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Old 04-08-2021, 11:46 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by roc97007 View Post


Since there are still really old Airstreams on the road, I have to wonder if they've just lost the ability to make trailers. Or that they've intentionally "value engineered" the trailers to this point and then just expect the warranty to cover anything that doesn't happen to hold together. I guess this keeps the service department busy.


To the person that said maybe we weren't cut out to be trailer owners, if this is what it's like, then maybe we aren't. But you know... my grandparents owned trailers through most of my life, trading up twice, owning the last one, a 24 foot Ideal, for 20 years, and never in any of that time had a floor rot out. But apparently it's normal for Airstreams to rot out every three years. Hmph.


This really sucks.

I really don't believe my old Caravel is built significantly better. This winter has revealed 3 leaks. They are new. I have gotten 2 stopped and I have one more to go. I will have another leak soon. Maybe in 6 months. Maybe in 3 years. Water will always be an issue in any camper. I am always looking and feeling. If found quickly it is no big deal. I am confident your grandparents found leaks and fixed them. Both sets of mine did. I do think a true fiberglass job is going to be the most water resistant. Escape, oliver, casita ect.

I sort of see what AS is saying about it being used but since it was bought from a dealer, I would also assume they are competent to inspect trailers they sell. I think splitting the difference would be fair for all parties.
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Old 04-08-2021, 01:20 PM   #62
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Leaking was a constant problem with ours for several years. After the service center in JC did lots of work fixing leaks under warranty, I fixed more and the last years we had it, the leaks had been solved for a while anyway. It is good to not have to worry about leaks with our Nash. Our cars and trucks never have leaked. It can be done right.
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Old 04-08-2021, 02:45 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by Peter417 View Post
This really sucks.

I really don't believe my old Caravel is built significantly better. This winter has revealed 3 leaks. They are new. I have gotten 2 stopped and I have one more to go. I will have another leak soon. Maybe in 6 months. Maybe in 3 years. Water will always be an issue in any camper. I am always looking and feeling. If found quickly it is no big deal. I am confident your grandparents found leaks and fixed them. Both sets of mine did. I do think a true fiberglass job is going to be the most water resistant. Escape, oliver, casita ect.

I sort of see what AS is saying about it being used but since it was bought from a dealer, I would also assume they are competent to inspect trailers they sell. I think splitting the difference would be fair for all parties.

I'd like to say, we're not looking for charity. We bought what we thought was a high end trailer and we just want to camp. If we just bought it to have, rather than use, maybe it would be ok that it's spent most of its life in the airstream service department.


I would have said the final straw, after getting so many things fixed, was discovering the soft floor where the fridge had leaked.



But now I have to say that the final straw was the dealer offering to accept the trailer they sold us on a trade-in at half what we paid, which, the sales maanger said, was fair "considering all the problems it has had".



The problems that the trailer had when they sold it to us.


And then on top if that, to have corporate abandon us, for a trailer bought off the lot, because it was pre-owned.


The one most important learning from all of this:


Never Ever buy a pre-owned trailer from an Airstream dealer. Despite whatever the salesperson says, and whatever warranty you think you have, you really are buying it "as is". Corporate will not stand behind it. You are on your own.


If you must own an airstream, buy it new, have it inspected by a third party, build up a list of things that need fixing, and try to get it all done before the warranty runs out. The trailer may spend significant time in service, but if you've done a good job identifying the issues, you might eventually be able to camp in it.


But steer clear of any trailer on the lot that previous owners have traded in for a larger model. It won't be supported. When pressed, corporate will TELL you that it's not supported if you're the second owner. But that's usually after you've bought it, when it's too late.
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Old 04-08-2021, 02:49 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by roc97007 View Post
2021 went to composite subfloors in all models. The floor rotting out has been a problem with Airstreams their entire existence, finally solved in 2021.
You might not be able to use that argument to bolster a case--I'm fairly sure that both the 16' and 20' basecamps still have the same plywood floor that your 2017 has....
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Old 04-11-2021, 04:49 PM   #65
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You might not be able to use that argument to bolster a case--I'm fairly sure that both the 16' and 20' basecamps still have the same plywood floor that your 2017 has....

I did some digging and apparently you're right:


"Due to the unique design elements of the Basecamp travel trailer and motorized touring coaches, these products will retain their existing flooring options which meet our high standards for product quality and longevity."


Apparently their high standards for product quality and longevity is three years, just enough for the warranty to run out.


Our 2017 Basecamp is going to Camping World this coming Tuesday for a second opinion on replacing the rotting floor. *They* seemed to think it could easily be done with composite not plywood, so I'm not sure where the "unique design elements" comes in. I guess we will find out.


One of the things Camping World wants to price out is lifting the entire shell off the frame and replacing the entire subfloor end to end with composite. If we can't afford that, we'll just do the front end of the trailer where the fridge has been leaking.
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Old 04-12-2021, 11:05 AM   #66
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One good thing is the warranty period used to be 2 years, so that's is something good.

Most Airstreamers who have commented on CW advise to stay away from their shops. They are not good with Airstreams we are told. They also charge a lot and a shell off would be quite expensive.
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Old 04-14-2021, 11:31 AM   #67
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Will Airstream do the right thing with the following punky floor?


https://www.airforums.com/forums/f40...or-221501.html
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Old 04-14-2021, 12:40 PM   #68
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I'm new to the AS world; we are waiting on delivery of a new BC20x, hopefully sometime in September. I have been quite interested in the floor problems. It seems they are focused on refrigerators and furnace vents.
That said, a water damaged floor need not require massive disassembly. I come from a wooden boat background, so am very aware of how destructive water can be. The last 30 yeras or so, Geogeon Brothers http://gougeon.com/ have lead the way is using epoxy on wood and composite structures. They offer extesive technical assistance for repairing every thing from wooden yachts to musical instruments and houses. I would suggest that you consider contacting them with your problems.
I believe you will find a solution that does not require massive dissasembly of your trailer - if the damage is localized to an area to which you have access. Your problem is no different than a boat that has been holed due to a collision. Easy-peazy, and you could probably do the work yourself in less time than time would take a repair facility to do the work. My guess is you could spend less than $250 in materials to do the repair. Good luck with your problems.
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Old 04-14-2021, 12:57 PM   #69
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Well said . . . Ditto on the WEST products . . . click on the orange arrow to go directly to this post in another bad floor thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
. . .
A patch of plywood scraps and thickened WEST marine epoxy could repair that hole well enough for now, with a little ingenuity IMO.
. . .
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Old 04-14-2021, 09:40 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by Gene View Post
One good thing is the warranty period used to be 2 years, so that's is something good.

Most Airstreamers who have commented on CW advise to stay away from their shops. They are not good with Airstreams we are told. They also charge a lot and a shell off would be quite expensive.

The CW service manager says that they have two Airstream techs that used to work for the local Airstream dealer. They insist firmly that they have the expertise to work on it.


I guess we'll see. I'm not happy with Airstream. I'm not sure how CW can be worse.
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Old 04-18-2021, 12:25 PM   #71
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Good luck at CW.

The idea of using epoxy to repair wood, often from water damage, has been around for decades in home construction and rehab. It works very well for some things. I have never tried it, but will be when the weather is better to fix two rake boards that have damaged by a leaking gutter. Epoxy should be easier than removing everything and putting it back. Repairing a leaky copper gutter joint is more of a challenge for me.
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Old 04-18-2021, 01:06 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roc97007 View Post
. . .
I'm not sure how CW can be worse.
Caveat Emptor

Not all Camping Worlds
are created equal IMO
which one is nearby?
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Old 04-19-2021, 01:26 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Will Airstream do the right thing with the following punky floor?


https://www.airforums.com/forums/f40...or-221501.html

Almost certainly not. Their solution so far has been to blame it on the owner.
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Old 04-19-2021, 01:32 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post

Caveat Emptor

Not all Camping Worlds
are created equal IMO
which one is nearby?

Perhaps, but then what? As someone else said so adroitly, if Airstream caused the original problem, how can we trust them to fix it? I'm too old and fat to crawl around on the Basecamp floor. I have to hire out this work. I don't trust Airstream any further than I could throw a Bambi. This leaves me nowhere to go except to a third party.
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Old 04-20-2021, 05:28 AM   #75
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I was just thinking that a little research -- into the quality of the repair shop's work -- might help prevent making a bad situation worse IMO. That other thread has some ideas, which you probably saw, given that you just posted over there about CW pulling the fridge.

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f40...or-221501.html

Good luck . . . [BTW Airstream sucks for the Basecamp's multiple fiascos IMO.]



Peter
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Old 04-20-2021, 05:44 AM   #76
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PS -- Please update us with the details of Camping World's proposed fix, and its estimate of costs.

Thanks,

Peter
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Old 04-28-2021, 11:21 AM   #77
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Short update: The Airstream factory rep said he was going to talk to the dealer and get back to us. That was a month ago and it appears he's gone dark on us. Not unexpected.


In the meantime, we had the fridge pulled at Camping World. They said it's clear the water is coming in via the fridge exhaust port. No surprise there. I'll be going over later this week to take photos before they begin the repair work, in case I need them in my negotiations with Airstream. Assuming Airstream will every talk to me.


Camping World's estimate to repair the damage is $2K lower than Airstream's. When we add on the cost of replacing the propane fridge with the 12/110 model that Airstream has been putting in Basecamps since mid-2019, the cost rises to nearly parity (within a couple hundred dollars) of Airstream's price to only fix the floor. The estimate also includes checking the rest of the trailer for any other leaks.


Wife wants to sleep on it, but we're probably going to pull the trigger on this. I will update this thread with our experiences.


Our learnings from this: Never, ever, buy a preowned trailer off the Airstream dealer lot. You don't know what you're getting, and Airstream will disavow all responsibility because it's used. There's no reason to pay the dealer overhead for an expensive trailer that the company is not going to stand behind.


If you're going to buy from the dealer, buy new, and have it inspected by a third party before you take possession. Compile a list of the inevitable necessary fixes and get them done while the warranty is still in effect.


The advantage of buying used directly from a third party is of course that you're not paying the dealer overhead. You still have a responsibility to know what you're buying, of course, and having it inspected prior to purchase is still a very good idea.


But never EVER buy pre-owned off the lot. If there's a manufacturer's defect, you are absolutely stuck. The first thing the factory rep will tell you is "well, it's used. We don't know what the previous owners did to it. There's nothing we can do."
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Old 04-29-2021, 05:16 AM   #78
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Are you certain you want to replace the propane/electric fridge with a compressor (120vac/12VDC only)? The latter isnít too good for boondocking if thatís what youíre interested in.
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Old 04-29-2021, 09:15 AM   #79
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The NovaKool compressor fridge should be fine for boondocking with an adequate solar/battery system.

What is adequate will depend some on your electrical usage patterns. My experience was that the SunExplorer solar controller that came with the Basecanp solar package and 2 Lifeline AGMs was marginal -- but the AGMs had sat on the dealer lot for months and then I further damaged them the following winter by letting snow stay on the solar panels too long and then the voltage got below the SunExplorer minimum. With the damaged AGMs and the sunexplorer and a supplemental solar panel it was possible to keep the refrigerator operating but it did take constant attention -- though this is at 48 degrees latitude with clouds so if you are in the South things would be easier.

I haven't even had to think about battery state since I upgraded to 2 100 ah Lithium batteries and Victron charge controllers (one for rooftop and one for portable panels in series) and Victron battery charger (for charging before leaving home) + a DC to DC converter feeding 48 volts from the tow vehicle to the charge controller for the portable panels when the trailer is on the move. The only tricky part is remembering to turn off charging or change controller settings so that the batteries don't store with full charge in between trips. (Lithium batteries do best when stored at around 60% charge).

Note that there is chatter that the NovaKool relay board in the fridge may fail leaving it unable to switch to 12 v from 120v. I avoided worrying about this by unplugging the fridge so it always uses 12 v -- I wired in a relay so the batteries disconnect from the trailer 12 v loads when the trailer is on shore power or when the tow vehicle is providing 12v -- Since the WFCO isn't charging the batteries there is always lots of 12 v to power the fridge when on shore power.

The only possible problem with this setup is charging the lithium batteries below freezing -- but I have fixes for that too (insulation, locating batteries above the floor, vents to cabin air, battery heaters) and truth be told the basecamp like almost all trailers isn't set up up for extended sub freezing weather owing to its exposed drain lines and problems with condensation...
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Old 04-29-2021, 09:27 AM   #80
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I have friends with a new Atlas. Has liFePO4 batteries and (I think) 300 w of solar. They cannot keep the batteries alive even overnight with the DC fridge. Maybe they’re doing something wrong, but they’ve concluded the Atlas isn’t meant for boondocking.,,,, and they attribute that to the fridge.
I have no first hand experience with it, but wonder what the advantage of the Non-LP fridge is and how much current it pulls at 12vdc and typical duty cycle?
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