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Old 07-21-2017, 03:11 PM   #1
Mineralfarmer
 
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Default Airstream quality issues

I am always perplexed that everyone goes on about Airstream quality when discussing the Interstate. Having owned a 2016 GT EXT Twin 4 x 4 for a year now, I have decided it should be viewed as a Thor Industires product, not a traditional Airstream product. The quality, in my view, is horrible. Now I grant you, I DID buy one (lightly used) so I obviously did some research and decided there was SOME value there, but I have been disappointed. That is not to say that I might have been even more disappointed with another brand. So here are some of my issues. I'm sure I forgot some.

Insulation is a joke--a few wisps of loose fiberglass stuffed in some of the body cavities, no vapor barrier, no air seal, some areas not insulated at all.
Cabinet latches are not latches at all, just pop-out buttons. Closure relies on plastic friction devices which are highly variable in their degree of friction. Drawers fly open on curves, while some cabinets are impossible to open without two hands. I've replaced them all with push button latches that actually latch.
Screws strip out of the cabinet and countertop materials.
Electric blinds take up a lot of space, often malfunction, and their travel cannot be adjusted without removal of the entire side wall assembly from the van.
Lots of rattles, mostly from the drawer microwave I think, but others, too.
Romex (not marine grade stranded wire) used for 110-v. wiring.
Totally inadequate house batteries, inverter, and solar. I replaced my whole electrical system with 640 amp-hours of lithium batteries, 640 watts of solar, and a 3000 watt inverter.
Generator intolerably loud. Better to lose it and use that space for air suspension.
Kitchen sink too small.
High-flow faucet and shower heads (without shutoff on handle) use up all the water too fast--replaced with better units.
Retractable step works randomly. Not at all in cold weather.
Cheap water pump is very loud.
Kenwood stereo/gps hard to use and often locks up.
Some wasted space. Class Bs cannot afford this.

The only upsides are that it is beautiful to look at and it has given me the "opportunity" to spend many weeks on my knees and in tight spaces "tinkering" with repairs and upgrades so that I am beginning to approach the goal of a usable glamper. However, to correct some of the more fundamental deficiencies, such as insulation and space utilization, I would have to completely diasassemble the coach and reassemble from scratch. Which some day I may actually do, since I can't afford an Advanced-RV.
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Old 07-21-2017, 05:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: Airstream quality issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mineralfarmer View Post
I I've replaced them all with push button latches that actually latch.

Totally inadequate house batteries, inverter, and solar. I replaced my whole electrical system with 640 amp-hours of lithium batteries, 640 watts of solar, and a 3000 watt inverter.

Can you please share the info on the latches you've used and the new battery/solar setup?



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Old 07-22-2017, 03:52 PM   #3
73shark
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Default Re: Airstream quality issues

The latches on my 2011 Airstream Interstate were actually controlled by the over_center spring assisted hinges. These hinges were adjustable by tightening or loosening the spring depending on how much force you wanted to hold them closed with.
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Old 07-22-2017, 04:17 PM   #4
avanti
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Default Re: Airstream quality issues

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Originally Posted by 73shark View Post
The latches on my 2011 Airstream Interstate were actually controlled by the over_center spring assisted hinges. These hinges were adjustable by tightening or loosening the spring depending on how much force you wanted to hold them closed with.
The problem with ANY mechanism that doesn't involve a positive latch is that there is often no overlap between the region of adjustment in which it will stay closed under a sharp turn and that in which it is reasonable for a human to conveniently pull it open.
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Old 07-22-2017, 05:18 PM   #5
GeorgeRa
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Default Re: Airstream quality issues

I love my cabinet doors and drawers latches, one finger pull to open, slam to close. Sometime DIY allows to pick best choice disregarding the bottom line. Unfortunately, occasionally DIY project goes to an overkill, a 2x design factor.

George.
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Old 07-22-2017, 06:22 PM   #6
73shark
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Default Re: Airstream quality issues

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Originally Posted by GeorgeRa View Post
I love my cabinet doors and drawers latches, one finger pull to open, slam to close. Sometime DIY allows to pick best choice disregarding the bottom line. Unfortunately, occasionally DIY project goes to an overkill, a 2x design factor.

George.
Very nice work!
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Old 06-07-2018, 09:18 AM   #7
Yaroslav
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Default Re: Airstream quality issues

I love my bus.
However, I am spending hours and hours modifying the flaws of Airstream assemblers.
100% agreed with the topicstarter.
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