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Old 05-18-2018, 11:57 AM   #1
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Stupid Airstream Tricks

I have considered starting this thread for some time now. I am doing this primarily to showcase some of Airstreams less thought out "improvements" to their product line. It can also be a place to congratulate Airstream on some of their better new ideas. We can also use this thread to tell Airstream what we would like to see in future Airstreams.

Hopefully, this will become a thread that the Airstream Company will monitor on a regular basis. This can become a real asset to Airstream. Here they can get a feel for what their core customers are thinking.

I will start the ball rolling with one of my favorite pet peeves. When we bought our 2015 Flying Cloud 25FB (our third Airstream), we were quite disappointed to find that Airstream had decided to get rid of the 12 volt (cigarette lighter type) outlets in favor of some 3 volt USB phone charger outlets. I guess Airstream did not realize that there there are many accessories that Airstreamers use that cannot be plugged into USB outlets. One of the first things that I had to do in my new Airstream was wire in a couple of 12 volt outlets to be able to use my small oscillating fans.

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Old 05-18-2018, 08:23 PM   #2
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Okay, I’ll see your plug and raise you two: 1. The incredibly cheap ‘chromed’ plastic trim used on the exterior lights. The ones on our 25’ 2014 FC aged 10 yrs During the first year. We had them replaced and those looked equally bad after the 2nd year. You would think that for the money Airstream would worthier use chromed metal or better quality plastic.
2. The idea tha the 20 lb (?). mirror front on the medicine cabinet does not need some sort of latch or support to hold it open during use. I should not have to hold the front open with my head while looking for something. Was Airstream to lazy to find one that works or too cheap to supply one? The attitude of ‘let the buyer do it ‘ is way too prevelant in the corporate mindset.
Just my humble opinion - carry on.
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Old 05-18-2018, 10:26 PM   #3
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Two things:
1) I had to put another latch on our medicine cabinet with mirror in the bathroom. It angles down, and always came open while driving. But it’s a poor design. Do they test these things on bumpy roads. Not sure the extra latch will work. But someone else did the same thing and it fixed problem. One more latch put in by AS would fix issue and cost little.
2). Vents need to be screwed up to the ceiling. We had 2 that kept coming down. Finally used some glue to keep them up. But really no screws? They use screws in houses that don’t move down the road. Why wouldn’t you not do that in an RV?

These are admitted little things. But little things add up to annoyances.

I do concur with the 12 volt suggestion. But do like the USB plug-ins.
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Old 05-18-2018, 10:33 PM   #4
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While my experience is restricted to early 2000s trailers, from what I have read it doesn't seem like it has gotten any better. It would go a long way for owner impressions and probably improve quality if they instilled in their workers a pride in their workmanship. Rats nest wiring could be eliminated with $.050 worth of cable ties. Having trash cans handy during assembly so rivet tails, pieces of stripped wiring insulation, dropped screws, etc wouldn't be in every nook, cranny, and crevice. A touch of vacuum cleaner to pick up sawdust wouldn't hurt.


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Old 05-18-2018, 11:00 PM   #5
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I'm not sure that we are the core customers for Airstream. I think the demographics Airstream is targeting is younger and possibly more affluent then the Airforums group. There are a lot of people here that have older trailers and different opinions then a younger group that Airstream needs to attract for long term business growth.

There are a lot of members of Airforums that express their desire for twin beds, recliners, old school audio equipment (I still want my cassette player for all my oldies tapes), and other things that are out of touch for a younger, more affluent buyer.

I sure Cadillac ticked off a lot of their older, long term customers when they realized they needed to attract a younger group of buyers several years back. At that time, the did edgier styling, more performance based offerings, and marketed with some Led Zeppelin music.

All that being said, if Airstream is listening to suggestions, please bring back another model line more in keeping with the original CCD's. That would be a clean, crisp modern interior (whites and or grays, not beige). Also, update that the 30' models floorpan so the big side windows are on the same side as the awning and view, and the utilities are all on the street side. This makes more sense both when in most regular RV campsites with patios on the curb side and when boon docking and you can orient a side of the trailer towards the best view. In the boon docking situation such as hanging out at a beach, it is great to have the best view from both the awning side and the inside the trailer. The utilities on the 30's are also goofed up with the city water connection and the fresh water tank fill on opposite sides of the trailer.

Just my 2 cents for the evening.
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Old 05-19-2018, 09:43 AM   #6
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I have had the same issue with " the incredibly cheap ‘chromed’ plastic trim used on the exterior lights." We had these replaced at JC under warranty. Withing a year or so, they were just as bad again.


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Old 05-19-2018, 10:14 AM   #7
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Can we not have the open door block the kitchen window?? Just Sayin!!!
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Old 05-19-2018, 10:16 AM   #8
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1973

I never saw one in person but in 1973 there was an optional accessory called a Thermosan. Basically it consisted of a hose that went from the black tank to the exhaust manifold on the tow vehicle. No @#$% !
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Old 05-19-2018, 10:29 AM   #9
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SmartPlug

Please switch to SmartPlug for the shore power connections. I never have to worry about scraping up my knuckles after installing these, and they make a much better connection.

http://smartplug.com/rv/
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Old 05-19-2018, 10:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumatic View Post
I never saw one in person but in 1973 there was an optional accessory called a Thermosan. Basically it consisted of a hose that went from the black tank to the exhaust manifold on the tow vehicle. No @#$% !
I don't think I want to be following one of these down the road.
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Old 05-19-2018, 11:10 AM   #11
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Also ADD 1) 12 volt outlet outside
2)additional110 outlet by awning
3)awning roller with slot that accepts attachments; not like Zip Dee (none);
my Zip Dee broke where the holes are for adjustment and told NOT covered, NOT defect. Put dent in trailer.
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Old 05-19-2018, 01:01 PM   #12
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I'm just glad ours did not come with the "have to push by hand" function that we see in many of the vintage caravan pictures. The "close enough to kiss pavement" dump valve location and the "14 inch" tire configurations do qualify for the "Stupid" award. The "disconnect switch" that does not disconnect parasitic loads is a close second for the podium followed in third place by the obsolete converter.

When I worked in Oklahoma, a lead worker helping me load a rail car said it's very important to leave something undone that's easy to fix so the inspector feels good about finding a flaw and you don't have to redo a bunch of trivial things to get sign off. I think the AS team went to the same school as that guy.

Newer teams that eliminate all issues so we can find none no matter how hard we look have raised the bar. We expect our RVs to be similar quality to our cars. Maybe it's a retro thing and worth the trip down memory lane.

Best to count the smiles and forget the STUPIDS. Pat
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Old 05-19-2018, 01:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiLNomad View Post
Can we not have the open door block the kitchen window?? Just Sayin!!!
LilNomad

I agree. Our first Airstream was a new 2005 Safari 25FB. This unit happened to be one of the first ten FB units produced. The door was hinged to the rear and did not block the kitchen window. Airstream soon decided to rehinge to the front. We always liked the rear-hinged door. We traded the 2005 for a 2015 25FB. Given our druthers, we would prefer the rear hinged door.


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Old 05-19-2018, 02:03 PM   #14
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What would we "tinker" with?

Improvements are always welcome. I feel certain that $$$ drives decisions at AS. QC & PDI remain vital. Airstream has great warranty coverage and nothing is perfect. I agree "it would be nice" to incorporate the aforementioned ideas however pleasing all of the people all of the time is virtually impossible. Let's go tinker with our rigs.
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