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Old 07-04-2016, 12:04 PM   #21
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The fact that some owners have all sorts of issues and some have none points to a lack of QC. You don't see Toyota Camry owners with vastly varying experiences.

My initial thought was that QC went down after Wally Byam passed. Then I saw photos of the frame on some 60's trailers and I'm now thinking QC has always been lacking. I consider Wally Byam a marketing genius (at the same level as Steve Jobs). He made a beautiful shiny trailer with various glaring design flaws into an icon. The frame issues showed up in early 70's after gray water tanks were added. Over 40 years has passed and the issue still persists. We still have dozens of threads on whether/how to use a bike rack safely. Everyone knows what the problem is. No one cares to fix it. Why would they fix the problems when people not only will buy it at a ridiculous price, but are also willing to defend the company?
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Old 07-04-2016, 12:18 PM   #22
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We have carried two bikes on the Airstream Fiamma bike rack on the rear of our Airstream for several years, all over the country many times with no issues whatsoever.
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Old 07-04-2016, 12:21 PM   #23
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I think one big difference is Automobiles these days are built almost entirely by robots controlled by highly sophisticated computers with all tolerances being constantly being checked by lasers. If cars were built by hand customer satisfaction would not be nearly as high. Part of the ongoing Airstream factory updates is the use of more automated assembly techniques.
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Old 07-04-2016, 12:46 PM   #24
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AS quality control

And they are built in the tens and hundreds of thousands per model per year at a labor cost per unit of a fraction of what a trailer can be made.

Comparing a high volume car QC to a low volume trailer is not even within the realm.

And while it is true that all trailers are built pretty much by hand, it is also true that many box trailers are built in jigs utilizing component construction.


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Old 07-04-2016, 12:55 PM   #25
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AS quality control

Any time you have a low production, high model and size mix, it's a QA challenge among other things.

That said, our AS only had a few minor issues, like the rear bumper leak, which a repair facility fixed for free when they were doing maintenance. The inadequate solar pre-wire we ignored when we installed an AM Solar kit. The rest of it is small potatoes. Tightening screws and maintaining batteries is no biggie.

All we mostly do is just improve things...PP hitch, better batteries and charger, on demand hot water, Ham radio gear, etc.

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Old 07-05-2016, 12:08 AM   #26
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We have a 2016 Flying Cloud deliver last July 16th. So far 7500 miles on the road & 99.9 percent perfect. Great trailer, no issues, very happy!
BTW, some people just like to complain so filter them in your quality control assessment.
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Old 07-05-2016, 05:16 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kapt59 View Post
I was interested if all of you would care to comment on what your opinion is of the factories quality control on new rigs. Good, bad or otherwise?



It seems only after you have had you rig a short while you begin to notice items that don't seem right?



Or perhaps the opposite, it is truly perfect?



What has your experience been in your first 6 months or so? What have you noticed that you would say slipped by the QC process? Or perhaps you don't have any?

My $0.02 - it's fair but inconsistent. I believe I've read that you have one of the new 26U models and have had your FW tank seemingly disconnect and warp your belly pan. That would be disheartening for sure!

Others might end up "luckier" with far fewer, far less serious failures.

My (then new) 2012 27FB Flying Cloud was apparently one of the luckier ones. I've had a few minor things go wrong, all fixed under warranty (which is why I bought new) but generally it's been somewhat trouble free.

When I was having some custom work done in 2014 (before the factory expansion) the tour I took was fascinating but a little concerning. Very little demonstration of modern manufacturing tools and techniques. I failed to take the tour this year (back again for more custom work) so I don't know if that has improved as production has increased. But either way, the inconsistency is just frustrating and inexcusable. They still are great trailers and I love mine - it's just not right that "Sally" can buy one that's trouble free and "Johnny" can buy one that's a lemon, and "Frankie" gets one that's ok but has 100 missed minor errors in production.

And on that last point, I strongly disagree with the notion that the dealer "owns" getting it right before you buy. That just reinforces bad behavior in production. You get one chance to build quality in to a product. Perhaps a better use of a full inspection and dealer prep would be to create your discount sheet. Not just free warranty repairs but a disconnected FW tank is repaired for free and worth a 2% discount on purchase price. Leaky window earns a point. Each missed rivet is a $100 discount. Failed electrical connection a 5% discount, etc.

Finally - the view in the forums is skewed. It's human nature to raise issues more than to praise what's working. Especially in forums like this where you can come to get advice. We are also a small subset of the total AS population. Let's say they build 60/week * 50 weeks that's 3000 units a year. Since I've been on the forums, AS has added nearly 15,000 new customers. Are there maybe 500 new Airforums members in that same period? So take some of the flaming with a grain of salt. But know, as you've personally experienced, quality is inconsistent and if you get one of the less lucky trailers, it's no fun.

Be kind and firm and get what you paid for while under warranty. Document everything. I love AS and look forward to a day when they build them right consistently.

Good luck!
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Old 07-05-2016, 07:58 AM   #28
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I agree 100%.

It is apparent (based on what we heard from the Airstream execs at the Lewisburg rally), that they are well aware of the need to set the bar higher when it comes to quality. When a VP says, "we are the cream of the crap," (exact quotation with regard to maintenance issues), it's pretty obvious they get it. The forthcoming "5 Rivet" designation for high quality dealerships and a commitment to better training for maintainers is surely a step in the right direction. It was also comforting to hear that they have brought someone aboard to focus solely on the long-standing owner's manual issues, wherein what you read in your manual doesn't apply to your model -- are good news. While this shouldn't have happened in the first place, someone is obviously listening. It was also clear from comments made from the stage that the right people are reading what we post here.
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:20 AM   #29
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My opinion, only a small percentage of new AS owners do more than lightly peruse the owners info. Proof of this is most of the threads started by newer members on the forum which have questions easily answered by reading the manual. Just my opinion.
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:36 AM   #30
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off topic, but true

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne&Sam View Post
Nope. Searching with google works ok, but the stock search here is pitiful. You know, since we're talking about quality control.
Agree; search engine here is not very good at all.
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