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Old 06-16-2020, 08:35 AM   #1
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2020 30' Classic
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 4
Advice: 2020 Classic attention to detail issues

My wife and I wanted an Airstream for a while. So we watched countless hours of AS videos on how AS are made, the workmanship that went into every trailer, the attention to detail, the quality control checks before leaving the factory, so on, and so on.

So we recently purchased a 2020 Classic and as soon as we got it home we started to notice attention to detail issues throughout the AS that IMO should have been caught in Ohio or at the local AS dealer. One or two minor issues would be ok but it was adding up to 20+ that SHOULD have been caught at the Factory. AS boasts that BEFORE any AS leaves the factory it will undergo extensive quality testing. I'm not sure this ever happened with our trailer.

We started to notice quality and attention to detail issues throughout the AS. We noticed screws that weren't fully screwed in, missing hardware in the bathroom, missing Corian for the center of the couch. Drawers that would not stay in; which I had to drill out in the back because it would not lock on the rail. The kitchen sink is leaking because they didn't seal all around the under-mount of the Corian. One of the recliners opens up crooked. The main light panel is off-centered and you can see wires behind the panel. The wardrobe closet doesn't close all the way to contact the shutoff light switches. One small pantry drawer is not the same color as the rest of the cabinets and doesn't have a handle to open, we have to stick a fingernail above it to open it. The upper cabinets were misaligned and needed to be adjusted. Rusted slide lever that keeps the rear compartment over the bumper closed. Rusted hardware in the outdoor shower and auto leveler compartment. The door window seal has metal shavings embedded into it. Silicone around the AC units looks like a 3rd grader put it on. And finally a gouge in the upper rear exterior panel. I'm sure I missed some things but I hope you get the gist.

I've sent pictures to AS in Ohio and the local AS where I purchased the unit and they assured me that all of the issues would be fixed.
I'm confident that they could fix all of the issues but should this unit have left the factory like this?! and I'm not sure I want the upper exterior panel replaced due to water intrusion concerns. I'm also worried that there may be underlying issues we didn't find.

This is the main reason we didn't buy another brand travel trailer. Now it seems IMO that AS is just the same as the other brands.
I'm hoping this is not the case and just a fluke or were my expectations too high in regards to the AS brand? If this is the case so be it and I will accept the issues and move on, but I HIGHLY doubt it is.

Sorry for the rant but paying that much for an AS to have these issues is very frustrating to us. Plus, now I need to drive a couple of hours to drop it off to have repaired for a couple of weeks at the beginning of summer.
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Old 06-16-2020, 10:20 AM   #2
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1972 25' Tradewind
1976 31' Excella 500
1974 31' Excella 500
1975 24' Argosy 24
Denver , Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 1,103
It's disappointing when "the best" mass manufactured trailer on the road has so many issues. Your trailer has more issues than is typical, but this problem is certainly not unheard of. The only way to eliminate the problem is the attention to detail that can only come from a custom built trailer. Your Airstream is still *the best* in underlying quality and design, but the problem with details certainly is disappointing, especially when paying the premium for Airstream "quality."
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Old 06-16-2020, 10:57 AM   #3
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2020 30' Classic
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Aug 2014
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I agree they are better than SOB and that is why we are disappointed. Plus paying twice as much doesn't help.
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Old 06-16-2020, 11:42 AM   #4
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2012 25' FB International
Trent Woods , North Carolina
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After years on this forum, your post is typical. QC is hit or miss. Some try to excuse it as a handmade vehicle. Nah, just no need for quality since they sell more than they can make. I have no personal experience as to whether it is really better than the others but we have a lot of disappointed people in Airstreams who thought for the money, there should have been better quality.
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Old 06-16-2020, 11:53 AM   #5
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1972 25' Tradewind
1976 31' Excella 500
1974 31' Excella 500
1975 24' Argosy 24
Denver , Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 1,103
Here is a blog post I did on the topic... https://beahmstream.com/airstream-pr...build-quality/

Quality Control from the factory is a big contributing factor to why I decided to start building out Airstreams. I think the underlying design is fantastic, but the amenities, appointments, and finishing touches (the actual completion of the work) can certainly be improved upon.

I also make this point: have you ever known someone with a Jaguar? They are elegant and some people think of them as among "the best," but they are ALWAYS at the mechanic's! Sometimes when you pay a lot for something, it requires more care to get/keep them at that level that makes them so amazing. We'd like to spend that kind of money and be done with it, but that's unfortunately not always the case. My goal is to make my builds a little more like "attractive and very comfortable Volvos."
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