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Old 11-06-2014, 06:49 AM   #169
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You know what, that Timeless Travel suggestion is actually an awesome idea. Grab a shell with ducted AC and have them build the trailer I want. Once I get my breath back after looking at their quote, it would seem a fantastic idea. Getting a perfect trailer right out of the chute - it doesn't get better than that. I'll seriously consider this idea if / when we decide it's time to move to a new TT after enjoying the one we have long enough.
Then, let us know how much that costs, please. Airstream could likely do it somewhat less expensively given the production line method of assembly and economy of scale, but I suspect the cost of that travel trailer would have most people running back to the dealer to give them a blank check.

I have a potential solution to the QA complaints: Hire me. My expertise is in quality assurance/quality control with a background in statistics.

My biggest suggested improvement: a three stage converter. They're so cheap now, even if it raises the price of the trailer some, no one is going to notice that difference, and it's going to save the owners money and headache over the long run.
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Old 11-06-2014, 06:57 AM   #170
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I have a potential solution to the QA complaints: Hire me. My expertise is in quality assurance/quality control with a background in statistics.
You know - hiring experienced users of their products with expertise in these areas is a great idea!!
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Old 11-06-2014, 07:36 AM   #171
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ideas

Remember the suggestion boxes of years ago??

Most suggestions were ignored, but every once in a while, a suggestion became huge.

It seems that in time, some people prefer to gripe, instead of trying to be positive.

Good things happen from positives, and brick walls are created for negatives.

Hamburgers, even though they do not contain any ham, still sell very well, mostly because of it's name and looks.

Hot dogs are not always hot, but that name sells very well too.

Andy
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Old 11-06-2014, 08:29 AM   #172
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Items on our unit were personally pointed out to the chap in charge of Quality Control followed up with email photos of the issues we had just talked about. Issues were NOT repaired before leaving the factory!

I guess we were lucky the wheels did not fall off while the trailer was being towed to Arizona from Ohio! Or as happened with a our Shulte 12' wide trailer in the late 60s., the frame split on the interstate with all our possessions in it. We were three months awaiting the trailer living in a motel room out of two suitcases.
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Old 11-06-2014, 09:08 AM   #173
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Oh, and here's another one: stop wasting all that valuable space just inside the left side of entry door on the 27FB Intl Signature, behind that ridiculous gigantic wedge-shaped seat cushion back. Turn it into a storage area like the one on the Classic. I mean, really, why are you wasting that incredibly useful space?[/QUOTE]

I met someone at the SoCal Rally in Kern who took that cushion, replicated it in wood with a door, and then covered it with matching fabric turning it into addtl storage. Looked great just like the foam cushion but now had a useful purpose! held coffee pot etc.
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Old 11-06-2014, 09:38 AM   #174
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Things I like to see on New Airstreams

Hey, LiLNomad, that's exactly what I was thinking of. Every cubic inch of storage space is precious. When I bought my TT, I didn't think of it, as this was our first trailer. Now I would insist on that mod in my order if the trailer doesn't automatically come that way.

I also like the look of the "circular" dinettes they put in at TTT, but some of the seats would have their back to the Pano windows. Decisions, decisions....
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Old 11-06-2014, 09:54 AM   #175
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Oh, and here's another one: stop wasting all that valuable space just inside the left side of entry door on the 27FB Intl Signature, behind that ridiculous gigantic wedge-shaped seat cushion back. Turn it into a storage area like the one on the Classic. I mean, really, why are you wasting that incredibly useful space?

You mean like this?
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f7/less-wasted-space-in-the-airstream-122172.html
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Old 11-06-2014, 10:49 AM   #176
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I'd like to see:

1. Access panels to facilitate maintenance on the waste dump valves, tank monitor sensors (even SeeLevel may need service) and FW drain maintenance.
2. Ditto on a better FW drain valve.
3. I'd like to see an alternative to the dinette/side couch on the 23d, 25fb/B, 27FB. I don't find the dinette comfortable for watching TV in my 25fb. Maybe a couch with pop up foot rests and a side folding table like some of the older Safari floorplans but do this for the rear dinette plans too. Add some cabinets under the TVI don't need a dinette set up full time and when the table is down the lounge created is too odd of a shape to sit comfortably.
4. Reduce some weight.
5. Ducted air in the smaller floorplans mainly for AC noise abatement.
6. Double pane windows.
7. Exposed drawers in the kitchens for the models that only have cabinet doors with interior drawers.
8. Higher quality skylights and plumbing vents.
9. Better TV antenna than what they offer in the 2015 models
10. Built in XM antenna.
11. Ditto on a better converter.
12. Winterizing connection to pump antifreeze into the system.
13. Easily accessible water pump and water pump filter.
14. Better sound insulation of water pump.
15. Use Hepvo valves instead of P traps to save space under kitchen sinks.
16. Ditto a water proof subfloor.

Kelvin
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Old 11-06-2014, 11:03 AM   #177
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Then, let us know how much that costs, please. Airstream could likely do it somewhat less expensively given the production line method of assembly and economy of scale, but I suspect the cost of that travel trailer would have most people running back to the dealer to give them a blank check.

I have a potential solution to the QA complaints: Hire me. My expertise is in quality assurance/quality control with a background in statistics.

My biggest suggested improvement: a three stage converter. They're so cheap now, even if it raises the price of the trailer some, no one is going to notice that difference, and it's going to save the owners money and headache over the long run.
If you are looking for a job, I believe your background in quality may be a detriment in today's market. This may sound cynical, because it is. However, my impression of many so called "quality" products I have purchased in recent years is that volume and profit per unit trumps actual quality nearly every time. Many US companies are coasting on long past records of high quality while making products well below their past standards using components sourced from sweatshops overseas. This has been going on for so long now, that I believe consumers (especially younger ones who were not here to observe previous "Made in USA" products) have expectations so low that they now accept this as the norm.

If this post was annoying to any or all, take solace in the fact that it made me feel better.

Ken
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Old 11-06-2014, 11:15 AM   #178
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You know - hiring experienced users of their products with expertise in these areas is a great idea!!

You know, that's a great idea! I'm not pushing for a job, but working on a multitude of RVs every year, I have seen just about every type of construction, layout and orientation.

I also have extensive experience in correcting the glaring installation mistakes of OEMs and upgrading many components for clients. This includes a good deal of electrical component and wiring upgrades, not to mention the high-end solar/battery/inverter systems that I install on a regular basis.

Airstream could benefit greatly from an 'outside' viewpoint from someone with a depth of real world experience of solutions that really work!


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Old 11-06-2014, 11:30 AM   #179
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************************

Airstream could benefit greatly from an 'outside' viewpoint from someone with a depth of real world experience of solutions that really work!


Lew Farber
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Lew,

None of this will ever happen, until it is shown that it would help the company's profit margin.

In my few years on these forums, I have read countless lengthy threads on Airstream production quality issues. They were all from owners. I have yet to see a single post from someone stating the they didn't buy an Airstream, because they observed low quality constructions practices when looking at them. Until a significant number of people stop buying Airstreams because of these issues, there is no incentive whatsoever to change. As near as I can tell they can't keep up with the sales as it is.

You have the advantage of seeing the inner workings of many RVs, I would be interested in hearing your opinion of which brands have the best quality construction.

Ken
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Old 11-06-2014, 11:43 AM   #180
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Mefly2 - I get that you're upset and don't blame you - but twice referring to the employee as an ape might be tempting or even cathartic, but it's offensive and misses the point.

Agreed that AS does a lot right.

OK, then, let me rephrase that verbage ...to gorilla ... as in some organism with much more brawn than brain with regard to proper installation techniques. The individuals that strip out the fasteners on these expensive purchases either physically have their hand tool or mechanically (electrical or air) operated tightening device / tools set for the wrong operating pressure / torque or have parts of their anatomy in a very dark place to not notice when their driver device either spins freely or has a significant change in pitch ... as the fastener tightens and then strips out. Certainly the installer him/herself is fully aware of that issue personally and yet they send the unit down the line (ostensibly unchecked by anyone else) for delivery to the ultimate purchaser.

Few folks want to purchase anything that was assembled as a "training" exercise. In our case - all of the anchor points has some issue that made then unsuitable for the designed function. Where is the quality control ... missing in our last two nearly 100K purchases. That's my opinion and I am sticking to it.

Fortunately, AS has a dealer network that is mostly well trained and able to remedy many of the mistakes that leave the factory - either known or unknown to the employees that send the units down the road. I guess that is part of the expense of the purchase - to fund after delivery repairs under warranty.

Zig Zag - when you buy your own EB, then you can put whatever you want inside ... see the EB forum! You missed my point entirely; the D-ring anchors (6) pulled out with simple finger pressure by rotating them ...some were missing the retaining washers and yet others were stripped out of the wooden flooring. They missed the frame / outriggers that they were supposed to be fastened to. This was noticed right at the time of purchase as we were ready to depart - NO load was attached to the D-rings! Unfortunately, we had already spend a great deal of time camping (in our 2013 traded in) on the dealer's asphalt lot and needed to get down the road to regional. So a proper fix will be at some time in the future as we do not have faith in all of the more closely located dealers' abilities to property repair this issue. Employment and distance constraints factor in to just when we will have full functionality of our purchase. Both the selling dealer and the factory have been great on all of the other issue that have arisen ... and we DO LIKE our 2015 (65 days so far this year), but over time it seems to us that the quality control exercised by the factory has lessened in some units now coming off the line.
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Old 11-06-2014, 12:23 PM   #181
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Well, you're creative at least, mefly :-)

Still totally disagree with your choice of words though I understand what you're saying. You've actually highlighted the flaw in a apprenticeship-only approach. The best of the best and most experienced are usually unconsciously competent and they're working with rookies who are consciously incompetent. Thats a big gap which creates its own ineffectiveness.

Apprenticeship is key and a great way to learn - but to maximize the knowledge in the expert's head and minimize the tendency for the rookie to just shut up and repeat what s/he thinks s/he sees takes intentional instructional design, including practice, formal coaching, reinforcement and structured feedback so the rookie learns the why for him/herself. It's also much more complicated than this (we haven't talked about culture, incentives, tools, etc.) but that's just a few thoughts for starters.

The human beings on the line are not apes or gorillas and they are not the most likely root of the problem. The process absolutely needs an overhaul.
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Old 11-06-2014, 12:47 PM   #182
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Interesting discussion but way off topic.
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