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Old 04-07-2014, 06:47 AM   #1849
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So what you are saying is no trailers should be delivered in the winter! These things cannot be shipped in enclosed trailers. Bambi's are sometimes delivered on flat beds. Jim
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Old 04-07-2014, 02:17 PM   #1850
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Who wouldn't be saddened to drop a bundle on a new Airstream only to find filiform corrosion around beltlines and rivets within a year. My 2008 International showed signs of corrosion the day I brought it home off the dealer's lot here in Houston. The factory reps kept saying corrosion is not covered under warranty but if I brought the AS to the factory they would see what they could do. Well, I tried the remedies of light sanding, corrosionX and clear coat and they worked to some extent. The repairs were never perfect but I got the white worms to stop growing around the belt line and around the rivets. My repairs to the door handle and light plinth blocks were not so successful. Still, the corrosion kept coming.

Last summer, nearly five years after I purchased my International AS, I finally made it to the factory. To my surprise, the factory did bend over backwards to help me out. Mainly, after some discussion, they provided new parts for the light stands and door handle and a beauty belt that encircles the entire AS and covers the center rivet line. I paid for the labor. The belt line is the same material that they have been putting on all AS since 2010 and some higher end ones since way before that. You cannot believe how much better the trailer looks with this cosmetic fix. AS did treat the belt line rivets as I had done many times and sealed the top of the beauty strip. Sure, I know that the filiform may someday creep out again but for now the fix seems to be working. The newer light stands have a smooth base and a gasket that should not cut into the clear coat. So, if you can drag your AS to the factory and stay calm explaining how disappointed you are, you too many get some relief. The parts alone probably would have cost me around $600 and labor was around $500. I am sure the factory spent more than 5 hours of labor but I was happy.

One area of disappointment. I wanted to talk to their engineer about the shoddy work I observed in the factory. No wonder the belt line corrodes. Four men still pick up sheets of aluminum and drag them across a concrete floor covered in rivet parks and metal shavings. College students are used as temporary workers and motivation seemed lacking. One I watched was to use a roller to paint a coat of sealer around the edge of the plywood floor. I bet he missed 15% of the edge with the paint. Even though 30 of us were watching, his attitude seemed to be that he could care less. I had mixed emotions about the nearly finished A Streams on the final line. Each one had several pages of exception reports for things that were missed in the assembly process. On the plus side, someone with quality control had gone through the new AS and found the oversites. On the negative side, each rig had dozens upon dozens of things wrong. From experience, I can tell you AS factory does not begin to catch them all. Although pleased that the factory took my filiform seriously even though my AS was long out of warranty, it was disappointing they would not provide me with someone who could improve the process of dragging the aluminum skins across the factory floor. This is such an easy problem to solve with today's technology. I can just see every nick and ding on the edge becoming a new entry point for filiform worms to start working.

There still is nothing out there like an AS, but as the prices skyrocket, Thor should take some responsibility to improve their manufacturing process and customer satisfaction at the same time.






Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard L. View Post
Matt, I feel sure no one was blaming "us", the owners. Every one of us (and I hate this comment, but I'll use it) feel your pain. I'm not going to repeat the words I used when I first found a good bit of Filiform on my brand new trailer, but I was pissed. However, you know what, no one who comes up to praise the Flying Cloud when we are camping notice any of the problems. I see it, but no one else does. Plus, It's surface only and does not effect integrity.
Think about it, if you bought a brand new automobile where all body panels were flat rolled metal, then primed and painted, then formed to the shape of doors, fenders, etc. and then finally riveted and bolted together there would be places where the paint would be compromised. If you parked it next to the beach for a couple of weeks, I'm going to bet you some rust would show up on a skinned edge, next to a bolt or rivet , etc.
I know this thread is overpowering, but go back through anyway. Doug, Robert Cross and many others have been dealing with this as preventative maint. Issue for years and have found successful ways to stop it and repair it. I will tell you from my own experience, once you have followed suggestions here and touched up missing clear coat areas you will have major control of the problem. How often you actually do the preventative maint. Is up to you, but at least after every wash job, go over, look at every rivet, light fixture, exposed seam edge and especially the rounded surfaces of the end caps. Corrosion X and re-clear coat any little white lines that have shown up.
Filiform or not, it's still Airstream and there is no substitute.
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Old 04-07-2014, 04:05 PM   #1851
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"All that glitters is not gold"
Three weeks ago I picked up my new 23' Flying Cloud, brought it home and tucked it in my garage. After reading about corrosion issues and build quality I've spent the last two days crawling underneath mine, cleaning, scrubbing and applying T-9. I've found three panels that have rivets that have pulled out or were never punched through causing the panel to sag about 1/4 inch in spots.....disappointing for sure.
I also found gobs of silicon on the roof seam that has pushed out and appears like sloppy application at best. Is what it is, but............I understand it's not a BMW (I've owned many) or a Ferrari, I've raced many, but I expected better.
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:40 PM   #1852
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregU View Post
Who wouldn't be saddened to drop a bundle on a new Airstream only to find filiform corrosion around beltlines and rivets within a year. My 2008 International showed signs of corrosion the day I brought it home off the dealer's lot here in Houston.......

.......Last summer, nearly five years after I purchased my International AS, I finally made it to the factory.........

One area of disappointment. I wanted to talk to their engineer about the shoddy work I observed in the factory. No wonder the belt line corrodes. Four men still pick up sheets of aluminum and drag them across a concrete floor covered in rivet parks and metal shavings. College students are used as temporary workers and motivation seemed lacking. One I watched was to use a roller to paint a coat of sealer around the edge of the plywood floor. I bet he missed 15% of the edge with the paint. Even though 30 of us were watching, his attitude seemed to be that he could care less. I had mixed emotions about the nearly finished A Streams on the final line. Each one had several pages of exception reports for things that were missed in the assembly process. On the plus side, someone with quality control had gone through the new AS and found the oversites. On the negative side, each rig had dozens upon dozens of things wrong. From experience, I can tell you AS factory does not begin to catch them all. Although pleased that the factory took my filiform seriously even though my AS was long out of warranty, it was disappointing they would not provide me with someone who could improve the process of dragging the aluminum skins across the factory floor. This is such an easy problem to solve with today's technology. I can just see every nick and ding on the edge becoming a new entry point for filiform worms to start working........
This is a good report GregU. Complete reports of problems and how they were delt with help us all understand, especially how the company handled the situation. I'm really sad to hear your experience watching the assembly line work. Somewhere in this thread is another report of watching panels drug over the concrete floor on edge also. That's ridiculous and should never happen. In my case and many posted cases here, the exposed/overlapping edges is a starting place for Filiform. With a small artist touch up brush, I painted every edge with clearcoat to reseal in case c-coat was missing. Rivets? Some are just going to have corrosion show up comming from under rivet head. I think that could be stopped if a rivet with a bit of sealer underneath were used in construction. Is there a rivet system like that? Even though I have a 2012 and the rivets and seam of the belt line is now covered with the 1inch covering strip, I've wondered what's happening underneath and when and if Filiform will grow out from under. I just spray corrosion x on top of the seam cover strip and hope it runs down in there.

When we see reports and photos of our trailers exposed to severe corrosion conditions, the curved end panels are where the worst Filiform shows up right on the surface. The forming of those curved panels is after the clear coat is applied and ,as has been reported here before, is probably compromising to the surface clear coat. I've tried to talk to Alcoa about the clear coat they use, but have gotten nowhere. However, unless that clear coat is latex, I can't see how bending it is a good thing.

Many problems with the Alcoa clear coat have been addressed over the past years--gaskets under mounted hardware and name plates. Better gaskets under the LED clearance lights. And, the company has come to the plate to repair the worst issues, such as the clearance lights.

Our trailers are already bought and delivered. Question is, should we, as a group, approach Thor using first hand knowledge such as GregH posted here. Do we have an obligation to express our concerns for the good of the future buyer. There are a ton of posts here from a lot of us. What do you guys/gals think. I've fixed most of my corrosion problems and have set up a maintenance program for the future. Most of those problems would have not been there with assembly care and better attention given to the care of the clear coat.
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:57 PM   #1853
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The trailers can be transported on flat bed trailers and sprayed as cars are done like Audi ,and many others that spray the cars with a wax type coating this can help agains winter salt on new trailers that could be causing some corrosion .
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:15 AM   #1854
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Howard, are you suggesting a class action law suit? It has been addressed here many times, however no one has jumped on the band wagon.

I can appreciate that GREGU's concerns were addressed, but he had to drive to the factory. And that's 100's of miles away for me. Has anyone had any success contacting AS and requesting they front the cost for repairs done locally?
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:42 AM   #1855
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When I first contemplated buying an Airstream years ago, I dismissed it based on this thread. I am a perfectionist, and I deemed that I wouldn't be happy with an Airstream and the corrosion problems they have, not to mention their shoddy build quality.

Years ago now, I saw the 75th Anniversary trailer on the internet; the price floored me at the time, but I fell in love with it. Never did I dream I would OWN one...let alone that same exact trailer that I fell in love with on the internet way back when!!!

What changed my mind was that you HAVE to get realistic about what you're buying. Airstream's marketing is genius; they have people believing that they are some super high-quality aircraft-built vessels of perfection. As most of us know (and some of us refuse to believe), this is absolutely NOT the case. Some of them are built like sh*t. Some have such gaping horrible errors (such as the rear end floor-destroying leaks) that if made in China the company's owners would be executed.

The trick, however, is to realize that you're NOT always buying QUALITY. You're buying an image, a look, a style. If you like it, fine...but you HAVE to realize what you're getting and the risks involved. If you think you won't have problems, you're ridiculously naive; these trailers just aren't built that well. They are built to a price point, cheaply, and they sell all they make. They have no incentive and thus they just don't CARE to make them better-they don't HAVE to!!! Airstream and the people that work there don't lust after the trailers they build like the owners of those trailers do. They are NOT enthusiasts...this is the nature of the beast. They aren't "into" them. Building trailers in an old factory in the middle of nowhere is their JOB. Not their PASSION.

You just have to know what to expect. Look at who builds them. Look at how ridiculously overpriced they are. Look at the decades of known problems. Look at the ridiculous lack of quality on the clear-coated parts and the absolutely inexcusable corrosion. You can NOT expect perfection from this company and the people who build them...it's just not THAT kind of company. They don't sell based on their actual quality. They sell based (somewhat) on their PERCEIVED quality by those who don't know any better, but mostly on their STYLE and LOOK.

Again, you just have to know what to expect. I relented when the 75th Prototype came up for sale that I ALWAYS wanted. It had corrosion. I knew it. It had some errors due to it being a prototype. It had frame rust. It had a rusty axle. It had loose cabinets, it had imperfect cuts, it had blemished trim, gouges in the floor covering, some scratches in the wood. But you know what? I WANTED it, I ACCEPTED that Airstreams aren't perfect, I REALIZED what I had been missing at first: Airstreams aren't built that well, they are expensive, they require repair, work, headache, and heartache. My trip to the factory to have things fixed and added was a HORRIBLE incompetent experience that even while knowing what I knew STILL shocked me how my trailer and I were treated. But I STILL own my trailer, I STILL love it, but I'm not SHY about the REALITY of the situation...if you're going to buy one, you HAVE to accept that most of these types of things WILL happen, and the one thing that ALL of us will get at one time or another is CORROSION...I chose to DEAL with it and not really give a damn anymore about it. That's what Airstreams do...they CORRODE. Again, you HAVE to simply realize what you're getting into...the corrosion IS gonna happen. I couldn't care less that mine has some...I fix the worst parts and ignore the rest. I made the choice when I decided to purchase mine...THAT'S PART OF THE AIRSTREAM EXPERIENCE: CORROSION.

If you can't accept that, don't buy one. If it bothers you THAT much, get rid of it. But you can't say you weren't warned beforehand. Anyone who buys a $100,000 trailer and doesn't fully research what they are getting into beforehand gets what they deserve.

I still love mine, corrosion and all.
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Old 04-08-2014, 12:31 PM   #1856
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so far in reading this thread to date, I had always thought filliform, while being atrocious if it gets bad enough, is only "cosmetic"....some of the recent comments talk of having to add washers and such to areas badly corroded....that sounded like more tha filliform....I applied the T9 underneath and such...but should I look for galvanic corrosion anywhere in particular to prevent major corrosion of major essential parts as such??

Bought ours new 11/15/14 and no signs of filliform yet...treated with T9 underneath and corrosion X on all seams and such....but time will tell...the wife and I discussed all of these downers at length before buying and we still took the plunge...holding my breath....I am resigned to accept filliform if and when it happens and treat it best I can and move on....its a downer to think about but if it does, we will still go camping all the same...and if it got bad enough I would strip and buff the darn thing down the road ($$$$$!!).

I hope airstream or any company takes all real feedback to heart and makes things better....
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Old 04-08-2014, 12:42 PM   #1857
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If what ggoat wrote is true, this is the beginning of the end of Airstream. I hope Honda or Toyota buys Airstream from Thore and bring it to their standard of quality control. Totally automated with no human contact. Robots are better than people with no care about craftmanship. People do care if short a hour for texting on company time. The last G.M. car I bought was in 1986...never again. I traded the car for a toyota. The camero had only 50k miles.
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Old 04-08-2014, 12:48 PM   #1858
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Quote:
Originally Posted by streaminwild View Post
If what ggoat wrote is true, this is the beginning of the end of Airstream. I hope Honda or Toyota buys Airstream from Thore and bring it to their standard of quality control. Totally automated with no human contact. Robots are better than people with no care about craftmanship. People do care if short a hour for texting on company time. The last G.M. car I bought was in 1986...never again. I traded the car for a toyota. The camero had only 50k miles.
It's not the beginning of the end; you missed the point. Airstreams have had MAJOR problems for DECADES. The point is that it DOESN'T MATTER. They sell on STYLE alone, and the perceived image they create. MOST people don't care...they like the look, the status that they THINK having an Airstream will provide (I couldn't care about such things and frankly hate such an attitude).

However...Airstreams don't sell based on quality control. They sell based on their PERCEIVED quality but mostly on their look and history at this point. In the 70's, having an Airstream wasn't really that big of a deal. But, as time goes on, legends, deserved or not, develop. Airstreams will sell based on that alone...for a LONG time to come.
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Old 04-08-2014, 01:13 PM   #1859
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ggoat...if I may, I think on one hand I can appreciate your realism....people need to take into account all possible facts about this before purchase.

on the other hand, there is I think some cynicism about the nature of "the masses of people who buy new airstreams" and their mentality.

"MOST people don't care"

I am skeptical of this assertion. How can I know that this is accurate.

"The point is that it DOESN'T MATTER. They sell on STYLE alone"

Well, yes and no....besides reports of quality issues, there are many reports of good quality....so your dichotomy of "it doesnt matter" may be overstated...although I would agree that quality can and is very apparently to some degree "often" a problem.

Everyone has a sense of "percieved quality" - same for you....imagine if we could thoroughly track, study, publish the results of qualiity issues of say 3,000 airstream trailers...imagine an extremely thorough costly study....now imagine the results....and tell me what they are? I have no idea what the results would be, but I am uncomfortable with assumptions....it seems evident this would help establish some sense of a "base rate" of quality issues of different kinds, maybe even point to causation of those problems etc....but your narrative seems to imagine that the results would be absolutely and consistiently atrocious....if that is the case, then fine, but is it...to that degree is it? how can we know this? It seems clear that there would be some definite quality issues...but as we have seen on this thread and others, they appear to be to some magnitude not consistently as such.

"...they like the look, the status that they THINK having an Airstream will provide (I couldn't care about such things and frankly hate such an attitude).
"

I am skeptical that many new owners enter into it without a care about quality and with little or no previous research....as such, I wonder if you are for the most part attacking a straw man? Clearly there will be those with so much money that buy these and I guess would not care....but I am skeptical.

"Airstreams don't sell based on quality control. They sell based on their PERCEIVED quality but mostly on their look and history at this point...... Airstreams will sell based on that alone...for a LONG time to come."

Percieved quality is something that is not a fixed notion....and even the most credulous among us if the screams reach higher decibels...sales will suffer....
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Old 04-08-2014, 01:16 PM   #1860
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But how many new airstreams could be sold if they make them properly !
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Old 04-08-2014, 01:57 PM   #1861
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I am wondering if I am inflicted with vision problems or the key to non-corrosion is keeping the trailer outside in one of the wettest climates in N. America (i.e. any corrosive particulates are washed off before they can inflict damage) because I have not seen anything on the FaN's skin that I would categorize as filliform. Yes, I have noticed a couple of minute imperfections in the clear coat, but am not sure if it's filliform or a regular scratch. I have kept the trailer Walbernized, but it is out in the elements 365 days/year - and it rains almost constantly from October to May.

However, the housing on the rear tail-lights have blemishes. I have covered it with Boeshield. If it gets worse, I will probably have them chromed.

And, I still like my trailer.
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Old 04-08-2014, 02:02 PM   #1862
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...to add to that, a couple of years ago I was swinging a metal bucket enroute to feeding the livestock, lost my grip on the bucket, it went flying, and hit the FaN. Part of the clear coat was damaged. I covered it with clear nail polish and really Walbernized the area because from reading these forums, any insult to the clearcoat is the genesis of filliform. Have seen nothing so far.
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