The Adventures of Airstream Mikie

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Service notes

I finally got a free day to take the Airstream in for some warranty work.
1.  The monitor panel was replaced and now my black water tank level indicates correctly.
2.  The incredibly loud water pump was a simple matter of the hoses banging against each other, and all is now much quieter.  What a relief, and a pleasant surprise that it was so simple to fix.
3.  A couple of fit-and-finish issues with weatherstripping were taken care of, but one became un-fixed almost immediately.  So I get to put it on the list for next time.
4.  After several attempts, it is now fixed: the screw that was missing and could not stay in to the support for the dump hose storage tube.

Not bad, really.  Except for:
1.  Still need hole drilled to accept the removable tongue wheel.   The next time will be the 3rd request.

It's interesting to me that there is no formal document created when you bring your Airstream in for service.  There is nothing to sign to say this is what you want done, no estimate of costs, and nothing to sign to say you have received your Airstream back.  Nothing at all to say who did the work, how long it took, and of course, no records that would show how many times something was requested and not done, or had to be redone.  Without this information, there can be no measurable quality control.  And, in business, if it can not be measured, it can not be managed.  It's a completely different experience when I bring my Toyota FJ Cruiser in for service!

But, on balance, I was in and out of there in no time at all, and time passed very quickly as I toured the other Airstreams on the lot, looking for my next upgrade, feeding my aluminum lust.  It was interesting seeing how much nicer the new ones are than my bare-bones model.  For now, I've got plenty to keep me busy...

For example, the Yamaha inverter arrived and, with help, gave it a try, and it ran the TV and the microwave, but it couldn't start the Air Conditioner.  It was a hot day, maybe 85 degrees, and it takes extra power to start an AC unit, but at least 6 tries it gave a power overload reset on the inverter.  Disappointing.  This is the inverter that was recommended for this model by Airstream...

The inverter is huge and heavy (79 lbs.).  There is no way I'm going to schlep that critter around.   So that means mounting it in the rear of the Toyota, and running it with the hatch door open.  Seems like it will be necessary to do some custom work to make it work right in that space.

My concern is that it is too small a unit to be satisfactory.  If it can't run all the appliances simultaneously, it is sub-optimal.
On the plus side, a larger unit would have an option for wireless starting, which certainly seems much more civilized than the raw work of this lower rated model.  But it's going to cost a lot more money, be lots heavier, take up more space, noisier...

And the beat goes on...

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