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Old 08-03-2018, 05:04 AM   #1
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Angry About Smart Control Technology

Fellow Classic Owners,

I have posted in this forum before and got totally roasted by many of the members. Despite the ridicule I reciveved from my last post, I feel it is necessary that I post again. Hopefully this time I will received some support instead of disrespect. First, I have come to understand and accept that owning an AS means learning how to repair it, even if it is 60 days old and under warranty. Despite several hours of my own repair work, more than 20 long calls with Alde tech support (Alde 3020 still does work despite work performed at JC factory and long hours on the phone with Alde, It appears to be a problem Alde has never seen before and yes I searched the forum) and a week off from work to spend three days in JC for several different problems, I still am trying hard to love my classic 30. However, the announcement yesterday from AS just rubbed salt into my wounds. Before I purchased my Classic, I was very explicit when I asked both the dealer, an AS VP and a regional sales manager about new technology and the ability to remotely monitor your trailer. I was told that there were absolutely NO plans to update technology in the 2019 Classic and there would be no technology benefits by waiting to purchase. Now, 60 days after purchase, I discover that the firefly system is a legacy boat anchor right off the dealership floor. AS is making it harder for me to convince my friends to purchase an Airstream. Does Airstream have a Chief Technology Officer? If so, why would they think it is a good idea to release a new multiplex system and completely alienate your faithful classic customer base by not making it backwards compatible for everyone who has the troublesome firefly system? At least make it available to purchase for those of us who purchased 2017 \ 2018 Classics. AS is missing a huge opportunity to increase revenue, attract a younger demographic and increase customer satisfaction. Who is managing your technology and PR ? I know many of you are going to write something like keep it simple, or that is just one more thing to break. But there are many of us who like new technology, despite the problems. And my guess is, the engineers behind firefly will stop supporting it in a few years. AS must figure out how to quit making poor decisions or their backlog will start drying up. As with the last time I posted, I am bracing for incoming fire, fire away.
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Old 08-03-2018, 06:29 AM   #2
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I'm not going to criticize for your comments. Virtually anyone who buys an RV has second thoughts and or issues they did not expect nor want to deal with.

As to AS not informing you of upcoming changes despite your questioning them, it's simply part of doing business. I had the opportunity to run two companies that did both BtoB and consumer and in no case would we tell anyone who asked about new "stuff" coming out. A couple of reasons, one we don't want to hinder present sales nor negatively impact current dealer/distributor inventory and another is we never want to "kill" the reveal.

I have a 2017 Classic. Alde was an issue at first, and I had to figure it out, basically on my own by contacting Alde US, Alde overseas and finally another trailer manufacturer who has been using Alde in their units for some time. Their customer service gave me some info that within twenty minutes our system worked flawlessly and continues to do so with well in excess of 225 nights. Is it right? No, but it is what it is.

I've been to JC twice with our unit, blown axle seals on the one side, things not working properly etc. Shop technicians surprised at how some things were installed. It's sad, but when production is put in a position to ramp up often QC suffers, however, many of the issues we have encountered are products supplied by third party vendors, some of whom I am confident have sourced their parts from China and I could write a book on how bad China is when they supply US assemblers and manufacturers with parts. It's simply awful.

I know not much help, but keep moving forward, keep the pressure on to secure a resolution on your issues, especially the Alde problems. In time, things will settle out and after about two years you'll have what you expected. We've been at this for over 40 years, and only had one RV without issues, a large Newmar Bus, but then we camped next to one last year and they had a brand new unit with 43 issues, a number of which were simple fixes, but issues non the less.

Best of luck

Bud
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Old 08-03-2018, 07:03 AM   #3
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Well, consider those of us who just purchased a 2018 only to find if we'd waited just a few more months, we could purchase the same trailer, at the same price but get another year worth of warranty and roadside assistance (since they've gone from 2 years to 3 now). And no offer to allow those who've just purchased to get a retro-active coverage of the new benefits.
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Old 08-03-2018, 07:15 AM   #4
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Best I can tell the price for a 2019 went up several thousand dollars...nothing is free, especially not warranty coverage. If you bought a 2018 Dodge Ram and then saw the new 2019 with a completely new body and interior and new electronic gizmos would you feel the same way? Automobile manufacturers are constantly upgrading, redesigning and improving their products. I imagine there were a few 2016 Airstream Classic purchasers who bought late in the model year who then saw all the improvements and upgrades on the 2017 model that had a similar feeling as you have. However, the 2016 was several thousand dollars less expensive than the 2017. Oh, and should I mention televisions, computers and cell phones? As soon as you buy one, the next latest, greatest technology is announced. Itís just the way it is and has been for years.
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Old 08-03-2018, 07:23 AM   #5
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Airstream Smart Control Video just went up yesterday. Is it the next great thing, or did recent purchaser's dodge a bullet on untested technology.

I guess time will tell.

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Old 08-03-2018, 07:26 AM   #6
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Just so I'm straight here..........

You're pissed with the technology that exists in your Airstream......and now you're even more pissed by the fact that you can't remotely monitor the broken technology in your Airstream.

You have serious issues my friend.

Cheers
Sidekick Tony

PS This is why I have a 35 year old Airstream.......no technology.
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Old 08-03-2018, 07:27 AM   #7
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Thanks, but no thanks.

I prefer the older, all manual units.

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Old 08-03-2018, 07:41 AM   #8
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Echoing comments that all this technology is a drag, when it does not function correctly!

Seems like it might be a good idea for you to sell the Airstream and move to Shangri-La . . . or buy an older AS . . .

Beating your "Angry" [your term] head against the wall with Airstream will probably not turn out to be a satisfying experience for you IMO.

So . . . choose . . . to stay and "do battle" or move on . . .

Happy trails,

Peter

PS -- Other posts/threads relative to comments above:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...tn-180789.html
Post #70 etc.: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f540...-a-181921.html
Post #702 etc.: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f540...de-162472.html
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Old 08-03-2018, 07:44 AM   #9
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Well, I just purchased a 2019 but did so after waiting and reading (mostly here) for a breakthrough in the area of electronics. It is sad that after getting a "no" from AS corporation, that you found out you basically were lied to.

Let's face it, dealer network or not, someone at AS could have confided in you with that large of a purchase. I guess we all need to do our homework a bit better and dig into the known information a bit more. The decision to go with a new vendor was made many months ago and I knew of the change at least 3 months ago. That is why I waited.

That does not excuse the answer you got from AS.

A lot of us just do not do the research as well as we could have. I'm not criticizing you personally. far from it, but when you need to discover an important thing about an AS, you keep asking. I saw that the firefly was having problems. Firefly recently refused to tell me if they are in 2019 Classics. The answer was "No comment - we do not comment on future products. Czone became the new vendor. My wife and I were very interested in the internet access remotely controlling the temperature in the AS. We have a large dog Maddie that stays home (in the trailer) when we are unable to take her on side trips.

I called AS to find out the new vendor and was told by customer service that Czone is now their new supplier of electronics and my new Classic will have the new panels. I also learned from my dealer that the new software is not completed and many features may not work in September when I pick up the trailer.

My point is you have to ask and ask and ask. They did not give you the right answer and quite frankly, neither did your dealer, I'm sure. They wanted to move old inventory. If you are really unhappy, take it up with your lawyer (that's probably not my best advice) but the threat of a simple letter from him requiring AS to perform and deliver a working Firefly system may make the difference. Keep going back.

Keep this thread going on the problems with Firefly and the issues you are having. Document here the progress you are making (or not making) with AS and your dealer. This can go a long way.

And lastly, I feel your pain. Look what I'm doing, buying a new trailer with new technology with a plant that is overworked and producing beyond their means! That may be even crazier than what you have just gone through!
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Old 08-03-2018, 07:49 AM   #10
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One more thing.

With the importance of measuring the trailer temperature for the safety of our dog, I will still use my Temp Stick as a backup knowing that the complexities of AS new system are not proven.
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Old 08-03-2018, 08:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turk123 View Post
One more thing.

With the importance of measuring the trailer temperature for the safety of our dog, I will still use my Temp Stick as a backup knowing that the complexities of AS new system are not proven.
It could be interesting what window the "concerned" pet rescuer will break to "rescue" your poor pet.

If I were you I'd put up a sign on the window you want them to break; and have a spare handy.

Goodluck
Sidekick Tony
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Old 08-03-2018, 08:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isuzusweet View Post
It could be interesting what window the "concerned" pet rescuer will break to "rescue" your poor pet.

If I were you I'd put up a sign on the window you want them to break; and have a spare handy.

Goodluck
Sidekick Tony


We purchased a lock box just like the realtors have for showings. We mount it on the inside of the propane box on a tank. It contains the keys to the front door! We can call the campground and give them the code.
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Old 08-03-2018, 08:59 AM   #13
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Turk123: "Let's face it, dealer network or not, someone at AS could have confided in you with that large of a purchase. I guess we all need to do our homework a bit better and dig into the known information a bit more. The decision to go with a new vendor was made many months ago and I knew of the change at least 3 months ago. That is why I waited. "

Our answers to such questions were "we are restricted from any comment on future products". No matter consumer or media and we had lots of media at certain times of the year.

I bought our 2017 Classic, lots of issues, would like to have the new technology, but will wait until 2020, or maybe 2021 or 2022, yep yearly changes in the expensive units can be counted on and have been happening. So, we will just keep what we purchased.

As to the folks who love the old technology or lack thereof. So do we, I've gradually been changing our unit over as I can and when out of warranty will accelerate some changes.

Enjoy

So such thing anymore, in virtually anything - social media. Plus every company I worked for we had to sign confidentiality agreements and so did any vendor who came to our place of business and needed to talk to someone or go into the plant.
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Old 08-03-2018, 09:17 AM   #14
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We purchased a 2018 1/2 (according to AS) 30' FC Bunk and have been happy with the features. We had been looking at buying a used 2015 or newer but in some cases only having a $5K difference we decided new. And with the new came improvements over previous years like upgrade in tires, inverter and other improvements. I echo the statement that we'll wait until 2020 for the new technology or add our own technology and know it was done right from the get go!
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Old 08-03-2018, 10:48 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by mojoe7009 View Post
. . . I imagine there were a few 2016 Airstream Classic purchasers who bought late in the model year who then saw all the improvements and upgrades on the 2017 model that had a similar feeling as you have. . .
There are quite a few of us 2015 and 2016 Classic owners that are so glad we have "old technology". No Firefly or Alde to deal with when our of warranty and we are responsible for all maintenance and repairs our self. This is a long term purchase. Swiches and wires are easier to troubleshoot than likely obsolete electronic Firefly control panels. No Alde to replace the fluid in every 2 years. If we ever have to replace our 2016 Classic, we will be looking for a used 2016, rather than a brand new one.
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Old 08-03-2018, 10:50 AM   #16
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Angry Smart Control

Unfortunately, I believe the real shame created by ASís lack of QC is not trailer specific issues. It is instead buyer remorse. I loved my 2015 FC 28; could never wait to get out again. Now, I own the 2018 Classic 33. Maybe Iíll get my zeal back but right now, I am just tired of finding more problems and having to make yet another 600 mile trip to JC in September ( was just there 5 weeks ago). Wish I had never m@de the upgrade.
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Old 08-03-2018, 11:06 AM   #17
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[QUOTE=DeltaRon;2137940 Wish I had never m@de the upgrade.[/QUOTE]

Don't you mean "upgrade".

It is unfortunate to hear these stories, but unsurprising.

My direct mechanical injection turbo diesel lit off with a quarter turn this morning after being idle since May; settled down to sweet Isuzu idle; ready to go today for a trip north; no computers.

The Cummins I'm putting into my Argosy is a P-pump 12 valve direct mechanical injection engine as well; as well, no computers.

Cheers
Sidekick Tony
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Old 08-03-2018, 11:30 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isuzusweet View Post
It could be interesting what window the "concerned" pet rescuer will break to "rescue" your poor pet.



If I were you I'd put up a sign on the window you want them to break; and have a spare handy.



Goodluck

Sidekick Tony


About an hour in the summer heat is the longest Iíll leave my pets unattended in my Airstream. There are too many ways for it to become an oven in short order. Itís too risky for me to go past that time. At night, maybe about two hours.....
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Old 08-03-2018, 11:42 AM   #19
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If we are out in temperatures over 80 Fahrenheit the dogs don't stay in the trailer without a human present and A/C running on hookups. On the road, if its that hot, a human stays with the dogs while the TV idles with A/C running. Take-out food is the order of the day under those conditions.

If it's nice and cool, the dogs stay in the AS with windows open and fans running while we go to eat. Fresh water continuously available so they can easily pant to cool if needed.

Dogs can overheat much quicker than humans, especially in humid conditions. Ours are visibly uncomfortable in 78 degree temperatures, even with low humidity.
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Old 08-03-2018, 11:58 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeltaRon View Post
Unfortunately, I believe the real shame created by ASís lack of QC is not trailer specific issues. It is instead buyer remorse. I loved my 2015 FC 28; could never wait to get out again. Now, I own the 2018 Classic 33. Maybe Iíll get my zeal back but right now, I am just tired of finding more problems and having to make yet another 600 mile trip to JC in September ( was just there 5 weeks ago). Wish I had never m@de the upgrade.

DeltaRon, thanks for sharing a cautionary tale. I hope you're soon loving your new airstream as much as your old one.
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