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Old 10-17-2018, 06:42 PM   #41
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Plan on having to visit the dealer as Airstream has no quality control or assurance.
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Old 10-19-2018, 12:48 PM   #42
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We bought local in Atlanta, but from what I could see and learn, the prices of new AS’s were fairly steady. I talked to about 3 dealers and for my 30’ Serenity the prices only varied by $500. My recommendation is to buy from where ever you want. Your local AS. Dealer will be happy to make warranty repairs no matter where you bought the trailer. You also may find that for non warranty work you may not use the local AS dealer anyway. We have found a great RV repair business near us that I plan to take mine to after the warranty runs out.

Buy where it makes you happy, then travel to where it makes you happy. You will love it! Good luck.
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Old 10-20-2018, 08:27 AM   #43
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Hi

At least when we bought, there was a list price, a quoted price, and a final price. Until we got serious, the final price didn't come out. That said, the final price was pretty much inline with the typical "bragging price" you see here on the forum.

Bob
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Old 10-20-2018, 03:02 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by ElliotA View Post
Plan on having to visit the dealer as Airstream has no quality control or assurance.
That's your opinion, or did you purchase a new Airstream recently? I know they do have QA, but like anything handmade, some times things get missed or manufacturer parts have some issues. Perfect? Show me an RV that's perfect with no issues....love to see one, and I have owned 8 in the past 20 years...3 of which were new.
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Old 10-20-2018, 06:54 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by gypsydad View Post
That's your opinion, or did you purchase a new Airstream recently? I know they do have QA, but like anything handmade, some times things get missed or manufacturer parts have some issues. Perfect? Show me an RV that's perfect with no issues....love to see one, and I have owned 8 in the past 20 years...3 of which were new.
The "handmade" argument is a lame excuse. I don't understand why folks keep offering this up as a rationale for doors falling off, wiring being poorly installed, power centers falling out on the floor, tank sensors not working, and so on. The fact that a trailer is made by hand is not an acceptable reason for that trailer to have the sloppy and careless mistakes we've found over the years in our trailer. In fact, every truly handmade item should be beautifully crafted due to the time and pride that went into creating it. (We own a 2014 model which was purchased new at the end of 2013.)

I will agree with you that very few, if any, RV manufacturers show any pride, or have QA / QC in the construction of their products. That said, the argument that every other brand stinks coming out of the factory is no excuse for Airstreams to be incomplete and full of errors when they come out of the factory - other than because they can get away with it and continue to do so.
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Old 10-20-2018, 11:03 PM   #46
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FWIW... I too am a believer that if you can't be pretty, you might as well be handy. I think you'll find that there are plenty of ways to be handy with the trailer--to make it "even awesomer" and to customize it perfectly to your uses—without the need to pile on with warranty issues.

It's been great for me to be able to address critical issues myself while we're on the road, but to put together a list for the folks at the dealer to fix when the season is done. I recommend it.
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Old 10-21-2018, 04:33 AM   #47
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We should not turn this into a Flame thread or take over from what the original author asked. Wife and I came to this forum read information concerning Airstream. Bottom line we took what we needed to make our decision. We did not want any other trailer other than a Airstream. Do we have some problems, Yes but we pulled our boot straps up, stood on our two feet stepped forward with an understand this a grand experience for us. Sorry if other's have had problems but one can sell or not make a future purchases of Airstream. your choice. Best advise I've heard has been placed in this thread. Go as many times to visit what ever Dealer or private owners sale. Touch feel enjoy your shopping it's a great experience.
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Old 10-21-2018, 07:54 AM   #48
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Yup, despite prior complaints we’ve shared here, in the long run we have “awesomed” the heck out of Rocinante and repaired every sloppy thing we’ve found, either via the warranty, or ourselves and/or our wallets. We love Rocinante, despite the incomplete sloppy work AS did at the factory to get her out the door. Despite all the work, her shell and the laminated plywood inside make up for a lot when comparing her to SOB RV’s the same age as her.
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Old 10-21-2018, 08:13 AM   #49
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Lots of interesting responses, thanks to all!
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Old 10-21-2018, 10:08 AM   #50
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Yup, despite prior complaints we’ve shared here, in the long run we have “awesomed” the heck out of Rocinante and repaired every sloppy thing we’ve found, either via the warranty, or ourselves and/or our wallets. We love Rocinante, despite the incomplete sloppy work AS did at the factory to get her out the door. Despite all the work, her shell and the laminated plywood inside make up for a lot when comparing her to SOB RV’s the same age as her.
The "handmade" argument is a lame excuse.

Now, that sounds like a "lame" apology? I think we all wonder about QA at Airstream after purchasing a new model...but again, I purchased a brand new El Dorado Cadillac years ago, and had the passenger sun visor fall off when first used...I also purchased a brand new Mercedes E320 and the trunk seal had a leak. I still enjoyed both of those vehicles...once the problems were fixed. Same goes for my AS's... The issue to me is having to deal with the "service departments" at a dealer to fix things...that's why I agree with being "handy" if your not "handsome"! With this new 28', we have gone thru batteries, hinges, rivets, converter, and closet coming loose from ceiling. Nothing that we weren't able to fix, nor that was a "show stopper" for camping or ending a trip. :-)

I will say that the Casita owners seem to have pretty good luck, from what I have read on their website from new owners, so guess we know it can be done...or can it? (but, the Casita was pretty small for us...)
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Old 10-21-2018, 10:35 AM   #51
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[U][B]......

I will say that the Casita owners seem to have pretty good luck, from what I have read on their website from new owners, so guess we know it can be done...or can it? (but, the Casita was pretty small for us...)
Hi

You are close enough, run up and take a look at how they build a Casita. It's a small outfit. The whole factory would fit in a corner of the JC service center. No big changes year to year and a small range of models. Very much a "boutique" RV.

Then there's the carpet on the walls .... . Oddly enough, that didn't bug me as much as it seems to bug others. Small ... that is an issue.

Bob
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Old 10-21-2018, 10:35 AM   #52
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Do not go to Iowa. There are some issues and warranty work you want to have a dealer for. COLONIAL. YES. Be selective about what work you do that may vood a warranty. Just a suggestion. Colonial has excellent service. Great time of year to buy from colonial
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Old 10-21-2018, 12:15 PM   #53
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Our experience

We decided to purchase new and order a model to our specs. Learned here (AS forums) that we should expect 20% off MSRP, and if not - go to Colonial in NJ.

We have a personal connection to a very high ranking executive in the AS company, and he directed is to a specific salesperson at our closest dealer 30 miles away, so we went there after making an appointment. The salesman was not feeling well that day, and seemed distracted; he eventually excused himself in the middle of our order to go home, which we understood. What we did NOT understand were some of the recommendations he gave us regarding AC, solar panels, and a few other things that were in direct conflict with our extensive research on our options and what we knew we wanted. He never called us back, so we called and asked to meet with a different salesperson. The second guy was more helpful, but we still ordered it the way we wanted it (despite his disagreement with some of our decisions). Long story short, we knew what we were doing and are so glad we researched thoroughly and stuck with our plans. We have a 26U with two AC units, and I can tell you that 1 unit would not be sufficient for our needs.

Our local dealer was not good (pretty close to AWFUL) despite knowing who sent us there. They didn’t communicate effectively, and we went to Jackson Center to see it being built only to learn our dealer messed up the VIN number, so our unit was not being built. We made 3 trips to Jackson Center and it took a long time to get the VIN snafu fixed. Additionally, after our initial shakedown trip, we made a list of things that were not right with our unit (some big, some minor) and brought it in to be fixed. It was there a very long time, and the dealership backed it into a wall, causing damage. WE had to keep calling THEM to get it fixed properly, and it took a ridiculous amount of time - so much that we had to cancel a trip!

My husband is also an engineer, very handy and can fix most anything, but when you have a brand new Airstream covered by a manufacturer’s warranty, you’re not going to be fixing those issues. We are not picky, demanding people - the issues were legitimate.

Knowing what I know now, I’m not sure what we’d do. Not happy at all with our local dealer. Yet, taking it all the way to N.J. (we live in Michigan) for routine warranty work would be super inconvenient. My best advice is to DO YOUR RESEARCH about the dealers closest to you. Had we done that, we might have had better service. Yet - we (mistakenly) thought that knowing the AS exec would help us and it certainly did not. We love our Airstream, we ordered the right options, but our dealer was not great.
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Old 10-21-2018, 12:35 PM   #54
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Buy local if you can. Develop a relationship with a service organization that is accessible from your home base. Develop DIY skills, a knowledge of your AS's systems and a working relationship with the AS factory service folks to address repairs that must be completed in exotic locations.

The recommendation to buy used may be your best tactic, if as you say, you are comfortable with maintaining the coach yourself. Most models need upgrades to make them suitable for reliable use. AS has made new models better, but still embraces specifications that can and have been improved by skilled and informed owners. There are two paths 1) find a coach that has been upgraded to the specifications you want and well maintained through it's life, and 2) find a coach that has been well maintained and do the upgrades yourself.

Data - the late model ASs have ducted AC, better DC converters, internal seam seals,better insulation, roller shades, and better OEM tires. On the down side, they are heavier and have "good enough", but not "state of the art" systems .... solar is a prime example. Do lots of research before you leap.

Good luck with your search. Pat
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Old 10-21-2018, 12:45 PM   #55
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We bought our second Airstream this year, so we went in with our eyes open. We made the trek from MN to Colonial Airstream in NJ based on our previous excellent experiences with them. We spent three days there, "boondocking" in their parking lot and checking everything out. Colonial fixed everything we found before we left.

Since then, we've found some additional warranty items, which we would never entrust to our local Airstream dealer, based on our previous poor experiences with them. We have a March 2019 trip planned to Jackson Center to have the rest fixed. This has given us a 9 month period to produce our punch list. By all accounts, Jackson Center does fast, excellent work.

We can fix the little things ourselves. For the rest, Jackson Center or the closest Five Rivet dealer - link.
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Old 10-21-2018, 12:48 PM   #56
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Wink

We live in western Canada and bought in Texas as the deal we received was a dream. Having said that, some observations:

- We haven't had any major issues other than all the wires to the electrical panel needed to be tightened and was an easy fix,
- The hinges on the doors beside the bed (two-up closets) are just screwed into the plywood edge-on were stripped and needed to be reattached,
- I found that things like electrical awnings get a bad rap here on the forum, and our experience with the power awning has been nothing but positive.

You say you're handy and that will stand you in good stead as an AS owner. There are little things that need to be tweaked and tightened, the more so depending on how many miles you travel. Trailers aren't like a home, any rough handling by occupants during daily living will cause greater maintenance headaches.

When we bought our AS we didn't have a dealer within 400 miles, so not being on anyones bandwagon, we bought the best deal we could. I looked for an inordinately long time (4 years) to get the deal, but we have been treated well by all AS dealers we have gone to, and would expect nothing less.

All the best and see you on the road!

Michael
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Old 10-21-2018, 01:24 PM   #57
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Hello all,

Been here a short time as we have been researching the type, style, ins/out, and all things AS.

We made the trek to Albany NY to actually see the one we want to buy etc etc....

Came down to, once we did a final measurement, we went from 23 to 25 capability in a serenity (based on our driveway and turn around space area).......which opened a whole new can of worms....ugg!

So the question from my wife came up as, she has seen (on this forum) where people "shop around" for the best price and it could be thousands of miles away to get the best "deal" for said unit.

Now, some minor background, I am a Senior Electrical Engineer Manager, I am also have plenty of mech skills for repairing, replacing etc.....so I fear nothing about purchasing it from far far away.

The wife wants to know, since I'm handy, should we "not" worry about where we buy from since I can do most things......BUT, what do we do about service if/when we would have to make a service run........somewhere....

Does buying from a local dealer supersede handiness because at some point I will need it serviced by a dealer and not buying locally could create an "issue" of serviceability?

To me local makes the most sense since most AS dealers are within a 3 hour window to get service done, but if I can save XXX grand by traveling........we just aren't sure what AS buyers have done......and do they like it, regret it.....or other.

All views welcome, please help us make an educated decision.

We both thank you.
Chris
How about simply asking the dealer that you are going to have service the AS this same question? A couple of things ... 1. Fear of offending should not be the major factor. You don't need to deal with people who would get offended, putting themselves first. Also, I'm sure they have this question built into their collective marketing-experience memories, already. 2. Most service depts. are so busy that you are going to have to wait ... wait ... wait to get in, anyway. Also, my experience has been that, sadly, there is rarely any strong connection between the Sales and the Service personnel. It's the known honesty inherent to the dealership matters most, in my opinion. Dave
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Old 10-21-2018, 02:27 PM   #58
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Hi

You are close enough, run up and take a look at how they build a Casita. It's a small outfit. The whole factory would fit in a corner of the JC service center. No big changes year to year and a small range of models. Very much a "boutique" RV.

Then there's the carpet on the walls .... . Oddly enough, that didn't bug me as much as it seems to bug others. Small ... that is an issue.

Bob
We did visit the factory Rice Texas, outside Dallas, and almost ordered a new one for ~$18,000, pretty loaded. (or at least we talked about getting on the 5 month "order wait list"! (by the way, you can order without the carpet!)
We found out with a little more research, the Casita's are very popular, and hold their value; we purchased a 07' for $14K, had it 2 years, and sold it for $14K, with a line of folks wanting it! Crazy, but true!
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Old 10-21-2018, 02:47 PM   #59
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The last 2 AS's we purchased were new. We live in Texas but purchased in in California for a couple reasons; 1) big price difference over the dealer we had here. We are talking discount in the 20+% range....Texas dealer did not/ would not work with us at the time; I am told they have new sales folks now and are more aggressive.)
2) dealer we purchased from also worked with us on options...we wanted Fiama bike rack and also hitch thrown in...not an issue either time we purchased. By the way, ended up purchasing last 2 AS's from same dealer; just got the unit in a different location/branch.

Last time we purchased I was negotiating with 4 dealers (Florida, 2 different dealers in California, and Oregon);a I had written quotes before pulling the trigger with the one we ended up with although the dealer was in CA, the trailer was in Oregon...long drive to pick up, but worth it the deal we made; we were going to Montana for the summer anyway so not that far out of the way.

After owning several, and working with service centers on various issues in San Diego, Sacramento, Portland, Montana, Texas and also talking with Jackson Center on some issues, I believe your better off learning to fix things yourself if you want it done timely. Smaller warranty issues like replacing a latch or an easy to replace part, Jackson Center warranty folks have been pretty good about sending replacment parts under warranty, pretty fast to us. If there is a serious warranty issue, like a "trip ending" issue, I would call the closest dealer and also talk with Jackson Center. The service centers are P&L and I know some folks at these places, like sales folks, will tell you "you" will receive preferential treatment...I am not convinced of that once your down the road...
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Old 10-21-2018, 03:00 PM   #60
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Dealer service

Dealers should service any Airstream bought anywhere. Personally, I bought my 2007 Safari 4 years ago and have yet to go to the dealer but if I did, there is one an hour away. I’ve purchased miscellaneous parts and supplies from the dealer and I would not expect any issue if I took my AS there for service.
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