Airstream Basecamp Repairs & Warranty Work

Airstream Basecamp

It wouldn’t be RV life without a variety of maintenance issues and repairs!  Life on the road can be tough on your equipment.  From the constant bouncing and shaking as you drive down the road, to drastic changes in weather and elevation, to the extensive use from full-time living. You’ll hear many stories of repairs and maintenance issues, but I’ve always found it hard to find specific details.

Therefore, I will share with you a diary of all the warranty & repair work done on my Basecamp.  This is meant to be a realistic insight into what can be encountered in terms of repairs.  Anything listed below without a price next to it from July 2018 – June 2020 was covered under the Airstream warranty.  I did not purchase an extended warranty for my unit, and the 2018 models came with only a 2 year warranty (most other years are 3).

Both new and used RVs alike will run into a variety of maintenance issues, and it is important to be prepared for these extra expenses and potential downtime. One reason I purchased brand new was due to the warranty.

In regards to time at the dealership, Airstream has always been great in regards to getting items fixed quickly, as I tell them I live full-time in the unit and need it back within a day or two.  However, the one time I did not do this, they had my RV for over 6 weeks.  I learned if I wanted the RV back in a decent amount of time, I just need to be sure to set this expectation up front.

Summary:

Total Cost of Repairs: $0.00
Total Cost of Maintenance: $261.32

July 2018

  • Purchased my 2018 Airstream Basecamp brand new.

January 2019

  • No heat or hot water -required a complete replacement of the Truma Combi Eco Plus unit.
  • Solar control panel stopped working – completely replaced
  • Solar panels were no longer charging the batteries – found to be a loose connection from when the panel was replaced.
  • Piece of exterior black trim was coming loose – applied additional 3M tape
  • Sharp metal barb on bathroom door – was removed and sanded down
  • Minor front window leak – gaps in the sealant were resealed
  • Minor rear door leak – bulb seal was pinched, so it was flattened out and resealed.
  • Missing rivet above passenger side window – replaced
  • Passenger window screen coming loose – resealed and glued
  • Missing screw in rear taillight – replaced

April 2019

  • Water pump continued to run when the water was off – replaced water pump
  • Dealer also found a crack in the city water hookup and the shower valve, so both were replaced.
  • Error code 45 on the Truma and it would not run.  Turned out it had become unplugged in the bench. Plugged it back in and all worked fine.

August 2019

  • Found that when the new Truma was installed, one of the vent covers was not installed.  Therefore, a large char mark was created on the floor inside the bench when the Truma was turned on.  Called Airstream Factory and they sent over a new vent cover.

October 2019

  • New screen door as the bottom had come loose and ripped
  • New glue for shower caddy as it fell off the wall
  • Decals were peeling off the stovetop.  Instead of gluing them down, Airstream replaced the entire stovetop under warranty.

December 2019

  • A couple of rivets from the top propane cover and come loose.  Replaced.
  • New bathroom ceiling fan, as prior one had stopped working.

April 2020

  • Welting (black seal) was coming loose on the front window guard and was hanging down. Reinstalled welting.
  • Bathroom door was warped, so dealer used clamp and straight edge to straighten.
  • Truma vent hose rubbed on the bench lid causing a crack.  Replaced hose.
  • Bottom net on the rear door completely stretched out.  Replaced.
  • Small plastic piece on the fridge was loose. Reinstalled
  • Bottom shelf in the kitchen cabinet was pulling loose. Caulked opening.
  • Aluminum interior panel by passenger side window was loose. Installed L bracket.
  • Maintenance: Dealer repacked wheel bearings and inspected/adjusted brakes. Cleaned drums and hubs. Replaced the seals and applied anti seize: $223.76

June 2020

End of warranty. Ah!

 

Dealer I purchased from:  Colonial Airstream in Lakewood, NJ

 

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10 Comments

  1. yestomkeplerwriting

    Hope you got your heater fixed. In my tiny trailer, I use a Walmart oil heater. It has a thermostat and also can be used with 600, 900, and 1,500 watt settings. Not as elegant as the Basecamp, but it works! I have to keep an eye on the watts I’m pulling, though, something you probably don’t have to worry about with your Basecamp. https://www.greengoddessglamping.com/2019/01/watts-problem-tiny-trailer-electrical.html

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    1. The heater is finally fixed! The oil heater sounds great. A friend let me borrow a Mr Buddy heater which worked well. I should get one of those options as a backup.

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      1. yestomkeplerwriting

        The propane combustion creates condensation–just in case you aren’t aware of that. However, they will work off the grid. 🙂

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  2. Hi Cass,

    Thank you for sharing this info as well as for giving us such a nice tour of your Basecamp (via the “1st Class RV Adventures” channel) on YouTube! We love that you travel with your kids and work hard to keep them happy and safe. What a trio you make! Very inspiring to us!

    We too have a 2018 Basecamp, plus two 4-foots (dogs). We’re very intrigued by a couple of differences between our bed setup and yours: First, you seem to have a split storage bench lid, and split seat-back cushions as well, at least on the curb side. They allow you to have seating during the day in just the front half of the sleep/seating area, leaving ample room for your bedroll in the back. We think this is brilliant! We’re jealous:) Our bench and cushions are *not* split, which means it’s always a real pain to access our bench storage area. Would you tell us how you came to have this type of setup? Did your Basecamp come this way, or did you have modifications done? The other apparent mod that intrigues us is your mattress. Is that a big, floppy latex mattress that you roll back out of the way to make room for daytime seating and a table up front? I’d love to know how you created that super cushy-looking mattress that rolls out of the way like that.

    That’s it! Thanks in advance for kindly taking the time to answer your admiring public 🙂 .

    Happy tails to you!

    Wendy & Tim, 2018 “red rock” décor a/s Basecamp (in Eastern Idaho)

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    1. Hi Wendy! Thanks for checking out our blog! We have the same red rock interior! The bed mod was actually very easy to do and the cushions you have will work fine for it! If you have Facebook, join the Airstream Basecamp group. Then search for “bed mod” in that group and you’ll see the original post with all the dimensions and info on how to do it. Very easy! A few simple cuts and white duct tape is all you need.
      For the bed, I purchased a 3” memory foam from Kohl’s in king size and cut it with a bread knife to fit the Basecamp curves. Then over the top I placed a waterproof mattress cover and a padded mattress cover. Then normal king size fitted sheet and queen size flat sheet. The bed is very comfortable, and folds under itself easily for the setup you saw.
      Let me know if you have any other questions, or topics you would like to see for blog posts!
      Have fun with your Basecamp!

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      1. Thank you so much for your very kind reply, Cass! This is really terrific news! All the details you took time to explain above are VERY much appreciated:). I explained it all to my husband and—thanks to your trouble and kind encouragement—he’s now cool with letting me do the needed mods to make our Basecamp useable. Yay! Because that hard bed has been a major pain! Literally!

        We’ll update you once it’s done (it’ll be awhile as we have a couple of other projects first)—then maybe post pics to the Facebook group page.

        I’m SO glad to have stumbled on your blog. Who knew it would be so *useful* as well as enjoyable! You do all of us Basecampers a great service. Please keep it up!

        Give your furry ones some gentle pats from me:)

        Happy tails!
        Wendy

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      2. Thank you for the kind words Wendy! Would love to hear how the mod went. Hope you make amazing memories in your Basecamp!

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  3. Karen O

    Hi Cass

    I came upon your blog while looking for people who live full time in a Basecamp I am hoping to start my own adventures, also with my dog, this fall.
    I am going back and forth between the Airstream Basecamp and the Oliver. The Oliver Elite is a little bigger than the Basecamp and costs a little more but it does have more amenities. Are you still happy with your Basecamp? I don’t know what other trailers you considered.

    I read your post about the Basecamp issues, that luckily seemed to be covered by warranty, is that all pretty normal in the first year?
    Thanks

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    1. Hi Karen!

      I still love the Basecamp and honestly can’t see us in anything else at this time. I did look at a variety of RVs when I was doing my search. I had to stay under 5,000lbs so I looked at a lot of teardrops (T@Bs mostly), as well as some of the fiber glass RVs (Oliver, older Casitas). I did look at some small regular RVs (I believe Satellite was the name), but I really am not a fan of the standard RV look. I went with the Basecamp mostly due to the kitchen size, all the windows, and the two doors with screens which allow for a lot of airflow.

      As for the repair work, it’s very common with RVs. I have had a few larger things go, such as the Truma, but the other thing to consider is living full-time in a RV you will be using the appliances a lot more. So the warranty has been great for that. It’s hard to tell what a RV may have go wrong with it. I’ve had friends who barely repaired anything, and others in the shop a lot more than me. So it’s just something to be prepared for.

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  4. Nice I really like these, but so much money.

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