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Old 12-30-2020, 01:44 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post
You have to realize that it is the minor number of folks who have issues that post about them. The tens of thousands who don't have issues never post about their great experience. So if you judged things as you did just by looking at the posts here, you will have a very lopsided view of the product. In order to objectively compare the quality of one brand with another you'd have to find comparable reviews or forums like this for the other brand as well. Realize also that what you read here is hearsay so you can't conclude all or even most customers have poor service experience without doing an objective random survey of all customers.

Here, those who complain loudest seem not to even own an Airstream.
I am going to have to disagree here with Brian. Deducting any possible trolls in the thousands of quality discussions on this forum alone, all is not as rosy as one may lead folks to believe. Is it catastrophic? No. Is it worse with other brands, yes, quite possibly, but if you do a search, an honest search of this forum using the search tool available, you can see that the issues are in fact real and you cannot apply a accurate quantity to happy vs unhappy here since this forum may only represent a fraction of the actual ownership. I would encourage anyone considering the purchase of a new Airstream to read this forum's quality discussions with a lens and actually talk to current owners. You will find the great, the not so great and the ugly.

No RV is utopian, but at this price point, I never expected to have to go to the factory service (mostly because good servicing dealers can be very hit or miss) with 3-4 pages of a punch list, many of which should have been caught in the company's stated quality process. Mine is not an isolated situation either.

If you don't mind spending between $50k and $120k and having to possibly go through this, by all means, skip the search and go for it. Once you get it all done, and you've done Airstream's work for them, you will have a great trailer. It took me 3 visits to the Airstream factory to fix various issues on my dime (to get it to and from) and my time off work to get it done.
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Old 12-30-2020, 02:19 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by John & Roberta View Post
Amkost92, join the ranks, we campers who ďhate posting something negative about Airstream.Ē

While in our local dealership having warranty work done on our Dometic refrigerator (LPG no workee), Roberta and I were talked into a Li-Poly battery upgrade. Many bucks later, we discover Furnace no workee. (Furnace fan is DC-powered.) Furnace ops were fine before battery change.

Johnís thinking this has to do with battery/converter upgrade . . . but heís also thinking that wickedly complicated Dometic thermostat (19 page Users Manual) may be at fault.
Before you go back to the dealer, I urge you to spend a few minutes determining what is wrong. The furnaces are fairly easy to troubleshoot if you don't mind tinkering and you have a multimeter. Happy to walk you through it.
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Old 12-30-2020, 03:00 PM   #83
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Brian, just a point of dissonance. I really don't care about all of the other brands. I bought my Airstream because of the iconic nature of it...it sang to us. It looked beautiful and still does, kind of. But, I really hate it. Yes, a love/hate relationship. I think you know I am capable of doing all of my own stuff, except the stuff that is too physical for my 72 years of age. But I am soooo disappointed in how much maintenance is really required and how little maintainability Airstream really built into the design, at least for my 25. I will continue to bad mouth Airstream and sympathize with owners who encounter quality problems. We like being together and with Airstream friends, at nice places, but I keep wondering if it is worth the aggravation.
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Old 12-30-2020, 03:17 PM   #84
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Due to a few really bad experiences with the service department at my local Airstream Dealer, Jackson Center has approved me to get my warranty work done at a third party service center that services all makes of RVs. In discussions with my service manager, he strongly advocates that overall, Airstreams confidently have a lot fewer problems than the other makes. I realize this is only a single datapoint, but this assessment comes from their experience repairing RVs over the last 40 years. In particular, they claim the new Airstreams are much better built (and much more reliable) than nearly any other make.
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Old 12-30-2020, 03:30 PM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post
You have to realize that it is the minor number of folks who have issues that post about them. The tens of thousands who don't have issues never post about their great experience. So if you judged things as you did just by looking at the posts here, you will have a very lopsided view of the product. In order to objectively compare the quality of one brand with another you'd have to find comparable reviews or forums like this for the other brand as well. Realize also that what you read here is hearsay so you can't conclude all or even most customers have poor service experience without doing an objective random survey of all customers.

Here, those who complain loudest seem not to even own an Airstream.
I certainly hear their cries and note the specific problems that they have posted as Airstream owners ...
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Old 12-30-2020, 05:06 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by lsbrodsky View Post
I am feeling in a "give advice" mood, which you get a lot of on the forum. If your only problem is is the furnace, it can be fixed...by a technician who knows what he is doing. Even if you must contact Airstream directly to get a warranty replacement, it can be done. A little tricky because it is a Dometic product, but you are still early in the warranty period and I think Airstream would have to agree to replace the whole unit, as opposed to dealers simply trying repairs.
The problem is that things things take time and persistence and are counter to the concept of someone trying to live in the trailer during all of this.
On a less optimistic note, you may want to rethink your plans to live in an RV. You say you are in CT in the winter. Well most RV's, including Airstreams, are not really winter trailers. They are not insulated, condensation is a real problem, and freezing pipes is a real risk. Many campgrounds simply close facilities so you cannot winterize your trailer and still live in it. Even Airstream's propaganda ultimately tells you that they are not intended for full time living, although there are plenty of people who do it. There are other brands built for 4 season living and maybe you can get your furnace fixed, sell in this seller's market, and buy something more suitable....or move back into a stationary domicile.
Larry



Great answer. Trying to live in an Airstream with nightly freezing temps down to 25 or so is possible, but you must take precautions to protect the supply side of the water system, as well as the waste side. Head south is my recommendation, after you get satisfaction on the furnace reliability issue.
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Old 12-30-2020, 07:27 PM   #87
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Why would one try to stay in an as in the cold..?..go farther south
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Old 12-30-2020, 07:45 PM   #88
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Sail switch. This small part of the furnace is often overlooked. If dog hair, lint, fuzz, etc. get caught between the switch and the blade, the furnace never ignites. Having a filter before the fan air intake would be an easy, logical solution. ButÖ. I had the first sail switch flat out fail. The replacement worked for 5 or 6 tanks of propane until the dog hair managed to clog the switch. Opened the unit, removed the switch and cleaned out the lint. Problem solved. I do, however, keep an extra $20 switch in the repair box.
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Old 12-30-2020, 09:32 PM   #89
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I had difficulties with a Dometic thermostat that drove me crazy. After several emails to Dometic, one of their folks came up with a solution that worked. The next year had the same problem and emailed Dometic once again. They sent me a replacement part and all is well. My recommendation is to email the company(ies) involved and donít stop until it is resolved. Thatís for any problem. A ďpaper trailĒ is better for lawyers to plead your case rather than using memories of phone conversations. I guess no one told you about the problems experienced with most RVs new or otherwise. Sorry.
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Old 12-31-2020, 07:43 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by lsbrodsky View Post
Brian, just a point of dissonance. I really don't care about all of the other brands. I bought my Airstream because of the iconic nature of it...it sang to us. It looked beautiful and still does, kind of. But, I really hate it. Yes, a love/hate relationship. I think you know I am capable of doing all of my own stuff, except the stuff that is too physical for my 72 years of age. But I am soooo disappointed in how much maintenance is really required and how little maintainability Airstream really built into the design, at least for my 25. I will continue to bad mouth Airstream and sympathize with owners who encounter quality problems. We like being together and with Airstream friends, at nice places, but I keep wondering if it is worth the aggravation.
larry
Just have to wonder Larry, if you really hate it that much, why not just sell it? If you have maintained it to the best of your ability, and it sounds like you have, then you should be able to capitalize in this sellerís market and then you would be rid of your burden.
I just bought a brand new International 25í. And yes it had issues right out of the gate, some I am still dealing with. Minor? yes. Aggravating? emphatic yes. I even complained on this forum like everyone else, mainly to educate others what to look for when they take delivery. Every buyer, AS or otherwise, should educate themselves as much as possible before they take delivery so they can know what to look for so they can possibly correct issues before they sign on the dotted line and get on the road. That said, we didnít educate enough and issues still happened and they will continue to happen long after you leave the lot. Thatís just the reality. Unlike modern motor vehicles, RVís are assembled built by hand. Thus resulting in human error. The issues we had were all human error. Either not assembled correctly at the factory or Issues with 3rd party components not caught by ASís QC or the dealer QC. I spent a spent a lot of money and a year of my life building a new house a few years ago. I hired contractors to do the work. Human beings putting things together. I paid more money for higher end contractors and higher end products. 3 years later I am still finding little things here and there. Some of those high end products failed. Some just bad workmanship. I still have to maintain my home. Thatís just life. You are buying a home on wheels with an RV. Things are going to break. Period. I owned a 5th wheel years ago. A high end unit. It had issues. Bad issues to be exact. Human error issues. The overall construction and design of that trailer vs. my new Airstream is night and day. I did not buy an Airstream thinking I would not have issues because I paid a premium for the brand. I bought it because of the engineering and design. I stand by others in saying that overall , Airstream is a better product.
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Old 12-31-2020, 08:36 AM   #91
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BCC75,

I have said before that I know I could sell and reap dollars, after all my 25 is in excellent shape, I upgraded to all Victron stuff and LiFePO4 a few years ago. Propride and so on. But then, what would my wife and I do as a together activity? In our younger years, we danced, we sailed, we drove places in nice touring cars. We really like staying at certain campgrounds and we really like camping with our Airstream friends. So, selling isn't really an option. If my wife left me, I would put this trailer on the market the same day. After I retired, I embarked on reducing aggravations and it seems that an RV goes counter to that.
I do not believe that handmade means there must be assembly or quality problems. I keep repeating that my sailboat had none of that, although there is certainly wear and tear on a blue water boat. I admit that I did not manage my expectations because you look at an Airstream and go "wow" or "nice". Owning and maintaining is a different reality. How many new buyers, especially in this COVID-19 environment, are finding that out?

Larry
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Old 12-31-2020, 09:18 AM   #92
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Larry
I really hope you get to enjoy your trailer with your wife and your problems will diminish. Retirement should be enjoyable. I agree with you that anyone buying an AS or any RV should expect a moderate amount of problem fixing and maintenance. As long as they understand that and follow the routines and are ok with the monetary expenses, it can be an enjoyable and rewarding hobby. The Airstream brand certainly brings another dimension to it that has its own rewards and benefits.
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Old 12-31-2020, 09:27 AM   #93
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Larry
I really hope you get to enjoy your trailer with your wife and your problems will diminish. Retirement should be enjoyable. I agree with you that anyone buying an AS or any RV should expect a moderate amount of problem fixing and maintenance. As long as they understand that and follow the routines and are ok with the monetary expenses, it can be an enjoyable and rewarding hobby. The Airstream brand certainly brings another dimension to it that has its own rewards and benefits.
Indeed, on the plus side, if you participate in club activities you will make some great friends. Misery does love company. Most of our campfires end up with the guys lamenting about the latest failure and often the fix. One thing for sure, at a rally, if you state you are having a problem, you will have other guys crawling all over each other to help.
Larry
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Old 12-31-2020, 10:15 AM   #94
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Agree!

[QUOTE][/I completely agree with you! I realize there will be issues with an RV but itís how the manufacturer addresses those issues that says a lot. I have read some positive reviews here but there are far more recurring issues than positive. As a potential customer the experiences of current Airstream owners is invaluable.QUOTE]
Quote:
Originally Posted by panamerican View Post
I am going to have to disagree here with Brian. Deducting any possible trolls in the thousands of quality discussions on this forum alone, all is not as rosy as one may lead folks to believe. Is it catastrophic? No. Is it worse with other brands, yes, quite possibly, but if you do a search, an honest search of this forum using the search tool available, you can see that the issues are in fact real and you cannot apply a accurate quantity to happy vs unhappy here since this forum may only represent a fraction of the actual ownership. I would encourage anyone considering the purchase of a new Airstream to read this forum's quality discussions with a lens and actually talk to current owners. You will find the great, the not so great and the ugly.

No RV is utopian, but at this price point, I never expected to have to go to the factory service (mostly because good servicing dealers can be very hit or miss) with 3-4 pages of a punch list, many of which should have been caught in the company's stated quality process. Mine is not an isolated situation either.

If you don't mind spending between $50k and $120k and having to possibly go through this, by all means, skip the search and go for it. Once you get it all done, and you've done Airstream's work for them, you will have a great trailer. It took me 3 visits to the Airstream factory to fix various issues on my dime (to get it to and from) and my time off work to get it done.
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Old 12-31-2020, 10:50 AM   #95
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Old 12-31-2020, 12:34 PM   #96
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I joined this forum to learn more about the Airstream experience from those who have already made the plunge. My wife and I are considering downsizing from our Keystone 5th wheel. It’s a 2016 we purchased new and have had zero problems. I considered Airstream a premium RV company but after reading testimonials on this forum would not subject myself to their poor quality and more importantly customer service experience. Hopefully, Airstream will get its priorities straight before their loyal customers decide to look elsewhere. It’s a shame that anyone has to be subjected to such poor customer service; particularly at the premium of an Airstream. I wish you best of luck!
Appreciate your feedback.Your response is exactly what I talked about in this thread.Airstream trolls these threads, and only responds after comments from mechanic types reaches critical mass.
Maybe things will change for these new buyers, like this poster,with furnace problem on brand new unit, but I doubt it.
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Old 01-01-2021, 09:03 AM   #97
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Iím so sorry to hear about your issues and frustration. I, like many others on this forum, know how you feel and what youíre going through. I just passed a year with my 2020 FC and Iíve had a number of issues that really upset me considering the purchase price and being a full-timer. I still have a list of issues I need to address. But many others have said that once you work through them, youíll be very happy with your Airstream.

Iíve spent a few really really hot days in the airstream with no AC due to a thermostat issue that Iíve yet to figure out. Itís an intermittent issue but always seems to happen on the hottest of days.

Hang in there. We all wish you the best!



2021 Airstreams use a seamless composite floor. I honestly considering trading in for a 2021 Flying Cloud just to prevent humps in the floor at the tongue and groove and protect against long term floor rot. Iím glad Airstream finally updated the flooring.
Ash-So, in 2021 Airstream finally addressed the untreated wood they used for their rotting floors, for many decades????
What's that say about their"Quest for Quality" + "Engineers??"LOL
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Old 01-01-2021, 09:32 AM   #98
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We have been through the same thing. Finally after many hours at Airstream of Va, one tech thought to check the wire connector located near the furnace underneath our seat. That connect connects the furnace to the Dometic thermostat. Well the connector is cheap and a little wiggle will stop the furnace, dead cold. They hard wired the wires together and we havenít had a problem since. Fingers are still crossed.
Allie Cat- Thanks for that.Again, terrible engineering, a obviously very weak connection, between what's described as a wickedly complicated Dometic thermostat and the furnace.Airstream knows it's there by design.The poor tech chases his tail for hours, to find something that never should exist.Or like sensors put near drain trays, again by design.
Its amazing those furnaces work at all, especially after yanking these Airstreams for additional miles after they leave the factory, giving those weak connections some stress.
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Old 01-01-2021, 10:29 AM   #99
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The connector is for a wire splice to attach an external thermostatic controller to the furnace. Wire spices are in common use everywhere. There is no design flaw in that. Airstream uses the integrated CCC2 and heat pump controller in place of a separate furnace thermostat. That also is a nice feature and an engineering best practice.

If there is any fault here it is quality assurance and control in wiring installation.
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Old 01-01-2021, 12:00 PM   #100
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To the OP, so so sorry you had this experience, but, as you now know, this isn't at all unusual. Like you, I wish you had joined the forum before purchase and read all the "quality" threads.

I think it should be obvious to all by now that AS trailers do not suffer any "design flaws" since that presupposes they are designed. Rather, they are jury rigged at Jackson Center, and band-aided at the dealerships.
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