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Old 07-01-2019, 04:07 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
2020 19' Caravel
Seattle , WA
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 11
3rd party inspection on a brand new Airstream

Hi, I am in the process of purchasing a brand new 19' Caravel. I am in Seattle area, but the dealer is in Oregon (about 4.5 hours each way). Since I am new to AS and RV, I have zero knowledge if I should be inspecting the AS at pick up. Is it recommended to arrange inspection by a third party inspector prior to pick up? I am not sure the importance of inspection if the AS is covering 3 years for warranty. Please let me know!
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Old 07-01-2019, 04:47 PM   #2
Rivet Master
2019 27' Globetrotter
Salem , Oregon
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 667
I assume you are purchasing from Airstream NW. Can you not have them deliver it to their Seattle store?

I don't think a third party inspection is that important on a new unit. Just don't let them rush you and make sure everything works. I mean everything, stove, air, heat, refigerator, lights.

This time of year if something is wrong it might be fall before they fix it. Dave
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Old 07-01-2019, 04:57 PM   #3
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2019 25' Flying Cloud
Airstream - Other
Airstream - Other
North Central Texas , USA
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 943
You mention that you are new to both Airstream and RVing. From my experience it takes some time before a person becomes comfortable with using and understanding the various systems and components of an RV. Airstreams, as with all Rv's have their own character.

I personally don't think an 'inspector' is necessary for delivery of a new Airstream/RV but having an experienced person with you can make the experience a bit more comfortable.

There are many, many threads on walk-throughs, new unit acceptance do's and don's, etc., but for me the most important thing you can do is take the time to spend a night or two at or near your dealer. Many dealers have on-site hook-ups for service and new trailer familiarity. If not they will know a near-by RV park where you can stay.

Spend a night or two at or near the dealer, that time is priceless! You can also check out local inspectors listed on this site and perhaps one of them would be happy to accompany you during the process.
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Old 07-01-2019, 08:05 PM   #4
1 Rivet Member
2020 19' Caravel
Seattle , WA
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 11
Originally Posted by NoResults View Post
I assume you are purchasing from Airstream NW. Can you not have them deliver it to their Seattle store?

I don't think a third party inspection is that important on a new unit. Just don't let them rush you and make sure everything works. I mean everything, stove, air, heat, refigerator, lights.

This time of year if something is wrong it might be fall before they fix it. Dave
Thank you. I am getting it from Sutton at Eugene, OR.
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Old 07-02-2019, 10:38 AM   #5
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2005 22' Safari
Junction City , Oregon
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 5
We have had wonderful experiences with Sutton RV even though we did not purchase our 2005 Safari from them. We purchased it a year ago from the former owner but Sutton has treated us well and their service is reasonably priced. Enjoy!
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Old 07-02-2019, 12:02 PM   #6
4 Rivet Member
Napa , California
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 250
Do find an experienced RV friend to help, but no need for a paid inspection. With a new trailer there should be a good warranty and the dealer should give you plenty of help. I would plan to stay a night or two near the dealer so you can get help if you run into problems. We made a few calls to they dealer even though we are experienced trailer folks and they were happy to help.
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Old 07-02-2019, 11:54 PM   #7
Classy Roscoe
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 214
Latte-Mocka, welcome to the Air Forums and the huge family of owners!

All of the folks that have replied to your question are giving you their experience and are all valid. But, until you take delivery and start to use your new fabulous Airstream, you really will not know that the vehicle is what you expected and built to the standards you expect.

There have been Airstreams sent out of the factory that were poorly assembled, sloppily built, and make you wonder how it ever rolled out the door.

It was said that it takes about four days to hand assemble an Airstream. At a factory tour I was told over 90 come off the line every week. That’s lots of vehicles for 380 pairs of hands to complete.

Considering new owners that have had to deal with dead batteries, leaking water systems, poor or non-preforming Alde hot water and cabin heating systems, failing Dometic AC/Heat systems, loose cabinet doors, saw dust, screws and metal shavings under and behind access panels, hard closing cabin doors, not working, sound and video systems, tires and wheels coming off of brake drums and ripping side panels, in cabinet lights not turning off, etc, etc, quality control can be lacking.

For the price you pay, these issues should NOT exist! But they do. The factory is under great pressure to fill orders and ship product so quality control is not always up to par. Dealers are left to do pre-delivery inspections, but that too does not always happen.

If you dealer does not have 50 amp service to check out you coach, if you have dual AC’s, there is no way to test them properly. If the dealership does not keep the batteries charged frequently, the batteries will be junk before you take delivery. If the water system have not been filled there is no way to check for leaks and if the hot water system is working properly. Roof, vent or AC seal leaks require a rain storm to test or at least a water hose shower

Opening and closing every door, locker, main door, galley cabinet, window, vent and drawer is an absolute necessity.

Are the lug nuts tighten to specification? This is all part of the Pre-delivery inspection the dealership should provide for you until you do the same thing your self. And without fail, stay in the vehicle at least one night before you leave the dealership. Good dealerships have no problem with that. Don’t cut the check till you know all of it is ok.

Now, the good folks at Jackson Center and many of the dealers work very hard to do the best job possible and if there are problems, they won’t rest until you are made whole. They stand behind their products and strive to be the best.

But on the other side of the coin, it is up to the owner to do annual inspection on the coach, checking and maintaining your new baby. And if you do half of this shopping list of things, you will enjoy awesome adventures and discover the joy of this Nation and our neighbors up north as well, for many years.

If you are not comfortable with doing all these things yourself, then by all means, hire a professional inspector. Don’t ask the dealership for a name of an inspector. Find one independently.

In this way you will enjoy your investment for many years. We did not do all these things on our 2017 Classic 30 Twin and after leaving the dealer and going 2100 miles return home from the purchase, a tire and wheel left us and almost every concern listed above occurred. It took 2 months to have all the defects cleared up.

New Airstream does not mean everything is done correctly. But rest assured Airstream DOES stand behind your being satisfied. Just check it all out carefully, and if you don’t feel comfortable with it, by all means have a pro do it for you.

Safe travels.
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Old 07-03-2019, 12:10 PM   #8
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2015 27' Flying Cloud
Spring , Texas
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 245
We had many things wrong / not working when we took delivery of our brand new 2015 27FB FC. The worst probably was the power awning would not open properly- I didnít know what to check?? We had 2 AC units also & one didnít work. How does this get past quality inspection at Jackson or @ my dealer ? I was brand new to the RV world. We had a list of 18 items that none should have been. So if I had to do it again not knowing what I do now - yes hire an inspector - preferably one that knows Airstreams.
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:37 AM   #9
Rivet Master
2020 25' Flying Cloud
Atlanta , Georgia
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 524
Blog Entries: 1
I'm completely in agreement with the "get it inspected" voice, with two warnings. . Warning 1: If you have an Airstream dealer who can do warranty work within an hour of your home, it's marginally less important. But beware : a lot of non - Airstream dealers /service centers won't work on Airstreamtrailer and won't do warranty work.
Warning 2: I think you need to go personally to pick it up, and before you complete the deal, you need to check it out yourself. Before you pay any money, have the dealer go through and demonstrate for you EVERY SINGLE SYSTEM. It will teach you about the systems and at the same time demonstrate that everything works. You're buying a multiple tens of thousands of dollars asset : don't go cheap and have someone else inspect it. The dealer won't like your doing this, , but it is your legal right.
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