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Old 03-07-2021, 05:39 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
2015 16' Sport
Beloit , Wisconsin
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 11
Buying a 2018 Basecamp--need a little advice

Hi all,


I'm completely new to the RV scene, so I thought I'd jump right in and get an Airstream rather than buy something a little more ordinary and have to deal with upgrading later. Put a deposit on a 2018 Basecamp, then found this section of the forums Friday night and totally went down the rabbit hole. The refrigerator issues, the leaks, having parts fly off and the seemingly indifferent or dismissive way that Airstream treats the issues have me more than a little concerned. I'm mechanically inclined, but spending $30,000 on something that I'm going to have to rely on a thousand miles away from my garage and tools have me questioning the decision. I have a list of questions to go through with them(thank you to all of the form members that contribute!). If any of you have a little bit of time to go through the pics I attached, to see if there are any potential problems with this trailer, I would really appreciate it. I want to make this work because it really is such a cool concept. Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-07-2021, 06:25 PM   #2
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 916WI View Post
. . .
. . . The refrigerator issues . . .
. . .
Welcome to the forum . . . just making sure you have seen the Simple Survey thread . . .



https://www.airforums.com/forums/f40...ne-169937.html

Good luck.
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Old 03-07-2021, 08:02 PM   #3
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2015 16' Sport
Beloit , Wisconsin
Join Date: Feb 2021
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Thanks! Yes, I read most of the posts on that thread. I was going to talk to them before I signed off on this thing to see if they would consider replacing the existing refrigerator for a compressor model. It's at an airstream dealership(I was told it was traded in on a basecamp 20x) They came down $2400 from asking to $29,600, so I really don't think that request is going to get any traction--It looks to be very clean and it's the lowes price that I could find in the country....
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Old 03-08-2021, 01:30 AM   #4
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As long as you are happy with a fridge which can fail you unpredictably . . .

Happy Trails!
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Old 03-08-2021, 07:08 AM   #5
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2015 16' Sport
Beloit , Wisconsin
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 11
I'm not particularly happy about it, but if it does fail, I'll spend the money to replace it with the Novacool 4500. The new basecamps that come with the updated fridge are well over $40K--that's a huge price difference between the used(even factoring in the fridge replacement) and the newer models that come with the compressor fridge....
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Old 03-08-2021, 07:49 AM   #6
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2019 26' Flying Cloud
Saint Louis , MO
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 69
Can't speak to the Basecamp, but don't sweat everything you've read so far. Obviously be cognizant of known issues, but simply bear in mind that things will break, and things will go wrong. I'm a "newbie" as well and just celebrated my first year of AS life. I was frustrated after I felt there were some craftsmenship issues on a new unit. There's definitely some surly folks lurking in here.

Since; I've sold my FC and swapped into a Classic and have gotten over that stigma. I think it's important we accept in RV life things are gonna go wrong and break. Keep basic tools on hand, have a backup plan when sh$t hits the fan (it will) and roll with it. If something becomes frustrating and you have to use ingenuity at least you'll have devised a plan and extension to your RV knowledge and be better able to address more issues down the line.

Silver lining - hopefully any issues with your 2018 will have been addressed by the previous owner.

See you down the road!
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Old 03-08-2021, 09:09 AM   #7
IrishMillie
 
2019 Basecamp
1977 24' Argosy 24
Fruitland Park , Florida
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 10
I went with the 2019 Basecampx instead of going used. Any issues I’ve had were very minor and the mothership took great care of me and my camper. I’ve got the nova kool and love it. Remember many folks who have these rigs are not on forums bitching and moaning about every little thing. Sure there have been issues with recaps etc but go in eyes open and I think you’ll be fine. Enjoy. Hope to see you down the road

Millie
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Old 03-08-2021, 11:24 AM   #8
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Napa , California
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 247
The folks who have no issues are happily out camping. Most forums have a disproportionate number of people looking for help with their issues, whatever those might be. It's reassuring to discover you aren't the only one with a part that failed, get some technical clarification or to find a solution to something you don't like, even to see how others are set up or what tow vehicle they are using. But, look through the archives it's hard to find a "gee this is swell!" topic.

It's a good thing, it also gives the manufacturers' a place to see what problems are reoccurring with their product. And trust me, they do monitor these forums.

But, rest assured it isn't just Airstream that have quality issues -our last trailer (SOB-some other brand) had dead batteries the first trip out, a leak that delaminated a wall as well as killed the stereo and the overhead lights and caused floor issue as well, a radio antenna that was incorrectly installed, bunks that sagged and had to be re-leveled, a window that at first wouldn't open-then wouldn't close and an oven that burned everything on the bottom and left it raw on top. Oh yeah, a parasitic draw that killed the batteries constantly once we replaced them. So, we fixed the bunks, fixed the stereo, replaced the lights, fixed the antenna -but nothing to be done about the delamination (wall still has a bulge) and the oven (that's how they work, although if you add a pizza stone and make sure to heat it completely is does a better job). And eventually we learned how to coax the batteries into having a longer life!

Our Airstream has been stellar when compared to that one, plus our Airstream dealer has been wonderful about taking care of the issues we find. The SOB dealer? Just shrugged and blamed us for every little thing, and didn't fix anything for us.
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Old 03-08-2021, 11:27 AM   #9
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Airstream - Other
Knoxville , TN
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 183
Congratulations on the purchase. Don't put too much stock in the negative issues. Do they happen sometimes, is it common no. I notice a lot of issues tend to be around the appliances which isn't an Airstream exclusive issue. If you go to other camper forms you will hear the same gripes.

I would suggest you look at all the seams on the roof especially around the AC unit. The unit is three years old so it may be time for some touch ups. Otherwise I would think anything that could have been a problem has probably been taken care of by the POs already.

As to how customers are treated by Airstream keep in mind dealerships are intendent of the factory. The service departments don't operate at the same level as the factory and often don't want to do warrenty work because they may not get reimbursed at their normal rates or have to wait to be reimbursed by the factory. Again is the same for most RV dealerships regardless of brand. It's not even unique to the RV industry cars and boat are the same way.

I think most would agree that Airstreams overall, are reliable and well built. If you decide you don't like it their are plenty of other options available.
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Old 03-08-2021, 12:00 PM   #10
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2018 Basecamp
North Conway , New Hampshire
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 21
We bought a used 2018 BC last year, drove XC NH to OR 2x and about to do it again in June. We bought from Airstream dealer, they did 100 something check, had redone brakes, tires like new, and otherwise was like new. Had a few very minor issues and when brought back even though out of warranty, the fixed gratis. Have not had issue with refrigerator other than remembering to keep propane on while traveling if have food in it! Best purchase we've ever made - our first trailer/rv, and absolutely love it. Plus they hold their value and a 2018 now is pretty much depreciated for at least another 5 years, so if do sell can likely sell for purchase price or higher especially give cost of new models and demand from lockdowns! Good luck and welcome to the club. Also, highly recommend the teak shower floor, there are 3 basecamp groups on FB and there is a guy there that makes them for about $220 vs $300+ on airstream supply. Also if buy from dealer be sure to ask for discount code for airstream supply, our dealer gave us one, and it is good for multiple uses with no expiration - 30% off, so bought the weber airstream grill there because with discount was lower than Camping world or anyplace else online.
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Old 03-08-2021, 01:22 PM   #11
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2017 Basecamp
Preston , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 15
Hi, the nice thing about buying used is that most of the manufacturing problems have been fixed. I've had mine for 5 years and finally have most of the bugs worked out.

I would highly recommend putting on the "Solar Shields" that protect the front windows. In the first year I had a rock through my center window and missed a summer of camping while the window was on order. Bummer. Since I put on the shields they have two cracks from rocks hitting them so it was worth the money. The good side of getting the window fixed is that they repaired the front window leak that was there since new.

Strange enough, my refrigerator has been working fine but last week the Air Conditioner fell off on the highway (Inspect your bolts).

You might check the batteries, the stock ones are not very good. If you plan to boondock much consider upgrading to some good AGM batteries (about $350 each).

Hope this helps.
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Old 03-08-2021, 03:30 PM   #12
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Rochester , WASHINGTON
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 916WI View Post
Thanks! Yes, I read most of the posts on that thread. I was going to talk to them before I signed off on this thing to see if they would consider replacing the existing refrigerator for a compressor model. It's at an airstream dealership(I was told it was traded in on a basecamp 20x) They came down $2400 from asking to $29,600, so I really don't think that request is going to get any traction--It looks to be very clean and it's the lowes price that I could find in the country....
Look at it this way.With current market,if you don't like it, you can probably get more than you paid for it.
I bash Airstream engineering more than the next guy ( there's decades of things they couldn't get right, etc etc) but since you're new to RVs, all brands have problems.
The last thing I would worry about is a fridge.Just relax,don't over think it, and ease into the Glamping world.
BTW, what tow vehicle are you using?? That's where you'll really get some good advice in these forums ..
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Old 03-18-2021, 08:48 PM   #13
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2015 16' Sport
Beloit , Wisconsin
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 11
I was going to look into the solar shields--The dealership is an Airstream dealership in St. Louis area(Bill Thomas Camper). I was going to see if they would sell them at dealer cost. The sales manager and his staff have been great to work with. I haven't picked it up yet because it's a 5 hour drive and work has been insanely busy. I was told it has two AGM batteries--I thought that's what came with the solar package? Can significantly more battery life be gained by replacing the factory "AGM" batteries? I'll definitely check the a/c bolts as well--Thanks for the warning!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donnh View Post
Hi, the nice thing about buying used is that most of the manufacturing problems have been fixed. I've had mine for 5 years and finally have most of the bugs worked out.

I would highly recommend putting on the "Solar Shields" that protect the front windows. In the first year I had a rock through my center window and missed a summer of camping while the window was on order. Bummer. Since I put on the shields they have two cracks from rocks hitting them so it was worth the money. The good side of getting the window fixed is that they repaired the front window leak that was there since new.

Strange enough, my refrigerator has been working fine but last week the Air Conditioner fell off on the highway (Inspect your bolts).

You might check the batteries, the stock ones are not very good. If you plan to boondock much consider upgrading to some good AGM batteries (about $350 each).

Hope this helps.
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Old 03-18-2021, 09:00 PM   #14
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2015 16' Sport
Beloit , Wisconsin
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 11
I completely agree--As things break, I'll just fix them or upgrade them as I go. I just didn't know if there was something that I should be pushing the dealer on before finalizing everything. They've been really cool to work with. Before the basecamp, I put a deposit down on a 2019 16' sport. It was $9k more and I just wasn't that thrilled about it or the pile of money that I was spending on it. They had zero issue with me backing out and immediately sent the deposit back. No pressure. I guess it helps that these things are flying out of dealerships right now.
I've seen the tow vehicle posts--definitely some strong opinions voiced I'm going to be using my 2017 Nissan Frontier KC Pro4X. The max towing capabilities are cut in half, so I'm hoping there won't be any issues--with even heading out west through the mountains to visit family.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by B. Cole View Post
Look at it this way.With current market,if you don't like it, you can probably get more than you paid for it.
I bash Airstream engineering more than the next guy ( there's decades of things they couldn't get right, etc etc) but since you're new to RVs, all brands have problems.
The last thing I would worry about is a fridge.Just relax,don't over think it, and ease into the Glamping world.
BTW, what tow vehicle are you using?? That's where you'll really get some good advice in these forums ..
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