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Old 12-12-2015, 08:43 PM   #43
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Many thanks to all who posted to this thread. All the support and sympathy makes me feel better. I appreciate it!


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Old 12-12-2015, 09:58 PM   #44
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Just another favorable comment on the excellent quality of service at Jackson Center. We have been there twice, for routine maintenance and interior remodeling, it couldn't be better.

We hear much about the quality of Airstream but I'll add that we are starting five years after picking up our beautifully constructed new Airstream, nothing has broken or fell part and there is no corrosion on or under our Airstream after some 30 months on the road and many trips through most of the states in the country. It's not all bad news.

Best to you, do the simple routine maintenance, corrosion prevention, and monitor for any water leaks. I believe you will have great experiences with your new Airstream and enjoy your new little home on the road. Wishing the best and keep us posted how it goes.

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Old 12-12-2015, 10:48 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by StreamNTyme View Post
This too shall pass....You are not the first and won't be the last.

I do hope the insurance takes care of most of the repairs from the accident. Do get a thorough estimate from JC now while you have time,for the insurance co before you go. The insurance co. appraisers have no realistic idea of what Airstream repairs cost.

So much more important are your lives.
Safe Travels...
I agree this will pass for this particular owner. However, reading this type of thread for several years has made me realize there will never be any positive changes in factory quality until their bottom line starts taking hits. That will never happen until potential buyers become aware of these problems before they buy. Someone who cares enough to effect a change needs to make a platform somewhere with all these problems documented in a place potential buyers searching for Airstream will find them. It would never be tolerated here for liability and monetary reasons. It is too late for me, because, for many reasons, I will never buy another Airstream. We will likely be downsizing, because our travel plans have changed (more short trips). When we do, Airstream is not in the plans. That is partially due to what appears to me to be a significant downward trend in quality control, and also what seems to me to be apathy on part of the manufacturer. Also my priorities have changed, increasing my attraction to quality and durability, and decreasing my attraction to glitz.

My suspicions is that is less expensive to fix those problems discovered, and hope many never get found in the warranty period, than it is to do it all right in the first place. Perhaps this is the business model in a lot of RV businesses, but no one expects it in what is supposed the top of the travel trailers.

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Old 12-12-2015, 10:54 PM   #46
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Apache Junction , Arizona
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Business cycles are up and down. The RV business is quite up at the moment. This of course will not last forever. Given the price of an Airstream the quality control must go up during the next cycle.
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Old 12-12-2015, 11:36 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by graysailor View Post
Business cycles are up and down. The RV business is quite up at the moment. This of course will not last forever. Given the price of an Airstream the quality control must go up during the next cycle.
I have a BS degree, so I don't know a thing about business. However I can't see how increased quality when prospective buyers are not aware of any quality problems in the first place is something to expect when sales decrease. I expect the opposite would more likely apply. They will lay off workers to help offset the decrease in sales and profit, and, to me, it is more likely that quality will suffer more.

My opinion (not necessarily humble, but I try)

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Old 12-13-2015, 12:17 AM   #48
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Joanne: My husband and I retired 2 1/2 years ago, sold our house, cars, and possessions, bought a new truck, picked up our new AS at the dealer, and set out. We had never owned an RV or trailer before, and we had no experience. So we know how you feel! We first scheduled ourselves for an RV driving school. We highly recommend this school: Owners George and Valerie Mayleben
Website: RV School
Book Classes: (530) 878-0111

They can provide classes almost anywhere in the US. They have excellent instructors, and the great advantage to this over the truck schools, is they will teach you about RV driving. Check out their website. We have known them and some of their drivers for several years, but we have no affiliation or business relationship with them. We just recommend them for anyone.

After the driving school, we began to notice the problems in our AS, and we were not about to go back to the dealer, as they had messed things up terribly to begin with! So off to Jackson Center. We carefully made a detailed list of every single thing that we though was wrong, and also started a big list of questions regarding operation, maintenance and how to whatever. The Service department was great, we spent a couple of weeks there. And we have been back two more times, get those warranty issues taken care of during the two years! Seriously, keep the heat on them. Once you are at JC, it can be fun and educational meeting the other owners there at the terra port, and sharing info and experiences. We made several very good friends right away.

We also had an insurance experience. Get the appraisal by the Factory as soon as you can, most likely they will know the insurance adjuster for your company at JC, and you will be covered with no issues. If you can go there before your appointment, you can get an appraisal done, then work out when to get the repairs done. Read and re-read the Newbies Guide, and order Rich Luhr's new maintenance book. [We have zero mechanical knowledge or experience, be we are learning!]

Do not hesitate to ask for advice or help on the Forums, but as much as you can, leave the work to be done by the Factory. And as someone else suggested, watch the repairs, check on it frequently, and insist on perfection. Ask questions of everyone. The JC service department has had some problems, but upper management seems to really be trying to do better. They will let you watch and you will learn. Ask them to show you how to get to the "insides" to check for leaks and such.

While you are there, ask to talk to AS Management and tell them about your problems and the horrible lack of Quality Control. Tell them that the Forums are starting to really cause people to become concerned that AS has lost its most important selling point, happy customers and a quality product. Trust me, they read the Forums, and they know that the company can be hurt if they do not shape up. Rumor has it that they are aware of this, and that they have made some significant steps to get back to their roots. But each of us must let them know that all of us are aware of the problems, and are looking for vast improvement. All of us, as AS owners, need to do this when at the Factory. Take the tour, not only once, but a couple of times if you are there long. Talk to the workers and then report to all of us what you think. If they are happy, and seriously doing their jobs, quality should get back to where it used to be. [Also, if you have time, be sure to check out the Bicycle Museum, which is nearby.]

We are still learning about the care and feeding of our beautiful AS, but we will be in JC in April for our first "out of warranty" check up for needed repairs and maintenance. It will hurt to have to pay, so visit as you need or want during your two years! We have received good service over the last two years. Do not be shy about introducing yourself to the staff there, and talking to your service adviser and the service management staff. [But if you want to get Solar, we recommend not having the Factory install that, seek out real RV solar experts on line and chose one near you, or do like we did, and come to Yuma, AZ for a good one.]

You have had such a tough start, but hopefully you will soon be like us, wandering this beautiful country [mostly by back roads] and leisurely seeing the sites and meeting great people, and loving your AS! We hope to meet you on the road. Good Luck!

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Old 12-13-2015, 08:39 AM   #49
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Old 12-13-2015, 08:46 AM   #50
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I just received a photo from my friend in Texas that works on Airstreams. He found another 10 cent cost cut that could cost the owner expensive problems down the road. This has been the case on several recent units.

No caulking or gaskets were installed behind the two holding fittings for the Classic's door side grab handle. Water was inside the fittings and may have gone inside the wall through the loose mounting holes.

Post #45 is correct in that it is the mind set at the factory seems to be to shove it out the door and if it gets fixed during warranty fine, but later after warranty expiration is better cash flow for the dealer and the factory.

Those folks dropping $125,000+ for a trailer are not typically folks in their 30s or 40s when we were physically at our best.

For those purchasers who are older and lack the agility and strength of their youth, what once would have been a possible simple fix becomes a cost to have someone else with those physical attributes to do the repair.

It seems to me that the factory should send EVERY unit to the "service center" for final quality control inspection before the trailer leaves the factory campus.

Or perhaps a changing of the personnel in QC at the end of the production line to be replaced with employees interested in doing their job. There were some european manufacturers that had each item signed by the worker that made it so the employees were motivated to do their best.

This plant expansion required several hundred new employees. It appears they lack the skills and mind set to do it right. With the man with a stop watch timing every activity trying to save a few seconds off each job, there is no time to do it correctly but time do it over in the field if the customer finds the issue during warranty?

There are vintage units out there with the original cabinetry still attached to the walls and new ones where the cabinetry falls down on the trip to the dealership. We had walls delaminated when I inspected the new Classic literally minutes after it had a arrived. The dealer called me to say the trailer arrived, but I knew it had been there about 30 minutes and I was five minutes away from the dealership. They were shocked.

I had scheduled the Classic for a late January production when the order was placed and it was moved forward. I was lied to about the actual start date by various levels of personal at the factory and the regional sales manager. So when I was at the door at 8:00 am on 2 January 2014, the trailer shell was on the frame with most of the wiring bundle inside. I was more than peeved. I had the VIN at least three months before the unit was built.

If I had not been there, my approved change order would not have happened and the unit would have been refused by me when it arrived. As it was, they had to remove the parts of the interior already in place to remove and install the approved flooring.

That issue reflected a failure of the dealer salesman to follow though to make sure the change order was in the shop floor work order (he had many personal contacts at the factory) and the factory to have put the change order into the production folder for that specific trailer.

A lot of effort and expense after taking delivery had been incurred to correct and improve many aspects of the unit so it is the way we want it now.

Our 23D was a stock dealer unit. They had had over eight months to see QC issues before I purchased the unit. The lack of a thorough PDI to see and fix the extremely visible issues was at best, pathetic. Even the wash job was done poorly.

We have decided that Airstream knew about the QC issues and left the rear "AIRSTREAM" brand name off to try and disguise the unit as some other brand.
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Old 12-13-2015, 09:15 AM   #51
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We picked up our new 2016 AS last July 16th, stayed over night near the dealership in the Tampa area for systems check. The following month a 4 night stay in north Florida visiting friends. In September a 16 day venture into the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee & recently 3 more nights visiting family.
So, after some negative stuff about AS quality control I'm very happy to give them a grade of 100%. Mine has been perfect so far, not one issue. Being a seasoned RVer I'm delightfully surprised and believe someone in J C has taken control of the QC problems. Just thought you should know!
Venice, FL
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Old 12-13-2015, 09:29 AM   #52
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My Classic will be a year old at the end of January, and it had a LOT of use this past year. Around 15,000 miles, I'd guess....and while I didn't count the nights, it was probably close to a couple of months. Mine had some QC issues, but mostly minor. The major issue was a wheel separation which necessitated replacement of the entire SS lower panel. I had a conversation about this with Chris Burch at AS. Who knows what happened, but my insurance ended up paying for a very expensive repair. So, you will find that once the ugly damage gets fixed you'll pass it off to "experience" -- unpleasant as it is. I can't imagine how they could let an inop stove leave the factory. Or some of the other issues. Many of us have had the problem with the lav doorhandle fall off (needs Loctite or you'll need to have the right size Allen wrench close at hand). The good news is that once you get through this stuff (and whether you should have to is another story), you will: a) really love your Classic; b) know a LOT about how stuff works; c) be amazed at how incredibly comfortable it is. As others have recommended, find an empty parking lot and PRACTICE backing and turning. I also have a PP (the only hitch I've ever had on my two AS trailers), and love it....very safe and secure and you will appreciate it in a crosswind. Above all, don't be discouraged.
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Old 12-13-2015, 09:33 AM   #53
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Does your trailer insurance not cover repair of the damage?
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Old 12-13-2015, 09:37 AM   #54
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A good pdi by the dealership would have made many problems here a nonissue to the buyer.
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Old 12-13-2015, 09:49 AM   #55
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Many folks here report of QC issues with their Airstreams. Some report of not having any problems at all. This huge variance by itself indicates a lack of quality control. You don't expect varying QC when you buy a Toyota or a Lexus; you would get pretty much what you expect. Buying an Airstream it seems luck of the draw decides what you are getting. You cannot have any expectation beforehand.

I hear a lot about JC's service department being great and fixing all issues. My question is: Why wouldn't Airstream move these guys to the production line? or at least have them train the folks there?
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Old 12-13-2015, 10:09 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by avionstream View Post
A good pdi by the dealership would have made many problems here a nonissue to the buyer.
Not so sure about that. The LPG issue is rather insidious in that it takes a considerable time for the gas to shut off - I missed it myself checking everything out at the dealer. I was checking to see if the appliances worked on gas, not how long they worked. The cosmetic damage to the cabinets may be beyond most/all dealer's ability to perfectly repair, hence the service manager's comment about replacing them. The scratch on the exterior would have required a panel replacement - given the repair at any dealer I know of would have involved using Olympic rivets instead of buck rivets on the replacement, I think I would have just lived with it myself. If the oven part is backordered, I'm not sure what else you expect the PDI to do.

I have no idea what exactly transpired with the OP's delivery at Foley, but my personal experience (and many others I have spoken to) with the PDI and attention at delivery there was wonderful. I had no functional issues (other than the LPG problem which none of us detected) and the dealer literally swarmed my trailer the following day to address the punch list of minor fit & finish issues I prepared the first evening.

I haven't seen the OP's trailer yet (I've been in contact with them about assisting in replacing the LPG regulator if needed) but other than the accident, it seems the major issues were the gas regulator problem, unavailable part for the oven and the scratches on the cabinetry. I suspect a really skilled furniture repair person could address the cabinets, but I don't expect an RV dealership to have that level of skill on hand.

While we all would like the factory to do a better job, and most dealers have pretty poor service departments, I believe Foley is one of the "good guys". Are they perfect? - no. Everyone makes mistakes but I think Ron, Rick and Blake get most of it right and when they miss, they try to make it right.

Keith & Barb
2016 30' Flying Cloud
2016 Ram 2500 diesel
Southeastern Camping Unit, WBCCI #1675
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