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Old 08-06-2012, 09:19 AM   #29
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I think bycrom was asking some reasonable questions. Several threads have been started lately about people interested in purchasing Airstreams, but they want to know more because of the obvious problems with new ones. They wouldn't start a thread unless they were still interested even though they have doubts.

Over the years, scores and scores of owners have documented their issues with QC, workmanship, design and cheap parts. When a new thread begins and someone asks what is going on with Airstream, owners answer the questions. A few who have had no problems seem to be motivated to attack anyone who is unhappy with their purchase. This does not mean they are "unhappy people" and that they don't enjoy using their purchases. It does mean they are honest about problems. Questioning someone's intent is always going to get you in trouble unless you are a qualified mind reader. Almost all that have problems get them fixed, enjoy their camping and answer questions posted. It is a very rare case that someone with problems gets rid of their trailers.

These new threads get the same answers as other threads because new members of the Forum don't know how to find the older threads, but are entitled to an answer. That is one reason for the Forum. They get different points of view from people with different experiences.

In my opinion, it is best to state your experience or state what has been said before by others about the trailers and not attack those who have different experiences. One way to make sure bycrom or others who ask similar questions never buy an Airstream is to attack them, or attack others who tell their truth.

Bycrom, I hope you are looking at all points of view so you can make a decision best for you. Airstreams do have issues and most of us solve the problems. Ignore the clutter and find a way to make this work for you if you can.

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Old 08-06-2012, 12:08 PM   #30
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Thanks everyone, I really can not emphasize how import this site is as an AS resource and community. Site seems to be well run and I like the fact that offensive posts get handled.

My thinking has been adjusted, between the collective wisdom from thread posters to some private (very detailed) messages I have received, I truly appreciate the time you all have taken.

I am going to look at newly used, and see where that leads. Perhaps I can find one that still has some factory warranty available which would be optimal, we will see.

I am also going to get to that dealer close to me and see where that leads.

I know there has been some mention of perhaps why I posted, etc, and Mr. masseyfarm summarizes it perfectly, thank you.
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:35 PM   #31
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Odd my link failed in that way, let me hard code it then...

masseyfarm thread that sums me up nicely.
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:36 PM   #32
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All Airstream owners smile when handed the key.

It has been said that we should never regret something that made us smile.

Maybe I'm on a bit of a glow this morning. I opened the big window on the FB Flying Cloud for the first time last night. The evening air seeped through the screen, enveloping my face in a wonderful coolness. Then I flipped over onto my stomach and watched a giant orange moon before falling to sleep. I like the big Airstream windows; something you don't see on most SWBs.

I've endured some trailer angst, but not a lot.

Go for it.
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:16 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fly at Night
All Airstream owners smile when handed the key.

It has been said that we should never regret something that made us smile.

Maybe I'm on a bit of a glow this morning. I opened the big window on the FB Flying Cloud for the first time last night. The evening air seeped through the screen, enveloping my face in a wonderful coolness. Then I flipped over onto my stomach and watched a giant orange moon before falling to sleep. I like the big Airstream windows; something you don't see on most SWBs.

I've endured some trailer angst, but not a lot.

Go for it.
I have to agree. I've spent a lot of time, money, blood, sweat and tears, and it's been totally worth it. It's much more rewarding than it is trouble, but then again, without it I would be homeless, so it has a special place in my heart.
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:45 PM   #34
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I carried my old Airstream into the dealership this past weekend to have some work. My front yard just does not look right with it gone. I think we all get attached to our Airstreams. More so than SOB owners. There is just something about them that no words can explain.
OP: Nothing man made is perfect or ever will be. But you are correct in expecting quality from something that cost as much as a new Airstream. It really blows me away with the consistency of complaints from recent new unit buyers. There is definitely some things in the manufacturing process that could be improved at Airstream. Sad thing is that if you read other boards for other trailer brands you will read the same complaints on all of them. I think it speaks more for the current business climate in America than anything else. Quality is second to profit margin and I don't think that is going to change any time soon.
That said I would buy a new Airstream in a heartbeat if I could afford too without incurring any more debt.
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:48 PM   #35
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Bycrom, glad you are reconsidering. Finding the model you want that's pretty new is not going to be easy more often than not, but keeping at it will pay off.

There are more dealers in Cal. Colonial RV in NJ makes deals online and they may deliver if you decide to buy new. There have been a few reports of dealers who don't want to do warranty repairs if you bought the trailer elsewhere, but that is bad business—warranty repairs are a big part of any dealer's business. I think that problem is rare.

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Old 08-06-2012, 02:28 PM   #36
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I'll echo a bit of the theme here... buying ANY RV can have frustrating problems... You'll see that those with problems that have been resolved to their satisfaction have either invested their own time to become handy (which is good) or live close enough to a good dealer that they don't have to use 3 weeks vacation just to get to the shop.

With the entry-price of 'new', I would absolutely tell a new Airstreamer to be comfortable with their proximity to the dealer, as even a small problem can be very frustrating.

Airstream is owned by Thor, and their network of warranty approved shop is bigger than the Airstream-only list. They will also approve ANY RV shop if you contact them with your problems. Unless it is some specific aluminum-work, the problems are generally universal to all brands of RV.

I'll leave the judgement to what level of 'perfection' should roll off the factory-line to the other threads - but buying a good used trailer with the plan that you may need to invest some time and money into upkeep is a way to soften that financial impact.

The comment about a lot of 'bad news' being here is valid... because this is a forum where a lot of people come to ask for help to repair or diagnose problems. No one Googles "My Airstream is perfect"...

On the flip-side... I've been to a mini-caravan that came to my town, and while the dozen or so owners were beyond friendly in showing their Airstreams, they aren't usually going to volunteer their 'bad news' stories... because it kills the vibe of why they are out exploring the world. If you want honest advice, ask them specific questions about their unit's repair history... you'll find there are common issues amongst and across ALL RV owners.

I think there is tremendous opportunity in the RV industry to come up with better equipment and better designs that are more durable and easier to service... the unique construction of Airstream's makes it more challenging... but the trade off is you own something that is actually nice to look at.
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Old 08-06-2012, 02:50 PM   #37
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Airstream has a very good reputation for quality. When people ask us at gas stations, rest stops or elsewhere about our trailer, they always tell us how perfect they are. I tell them the truth.

The truth varies with time and how many things have failed recently. One time someone asked us about our trailer after we had a trip with many problems—we were coming home from a warranty trip to JC. All I could say was "they look cool". But now I am more likely to say "they look cool, tow well, have a lot of issues not uncommon to RV's, we like it, and look on the AirForum for more info. They are not perfect"

Gene
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:43 PM   #38
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Just looking at this thread from a different angle.... sometimes it's not the RV, but the people. Sure, we all want a really top-quality, hassle-free product. But if something does go wrong, especially a long way from civilization, how prepared are you to handle it? Some owners are highly mechanically savvy and can fix things themselves, others of us can barely work out how to plug in the toaster. (We're the ones with several emergency road service memberships.)

I am thinking more like, if something fails in the AS, do you have a back-up plan for it till you can get it fixed? (This would be packing emergency stuff like flashlights, a jerry can of water, a small camping stove, and duct tape.)

And can you decide to have a fun trip, anyway even when Murphy's Law kicks in?

If so, enjoy your new Airstream!

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Old 08-06-2012, 08:46 PM   #39
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Bycrom,
Good luck in your search!
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:30 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bycrom View Post
Good idea, done, and if/when I hear back I will update this thread, thanks.
So now I can update this, starting first thing Monday Airstream left me a message, a gentleman named Dan who works in customer service, he left me his direct number. I could not get back to him Monday, and today (Tue) I got another message from him while I was in a meeting.

I called back and we talked for a while. I explained my concerns and we talked about them in depth.

I am trying not to have this a huge write up so let me be brief and cover three specific things that this discussion covered for me that frankly were awesome.

QA process:
Specifically I wanted to hear that AS has a design revision process in place when a flaw is detected. Meaning if there are enough warranty returns that expose a design flaw, the correction is made so that all future versions of the system incorporate the fix. Kind of like when software manufacturers fix a bug in their code, the fix goes out to all users, if that makes sense.

This might not be good for someone who has the issue and thus did not get the fix in time, but if this is true then it means this process will ultimately lead to a quality product, and that is what I want.

Airstream does care about customers:
Dan was persistent, well two days, but I consider his consistent attempts to get a hold of me, and promptness (Monday call), to be a big thumbs up. Also I could tell he read every single message that I posted and every single message in this thread. As an example he mentioned AS does have a leak detection room as I mentioned in a post in an unrelated to this thread. He also conveyed company pride well and frankly, mentioning that he was a 23 year employee, that alone is impressive IMHO.

These forums hold power:
I got a sense from Dan that he keeps up on this forum, he mentioned as much. He also alluded too many AS employees staying up on this forum. For me it is clear AS knows this site represents a critical mass of customers.

So yeah... I am getting excited here, and thus I called My local RV dealership, spoke to a salesman named Dave and arranged a meeting this Sat. My wife and I are going to make a day trip of it. (she is excited too btw)

Thanks everyone!
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:00 PM   #41
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Thumbs up

Thanks for the update, and the confirmation that Airstream is listening. Also, I am glad you feel more comfortable about your pending purchase. That's exciting.
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Old 08-08-2012, 12:34 AM   #42
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Dennis,

Sounds like you may be close to getting your new AS. If all goes well maybe we will see you at our upcoming SoCal rally in October at the Rivernook Campground in Kernville. Have fun on your visit to the AS dealer in Los Banos and hoping you come home with a brand new Airstream!
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