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Old 09-23-2013, 08:51 PM   #15
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Yes there are QC issues to be sure. Kind of shocking if you've not had experience with other recreational items that are hand built. Bought a boat once and I swear I heard the dealer singing "sucker" as he laughed his way to the bank, never to be heard from again.

We purchased our AS second hand while it was still under warranty. There were a couple of minor issues and one big one (early floor rot). Was surprised when I called AS direct who spent 25 min discussing the problem and what to do about it. I stayed in contact with them via email for 2 weeks while they figured out the best spot for me to take it to for repair.

Once we agreed on a course of action, we (AS and I) actually conferenced the dealer svc mgr to make sure everyone was in the loop. Got my trailer back in 3 weeks better than new. Incidentally, I suspect AS realizes that they'll resolve the problem better than dealer services. Their first question was if I'd be willing to drive it to JC...

At the end of the day I'd still recommend AS (if you have the means ;-)). Most pleasure craft makers would have told me tough luck from the get go.
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Old 09-24-2013, 05:56 AM   #16
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JC has done very good work for us also....on our 63 Safari, not warranty.

Having to return to the factory to have warranty repairs done correctly, does nothing to enhance the brand.

Improve both QC and the dealer network to match the price point. WWWD?

Bob
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:40 AM   #17
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Hi Winemaker

To have that much coming loose in that amount of time my guess is either you are carrying 65PSI in your tires or you have a shifted belt in one or more of your tires. Either of these will cause substantial vibration in the Airstream that will do all sorts of things. Michelin P235/75R x 15" XL tires run at 45 PSI will likely solve most of your vibration issues.

The furnace is a very unusual item, how many hours has it run? Has anyone pulled the furnace out and checked for a foreign substance on the compustion chamber.

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Old 09-25-2013, 08:01 AM   #18
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You may want to look at these other posts about smoke coming from the heater.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240...ce-109516.html

Causes run from duct tape left near the heater to a light coat of oil on the duct work.

In any event a GOOD dealer prep would have found the problem if they bothered to run the heater for a few minutes. I found dealer preps to be sorely lacking and almost non-existent if they sell SOBs!

Probably the best thing to do when buying a new unit is to run through the dealer prep checklist while they watch so there is no question as to the condition of the trailer.

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Old 09-25-2013, 08:50 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Hi Winemaker

To have that much coming loose in that amount of time my guess is either you are carrying 65PSI in your tires or you have a shifted belt in one or more of your tires. Either of these will cause substantial vibration in the Airstream that will do all sorts of things. Michelin P235/75R x 15" XL tires run at 45 PSI will likely solve most of your vibration issues.

The furnace is a very unusual item, how many hours has it run? Has anyone pulled the furnace out and checked for a foreign substance on the compustion chamber.

Andrew T
Andy,


Do you have any more info on the Michelin P235/75R 15XL tires?

I couldn't find any specs. and I am wondering if they would fit the wheel wells on my 2005 Classic 30 and also on the original Alcoa rims. And most important, if they would have sufficient load rating?

I presently have Towmax (I think that is what they are called) Load range E tires that I bought from Jackson Centre, but they are about due for replacement.

I would like to try the Maxxis tires that get good reviews on this forum, but cannot find them in Canada. I have been thinking I might buy them in Tucson this winter, but now you have me wondering about the Michelins! I suspect load rating might be the problem though.

Thanks - Brian M.
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:00 AM   #20
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Andy,


Do you have any more info on the Michelin P235/75R 15XL tires?

I couldn't find any specs. and I am wondering if they would fit the wheel wells on my 2005 Classic 30 and also on the original Alcoa rims. And most important, if they would have sufficient load rating?

I presently have Towmax (I think that is what they are called) Load range E tires that I bought from Jackson Centre, but they are about due for replacement.

I would like to try the Maxxis tires that get good reviews on this forum, but cannot find them in Canada. I have been thinking I might buy them in Tucson this winter, but now you have me wondering about the Michelins! I suspect load rating might be the problem though.

Thanks - Brian M.
Brian,

I PM'd Andrew yesterday to check if these were the tires he was recommending. He confirmed and noted that it was a very good price.

I've had such good luck with the LTX's on the Burb it makes sense to consider Michelin for the AS, just can't rationalize new 16 wheels.
GYM's since 1989 on two AS's with nothing but a nail, got no complaints there.

This is also interesting reading....note Maxxis origin.

Bob
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Old 09-25-2013, 10:05 AM   #21
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JC has done very good work for us also....on our 63 Safari, not warranty. Having to return to the factory to have warranty repairs done correctly, does nothing to enhance the brand. Improve both QC and the dealer network to match the price point. WWWD? Bob
In a previous life, management and marketing, in attempt to increase profit and "close out" the development process by "shipping" the products, justified their actions as follows:
"Ship the $&@? Thing! You have 2 months until the product hits "the field"...by then all you need is to FIX it!!! Issue an E.C.(engineering change) to be field installed when the $&@? Grenades on first startup. The Field Engineers you have out there are great folks who will save your a$$$$$. Utilize them!"

Hmmm... So, several " issues" there. Management killed off the field people. "Too expensive." "Customers are willing to do a lot of the work for cheaper price. " (the SW industry has leveraged this beyond the pale.)

Now, AM I SEEING ?... that AS is going the same way? Nothing , it appears, differentiates them aside from the choice of exterior material and service provided directly by/at The MOTHERSHIP. Dealer structure has trouble finding "qualified" folks who will work for peasant pay...so that dealers make lots of profit....not so they can improve customer value... Ooooooops I said the wrong thing!!!?????

Meanwhile,
Not being "cynical"...we really need to look deep into our Airstream belly button.
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Old 09-25-2013, 10:18 AM   #22
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Channing,

SW= soft ware?

BTW
I can't find my Airstream BB...should I get it out where I can see it?


Bob
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Old 09-25-2013, 10:21 AM   #23
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Channing, SW= soft ware? BTW I can't find my Airstream BB...should I get it out where I can see it? Bob
SW = software, yup.

And, yup, the AS BB, is virtual, sorta.

Apologies for an acronyms phobia...
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Old 09-25-2013, 10:31 AM   #24
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Brian,

I PM'd Andrew yesterday to check if these were the tires he was recommending. He confirmed and noted that it was a very good price.

I've had such good luck with the LTX's on the Burb it makes sense to consider Michelin for the AS, just can't rationalize new 16 wheels.
GYM's since 1989 on two AS's with nothing but a nail, got no complaints there.

This is also interesting reading....note Maxxis origin.

Bob

Thanks for the link Bob, it doesn't look as though they would work for me, the load rating seems not quite high enough.

As for the Maxxis tires, I did know they were from China, but rightly or wrongly, I don't feel it right to tar everything with the same brush. I am sure there are some pretty poor tires coming from China, but are they all bad?

I was only going from the fact that when I checked this the forum some time back, comments on Maxxis Tires were generally pretty positive.

I guess maybe I will stick will my plan to try to get a set of Maxxis 15" load range E trailer tires when we are in Tucson this winter. Doesn't appear that I can get them locally here in Canada.

Thanks again ............ Brian.

(sorry to sidetrack this thread a little!)
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Old 09-26-2013, 03:59 AM   #25
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Hi Brian
We have the Michelins on dozens of classic 30's and 31's. Unless you have very unusual loading you will be well within the load capacity with your trialer. Rich who posted above would be as heavy as you are.

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Old 09-26-2013, 12:11 PM   #26
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I have 16" Michelin in my 12 classic 30. I did install tire monitors. I tow at speed limit but only up to 70 mph on interstate.
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:42 PM   #27
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Not being "cynical"...we really need to look deep into our Airstream belly button.
And when you look in there, and also at the many threads about Airstream QC and cost cutting, you will see things have not been good. Located where it is, the company tends to be insular and does not encourage ideas from "outside". Some of the execs realize things have to change and to some degree there have been positive changes.

But they make changes without sufficient testing (and probably can't afford some of the testing necessary) and still look for cost cuts. For ex., they started using rubber seals along a few of the seams, but opted for the cheapest seals they could find. They will probably fail after a couple of years. They changed the courtesy lights as an improvement, but had new problems with these because they didn't think it through. For a while the new air conditioners were leaking inside—a manufacturer's defect possibly, but you have to find that out before you install them. They still have too many dealers who do not do a good job and that hurts sales a lot.

It may well be an average trailer with a premium price. A company can make great profits doing that so long as they sell everything they make and trade on an iconic name. I am sure they have lost a lot of sales because of the criticisms on this Forum, but they are satisfied with the situation.

It works for Thor Industries, the owner of Airstream. They make big profits and their other lines are average or below. Many people expect little reliability from RV's and the industry gives them what they expect. If you read threads about this, you will see many people saying RV's are not great quality; that's the way it has always been; blame the suppliers of the materials and appliances—Airstreams last a long time and be happy you have one.

It is true many older Airstreams last a long time, but maintenance is very high and renovating an old one is very expensive. The basic construction was invented generations ago and works well, though the company has cheapened it too for some models—read up on front and rear end sag for example.

Those of us who never had an RV before may be the most upset. We have seen amazing improvements in autos and trucks over the past generation—many caused by competition from Europe and Asia. Autos and trucks don't leak, for ex. But Airstream only began using rubber seals in a few places recently, and, as I said, used the cheapest seals you would buy on the aftermarket for an old beater you didn't want to spend any more money on. Airstream will tell you trailers are far more complex than cars—perhaps they ought to look under the hood of a new car or truck, or underneath, or at the multitude of computer chips. And even the worst cars last for years and years now with few defects. You don't need a tune up every 6 months or brakes every 20,000 miles—and the brakes actually stop the vehicles in a short amount of space compared to travel trailers.

The American RV industry is still complacent. There is little competition from abroad. We did see a strange looking Mercedes van (much bigger than the ones Airstream uses) with European plates the other day on the road. Maybe we will see more. They do make RV's in Europe, but few make it here. Maybe Asians will compete and teach us something like Toyota, Nissan and others have. That would be a bad time for American manufacturers, but real competition is necessary to improve this industry.

Rant complete. Carry on.

Gene
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:54 PM   #28
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Well put Gene.
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