Quality with new Airstreams is interesting to me as I have a 2016 19' CB Flying Cloud and have contemplated for two years to upgrade to a 23'. Yet, I see things on newer models that I don't see how AS doesn't see them, that's it's put the upgrade on hold.
From day one, I've been upgrading my 19' so if I traded in or sold, it would have all the good things a newbie to AS would want;
- Installed Zamp 100W expandable solar
- Changed out bad scissor jacks to the newer lunar landing jacks
- After (4) Interstates batts died in 6 mos, switched to (2) Trojan 6V batts
- Upgraded inverter
- Installed Voyager rear cam
- Now converting cool white recessed lights to warm white
Interesting on your awning as I was talking with my Airstream Service Manager about going from manual to power; his response was "Uh, no, you don't want to do that. Just stay with what you have." He's fully aware of the electric awning issues. He's so good, it was his changing out the weaker inverters in new units (during a sale of a trailer) that AS Corp came out to visit and followed his lead on newer models. Yet, the old manual awnings have issues as the rear mount is off centered and doesn't stay locked down
What I have noticed last week, looking at new models:
The overwhelming odor of Formaldehyde in new models; likely from the resins and glues used by AS. I've never smelled it when I bought in 2016 and up thru 2018. Formaldehyde kills me and I had to get out of the trailers after about 2 minutes.
Is it me, or has the woods been replaced with a wood product covered with a thin adhesive vinyl veneer with a faux wood texture? I ask as while looking into the entry of a trailer being looked at by a potential buyer, you could see 3" bubbles all along the panel on the side of the fridge. I walked up and you push the bubbles in. I pointed this out and the sales agent was quick to state; "we'll take care of that."
- how do downgrade to appeal to more people, but the price drop is not significant, so why bother.
New stoves - they are whimpier and lots of negative review on other forums about them. Albeit not an AS product, As should investigate the claims.
Insulation - UPGRADE THE INSULATION - AS continues to use standard bat insulation. I was in the Sierras and it got down to 48 degs. We purposely left the heater off and the trailer got down to 42 degs inside. I've toured other makers with walls not much thicker and they use airplane foam insulation.
I can live with other components as I just plan to upgrade, like replacing to a better stove/oven, change out my cool lights to warm, but even here you get stuck. AS service quotes $300/light to change out. I go to High Sky RV Parts and get OEM lights for $43 each. Come on!
Overall, have to go back to my one highlight and note; what is up with the Formaldehyde? What's notable is when my service guy tells me, when I contemplate going to a 23', "just stay with what you have for now, you're building a great trailer."