Multiple issues with 2017 Base Camp
Ok first time poster. I had intended to join this group anyway, and recent
events made it a high priority.
My wife bought a 2017 Basecamp off the dealer lot in August 2018. I'm in a tough spot, acting as a go-between for my wife and the Airstream dealer. She's fed up with the trailer and wants to dump it on Airstream's doorstep and walk away from it. I'm trying to find a less extreme solution.
For a trailer purchased off the lot, there's been a remarkable number of items
either missing or nonfunctional. (I suspect, since this trailer sat on the lot for
a year, it was a "hanger queen" during that time, and parts were "borrowed"
off it for other trailers.)
It does seem like the trailer is becoming a money pit. We've had it almost a year, and noticed things missing or nonfunctional from the day I picked it up.
We've taken it out four times, three weekends and one week long stay, and
it's been back to the dealer for repairs three times. It's there right now, and
has been for coming up on three weeks. The trailer has literally spent more time in the service department than it has camping out.
This is my list so far:
- Blackwater hose storage box missing. (Replaced by the dealer.)
- Parts of the bed missing (replaced by dealer. The replacement parts don't fit right, but we've been making do.)
- A cabinet door fell off. I found that it was held on by tiny wood screws into particle board and they had just pulled out. I replaced them with larger, longer screws and so far it's holding.
- Batteries stopped charging off shore power on third trip. (batteries
replaced by dealer)
- issue with refrigerator, all or part of which was replaced by dealer. (I
don't know the details on this one.)
- Significant gas leak on fourth camping trip, which happened to be the Airstream users group campout. Hi, meet the factory reps and... hey, is that gas I smell?
- Screws pulled out of the back door. Door replaced by dealer
- Side door replaced by dealer. (The service department found something
wrong with it this last time it was in for service, and they're replacing
the whole door. I don't know what was wrong.)
- Roof molding coming undone, replaced by dealer. (Trivial, but I'm trying to get all the issues in one place.
This seems like a lot of issues for less than a year's ownership.
I guess it boils down to two issues:
1) The gas leak, which Airstream's own documentation says "can lead to
injury or death", is not covered by the warranty. It'll cost around $750 to
replace the range, where the crack is. This really doesn't make sense to me,
and is, in fact, a deal killer for my wife.
2) The larger issue: We went with Airstream because of their reputation
for quality. Yes, they cost more, but it's worth it for the fit and finish,
durability, and the way the company stands by the product. Right? I think
it's fair to say, we haven't been impressed so far. Is this what everyone else
has been experiencing, or did we get a lemon?
To other Basecamp owners: Have you had experiences like mine?
This has to suck for the dealer, too. I've had to drag the thing back to them
three times now, and they've made a lot of repairs and replacements free
of charge. I'm sure THEY have better things to do also.
But what happens when the repairs are no longer free? Did we get everything, this time, or will we see things continue to fail at this rate? I just realized, I haven't even tried the space heater or water heater yet. I don't even know if those items work.
I *like* the product. It's a dream to pull. The view from the kitchen is
excellent. The layout is really well thought out. The tent extension, after
we figured it out, is relatively easy to set up and doubles the floor space.
I photograph horse shows, and I find the door in the back extremely
convenient for loading my table, chairs, and other equipment. It's a
nice trailer. When it works.
I've left a rather lengthy, and I hope not too hysterical, message with
Airstream customer support (they're on eastern time) basically outlining
the above. I'm waiting for a call back.
I don't *want* to get rid of the trailer. But neither do I want to spend my
declining years throwing money and effort at a product that may never
I could really use some help here.
You probably got one of the early ones that hadn't had all the bugs ironed out in production yet. Eventually, all the teething issues should be over with, and you can get on with enjoying the trailer. It's just going to be the things you've experienced that are going to need to be addressed before the warranty is up. once you get to that point, you should have a really nice little trailer. It's just going to be getting to that point that will be something of a PITA for you. Hang in there, you don't want to give up right after the last bug has been squashed, and "give away" a trailer that will then be trouble free for the next owner.
Some rant... have you tried calling airstream customer service in Jackson Center? They may be able to help you more than we can.
You can always make a trip out to Jackson Center. Wonderful service experience.
All airstreams go through normal adjustments. That’s why they come with a great bumper to bumper warranty. Sorry for your troubles... stick with it, it will get better!
Sorry for your troubles, Ron, and welcome to the forum.
FYI the Basecamp forum:
. . . contains many threads and posts from other unhappy BC owners, including the Simple Survey thread about the fridge:
. . . and Basecamp Issues thread: https://www.airforums.com/forums/f404...es-162632.html
As you peruse those other threads, you may find that you are not alone in your dissatisfaction. Small consolation . . . :sad:
You have already called Airstream, and your dealer seems to be involved . . . good luck.
Hi Ron and welcome to the forum. You’re not alone in your displeasure with the BASECAMP and particularly the 2017 version. As already mentioned, there are several threads regarding the issues.
It always breaks my heart when folks find their way to the forum after purchasing an Airstream and not before.
Contacting Airstream in Jackson Center, Ohio is absolutely the right move to make. Wishing you and yours the best of luck.
Yeah, Lauri, but some of us were dumb enough to spend months on the forum before we were even dumber buying an Airstream....
The OP’s situation is inexcusable on the part of Airstream. I wouldn’t call his post a rant. I also think the dealer has some culpability in this as well in that they did no apparent inspection of the product before delivery to the customer.
Like others said, I’d call Airstream and demand satisfaction. Unfortunately you’ll have to drive halfway across the country to get the problems fixed for good.
We like our 23D just fine, but if I had spent time on this forum prior to purchase I would have been scared off for good.
Sorry about your experience. Good luck to you.
I seriously roll my eyes every time somebody posts about what a great service experience they have at Jackson Center....the frigging Airstream Factory.
What a racket. :huh:
Quality control issues up the wazoo for as long as I have been here, but such a wonderful experience returning to the place of the rigs’ birth to have things fixed that shouldn’t have gotten to the dealer, much less the customer.
Please. It’s a racket.
The service center keeps that town and the surrounding areas going.
Another example here. :angry:
I rest my case.
Thank you, all your comments are appreciated. It's looking like (a) our experience isn't unique for the 2017 basecamp, (b) airstream should put it right, and (c) after the bugs are chased out, we should be left with a solid trailer.
I'm choosing to believe that. I *want* to believe it, and that may be coloring my judgement, but if others have had problems with the 2017 and managed to get them all fixed, it's possible for us too.
As I said, I've already called corporate and left them all the details in the original posting. At this point, it's their move. But I won't wait *too* long for them to move.
Poor quality exists because we accept it.
The range with the gas leak may have its own warranty, as I believe all the appliances usually do.
All travel trailers and coaches have a tremendous amount of issues. Ive taken my Airstream to the factory and dealer. Overall, when I have an issue i replace or fix it with better equipment, upgrade. My friends in fifth wheels and coaches have more issues and less success on repairs and warranties. I'm sorry for your problems, but I consider Airstream wonderful. Call customer support until you are satisfied. The range issue should be pursued.
I think you are right. Somebody should cover this under warranty. However, OP's Dealer and/or Airstream is severely remiss for not suggesting this.
I appreciate the learning that goes on here and I continue to read and learn from others' experienced. But I just crossed any new Basecamp off my list. It's unacceptable risk.
The factory is no longer installing the Dometic fridge because it uses heat to cool the insides. However, they failed to design enough cooling space for the propane heat system to disapate the heat, to the fridge serves as a personal poison center letting good food rise to spoilage temperatures.
I am really surprised that a class action was never initiated.
The fact that the 2020 34' Classics at $165,000 have severe QC issues in some units (ie. having to gut the unit to replace the flooring after the cooling/heating fluid leaked out of that system and onto the flooring) is no consolation to the OP.
But the QC issues are in every model and every trim line because they are chasing speed vs quality and expect the dealerships to fix stuff. However the dealers have an incentive to not fix the issues as part of the Pre-Delivery but wait for the customer to complain and then the dealer gets paid for fixing the shoddy build.
We had a 2013 25FB International Serenity built in July of 2012 when production was 26 units per week. Not a single factory QC issue. The issues started after a more than inept dealer worked on the unit for service.
I was at the factory every day in January of 2014 as our 31' Classic was being built. One day I looked in and the wrong flooring was installed and the wrong backsplash was behind the bathroom sink. The interior had to come out to install the correct standard flooring. I had a list of 30 QC issues I personally handed to the QC supervisor at the end of the production line. None were addressed and were there when the unit arrived at the dealership along with major new issues that were beyond the capability of that dealership to repair (some as elementary as changing light bulbs or lamp lenses). Production was now at 41 units per week.
Our 2015 23D International Serenity was built in September 2014 when production was now over 51 units per week. The issues ranged from failure to put the Airstream brand label on the back of the trailer to faulty shower enclosure and scored wheel bearings from the drive of 2,000 miles from the selling dealer to the overhaul center near Dallas, TX (A&P Vintage Trailer Works). The predelivery inspection was a joke as they missed the broken blinds and wad of plastic film on the wall by the bed, broken hinges etc.
After spending tens of thousands on both the 23D and the Classic, they were the way they should have been coming out of the factory.
An independent shop may actually fix the issues using better parts. A sub par part that breaks is replaced with an identical sub par part.....
[All opinions expressed are personal opinions only -- there are no direct statements of fact above.]
Embarrassing Quality Control IMO, starting right at the top of both corporate ladders -- Thor and Airstream.
I actually agree 100% with Lily&Me. Maggie can handle Jackson Center.
Switz... always the details and facts. Airstream will ignore, as usual.
Buy USED. The owner can give you a tour before you BUY. The Dealership... will give you the BS Sales doctrine and you end up wondering what happened from the Factory, to the Dealer and attached to your tow vehicle. My experience and Switz's agree with production and so many models that tend to get mixed components and inexperienced assembly employees... beginning with the process of attaching everything to the frame.
When we sold our 2014 25 International... it was 100% operational when it rolled out of our RV Garage. Actually BETTER than the factory after personally upgrading hardware.
We should be thankful that there are not Airstream Airplanes or Helicopters... or Boats without wheels.
I hope you succeed in getting this trailer finished and operational. It took me four years... out of pocket, but was happy with the end product. You should have been satisfied the day you towed this home.
I've found that in cases like yours Airstream responds best if you demand action. Pussyfooting around with your service people and the "mothership's" tech department rarely gets results when a trailer is so defective as yours.
A well thought out letter to the top person at Airstream Adventures NW, the president of Airstream Inc., Jackson Center OH, president of Thor Industries, and your dealership's manager, may be time well spent. Problems with the 2017 Basecamp are well known and your issues shouldn't be news to anyone.
Ron, I am also a new Airstream owner from early this year and quite disappointed with what I was told was superior quality that justified the price. My experience on my 22FB has been loose axle, doors falling off from too light hardware, by pass valves installed the wrong way, rivets falling off, unflush finishes, panels getting loose, water heater running intermittently, so as you I seem to be spending more time upgrading and fixing things than camping. The good thing is that this forum has helped me understand that i'm not the only one.
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