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Old 11-04-2014, 03:11 PM   #1
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Why won't RV places deal with Airstream?

Is the Airstream mother ship hard to deal with or something?
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Old 11-04-2014, 03:13 PM   #2
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Is the Airstream mother ship hard to deal with or something?
Is this question related to your post in the thread "HELP! Warranty Work by..."? Or is it a general question related to non-warranty work? Because the answer is different depending on the exact scope of the question.
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Old 11-04-2014, 03:14 PM   #3
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I am not sure what you mean. Do you mean why aren't there more AS dealers? Or do you mean why won't non AS dealers work on Airstreams?
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Old 11-04-2014, 03:27 PM   #4
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If you had a Ford would you take it to a Dodge dealer for warranty work?

If you need work done on appliances you should be able to get that done at any authorized warranty repair center. I've had warranty work done twice on my air conditioner at Camping World and while some people complain about them I've been totally satisfied with the work done for me. As for work on the trailer itself Airstream deals only with their authorized dealers/service centers.
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Old 11-04-2014, 04:20 PM   #5
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The Mothership is NOT hard to deal with to my knowledge. That said, Airstreams do require special training for some of the work on them (especially metal work) and White Box dealers don't have the ability or training to do it. If you need warranty work, the factory or an authorized is your only avenue. The taking a Ford to a Dodge dealer example above is very appropriate in the warranty scenario.
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Old 11-04-2014, 07:01 PM   #6
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Airstream/Ford/Dodge

I'm not arguing, and I see y'all's point. But the cases are distinguishable. There's a Ford dealership on every corner. The nearest Airstream dealer is 300-500 miles away.

And just to head off some of the flames: I did ask before I bought. I asked my dealer, I asked the repair place I was using, and I asked AS. What I was told then, and what I'm being told now, are 180 degrees different.

I asked here if AS was hard to deal with because of the virulence with which several shops have told me "We don't work on Airstreams." I'd understand if they said, "All that polished aluminum is a pain in the tuchus so we don't do work on/inside the skin," but that's not what people are saying. They're saying "We don't work on Airstreams" and refusing to give a reason. Which is hard to figure, since the guts of the machines are all pretty much generic.
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Old 11-04-2014, 07:07 PM   #7
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Airstreams are hard to work on because of the way they are built. Read some of the anguished restoration threads. It seems they can't do anything the way everyone else does, if they can find a way that makes their units harder to work on.
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Old 11-04-2014, 07:08 PM   #8
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I'm not arguing, and I see y'all's point. But the cases are distinguishable. There's a Ford dealership on every corner. The nearest Airstream dealer is 300-500 miles away.

And just to head off some of the flames: I did ask before I bought. I asked my dealer, I asked the repair place I was using, and I asked AS. What I was told then, and what I'm being told now, are 180 degrees different.

I asked here if AS was hard to deal with because of the virulence with which several shops have told me "We don't work on Airstreams." I'd understand if they said, "All that polished aluminum is a pain in the tuchus so we don't do work on/inside the skin," but that's not what people are saying. They're saying "We don't work on Airstreams" and refusing to give a reason. Which is hard to figure, since the guts of the machines are all pretty much generic.
Most RV repairs shops are also dealers. Perhaps they don't want shiny nice looking Airstreams on their property distracting their potential customers from the dull all-look-the-same white boxes they are trying to sell them.

Ken
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Old 11-04-2014, 07:08 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Belbein View Post
I'm not arguing, and I see y'all's point. But the cases are distinguishable. There's a Ford dealership on every corner. The nearest Airstream dealer is 300-500 miles away.

And just to head off some of the flames: I did ask before I bought. I asked my dealer, I asked the repair place I was using, and I asked AS. What I was told then, and what I'm being told now, are 180 degrees different.

I asked here if AS was hard to deal with because of the virulence with which several shops have told me "We don't work on Airstreams." I'd understand if they said, "All that polished aluminum is a pain in the tuchus so we don't do work on/inside the skin," but that's not what people are saying. They're saying "We don't work on Airstreams" and refusing to give a reason. Which is hard to figure, since the guts of the machines are all pretty much generic.
They don't work on Airstreams because they wouldn't know how to unless they were a trained authorized dealer. Stuff like stoves, AC, etc are pretty much standard across the industry.

My wife and I scheduled a trip to Jackson Center, OH to do some warranty work at the factory. Highly recommended especially while under warranty. My dealer is over 2 hours from me and I go there for Airstream-specific stuff but I have an RV dealer about 15 minutes from my house and if I need generic stuff, that's where I go.

Good luck!
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Old 11-04-2014, 07:37 PM   #10
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JD Sanders. In Alachua, Florida is about 300 miles down the road but they have an excellent reputation for honesty and quality work. Mine goes there and I am a similar distance to the south.

Mike
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Old 11-04-2014, 08:50 PM   #11
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Is the Airstream mother ship hard to deal with or something?
Let me share almost 50 years of my experience with Airstream.

Do they make mistakes? Sure, but they strive to correct them ASAP.

The people at the factory, are hard workers, and very dedicated. That goes from the janitors up to Bob Wheeler.

Can they be difficult to deal with. Sure they can, when they must do so.

Airstream respects hard working, honest dealers, that also pay their bills.

I for one, can vouch that sometimes Airstream says somethng can't be done, but they keep an open mind, just in case.

Some 45 years ago, they said a flat rate manual could never be created for Airstream work. I wrote that manual, that in many circles, is still used today.

Airstream said, back then, that the cause for loss of control accidents, could never be found.

In late 1969, I proved to them, what caused 85 percent of those losses, when I was working for Caravanner Insurance, the insurance division of Airstream at that time. Data and facts of those losses was supplied to Airstream, as well as demonstrating to them that most of those 85 percent losses, was very predictable and could have, to a very large degree, been avoided.

So yes, Airstream can be tough, but never when it comes to making almost each and every owner happy and well satisfied. There are a few, unfortunately, that can not under any circumstances, ever be happy.

Is an Airstream perfect? Heck no, but what is? Airstream has always, as I have witnessed from behind the scenes, tries very hard to be the best, and I strongly feel, that they are as close to a perfect 10, as any manufacturer of such a product as they have, can be.

Times change, people change, engineering changes, technology changes, but Airstream continues to be at the top of list. Perfectly no, but with dedication, yes, along with hard work, every day.

Hat's off to one of the United States 500 best made products.

I bet Wally is still smiling.

Andy
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Old 11-05-2014, 03:04 PM   #12
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Is an Airstream perfect? Heck no, but what is?
My wife is.
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Old 11-05-2014, 03:21 PM   #13
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You don't work on square box trailers. The wood walls rot out leaving nothing to fix. Airstreams are at least fixable. The basic systems are the same as every other RV.

Perry

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Airstreams are hard to work on because of the way they are built. Read some of the anguished restoration threads. It seems they can't do anything the way everyone else does, if they can find a way that makes their units harder to work on.
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Old 11-05-2014, 04:15 PM   #14
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Odd -- I store my airstream at Cheek and Shockley here in Richmond, a box-trailer RV dealership. It's kept fenced and locked in and I can check out a key for entry/exit if when they are closed. The service department is more than happy to do work for me as I need it on any internal component or service work such as winterizing, washing/waxing, etc. The only caveat is they want me to store the trailer in the corner of the lot, such that the likelihood of accidental damage from others moving their own trailers is minimized.

I'm sorry to hear you have some issues with your local dealers. I'd suggest you call around - it may be that one or two.

Ian
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