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Old 09-06-2011, 09:23 AM   #29
Don't forget your cat nap
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Port Orchard , Washington
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You won't find it any better elsewhere.

We are currently using our third travel trailer. All three were purchased new. They represent three different makes. All three had problems when new. The nice thing about the Airstream is that all the problems were cosmetic and easily dealt with. Perhaps thats just the way it worked out. Both of the other trailers required plumbing repairs for poorly installed fittings. One required the A/C to be removed and installed correctly. I can't even remember all of the issues anymore.

The point is, if buying a travel trailer, expect to find issues similar to a new house rather than a new car.

I won't try to remember how many new cars I have bought in my lifetime, but I don't recall ever buying one that immediately needed repair.

For some reason, RV manufacturers seem to get away with performing shoddy installations and then letting the buyer do the quality control work for them.

No matter what brand you decide on, take into consideration the logistics of returning to the dealer to have things corrected that could easily have been done correctly in the first place. A lot of the things I encountered with the first two trailers would have been difficult to check at the dealers walk through. For instance, how many buyers would run the shower for 5 minutes and then come back 10 minutes later to see if water was dripping out the bottom of the trailer.

The sad part about the Airstream was that things were obviously done right in the first place, but workers installing later items messed things up. The galley counter top was scratched obviously by the stove installer. There were large very noticeable gouges in the screen door and interior grab handle that were undoubled caused by trying to jam the couch through the front door without care. There were a few more examples.

When I asked the dealer's employee who was conducting the walk through why they didn't fix these things when the trailer came in, he told me the factory had instructed them not to fix anything until the customer found the problem and requested it be fixed.

Do not expect to find any better practices with other brands. It is the way the RV industry has done business for years.

Would I do it all again. Of course. I enjoy having and using a travel trailer. It is easier now because I understand the way the game is played.


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Old 09-06-2011, 01:45 PM   #30
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1975 Argosy 24
1976 Argosy 28
Alamo Heights , Texas
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Different sides and different perspectives...

Notwithstanding the very real problems the SilverSnail blogger seems to have had with the '07 Safari and with Airstream, I believe her response to the problem has contributed to the poor results. It is an unreasonable expectation that a new trailer would be trouble-free, I think she should have gotten past her irrational position that she could "never trust this trailer again" after the floor was replaced.

Again, I'm *NOT* saying she's wrong to have expected a brand new expensive trailer to have fewer problems than she experienced, I'm saying that once those problems were all addressed it would probably have been a better idea to keep the '07 and perhaps demand a long warranty on the repairs that should never have been needed in the first place, rather than entering into the game of roulette on the quality of yet another new trailer AND all of the non-standard agreements on trade in on the '07.

Now, if the '07's problems couldn't be guaranteed to be fixed by Airstream, I can understand the reticence to keep that trailer, but it sounded like they were making that trailer whole again, and a longer warranty wouldn't be that much of a concession for Airstream to offer, so it probably would have been an easy win for the blogger.

ó David

Il Carriaggio ó 1975 Argosy 24 | Il Progetto ó 1976 Argosy 28 Center Bath | WBCCI# 15566

He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. ó Sir Winston Churchill
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Old 09-06-2011, 02:19 PM   #31
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DKB, I agree completely. jim
1984 Avion 30p 9.1 meter. 2006 Dodge 3500 cummins srw short bed crew cab.
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Old 09-06-2011, 03:19 PM   #32
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I was fortunate to purchase a 1980 Excella that I found down in Tenn. and very happy with it. My lab puppy and I have spent many a great weekend at the lake enjoying the peace and quiet. I had a small fifth wheel previously and thought that was great, but then I bought an A/S and now I know what great is. Good luck.
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Old 09-13-2011, 11:01 PM   #33
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About a year ago, we started seriously looking at all manner of RVs. We settled on an AS because of its quality, design, and just as important, the wealth of practical, experience- based information on this Forum. Another, not-so-obvious benefit of being an AS owner is that there are so many other owners whose rigs, while different, share many, many common features that are similar, if not identical to each other. Someone else suggested attending a rally. That is a great way to see first hand the different models and to network with owners. You might even find a deal or two on used rigs.

Good hunting, it only gets better as you dive deeper ....
As far as I know, this is the oldest I've ever been.
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Old 09-17-2011, 04:03 AM   #34
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Hopewell , Virginia
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Hello all,
I am new here, am looking and set my eyes on a 2012 FC. What got me worried is why a 2 year warranty, give us more, prove it to us that "Made in USA" is as strong as ever.
Well, I probably would take the delivery, keep the AS in my back yard until the HOA tell me I cannot do that anymore, at least it will serve me as a dog house when I need one( or a happy corner :-)). Then in 2 years I will trek to JC and tour the facility, ask them to go over the AS before warranty runs out, do they have such program?

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Old 09-17-2011, 05:10 AM   #35

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
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Alternative plan......use the new AS as much as possible, put as many miles on it as you can, SHAKE, RATTLE & ROLL!! You need to find all the bugs ASAP.

AS knows how much the average owner uses their coach, they also know how quickly problems show up, hence the 2yr warranty.

After 8yrs we are just about done catching up with the re-do's and can now concentrate on maintenance.


AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 09-17-2011, 06:52 AM   #36
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I work for an Airstream dealer that also sells other brands of RV. The warranty items and QC on Airstreams is about a quarter of the others. About 3/4 of the warranty items on the Airstreams are things like appliances which you would find on other RVs, the rest are things Airstreams have the others don't, such as loose/missing rivets. The SOB returns for warranty are 75% SOB-specific items, like leaking rubber roof or calk peeling off. So, unit for unit, the Airstreams have a quarter of the warranty issues than the rest.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
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Old 09-17-2011, 07:35 AM   #37
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Desert Diva not in defense of anyone selling a trailer with problems but sometimes the seller isn't even aware of the problem....most people leave the unit (even the SOB) outside 24/7 and may not even detail clean until just before using it then leaks have dried up damage is done under the floor covering but until they notice soft spots or floor problems they don't know...SOB's have the same issues but they don't have the iconic position we have all given the "airstream" observation is that if as many SOB's where held to the same expectation as and AS we would find the same issues...because the original price tag wasn't as much as an AS, we excuse the SOB and retire it to the hunting camp instead of expecting "top dollar" because of its brand!!!! a lemon from the factory that isn't right and should have been handle by the original owner....remember too, the general" work ethic" has also evolved at the same time... the "pride" level is no longer the same for @ person!!! I've had four units in 30 years....pop up, AS,SOB and this last AS....all had water leaks but that is part of ownership glogeo
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:00 AM   #38
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Battle Lake , Minnesota
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We bought the same model trailer referred to in the original post, for retirement travel. Done that (12 months total) and plan much more, except we are in the market for a new Airstream, a little larger.

Our Airstream experience is excellent. Batteries and elect converter replaced under warranty, and two very small leaks easily fixed by me.

My background is in aircraft maintenance, learning that with proper use, regular inspection and maintenance, and overhaul of systems when needed, they can last virtually forever. I believe this is also true of Airstreams.

I think any leakage can be minimized. Personally, I would never tow it in a rainstorm or on wet roadways. If there is an opening somewhere, and there most surely is, the wind-driven water will enter in large quantities. Same with salt-melted snow. After each trip, take a few minutes to look in all the compartments for evidence of water . . . find the leak and fix it. Each year, go over the entire trailer looking for cracks in the sealant, and fix them. Or have a competent repair shop do it.

The owner's manual lists other maintenance items.

You can't just use it and park it. Take care of it and it will give you excellent service.

doug k
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:44 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
My background is in aircraft maintenance, learning that with proper use, regular inspection and maintenance, and overhaul of systems when needed, they can last virtually forever. I believe this is also true of Airstreams.

doug k
Hi Doug,

Nice post! What's your favorite sealant for aluminum? for glass to aluminum?


Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:52 AM   #40

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
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"Personally, I would never tow it in a rainstorm or on wet roadways."

Are you listening Seattle.....

AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 09-17-2011, 12:41 PM   #41
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2005 28' Safari
saline , Michigan
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Personally, I don't know how you are going to avoid driving in the rain. But, you can keep your trailer maintenance down by storing it under a roof when not in use. That goes for any trailer or vehicle. Exposure to the elements ages everything faster. I recently saw a 1972 AS at a campground
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Old 09-17-2011, 12:47 PM   #42
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2005 28' Safari
saline , Michigan
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Oops, didn't finish that sentence. I saw a 1972 AS and its body was as nice as my 05. It had never been re finished and had virtually no oxidizing areas. It was quite remarkable. The owner had inherited it from his father and

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