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Old 03-18-2012, 11:22 PM   #161
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I'd have to guess that like most things made in North America, the cost of labour has increased more then the cost of the materials. The 'shop rate' at most RV places around here is $80 to $100 an hour. Even if a rivet-monger in JC is 'only' making $20 an hour, their cost when you factor in benefits and such is double. Add in the overhead of all the non-assembly staff, and I'm sure you're going to get something like $250 an hour to put 1 guy on the line.

What does it take in man-hours to build an Airstream? 100 hours? 200 hours? You could have a labour cost of $25,000 to $50,000 right there... and you haven't even bought the materials yet.

I've seen an assembly line of another SOB (POS)... square construction and tin over framed walls is very fast... and the materials are even cheaper and easier to work with.

So... a bit extra for Airstream materials, and a lot extra for the work and time to put them together.
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Old 03-19-2012, 08:37 AM   #162
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I'm not sure they pay workers $20/hour. Airstream is very anti-union and given their cost cutting in the trailers, that mentality means paying workers as little as possible.

If it takes 9 days to build them, that's 72 hours minimum, but sometimes more than 1 is working on them.

Production is somewhat archaic and has stayed that way for a long time. Some things are contracted out now, so the whole trailer is not built there anymore.

If there are an average of two workers working full time on a trailer at $17.50/hour plus 25% benefits ($21.88), labor cost per trailer runs $3,150.72. Benefits may be 100% in Canada, but they sure aren't in the US and a stingy employer is going to cut them a lot, especially health care. Administrative costs are separate, but Airstream doesn't have that many executives and I doubt any of them are making millions. Thor execs may make that much, but not Airstream. You could have 3 people working on it fulltime and give them a 50% raise in hourly rate and benefits, and labor is still a small part ($7,089.12).

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Old 04-03-2012, 07:32 PM   #163
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I just got the call today that our new 2012 Flying Cloud 30' was delivered to the dealer. They are prepping it tomorrow and we will pick it up tomorrow night! I asked the dealer several questions related to some of the issues posted in various threads, and I am convinced that the dealer solves many of the factory QC problems before they are delivered.

Without my prompting, he explained that they test the water tanks, heat, A/C, lighting etc. and check calibration of the monitors. He suggested that he has had many of the monitors arrive from the factory incorrectly wired, and they fix them prior to the customer receiving the trailer.

Our first Airstream had no problems at delivery. We did have a warranty repair to the table pedestal after about 2 months, and a minor leak in the rear window, but I really can't think of other problems.

Hopefully this will be the same experience... I'll keep you posted.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:17 PM   #164
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I just got the call today that our new 2012 Flying Cloud 30' was delivered to the dealer. They are prepping it tomorrow and we will pick it up tomorrow night! I asked the dealer several questions related to some of the issues posted in various threads, and I am convinced that the dealer solves many of the factory QC problems before they are delivered.

Without my prompting, he explained that they test the water tanks, heat, A/C, lighting etc. and check calibration of the monitors. He suggested that he has had many of the monitors arrive from the factory incorrectly wired, and they fix them prior to the customer receiving the trailer.

Our first Airstream had no problems at delivery. We did have a warranty repair to the table pedestal after about 2 months, and a minor leak in the rear window, but I really can't think of other problems.

Hopefully this will be the same experience... I'll keep you posted.
FWIW...I would not pick up at night.

Bring some provisions and stay the first night on the dealers lot.

Good Luck....

Bob
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Old 04-04-2012, 07:58 AM   #165
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That is great news Hibby!! I agree with Bob, pick it up in the day. I cant wait to go out to see my 74 Tradewind in storage. I still wish I could go pick up a new one instead of starting my to do list for the year though! Good Luck!
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:35 PM   #166
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We took delivery on Wednesday, pulled it home, and parked it in the driveway to pack stuff from the prior Airstream and test all systems. So far, the only thing that we've found not working properly is the indicator light for the water heater. The water heater seems to work fine; just no indicator light.

The dealer installed a full length mirror on the bathroom door for us which is a GREAT and very inexpensive mod... They also installed a separate set of battery leads that will allow us to attach another deep cycle battery and charge it through the solar system. This is for my trolling motor battery for fishing (we attach this to our canoe).

Oh! And we had them change the 22" television in the bedroom to a 27". Also a great choice. Nothing worse than being out in the boonies with only one 27" TV. Can you imagine!?

I'll post more as we work out any kinks, but so far so good!
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:43 PM   #167
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... So far, the only thing that we've found not working properly is the indicator light for the water heater. The water heater seems to work fine; just no indicator light.
Somebody correct me if I am wrong but when we picked up our new Airstream a month ago the dealer said that the red light between the two hot water switches would illuminate if there was a problem with the hot water heater when running on propane. You may have no problem at all. I have seen it illuminate briefly when there is no a/c and the propane is in the process of lighting. As soon as there is ignition it goes out.

Congratulations on the new stream! Pictures???

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Old 04-08-2012, 08:49 PM   #168
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I'll try to get some new photos up soon.... Maybe I can take some of mods and unique features. Solar is very nice, and weve been running on nothing butsolar and some propane since delivery
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:19 PM   #169
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Somebody correct me if I am wrong but when we picked up our new Airstream a month ago the dealer said that the red light between the two hot water switches would illuminate if there was a problem with the hot water heater when running on propane. You may have no problem at all. I have seen it illuminate briefly when there is no a/c and the propane is in the process of lighting. As soon as there is ignition it goes out.

Congratulations on the new stream! Pictures???

Bruce
This must be true because I have run the heater on propane and elec and the light has never come on. This seemed odd to me though as I would have thought the light would indicate when the unit was heating. I'll look in the manual.
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:27 PM   #170
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This must be true because I have run the heater on propane and elec and the light has never come on. This seemed odd to me though as I would have thought the light would indicate when the unit was heating. I'll look in the manual.
Dan
On second thought I think tha† light is an indicator for the potable water pump.

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Old 04-08-2012, 09:49 PM   #171
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On ours when the propane lights the red indicator goes out.
If it should blow out and doesn't re-light it will come back on...red indicates, you should check for leaks and why it went out.

Bob
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Old 04-09-2012, 07:44 AM   #172
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On the newer ones, the light flashes when either source is selected (unless the water is already hot enough from previous use, or there's a problem); it does not stay on through the entire propane start cycle like the old ones. This little change hasn't found its way into the owners' manual yet (typical of the RV industry). If the light never even flashes, but everything works OK, try swapping the two connections on the back side of the light...since it's an LED, polarity matters, and some of them get connected backwards on the production line.
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:00 AM   #173
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"This little change hasn't found its way into the owners' manual yet (typical of the RV industry)."

Why are we still the last to know?...crank-up the old mimeograph machine and add a page.

Bob
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:45 PM   #174
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Right...it's as if the boss at the Atwood plant said: "Guys, let's go ahead and use up these old manuals first..."
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Old 04-09-2012, 07:09 PM   #175
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I just went out and checked it because it's parked next to the house at the moment. I flipped on the propane switch for the water tank and no light came on even though the propane fired up. I also tried the electrical switch for the water heater and, alas, no light comes on.

Admittedly, I seem to have found only one flaw at the moment of the entire trailer. I'm pretty impressed...

I still think we should put together a group of private investors and by Airstream from Thor industries. We could make a better product and take over the world!
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:02 PM   #176
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Help - my husband raised the bed to access the storage under the bed. Now we cannot lower the bed - makes sleeping difficult. Help!!!
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:34 PM   #177
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It's probably just difficult to push down. At first, I thought I was going to break the bed, but after moderate pressure the gas lifts released and it lowered easily. Try placing your hands on the mattress directly above the point where each lift attaches to the wood sheeting that the mattress sits on. Gently apply pressure and gradually increase to see if they just need to pop loose and allow you to lower the mattress!
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:24 PM   #178
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Hibby is correct, although you could try to get in the bed and ride it down.

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Old 04-13-2012, 05:06 AM   #179
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Hibby and Gene, thank you very much!
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Old 04-15-2012, 05:18 PM   #180
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Thinking through this carefully, I think Gene has the right approach...
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