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Old 01-25-2023, 04:31 PM   #1
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2023 Rangeline
Portland , Oregon
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Time for a game of "Whose fault is it? Mercedes or Airsteam"

Hi all,

I have an Interstate 24X. There is a decorative plywood panel on the interior side of the sliding door which has become warped and swollen. So, it would seem that there is a water leak somewhere on the door or it's window. I took it to my local Airsteam dealer (Portland, Ore) and they said that the window on the sliding door is a Mercedes part and MB will need to handle diagnosing and repairing the water leak. After that, they said, Airstream would replace the damaged door panel and also the damaged exterior paint (from the sliding door's interior panel rubbing against the van's body when opening).

So, I dropped the van at MB (my local dealer that specializes in Sprinters), and after 2 days was told that the window is an Airstream part and they, MB, won't fix it. I'm told to come get the van and I do. I then reconnect with my Airstream service rep, who after being in-touch with Airstream corporate, is still being told that the window is a MB part and not something Airstream can repair.

I've been dealing with trying to sort this out for 2 months and still don't have anybody willing to say that the window and door falls under their purview.

I knew this kind of thing could be an issue in buying an Interstate. But you never think it's going to happen to you

If anyone has any contacts or knowledge on this subject, it would be most appreciated!
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Old 01-25-2023, 06:12 PM   #2
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Only one solution, pay the kid next door to throw a rock through the window, at that point your insurance company will tell you where to take it for repair!

Good luck,
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Old 01-25-2023, 06:26 PM   #3
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Duz a non AS unit have the identical door & window?
Get some wide painters tape run it around the window and spray with a hose see if it gets wet on the inside.

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Old 01-25-2023, 08:20 PM   #4
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The window on the 24X is like all other Interstate 24's - it is installed by Airstream. It is likely a CRL window with one of the lower sections that opens with a built in screen on the inside. They are notorious for leaking.

The only window Mercedes ever installed in the sliding door is a fixed single piece of glass.

Go back to Airstream and complain about it more. This should be a warranty repair. Call Airstream yourself and raise a fuss!!

Airstream Customer Relations Department at (937) 596-6111
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Old 01-26-2023, 10:09 AM   #5
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Think I would call Jackson Center directly if you haven't done so already. Ask them who installed your window.

Good Luck
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Old 01-26-2023, 11:00 AM   #6
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Richmond , Virginia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeekwad View Post
Hi all,

I have an Interstate 24X. There is a decorative plywood panel on the interior side of the sliding door which has become warped and swollen. So, it would seem that there is a water leak somewhere on the door or it's window. I took it to my local Airsteam dealer (Portland, Ore) and they said that the window on the sliding door is a Mercedes part and MB will need to handle diagnosing and repairing the water leak. After that, they said, Airstream would replace the damaged door panel and also the damaged exterior paint (from the sliding door's interior panel rubbing against the van's body when opening).

So, I dropped the van at MB (my local dealer that specializes in Sprinters), and after 2 days was told that the window is an Airstream part and they, MB, won't fix it. I'm told to come get the van and I do. I then reconnect with my Airstream service rep, who after being in-touch with Airstream corporate, is still being told that the window is a MB part and not something Airstream can repair.

I've been dealing with trying to sort this out for 2 months and still don't have anybody willing to say that the window and door falls under their purview.

I knew this kind of thing could be an issue in buying an Interstate. But you never think it's going to happen to you

If anyone has any contacts or knowledge on this subject, it would be most appreciated!
I would take it to airstream and tell them they need to work it out with Mercedes, you don't care whose responsibility it is, they need to work it out and have the proper party fix it and let you know when it's done. As they are the ones that sold it to you as a new vehicle, it's their problem. Tell them if it takes more than 30 days you will lemon law it. As you have tried twice to have it fixed, they have one more attempt.

https://www.doj.state.or.us/consumer...les/lemon-law/
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Old 01-26-2023, 12:09 PM   #7
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Suggest that you look at the parts book for your year and model. If you can find the window in the parts book it belongs to Airstream. My experience with Airstream support suggests the folks we get in contact with may not have good information. I do not believe the dealer talks to the same Ohio based folks that we are connecting with. I have had information supplied that was trailer related so we could not get past apples and oranges in the conversation. The dealer may be able to talk with the experts dealing with motorized units. At the dealer I suggest you get to a level above the service advisor. Start with the shop assistant manager perhaps. First, see if you can find the window in the Airstream parts book. If you can find it show it to the dealer.
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Old 01-26-2023, 12:15 PM   #8
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That was the first thing that came to mind :>)
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Old 01-26-2023, 12:27 PM   #9
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Portland , Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
Suggest that you look at the parts book for your year and model. If you can find the window in the parts book it belongs to Airstream. My experience with Airstream support suggests the folks we get in contact with may not have good information. I do not believe the dealer talks to the same Ohio based folks that we are connecting with. I have had information supplied that was trailer related so we could not get past apples and oranges in the conversation. The dealer may be able to talk with the experts dealing with motorized units. At the dealer I suggest you get to a level above the service advisor. Start with the shop assistant manager perhaps. First, see if you can find the window in the Airstream parts book. If you can find it show it to the dealer.
Thank you for this idea - I did indeed find the window in the Airstream parts book for the 24X and have sent it to the service manager at my dealer.

The service manager said he's been dealing with his contact at motorized units at the Ohio factory, but with no luck. I'll continue to escalate this as needed.

I really appreciate all of the helpful information and tips from you all. It's a wonderful community here and so necessary! Thank you.
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Old 01-27-2023, 03:29 AM   #10
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2020 Interstate 19
SARASOTA , Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeekwad View Post
Hi all,

I have an Interstate 24X. There is a decorative plywood panel on the interior side of the sliding door which has become warped and swollen. So, it would seem that there is a water leak somewhere on the door or it's window. I took it to my local Airsteam dealer (Portland, Ore) and they said that the window on the sliding door is a Mercedes part and MB will need to handle diagnosing and repairing the water leak. After that, they said, Airstream would replace the damaged door panel and also the damaged exterior paint (from the sliding door's interior panel rubbing against the van's body when opening).

So, I dropped the van at MB (my local dealer that specializes in Sprinters), and after 2 days was told that the window is an Airstream part and they, MB, won't fix it. I'm told to come get the van and I do. I then reconnect with my Airstream service rep, who after being in-touch with Airstream corporate, is still being told that the window is a MB part and not something Airstream can repair.

I've been dealing with trying to sort this out for 2 months and still don't have anybody willing to say that the window and door falls under their purview.

I knew this kind of thing could be an issue in buying an Interstate. But you never think it's going to happen to you

If anyone has any contacts or knowledge on this subject, it would be most appreciated!
I have a 2020 IS19 with sliding door issue-if any windows or doors are open on the cab the sliding door will not cycle closed until all the other doors and windows are closed (even the side crank windows). MB states it’s a problem with a relay switch in the door. In order to access it the sink and cabinet need to be removed so as to remove the door panel. Therefore I found a combination AS/MB dealership (Atlanta)who is familiar with this and can fix-under warranty! MB is responsible for all costs. I have not fixed yet and will tolerate the inconvenience of making sure all my windows and doors are closed before closing my sliding door. BTW I am taking my MB in for a 5th safety and software issue. We have really enjoyed our unit to the tune of 45,000 miles in seeing this great country! Both AS and MB will work with you in resolving your issue-great service and warranties!
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Old 02-02-2023, 06:53 AM   #11
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Los Angeles , California
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I see well-meaning but misguided advice (IMO) offered here w/r/t lemon law.

Although lemon laws vary by state, let's take the one cited above, which is an Oregon law, but California's law is similar enough and that's the one I am familiar with.

Summary of the Oregon Law:

At least three failed attempts to fix the problem must be made (at least one attempt if the problem is likely to cause injury or death), or the vehicle must be in the shop for a combined total of 30 or more calendar days (60 or more calendar days for a motor home

None of that is valid here. No attempts have been made at all so far, and thus the number of days have been spent in a shop.

Furthermore, depending on the state, the law has variations. For example, many require the above to be life-threatening and other things only a court to decide.

Consumer protection laws are good, but it is not going to help you to use the lemon law as a type of threat, as the burden of proof is on you. You don't have a lemon.

If anyone does meet the conditions of the lemon law (you don't) and is serious about it, get the attorney to do all the talking. The first time anyone tries to enact the lemon law should be through an attorney (IMO) with a lawsuit.

Here is an alternative suggestion for you:

If your dealer can not get a warranty claim resolved, it might be because they didn't submit it correctly, or at all, or have not followed up and/or the mothership is waiting for more information they didn't get, and other process failures on either or both sides.

Make sure you open your support ticket and get on the radar with Airstream directly. Document everything. Avoid language that suggests how things felt or offers opinions on where the problem is. Just state the facts. Think of it more like a list and log of events than an essay. Make it easy for them to build a history and track your warranty claim.

I have been thinking about this the wrong way for a long time since dealer warranty work is usually a very straightforward process for new vehicles. The service centers at Airstream dealers are nothing like well-established dealer service centers with far more autonomy and automation in the approval process.
  • If you own a Ford, you take it to the dealer, and you rarely deal with Ford directly. It happens, but it's the exception.
  • If you own an Airstream and have problems, it helped in my case to also be in touch with Airstream and not just the dealer and be sure they are singing the same tune.

My trailer sat for 30+ days. Airstream HQ was waiting for a picture from the dealer. The dealer was telling me, "HQ has not gotten back to them" for weeks on end.

I was livid. I am still so mad that I look for posts like this, hoping to help someone not go through that.
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Old 02-02-2023, 07:18 AM   #12
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I had a leak on the sliding door window and had the window removed and reinstalled at JC under warranty. Years later I had that window break and ordered a new one from JC. Neither time was I referred to MB. When the window broke Safelite referred me to Airstream because the window was not in their system as a MB part.
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Old 02-02-2023, 08:20 AM   #13
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Years later I had that window break and ordered a new one from JC.
This is good advice.

If you can get into Jackson Center (waitlist, distance from you), they don't have the problems associated with getting approval to fix warranty items and arguably do far better work than many dealers.

It just really, really depends on the dealer service center and the dealer management how hard dealing with something like this is. It's a varying level of management competency, technicians, service managers, dealer relationship with Airstream, etc.

Taking the dealer out of the picture may not be the best for you or even an option, but it is often a great idea.
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Traded in a 27' Globetrotter and then a 20' Basecamp X to go with a 2023 Interstate X
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Old 02-02-2023, 09:59 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by AirParkOnly View Post
This is good advice.

If you can get into Jackson Center (waitlist, distance from you), they don't have the problems associated with getting approval to fix warranty items and arguably do far better work than many dealers.

It just really, really depends on the dealer service center and the dealer management how hard dealing with something like this is. It's a varying level of management competency, technicians, service managers, dealer relationship with Airstream, etc.

Taking the dealer out of the picture may not be the best for you or even an option, but it is often a great idea.
Thank you. The update on my situation is good. I had a feeling that there was a miscommunication happening between the dealership service dept and Airstream HQ. So, I got ahold of some of the higher ups at Airstream HQ and was able to clear up the issue (they thought we were talking about a different, fixed pane window). I give them major points for reading and responding quickly to my emails and situation.

Now that it's cleared up, a repair is scheduled. It could be a while, especially if they have to order a new window, wait on it to arrive, install blah blah. But at least the finger pointing and miscommunication has been resolved and I'm on the road to a useable 24X.
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Old 02-02-2023, 11:40 AM   #15
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That's great to hear. And it's good for everyone to know that when you have this kind of problem, open your detailed conversation with Airstream.

The whole thing where the dealer doesn't know how to work well with Airstream (attention to detail) will depend on your dealer service center.

However, I have watched, witnessed, and interacted with at least a dozen people who could get things moving again once they figured out they may have to get in the middle of the dealer and the Airstream HQ.

It shouldn't be this way, but it is. I think the motorcoach service people at Airstream, including the top man in that organization, genuinely care and want you to be successful with your coach. You just have to help them do that and not depend on your dealer to do it for you.

There will probably always be a little bit of healthy skepticism between the dealer and Airstream. The dealer wants Airstream to pay for those repairs. That dealer may not be entirely honest. It's a shitty game they have to play with each other. That said, when it comes to Airstream HQ caring about its reputation, I honestly think they do.

I have a great experience with Airstream service and parts departments and have had mind-numbing, furniture-flipping, and want-to-burn-everything-to-the-ground level infuriating experiences.

I have had a consistent level of reasonably good experiences dealing with Airstream directly on 2 out of 3 Airstream travel trailers and coaches warranty work. The 3rd didn't need any warranty work.

I feel the primary, first-level email responder support group is under-trained, doesn't know the products that well, and will (when they don't know) just refer you back to the manual.

Most recently, they told me the Interstate 2023 Timberline 2 does not have a hot/cold mix value. That's just not accurate. It was just relocated from the previous version and is now on the tank itself and is not separate. I give them a D and not an F only because the product is newer, and "nobody" knows it except Elwell. A support email to Elwell cleared this up. They sent a diagram and explained how to use it. They are awesome.

Thanks for the update. Glad this is going to work out the way you expect and deserve!

The old adage Trust, but Verify, seems to work well with all things Airstream.
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Old 02-03-2023, 05:49 AM   #16
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I can't imagine that you'd need a new window. A new 'D' gasket (and associated caulking?) should be all that is needed. The existing window and inside trim ring that clamps the window in place should be reusable. My new window appeared to fit and seat fine during my test-install. But when putting it in for real (with caulking) it did not quite pull in all the way at the back. But it didn't leak, which was what mattered. I did the broken window install myself - figuring the nearest Airstream dealer had never done one and wouldn't be as careful about it as I would be.
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Old 02-03-2023, 10:47 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Titus View Post
I can't imagine that you'd need a new window. A new 'D' gasket (and associated caulking?) should be all that is needed. The existing window and inside trim ring that clamps the window in place should be reusable. My new window appeared to fit and seat fine during my test-install. But when putting it in for real (with caulking) it did not quite pull in all the way at the back. But it didn't leak, which was what mattered. I did the broken window install myself - figuring the nearest Airstream dealer had never done one and wouldn't be as careful about it as I would be.
That's great info, thank you!
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