, to be comfortable accepting delivery.

You can be in control of the delivery acceptance process. Unfortunately the QC uncertainties force you into this role, and only you can evaluate whether you are up to it.

Good luck!

Peter

PS -- this International sub-forum may be a good place to check for further guidance as you do your homework:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f514/
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Old 08-18-2016, 06:38 PM   #5
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Just remember Airstream builds 45 Airstreams a week and the few complainers you see here again and again do not reflect the overall community. Also note that many of the complainers do not own a late model Airstream and some own no Airstream at all.

Our Airstream has been nothing but a delight in five years, many many trips throughout the country and over 1,000 nights camping. We do regular inspections for leaks with a moisture detection meter and fix the very minor ones that have been found, treat it regularly with CorrosionX and Boeshield T9, upgrade anything we need for our reliability and travel comfort, and tow it with a vehicle and hitch system that does not beat the heck out of it. We have never had a failure of original equipment and have no corrosion anywhere on our Airstream.

Inspect and maintain it, fix whatever is needed, and it will serve you and your travel needs better than anything on the market, and last a lifetime. In the absolute worst case of a failure or accident, it is always repairable and the only one worth the effort.
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Old 08-18-2016, 06:40 PM   #6
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Use the shower before taking it off the lot. Then check the awning rods.

If there are no post-shower puddles on the floor and the rods are straight, go for it.
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Old 08-18-2016, 06:44 PM   #7
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Selection bias. Nobody talks about things that don't go wrong. Problems are interesting.

Do your due diligence, get the trailer you want, and enjoy.
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Old 08-18-2016, 06:44 PM   #8
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Going down the road is the equivalent of major earthquake. Owners should expect that there needs to be some settling in time once they take ownership of their new house on wheels. Just like a home, be ready to make a punch list of little issues and prepared to take it to a certified warranty shop to have them resolved. If your expectations are properly set, you won't be disappointed.

This forum has more than 1.7 million posts, I'd venture to say that 99.5% of them are happy Airstream owners chatting about the enjoyment they get from their Airstream's. That being said, .5% would still be 8,500 posts from people who have had issues. Don't let a few bad apples spoil the bunch. If they were all crap, people wouldn't buy them and this forum wouldn't be bustling with happy owners who own trailers made across 6 decades.

I would highly suggest doing some research into best practices to taking delivery of your Airstream. By studying up you should know what to look for, how to stay at the dealership and get proper training and what to do to shake down your Airstream to make sure you are 100% ready for your first camping trip. I'm sure others have posted great advice so being ready to make it a great experience should help significantly!

Please report back, we would love to hear how it goes!
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Old 08-18-2016, 06:46 PM   #9
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2017 28' International
Virginia Beach , Virginia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adventure.AS View Post
My 2017 is without any serious problems. You will love your AS. I believe that there are trailers with problems but when you think of the number of AS the problem units seem to be a very, very small percentage. We purchased from Can-Am in Ontario and they did a very thorough PDI.
Thanks for the positive response. I am a realist and know in the world of towed RVs AS are at the top, I expect some issues, but not to the level that some of the posters on this site have described. What sort of issues did you experience with your new AS?
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Old 08-18-2016, 06:55 PM   #10
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2017 28' International
Virginia Beach , Virginia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FCStreamer View Post
Well, you're in luck. It isn't all bad news.

An internet forum attracts people with problems. We come together to seek help. It is not human nature to simply say "hey! I have nothing wrong with my trailer!". It is however common for internet forums to attract a lot of negativity.

Think about it like a hospital. People go there to get well when they are sick. So if you walk into a hospital and ask "anyone sick in here?", you are going to get a lot of affirmative answers. Would you think the whole world is sick because so many people answered yes? Of course not. You understand you asked the question at a place that attracts sick people, so the answer is skewed.

Now, having said that, are Airstreams perfect? No, of course not. As with anything made by man, you will find imperfections. If you want the perfect trailer, I am sorry to disappoint you. It doesn't exist. Go to any manufacturer's internet forums, and you will find the same thing you find here.

So, best you can do is minimize your risk. Have a thorough checklist. You already gave money down. Can you walk away from the deal if your trailer does not meet some minimum requirement? Are you willing to accept a trailer with something broken or with a leak? Many people here buy these things and are not prepared to walk away from the deal. They are too emotionally invested, and even with obvious defects, they still buy it.

Sorry, but that's on them.

If the trailer does not meet your standards, do not buy it. Don't accept promises of "we will fix it later". If you do, that's on you.

Follow a thorough checklist, check everything, and only accept a trailer that has had everything you found fixed. That won't guarantee you won't run into problems later on, but it will minimize your risk.

Are you handy fixing things, or will you rely on your dealer to fix everything? I have a good relationship with a mobile RV repair guy. Because I can't fix everything. Sure, I'd love for every problem to be fixed under warranty, but I don't want to take my trailer in for repair to the nearest dealer a couple of hours away. My time is more valuable than that. So I either fix it myself or get the mobile RV repair guy to fix it. I have an extended service plan from Good Sam in case something big enough happens that I will bite the bullet and take it in for service. Thankfully that has not happened yet.

So, long story short, don't let the naysayers in this forum dissuade you from buying an Airstream. However, be prepared to do your homework and inspect the unit well first. Be prepared to walk away. And manage your expectations. You will be fine.
FC, thanks for the reality check. Never thought about it in those terms. I have a custom cabinet shop at home and can fix just about anything so I am not going to be running to the dealer with every little issue. I intend to do a very thorough delivery inspection. I am sending the dealer a copy of my list prior to delivery so they know I am prepared and they should be as well. I want to establish the right relationship with them up front. I can either be their best advocate or not ... pretty much up to them.
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VaTravelers View Post
FC, thanks for the reality check. Never thought about it in those terms. I have a custom cabinet shop at home and can fix just about anything so I am not going to be running to the dealer with every little issue. I intend to do a very thorough delivery inspection. I am sending the dealer a copy of my list prior to delivery so they know I am prepared and they should be as well. I want to establish the right relationship with them up front. I can either be their best advocate or not ... pretty much up to them.
That's great! Here's a link to the checklist I used.

http://www.ourflyingcloud.com/2016/0...checklist.html

My dealer (Colonial) did a great job in addressing my concerns. We even stayed overnight our first night in their parking lot to make sure everything worked. I had a couple of minor issues later and they were very responsive.

I've had an issue with my ACs leaking inside my cabin. I keep the trailer in mid-Florida were humidity is terrible. The condensate lines could not keep up. I had a mobile RV service guy drill some holes in the water pans to drain excess water onto the roof. That fixed that problem.

You may run into minor issues like that, but with your background they won't be a big deal. Good luck!
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:12 PM   #12
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Hillsburgh , Ontario
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Okay, take a knee and breathe.

Yes, your trailer may have things that don't work properly, or don't work at all; even before you have driven it off the dealership lot........it's not the end of the world.

Contact your dealer before hand to state that you will need certain things to be looked at while you are at the dealership. You have a week to get yourself a check list with all the systems and items you and your dealership need to check BEFORE you write the final check. Go through the check list and have the tech show you every facet of the systems.

#1 Check all seams for sealant and all mouldings as well. I would consider having the dealership to apply a bead of Sikiflex 221 along all moulding edges that contact the body, just to make sure no water can get in. Also check all rivets for snugness to the body.

Hitch, breakaway and electrical, anti sway, weight distribution?
Propane (furnace, cooktop and any accessories; are tanks full, do a leak test just for good measure?)
All lights, (exterior and interior)
Plumbing (hook up to dealer water and check pressure and all taps and shower for leaks; un hook city and fill holding tank with a few gallons to check water pump for pressure and leaks)
Warning devices, CO2 and Propane
Check all drawers and doors for ease of use
Awning, pull it out and note technic used for awning arms
Open all windows and screens,; check door for alignment and lock
Check step and underneath for things not fastened properly.

I'm sure others can add to the list or suggest a downloadable check list.

Above all else I would have the dealer jack up the trailer, remove wheels (change Goodyear Marathon tires to Michelins if not equipped), check every wheel bearing for grease and retorque wheel hubs and wheels to correct torque specs.

Have someone take many notes (torque specs for hubs and wheels) and take pictures with your phone camera to document anything that will require warranty work as they crop up, and have the dealership try and fix as much as they can; (they may need to order parts).

Do your due diligence, take your time and enjoy the experience. By walking through it with the tech you will learn so much and you will be at ease with the knowledge that your trailer is up to your standards.

Be prepared and book a motel room if they need to work on it the next day to fix things to your satisfaction.

DON"T RUSH THIS PROCESS but be prepared to work out compensation for the techs time, it will be the best money you've spent that day.

Spend the time now will save you money and heartache later on, especially if you live a long distance away from the dealership.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VaTravelers View Post
Thanks for the positive response. I am a realist and know in the world of towed RVs AS are at the top, I expect some issues, but not to the level that some of the posters on this site have described. What sort of issues did you experience with your new AS?
The only issue was a small leak in the lavatory sink drain (which likely worked loose on the first trip.) Easily tightened by hand. One tiny cosmetic issue in interior which is being fixed.

Can-Am had us stay in the trailer overnight with power and water and wanted us to test all of the systems before writing our final cheque.
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:18 PM   #14
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Hopefully the "take a knee and breathe" advice was the auto-complete talking . . .

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