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Old 12-13-2015, 08:31 PM   #1
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What to expect when picking up Airstream from dealer?

We will be picking up our Airstream Classic 2016 from the dealer in the next week and are wondering what to expect from them. When they were selling the Classic to us they said there was a full day if training included. Since ordering they have been slow to respond to our questions and have not inspired confidence. What have you experienced when picking up your Airstream and what should we expect?
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Old 12-13-2015, 08:57 PM   #2
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A full day of training is just short of a miracle. Expect a tech to show you how all the systems work, he will touch on everything, answer your questions, shake your hand and wish you a lot of happiness with your road home. Now you're on your own, but don't be discouraged as that's what this forum is about, helping each other with issues & problems. I'm a new Streamer & this is my source for help. Enjoy your new Classic & post here for help.
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Old 12-13-2015, 08:57 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by SusanFleck View Post
What have you experienced when picking up your Airstream and what should we expect?
You should expect that your dealer will walk you through your new purchase, and show you how to use everything. To make the most of your experience, I suggest:
1 - Shoot video of everything. Smartphone video makes an excellent resource for later review.
2 - The dealer should demonstrate how to do everything, with an explanation. The explanation should cover not only how to do things, but also why you do them that way.
3 - After the dealer demonstrates something, he should let you do it yourselves, with coaching from him at each step of the way.
4 - After you do it once with coaching, he should let you do it again without coaching, to make sure you really know it without having his directions as a guide. You may have to ask him to be quiet and let you concentrate, because he doesn't always realize that coaching you again isn't really helping.
5 - If you're buying a unit in a cold climate, the dealer should have already run the furnace to burn off any dust (and there WILL be dust from the assembly line) and warm up the trailer so you don't shiver your way through the walk-through. There should already be batteries in the various detectors, full propane cylinders, and basic equipment such as fresh water hose and shore power cable.
6 - You may be buying a unit that is already winterized. In which case, make sure the dealer promises to either let you come back for more training on the freshwater and wastewater systems when the weather warms up, and/or that he'll be available by phone if you have any questions on systems that couldn't be covered in the walk-through because they're winterized.
7 - If anything DOESN'T work during the walk-through, it has to be repaired before you take the unit off the lot. Or if parts have to be ordered to fix whatever doesn't work, make sure you get a written IOU that says they will order the parts, and install them free of charge when they arrive. Get it in writing, because the sales department and the service department don't always keep each other informed.
8 - If you need a weight-distributing hitch to tow away your new purchase, they should help you set up and adjust the hitch as part of the walk-through.

Side note, the dealer will probably not instruct you on how to level your new purchase. Their lots are usually already level. If you don't have experience leveling a trailer at a campsite, ask them to include that in the walk-through as well. I have seen newbies trying to use stabilizing jacks as levelers because they didn't know any better.
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Old 12-13-2015, 09:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SusanFleck View Post
We will be picking up our Airstream Classic 2016 from the dealer in the next week and are wondering what to expect from them. When they were selling the Classic to us they said there was a full day if training included. Since ordering they have been slow to respond to our questions and have not inspired confidence. What have you experienced when picking up your Airstream and what should we expect?
If this is your first RV, they should spend a full day going over everything with you? You should look at everything very closely, and don't be embarrassed to ask questions that you have about anything. When you are paying this much for a travel trailer, there are no "stupid" questions. Make sure that everything is to "your" satisfaction before signing on the bottom line. Airstreams are not perfect, although I believe they should be as close as humanly possible. If you are already losing confidence, that may not be a good sign? Good luck and don't forget that you can always "walk away." I hope that doesn't become necessary, they are really nice trailers, once you get the bugs worked out.
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Old 12-13-2015, 11:01 PM   #5
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Congratulations on your new purchase.

Great advice from Protagonist.

Both our dealers recommended that we camp the first night on their lot. Highly recommended, because they'll be there in the morning to rectify or explain any problems. (On Bambi the First, purchased in March, the furnace fan kept blowing fuses, and the owner came back that night and got us a space heater, and they fixed the furnace problem the next morning. On Bambi the Second, the advanced entertainment electronics completely mystified us, but the mechanic gave us a review session in the morning.

We took delivery on Bambi #2 in the winter, so it was winterized. We stayed on the dealer's lot one more time in the spring just to ensure that the water system worked prior to heading off on a long trip.

If your dealer is really close to home, you might skip the first night on the dealer's lot, but try to go camping close by for your first trip-- again, because if you can't recall how the whosiwhatsit works or it seems defective, they're close at hand to talk you through the problem, or you're close enough to bring your AS back for servicing. It's a little hard if you take off on a long trip and run into immediate issues a long ways away from a dealership.

Warning: the big Airstream binder notebook manual is highly technical. You might be able to figure it out when your whosiwhatsit doesn't seem to be working. We couldn't. There is a spiral-bound AS guide for dummies that I think now comes with each unit that is much easier to follow.
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Old 12-13-2015, 11:24 PM   #6
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Congratulations! Here are our thoughts on inspecting and taking your new trailer home. We hope this is helpful: http://www.casarocinante.com/Blog/Sp...-a-new-trailer
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Old 12-14-2015, 12:17 PM   #7
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We have picked up 2 new trailers in the last 2 years. From our experience the process each time was extensively detailed and took several hours. I'm sure they would have given us the whole day if it was necessary. Just make sure you go slow and ask questions. Good luck!
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Old 12-14-2015, 12:21 PM   #8
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If they don't give you all the time you need, get a new dealer next time. The good ones do.
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Old 12-14-2015, 01:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SusanFleck View Post
We will be picking up our Airstream Classic 2016 from the dealer in the next week and are wondering what to expect from them. When they were selling the Classic to us they said there was a full day if training included. Since ordering they have been slow to respond to our questions and have not inspired confidence. What have you experienced when picking up your Airstream and what should we expect?
We picked up a new 25FB a couple years ago. The dealer scheduled us for the orientation/walkthrough at 1:00PM. They allowed two hours. That was not enough to adequately cover what they needed to cover. And then there is the additional time you want to spend quietly on your own looking for minor dings and scratches, and sawdust and aluminum shavings in the backs of the cabinets.

So all day is probably about right. Three to four hours of orientation and demonstration, time for you to do additional inspection, prepare and present the punch list, then you repeat all the operations yourself to make sure you understand it all.

We did not camp in ours the first night, but that sounds like a good idea.
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Old 12-14-2015, 01:36 PM   #10
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The advice from Protagonist is very good.

We picked up our 2016 27 FC FB from Colonial in NJ two weeks ago.

We shared with Patrick that we had just completed 2 years extended travel in a Roadtrek Class B, so we asked that they focus on what was 'different' about the Airstream.

We also had to drive to Cherry Hill Park in MD that day, due to an outside comittment.

So our walk through was about two hours, and covered major systems and locations both inside and outside the trailer.

One thing I do remember; being mightily impressed by the Zip Dee awning. The way it origami's outward was pretty cool. I would pay attention to that part.

Otherwise relax, get what you can, keep a notebook or camera and ask a lot of questions. I've only been on this board a short time, but I'm amazed at the depth of helpful advice I've found here.

So don't worry, all will be well.

Congrats on the trailer!
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Old 12-14-2015, 02:06 PM   #11
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Protagonist is spot on. Video is great, but still take hand written notes that correspond to the video. If you can get "The Newbies Guide to Airstreaming" from your dealer, prior to your big day, study it, and write down questions. Make a punch list of any concerns or questions. The book should come with your new Airstream folder. It's a great starter guide. Don't be rushed. It's a big investment.
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Old 12-14-2015, 02:57 PM   #12
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Ask for his cell #, and tell him to expect some calls.

Our guy told me to call him 24/7 if needed, and to bring it in after a trip or two, so he can help with anything.

This is what you paid for.
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Old 12-14-2015, 03:39 PM   #13
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Bay Area Airstream was very helpful. I had no experience in trailering prior to picking up the Airstream, other than pulling some boat and utility trailers. The initial orientation lasted 2-3 hours, and was followed by some hands-on trailer hookup, hauling, backing, and braking lessons. Whatever I forgot from the orientation, they were happy to remind me of on the phone over the following weeks and months. It would have been helpful to have a recording of the orientation, particularly if keyed to confusing parts like making all the electronic clickers cooperate with each other. If it had not been for the orientation and follow up questions, I'm not sure how I could have managed to learn everything I needed to know on my own.


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Old 12-14-2015, 05:57 PM   #14
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Suggest you borrow a ladder or take one with you to check out the roof of your new Airstream. I did not think to do that and 3 months later when washing for the first time....major dent on the top! Of course the dealer assumed no responsibility but Based on circumstances I am certain I brought it home from the dealer with the dent. Check it closely.
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Old 12-14-2015, 05:58 PM   #15
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I sent an individual thank you to everyone who responded but wanted to say a big thank you to the whole group. These are some great suggestions and we will print them out and heed your advice. My husband and I have been reading Air Forums for several months prior to ordering and have been very impressed with how thoughtful and helpful Airstreamers have been. This is a terrific group. My siblings all own SOBs (fifth wheels and motorhomes) and can't believe the depth and breadth of knowledge and sharing here. I keep telling them it's one more reason to think about an Airstream the next time they purchase. Many thanks!
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Old 12-14-2015, 06:25 PM   #16
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The major dealer for the recent 23D acquisition did an extremely poor PDI. So check the interior walls to see if all the protective plastic was removed from the interior walls after assembly. Make sure the rubber door stops are on the correct side of the bathroom door mechanism. Make sure the cabinet catches actually do that. Make sure the windows really do open. Make sure the fantastic fan operates in multi-speeds and opens and closes properly. See if the televisions actually work and the antenna brings in at least one channel on each set. The audio systems are deplorable at best and very confusing to operate (in both our 2014 Classic and the 2015 23D International Serenity).

I suggest making labels for the water connection compartment so the sewer flush hose goes on the correct connection while the fresh water hose goes to the proper connection. We put a power outlet in that compartment for a small (15 watt) lite bulb to keep that space from freezing.

Make sure every light operates along with their dimmer slide switches. Notice that the exhaust fan handle can be just pushed even the with the bottom of the flange to create a small opening for ventilation when going down the road.

Check every cabinet surface and wall with a good magnifying glass for damages. look at the walls and ceiling for any popped rivets. Make sure the main door locks work smoothly. Check the exterior access hatches are easy to open and there is no water spots inside from gasket leaks.

Have a demonstration on opening the front window covers as well as the stone guards.

Have them show you the jack locations on both sides of the trailer. (Usually behind the wheels). As mentioned earlier, check the roof for damage or un-caulked fasteners. Check the flange of the skylight to ensure the plastic was not cracked by over torquing the screws to hold it on the trailer.

Only after everything is to your satisfaction do you sign any acceptance document or make the final payment. Withholding payment until everything is fixed is a great motivator to get the jobs done now.

Write up every discrepancy and have a responsible staff member sign and date it and you keep a copy for your files.

Welcome to a fun new life style. When the trailer is running properly, life is far less stressful.
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Old 12-14-2015, 06:30 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SusanFleck View Post
We will be picking up our Airstream Classic 2016 from the dealer in the next week and are wondering what to expect from them. When they were selling the Classic to us they said there was a full day if training included. Since ordering they have been slow to respond to our questions and have not inspired confidence. What have you experienced when picking up your Airstream and what should we expect?
Hi Susan,

What dealer are you using? If it's the one in Joliet, IL, you may well have a problem. We initially looked at them but quickly decided not to buy from them and went all the way to Colonial in NJ. Colonial, while far from perfect, was light years better than the one in Joliet.

Good luck,

John S.
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Old 12-14-2015, 06:50 PM   #18
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What to expect when picking up Airstream from dealer

All of the replies have something to contribute, so I suggest you consolidate each piece and follow it thoroughly!
Have at least one other adult with you to take your video. Pay special attention to how to hook up and unhook, and how to use your Zipdee awnings. Of course it is all simple, once you know how, but be ready to have your head spinning after only a few minutes. Hence the importance of the video.
Do expect your dealer to set up your Airstream properly to you tow vehicle.
One thing I would add is to go for a test drive with your rig with the dealership in attendance to provide pointers. Do an emergency stop to get the feel of it.
Do stay overnight - you'll have a hundred questions in the morning!
If you are lucky enough to be in Ontario, Canada and CanAm RV is your dealer, then ALL of the above will be taken care of for you.
Congratulations, you will love your Airstream.
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Old 12-14-2015, 07:45 PM   #19
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We bought our first (and only) AS used from an individual who was selling it for a friend. It was in very good shape and nothing bad has happened yet but we got less than an hour's worth of orientation. The manual was very little help -- and I did read it. The Newbies Guide was a big help, as has been this forum. We also ask questions of everyone we see whenever we go to an AS meeting or rally. Every AS owner is very anxious to help -- or everyone we have met. A long orientation would have given us a bit more confidence, but learning by doing has been fine too. We had no warranty to fall back on either, so that wasn't an issue. Got lucky and we love it!
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Old 12-14-2015, 08:20 PM   #20
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Seek Assistance...

When I was taking the plunge, I located a AS forum member, near my dealer, willing to meet me at the dealership. This helped greatly!! Just a suggestion. Stayed near the dealer overnight and was prepared to not sign off until they signed off on needed adjustments or repair work. Since you are purchasing new - your financial partner may have influence over the dealer too. One final thought on the quality issues at the factory. 1) The older guys are retiring and have a different work ethic. The factory is not located in a area that may attract iconic minded worker. Different culture is coming on board. 2) AS has no real competition, so you, the buyer, just can't really do much except not buy new units. Buy used, AFTER, somebody else suffered the agony of warranty and dealer abuse. The factory service team beats factory assembly team in one area: Consistency. One only does repairs. The other chases production goals and speed. Quality gets too varied due to market demand being so high - NOW!
Best Wishes for few aggravations!!
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