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Old 06-11-2012, 09:06 PM   #1
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The 'I am scratching my head about...' thread

Yeah... there are things to like about Airstream... but, my last few days... weeks I guess, have been plagued with one 'surprise' after another.

What does the inside of a 2006 CCD look like ripped out in a pile on my garage floor? How about when someone leaves several open holes through the chip-board leading directly to under the vinyl? How many heaters does it take to dry out a wet Airstream?

Say what you want, but the more I took apart my Airstream, the more obvious that the level of care that went into the basics were pure crap.
-Outlets for 110v plug ins... just free-hand them with a jig saw...
-screws for cabinets... just torque them in at a 45 angle, let them strip, and leave them...
-cutouts for vents... just use your old tin snips and chip away at it... leave as many shavings and sharp edges as you can...
-holes for power and propane... just leave a 2 inch gap around them
-cutout for the wheel-well... just over cut the chipboard, don't seal it, leave a floor mount hole wide-open and let the vinyl hide it
-sharp edges in inner shell? Just wrap lots of electrical tape around the wire and call it a day (I have bare copper showing on one of my AC wires, and it is some miracle it didn't energize the whole shell)
-outriggers failing? discontinue the model with a bad rep..

Anyway, I know there are lots of happy people... and good on you. I'm looking at many more days of fixing stuff that should have never been done at the factory... THEN I can move on to stuff that might be considered maintenance... though this trailer is not that old for the stuff that is going on.

Airstream... if I win the lottery... I am having this thing airlifted to your factory and dropped from 1000 feet into your parking lot...
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:11 PM   #2
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Oh, what's this? Just a big slice in a live 110v wire touching my frame... surrounded by washers, metal filings, rivet shafts... whatever else happened to fall into the cracks before they linoed over it...
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:15 PM   #3
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Don't worry, if we make a wee slit in the lino, that will cover the 2 inch hole we drilled for the 12v wire to come in and provide an impervious barrier...

Guess not...
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:45 PM   #4
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:14 PM   #5
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Hi, sometimes I think this stuff amazes me, but other times it doesn't. Working on my trailer, especially during my living room remodel, I thought some of the items were well thought out and made well. Then there are the holes and cut outs that look like a cave man did them with a hammer and chisel. In mechanic terms we would call it butchered.
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:14 PM   #6
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I'd always assumed my battle with water was coming from above, but it really looks like I need to get at the bottom... and removing all the pans in the tight space underneath is going to be interesting. Really, someday this is going to be a frame-off if it makes it that long...
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Old 06-12-2012, 05:52 AM   #7
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Never had the interior seriously disassembled but.....

Bic lighter, candy wrapper, screws, lengths of wire, tie downs, "air screws", wood cut-outs, pieces of cut aluminum, random mouse fur and headliner cuts. All mementos of the assembly line.

Friday,

Have had some roof and seam leaks but our soaked floor was caused by poor seals at the lower beltline, rear bumper & storage compartments.

Bob
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Old 06-12-2012, 06:19 AM   #8
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It has been going on for years and years and years. I honestly think the last time Airstream really had decent quality control was prior to about 1968.

I have a 1975 and a 1980, both have obvious signs of assembly by people that were more interested in a paycheck than in doing quality work.

My wife and I just looked at a brand new 30' Classic with at $98,000 price tag. Knowing what I know now I would rather take the money, buy an older unit and pay someone that I trust to build me a custom unit...bound to come out money ahead.

Aaron
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:58 AM   #9
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For $98,000 you could have the works done on an old on. In fact for half that, and I believe you could have a far better trailer.

My 1968 had rivet shafts and heads in holes and cracks, but the quality has been very good as I have completely gutted it. Also I am rebuilding with granite tile counters and tile counters pergo floor, and the lay out I want. New everything except sink, oven, shower, and toilet "because they all work fine" for around $13,500 - $15,000 Axels. Being a big hit in there.

We paid $5000 (to much) for the trailer ( didn't know better at the time), so for under $20,000 I'm getting a new AS the way I want it. With all the quality control up to me. Not a bunch of factory workers who never use the thing and don't care.

If I factor in my time and labor it's about another $8000 - $10,000 I don't come cheap. I figure if you worked 8 hours a day 5 days a week you should be able to get it done in a month or so If you know what your doing. And me being on the second redo, things are going faster this time.
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:47 AM   #10
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Hey Friday,
That really sucks. If I win the lottery, we can talk about a Helicopter charter! I think I made the right choice on my 74' 25' Tradewind. To buy a new airstream and have to do what us folks are doing in 60's and 70's trailers with a large monthly payment to boot I am sure. Unacceptable. My wife has said for the last 3 years of ownership that we should have waited and bought a new 25FB Flying cloud . After seeing the most recent posts I think she has changed her tune. I think she is cool now with a trip to Cali now to see Andy and get a bunch of new goodies.. Airstream would have to make some big improvements on the new units to see a Cheque from me.
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:37 AM   #11
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rough in

I do not expect the level of fit, finish and part interchangeability in an Airstream from the frame up, like I do in a production vehicle. On the other hand I do not expect sloppy custom hand work like you show.

As is common in custom home production, structure must be engineered and built without compromise, followed by rough-in, followed by trim and finish which also serve to cover the rough-in.

An Airstream is a semi-custom, hand built house/vehicle combination. For the low production numbers, their customers demand a relatively high number of floorplans and options, all of which affect the exterior, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, trim, materials and decor. It is a unique business model.

So, extensive rough-in for these options and configurations comes with the territory and the quality is 100% dependent on the person doing it. Hopefully the one who did yours, is no longer on the production line.

I have been in some of the same roughed-in areas you have, and not seen that level of sloppiness.
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:17 AM   #12
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just being the devil's advocate, here

One poster said 1 month of work. Okay, assume AS hired a person to go in and spend 4 hours per evening for a month (88hours) cleaning after the day's shift of construction. At $100/hour that would add $8800. Worth it? In my example, do you think it would take a trained person 4 hours/day to CLEAN UP after a 8 hour shift of construction? Would the loaded rate for cleaning be $100/hour? Well, I do not think it would be $8800. I think more like a Maximum of $2000. and anyone looking at a new airstream would pay that.
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:18 AM   #13
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Sorry for your problems. The QC issue goes way back. As I dismembered my 77', I couldn't believe some of the shoddy work that was done. In my case, I am just glad I am redoing or inspecting EVERYTHING. I may be too old to use it once I get done!
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
It has been going on for years and years and years. I honestly think the last time Airstream really had decent quality control was prior to about 1968....
Aaron
Aaron, Not pickin on you...but...
Im amazed at the reports of Bad QC..."it was so mch better back in 'the day'"

My '63 has the same crappy attention to detail as my '77 and my '91...and apparently the same as 2006...it ain't got no better or no worse folks...

The fridge vent on my '63 looks like it was opened with a chain saw...um, on my '91, it has fallen off...
Sharp inner edges...covered with tape on 2006? wow... they did so some improvements over the years...I could shave on places of the inner shell of my '63 if it wasnt covered in latex...the '77 was dull from the hammer marks...

If a 2013 model had rivets lines that wondered all over like my '63 it would never make it off the dealers lot...so much for quality...

just sayin'
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