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Old 09-08-2017, 01:49 PM   #1
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1972 31' Excella 500
2017 30' Classic
Grapeview , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 451
Factory Quality Control Issues

Our first AirStream was a 1972 33' and was quality built and one could proudly state "King of the Road". There was nothing close. Fast forward 2017, we bought a new 2017 30' Classic. We love it, however there is issue w/the quality control coming out of the factory and the customer service out of the factory management. The Dealer does their best to help, however they receive direction from the factory management. Our first go around, our Classic spent over 2 months at the dealer addressing factory materials and workmanship issues one would not expect from claimed "King of the Road". Couple issues we resolved ourselves and most likely material/design issue that appears cannot be resolved. The bathroom sink does not drain due to a flat bottom. This remained unresolved by AirStream even after they claimed to "fix". The problem is a cheap fiberglass acrylic sink AirStream uses. We ripped it out and replaced w/a vessel sink. Works great and it does drain. The entrance side awning has a side to side tilt, however when awning is tilted down at Entrance door, one cannot use the door. AirStream response to this, it is what it is and you will need to level awning in order to open/use the door. The other issue that all AirStream owners need to look at is the grab handle next to entrance door. There is a top and bottom rubber garment that the is next to the exterior skin and the handle brackets sit on. It appears when the factory was installing sealant between the door jam and exterior skin, the handle was already installed. Look closely as on our Classic, sealant stopped at the both top of and bottom of these garments. This means there is no sealant between door frame and exterior skin at these two locations, water intrusion into insulation in the wall. The other issue is AirStream installed correct garment at the top bracket, water drain slot on the bottom/down side of garment. However the bottom bracket garment the water drain slot is at the top of garment. This allows water to enter at the top and not drain out the bottom. When I pulled the bottom bracket off the water came running out. Again water intrusion into the wall insulation as there was no sealant installed at the anchor holes. Strongly suggest you pull handle, brackets, and garments off. Install sealant between door jam and exterior skin. Cut a drain slot in bottom bracket garment for water to drain out. When you re-install, make sure and fill anchor holes w/sealant prior to installing anchors. We are now in the process of looking at each exterior skin penetration to assure no water intrusion into the wall cavity. I am not even going to get into the AirStream owners/user manual, worthless. As I said we love our Airstream, however do your home work and voice your concerns if any to Thor Industries (they own AirStream), Peter B. Orthwein Executive Chairman. Bob Wheeler CEO of AirStream and Mike J. Goetz Sr. Owners Realations. Good luck, safe, and happy travels.
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Old 09-08-2017, 04:00 PM   #2
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2016 30' Classic
Lorton , Virginia
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After purchasing a 2016 Classic, I've come to learn that purchasing an Airstream is like purchasing a "kit" trailer. You get the bare minimums and have to fix/put things together properly yourself.

I've spent hundreds of hours correcting deficiencies myself. And no, I'm not going to let all of these problems go unfixed until I can get some thousand mile trip completed to the factory. Especially problems that can flare up into huge problems real quick.

My recommendation to anyone who wants in Airstream is to buy one around the factory. Spend a week or two in it, check the heck out of it (guts also), and then plan to take it to the factory for a week or two of repairs.

Bottom line, Airstream quality isn't any better than bargain basement trailer manufacturers.
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Old 09-08-2017, 04:04 PM   #3
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2017 30' Classic
Titusville , Florida
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First, let me welcome you to the Forum.
As you look around the forum you will see thousands of posts regarding QC issues with many new Airstreams. However, we are fortunate to have this valuable resource available to all Airstream owners to assist in addressing these, mostly minor glitches. I hope you continue to enjoy your new TT for many years and many miles.
Since you have a 2017 Classic, like mine, I would strongly suggest that become very familiar with the Much Ado Alde thread in addition to the many other threads that address issues specifically related to the 2017 Classic as this particular model is quite unique.
Again, welcome and enjoy.
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Old 09-08-2017, 04:52 PM   #4
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Hi

Welcome !!!!

I believe I first heard the "AS has quality has gone into the dumpster" conversation from my grandmother back in about 1958 ......

Good to hear you got a sink upgrade for free !!

Bob
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Old 09-08-2017, 05:03 PM   #5
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Hi Welcome and Congratulations on your purchase and changes you've already made.

I think you'll find this section and group of owners to be very supportive and helpful. Much Ado about Alde is a great section full of advice on how to tweak your system to get it running the way many of ours do.

Bud
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Old 09-08-2017, 07:14 PM   #6
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1972 31' Excella 500
2017 30' Classic
Grapeview , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 451
Hello Bob, No free sink up grade. We spent roughly $800.00 in materials and I spent 20 hours doing the install. Do you believe I would trust AirStream to work on our classic, NOT. We are happier w/what we have now. Best regards, Scott
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Old 09-08-2017, 07:24 PM   #7
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1972 31' Excella 500
2017 30' Classic
Grapeview , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 451
Hello Lauri, Thank you for the welcome. Yes the Adle system. This is why we bought 2017 Classic. We are big fans of Hydronic systems. After getting our Classic, we went through the Alde System to understand how it works. This of course after going on line and downloading from Alde how their system works and how to fine tune their system, roughly 30 pages. Great Manual. Best regards, Scott
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Old 09-09-2017, 10:20 AM   #8
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2015 28' Land Yacht
Houston , Texas
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Quality Control on 2015 Airstream Land Yacht

I bought what I thought was Quality, every sink leaked, shower leaked, no caulking in shower or sinks. Take a shower and water ran out on hall floor and out the wheel well onto the street. Took it back to factory they worked on it for a week, could not get all problems resolved. Got ready to leave factory. went to check air in trailer, this company is so CHEAP they turned off the Air Compressor, what I thought was air going into the tire, the tire was going flat, had to call for road side assistance to get tire's aired up. Wrote letters to all of the big shots and never got an answer about building lemons. This had a 2 year warranty and was in the shop for 15 months. Buyer beware.
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Old 09-09-2017, 10:32 AM   #9
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Folsom , California
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Hi apanzer,

Wow! Sure sounds like you got put through the ringer! If I understood your posts correctly, and I may not have, you sold your AS. May I ask what, if anything, did you replace it with?

Thanks for your response.
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Old 09-09-2017, 10:33 AM   #10
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2014 25' International
Fredericksburg , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2014
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We purchased a 2014 International Signature. I thought a new AS would be just perfect. We had so many issues (quality control) that I found a garage that knows what they're doing. I won't go back to Airstream and recommend anyone who owns one, look for a good, reputable garage that can do maintenance and exterior work as well. I'm now confident when we are on the road. Finally. Can't say that when the local Airstream dealer serviced our trailer.

Andi and Paul
Fredericksburg, Virginia
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Old 09-09-2017, 10:41 AM   #11
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2016 30' Classic
Lorton , Virginia
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Posts: 670
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbowman View Post
Our first AirStream was a 1972 33' and was quality built and one could proudly state "King of the Road". There was nothing close. Fast forward 2017, we bought a new 2017 30' Classic. We love it, however there is issue w/the quality control coming out of the factory and the customer service out of the factory management. The Dealer does their best to help, however they receive direction from the factory management. Our first go around, our Classic spent over 2 months at the dealer addressing factory materials and workmanship issues one would not expect from claimed "King of the Road". Couple issues we resolved ourselves and most likely material/design issue that appears cannot be resolved. The bathroom sink does not drain due to a flat bottom. This remained unresolved by AirStream even after they claimed to "fix". The problem is a cheap fiberglass acrylic sink AirStream uses. We ripped it out and replaced w/a vessel sink. Works great and it does drain. The entrance side awning has a side to side tilt, however when awning is tilted down at Entrance door, one cannot use the door. AirStream response to this, it is what it is and you will need to level awning in order to open/use the door. The other issue that all AirStream owners need to look at is the grab handle next to entrance door. There is a top and bottom rubber garment that the is next to the exterior skin and the handle brackets sit on. It appears when the factory was installing sealant between the door jam and exterior skin, the handle was already installed. Look closely as on our Classic, sealant stopped at the both top of and bottom of these garments. This means there is no sealant between door frame and exterior skin at these two locations, water intrusion into insulation in the wall. The other issue is AirStream installed correct garment at the top bracket, water drain slot on the bottom/down side of garment. However the bottom bracket garment the water drain slot is at the top of garment. This allows water to enter at the top and not drain out the bottom. When I pulled the bottom bracket off the water came running out. Again water intrusion into the wall insulation as there was no sealant installed at the anchor holes. Strongly suggest you pull handle, brackets, and garments off. Install sealant between door jam and exterior skin. Cut a drain slot in bottom bracket garment for water to drain out. When you re-install, make sure and fill anchor holes w/sealant prior to installing anchors. We are now in the process of looking at each exterior skin penetration to assure no water intrusion into the wall cavity. I am not even going to get into the AirStream owners/user manual, worthless. As I said we love our Airstream, however do your home work and voice your concerns if any to Thor Industries (they own AirStream), Peter B. Orthwein Executive Chairman. Bob Wheeler CEO of AirStream and Mike J. Goetz Sr. Owners Realations. Good luck, safe, and happy travels.
All of the Classics are plagued with the ridiculous flat bottom sink as far as I know. Did you go with an above counter vessel sink? What did you do about the weird shaped OEM sink counter cut-out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by apanzer View Post
I bought what I thought was Quality, every sink leaked, shower leaked, no caulking in shower or sinks. Take a shower and water ran out on hall floor and out the wheel well onto the street. Took it back to factory they worked on it for a week, could not get all problems resolved. Got ready to leave factory. went to check air in trailer, this company is so CHEAP they turned off the Air Compressor, what I thought was air going into the tire, the tire was going flat, had to call for road side assistance to get tire's aired up. Wrote letters to all of the big shots and never got an answer about building lemons. This had a 2 year warranty and was in the shop for 15 months. Buyer beware.
Wow that really stinks. This was the land yacht that you have in your sig? It is a shame the quality is so bad on these trailers.
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Old 09-09-2017, 11:34 AM   #12
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
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"Quality control" search results using the new Google-powered search box above with the blue border, which works great!

https://www.google.com/search?q=qual...=airforums.com

Happy trails!

Peter

PS -- No need for such a large font, nor need to "Quote" it again IMO.
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Old 09-09-2017, 12:50 PM   #13
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Old 09-09-2017, 04:55 PM   #14
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We have often been told to hold on to our one family owned 1969 instead of buying new because of the perceived higher quality of the older models. Maybe, maybe not. I really don't know how to assess this to be honest. What I do know is I've had to replace a lot of components and internal systems in my 1969 that just got old and didn't work anymore but I would not call that a QC issue. Quite the opposite - it amazes me that the interior living components including the fiberglass in the bathroom are all holding up very well as is the shell and frame. Even the original carpet is holding up great and keeping its color. The original stove and refrigerator are still marching right along also but I expect my next replacement will be the refer. If I wanted to build a case to not buy due to QC issues at Airstream there seems to be plenty of input out there to support a "no case". If I wanted to build a case to trade in the 69 and buy new, again, plenty of positive input can be found although not many happy owners spend a lot of time talking about everything that IS working. Overall my experience in talking with owners of new(er) Airstream is most say they wish they had bought a larger trailer to have more storage and many or most had to have warranty work done at their dealer within the first 12 months of delivery. Overall my observation is that most say they are happy with their decision.
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Old 09-09-2017, 05:00 PM   #15
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This thread makes me love my 1971 Sovereign more than ever.
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Old 09-09-2017, 05:38 PM   #16
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2017 26' Flying Cloud
High Point , North Carolina
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Wow...either we hit the lottery or ? We bought a new '17 FC...right off the lot. Based entirely on the DESIGN. Our first camper, an EXPENSIVE popup type we bought again, for better quality & design. However, it opened my eyes to where these guys cut expense. Luckily, Im a handy guy & everything that needed attention, I could do myself but I ended doing more than I should have had to. That said, I expected some of the same typical issues to happen on our AS...especially reading this forum...BUT...nothing. So far were less than a year in, 12,000 miles down & pure enjoyment. The ONLY thing I've had to do was hand tighten a leaky fitting behind the toilet on our first outing..i have the belief all AS's come out of the factory in a certain 'condition' where the company places a degree of confidence in their dealers to prep them and 'shake em down' properly when sold, eliminating the nuisance issues many folks complain about. We bought from a very old, well established dealer...the guy who prepped our AS had been doing that for decades...i believe that's where a big difference lies. The dealer where we got our popup, NONE of the sales people camped! We only went there cause it was the closest one that sold what we wanted. The guy who prepped our AS owned one, rebuilt it, used it and told us everything to expect good AND bad...and it confirmed we made the right choice!
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Old 09-09-2017, 09:49 PM   #17
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Refriebele I have been saying same for a long time. We purchased an Airstream from a dealer who had two techs who had been in the business for 35 years, each. They took two full days to "prep" our trailer. In 35,000 miles not one issue. Other Airstreams not purchased from them, they closed up, not the same. So, on this one we now have I actually "prepped" it before our first trip. So far so good.
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Old 09-09-2017, 10:06 PM   #18
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Anna Maria , Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zybane View Post
After purchasing a 2016 Classic, I've come to learn that purchasing an Airstream is like purchasing a "kit" trailer. You get the bare minimums and have to fix/put things together properly yourself.

I've spent hundreds of hours correcting deficiencies myself. And no, I'm not going to let all of these problems go unfixed until I can get some thousand mile trip completed to the factory. Especially problems that can flare up into huge problems real quick.

My recommendation to anyone who wants in Airstream is to buy one around the factory. Spend a week or two in it, check the heck out of it (guts also), and then plan to take it to the factory for a week or two of repairs.

Bottom line, Airstream quality isn't any better than bargain basement trailer manufacturers.
I second that idea. We are on our 3rd AS and each one had to be taken back at least once. Getting warranty sercvice fro a dealer is dicey.Fortunately we are only 4 hours from the factory so it is not a major deal.
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Old 09-10-2017, 09:39 AM   #19
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2016 30' Flying Cloud
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I took delivery of my 2016 FC last year, and other than two minor furnishing issues ;everything works. Just fine.
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Old 09-10-2017, 10:00 AM   #20
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Hi Rfriebele & Paiceman - where did you guys buy your AS's? Would you recommend dealing with them again? Did they negotiate favorably? Thanks!
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