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Old 01-16-2018, 11:59 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Goin camping View Post
Desert boondocker here. We've never needed a second A/C but we have used the heck out of the two fantastic fans. One on inhale and the other on exhale. Works great in all but the worst weather.

Non Airstream solar is cheaper and a ton better. We had Area 61 near the 210/15 fwy interchange remove factory solar and upgrade. We got a whole lot more for less than we paid and got from the factory. After that we never ran out of power again.
Same as I've mentioned elsewhere, really appreciate all the perspectives we've received, particularly since it's based on experience. Thanks for sharing yours. Nothing like hearing from folks who have walked this path ahead of us.
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Old 01-17-2018, 12:15 AM   #42
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Yeah, pretty sure Airstream corporate does not allow this kind of priority-setting for warranty service, but it is certainly worth checking. Meanwhile, given you already plan to buy from your closest dealer, it shouldn't become an issue for you.
To follow up: Talked to Airstream corporate in Ohio this morning. They said that their only policy is that an Airstream dealer's service department cannot deny service just because the rig was bought elsewhere. However, because the dealer is an independent business, Airstream can't control whether or not the service department has a local policy of putting their buyers in front of the service line (regardless if it's an official policy or an unwritten one, or to what degree it's implemented). The Airstream rep said they don't agree with such a practice, but they can't do much about it. Given that information, it seems to me the only way to have any leverage at price negotiation is to have (as others have recommended) at least two written quotes/bids from other dealers, from whom I'd be willing to buy from if necessary, and just ignore the service priority "threat". Be prepared to walk if I just don't like the situation. Some of this will depend on how unreasonable the sales manager (who finalizes all the $ numbers) is. Still chewing on this, but those are my thoughts. Thanks again for yours.
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Old 01-17-2018, 12:25 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
Hi, when we first started looking for an Airstream trailer, we lived in Southern California. We went to 3 or 4 dealers and mostly got a run around and one extremely rude sales person. We were only $250.00 away from making a deal. Salesman went to his office and came back with the same price. When we questioned the deal of $250.00 less, he took the papers out of my hand and told us to leave. WOW.

We went home and I started an internet search. We ended up with a great deal from a dealer in Eugene, Oregon. Fortunately, we had an Airstream authorized repair shop [that didn't sell Airstreams] very close to our house. Since they didn't sell new units, they didn't care where or who you bought it from. For the discount and free stuff that we got I could afford to live with or fix a few things myself.

The Southern California dealers had 2004 models on their lots; The Oregon dealer had a new 2005 model in line to be built, so we were able to chose our options before it was built. And get a one model year newer unit.

13 years later, we still have the same trailer. If you travel to Alaska, like we did, or all the way across the country, as we did, and have a problem, which we never had, who will fix your Airstream then?????? Most likely not the selling dealer.
Yes, we're trying to keep the long-view perspective that the warranty period is two years, but we plan to keep the trailer a lot longer, so focus on getting the trailer we want, with the options we want, at the most reasonable price, regardless of which dealer we buy it from (well, I hear great things about Colonial in New Jersey, but I'm not driving all the way to New Jersey, and the delivery charge would cost a mint). Like you say, if we use the trailer like we hope to, we'll most likely be somewhere other than San Diego when something breaks that needs fixing.
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Old 01-17-2018, 12:27 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Goin camping View Post
Desert boondocker here. We've never needed a second A/C but we have used the heck out of the two fantastic fans. One on inhale and the other on exhale. Works great in all but the worst weather.

Non Airstream solar is cheaper and a ton better. We had Area 61 near the 210/15 fwy interchange remove factory solar and upgrade. We got a whole lot more for less than we paid and got from the factory. After that we never ran out of power again.

Hi, long time no see; Glad to hear that you are still at it. And Uwe at "Area 63" is great.
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Old 01-17-2018, 12:45 AM   #45
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Echo that, and would add that most of the equipment within the trailer are not made by Airstream anyway. Speaking from experience, I have had Dometic warranty completed by a non-Airstream dealer, and had warranty parts sent direct to me from the OEM for my jack, curtain doors Fantastic Fan.

A well informed purchaser can minimize the risk of the countless 1st year issues reported on the forum by completing an exhaustive delivery inspection. Run all the systems, fill and empty all the tanks, and stay overnight in the lot or close by for the first night or two.

Only other comment I have is the microwave vs gas oven. Although we havenít used our gas oven much I much prefer using the microwave standing up than kneeling down. The placement of the microwave in the 27FB is convenient.
Yes, I agree, delivery inspection is crucial, to not just look, but to use everything, turn it all on and off a few times, open and close things, etc. Don't be antsy to drive the shiny new toy off the lot. And as you recommended, when we got the 5th wheel several years ago, we immediately drove it to a nearby campground for a weekend, and it was invaluable.

That lower placement of the micro/convection combo was a concern of mine, too. I've got a knee with reduced range of motion, makes it practically impossible to squat. Between that and the advantages of a gas oven while boondocking, even if only used occasionally, we've shifted to keeping the stock oven/microwave configuration. And as we already knew, and others have noted, the oven is still a storage compartment, too.
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Old 01-17-2018, 12:55 AM   #46
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Yes to tripple reinforce what others have said Iíd never buy the factory solar. Itís absurdly priced for what you get. The most commonly referenced experts for AS solar on the West Coast are AMSolar in Eugene and Lew Farber (Lewster on this forum.) Heís also in Oregon at least part of the year.

Not all that close to you but Oregon is lovely in the summer!
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Old 01-17-2018, 06:39 AM   #47
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Solar panels: We rarely boondocked with the 5th wheel, so have never used solar panels.
We just closed on a 2018TB in Nov. Our 3rd AS since 2016 (TL;DR 25' is the minimum for a small family) I'd never get another one without Solar.

Maintaining the batteries is such a pain. I killed the batteries in our '23 in under 12 months by accident (I kept the trailer plugged in but kept using the disconnect out of habit which defeats the point)... Plus with automatic awnings and power jacks you are going to want to keep the batteries topped off, that stuff doesn't work well at lower voltages. Finally higher power levels are required for the fridge and heat/hw. Longer trips you are either going to need solar or a small generator to keep things running right.

Also, I think with a smaller trailer you are going to find yourself camping in a lot more places without hookups because it's more reasonable to do so, and because you have a lot more options. There are a lot of *really* stunning smaller state campgrounds out there where you can put your trailer on a really nice secluded tent site... Places you aren't ever going to want to leave. It's nice to avoid using the generator in that situation.
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Old 01-17-2018, 06:41 AM   #48
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Three awnings, power main awning: Definitely want them.
Oh also on the awnings we got the Three awnings but I had them leave the rear awning off since it has the hatch. Having the 3rd awning back there just seemed weird.
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Old 01-18-2018, 12:55 AM   #49
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Yes to tripple reinforce what others have said Iíd never buy the factory solar. Itís absurdly priced for what you get. The most commonly referenced experts for AS solar on the West Coast are AMSolar in Eugene and Lew Farber (Lewster on this forum.) Heís also in Oregon at least part of the year.

Not all that close to you but Oregon is lovely in the summer!
Sounds like a great excuse for a road trip in summer of 2019!
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Old 01-18-2018, 01:00 AM   #50
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We just closed on a 2018TB in Nov. Our 3rd AS since 2016 (TL;DR 25' is the minimum for a small family) I'd never get another one without Solar.

Maintaining the batteries is such a pain. I killed the batteries in our '23 in under 12 months by accident (I kept the trailer plugged in but kept using the disconnect out of habit which defeats the point)... Plus with automatic awnings and power jacks you are going to want to keep the batteries topped off, that stuff doesn't work well at lower voltages. Finally higher power levels are required for the fridge and heat/hw. Longer trips you are either going to need solar or a small generator to keep things running right.

Also, I think with a smaller trailer you are going to find yourself camping in a lot more places without hookups because it's more reasonable to do so, and because you have a lot more options. There are a lot of *really* stunning smaller state campgrounds out there where you can put your trailer on a really nice secluded tent site... Places you aren't ever going to want to leave. It's nice to avoid using the generator in that situation.
Yes, we're really looking forward to camping/exploring in areas we would never have been able to with the big 5th wheel, and since it's more likely those places won't have hookups, we know we need solar or solar/generator. Your and others' feedback is helping us decide how to go about that.
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Old 01-18-2018, 08:34 AM   #51
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Yes, thanks, I've heard similar compliments about Los Banos, and plan to give them a call.
Tuscano RV, Los Banos....Dave Morse....great guy, helpful, knowledgeable, and very fare to aggressive pricing, I thought.
https://www.toscanorv.com/
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Old 01-22-2018, 08:48 AM   #52
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Hi there,

We ordered our 27' TB with one A/C (we are in Canada), all manual awnings, separate gas oven and microwave (we boondocks and also sometimes find an easy meal when stopped at a rest area is to throw some frozen food in the oven).

I use the fantastic fans far more than the A/C. But when down in Florida last time, it was obvious that for extreme heat you would need two A/C units.

We had solar added by our dealer (200 Watts). Aftermarket systems are cheaper and better quality.

Good luck.

Sean
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Old 01-23-2018, 12:26 AM   #53
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Hi there,

We ordered our 27' TB with one A/C (we are in Canada), all manual awnings, separate gas oven and microwave (we boondocks and also sometimes find an easy meal when stopped at a rest area is to throw some frozen food in the oven).

I use the fantastic fans far more than the A/C. But when down in Florida last time, it was obvious that for extreme heat you would need two A/C units.

We had solar added by our dealer (200 Watts). Aftermarket systems are cheaper and better quality.

Good luck.

Sean
Sean,

Thanks for the feedback. Have read with great interest your thread (New 2018 TB Owner) from last fall. Yes, noticed right away that your configuration was almost exactly what we're leaning toward: Manual awnings, one A/C (despite the many recommendations - and we appreciate all recommendations - to get two A/C, we just don't see ourselves going someplace hot or hot & humid. Just don't. We'll go there when it's not, or not at all.), the gas oven (as was pointed out, can be very useful when boondocking), and we're adding the backup camera. Solar will be added, either at purchase or afterward, but not using factory. Intend to post something later this week on your thread asking for feedback on some of the interesting things you did (bike rack on back, bracket for Honda generator), etc. Talk to you later.

Rick
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Old 01-23-2018, 07:38 AM   #54
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Sean,

Thanks for the feedback. Have read with great interest your thread (New 2018 TB Owner) from last fall. Yes, noticed right away that your configuration was almost exactly what we're leaning toward: Manual awnings, one A/C (despite the many recommendations - and we appreciate all recommendations - to get two A/C, we just don't see ourselves going someplace hot or hot & humid. Just don't. We'll go there when it's not, or not at all.), the gas oven (as was pointed out, can be very useful when boondocking), and we're adding the backup camera. Solar will be added, either at purchase or afterward, but not using factory. Intend to post something later this week on your thread asking for feedback on some of the interesting things you did (bike rack on back, bracket for Honda generator), etc. Talk to you later.

Rick
I'm late to the conversation here, but I think your plan looks great. Only difference is that I'd go with the 2 A/C units. To each his own!

Enjoy!
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Old 01-23-2018, 09:38 PM   #55
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I'm late to the conversation here, but I think your plan looks great. Only difference is that I'd go with the 2 A/C units. To each his own!

Enjoy!
Bill,
Thanks for the recommendation, and yes, you echo what many others have said, to go with 2 A/C units. Several have said that they've seen many who've went with one unit adding a second one later, at greater expense than if it'd been installed at the factory. Despite this overwhelming consensus (and considerable evaluation of the pros and cons on our part), we still think just one A/C is best for us. If in a few years we wind up regretting that decision, we only need look in the mirror to put blame. Thanks again for the vote of confidence on the rest of our plan!
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Old 01-25-2018, 09:26 AM   #56
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Oh also on the awnings we got the Three awnings but I had them leave the rear awning off since it has the hatch. Having the 3rd awning back there just seemed weird.
Interesting. We got the rear awning. But one thing we did was remove the screen from the rear window. One of the best things I've done to the TB. The view is so much better now out that window. If we want fresh air, we open the hatch and can use the built-in screen.
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Old 01-25-2018, 09:28 AM   #57
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Hi there,

We ordered our 27' TB with one A/C (we are in Canada), all manual awnings, separate gas oven and microwave (we boondocks and also sometimes find an easy meal when stopped at a rest area is to throw some frozen food in the oven).

I use the fantastic fans far more than the A/C. But when down in Florida last time, it was obvious that for extreme heat you would need two A/C units.

We had solar added by our dealer (200 Watts). Aftermarket systems are cheaper and better quality.

Good luck.

Sean
Forgot to mention that we also got the factory back-up camera. I don't use it very often but I'm glad I got it. The few times I have wanted it, it has come in handy.
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Old 01-25-2018, 10:34 AM   #58
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Forgot to mention that we also got the factory back-up camera. I don't use it very often but I'm glad I got it. The few times I have wanted it, it has come in handy.
Thanks, we intend to get the backup camera on ours.
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Old 01-25-2018, 10:54 AM   #59
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We use our "back-up" camera constantly. It is very nice to have that camera running to show what's going on behind Rocinante as we drive down the road. It has been an excellent investment.

Oh, and I love the idea of removing the rear window screen in "hatchback" trailer models so you have an unimpeded view when you don't want the hatch open. Cool!
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Old 01-25-2018, 11:43 PM   #60
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[QUOTE=Rocinante;2059429]We use our "back-up" camera constantly. It is very nice to have that camera running to show what's going on behind Rocinante as we drive down the road. It has been an excellent investment.

Thanks for the feedback, and yes, we've heard the same thing, that it's good for more than just "backing up".
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