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Old 08-19-2014, 08:56 AM   #2061
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I couldn't agree with you more completely...(I'd rather pay extra for a better alloy than for ducted air, for example).
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Old 08-19-2014, 10:48 AM   #2062
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I have come to believe that over the years airstream has lowered the quality of the aluminum. Which means they could make a better product. Just read what is here and then take a look at the older models. Plus look at aluminum used on other items and the better resistance to corrosion. Anyone buying an airstream is already making a statement that they will pay more for quality. I an not saying I want to pay Bowlus prices, but if for a % more I can get aluminum that will last then I consider it. Bottom line is that better aluminum exhist than the kind airstream uses.
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Old 08-19-2014, 12:18 PM   #2063
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Corrosion problems with new Airstreams

They sell the stainless steel version of the range vent as a accessory on their website.


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Old 08-19-2014, 02:11 PM   #2064
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I have come to believe that over the years airstream has lowered the quality of the aluminum. Which means they could make a better product. Just read what is here and then take a look at the older models. Plus look at aluminum used on other items and the better resistance to corrosion. Anyone buying an airstream is already making a statement that they will pay more for quality. I an not saying I want to pay Bowlus prices, but if for a % more I can get aluminum that will last then I consider it. Bottom line is that better aluminum exhist than the kind airstream uses.
The aluminum is not the cause of filiform corrosion on the Airstream shell. it's the Alcoa factory clear coating that Alcoa puts on to make a longer lasting surface finish than Airstream has ever had. Except when they had no finish and just weathered (corroded) to a dull gray.

The problem is when Airstream cuts the panels to fit and punches about 1500 holes in them for rivets. The moisture and salt starts at the edges of these cuts, then travels as corrosion between the Alcoa factory finish and aluminum to give us filiform corrosion.

Protect or seal these edges so the moisture/salt cannot enter and the filiform cannot happen. Who knows why Airstream doesn't do it, doesn't matter to me because I know my Airstream panel edges/rivet holes are unprotected. So I know it's an Airstream maintenance item and I do it myself.

A complete treatment of CorrosionX to the rivets and edges takes maybe an hour. Another 15 minutes for the underbody steel parts. And I catch any new nicks or scratches while I'm at it, because they will corrode the same way. How long it protects depends on the Airstream's exposure to coastal and northern road salts and how many potato chips we munched before using the aluminum boarding handle to go into our Airstream.

On the coast wash and treat often, in the desert worry about the sun eating your seals, sealants, and exterior plastic (Aerospace 303 says their product will protect this as well, so another maintenance item).
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Old 08-20-2014, 10:06 PM   #2065
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I have not yet done the 303 product application to rubber bits
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:15 AM   #2066
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It's clear that Airstream doesn't see corrosion as their problem. As noted by others there is no detailed instructions on how to prevent or repair. On this thread are numerous ideas but no clear instruction for Airstream. Dealers as far as I know do not offer a preventive maintenance service. There must be some legal reason for this but it's too bad as it leaves it to owners to find an approach.....whether it works or not.
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Old 08-21-2014, 09:52 AM   #2067
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pagoff, that's the message we get as well. It's up to us to maintain our Airstreams, an old-fashioned idea.

This is a good thread for methods that work but it's become clogged and hard to find the good stuff. And it's regional, depends on where you live and travel. I wish we could have a thread restricted to maintenance and repair, and another restricted to complaints and lawsuits.
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Old 08-21-2014, 10:02 AM   #2068
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Who out there has a newer Airstream (say from 2001 through the current model year) that has the dreaded white spider veins AKA: form fill corrosion?

I know that Dmac had this and I do recall others saying they their shells had issues. I'm wondering now how widespread this issue may be. IMHO, this issue started on my trailer back in spring of 2005. The factory replaced all 4 of my rims and both cast alum tail lights. Not only has the corrosion come back on all 4 rims and both cast alum tail lights, but it now appears to be all over the body on both the exterior alum skins and the outside door trims.

A conversation with support in Jackson Center suggested that I lightly sand down the spots and apply clear fingernail polish to it. Do you know how bad my Safari would look after that given all the locations where this is??!!?? Asked what they felt was causing this because others also have seen this and I got no response.

You can view pictures here:

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If there are a number of us out there, perhaps it's time we grouped together. I can't believe a $50k RV (and in some cases, a heck of a lot more) is doing this at only 1.5 years old and is 10x worse now a 3.5 years old. Anyone know how to start a class action if there are enough of us??
Doug, I respectfully suggest you stick to the topic and if you wish to start a mainenance thread, by all means do so. The original poster made quite clear his intentions in starting this thread. It annoys some of us who would benefit from a class action suit that others would rather acquiesce and accept the challenge of maintaining a clearly defective product. Thor has mitigated the issue on the beltline somewhat, but for those of us with mid 2000's trailers, it is still a sore point and I see their action of adding a beltline trim to more recent models as admission of the MANUFACTURING DEFECT. I know you had an affected model and you probably took a pretty big hit when you sold it... Others like you, who perhaps have not yet sold their units, have a vested interest in seeing this issue resolved.
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Old 08-21-2014, 10:47 AM   #2069
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Doug, I respectfully suggest you stick to the topic and if you wish to start a mainenance thread, by all means do so. The original poster made quite clear his intentions in starting this thread. It annoys some of us who would benefit from a class action suit that others would rather acquiesce and accept the challenge of maintaining a clearly defective product. Thor has mitigated the issue on the beltline somewhat, but for those of us with mid 2000's trailers, it is still a sore point and I see their action of adding a beltline trim to more recent models as admission of the MANUFACTURING DEFECT. I know you had an affected model and you probably took a pretty big hit when you sold it... Others like you, who perhaps have not yet sold their units, have a vested interest in seeing this issue resolved.
Hi, I originally ordered my 2005 Safari with the Classic belt line molding; I did this mainly for looks. I do have a few small spots of corrosion creeping from under this molding.
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Old 08-21-2014, 11:28 AM   #2070
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Yes, I suspected that might happen, and particularly on the newer FC models with the trim if Thor has still to identify the need to seal that upper shell piece after riveting. As I mentioned earlier, those who have had floor rot due to a lack of sealant on the bottom segment where it meets the pan, know how difficult it is to remove the bottom beltline to fix what should have been addressed at the time of manufacture.

What this means is you simply cannot cover up the defect. I would recommend to Thor that they admit publicly their defects and send a team of specialists out to fix all the affected trailers. Anything less is simply not good enough.

Contrast their handling of the reflective deficiency recall in which they had as an option the return of the affected trailers to the dealer, at the expense of the owner, to have them affix a reflective strip... Smart folk ordered the parts and did it themselves. In the case of corrosion it is not a safety violation, but a quality issue. Compare their operating model to how Tesla (another premier brand), deals with their customers... Battery upgrades FOR FREE! Now that's a great company!

Quality defects are a great concern for brands. I worked at Intel in the 90s and was there during the great "Pentium Flaw" debacle. I spent the better part of what would have been my Christmas break, manning phones along with 500 other dedicated employees, to accept orders for replacement chips... NO QUESTIONS ASKED. To some it was a minor flaw, but it didn't matter. Grove tried to explain it away by posting an engineers perspective on the matter on a usenet forum, which only made the issue more public , and management soon recognized it was better to deal with the issue. It was an early lesson in the power of the internet and social media. In the end, we accepted tens of thousands of returned chips. In hindsight, the company realized it was a great PR thing and the publicity alone and good will generated toward the brand was worth way more than the cost of replacing the chips! Thor could learn from this.
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Old 08-21-2014, 12:31 PM   #2071
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Tomz, seven years this thread has been active and zero progress and not much more interest in lawsuits.

Meantime most of us have learned and benefitted from the many, many folks who have taken the time to learn how to treat, mitigate, and repair filiform corrosion and posted here photos and descriptions of a variety of successful methods. These threads wander, and sometimes to everyone's good.

The lawsuit crap doesn't interest me but I do follow and contribute to what has become a very useful and successful maintenance thread.
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Old 08-21-2014, 12:33 PM   #2072
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Old 08-21-2014, 01:24 PM   #2073
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Performing tedious maintenance to make up for a manufacturer's negligence and defects is not my idea of Recreation. Nor do I have the leisure time to deal with it. I just want Thor to stand up and do what's right as many others do. This thread has not died for a reason and is testament to the broad impact it is having on the owner community. This thread is one of the most read in the board history. That speaks for itself. I am one who values the shared experiences of other owners and the simple fact that this affects so many makes it a popular topic. I don't mind the maintenance tips but I personally am tired of those who come on this thread and complain about those who seek to get remedy from Thor... It was started to try to come to grips with what is a real problem with this trailer and a manufacturer that refuses to stand behind it. Lets keep the pressure on Thor to do what is right and if nothing else warn would be owners of the lack of follow through of a vendor who refuses to stand behind their product.
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Old 08-21-2014, 03:08 PM   #2074
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Tomz, the tedious maintenance takes me about an hour once a quarter to apply CorrosionX, touch up the nicks, and has kept our Airstream totally corrosion free after three years. Those on the coast or tow through northern road salt will have to wash, treat and repair more often.

The basis for a settlement is poor for us who have learned to follow this simple regimen, and we learned it right here in this thread.

The reality is we have learned nothing of value in the lawsuit discussion, Thor isn't reading it and could care less because Airstream Service Center fixes corrosion daily and has all the first hand input they need, and future owners are in a six month waiting line outside their door.

This is a good thread and it's value is not in the lawsuit discussion, that's a dead horse.
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Old 08-21-2014, 04:27 PM   #2075
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If someone wants to file suit against Airstream go for it. Personally I bought my Airstream eyes wide open, warts and all. I have no grounds for sueing anyone. Once I get my trailers issues cleaned up it will take me a few minutes a year to maintain it. I am retired and my time is cheap these days.
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Old 08-21-2014, 06:15 PM   #2076
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It annoys some of us who would benefit from a class action suit that others would rather acquiesce and accept the challenge of maintaining a clearly defective product. ... Thor has mitigated the issue on the beltline somewhat, but for those of us with mid 2000's trailers, it is still a sore point and I see their action of adding a beltline trim to more recent models as admission of the MANUFACTURING DEFECT.
I am old enough (as so many on this forum) to remember all those cars with peeling paint in the 1990s. A class action suit was filed in Texas over peeling paint on Ford trucks (http://airwolf.lmtonline.com/news/ar...10/pagea11.pdf). That suit continued to the Texas Supreme Court where the "class" was not certified (https://www.supreme.courts.state.tx....y/980539TP.pdf) which I, as a non-lawyer, assume means that the suits would have had to be filed individually.

Chrysler seems to have taken an approach of individual repair (Winners Against Chrysler in Paint Problems). I am unable to find any record on the internet of a class-action suit against Chrysler regarding the peeling paint problem. Airstream's approach seems to be similar to what Chrysler did.

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Old 08-21-2014, 11:30 PM   #2077
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Doug, I respectfully suggest you stick to the topic and if you wish to start a mainenance thread, by all means do so. The original poster made quite clear his intentions in starting this thread. It annoys some of us who would benefit from a class action suit that others would rather acquiesce and accept the challenge of maintaining a clearly defective product. Thor has mitigated the issue on the beltline somewhat, but for those of us with mid 2000's trailers, it is still a sore point and I see their action of adding a beltline trim to more recent models as admission of the MANUFACTURING DEFECT. I know you had an affected model and you probably took a pretty big hit when you sold it... Others like you, who perhaps have not yet sold their units, have a vested interest in seeing this issue resolved.

Tom, you make a good point about Silvertwinkle's intentions with his first posts from so long ago. And, the idea of Class action has come up several times since--if you read through the entire thread, I have. However, you only need to go through the first few posts and owners are already posting ways they are finding to deal with the problems also. The thread has been a place for years to vent frustrations with Thor and this problem, but I present to you that the real value gained is the maintenance procedures posted here, shared by those who have worked to minimize and stop or prevent this problem. To say "stick to the topic" and "start a maintenance thread" elsewhere is one; way too late, and two; not at all proper now since this thread is where the vast body of self help concerning Filiform now resides.
I would suggest a new thread designated to those who want to specifically discuss a class action suit.

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Old 08-23-2014, 06:28 AM   #2078
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Thanks Howard, for the thoughtful reply. My suggestion to Doug was simply a reply to his suggestion that the thread split. I too, have read through nearly the entire thread, and have been subscribed for a couple of years now. I've tried a few of the suggested remedies without satisfaction.

I believe if there is enough interest, the folks who continue to argue for a real remedy, one that demonstrates Thor's interest in standing behind their product, will generate perhaps some private discussion among affected owners. Sooner or later, a good legal professional may choose to step up and take on the case. We have a pretty aggressive legal litigation environment here in Florida, so I would hope a similar minded attorney might take it up and file the suit here.

In the meantime, I would suggest that we all display a bit of tolerance to each other and stop calling each other out for distracting from the issue, whichever approach you might take. We are all airstreamers by choice and we need to respect each others methods for dealing with this. I feel I bought a defective product and I have yet to see Thor address it in any meaningful way, either by remedy or by acknowledgement of the issue, and publishing a remedy for maintaining the product. Nor am I satisfied they have improved their processes to eliminate it for future owners. That to me is unacceptable. I will speak with my wallet and never own another Thor product as log as this situation persists. In the meantime, let the discussions continue!
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Old 08-23-2014, 06:33 AM   #2079
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Thor will not miss you or the rest of us on the forums. We are a small minority and only part of us see this as a major problem. Good luck. Jim
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Old 08-23-2014, 06:58 AM   #2080
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It's a major problem and many are leaving Airstream products as word leaks out because of the internet postings, especially as these newer Airstreams are starting to age and issues are really starting to manifest.

After owning three modern Airstreams I was asked at a dealership for my opinion if I were to buy another and I had to say - not till they improve quality on the Aluminum structure and address the corrosion issues.

The little things can be fixed but the frame and aluminum shell and all the riveted accessories need to be sorted from the factory.

Ever watch the side of your Airstream when deploying the Zeep Dee Awning?

I do think they will get sorted but for now buying an Airstream warrants patience and acceptance of a product subpar when compaired with other trailers in similar price points.
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