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Old 12-24-2014, 02:39 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by zigzagguzzi View Post
How can anyone on the forums read about so many defects and still purchase a new AS.? Buyers beware or buyers remorse? Most of the problems I've read about did not concern me when I purchased an as years ago. It's almost like, I know smoking kills me, but I'm gonna smoke anyway, and complain all the way to the hospital. aS problems may not be fun, but they are a fact of life. How you deal with or not is up to you. Anyone on the forums was prewarned and purchased anyway!
I'm sure we all like the look of airstream ,also most people think there the top of the line trailers, they do have some realy nice interior layouts, they tow great. I think we would all like airstream to pick up the quality issues that's the main reason we complain but still buy them .
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Old 12-24-2014, 03:02 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zigzagguzzi View Post
How can anyone on the forums read about so many defects and still purchase a new AS.? Buyers beware or buyers remorse? Most of the problems I've read about did not concern me when I purchased an as years ago. It's almost like, I know smoking kills me, but I'm gonna smoke anyway, and complain all the way to the hospital. aS problems may not be fun, but they are a fact of life. How you deal with or not is up to you. Anyone on the forums was prewarned and purchased anyway!

What is the alternative? Nothing else even comes close in comparison.
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Old 12-24-2014, 03:18 PM   #45
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I know issues with a new coach can be discouraging, but don't let it ruin the magic! New owners are fortunate to have a 2 year warranty, and there are good dealers who can be "the last 100' of production". We had a 25 item punch list addressed by a dealer when our 2014 27FB (our Pete) was 5 months old, and have had both the A/C and Fridge fail this summer. But, we still love our Airstream!

Going back to a post I made in October on another thread:

Here's why we bought the most expensive travel trailer we looked at (not the most expensive Airstream by any stretch). Our Pete is basically hand made, it cannot de-laminate (look at most travel trailers 5 yrs old with glue-lam walls - see all the bumps?), it doesn't fade or yellow, the water doesn't pool in the corners of the rubber roof, the graphics don't peel, the plywood core (not particle board) cabinets don't come apart, the slide can't leak, it does not require 4 steps to enter because it is not 3' above the axles, the suspension is torsion bars with shocks, it just looks cool inside and out, it only weighs 5900 lbs, it tows like a dream, and oh the sound of that bank-vault door.......

Go camping and enjoy every minute!!
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Old 12-24-2014, 03:21 PM   #46
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Well said. Love the sound and look of the door.
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Old 12-24-2014, 05:10 PM   #47
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Issue one: Poor assembler training. Each assembler needs to be instructed in the general care/art of workmanship. This is something that we go over every month at my company. Each assembler needs to be adequately trained in each aspect of their responsibilities and more so for those around them. Each assembler should be responsible for reviewing the work done prior to their continuing the next task. In-process-quality-control is where it should start and end if done correctly.

Issue two: Proper incentives which can be recognition and/or compensation based (the preferred method for me) or they know they will be quickly fired if they do not have the right attitude and perform good quality work. There are too many folks out there who would like the opportunity to do so. You just have to constantly weed out those that don’t. This process takes more effort than most companies are willing to do. They think it will cost them more in hiring and retraining so they just ignore the one factor that most controls quality!! The assembler.

Issue three: Quality procedures/fixtures that insure each aspect of the build is correct (i.e. sensors are wired correctly, vents flow properly, exterior based leaks, water systems leaks, full load functionality of the electrical system, things grossly installed wrong etc..).

Issue four: Supervisors/quality inspectors who actually review the work being performed.

Issue five: All of Air Stream’s management should take a turn at living in a randomly picked production unit and all new models for at least a month out of the year. In other words put them directly in the customers shoes. I know this was not done on the new changes made to my last 2012.

Issue five: Management that supports all of the above.

The interesting fact is that if the above is done the upfront/execution expense is recouped several times over in the long run. So instead of investing in a factory expansion invest in quality first!!!

We are all part of the problem. The prevailing attitude that it is RV construction, get over it, fix it, accept it, move on, their only human, it is a perfect product and something must be wrong with me or my expectations, excuses etc. is what is wrong.

Yes, I had a 2012 that was the worst trailer, if not product, I have ever owned and here I am buying another. With the 2012 I reengineered the underrated transfer relay that left us without power the first two camping trips. I had numerous other major issue that I simply reengineered and repaired myself. THIS IS PART OF THE PROBLEM. I had numerous direct conversations and email exchanges with Air Stream that I know had an impact on issues I suffered on the 2012 but the only thing it cost them was reimbursement of a few parts that I convinced them were the correct parts that should have been used from the start.

We all need to be diligent in documenting the issues and making sure Air Stream Corporate is aware of each and every one.

The other issue that keeps things from improving is that we as owners take care of most of the problems saving Air Stream a tremendous amount of money. I know personally on the 2012 I must have saved them at least $2,000 maybe $3,000 in repairs not to mention my time in researching and reengineering the transfer relay circuit.

Until enough people complain and/or Air Stream starts to see warranty repair costs reflect what is really going on in the product nothing will change. For them it is a better bottom line!!! PERIOD

Now why do I buy a $90k product and right off the bat replace the hot water system, upgrade the bottom of the line convertor, replace the cheap trailer tires and plastic capped lug nuts, install LP tanks with gauges and sensors, install the missing towel racks in the bathroom, insulate the exterior storage areas and under the beds, adjust, repair and/or replace most of the little bits. Because I like the “finish” and potential of the product when I am done with it. The 2012 I sold was by far a much superior product than when I bought it.

I love the product and would like to see the quality/build reflect the heritage/image of a great American Icon “Air Stream”.

Have a Blessed and Merry Christmas to all.
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Old 12-24-2014, 05:35 PM   #48
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You couldn't of said it better ! Merry Christmas !

Don
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Old 12-24-2014, 06:30 PM   #49
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Similar QC issues with our 2015 Eddie Bauer ... easier for us to address the problems ourselves and contact the factory if we need assistance or parts. We view the purchase as a $92k training exercise (for AS employees - and, maybe us, too)... many of the bolts were over torqued and don't hold anything! The factory *and our distant dealer* have been very good in assisting in remedies; we would prefer to not have the issues, but really like this model.
Our FC20 was nearly flawless; our first Eddie Bauer had some issues; but this was the first 25EB off the line and they definitely missed some QC checks.
I guess that any hand-built product will have some inconsistencies and problem areas - wish that were not the case, but it is what it is. We like 'streamin' but don't really expect to see QC improve when AS has a hard time keeping up with the orders as it is.
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Old 12-24-2014, 06:39 PM   #50
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I went out to the trailer to answer a question on the furnace on another post and notice a nice kink in the gas line going to the furnace and a screw sitting on the floor in behind the furnace face plate as on this model there is a gap between the furnace and the wardrobe cabinet so it's easy to see behind furnace face plate the more you look the more problems you see. I guess airstream doen't use a hand tube bender .

Don
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Old 12-25-2014, 06:08 AM   #51
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What is the alternative? Nothing else even comes close in comparison.
Not for everyone, but the solution to me was to sell my last newer AS that I felt had to be repaired anytime anything happened to it, and take the money and buy partially restored vintage. A very good aluminum tent. No longer find the desire to replace or repair every little problem. Six thousand dollars invested in old Avion, the other twenty thousand from the sale of the AS went into the credit union. Camp everywhere I did before. Like I said, not for everyone. New is good, everyone should try one and decide. Merry Christmas. Jim
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Old 12-25-2014, 08:50 AM   #52
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I have been doing some internet searches on the subject of RV owner complaints. Airstreams are certainly not the only ones with QC issues. Most of the complaints I found were the same for all the brands. I read somewhere that part of the new Airstream plant construction is a new training center for employees and adding additional QC positions.



Fortunately my 2006 Safari is in overall very good condition and currently seems to have no major construction issues. Off the shelf mechanicals are starting to show bit of normal wear and tear. The AC and hot water heater were replaced within the past year by the PO at Jackson Center. Not sure what happened to the AC. The PO buggered up winterizing by not draining the water heater. I have had the trailer since July and to this date have had an easily fixed water pump leak (O-ring) and the original tongue jack self destructed that was easily replaced. I do try to practice some PM. I go around the interior with a screw driver every once in a while and give the screws I can get to a twist and look for anything not quite right. After every trip out there always seems to be several loose screws that need a bit of tightening. I hate to jinx it but so far have no noticeable leaks.
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Old 12-25-2014, 01:15 PM   #53
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I have been doing some internet searches on the subject of RV owner complaints. Airstreams are certainly not the only ones with QC issues. Most of the complaints I found were the same for all the brands.
Maybe.

We ended up with a CampLite - also a Thor product.

And we've had a couple minor issues and one major one concerning the ground and neutral bonded in the AC.

But we still love the concept of the Airstream. The look. The riveted aluminum dear to the heart of an aircraft buff. And last but not least, the comaraderie.

And we may end up with one someday.

We would have paid a small premium to get an Airstream, even knowing they had their problems. But an Airstream equivalent to our CampLite would have been more than double the cost of our SOB.* For a roughly equal, or maybe slightly inferior, level of fit and finish it did not seem the right choice for us as first time travel trailer owners.

Had we seen the Airstream as the pinnacle of fit and finish, we very well might have gone the $60k+ buyin to the fraternity. As it was, under $30k for what we got seemed reasonable - even if it turns out just to be a "learner" on the way to an Airstream.

* Proud to be an SOB!



From last year's SpringStream.
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Old 12-25-2014, 01:44 PM   #54
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Google any brand rv (including big, big buck motorhomes), car or toaster with the word "problems" and you will find the same gripes, the same folks whining about it, and other folks getting the bugs worked out and pressing on with their camping, travel and making toast.
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Old 12-26-2014, 08:03 AM   #55
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FasteddieB, loved your Camplite. Would be one if our choices if we were to buy newer. Peace, jim
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Old 12-26-2014, 08:39 AM   #56
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What is the alternative? Nothing else even comes close in comparison.

Speaking as an outsider here, I think the above statement really says it all. Airstream is a unique and niche type product, and very often buyers who want that niche experience are willing to overlook or fix various issues in order to enjoy the benefits the particular niche product may otherwise provide.
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