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Old 06-27-2014, 11:02 AM   #197
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So this thread is "newer is not necessarily an upgrade"....but it seems it also has evolved to "newer is more likely a downgrade"...is that accurate?

I just do not have the knowledge base to judge the quality of materials, building process etc for AS over so many years...

We started our process wanting to get an 80's excella and fix it up how we wanted it...but then with further discussion on this forum many said two full time young parents and some units may prove to be a bigger time committment for repairs and improvements so started to lean new...then discovered bunkhouse layout....then fell in love with our bunkhouse and bought it....

So far we are very pleased with it...found our first leak unfortunately (used a moisture meter) - beleieve we have found the source...am taking it back to dealer soon and they will dry that area out, fix any leak(s) (I hope!) and I will continue to monitor it like a hawk...otherwise its all sealed up nice and dry by my survey and luckily no filiform corrosion...

It does have a number really cheezy issues with it...but nothing that really bother me...the drawer latches are not designed to hold those drawers in place in travel and there are no other way to secure those drawers...result was some minor damage to the things that hold the guides which will be fixed...the miniblinds as of our last trip are starting to show that they will not last with our kids (and honestly with us too as you hit them moving around or opening cabinets, etc).

But we are having a blast...

I grew up having nothing living on welfare so I am quite sure any airstream traveling around enjoying the outdoors we would be having a blast...

Except for this leak that will need to be repaired, it has been trouble free....if in a few years that was my only major problem, then I will be overall extremely happy...if the story becomes leak after leak after leak...well, ill be whistling a different tune wont I
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Old 06-27-2014, 11:09 AM   #198
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"So this thread is "newer is not necessarily an upgrade"....but it seems it also has evolved to "newer is more likely a downgrade"...is that accurate?"

It has devolved into that at times despite my continual efforts as the OP to remind people of the title of this thread: Newer is Not Necessarily an Upgrade.

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Old 06-27-2014, 11:21 AM   #199
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Newer is Not Necessarily an Upgrade

The problem with upgrades is that revisions are compromised by other issues, among them are ;

1. If a manufacturer makes a product that doesn't break much , the manufacturer will lose money on the parts and replacement end.

2. Engineers eager to see their work in production might fail to make their overly complex solution user friendly and reliable.

3. A manufacturer eager to get a new bell or whistle into the marketplace might compromise a well engineered design for the sake of economy.

4. Parts supplied do not meet their promise or expectation.

5. The wheel in re-engineered for the sake of progress alone. Sometimes the simple solution is the best solution.

6. When sitting on the lot all of the bells and whistles look appealing, they are sought after, then reality sets in once the camping begins....

The reason progress isn't always progress is because poor choices poison the well.


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Old 06-27-2014, 11:32 AM   #200
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I have collected a several Singer 301, 301A, and one 221 feather weight machines.
We have a 404 and a 221 and the 500a. My mother in law has several more including some old treadle powered ones.

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Old 06-27-2014, 11:33 AM   #201
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Newer is Not Necessarily an Upgrade

And take note, even with the well known and well documented problems with Airstreams they are still highly sought after and maintain their value quite well when compared with competing products.

The company is in it to make money, and it seems as if they are. There is always a point of "good enough", this point is decided by the buyer.

For me good enough was a couple of old Worn out Sovereigns that I enjoyed returning to useful service for not a pile of money, and only doing work that needed to be done to end up with the trailer I wanted.

Other people have different wants and desires, other priorities, etc.

What I have noticed is that owners of new and old trailers alike gripe about build quality issues, but in my estimation there are more complaints from folks who have newer trailers, and a lot of the complaints are about things that are supposed to be new and improved.

Just an observation. Am I wrong?


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Old 06-27-2014, 11:43 AM   #202
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Newer is Not Necessarily an Upgrade

Of course when things work just fine there is seldom a mention of this in a forum like this so the very existence of this forum does incite a negative bias.

Sound reason is a requirement of meaningful discussion!!

I also find that we will generally lend support to things we like. I like my Airstreams even though they are lowly Sovereigns. I don't have a lot of money in them so maybe they are easy for me to overlook their flaws and really like them?

By the way, if one looks back over my comments, it can be observed that at times I have conveniently been on both sides of the issue,,,, electric toilets and computer thermostats excluded, I hate these things either way. They are just too stupid to endorse.

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Old 06-27-2014, 01:58 PM   #203
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Oh I hear ya....no, I cannot speak for ALL new owners...they could very well be a "demographic" that is slanted toward crying about the problems they failed to anticipate...

When I found my recent leak issue, I did not lose it, and I am still having a blast and am still happy with my airstream...reading on here I knew it was a possibility and it was part of my expectations.

My dealer told me the other day that he believed new buyers poking around surveying under the flooring for moisture is extremely rare..."1 in 75 are probably doing such a thing".....if that is true (and I have NO idea if it is) then it seems to me that 74/75 buyers are going to be at risk for floor rot down the road.

This is sad too cause the AS folks and the dealers are not detailing these 74/75 to use moisture meters etc etc...the process of discussing such a purchase with AS and a dealer it seems to me does not involve much worry about leaks...therefore they do not worry about such things?

Why is that? The whole process of buying a new one did not include much useful information on preventative maintenance and detection....only my talking with other owners has helped me do that.

I will gladly share quality problems online and do so no no cry like a baby for sympathy, but to inform others and help others find problems early and get them fixed...and I suppose by informing AS and my dealer they can improve their process and their product?

I kinda see you point though J. Morgan about how superficial and other distracting elements could distract from a core important quality standard. Makes since.

I hope that as a community we can always demand quality from a company we all seem to adore at the core of it.
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Old 06-27-2014, 02:50 PM   #204
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What I have noticed is that owners of new and old trailers alike gripe about build quality issues, but in my estimation there are more complaints from folks who have newer trailers, and a lot of the complaints are about things that are supposed to be new and improved.

Just an observation. Am I wrong?


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I suspect people that purchase old trailers expect to have to repair things, purchasing brand new they don't. Also IMHO a lot of folks don't do their due diligence and feel betrayed and upset when something does go wrong with their sizable investment.

FWIW my 1975 came with a couple of hidden issues. I still think I got a decent deal and when I finally get done with it I am sure I will be happier than I would be with a brand new unit with issues.

Warranties for the most part aren't worth the paper they are written on, unless you are running short of toilet paper. For me the best warranty is no warranty because I am going to usually fix it myself and usually be ahead of the game.

Most manufacturers really don't care about quality, good enough, get the money and move on. Not all manufacturers are that way, but a good share of them are.

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Old 06-27-2014, 03:22 PM   #205
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I feel most Americans will find fault, either actual or imaginary, in everything. Most cannot be satisfied with any purchase or gift. That is how we have been taught and had it driven into us by the press and media. Everyone is a victim. I am not saying AS do not have problems. What I am saying is so often these problems are blown out of proportion. How many vintage owners find things that were wrong with their trailers for years and yet someone camped in it all those years. New upgrades raise the level expectation of the consumer. Can these upgrades pass the muster in a few years? Electric toilets and such , I believe, will not be in these trailers in ten or twenty years, being replaced with what we consider vintage, meaning simple items. So I believe the new stuff is upgrades, but only temporary until the need to replace comes around and restorers find it is better to replace with the older, less jazzy things. Jim
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Old 06-27-2014, 03:23 PM   #206
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Most manufacturers really don't care about quality, good enough, get the money and move on. Not all manufacturers are that way, but a good share of them are.

Aaron
So would people say that about Airstream?
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Old 06-27-2014, 03:34 PM   #207
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So would people say that about Airstream?
I would... Their quality control is no better than the middle of the road SOB's. They just use better materials in the shell and some components.

Airstream could make HUGE improvements in their QC. I work for a company that has a very low tolerance for poor workmanship. Have a bad enough year and NOBODY gets a pay raise that year and they will tell you why. The company is privately held and does not have to answer to public shareholders, unlike Airstream.

Airstream obviously tolerates mediocre quality and profit matters more than QC.

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Old 06-27-2014, 03:40 PM   #208
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Oi! Some Airstream owners are Government employees as well, you know! Can we say that the attitude goes from very top to very bottom, but skips the very middle?

There may be a very good chance of that! Interesting concept, hopeflly, most of us people are in the middle?

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Old 06-27-2014, 04:25 PM   #209
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I would... Their quality control is no better than the middle of the road SOB's. They just use better materials in the shell and some components.

Airstream could make HUGE improvements in their QC. I work for a company that has a very low tolerance for poor workmanship. Have a bad enough year and NOBODY gets a pay raise that year and they will tell you why. The company is privately held and does not have to answer to public shareholders, unlike Airstream.

Airstream obviously tolerates mediocre quality and profit matters more than QC.

Aaron
I can see this. I originally was set on a new Airstream. I like them. But we went to a dealership to look at 2014's and there were things I noticed. Little things the average person might glance over. Kind of made me wonder.

My grandfather had a saying, "The higher the gloss the cheaper the product."
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Old 06-27-2014, 04:40 PM   #210
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I can see this. I originally was set on a new Airstream. I like them. But we went to a dealership to look at 2014's and there were things I noticed. Little things the average person might glance over. Kind of made me wonder.
Companies are in business to make money. They do that by charging as much as they can while paying out as little as they can. And targeting the non-savvy buyer who doesn't even realize that the quality has declined.

The fact that dealers are spread so thinly upon the ground works in their favor, too. Buyers in need of warranty repairs can't necessarily afford to travel that far to get the problem fixed, so they do it themselves or find someone local instead of going back to the dealer to get a free repair under warranty.

Since they sell Airstream trailers and Interstates faster than Jackson Center can roll them out the door, if last year's backlog of orders was anything to go by, Airstream has no incentive at the moment to improve their product, and in fact a lot of incentive to low-ball the cost of building one. Even the crappiest one will sell before the year is out.

If they started making trailers they couldn't sell, you can bet they'd listen when someone complains about the quality. So hopefully the effect will be self-limiting; quality will only drop to a certain level but no lower once the reduction impacts sales.
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