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Old 04-24-2003, 10:00 PM   #121
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Veneer supplier?

John, is the veneer used by you a wilsonart type of laminate? Do you know of a good priced mail order supplier? Or do you use the local Home Depot. I'm curious as I'm debating recovering the old cabinets in the Argosy vs. priming and painting. I'd like to keep the wood look, but maybe change to a lighter maple or birch laminate (changing from the 70's old brown color). Building cabinets is an option, but the old 70's style really is quite light in construction. I notice how much of the 3/4" (!!) cabinetry AS has hogged out in order to save weight. Might as well keep the orginals is my thought. I'm looking for 4x8 sheets of laminate.
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Old 04-24-2003, 10:49 PM   #122
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Laminate

The WilsonArt site doesn't show matching laminates for my trailer, at least under the names used by Airstream. I was able to match the countertop laminate perfectly under a different name. I couldn't get a perfect match for the "Tropical Oak" laminate, so I used a different oak laminate that is close.

I made the new drawer front out of a piece of laminated plywood that I removed elsewhere in the trailer and edged it with real wood veneer, stained to match. It is indistinguishable from the original drawers.

I bought my laminate at Home Depot in 4 x 8' sheets. They also have other sizes of sheets. They have a packing charge, but it applies only once to multiple sheet orders. Delivery took about a week.
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Old 05-01-2003, 11:16 AM   #123
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New galley drawer

I have my new drawer for the galley all finished except for the drawer pull which I will have to order from Airstream toi get a match. For the moment, I have a tacky old drawer pull that came from my previous trailer.installed.

Here is the new stack of 3 drawers. The top drawer is sized to hold the cutlery tray.
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Old 05-01-2003, 11:20 AM   #124
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Cutlery drawer

Here is the new cutlery drawer with the tray that came with the trailer.

Each of the lower drawer fronts is cut down by 1 7/8" to get space for the new drawer.
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Old 06-22-2003, 10:21 AM   #125
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Still tinkering

I was in a 2004 AS and noticed that the water pump switch and the monitor panel had been moved to the bathroom wall as part of the change to the new type of upper cabinets. I decided to do the same and make better use of the empty cabinet space behind these items.

The photo shows work in progress with the two items moved to the bathroom wall. There was plenty of cable slack to make the move. I had to mount the water heater switch on an oak block because I stupidly didn't check clearance behind the wall and located it right in front of the vent pipe.

When finished, the radio/CD player will go back in the lower part of the open area. Above it will be a CD rack for 12 CDs.
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Old 07-09-2003, 06:12 PM   #126
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Unhappy We're exasperated!

Hello Everyone!

It's been awhile since we've been online, and I wanted to take a moment to update you all on our Airstream saga.

Airstream sent a driver to come and pick up our trailer here in California and drive it back to Ohio for repairs on Thanksgiving Weekend. We received the trailer back in March, with the propane tank covers in shreds and the door handle missing. These items probably happened from the trip back, and Jim from Airstream was very nice about shipping us replacements.

Now for the other items. As you recall in a previous post we had around 32 problems listed with the trailer - well alot of these problems were fixed and we have approximately 18 new ones.

We went to a local dealer in our area to see if we could just trade in the darn thing and wash our hands of it, but it seems we're right in the period of our loan payoff that we would lose quite a bit of money by doing that. The dealer was kind enough to have us look at his new Airstream models and I took no time at all pointing out the problems with the peeling laminate, bad upholstery, and general low quality of assembly. Even he was surprised!

I will be contacting Airstream in the next few days to set up more repairs with either the dealer or....

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Old 07-09-2003, 06:24 PM   #127
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Problems

Quote:
Now for the other items. As you recall in a previous post we had around 32 problems listed with the trailer - well alot of these problems were fixed and we have approximately 18 new ones.
Pretty sad to hear that. Mine has settled out just fine after my initial problems. I keep finding little things I want to change; but then, I'm an inveterate thing changer. I haven't really had a problem this year except a torn tank cover which was replaced with a better cover under warrenty.

Wht are some of the latest problems?
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Old 07-09-2003, 07:00 PM   #128
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Unhappy Second Thoughts about A/S

I've been steadily working myself up into a lather regarding the purchase of a new Airstream. But after reading Rob and Rebecca's quality issues with their new purchase, I'm having MAJOR second thoughts.

What the heck is going on? Is it true that once Thor Industries bought A/S, the quality went south? Sure sounds like it.

Crap workmanship such as they described is simply inexcusable -- especially on a trailer that costs as much as what they paid.

I am so very disappointed... and sadly, I feel my desire to purchase an A/S quietly ebbing away....
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Old 07-09-2003, 07:19 PM   #129
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Re: Second Thoughts about A/S

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Originally posted by LittleRadio
I've been steadily working myself up into a lather regarding the purchase of a new Airstream. But after reading Rob and Rebecca's quality issues with their new purchase, I'm having MAJOR second thoughts.

What the heck is going on? Is it true that once Thor Industries bought A/S, the quality went south? Sure sounds like it.

Crap workmanship such as they described is simply inexcusable -- especially on a trailer that costs as much as what they paid.

I am so very disappointed... and sadly, I feel my desire to purchase an A/S quietly ebbing away....
My folks bought a brand-new Rambler Ambassador in 1959 with an aluminum engine block. It was the latest and greatest thing... right up until a chunk of the block broke off and fell off on the driveway. Rambler put a new engine in.

Any product as complex as an Airstream is going to have issues. It shouldn't be that way, I recognize, but it is. Boeing spends countless hours repairing and reworking brand-new airplanes for the same kinds of issues.

As long as Airstream continues to warranty their product and provide satisfactory after-sale service and repair, you shouldn't be overly concerned. After all, even superior manufacturers have a lemon roll off the line from time to time. I probably had the only lemon Toyota FJ-60 Land Cruiser ever built! Once the problems are fixed, they should stay fixed.

Roger
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Old 07-09-2003, 07:29 PM   #130
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I agree that the concept of "perpetual zero-defect" assembly is never achievable at ANY price...

And I'm more than willing to live with a moderate amount of "things gone wrong" with any new purchase.

But we're not talking about failed components -- something that can't be detected during installation. We're talking about people who didn't give a darn about the workmanship they were performing!

And from the sound of it, it wasn't on just one thing. It was multiple times! They came and got the trailer in California, and then brought it back with as many NEW problems as there were old original problems! PLUS, they brought their trailer back with visible damage. Again, that's something any ninny can see! Why are you willing to overlook that??? It's simply unacceptable.

This does not speak well for the craftsmen at A/S, either.

Again, for the money Rob and Rebecca paid, A/S should've had that trailer personnally escorted as it went through corrective service in Jackson Center. And then it should have come back FIXED!

I'm sorry... but their original post punched a nuclear-sized hole into the "Airstream legend." They're losing me fast... and nobody is more disappointed than I.
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Old 07-09-2003, 07:43 PM   #131
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Unhappy more reason to doubt...

The A/S I was looking to purchase was the 28CCD.

In the 2003 CCD forum, I found more quality issues... poor caulking, misfit cabinetry, missing bolts/rivets, poorly fitting doors...

This quality thing seems to be systemic. Not just a "lemon rolls down the assembly line" every once in a while.

!!

Like I said before, having grown up and vacationed in A/S with my brothers and sisters, nobody is more disappointed in my 'slowly ebbing away desire' to buy a new A/S... : (
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Old 07-13-2003, 10:20 PM   #132
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More reason to doubt...

But we're not talking about failed components -- something that can't be detected during installation. We're talking about people who didn't give a darn about the workmanship they were performing!

And from the sound of it, it wasn't on just one thing. It was multiple times! They came and got the trailer in California, and then brought it back with as many NEW problems as there were old original problems! PLUS, they brought their trailer back with visible damage. Again, that's something any ninny can see! Why are you willing to overlook that??? It's simply unacceptable.
________________________________________-
I totally agree. It's to the point now that I don't want to go anywhere in this trailer because people get excited at parks we arrive at and want to talk to us about our trailer, unfortunately we don't have very many nice things to say about the workmanship.

The body of the trailer is in great shape. We've lost one rivet and I do believe that that can be adjusted at the dealer. But how is the dealer going to re-laminate the trailer again? Do they have people on staff that can do such specialized work? How are they going to replace the fabric wall lining that is falling off the walls? Again, do they have people on staff that can support such work?

Well, we just keep plugging away. I am truly disappointed in the quality of the interior and some of the exterior workmanship in our trailer - you spend almost $40,000.00 on something, and you hope that it will be okay. I don't mind a couple of problems here or there, but when you arrive at your destination and you have two screws laying on the floor and a drawer on the other side of the trailer, it kind of makes you wonder!

I only hope that Airstream can look at their production line, define the problems and move forward.

Thanks for letting me vent!

-Rebecca Byrne
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Old 07-14-2003, 06:23 AM   #133
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Hi, Rebecca!

I can't blame you for being frustrated! I hope you can get all of the problems worked out. I agree with John... make sure that you properly document all of the issues with your trailer, and see what Airstream will do for you in terms of compensation. There is definately a point at which enough is enough!

Best of luck!

Roger
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Old 07-14-2003, 06:55 AM   #134
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Inspection?

The Airstream site factory tour brags on how the trailer is inspected. What inspection?

IMHO, This is the flaw in their process. If the trailer is carefully inspected, the defects identified and fixed, and the workers who produce the defects identified, retrained, or let go, quality would improve in a hurry.

Airstream also doesn't seem to respond well to suggestions. I made a simple suggestion on routing water lines that would prevent floods like I had and at the same time save both material and manufacturing time. I received a response that they looked at it and agreed with me, but months later, I looked at a brand new manufacture trailer at the dealer and, lo and behold, nothing had changed..
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Old 07-14-2003, 09:33 AM   #135
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Not long ago I went looking at other brands of trailers. Some of them not exatly cheap either. I vividly remember leaning against a wallpapered wall in one of them, and feeling it give, and by the time I braced myself, it had cracked down the middle, about 24in vertical.
Another time I sat on a folding bed in a high line toybox type trailer, and it came clear off the wall - sending me tumbling on the floor. I could not help but laugh. The bed mechanism was secured to an 1/8in wall with sheet metal screws, none of them hitting the studs. No wonder these trailers depreciate twice as fast as an Airstream.
My point is, unless it's really large $$ like in a huge Diesel pusher, the quality just simply is not what it is supposed to be. Airstream or SOB, fit and finish are definitely lacking.
I still would prefer the Airstream product hands down, even though it is aggravating to see them p... away such a great reputation.
Thor probably does not care, because the company is profitable. They won't react until they see declining numbers, which probably will not happen for a while. So in a way, they have a take it or leave it attitude, which filters down to the dealers as well, I guess. I pointed out some problems in teh 28CCD to a salesman, and he just smiled, saying that even if it was much worse, the unit would fly off the lot as quick as if it was a perfect coach. Sad, no?
My wife and I were considering upgrading recently. Upon inspection of the new trailers, we decided to keep our 1971 and eventually refurbish it completely. We figured it will cost us less in the long run, and we will end up with a better built coach, exactly how we want it. But, if we did not already have our Tradewind, then we would have signed the dotted line and dealt witht eh quality issues later. Airstreams are just that cool!
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Old 07-20-2003, 03:58 PM   #136
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Soap!

For over a year, we have been struggling to find a good way to store the hand soap in the bathroom while travelling. The soap "dish" is flat as a fritter and the soap can't stay there. We have been putting it in the sink, but the drain, if open, tears the bar up and the drain, if closed, gets it wet from hand washing under way.

I recently installed a funnel-shaped soap holder to the left of the medicine chest to hold the soap while underway. Works like a charm. Any dripping from the soap is on the counter where it is easily wiped up.

One of my next changes is a momentary button in the bathroom to run the water pump for hand washing while under way without having to remember the switch outside.
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Old 07-27-2003, 08:26 AM   #137
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Electrical access

I may never have to access the terminal blocks where the umbilical comes into the trailer, and maybe I will have to access them. It bothered me that have to disassemble the bed to reach the terminals.

I solved this by installing a deck plate that I had in the shop from my former sailboat days in the plywood under the mattress. Now, I can remove the front drawer, lay a flashlight in there, and access the terminal block through the deck plate.
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Old 07-27-2003, 08:32 AM   #138
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Re: Inspection?

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Pahaska
[B]The Airstream site factory tour brags on how the trailer is inspected. What inspection?

IMHO, This is the flaw in their process. If the trailer is carefully inspected, the defects identified and fixed, and the workers who produce the defects identified, retrained, or let go, quality would improve in a hurry.


John,

I couldn't agree more. My list is about 16 items strong and growing. Most are just annoying little things that added up, but there are about 3 or 4 that are bigger and one or two that I am still scratching my head trying to figure out how it left the factory. I'll be down at the homecoming to hang out and get my issues addressed.

Maybe I'll see you down there.

Eric
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Old 08-04-2003, 12:58 PM   #139
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Nature abhors a vacuum ...

and so do I. To me, a vacuum is a piece of my expensive silver real estate that can't be used for some good purpose.

A few years ago, my wife bought me a nice double-mantle propane lantern. It has been handy many times (Chas and PeterH will attest to that). Unfortunately, it is rather bulky and there isn't a good place to store it in the trailer along with the propane. It has been riding in the bed of my truck lately, getting dirty, and breaking mantles. I don't use it a lot, but I want it with me.

But wait! How about the curved area to the left of the under-bed drawers. A nice carpeted EMPTY area. Now how do I get into it.

Easy! My next modification will be to cut the plywood deck under the bed to make a hatch and install hinges. For the rare times I need the lamp, it is no great problem to raise up the corner of the mattress and open the hatch.
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Old 08-04-2003, 01:43 PM   #140
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Radio, got to be a better way

John,

We didn't buy an International, we purchased a 30' Classic. And all in all, everything seems fine, there are little things but not too bothersome. However the radio just irritates me.

I'm six foot four, 55, with eyes that don't focus as well as they used to so I need bifocals. The radio is in front under a top opening door over the couch. When I open the door, I'm too tall to see the radio because the door doesn't open all the way. I have to kneel down on the couch to see the radio face. However now I'm so close to the radio I have to use the reading parts of my glasses to focus. Consequently I have to tilt my head way back to read the radio which in now over my head.

Once while trying to see the radio and adjust the station, my daughter entered the trailer and began to laugh. She asked me if I was comfortable in that position praying to the radio gods.

I've just given up using the radio.
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