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Old 05-14-2020, 07:31 AM   #81
2020 Globetrotter 25 FBT
 
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Sorry you guys have had such bad luck. Our first RV was a Rockwood pop-up. My gosh we abused that thing. Always had five bikes on the roof, and horribly overloaded. Took it all over CO, WY, and MT (from Missouri). Miles and miles of washboard gravel roads. I was lucky with it too. When we sold it, it still had original, toilet, shower, water heater, pump, and furnace. We went through 4 sets of tires, and I did have to swap out the fridge. My wife was done with pop-ups though..
Weíve only put 4,000 miles on the new Globetrotter, maybe the cabinets will all fall off the walls on our next trip, and Iíll be singing a different toon. Iíll post about it here, and you can say, see I told you so..
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Old 05-14-2020, 12:56 PM   #82
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Getting', perhaps you were more gentle than most people with that pop-up since it lasted so long. Glad to hear of your good luck or superior care. I have had many trucks that lasted for many, many miles and years with hardly any repairs, so my luck held there. I hope your cabinets stay up; ours did. I know people have found cabinets on the floor, probably in pieces. I always worried about putting anything breakable in the cabinets. We did find the dinette table on the floor a few times. My solution to keeping the table more stable while driving is to put a robe hook upside down under the seats and stretch a bungie cord across it to the hooks—easier than putting it up and down.

Airstream seems to be putting more effort into contacting unhappy customers through this Forum and I suppose elsewhere. I think they added a year to the warranty. I haven't seen any evidence they have improved their dealer network though. It seems extremely inefficient to make trailers carelessly and then have to fix all the problems after selling it—that alone costs more to do it wrong the first time and have to do it again. Lots of people read these threads and don't buy an Airstream because of it. I once counted all the posts on a rather lengthy thread saying they had changed their mind about buying an Airstream and I figured it meant loss sales of around one million dollars. That's only those people who posted their decision—how many just read the thread and never came back?
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Old 05-14-2020, 03:48 PM   #83
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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.


I think this review really hits the nail on the head. Keep in mind that most come to the forums to troubleshoot issues or complain. Someone posted on Airforums once saying ďItís like walking into a hospital and asking how many people are sickĒ.

What Iíve learned in only 6 months of owning (and living in) a brand new factory ordered AS: They REALLY are handmade. Thatís why some people get lucky and have little to no problems, some have a lot of problems. Thatís what comes with each unit being ďhand-craftedĒ. This is a big reason I found myself drawn to Airstreams. But, unfortunately, I didnít consider the fact that they are in high demand and they simply canít produce them fast enough. The end result is corners being cut, quality control being reduced. And dealers are dealers, they can only do so much.

When you buy an Airstream today, youíre buying the name. The brand. The aluminum that can last decades. The iconic travel trailer. But at the end of the day... itís an RV. Things break. Things arenít perfect. You get what you get and you make the most of it. I think anyone buying new should tailor their expectations and keep in mind that itís an RV, expect to have to live with some workarounds and repairs and youíll be very happy. I get the frustration of spending so much money on something that has so may potential problems almost immediately after taking delivery. We spent our entire savings on an Airstream as we chose an Airstream over purchasing a home. Itís what we wanted. It may be the worst financial decision weíve ever made. Or it could be the best decision weíve ever made and brings us more joy and adventure than money can buy.

Iím very happy with our Airstream. Frustrated at times... but overall Iím very happy. And if I ever decide to sell or trade it in, the resale value will be appreciated.
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Old 05-14-2020, 05:11 PM   #84
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Has anyone every ordered an AS and picked it up at the Jackson Center that did not come with manufacturing defects like those shipped to dealers? Was your AS in a very good shape rolling out of the factory and you were happy with it after throughout inspecting it?
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Old 05-14-2020, 05:52 PM   #85
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Yes, Airstreams are handcrafted. But if I handcrafted a painting it would make Jackson Pollack look traditional. If I handcrafted a clay pot, it would leak (like an Airstream?). There's a difference between doing it with hands that are good at what they do and being new at something and learning, especially if you are learning with little practice, mentoring or supervision. A lot of a trailer manufacture can be done with robots and computers if a company wants to invest in them. They will cut things perfectly, put them together well, but if using cheap materials, the result will be cheap, but well put together cheap. So you need quality materials, quality workmanship and quality management. There are some good workers, but not enough. Management is only good if you consider slamming them together fast and making huge profits as your goal.

Some people say every RV company uses a lot of the same materials. True that some things are universal and all that can be found, but many things come in different levels of quality. I replaced a lot of things with better quality—Airstream could have bought them too. When Wally wanted something he could not or would not produce, he helped new companies make them—a lot of RV suppliers started with Wally's help in the 1950's and '60's.. Wally wanted quality because although he was a promoter at heart, he wanted to promote something innovative and well made. Thor bought a company from one that never should never have owned Airstream (Beatrice Foods) and proceeded to fix a few problems and then cut costs for decades and rake in the dough. That is how many American companies work it now—no pride in what they produce, but big bucks for management and shareholders. American appliances, for ex., last for all too few years. A fridge lasts ten years if you are lucky (look at how small the compressors have become).

I don't know whether Airstream still does its own cushions with seamstresses at the factory. The cushions in ours featured cheap foam that crushed down and stayed down after a few years, a poorly fit cover that moved around, cloth that didn't clean well and no liner. An all together bad job. Did the seamstresses show up for the first time the day they were made? Or was there no supervision? No quality control? These were simple cushions for an experienced seamstress, but they couldn't do it right and were given cheap materials. We eventually bought high quality vinyl at a store that was closing (got a great deal) and had new covers made by a seamstress in a little town in western Colorado who charged us $5 a cushion (she wouldn't take more). Our total cost was a little over $100 and the cushions looked great. We replaced the foam in one later—that was expensive. The Nash has better cushions, not great, but much better. The sofa is a Flexsteel, a high quality brand.

It is hard not to defend your purchase, especially when it costs so much. You can sell it and will get a good return and then can buy a better quality unit and save the rest.
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Old 12-16-2020, 11:45 PM   #86
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Chips and Nail Gun Marks Poorly Masked

These are all over various points of the paneling on my new 2020 Globetrotter that I just took delivery on. There are even panels with chips where a furniture pen was used to cover up the factory damage. Seems unreasonable to me that Airstream would allow this to happen.
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Old 12-17-2020, 09:54 AM   #87
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These are all over various points of the paneling on my new 2020 Globetrotter that I just took delivery on. There are even panels with chips where a furniture pen was used to cover up the factory damage. Seems unreasonable to me that Airstream would allow this to happen.
Hi Tophius,*

We're very sorry to see this. Please send us a direct message with your contact information, email and the last 6 digits of your VIN so we can learn more and share it with our Customer Service and Technical Support team. We look forward to helping you get this resolved.

Thank you.*
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Old 12-17-2020, 07:55 PM   #88
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Bottom Line....

Do you actually believe today's 'quality' equals today's price point?

If the answer is yes, what flavor do you enjoy the most?

Bob
🇺🇸
........snip QUOTE>>>><<<<"Has anyone every ordered an AS and picked it up at the Jackson Center"
I doubt that will ever happen.
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Old 12-17-2020, 08:58 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by Tophius View Post
These are all over various points of the paneling on my new 2020 Globetrotter that I just took delivery on. There are even panels with chips where a furniture pen was used to cover up the factory damage. Seems unreasonable to me that Airstream would allow this to happen.
These ďspotsĒ are where Airstream uses a Brad nailer the assemble some of the trim. They use nail hole filler the fill these holes.
Mine has not been a problem.
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Old 12-20-2020, 12:13 AM   #90
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Has anyone every ordered an AS and picked it up at the Jackson Center that did not come with manufacturing defects like those shipped to dealers? Was your AS in a very good shape rolling out of the factory and you were happy with it after throughout inspecting it?


Currently (and I donít think it was ever an option),it isnít possible to purchase or order an Airstream from the factory and go there to take possession. Airstream, for better or worse relies upon a network of dealers to sell and service their products. Having been caught in a brief hailstorm, my wife insisted we coordinate the repairs with the Airstream Service Center. While there was enough bodywork to keep a technician busy for a month, there was also an extensive list of warranty issues that required attention. I submitted a list of 22 items to my Airstream Service Coordinator and he didnít bat an eye. In fact, when we returned to Jackson Center, OH to retrieve our 2020 27íFC (Queen), they corrected 5 additional issues I was unaware of that they came across!

The RV industry is not the automobile industry. There are some similarities but, in the end it truly is ďapples and oranges.Ē What matters is Customer Service! Iíve witnessed how other owner brand RV owners have been treated. How factory and extended warranties and club membership donít really matter. Iíve seen dealerships fix the blame and not the problem. Itís a industry-wide problem. However, when you own an Airstream - you matter! Maybe not within some of the members of the dealer network but, definitely at the Airstream Service Center!

So, to answer Halford1ís question - No, because thatís of the way Airstream conducts business (at least currently). However, as Halford1 implies - you MUST conduct a very thorough pre-delivery inspection prior to purchase. Then, allow the dealership the time and opportunity to correct every deficiency and concern you have PRIOR to finalizing your purchase. DO NOT PAY until you reinspect and are confident in the work. Once youíve made the purchase (maybe not immediately,) you are no longer their priority.

My experience with the Airstream Service Center has made me/us Airstreamers for life. If I ever need additional warranty service, bodywork, elective modifications or out-of-warranty service on my rig - Iím going to Jackson Center! Period! I hope I see you there!
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Old 12-20-2020, 03:35 PM   #91
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Quote;

"However, as Halford1 implies - you MUST conduct a very thorough pre-delivery inspection prior to purchase. Then, allow the dealership the time and opportunity to correct every deficiency and concern you have PRIOR to finalizing your purchase. DO NOT PAY until you reinspect and are confident in the work. Once youíve made the purchase (maybe not immediately,) you are no longer their priority."

I have always felt this is the best way we can affect the quality of the product. It seems too many purchasers sign the purchase paperwork / financing / and taking delivery prior to doing their PDI. Once you do that you lose all leverage. Our salesman wanted us to do this and we refused. We spoke with the Operations Manager and agreed on a process acceptable to both of us ahead of time.

We let the dealer run through their walk thru and then we tested all systems in a full hookup and boondocking situation with some systems being checked twice. Once we were satisfied and they repaired the few items that were issues, then we signed the paperwork. It worked well for all parties.

IMO, if more purchasers held firm to this process then dealers may make sure most items were taken care of ahead of the delivery date. If dealers find they are having to spend too much time in this area, I feel this message would be relayed up the chain to Jackson Center by the dealers.

It may or may not work but seems to me that the purchasers need to shift any pain in this process mentioned on many posts in this thread from themselves to the dealers prior to accepting delivery and making payment.
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Old 12-29-2020, 06:33 PM   #92
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I think Iíll chime in here. Weíre currently updating our Ď75 27í overlander (rear bath). Iíve noticed that many of the failures were assembly related (some were initial design failures). The plumbing vent pipe was installed in a hole that cut through part of a rib and needed to be forced into shape, causing a significant crack in the end cap. Gables were cut poorly and that coupled with an interior skin that wasnít installed tightly to the ribs has the installers force them into place, eventually breaking through the interior aluminum skin. Upper cabinets were screwed into the aluminum skin and not the ribs, despite a rib being nearby. The cabinets were quite loose and sagging.
So whatís the verdict?
Iíve come around to the fact that despite the poorly considered rear frame construction, the rear bumper storage design that caused rust and rot so bad that itís a wonder the black/grey tanks didnít fall out the bottom. Rear end rot that left no connection between the shell and frame yet...
How many other 45 year old trailers are even worthy of receiving significant attention!?
I think that if the AS assembly plants had taken the amount of time I have to assemble the trailer as near perfect as I can make it they would have lost buckets full of money on each one.
Time will tell if todayís units are worthy of restoring in 2065. I know I wonít be around to see them.
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Old 12-29-2020, 11:01 PM   #93
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I am reminded of British sports cars decades ago. I had two. They were fun to drive, but quality was poor. You had to be willing to accept the quirkiness of the electrical system and lots of other strange things. I learned how to tune twin SU carburetors. I took it for a while, but got tired of fixing and fixing and fixing. Nevertheless long after I sold my TR4A with the bubble rust, I used to dream about it and still loved driving it in my dreams.
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Old 12-30-2020, 08:36 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by 13013 View Post
Currently (and I don’t think it was ever an option),it isn’t possible to purchase or order an Airstream from the factory and go there to take possession.


However, when you own an Airstream - you matter! Maybe not within some of the members of the dealer network but, definitely at the Airstream Service Center!

My experience with the Airstream Service Center has made me/us Airstreamers for life. If I ever need additional warranty service, bodywork, elective modifications or out-of-warranty service on my rig - I’m going to Jackson Center! Period! I hope I see you there!
You can't, I tried....hard no from the factory on that one.

I don't believe that folks that complain about the quality issues are complaining about the factory service center. In fact I have been there a number of times and their work is really top notch and they do take care of you.

I firmly believe, and have experienced it with a new Airstream that the build quality is fairly inconsistent. I've take the factory tour a number of times over the years (not been there in about 10 years now), and what you see would lead one to believe that there are checks and balances in place that would keep a lot of riff raff from leaving Jackson Center, OH, however, I can tell you that understanding that mistakes can happen and that RV assembly is not the same as auto assembly, one could still argue that it is simply inexcusable (and don't take my word for it, do a search here on this forum for airstream quality, or quality) that you will find systemic problems that have traversed at least a decade, maybe more.

Now I know for a fact, 110%, that there are Airstream badged employees on this forum and we all know of the canned response that appears here from the official Airstream account when someone posts a problem, so knowing that, and hearing how they go to great lengths to build a quality product, leaves one to wonder to what degree is this lip service....

Examples off the cuff:

Corrosion:

Although it would seem a bit better today with CNC cut sheetmetal, customers from early 2000 to somewhere around 2013ish (13 years!) were prone (and quite vocal on this forum) to all sorts of corrosion. Yes, I get all alum gets it, but when you shell out $1000 for a set of rims and they trash out after 3-4 years or you spend $80k and in a year or so have it all over your coach like a bad rash, and allow it to continue for over 10+ years without a solution, it shows to me at least a mindset.


Units of around 25' have a dip in the roof where the rear vent is...reason, no support (design flaw first mentioned over a decade ago that may very well continue to this day)

Panoramic window leaks. Possible reason, poor workmanship, lack of caulk or little attention to detail when caulking. This has been happening since at least 2005 and on new units less than 6 mos old. How did the water monsoon test they have fail to catch that? Leaks in general. How they get past the monsoon test to this day puzzles me...again do a forum search for leaks and you might get a sense of what I'm talking about.

Rotting floors (mostly due to leaks). It took Airstream from my first around 2004 till 2021 model year to go to composite floors. In fact, sometime in 2005, they knew full well these either leaked or will leak and put a coating around the edge of the plywood where the shell met the plywood floor. Great band-aid, but a fail because the 3-4 inches they coated would be fine, but the area next to it, when exposed to water over time would then rot. Going composite, in lieu of doing a better job of caulking was a roughly 16 year time frame. Time will tell if the supplier they picked will stand the test of time. It should by all accounts.

Sawdust, damaged trim, damaged floors, incorrectly installed appliances. Nearly all these happened during construction and if you take the factory tour you will see there is a crew to clean up the trailer post production. Yes, I accept some stuff will shake out in transit and that is the responsibility of the dealer in PDI, but what about all the posts on this forum about damaged trim. My trailer had several defects in the floor...not big enough to walk, but here too, I have read a number of folks in similar situations. I recall just two months ago there was a Globetrotter that a dealer was trying to pawn off that was special ordered and the trim damage was excessive (do a search, it's here on this forum). They let's not forget about the range vent. From what I read here on this forum, the vent needed to be "x" amount of inches from the heat source. The fan would cease to function and Airstream's answer from what I understand was to take out the thermal switch. I think a few folks on this forum came up with a better solution, but my point it, product requires "x" and Airstream does "y" and causes customer problems from an issue that was known for at least somewhere between 2-5 years and I don't even know if it was ever resolved at the factory...for all I know the issue possibly continues to this day.

Wally said let's make improvements not changes

We'll Wally is long gone and THOR is the overseer now. Let's look as some of the improvements to these $100k+ trailers. Alde. Never read about a ton of problems here on the forum. Electric Zip Dee awnings....the manual ones are phenomenal, and I've found Zip Dee's support on those manual units top notch....power/electric awnings, well, again do a search on this forum. Jury is still out on the on demand water heater. Electronics in the Classic line. I read of problems with them almost daily, if you are not one of them, great, but I think Airstream has made 2, maybe 3 changes to this..what do these improvements mean to 2016 customers in terms of long terms support?

I could type prob 10 pages more, but my point is, yes auto and RV are different assemblies but there are several proven quality processes out there that can very easily be applied to RV building. Maybe the perception that Airstream creates and we all buy into is that they pay more attention at this price point, but many of us know this is simply not the case. It would appear that Airstream/THOR have little reason to adopt these quality processes because they have always sold whatever they can build, and with a 3000+ backlog, it's easier for them to push it out and see what comes back...many issues may be glossed over from the Airstream halo effect, however once the long honeymoon is over and reality sets in that you either need to be a part time RV tech or roll the dice with the dealer network, or haul the thing to the factory service center, one starts to question why am I paying upward of the price of a house in rural America for this kind of product?

I know what folks will say, I've heard it for nearly 25 years... "Well, Airstream is better than and SOB", but if most all SOBs are an even bigger POS, is that really that much of positive statement toward Airstream? Still the trailer just looks wicked cool....
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Old 01-10-2021, 10:15 PM   #95
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amen !!!!!!!!!!!!
DITTO: 2016 and 2020 FC and very minimal problems. Knock on wood.
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Old 01-12-2021, 12:15 PM   #96
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DITTO: 2016 and 2020 FC and very minimal problems. Knock on wood.
Glad to hear it. Peopleís experience varies so much there will always be happy and unhappy customers. Anyone who claim Airstreams are great or awful and other peopleís experiences are invalid should be ignored. People use them differently, so those experiences will also be different. Over time people have different experiences. Our experiences with the dealer were bad, so that was another irritant. Plemty of room to argue.
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Old 01-13-2021, 08:23 AM   #97
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Gene, I’m curious. Do you have any first hand experience with newer airstreams? I see you had a 2008 Safari. Did you buy a later year model at one time? Or, is your total airstream experience based off of that one trailer? Also, when did you get rid of it?
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Old 01-13-2021, 11:38 AM   #98
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We bought a 2008 in 2007 and had it ten years. We towed it 63,000 miles. Once we got it fairly fixed, it would be crazy to buy another new one. I know they have changed over the years and that some people have good ones, others do not. I see on the Forum new problems crop up fairly often. I cannot see that much if anything has changed over the years except prices have gone up and up. Prices have always gone up—that's normal inflation—but Airstream prices have gone up more. I expect a reply that only if you buy new ones will you know what you're talking about. Perhaps criticizing people is easier than looking at the actual problem.
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Old 01-13-2021, 12:14 PM   #99
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In defense of Gene, in advance, I would say that old or new does not matter. I suppose there could be some anecdotal information that indicates old is better than new, just like people want to say increased production has reduced quality. No proof of any of this except we are always seeing posts about problems that never should have happened. Handmade does not mean quality has to be lacking.
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Old 01-13-2021, 12:47 PM   #100
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So why did you take delivery with obvious defects that you find objectionable?
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