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Old 09-10-2020, 06:07 PM   #1
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Nervous buyer

Been a long time fan of airstream, and was finally getting up the nerve to make the very large purchase financially, then came across this video and it freaked me out. I completely understand normal little things will break when the trailer is being towed around due to vibration and what not, but after only 5 months this new trailer issues with the floor and (I am guessing) propane leak, tied to the AC and fridge that got them sick has me second guessing. I’m wondering why this stuff happened in the first place only five months old, and why didn’t the propane leak sensor go off if that was the issue? Anyway, maybe someone with more knowledge can explain?
https://youtu.be/i3hJQIStH5Q
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Old 10-01-2020, 01:46 PM   #2
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Britbox;
Have you looked into purchasing a newer used AS? We went back and forth for a while before we purchased our 2018 22FB Sport from a private seller. We came to the conclusion that it had gone through the "break-in" period as any new vehicles, etc. do. But of course with the last name of "Fate" we are always prepared for the crap to hit the fan :0)

Have to say that so far we have not had any issues, but are prepared to see what may come up after we get her our of winter storage.
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Old 10-01-2020, 03:15 PM   #3
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It seems that the trailers fall into one of two camps

1). Upon delivery everything is basically fine with a few minor repairs. (This was my experience and my dealer has done a great job of support)

2). The dealer doesn’t do a great PDI or it was a “Monday” build and you get a trailer with lots of issues. (I personally think those are the ones we read about all the time).

The real question is how many of number 2 types get delivered compared to number 1 types. Odds are we’ll never know.

If you want the features etc. of the new trailer buy one from a dealer with a great reputation and before signing one the dotted line at delivery, do a very thorough inspection/walk through. Ours took 4 or so hours.

Good luck and enjoy we have zero regrets.
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Old 10-01-2020, 03:25 PM   #4
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I suppose the answer to "why did this happen?" is that these, and ALL RVs, are assembled by human beings out of (with the exception of the shell itself) mostly 3rd party components.



So with the exception of popped interior rivets (mentioned as gripe #1 in the video), almost everything that failed in this video is a third party component that you might find in many other brands of trailer out there. When rivets pop, you can either complain about AS's quality control, or take a good hard look at what may have contributed to that (ie., too stiff of weight distribution, out of balance trailer wheels, etc.).



Propane leak? Sure this is serious, but again, either a manually built connection (eventually) leaked, or a 3rd party component such as the cook top or refrigerator failed. Propane detector didn't work? Third party component.



Why are these things so expensive if they still have problems? It is that shiny shell. Pricey, and it still leaks.



Should every new trailer result in a youtube special devoted to exposing Airstream's shortcomings? No, because every trailer doesn't have problems that get someone riled up enough to make a Campaign for Justice out of it. Also, expect any "social media influencer" out there to document the unsatisfactory bagel they had for breakfast and try to get Starbucks driven out of business. But note, most people don't buy a brand new trailer and live in it full time (see further comments below).



A travel trailer is essentially a house on wheels, so you can expect to have all the problems you would have with a house that is routinely exposed to low level seismic activity, and to some extend, a car. Why aren't RV components built to some unimaginable military-spec that would ensure they would never fail? Because nobody could afford them, even the military. Most RVs are used a few times a year, and the problems the youtubers experiences in 5 months of FULL TIME use would take years to manifest for an ordinary user. The design spec for those faulty window shades is probably with the expectation they be opened and closed a dozen times a year, not daily.



Anyway, this all reminds me of the advice about boat ownership: If you want to own a boat, just sit in the bathtub under a cold shower and shove money down the drain. RV ownership is a bit like that, but with the afore-mentioned seismic activity.



Good luck!
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Old 10-01-2020, 03:40 PM   #5
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We have had two AS’s and a SOB (some other brand). If we were ever to get another travel trailer it would be, without hesitation, another AS!
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Old 10-01-2020, 03:51 PM   #6
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I think you got some great replies already. I watched the video you referenced and a few others from them.... Propane has a nasty smell from mercaptan, how they didn’t bail when they got a whiff is beyond me. I would be running for the gas shutoff valve at first whiff. Maybe they’re deep sleepers? Anyhow, it does seem a majority of complaints are about 3rd party parts. A few Airstream mistakes, thats the joy of handmade products made by humans. People tend to whine a lot when they have issues and most stay pretty quiet when its smooth sailing. This makes for a skewed bias on the internet. You will likely have an issue or two with any RV. Maintenance is a must. Keep it light, don’t work yourself up and enjoy your travels in an Airstream.
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Old 10-01-2020, 03:52 PM   #7
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Nervous buyer

Boats and airplanes are basically money sinks. Sometimes I get real cynical and decide an Airstream is ‘the best of both of those worlds’. Since I come from the airplane business, and my dad was a boat captain, I’m generally well aware of the challenge that owning one can bring. Good thing I’m an engineer and a decent mechanic, and electrician, and plumber, and ‘tin knocker’!

But then I go somewhere, enjoy the trip, and figure that maintenance is just part of ownership. Ours, knock on wood, has been reasonable on maintenance and relatively problem free, except for the ones the occasionally dumb owner has personally caused...
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