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Old 05-21-2019, 09:42 AM   #1
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2019 25' Flying Cloud
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Unhappy New Airstream Owner - not impressed and would not recommend

I bought a 2019 Flying Cloud 25FB Twin last November. I took it on its maiden voyage at the end of March. In addition to some minor defects, the water pump did not work. Of course, our first night was in a campground with no hookups, and that's our fault. Here's where the pain begins. I live in Colorado where there's one place to get warranty work done on Airstreams. It's 60 miles away from my house. I called them as soon as we got home in early April and they couldn't schedule service until mid-May. This is the third trailer I've owned and by far the most expensive. To put it in perspective, my old trailer was two feet longer, with a slideout and cost one-fourth as much as this new Airstream. In my opinion, Airstreams are not worth the money -- not even close. It's an overpriced trailer with low initial quality and I would not recommend them to anyone. Buy a motor home instead. Just my $.02.
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Old 05-21-2019, 09:57 AM   #2
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Ok, well maybe you made the wrong choice for you.

Maybe things would have gone better if you would have gone over a checklist of items to find out if anything is not working. I recommend camping in your driveway a few nights. You really do find out a lot.

That said if you do decide to get out, guess what, you may find you will get almost what you paid. If you get everything working and upgrade a few things while spending a few years camping in it, in a year or two you might get even more than you paid.

Oh! Wait a minute, am I making a case for quality? Sorry.
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Old 05-21-2019, 10:06 AM   #3
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Airstream Quality

Sorry that your water pump did not work first time out. Noticed that you purchased last November but did not use until March. I assume it was winterized when you took delivery.

Always, and I mean always, make sure that all systems are a "GO" before heading out. New or several years old check before leaving. Do a night or 2 of driveway camping if possible before trip.

You are very fortunate to live just 60 miles away from servicing dealer. Being able to get an appointment for mid May is also not bad.

We are on our second AS. First was a 2017 International 23D. We live in western N. Carolina and purchased from Colonial in New Jersey. We knew we would only go to Jackson Center for any warranty/service work. That is a 500 mile trek one way for us. Went twice for minor, and I do mean minor, warranty work. All fixed properly. Our new AS is a 2019 FC 25 RB twin that we purchased at Out of Doors Mart right here in N. Carolina. We will go to them for any service.

I understand your frustration. However, since you used to own an SOB something made you step up and purchase an Airstream. Give it a bit of time. All RV's have there share of problems. Your Airstream will still be giving you years of enjoyment and travel when an SOB will be junk in a few years with any kind of extended use. Take it in and get it squared away. Breathe, Relax. Remember, all systems check before heading out on new adventure. Happy travels.
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Old 05-21-2019, 10:13 AM   #4
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It's sad. I don't blame Airstream. I blame the dealer.

We were new to the whole thing and could easily have been taken advantage of. But we had a good dealer to start with. While waiting to take possession of the trailer, he encouraged us to come to the lot and just spend time in it. The dealer was 57 miles from our home, but during the month we waited, we visited it at least once a week. We joked that it was our Albuquerque apartment. With the wife being handicapped, we could stop by and let her rest before we finished up our errands.

When we took possession, the dealer spent almost 5 hours on an orientation where they walked us through how to use everything on the trailer. They also set up the hitch properly for our truck.

There were still some small things that got through (like the Alde not being aware that the Flow module was installed) but everything major was working. They encouraged us to go camping right away, but near home just in case. We spent two weeks living in it in our driveway, then went on a 4 day trip where we were about 4 hours from home.

Yes, there are things that didn't work when we got it, but the dealer has been very responsive to us. Compare that to a box trailer dealer where you are pretty much on your own when you buy it despite the fact that it comes with a warranty.

Yep, it was as expensive as a house. Worth every penny compared to other trailers out there.

I've built homes and moved into pre-built ones many times. Never was there NOT a list of things that had to be done after taking possession. It's a fact of life. I like and trust our dealer, but if you don't trust your dealer, everything I've seen on YouTube suggests that the $200 bucks spent on an independent trailer inspector once you've found the one you want is worthwhile.

I'd drive 2000 miles or more to deal with Airstream of New Mexico if I ever buy another one. I'd trust them over the phone if I needed to.

We have an appointment this week to bring the trailer back in and have a bunch of warranty things taken care of. We scheduled the appointment after coming back from the 4 day trip and he said to keep making a written list of things that needed to be fixed until the appointment. While I was making the appointment, they were dealing with someone who had an urgent issue. They fixed it right then and there. My warranty issues are just little piddly things like rubber bumpers missing on light switches where they won't turn off or rubbing rails on curtains. Overall, I've very impressed with Airstream and especially our dealer.
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Old 05-21-2019, 10:40 AM   #5
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us. As to your displeasure, stuff like that will do it. We have had two 25FB's over the last thirteen years. Have there been some issues? Yes. Have we gone to another brand of travel trailer? No.

We are somewhat experienced with almost 2,000 nights of Airstream camping under our belts. We have learned to fix most issues ourselves. We have found that dealer service departments verge on incompetence at best. When we fix it, it is always done right and to our satisfaction.

As far as a bad water pump goes, you can replace one in less than thirty minutes, and get a better one than came with the trailer. A new water pump is under $100. Just the cost of fuel to get to and from the dealer would be half of that. Plus it would cost you a day or more of your time.

Would it and should it be under warranty? Absolutely. Would taking it to the dealer a month from now be the smart thing to do? Probably not.

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Old 05-21-2019, 10:50 AM   #6
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I'm with Uncle Milky

There is no excuse for the water pump not working on a new unit, period.

If you had just spent $70K on a new Mercedes and the water pump failed, among other less critical, but no less annoying flaws you discovered on your very first drive, would you find that acceptable, predictable, or normal? Whom would you blame; yourself for not discovering it before taking delivery? And if the dealership told you to bring it back in a month to get fixed?

Note that the Mercedes automobile is a much more complex product, with many more moving parts, including custom software.

The usual advice for new RV buyers amounts to this: Make sure you camp out in the dealer's lot for a few nights, because you are sure to uncover a host of problems with your new mobile house before you ever even hitch up. (In other words, the end user is expected to do the product QC and testing, we don't have time for it)

So, if AS fanboys and apologists want to explain to Uncle Milky where he went wrong, why Airstream doesn't deserve any scorn or ridicule, and why he should overlook this debacle, here is your chance.
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Old 05-21-2019, 10:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Milky View Post
I bought a 2019 Flying Cloud 25FB Twin last November. I took it on its maiden voyage at the end of March. In addition to some minor defects, the water pump did not work. <snip>
It would be really unusual for a new pump to be defective. Could you please supply some more details?

Out of curiosity did the pump come on, but just not pump water? If so, usually a simple fix - possibly an air leak on the suction side, maybe at the filter. After de-winterizing I have sometimes had to prime the pump to get it drawing water from the tank so it wouldn't be running dry.

Or, if the pump didn't come on then that too might be easy to diagnose and fix - possibly a faulty fuse.

Either way it may not require a trip to the dealer if you can fix it yourself. If, after some trouble shooting you are positive the pump is defective you could also ask them to send you a new pump by courier and you could replace it yourself.
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Old 05-21-2019, 11:30 AM   #8
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You are soooo spot on with your analogy, and I feel really badly for the frustration the OP is experiencing. Here’s my take: Regretfully Airstream appears to be the Mercedes of travel trailers. Kinda sad because quality seems to be more equivalent to mid 70’s domestic vehicles. Wouldn’t it be nice if a Lexus of travel trailers entered the market and really forced Airstream to up their game? Kinda the way Honda did to the American car manufacturers and Lexus did to Mercedes?

I do love my Airstream because I don’t see anything else out there that offers the style and “big picture” quality. But a big chunk of it is garbage (some components, poor design for repairs, and crappy crappy crappy quality control) and requires a lot of homeowner ingenuity to keep it going properly.

To the OP... again, I am sorry for your ordeal. If the rest of the “Airstream appeal” doesn’t make up for the frustrations then it’s probably not “right” for you. That’s not at all intended to be a negative comment about you. To continue the car analogy... A 2 door sports coupe probably isn’t the right car for an only car for a family of five, nor for Shaquille O’Neal. Neither is “wrong”.

Matt



Quote:
Originally Posted by skyguyscott View Post
There is no excuse for the water pump not working on a new unit, period.

If you had just spent $70K on a new Mercedes and the water pump failed, among other less critical, but no less annoying flaws you discovered on your very first drive, would you find that acceptable, predictable, or normal? Whom would you blame; yourself for not discovering it before taking delivery? And if the dealership told you to bring it back in a month to get fixed?

Note that the Mercedes automobile is a much more complex product, with many more moving parts, including custom software.

The usual advice for new RV buyers amounts to this: Make sure you camp out in the dealer's lot for a few nights, because you are sure to uncover a host of problems with your new mobile house before you ever even hitch up. (In other words, the end user is expected to do the product QC and testing, we don't have time for it)

So, if AS fanboys and apologists want to explain to Uncle Milky where he went wrong, why Airstream doesn't deserve any scorn or ridicule, and why he should overlook this debacle, here is your chance.
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Old 05-21-2019, 11:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyguyscott View Post
So, if AS fanboys and apologists want to explain to Uncle Milky where he went wrong, why Airstream doesn't deserve any scorn or ridicule, and why he should overlook this debacle, here is your chance.
Love how the discussion always seems to degrade to personal insults.. Shows real character there. I suppose I should be thankful that comparisons to that evil Austrian dude don't get brought up here.
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Old 05-21-2019, 12:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ephraim View Post
Love how the discussion always seems to degrade to personal insults.. Shows real character there. I suppose I should be thankful that comparisons to that evil Austrian dude don't get brought up here.

I don't look at this as a degradation or insult. Honestly, I think there are some folks here that could have an axle fall off the trailer and be fine with it asking for seconds, and there are some rightfully so or not that hold Airstream accountable. Is this one of those cases? I don't think anyone can say with any certainty. From the OP I cannot tell if the unit was winterized (or winterized properly) or not which could have contributed to the issue.



If there were not so darn many quality threads, many with the same issues or very similar-- like no caulk, then I might actually say that the onus is on the buyer, but even with all the info in the corrosion and QC threads Uncle Milky still bought an Airsteam.



If I were new to the market and considering an Airstream, reading the good, bad and ugly that is clearly accessible on this site would be a way of doing homework prior to spending $80k to $120k on a new trailer. Would I still buy one? Probably. Maybe a pre-owned or at the very least know what I am getting into beforehand.



BTW, I'm prob one of the more critical owners of an Airstream. I will simply say that you cannot hold Airstream accountable for long dealer shop times in the spring as everyone is out and about. This is not unique to Airstream RVs, many good repair/warranty shops are going to be booked solid as this is the camping season.
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Old 05-21-2019, 01:22 PM   #11
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"So, if AS fanboys and apologists want to explain to Uncle Milky where he went wrong, why Airstream doesn't deserve any scorn or ridicule, and why he should overlook this debacle, here is your chance." Originally Posted by skyguyscott.

It is unfortuneate that some cannot voice their opinion without casting aspersions. I guess that I could be classified as an "AS Fanboy", and I am quite proud of it. It seems to me that scorn and/or ridicule of Airstream because of a relatively minor issue is a bit over the top. I would not propose that the OP overlook this issue, but I would hardly refer to a malfunctioning water pump as a "debacle". An RVer who would consider this a serious issue is probably in the wrong pursuit.

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Old 05-21-2019, 01:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyguyscott View Post
There is no excuse for the water pump not working on a new unit, period.
You seem to be jumping to conclusions. It wasn't a new trailer, but many months old. Perhaps there is some user error involved here.

Wouldn't you like to hear back from the OP (who's first post was a complaint) with more details about the 'defective' water pump and the trouble shooting undertaken before piling on?
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Old 05-21-2019, 01:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adventure.AS View Post
It would be really unusual for a new pump to be defective. Could you please supply some more details?

Out of curiosity did the pump come on, but just not pump water? If so, usually a simple fix - possibly an air leak on the suction side, maybe at the filter. After de-winterizing I have sometimes had to prime the pump to get it drawing water from the tank so it wouldn't be running dry.

Or, if the pump didn't come on then that too might be easy to diagnose and fix - possibly a faulty fuse.

Either way it may not require a trip to the dealer if you can fix it yourself. If, after some trouble shooting you are positive the pump is defective you could also ask them to send you a new pump by courier and you could replace it yourself.
Good point! It's not unusual for the water pump to have issues after storage for a few months...I had to "suck" water out of the outside shower hose to get mine working on one of my 25'AS's once or twice after storage for 3 months. Also, not unusual for me to turn on the pump in my new one, nothing happens, but I can hear the pump, so I just turn on shower or bath with kitchen sink and in a few seconds, you can here the pump prime and water starts to work. I agree...not enough detail.
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Old 05-21-2019, 01:56 PM   #14
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So, the OP had some "minor issues" and the water pump didn't work. Hardly a debacle, especially considering what some other recent new buyers have reported.

I believe he should sell it because he is never going to be happy with it. Somebody will get a great deal on a fantastic trailer and the OP can move on to a better unit made by someone else.
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