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Old 04-29-2020, 06:49 PM   #61
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Nailed it

“Time will bring to light whatever is hidden; it will cover up and conceal what is now shining in splendor. “
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Old 04-30-2020, 05:22 AM   #62
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Old 04-30-2020, 08:23 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by Pgb9372a View Post
I’m sure no one from Airstream is going to read this but many of the components ,especially the one most people don’t see, are very cheaply designed. Circuit boards, the front window guard fasteners. The more I look the more disappointed I am.
Hi Pgb9372a,*

Please send us a direct message with your contact information, email and the last 6 digits of your VIN so we can learn more about what you are experiencing and share it with our Customer Service and Technical Support team.

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Old 04-30-2020, 05:15 PM   #64
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Hi Pgb9372a,*

Please send us a direct message with your contact information, email and the last 6 digits of your VIN so we can learn more about what you are experiencing and share it with our Customer Service and Technical Support team.

You can also reach Airstream Customer Service and Technical Support at*customersupport@airstream.com

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Could you please help the OP here:

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f44...ew-207939.html

Thanks,

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Old 05-10-2020, 06:25 AM   #65
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It's still worrisome...

Nice to read of some success stories. I was getting pretty concerned about our future plans of getting a 30' FC. It's been our retirement plan for along time and we now have our TV, but it's depressing to think one spends $100K +/- only to immediately start working to make it right. My wife was remarking, why not buy an SOB for half the price if we're going to have issues anyway? It's not like the $100k is buying us any more QC and we could get two 30' SOB's for the price on one AS. I would say that the AS is likely to have more durability so that's a big plus IMHO.

I have a friend (+ wife and young son) with a 30' FC FBRB bought new back in 2015/6. He bought it and immediately full timed in it, moving every 2-4 weeks trying to discover where in the USA they wanted to live. He had colossal issues with his AS. Shower leaking from under the floorpan, ceiling fixtures falling out, door not closing properly and a number of other things I do not recall. It was such that he turned it into Jackson and they had it for about 7 months. Had to replace the floor inside. All that said, he says he would do it again. Only difference is he would make some short trips, like a sea trial for naval vessels, to work out the kinks before full timing it.

During his visit/tour at Jackson the guide took pride in mentioning the bonus program AS had for meeting/exceeding production. He and I were talking and it occurred to us, rather than a bonus for meeting production goals, why not have an incentive program for least number of QC calls/issues etc? AS might lose one unit per month, but if the QC problem could get fixed and word on the street was they were now a trouble free unit, I can imagine those on the fence like myself wouldn't hesitate for a second.

Back to social distancing...
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Old 05-10-2020, 06:38 AM   #66
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Nothing better to do than respond....this has been covered oh so many times. I am in the camp that believes that Airstream will never be motivated to improve quality as they sell all they can make irrespective of the quality problems. That simply leads to a motivation to build more, faster.
With any complicated product a buyer can expect a few issues, which are then fixed under warranty. Some of the Airstream issues do not even show up until after the warranty has expired, but by all reports, SOB's have even even more problems and shorter lives.
I would never have bought an Oliver because of the wet bath and smaller size, although I am certainly curious about whether they really have the "reported" quality that no other brand seems to reflect.
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Old 05-10-2020, 09:46 AM   #67
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I agree with previous posters on this thread and many others that generally only those with complaints make posts. The happy owners are for the most part silent.


I've been an Airstream "fanboy" for 40 years. Purchased my first new Airstream trailer 36 years ago. 17 Airstream trailers and 5 Airstream motor homes have cycled through my life over those 40 years, although only 5 units were purchased new by me. It's obvious that I have enjoyed them enough that I keep coming back for more. The good times outweigh the bad. Doesn't mean that there weren't some frustrating moments along the way. Ah, the stories I can tell.



Like the new 1991 34' Excella 1000 with bird droppings all over the back with nice shiny clearcoat sprayed right over them (really), Or waking up at 3 AM the first night in our new 1988 25' Excella like drown rats with rain seeping from every interior seam ( after that the trailer always smelled of mold until the day we traded it in). Or the broken door latch locking us inside our new trailer on our inaugural trip in a rest area in Kansas on a 103 degree summer day(climbed out through the small compartment door under a rear twin bed). What about the "new" precoated aluminum panels on my new 1993 30' Excella 1000 that turned brown and peeled at less than two years old. Yep, It's been a trip. But, I'd do it again. And again. Such is aluminum fever. I bleed silver. As we are imperfect human beings, using things made by other imperfect human beings, nothing will ever be perfect. But, Airstream always tried to step up and help. Realistically that all we can expect.
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Old 05-10-2020, 12:21 PM   #68
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Really....Price point matches quality?
Airstream….The "Kohoutek" of travel trailers

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Old 05-10-2020, 01:03 PM   #69
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You are a kinder, more gentle man than I.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airstreambob View Post
I agree with previous posters on this thread and many others that generally only those with complaints make posts. The happy owners are for the most part silent.


I've been an Airstream "fanboy" for 40 years. Purchased my first new Airstream trailer 36 years ago. 17 Airstream trailers and 5 Airstream motor homes have cycled through my life over those 40 years, although only 5 units were purchased new by me. It's obvious that I have enjoyed them enough that I keep coming back for more. The good times outweigh the bad. Doesn't mean that there weren't some frustrating moments along the way. Ah, the stories I can tell.



Like the new 1991 34' Excella 1000 with bird droppings all over the back with nice shiny clearcoat sprayed right over them (really), Or waking up at 3 AM the first night in our new 1988 25' Excella like drown rats with rain seeping from every interior seam ( after that the trailer always smelled of mold until the day we traded it in). Or the broken door latch locking us inside our new trailer on our inaugural trip in a rest area in Kansas on a 103 degree summer day(climbed out through the small compartment door under a rear twin bed). What about the "new" precoated aluminum panels on my new 1993 30' Excella 1000 that turned brown and peeled at less than two years old. Yep, It's been a trip. But, I'd do it again. And again. Such is aluminum fever. I bleed silver. As we are imperfect human beings, using things made by other imperfect human beings, nothing will ever be perfect. But, Airstream always tried to step up and help. Realistically that all we can expect.
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Old 05-10-2020, 02:22 PM   #70
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As long as I have been on this Forum and apparently for long before, people have complained about poor quality, cheap materials and parts. We bought a 2008 in late '07 and had many problems. The dealership was awful and we ended up taking it to Jackson Center (1,400 miles each way) for repairs. The service center there did a good job. I asked mechanics there about why the factory did a poor job and they just smiled and didn't answer. If you are going to live 40 more years the basic structure will last, but the innards will give you problems. I can fix a lot of things, so that reduced my expenses considerably.

So long as they can sell everything they turn out, they have no need to do a better job. We bonded with it and it was easy to tow. We took it from Alaska's Brooks Range to Key West and lots of places in between, but as we slowed down and didn't travel as much, it felt cramped. We sold it at a very good price to someone who bought the reputation. We got a better quality trailer (Nash, same company as Arctic Fox), better insulated, better floor plan, sofa and dinette in 27') for a lot less than an Airstream. They are cool looking and an aluminum interior is like getting high in 1965, they tow easily, but are overpriced, badly made and small inside. If you are infected with aluminitis (some people never get over it) look for a recent model and save on depreciation; they will be expensive too, but less expensive.

The fanboys will say they have few problems or all RV's have problems. Not all RV's have a lot of problems, some people get Airstreams with few problems and good for them. Glad we had one, not happy with the corporate attitude, and glad we have something else. They are a design icon and we got lots of attention and that was fun. It was costly too.
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Old 05-10-2020, 03:35 PM   #71
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Gene, that is about the best, clear-eyed and honest summary of airstream ownership as I have ever read.

I am enjoying my 1969 Caravel but I was fortunate to have purchased it vintage and used for a very good price and have spent some happy hours working on it and keeping it roadworthy.

Unless a quite substantial pile of money lands on me in the future, I doubt if I will ever purchase one new for all of the well-known reasons. But I might be tempted to, if and when the actual quality of the trailer itself ever improves enough to match the brand reputation. But then, where would the fan be in customizing it and perfecting it into the magic vacation machine its potential promises?
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Old 05-10-2020, 05:01 PM   #72
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I thought others have said that SOB brands like Arctic Fox, Lance, Grand Design, top-end Jaycos, etc. have good reputations. Sure, they have slide-outs which a lot of folks don't want. But then they are around 50% the price of an Airstream, give or take depending on which model you get.

I understand the argument that the Airstream aluminum shell will outlive the owner, but for someone who maybe only plans to camp for 10-15 years, and putting aside leaving the trailer to one's heirs, a quality SOB that's well maintained seems like a better deal....unless the Airstream does not depreciate more than 50% during that time frame.

To me, a $90-100,000 trailer should have fewer QC problems than one half its price. I'd be much more accepting of problems if I hadn't paid as much, plus more money in my pocket to fix them.
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Old 05-10-2020, 06:40 PM   #73
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skyguy', thanks.

Arctic Fox and Nash had a bad period after Ron Nash died almost 120 years ago, but they have a new CEO. They had some wall issues with the fiberglass, but have stood behind their products and fixed them after warranty runs out. We also got a power awning and a slide for the much lower price, great insulation including thermal pane windows. We hardly use any propane and in hot weather, the A/C doesn't have to work as hard.

We got 70% of purchase price when we sold our Airstream. It was sad to see it go. It served us well for the most part, but had a lot of problems. Though they promote these with stories of how they check them for leaks, they leak a lot. Our Nash has never leaked. My wife, whose idea it was, almost wanted to sell it after less than a year. She was tired of problems with the dealer and the trailer. I had the same experience others have had—meeting with Bob Wheeler, the president of Thor's Airstream Division and he wrote things down but nothing was done. He has long had the reputation as a cost cutter. Thor has a reputation for poor quality and they make a lot of money selling their brands.

Lance was purchased by a conglomerate and that may be a bad sign. Jayco was purchased by Thor a couple of years ago and I doubt their reputation has improved. We've been waiting for the Japanese or other foreign company to start making RV's and give the rather poor American RV industry some real competition, but if it hasn't happened by now, I'd be surprised it will happen in my lifetime.

There are some luxury brands that produce bad cars, but people buy them knowing they will have major repair bills. I had two British sports cars back in the 1960's. They were poorly made but fun to drive. The second one was second hand so I didn't lose much. Glad I had them to play with, glad to move on. Sometimes the market gets rid of poor quality goods and you know what happened to the British auto industry. Maybe Americans will get more selective, maybe not.
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Old 05-10-2020, 08:02 PM   #74
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I've participated in a number of automotive forums and now here on the AS forum. It's my experience that the folks who have issues often tend to, quite understandably, post their complaints at a higher rate than people who aren't having any problems. Since it's more rare for someone to start a thread that states "I'm having hardly any problems with my Airstream!" than it is "My Airstream's quality is terrible!" it's possible to get a slightly skewed perspective.
Amen to that. I have a 2017 25' FB Twin bought new. I have not had one problem, that I didn't create myself.
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Old 05-12-2020, 12:45 PM   #75
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There is an assumption that people who post about problems do so more than people who have no problems, That assumption is unproven.

When Trip Advisor started they assumed that most reviews would be negative, but most reviews are positive. Assumptions are only that, not facts. So it is possible there is bias is toward positive reviews instead and Airstreams are even worse than indicated by the volume of reviews.

Wether you think a product is poorly made is also affected by your life experiences. If you have bought badly made cars a

I note that some people fortunate enough to not have problems, or few problems, call those with problems "whiners". It appears that it has become somewhat normal to call anyone who disagrees with you a "whiner". Name calling often shows insecurity and a lack of a rational argument. Psychologists will say that may mean you are a "whiner" and are projecting it on others.
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Old 05-12-2020, 03:38 PM   #76
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Didn't know Ron Nash died. 120 years ago????.
I agree with Gene. I also have a Nash.
And a '74 Argosy 26'.
I can not justify the cost of A$'s today. Especially when I read here that owners of new and newer A$ trailers have the same issues that I had with the '74 Argosy. Notice: I said had. Many hours of work has gone into my coach. Neither a dealer or Jackson Center were involved with the repairs and upgrades.
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Old 05-12-2020, 04:59 PM   #77
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Ron Nash died in 2019. He retired from day to day management in 2010 after a stroke. Jim Jones became CEO and Ward King COO. Some time after that problems developed and I am unsure if that team was still running the company. King retired in 2018. Craig Orton took over as CEO in 2018.
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Old 05-13-2020, 07:06 AM   #78
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I am lucky, we’ve had 3 AS with very few issues. I don’t think people that complain are whiners. I do see posts about issues that are easily solved. I hope that doesn’t mean I’m insecureM because I think they are making more of an issue about quality than warrants. I’ll stay with AS. I’m not a snob about the silver trailers, we just like them. I’m certainly not saying the folks with long lists of issues are complainers, or are overstating their issues. I’m just saying I’m lucky to have had three good ones. The 2020 appears to be the best one yet (vs 04, and 11).
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Old 05-13-2020, 07:26 AM   #79
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I don't post about having to fix QC problems, they were fixed 15yrs ago..

You mean to tell me new owners are still having leaks and stuff falling off walls?
Who'd a thunk it?

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Old 05-13-2020, 12:56 PM   #80
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GettinAway, glad to hear you have had success with three Airstreams.

Of course the best product in the world will have some bummers and the worst will have some that are fine. But Airstream doesn't seem to fall at the extremes. When they are running production flat out, the complaints seem to increase. It may be that their best workers go elsewhere during economic good times because they can get better pay and/or they just don't train and mentor newbies very well. There may be pressure to push trailers out the door without adequate quality control. The reports over the years indicate all probably are true. If you buy the cheapest parts, you get bad results. In replacing failed parts over the years I learned that Airstream almost always bought the cheapest version for a so-called "premium" trailer.

I was trying to imagine what our feelings would be if we bought a different brand initially. Well, actually we did. In the early "oughts" we bought a truck camper from a new company in Loveland, Co. It was very poorly made and we eventually returned it. I vowed no more RV's, ever! Around five years alter my wife wanted an Airstream. She had been secretly looking at their website, sort of like a porn addict, and so there went my vow.

I found this Forum and read a lot. There were lots of complaints about shoddy workmanship, cheap materials and inflated prices. I ignored them. There were lots of suggestions to buy used. I figured, erroneously, that a new one would have fewer problems than a used one and being novices we would be better off with a dealer fixing things. I was wrong. A recent model used one will probably have the problems fixed. The dealer was awful. We had something around 60 different problems to fix under the two year warranty. It was a very bad time. We went to Jackson Center for repairs under warranty and were treated well. We integrated those trips into our travels so the hit of a 1,400 mile drive for warranty fixes was reduced. After two years, things settled down, but inferior parts failed fairly regularly. After quite a few years, most of the leaks stopped and I improved the caulking. I saw many design decisions that could be improved as well, but Airstream seems stick far in there past and sees no reason to make even minor improvements most of the time.

After ten years and 63,000 miles, we both decided independently it was time for a change. The main cabin was cramped and we couldn't help each other with meal preparation with running into each other. The crosswise bed was a pain and as we aged, crawling over each other to get in a in out of bed was too much. The seats were uncomfortable and despite improvements to the cheap factory cushions, never got comfortable.

We were aware Northwood Manufacturing had a better reputation than most manufacturers and since there was a dealer here, we started looking at Arctic Fox trailers. We then discovered they had a cheaper line, Nash. There seems to be little difference between them except the Arctic Fox frame is better. If we were traveling long distances like we used to, an Arctic Fox would have been our selection. The Nash has had far fewer problems. When some cracks showed up in the side of the fiberglass, I wrote the CEO and made a product liability claim. Without any problems, I was told they would replace the panel at no charge. How many people have gotten Airstream to fix something that costs a lot without an argument? We now have a dinette and a sofa with better cushions, a bed either of us can get in and out of without crawling over the other, more floor space, a power awning, far better insulation, quieter furnace, a water system easier to santitize, a dual fuel water heater, and ducted A/C. Some of the stuff is cheap—plastic faucets and some contact paper, but overall it has been a much better use of our money. I think we paid $27K and then had to add very little except a couple of TV's and splurged on a satellite system. It is not sold as a premium trailer, so I expect some shortcuts, but the basic product is fine.

When you sell a product boasting it is "premium" you expect better quality and service. We did not get that with Airstream. Because people believe they are premium, they get good prices when you sell one and we did. There's no doubt there is a certain caché to owning an Airstream that is pleasant to have. I'd rather have a cool looking trailer than a big box, but my pride can be and has been adjusted to the practical side. The best thing about Airstreams is towing ease and that came about because of the innovations of Wally Byam. Thor Industries has rarely added much of anything positive to the basic design created generations ago, but through aggressive cost cutting has proved to be very poor stewards of the product and have betrayed the memory of Wally.

So if you want an Airstream, you will get a product good for long trips because of towing ease, but you may get many problems. If form over function appeals to you, an Airstream can satisfy that. Otherwise, perhaps a gently used one or another brand, although low quality is certainly a marker for the US RV industry in general. Watch out for any Thor products. Some reliable companies have been bought and watch out for cheapening. Here no RV service store wants to do warranty repairs on Forest River products because they are very, very slow in paying for them (maybe Warren Buffett is not the good guy he claims to be?). Buying an RV is tricky, especially if it is new to you, so lots of research is necessary. There;s a lot of money involved, so take your time. Buying used is difficult but can be worth the time.
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