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Old 08-11-2020, 02:24 AM   #1
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Default Purchased an Airstream Avenue

Just bought a 2011 Airstream Avenue. Thinking there should be a separate Avenue forum due to the large number of owners out there. Lol. Anyway, after going through it for a few days, I thought I’d list what I’ve found. Not sure if anyone will be interested, but, here goes.

The “bad”:

House batteries were shot. I expected this. Bought a cheap marine battery to get by while inspecting everything.
Driver and passenger seat swivel mechanism will not lock in the forward facing/driving position. Yikes! Good news – there is a recall on this. Awaiting info to get this repaired. Both seats each have one small split on the bottom seat cushion.
The microwave door latch is broken. Will look into replacing the microwave.
Tires are 5 years old. Off brand, but appear to be in good condition – no checking/cracking.
The clear-coat on the roof is shot – peeling all around.
The generator runs well for about 20 minutes, then sputters and dies. I checked the oil, which was a tad low. Those of you who own an Avenue, do you LOVE the access to the generator?! I added oil, didn’t rectify the problem. I suspect the fuel pump or fuel filter. Good news is the previous owner just had a new carb installed.
The freshwater tank drain had been broken off. The tank doesn’t appear to be damaged. Bought a PVC plug, tank now holds water - no apparent leaks. (Thanks to rowiebowie for assistance with this.)
Toilet supply water connection leaks. Awaiting replacement parts.
No macerator. Apparently it was removed and replaced with a regular 3” connection.
The Coleman A/C fan only runs on high speed. Also blows out pieces of foam/insulation.
The Maxxfan lift mechanism is broken. Awaiting parts.
Front “air dam” is cracked. Not very noticeable.
One outside storage lock needs to be replaced.
Needs a good interior cleaning.

The “good”:

Engine and transmission appear to be in good mechanical condition. Runs well, drives well. No rust. 83,000 miles.
The previous owner said that the power awning did not work. It opened a few inches, and, after I gave it some gentle “percussive therapy”, it works just fine, for now.
After the above mentioned freshwater drain replacement, I haven’t found any leaks in the water system.

That seems like a long list. However - so far, repairs don’t look too expensive (other than the clear-coat…..)
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Old 08-11-2020, 04:00 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by vharris View Post
Just bought a 2011 Airstream Avenue. Thinking there should be a separate Avenue forum due to the large number of owners out there. Lol. Anyway, after going through it for a few days, I thought I’d list what I’ve found. Not sure if anyone will be interested, but, here goes.

I my be the only one, but I'm all ears.

The “bad”:

House batteries were shot. I expected this. Bought a cheap marine battery to get by while inspecting everything. Same thing on mine. Bought two cheap Duracell Deep Cycles and used them two years until I got tired of the corrosion and difficulty checking/filling water. Made the upgrade to lithiums.
Driver and passenger seat swivel mechanism will not lock in the forward facing/driving position. Yikes! Good news – there is a recall on this. Hopefully Airstream has your VIN# as being under the recall. My model had the same problem (spring detached that holds pin in place) by my VIN# was not within the recall so Airstream declined to fix. But they generously offered to sell me a new seat mechanism for $100+ (what sweethearts ). Since I never swivel the Driver's seat (mine has the wet bath immediately behind) I came up with a fix that holds the pin in place.) But that will only work if you have the pins. Awaiting info to get this repaired. Both seats each have one small split on the bottom seat cushion.
The microwave door latch is broken. Will look into replacing the microwave. Don't know how your model's microwave is mounted, but mine comes neatly out with 4 screws in the surrounding vent that doubles as the compressor fridges upper ventilation.
Tires are 5 years old. Off brand, but appear to be in good condition – no checking/cracking.
The clear-coat on the roof is shot – peeling all around. My clear coat just started going this Spring and boy is it going fast. My only quote so far was $3500 .
The generator runs well for about 20 minutes, then sputters and dies. Mine did that for the first year or more I owned it. Very frustrating. But as I've used ethenol free gas with fuel stabilizer and run it regularly, the problem resolved itself so now I finally like my generator. I checked the oil, which was a tad low. Those of you who own an Avenue, do you LOVE the access to the generator?! I filed edges of the crudley cut opening through the rear bumper so I no longer bleed as much. But at least we don't have to crawl under. Check your exhaust hanging strap as my rubber cracked and I replaced the hanger just before it let go. I added oil, didn’t rectify the problem. I suspect the fuel pump or fuel filter. Good news is the previous owner just had a new carb installed.
The freshwater tank drain had been broken off. The tank doesn’t appear to be damaged. Yeah, we talked about this. Glad is was an easy fix. Bought a PVC plug, tank now holds water - no apparent leaks. (Thanks to rowiebowie for assistance with this.)
Toilet supply water connection leaks. Awaiting replacement parts. Is it a threaded connection or pex crimp?
No macerator. Apparently it was removed and replaced with a regular 3” connection. Just removed, not replaced. Your missing macerator was just beyonet twisted on and was held by a 3" clamp to support it's weight.
The Coleman A/C fan only runs on high speed. Also blows out pieces of foam/insulation. My blower fan cage started to drop and was making noise and spitting out black plastic shavings. I replaced with Coleman Mach 8 Plus that is quieter by virture of actually having a medium fan speed. It was an fairly easy Plug & Play swap.
The Maxxfan lift mechanism is broken. Awaiting parts. During my replacement, I found it best to not have the vent completly extended (instead backed off a turn from full open - but I can't recall exactly what that helped).
Front “air dam” is cracked. Not very noticeable.
One outside storage lock needs to be replaced. I have a replacement part # for a keyed lock if you need it. I replaced all of mine.
Needs a good interior cleaning.

The “good”:

Engine and transmission appear to be in good mechanical condition. Runs well, drives well. No rust. 83,000 miles.
The previous owner said that the power awning did not work. It opened a few inches, and, after I gave it some gentle “percussive therapy”, it works just fine, for now. It can jam if the legs aren't stowed properly.
After the above mentioned freshwater drain replacement, I haven’t found any leaks in the water system.

That seems like a long list. However - so far, repairs don’t look too expensive (other than the clear-coat…..)
Doesn't sound too bad. My list was longer, but then things went out over time, not all at once when I purchased.
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Old 08-11-2020, 06:06 AM   #3
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I posted earlier today on adjusting the swivels in my van.

https://www.classbforum.com/forums/f...tml#post114317

we have never used our microwave...we use it to store plates and bowls...we might use it someday, so there it sits.


I've also posted on tires-

https://www.classbforum.com/forums/f...ons-10460.html

so maybe you have the rare airstream, but you have many chevy brothers

Mike
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Old 08-11-2020, 12:47 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mkguitar View Post

so maybe you have the rare airstream, but you have many chevy brothers

Mike
So true and thanks. I always point out that Avenue floor plans are basically just a long wheel based Roadtrek 170 (vharris' model) or a 190P with the galley and bath sides reversed (like mine).

Airstream does do great cabinetry and I'm glad the Avenues have the standard roof a/c setup (although low profile a/c is a must). With led lights and compressor fridges, Avenues were a bit ahead of their time.

But other components are standard class b for their production era (2010-2013) and execution of some features makes me scratch my head. For example, insulation was hit & miss (as though they gave their insulation guy half of what was needed and just told him "Do your best"). Rear reading lamps that can't be adjusted for reading due to their mounting position. No lower ventilation for the compressor fridge (and I mean zero). But as all of us have done, I've made my modifications/enhancements to fix these items.

Vharris owns a Roadtrek 210 and has owned a 190P, so he can give a better direct comparison than me.
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Old 08-11-2020, 02:40 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by rowiebowie View Post
Airstream does do great cabinetry
I don't know if this was true in 2011, but it certainly wasn't true in 2005. As was typical with our old Interstate, the materials were generally good, but the workmanship was monumentally crappy: Warped doors; constantly loosening euro-hinges; peeling laminate; mis-alignments everywhere; plastic sliding doors attached with adhesives that lasted maybe a year, etc. etc.

In evaluating any Airstream product, you have to have the discipline to look past the name and the glitz and take a cold, hard look at the details, especially in the places that don't show.

These vans have a lot going for them, and by the time we sold ours, I had addressed so many issues that it was in better-than-new condition. But, as it came from the factory, it was a disgrace to the name.
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Old 08-11-2020, 03:15 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by avanti View Post
I don't know if this was true in 2011, but it certainly wasn't true in 2005. As was typical with our old Interstate, the materials were generally good, but the workmanship was monumentally crappy: Warped doors; constantly loosening euro-hinges; peeling laminate; mis-alignments everywhere; plastic sliding doors attached with adhesives that lasted maybe a year, etc. etc.

In evaluating any Airstream product, you have to have the discipline to look past the name and the glitz and take a cold, hard look at the details, especially in the places that don't show.

These vans have a lot going for them, and by the time we sold ours, I had addressed so many issues that it was in better-than-new condition. But, as it came from the factory, it was a disgrace to the name.
Airstream definitely fixed the cabinetry on my year (2012). But I'm also on airforums and the complaints on Airstream build quality (mainly on their trailers) is often a horror story. Some focusing on build quality and others on poor components. Their solar controllers are a joke, but boy does that billet aluminum wall monitor look snazzy.

I've heard good things about Pleasureway and; at least anecdotally; they seem to be tops in quality. With many new members having Ascents on order, I guess we'll find out in six months.
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Old 08-16-2020, 05:28 PM   #7
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I had the exact same issue with my Onan when I purchased my '08 Roadtrek 210 in 2017. Attached was my resolution, which was cheap since I was able to do it with some help from my brother who had the jacks and the nice big, level concrete pad.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Onan Generator Pump Repl_Relocate Project_v2.pdf (479.0 KB, 8 views)
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Old 08-16-2020, 06:03 PM   #8
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Saving the file!


Nice one thank you.


BTW a good controllable jack for a job like this is a motorcycle jack- this style


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Old 08-16-2020, 06:14 PM   #9
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That would be a great jack for lowering/raising the Onan (at least in my rig). Forgot to add that since the fuel pump replacement/relocation, the Onan has run flawlessly, even in 100+ temps. Also, I use only Top Tier gasoline in my rig, and perform the monthly maintenance run (2 hours under 50%+ load) with gas treated with Seafoam.
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Old 08-16-2020, 07:32 PM   #10
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I found my motorcycle lift very useful tool to mount Onan on my trailer or all tanks on the Sprinter. It sits low under the bench but when needed it turns into gold.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ZZGR0164.jpg (986.2 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg ZZGR0174.jpg (1.04 MB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg ZZGR0178.jpg (943.4 KB, 2 views)
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