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Old 09-30-2019, 02:35 PM   #1
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working on your own trailer.

How many of you repair your own trailer? We are going to purchase an AS soon, but I was wondering how hard they are to repair. Repair as in A/C, refrigeration, water pumps, etc. The dealers we are talking to(actually all the dealers) are a least two hours away. We have a RV dealer not far from us that does great work on SOBs but i'm not sure about AS. What do you guys do, I know that most of us live quite distance from a AS repair shop.

Thanks
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Old 09-30-2019, 02:39 PM   #2
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I always work on my own trailer. Only exception is I have a tire shop replace tires. All else is mine to do. That way I know exactly who to blame if some repair is messed up...
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Old 09-30-2019, 03:10 PM   #3
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It seems that there are roughly two categories of Airstream owners on these forums, the folks who buy a brand new unit, and depend on the dealers and factory for all but the simplest repairs, and the owners of older trailers (not even necessarily the vintage crowd), who are willing to tackle anything, up to and including sheet metal segment replacements.

So what's the difference? I suppose the person who spends tens of thousands of dollars for a new unit is (understandably) going to go back to the dealer at least until the warranty runs out. Maybe by the time the warranty has run out, they have a better familiarity with the unit and aren't so daunted by the seemingly routine repairs.

At the end of the day, it is just a matter of your level of skill, or at least your willingness to get your hands dirty. There really isn't much rocket science going on with these trailers, and in fact most of those things that need repair from time to time (water systems, plumbing, refrigerator, etc.) are third party components that you can find in any white box trailer, so I would think that any local RV shop could do any repair short of AS specific things like sheet metal.

good luck!
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Old 09-30-2019, 03:12 PM   #4
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If you have a local guy that does great work you are in good shape as all of the Airstream appliances are common to SOBs. Even for warranty work, say on your water heater, the local guy can make the repair as long as Atwood approves. The only time you will need an Airstream dealer is for the unique stuff — windows, skin, axles...

I do most of my own work. It isn’t rocket science on the older trailers like mine but, I understand the new rigs have lots more in the way of electronics so your mileage may vary.
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Old 09-30-2019, 03:56 PM   #5
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I do all of the work on mine, including changing tires. I also work on other peoples Airstreams, but only friends and club members. The only thing that I have had a repair shop do was change the axles. If you have any mechanical ability and enjoy a challange, don't be afraid to try a repair yourself. These forums as well as YouTube are great resources for information. JMHO
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Old 09-30-2019, 04:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denkim View Post
How many of you repair your own trailer?
. . .


Probably well over 1/2 of the posts here are about repairing/modifying your own trailer, in one fashion or another, IMO.

Check the various "repair" forums on these pages:

Forums: http://www.airforums.com/forums/
[at the bottom: "Threads: 181,064 -- Posts: 2,220,177 -- Members: 132,909"]

Restoration etc.: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f3/
[approx 30-40 sub-forums]

General Repair: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/

. . . and so forth.

Repair On!

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Old 09-30-2019, 04:20 PM   #7
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With the exception of a couple of insurance panel replacements, I do ALL my own work.
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Old 09-30-2019, 04:43 PM   #8
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Pack my own parachute.. when AS has problem on the road I fix. Heavy things like AC Or fridge replacement I just have to have help... and parts.
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Old 09-30-2019, 05:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwf View Post
Pack my own parachute.. when AS has problem on the road I fix. Heavy things like AC Or fridge replacement I just have to have help... and parts.
Yeah, OK, this is happening to me more and more these days.

"My mind makes promises my body can't fill..."
(Little Feat, "Old Folks Boogie", 1979)
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Old 09-30-2019, 05:27 PM   #10
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Old Folks' Boogie
Little Feat


Off our rockers, actin' crazy
With the right medication we won't be lazy
Doin' the old folks boogie
Down on the farm
Wheelchairs, they was locked arm in arm
Paired off pacemakers with matchin' alarms
Gives us jus' one more chance
To spin one more yarn
And you know that you're over the hill
When your mind makes a promise that your body can't fill
Doin' the old folks boogie
And boogie we will
'Cause to us the thought's as good as a thrill
Back at the home,
No time is your own,
Facillities there, they're all out on loan
The bank forclose, and your bankruptcy shows
And your credit creeps to an all-time low
So you know, that you're over the hill
When your mind makes a promise that your body can't fill
Try and get a rise from an atrophied muscle,
And the nerves in your thigh just quivers and fizzles
So you know, that you're over the hill
When your mind makes a promise that your body can't fill


Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Barrere
Old Folks' Boogie lyrics © BMG Rights Management
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Old 09-30-2019, 06:59 PM   #11
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I do a lot of the repair and modification of my trailers. But, I do have a mobile rv repair service that I like that comes and works on the trailer that is now stationary in Florida. They put in an AC, a new gas line, serviced the heater, and have done multiple plumbing repairs. I much prefer the mobile service option to trying to take it to a dealer. For major work I have been to JC.
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Old 09-30-2019, 07:05 PM   #12
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The appliances are pretty much the same for all trailers Airstream and SOB. So any competent RV repairman can take care of those issues. As far as structural repairs, I would leave that to someone with experience with Airstreams or at least airplanes. I do all my own repair work but I am in the category of owning an older DIY unit that is close to 40 yrs old.



Perry
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Old 09-30-2019, 07:17 PM   #13
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I really like Little Feat and I do all my own repairs.
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Old 09-30-2019, 07:56 PM   #14
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I bought brand new and do all of my own repairs. No interest in dealing with local repair centers, if I was near my dealer (Colonial) I’d go there, however.
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Old 09-30-2019, 08:54 PM   #15
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working on your own trailer.

^^^ X2. Bought new and I do my own work.

The only two exceptions were (1) a turkey massive solar and lithium install that I had done by Lew Farber (80+ man hours) and (2) installation of a replacement air conditioning unit I had under warranty at a very trusted local custom “uplifted” airstream shop. They did that as a favor for me because the local dealer couldn’t take me for at least 3 months and it was June.
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Old 09-30-2019, 11:51 PM   #16
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as others have said, i do my own repairs. my current as is a 80 caravelle that was already stripped out. this was one way to learn how your as is put together. not to hard, just take your time. kurt
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Old 10-01-2019, 11:14 AM   #17
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It's DIY for me. Lots of minor stuff but I've also removed and reinstalled the AC, removed and replaced the fresh water tank and replaced the black tank dump valve (in a campground during a trip). The folks you find here on the Forums are what makes jobs like that possible for people with some tools, modest amounts of skill and a thirst for adventure! I believe it was actually a DIY-leaning owner who tried to make the best of their ownership experiences by coining the phrase "Adventure inspired by Airstream"!
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Old 10-01-2019, 11:41 AM   #18
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You are asking a pretty broad question there. You haven't provided enough information to give any useful answer.

If you are a service technician for AS, then you can repair everything yourself. If you are not, then do what you feel comfortable with.
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Old 10-01-2019, 01:16 PM   #19
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I do what I can, and know my limits. I’ve only taken the rig to the closest AS dealer or an independent AS service tech for panel replacement, and installation of a street side awning. Otherwise, it goes to a local RV shop. At the end of the day, most components are common in the industry.
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Old 10-01-2019, 04:40 PM   #20
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Hi

Do you do the brakes and tires on your daily driver or do you take it to somebody? If the answer is "take it to somebody" then take your trailer over to the local guy. If you routinely do all your one car / truck work then doing the same on your trailer is not a big step.

Bob
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