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Old 05-08-2019, 08:46 PM   #1
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2019 27' Globetrotter
Cypress , Texas
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Our Experience - New 2019 AS GT 27FB - Update

If you are currently in the market for a first time RV, I highly recommend that you invest your hard-earned dollars elsewhere. If you expect that paying a premium for a supposedly "higher end" AS trailer will result in a premium product or premium experience you will be exceptionally disappointed.

If you feel you must buy an RV, then at this point I suggest you buy a much cheaper product and know up front that you will deal with a lot of quality issues. The very same issues that you will have with an Airstream product, where you will pay a significant premium, for what once was likely a premium product.

I have posted a long list of quality issues with our 2019 AS GT purchased in Jan, previously on this site. I have reached out to AS for help, I have reached out to my selling dealership for help.

We waited four weeks to secure a service appointment and at this moment our AS GT sits in a service lot at a local dealership where it has been sitting for two additional weeks untouched. The dealer telling me that AS trailers have so many quality issues that they simply cannot keep up with the repairs. They have already promised to begin work on three different dates and all have passed with no efforts. The latest (4th) promise is they will start tomorrow. They have already told me that AS will be slow to ship parts after the dealership battles with AS to get part replacement approvals. At this point it is all but certain we are going to miss our long planned Memorial Day camping trip.

Now with almost certainty, AS will respond to this post and ask me to PM my info to them for assistance. This is purely their way of suggesting they have some interest in supporting their customers, but it ends with the post. They have no interest in helping once they have made the sell.

This industry is pitiful. It severely needs some Japanese or German competition. Should that occur AS would either get their act together or go out of business. Think Toyota, Lexus, Nissan, Infiniti, Audi.... Can you imagine any of those brands producing products as pitiful as AS. Toyota or Audi would crush AS, if they built a similar product.

Save your hard-earned money. Avoid the disappointment and frustration and find another way to enjoy your down time versus dealing with ASís poor quality and complete lack of customer service.

My recommendation avoid Airstream, avoid Orlando RV in Orlando FL and avoid Holiday World in Katy TX.
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:10 PM   #2
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McHenry , Illinois
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Can empathize with your situation...

Olgoat, every time I see a post like yours I feel empathy for the poster because we have been lucky with our two Airstreams.

We took delivery of a 27í Globetrotter FBT in April after visiting Jackson Center the week before. So far Iíve found two small issues, nothing like your problems.

I hope the dealer + Airstream resolve your issues so you can enjoy your trailer!
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:38 PM   #3
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Sorry to hear of your on-going issues. My experience, purchasing a new 2018 Serenity 28, has been 180 degrees from your story. With over 50 nights use so far, our Airstream is great. Our purchase experience was great. Delivery was on time, and our dealer, Southland RV, took a full day with our walk-they. We leave Saturday for a week at the beach - our 4th trip this year. I would recommend an Airstream to anyone.
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Old 05-09-2019, 10:48 AM   #4
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Good Morning olgoat-


My name is Justin Humphreys, I am COO here at Airstream. I'd like to understand more what is going on here. Can you send me your contact information to my email at jhumphreys@airstream.com?


I am so sorry to hear of these problems. I'd like to understand the details and how I may be able to help.


Thank you-


Justin
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Old 05-09-2019, 12:53 PM   #5
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2019 27' Globetrotter
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Responded with contact info.
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Old 05-09-2019, 04:42 PM   #6
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All I can share is similar to the other comments and experiences. I really feel a lot of empathy for this cases, as we have had our FC19 for 4 years and the only major failure was the converter after 4 years of somehow intensive use.
WE are waiting for our Globetrotter 23 and wish to be lucky again. Anyhow, I am glad to know that this company takes this seriously, and at least even the CEO shows up in an extreme case like this. Thumbs up to Mr. Humphreys and good luck to Olgoat
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Old 05-09-2019, 04:59 PM   #7
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Edmonton , Alberta
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It baffles me how some trailers make it out of that factory with so many issues. It would most certainly sour a first time buyers appetite for the brand. We are on our third Airstream (due to a continuing affliction of four footitis) and have had essentially no problems in nine years of ownership (little blue light burned out on shore power receptacle; AS sent a new one out same week). Hoping they make things right with you.
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Old 05-09-2019, 10:14 PM   #8
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I mean no offense to the OP, as there have been hundreds of threads like this one here at Airforums that start with "From my experience, Airstream does not live up to its reputation for quality."

I don't own an Airstream, and I don't personally know anyone who does. However, I've been reading this forum regularly for years, as well as reading Airstream reviews on other sites, forums, Youtube videos, etc.

Almost universally, Airstreams are mentioned as nice looking, but not one of the better RV brands & VERY overpriced for what you get.

For those of you who have heard that Airstream has a reputation for quality - where have you heard such things? I'm curious.
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Old 05-10-2019, 12:07 AM   #9
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Visit the Airstream factory, AND visit several other brands, most of which are built in Elkhart, Indiana.

The first thing you should notice is that there are NO robots or high tech assembly tools. Screw drivers, rivet.guns and electric drills are about as sophisticated as it gets. The factories assembly lines look a lot more like 1800s tech, where bicycles or Remington repeaters were made. Airstream has expanded since I last visited, but are they turning out even 50 per day? Doubt it. You won't get Toyota quality from any plant that cannot justify spending billions on technology.

Those excuses aside, Airstream could do better, especially with its new offerings. Nest and Basecamp (versiom 3.x?)

OTOH, it.really is too bad you haven't ever owned a cheaper brand... 99% would send you running back to Airstream with your hair on fire. No joy in owning ANY trailer if you don't become a bit of a handyman/nerd... or cannot live with a bit of imperfection. I finally replaced the bottom screw in a cabinet handle I rarely use after I found a spare while searching for a jack fuse... ah 2 birds with one stone, even glued the screw in this time.

Really, go to the mothership for repairs, or sell the thing if it will continue making you miserable.
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Old 05-10-2019, 08:56 AM   #10
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McHenry , Illinois
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DPRoberts View Post
I mean no offense to the OP, as there have been hundreds of threads like this one here at Airforums that start with "From my experience, Airstream does not live up to its reputation for quality."

I don't own an Airstream, and I don't personally know anyone who does. However, I've been reading this forum regularly for years, as well as reading Airstream reviews on other sites, forums, Youtube videos, etc.

Almost universally, Airstreams are mentioned as nice looking, but not one of the better RV brands & VERY overpriced for what you get.

For those of you who have heard that Airstream has a reputation for quality - where have you heard such things? I'm curious.
DPRoberts, I'm fascinated that you've followed the AirForums for years (over 100 posts) yet don't own an Airstream or know anyone who does. What is it that attracted you to follow? Just curious - don't take it as a criticism. We're all here to learn so your opinion matters.

I will second the recommendation to visit Jackson Center and see how these are built. There's a video on YouTube from a white box RV manufacturer showing their assembly process. My gosh, that was all I needed to see to convince me I do not want one of those "disposable" trailers.

Yes, Airstreams are not perfect - no hand-made mass produced product is. But, the overall design and way they're made is unique in the trailer industry. You don't see people restoring other brand vintage trailers like you do Airstreams. They just last longer...

Cheers!
Jeff
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:07 AM   #11
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I am 100% sympathetic to this issue!

I am having a somewhat similar problem myself - right at this VERY moment. And much like the OP stated, there are SOME MANY other options out there when it comes to choosing an RV... SO MANY! Those of us who buy an AS, do so because you go in to the transaction (reasonably) expecting 2 things:

1) You are getting a unique and beautiful camper

2) You expect that the company will take care of it's customers

As the OP pointed out, think luxury car... Because, let's be frank, these AS's are NOT cheap. When I had my Mercedes - even though it was an entry line C300 - whenever I would visit the dealership to have something serviced, they treated me like I rolled up in an S550 at 4 times the cost of my car. Why? I'm not sure. But I ALWAYS felt well taken care of and it stuck with me, as I am sure it does with other owners.

ON TOP OF ALL THAT, they actually fixed their defects. Not try to brush them off.

Airstream - regardless of what anyone says about the quality (or lack thereof) - is certainly priced to be the Mercedes of RV's. Seemingly, without the same level of customer service. As of today, I was told by AS customer relations that my dealership needs to fix my factory defects... and that is pretty much the end of it. "Management" was informed of my problem, but no one from that Dept has bothered to reach out to me about any of this.

OLGOAT, I sincerely hope you get a resolution. As stated, I can sympathize.

I was directed to this thread by a fellow forum member. Because they read my current thread and saw that I am in the midst of a similar issue with AS. If any care to see how things are unfolding with my 2019 Nest, you can find the thread here:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f368...ml#post2240078
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:19 AM   #12
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It is true that the problem is more at dealership level. Dealers in most cases are not as professional as the brand's reputation request....
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:56 AM   #13
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I disagree that this is a dealer problem. I bought my Airstream as the 2nd owner with virtually no use by the original owner. The selling dealer was one of the best for PDI and my trailer has no problems detectable by my inspection or early use. I was still in the warranty period and had no warranty items through that period.
However almost magically after the warranty things started happening and as I dug in to attempt repair on most of the problems as they occurred, the lack of Airstream initial quality, maintainability, and sound engineering became obvious. I, too, was used to automotive and marine products and I expected an RV to be comparable in the 21st century. Not so, and I have learned the hard way.
We got into this to do something together after boating was no longer practical. In doing so, we have developed good friends in our Unit of WBCCI/Airstreamclub. Both of those things keep me going, fixing things, paying money for things that should not break. Otherwise I would sell this thing in a nanosecond. I don't need the aggravation even if sitting by a lake cooking on my grill, and crawling into an air-conditioned trailer free of bugs is very enjoyable.
The root cause has been discussed many times on this Forum. As long as people are willing to pay a premium price for this non-premium product, nothing will change. Now my options are live with it or sell it.
Larry
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Old 05-10-2019, 03:40 PM   #14
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Well, I am so sorry for the frustration and disappointment in your experience. It is indeed sad when a company with a history as long an a product as iconic as Airstream betrays the brand promise it took so long to earn.

Not that this is particularly helpful to you in your situation, but I have concluded that those interested in owning an Airstream would be better off buying used. I have so advised those who ask on this forum.

Given that they would avoid the huge depreciation hit the second it leaves the lot, even taking into consideration the loss of the two (now three) year warranty period, they could fix many of the issues themselves and still be money ahead. And they could make a long list of modifications to improve the trailer and end up with something better than new at a fraction of the cost.

Like old classic cars, the ones that are lovingly restored or even hot rodded out are worth more and are appreciated more than when they where showroom new.
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:42 AM   #15
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Well, I am so sorry for the frustration and disappointment in your experience. It is indeed sad when a company with a history as long an a product as iconic as Airstream betrays the brand promise it took so long to earn.

Not that this is particularly helpful to you in your situation, but I have concluded that those interested in owning an Airstream would be better off buying used. I have so advised those who ask on this forum.

Given that they would avoid the huge depreciation hit the second it leaves the lot, even taking into consideration the loss of the two (now three) year warranty period, they could fix many of the issues themselves and still be money ahead. And they could make a long list of modifications to improve the trailer and end up with something better than new at a fraction of the cost.

Like old classic cars, the ones that are lovingly restored or even hot rodded out are worth more and are appreciated more than when they where showroom new.
This is really good advice... Advice I wish I had from the start. Were I able to do it over again, Iíd certainly buy a used, vetted non-ďprototypeĒ AS. And if by some miracle AS corporate or the dealership offers to do a buy-back on my defective Nest, I would most likely be looking closely at a solid, used Sport 16.
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Old 12-01-2019, 01:30 PM   #16
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Is there any update to this saga?
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Old 12-08-2019, 09:05 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by olgoat View Post
My recommendation avoid Airstream, avoid Orlando RV in Orlando FL and avoid Holiday World in Katy TX.
Don't know anything about "Holiday World" but if you went to Orlando RV that is 90% of your problem. We had an issue with our Zip Dee relax awning when we were in Florida. I called the Orlando dealership several times, could not get anyone to answer the phone, left several voice mails that were not returned, etc. Finally since they were the closest dealership we drove there (1 hour trip) and had to hunt down the Service Manager since there was NO ONE at the service desk. Once we found him he explained that the dealership only had ONE tech that was AS trained and because of that it took like six months to get an appointment. I think your problem is the dealership and their excuses, not AS. If you are looking for a different dealership in Florida I recommend JD Sanders in Alachua or North Trail RV in Ft. Myers.

Steve
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Old 01-04-2020, 09:29 AM   #18
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The very first thing I will say that while I have been essentially full timing for a couple of months at an RV Resort, I have had a chance to meet many folks with SOB, and also seen service calls for inoperative new and very expensive Class A and C motorhomes.

My conclusion is that ALL brands of RV have quality and build problems that justifiably frustrate owners. If you are disappointed in what you have experienced on your $100k AS, imagine how the couple with the $500k+ Class A feels when they see the piss-poor way their fuel filter and line were supported which resulted in a fuel filter housing failure at less than 2,000 miles, likewise a nearly new SOB in the $60k range with leaking water lines/fittings, and rotten floors.

Secondly, we have considered going up in size to a 25' Globetrotter, and stopped by to look at one yesterday. I was disappointed to see a misaligned header over a inside cabinet door, and the edge trim pulled away in several locations on the cabinet uppers over the bed. Cosmetic issues like that could be fixed pretty easily, but it makes me uneasy on what else might be lurking. Anyway, that was an "enthusiasm killer" for me, especially after reading all the one star reviews for this particular dealer.

We are happy with our AS now that we have fixed the issues we had (ourselves). Don't plan on ever visiting a dealer for service and see no need to (they are not that complicated). So just pack up and go and enjoy the journey.
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