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Old 08-05-2012, 01:15 PM   #1
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Quality of new... sigh...

First let me say I have never owned an airstream, but I have always wanted too (big time), and have reached a place in my life when I can afford one. I am only interested in buying new and am in the Bay Area CA.

My daughter is eight, my wife is on board, and so I was off to the races.

This site is by far the best community I have ever seen, and when I first started my AR research this site amplified my desire, I felt like I was about to be part of a new family. It really is incredible I must say.

I am in my 40's and still have to work full time, so time is very valuable, and I can not afford to waste it.

After pouring over this site and reading countless issues with new AS, I have decided I just can not waste my time. I was hoping that the extra AS $$$ was going to buy me a (for the most part) hassle free experience, but there are big indications that is not the case.

My closest AS dealer is a five hour drive, so fine for yearly work, but not if I have too many issues. I have read that warranty work is best done by the mothership, which for me is a 5,000 mile road trip so not an option at all.

The stories of people buying and having issues to resolve, which for some reason seems an excepted normal, is just not what my hard earned $$$ is for IMHO.

I know the internet is a *bad news* filter meaning people will tend to post more when they have issues then when they do not. So this might be in play here?

Sigh... I want to be an AS owner, but I just can not get past some of the quality problems I have read. Am I missing something? Am I crazy to think that a ~$75k purchase should come with piece of mind?

As you can see, this is my first post, not the one I was hoping to make, but I am sure you can understand why I am making it. I am hoping I am wrong here, maybe this community can adjust my thinking, or better yet AS themselves can comment, but right now I am not buying. So let this be my first post, I am hoping AS reads this forum and sees the effect bad QA has on bottom lines.
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:23 PM   #2
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Welcome to the AF.

I suggest you copy and paste this on the contact email @ airstream.com.
Airstream, Inc :: Contact Us

Include your contact information so that a company Representative can get back to you.

You may be surprised either way, and that might help you make a decision for your RV purchase.

Dave
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:34 PM   #3
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Good idea, done, and if/when I hear back I will update this thread, thanks.
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:36 PM   #4
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Dave, nothing hostile, just curious, what's the point of your post?
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:46 PM   #5
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Hi, I have had several rv's and there is no such thing as a hassle free rv. they go down the road, and bump around, things happen, I have been very happy with my airstream .
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:54 PM   #6
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Welcome!
In all probability if you picked any other brand of rv the issues you raised would likely be the same. We looked for months and what we found is that these same issues were magnified exponentially since there are more white boxes than AS.
We purchased an AS. Quality, durability and "looks" were the deciding factors. It's not very often you can purchase anything made in 1975, hookup and bring it home, do some cleaning, replace bedding and curtains, then take it camping a week later.
We found some issues, but nothing major. We have a dealer 3 hrs away that has worked on ours before. All their work has been outstanding.
We could have bought newer or new, but we have no debt and wanted to keep it that way. We will be over the next several months or more continue, little by little, to make it ours.
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Old 08-05-2012, 02:34 PM   #7
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Welcome to the Forums

We have a 2006 that we are the third owner of: first owners used it 6 times and decided they didn't like camping. Second owner bought it for summer living space while he flew contract assignments in Alaska but found other lodging, so we were the beneficiaries of 7 total trips on a then 5 year old AS

I would encourage you to go back and read the "problems with new AS" threads and I think it becomes apparent which ones are on here because they want help with something and which ones are on here because they want to complain.

Should one have certain expectations for the price of a brand new AS... most certainly. But arguments of quality components aside (I happen to concur that Thor/AS should be putting top of the line components in at the price), this is a handmade RV, with interior and exterior design that you cannot find anywhere else and with a pretty incredible history of vintage AS still on the road.



Wouldn't even begin to presume to tell you how to spend your money, but I think you have to carefully weigh the posts on the issue of problems with new AS's.
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Old 08-05-2012, 02:40 PM   #8
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Bycrom,
You have one option that may work for you. Find a good RV repair shop and use them for your AS inspections and repairs. Their experience and skills should be way higher compared to a dealer (regardless what the dealer tells you they are not in the repair business). They will explain what needs to be done and send you to the dealer if it is a warranty.
I have 2010 FC I bought new, 28 kMI. Never been at the dealer, fixed all things myself or with the RV repair guy. This way I was very happy with the results. I "wasted" maybe $500 this way but maybe I gained thousands, never a problem on the road.
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Old 08-05-2012, 02:49 PM   #9
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I think Dave's idea to contact Airstream with your concerns is an excellent one. Take some of the issues you have found here, and develop a list of questions. Ask if they have done anything to address those concerns. Considering the cost, I don't think this would be out of line in any way. Airstream does read the forums, and occasionally participate, but it's rare. As another poster mentioned, whatever the state of Airstream quality, it still beats most other RV's.
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Old 08-05-2012, 03:16 PM   #10
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Welcome to the Forums, bycrom...You're correct that people with problems tend to post more about their problems than people without problems post about their joys. And of course, there are lemons out there. We bought our 06 new and have had very little trouble with it. Before that we owned a small motor home which was OK, but the quality was nothing like we found in our Airstream, and we have never regretted the decision to move to an AS. Its warranty issuers were minor. It's not true that good quality work can't be done anywhere but the Mother Ship. You just have to find an RV place that understands your needs and you can work with...if it's a warranty issue, Airstream will probably OK the work to be done locally since you are so far from a dealer. A wise RV tech once said to me, as I lamented problems we were having with the motor home: "People forget that we drive these things down bumpy roads at high speeds...things WILL shake loose for break and we will need to be repaired. It doesn't matter what model or brand it is. It's just the nature of the beast."

It's a big purchase, for sure. Will there be some things that need to be dealt with? Probably. Will they be insurmountable? Probably not. Will you enjoy your Airstream? Almost assuredly. There are far more folks here on the Airforums who love their Airstreams than those who wish they had not bought one.
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Old 08-05-2012, 03:33 PM   #11
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bycrom,

First of all it's not a five hour drive from El Cerrito to Los Banos. I did the drive from Fremont to Los Banos on Friday, about two hours. Add another 30-45 minutes from El Cerrito.

I bought my new 2012 A/S in October back East, brought it home to the Bay Area and have been using the heck out of it. The dealer in Los Banos, Toscano has one of the most impressive service departments I've ever dealt with, RV or otherwise. I've had two warranty issues, both resolved to my satisfaction and neither of which was serious enough to talk about.

Speaking only for myself I'm satisfied that I got my monies worth with my new Airstream. My first RV was more expensive, had a great reputation and I found it to have major QA issues, the Airstream has been much better, the service has been better and my contacts with Airstream have been great.

I can't imagine taking my trailer to Ohio for service, when the warranty expires I may or may not make the drive to Los Banos or I may find a quality RV shop closer to home.

You can spend over a million dollars on a gee-wiz 45' motorhome and hear the same negative whining that permeates this forum.
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Old 08-05-2012, 03:58 PM   #12
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Sorry you have been so soured on AS by some posters on here. I have never when camping been told by other AS owners they were sorry about there purchases. In fact I have never had another owner ever complain about anything except minor problems. Of course these people were all out camping and enjoying themselves, not sitting at a computer nitpicking. I ask you to go to a WBCCI rally and talk to people before making your decision. I think you would enjoy the conversation and comradery. Remember not everything on the web is as it seems, some have an agenda, either pro AS or not. Jim
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Old 08-05-2012, 04:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bycrom
First let me say I have never owned an airstream, but I have always wanted too (big time), and have reached a place in my life when I can afford one. I am only interested in buying new and am in the Bay Area CA.

My daughter is eight, my wife is on board, and so I was off to the races.

This site is by far the best community I have ever seen, and when I first started my AR research this site amplified my desire, I felt like I was about to be part of a new family. It really is incredible I must say.

I am in my 40's and still have to work full time, so time is very valuable, and I can not afford to waste it.

After pouring over this site and reading countless issues with new AS, I have decided I just can not waste my time. I was hoping that the extra AS $$$ was going to buy me a (for the most part) hassle free experience, but there are big indications that is not the case.

My closest AS dealer is a five hour drive, so fine for yearly work, but not if I have too many issues. I have read that warranty work is best done by the mothership, which for me is a 5,000 mile road trip so not an option at all.

The stories of people buying and having issues to resolve, which for some reason seems an excepted normal, is just not what my hard earned $$$ is for IMHO.

I know the internet is a *bad news* filter meaning people will tend to post more when they have issues then when they do not. So this might be in play here?

Sigh... I want to be an AS owner, but I just can not get past some of the quality problems I have read. Am I missing something? Am I crazy to think that a ~$75k purchase should come with piece of mind?

As you can see, this is my first post, not the one I was hoping to make, but I am sure you can understand why I am making it. I am hoping I am wrong here, maybe this community can adjust my thinking, or better yet AS themselves can comment, but right now I am not buying. So let this be my first post, I am hoping AS reads this forum and sees the effect bad QA has on bottom lines.
A new AS can have issues -- just as a new Bentley can have issues. My PanAm and Safari Sport had some issues. You cannot expect 100% total quality control -- even for your 75K -- Sorry. Your MAIN challenge is your location; however, five hours to your dealer is better than 5k to the mothership!! If you really only want new, you know what's best. At least you can get stuff fixed under warranty. You can also use Camping World for minor issues. I prefer 2-year old used models because the original owner has dealt with the shakedown chores and the big initial depreciation of the AS. However, save some of your AS budget for stuff you'll need after buying the trailer. Airstream's are like adopting a
Ew and demanding teenager. Do Not Buy Too Small! I quickly found 22' to small and 34' just right!
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Old 08-05-2012, 04:13 PM   #14
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I believe there are some legitimate quality concerns posted on the Forum. If you look closely you will see that some people are having problems while they are camping not sitting at their computers. To dismiss all of these people as "whiners" is counterproductive and disrespectful. A forum is a place where you meet to verbalize your experiences both good and bad. The free exchange of information is esential.

Dan
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