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Old 12-11-2015, 08:40 AM   #1
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Dealership selection?

Without getting into the "who" of your choice, I was wondering why you chose your dealer.

My thoughts have been to try to find a "centralized" dealer in the event I need support while out on the road. Maybe a dealer with more than one location. This way for the time I'm away from home I can easily visit if it was a major issue requiring repairs on the road. This would avoid the drive or limp back to home port for repair work. With the expanding AS network of dealers it's nice to have AS in just about every state. My only concern is the whole "local dealer wait list" drama cause I'm not a local buying customer for that dealer. I know it's about the same mindset for buying your auto/truck. Locals/returning buyers get head of the line privileges for work.

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Old 12-11-2015, 08:52 AM   #2
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There are Airstream dealers and a few really 'good' Airstream dealers. The larger dealers will have more inventory to view during the selection process and 'should' have a more competent service department.

Spend time reading on this forum and you will discover that some folks acquire from dealer A because of price and use dealer B because of the service reputation. Being relatively close to the Airstream factory in Jackson Center, Ohio, you could even consider them as a service point.
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Old 12-11-2015, 09:08 AM   #3
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Colonial Airstream in NJ is relatively close to you, and has a good reputation and large inventory. They are mentioned favorably on a few threads here. Patrick was very helpful to us as we narrowed in on the Flying Cloud 20', although another smaller dealer turned out to have our 2014 unit in stock and on sale at the time we were ready to purchase.
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Old 12-11-2015, 09:49 AM   #4
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Based on our experience I would buy from the dealer giving you the best price, period. However, don't spend $1000 towing across the country to save $1000 purchase price.

I also would not buy a trailer that has been sitting on the dealer's lot for a long period taking the abuse of tire kickers and door slammers, while it ages unprotected in sometimes corrosive environments.

Not all Airstreams are constructed equally well. Buying local will give you the opportunity to go through, around, and under it with a fine-tooth comb. More than a few minor faults would be reason to reject that particular Airstream and look for another.

You would be lucky to have a dealer with consistent good service. And if there really is priority in a service department, what does it matter if the technician is barely competent or they stock so little parts inventory that every repair has an extended wait for parts.

We bought two airstreams locally, but fit Jackson Center into our travel plans when we want service.
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Old 12-11-2015, 10:06 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Based on our experience I would buy from the dealer giving you the best price, period. However, don't spend $1000 towing across the country to save $1000 purchase price. <snip>
The exception to this rule would be to combine the purchase with a loooong shakedown trip home.
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Old 12-11-2015, 12:02 PM   #6
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We were very impressed with the knowledge and help that Patrick with Colonial Airstream in NJ gave us. Loved his You Tube tours of different models. It was tough to go with Colonial since we were over 2000 miles from the dealership. I remember him saying that his happiest owners were ones who came and picked up their Airstreams rather than having them shipped to them. As for the loooong shakedown trip home, we thought this would be an awful introduction to our first Airstream and would rather make the shakedown cruise be something shorter and closer to home. If we lived closer to Colonial, we probably would have gone with them.

In the end, we bought from our local dealer. He was not pushy, he matched Colonial's price and the fact that we supported a local merchant makes us feel better about the purchase.

As for warranty service after the sale, Patrick at Colonial made an interesting point. Many problems occur while you are on the road and not close to where you bought the trailer, so you'll probably end up at another dealership anyway for needed repairs.
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Old 12-20-2015, 08:29 AM   #7
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I said it once and I'll say it again, AS needs to set up an authorized service system of certified techs at an existing RV outlets. My local RV dealer refuses to work on Airstreams due to the complexity and lack of factory training. A lot of AS dealers went down the tubes in the recession and were not replaced, making it practical to set up a service system.
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