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Post by Tarnished » Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:01 pm

Is the quality of the 80's Avions equal to, less then or better then the pre '77 models? I've been in the 60's and early 70's models but not the 80's models.

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Re: Quality

Post by nralifer » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:26 pm

I will be interested to hear from people who have had experience with multiple vintages of Avions.

I can say that I am happy with the overall "quality" of our 1987 Avion 34W.

I wonder how these trailers fared when they were new, and what warranty "fixes" might have been necessary or common?

My folks had an early 80's 34V, and I don't remember them needing to take theirs back to the local dealer for anything!! But, my dad is a Mr. Fix-it, too, so he might have taken care of some things himself.... I'll ask him sometime.
1987 Avion 34W
Every day is a good day..... some are just better than others!

Posts: 51
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2016 12:46 pm

Re: Quality

Post by russedgar » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:15 pm

Hey nralifer,

We now have a 1984 30R. We are working on it to make it our own. We are actually happy with the build quality of the overall trailer.

However, our 1990 34 XB was a far superior trailer. The cabinets were vastly better and of higher quality.

The lighting and outlets was much better.

We are painting the 30R cabinets for the redo. We would not consider painting the cabinets of the 34XB. They were real solid oak.

Best regards,

1984 30R
2005 Dodge 3500 Cummins

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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:54 pm

Re: Quality

Post by Rostam » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:55 pm

We have a 1978 Avion, the first year of the "new" body style Avions (1978-1987). We bought the trailer 2 years ago (it was sitting in a barn in Michigan), so it was a 37 year old trailer at the time. I took the trailer for inspection and was told that there is an issue with the water pump and that they could spend an hour to fix it, or just replace it with a new water pump for the same amount of money. I had them replace it. Other than that everything worked in a 37 year old trailer! I have since made upgrades, etc, but I firmly believe Avion trailers (along with Silver Streak, Spartan, Streamline, and Bowlus) are the pinnacle of quality when it comes to RVs. I expect 80's Avions to be no different than 70's Avions (if not better).

I am digressing here, but I read Airforums and shake my head when I see people spending over $100k on an Airstream and the bathroom mirror falls off after the first trip, trailer leaks after the first rain, AC dies after a week, frame rusting on a recently purchased trailer, and the skin is corroding. Sub-par frame, nearly no insulation, and you need the most complex hitch in the market to just tow it down the highway or it will fishtail like crazy. So Many people seem to be having towing stability issues and hitch and tire upgrades and travel to Canada to fix the the issue seem very routine. I am yet to hear an Avion owner face an unsolvable stability issue that requires hitch/etc upgrade. Anyway, Airforum is a bubble where people think they have the first/best/most stable/most expensive RV ever and they do not allow facts to get in the way :)
1978 Avion 26-H (Rear twin beds, center bath, front dinette)
2012 Mercedes Benz GL 350 Bluetec, 3.0L V6 Turbo Diesel, 3.45 Axle Ratio

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Re: Quality

Post by nralifer » Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:22 pm

Hi, Rostam.

I agree with you about the Airstream comments. I quit "contributing" much on that site, but in the past I did add my two cents in those "quality" threads, and didn't hesitate letting them know that our Avions are a far superior trailer. Some that come to mind are the ones that mention "frame flex" on the Airstreams, interior doors and drawers flying open while on the road, clothes and/or hangers falling off of clothes rods in the closets, interior rivets shearing off, and basic fit/finish. And, I liked responding to (laughing, usually) some of the ludicrous make-it-fit combinations that our friend in Canada comes up with.

From the reading I have done about the history of Avions, Silver Streaks, Streamlines, etc, most have commented that they started because they knew they could build a better trailer. If I was money-bags, there was a beautiful 1981 Silver Streak for sale in Indiana last year that would be sitting in MY backyard next to our Avion! As a matter of fact, we saw a very nice Silver Streak as we were driving through Vinita, OK yesterday afternoon..... nice to see someone enjoying that one!

We "Avioners" seem to be a much more independent, non-herd-minded bunch.
1987 Avion 34W
Every day is a good day..... some are just better than others!

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Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:50 am
Location: Sunset Valley, TX

Re: Quality

Post by RISK » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:28 pm

I started with a '64 Silverstreak Sabre, what I think of as history's futuristic tank. What an amazingly built trailer. Still have it.

The purchase of a '77 Airstream Sovereign opened my eyes to what crap a pretty package can hide. After a year of rabbit hole after rabbit hole with that thing I went searching for an Avion. The Sovereign is almost ready to have the shell lifted so the frame can be fixed and every other damn thing that is wrong with it addressed. I will finish it, and I'll get a boatload of cash when I sell it because it'll be a damn nice trailer when I'm done, and people go googoo eyed when they see blue letters that spell Airstream.

Our '78/79 (built in September of 1978, sold as a 1979 model) Avion 28M is what a travel trailer should be. Stout, well thought out (for the most part, I do have some questions...) and fairly easy to address major issues should that arise. While a bit heavier then the longer AS, it tows much better. The interior, while having some interesting design choices, is top notch. I will say that my doors and drawer faces are particle board, albeit, laminated with some really nice wood. Sorry, those will have to go. I loathe particle board even though it resists warping. It's heavy and it just plain freaks me out. One of my favorite features is the curved wall on the backside of the shower stall. Being in the middle of the coach, it acts a central design anchor for the interior. It's just a simple curved wall, but I find it's indicative of the attention given to the design and build of the trailer.

As for that other forum, it's pretty entertaining to see how riled up they get over the smallest affront to their sacred aluminum money pits. There was a thread recently touting Airstream only campgrounds and I chimed in that it seemed a bit creepy, that was fun. In truth, it was so elitist that it almost came off as, dare I say it, racist. I used the term "alumacist".
Had to bow out of that thread before I said something I really wanted to say.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand... I've been in probably 8 Avions in various states of condition, even the worst one seemed pretty darn good. Like anything, mantainence is key. Though it's nice to start with a leg up.


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Re: Quality

Post by silverloaf » Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:58 pm

Before we purchased our 1988 30P 3 months ago, we had absolutely no experience in travel trailers. We had attended several RV shows in anticipation of buying one next year. But they all lacked warmth, charm, and any element of design.

It seems most Avion owners in this forum have positive comments on their trailer's quality, regardless of the year built. This is quite amazing considering the company was owned by 3 different companies; Avion Coach (1955), Ligon Enterprises (1967) and finally Fleetwood (1970).

It's hard for me to make a quality assessment on our 29-year-old-trailer. There can be a fine line between dubious assembly practices, neglect of previous owners, bad repairs and the forces of nature. I've shaken my head many times during the re-construction process.

The entire RV industry went though a major disruption in 1970 due to the oil embargo and skyrocketing gasoline prices. Fleetwood couldn't have purchased Avion at a worst possible time; many trailer manufacturers closed their doors. "Cost at all costs" would have been a dominant theme for any RV company like Fleetwood.

It's a history question to ask Chuck Cayo as to the changes in quality after his family sold Avion Coach in 1967. Being in the trailer repair business, I'm sure he's seen it all. I'll do it the next time we talk and report out here.


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