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Old 05-01-2014, 07:23 AM   #1891
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Originally Posted by interstateflyer View Post
Can you, in a nut shell, describe what you would do to a brand new Airstream to prevent corrosion.
In a nutshell here's what we did the day we brought it home and have no corrosion anywhere after 2 1/2 years of heavy use. But we have not pulled it through winter road salt or parked it at the beach.

Treat all exterior cut panel edges, rivets (holes), and exterior fittings (such as tail lights, door handle, hinges) and wheels with CorrosionX. Q-Tip to dab the rivets and edges well, spray the fittings. Let it soak for a few minutes and wipe it off.

Spray the underbody steel such as steps, frame, spare tire and support, axles liberally with Boeshield T9, it leaves a paraffin wax coating. (Be careful not to get any into the brake drums). CorrosionX HD (heavy duty) may also be a good product for this.

I inspect the shell quarterly for corrosion or nicks to touch up with clear acrylic pen. Then reapply the CorrosionX on the shell quarterly and Boeshield T9 to the underbody annually. I use a quality polish on the shell once a year, and wash the trailer as needed to keep it reasonably clean.

None of this is difficult, nor does it take long to do. The idea is to keep a barrier between the exposed (raw) metal of the shell, and the lightly painted frame parts and environmental corrosives, such as northern winter road salt and coastal salt in the air. And to regularly inspect and repair minor corrosion before it spreads.

A Corrosion Control Plan is not the same for every environmental condition. Develop your own according to where you live and travel. In the desert don't worry about it, on the coast wash, inspect, treat, and repair regularly.
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:42 AM   #1892
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I have had my trailer 1 1/2 years. It has been used very often. It has been to the beach twice. I still have no idea what this corrosion is or what it looks like.
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:58 AM   #1893
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I have had my trailer 1 1/2 years. It has been used very often. It has been to the beach twice. I still have no idea what this corrosion is or what it looks like.
Ditto. After reading these threads I decided it was time to wax my one year old trailer. I found some corrosion on the outside door handle. Never noticed it before. I've been to the beach a lot. Now I'm getting paranoid. I bought all the chemicals recommended by Doug and others. Plan on a wholesale repair and maintenance program this June.


Never thought about it with my old SOB trailer. Just wrote it off to normal wear and tear. The Airstream seems to being out the obsessive compulsive behavior.
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:07 AM   #1894
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I washed my trailer 4/19/2014. I saw no corrosion.
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Old 05-01-2014, 04:05 PM   #1895
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Originally Posted by interstateflyer View Post
Can you, in a nut shell, describe what you would do to a brand new Airstream to prevent corrosion.
Interstate and Doug, I'd like to add one thing here if I could, regarding a brand new trailer. Filiform, if you are unlucky enough to get it (some do and some seem to have no problem) is going to first show up from under a rivet or start on the exposed/overlapping edges of the body panels (or before the new clearance light gaskets, on each end of the light base). For the rivets, Corrosion X soaking in under the rivet head is about all you can do. For the exposed edges, where damage to the clear coat most likely happened during assembly at the factory, or in shipping, you can do more with. Re-clear coat each edge using a small artist touch up brush. you are in effect, just re-clear coating the edge in case the factory applied coat has been compromised. liquid clear coat of your choice, but as posted before, I use the polymer based "Nyalic". It adheres to to metal, paint, other clear coat, etc. very well and does not break down via UV, salt, etc. After the edges are dry, then apply your Corrosion X to the seams themselves. This takes very little time. It will not be necessary as long as the edges are coated well, but you will only know they are not after the filiform starts to form. So the edge touch up just guarantees full and permanent coverage. Here's what happens if an edge coating is compromised and you spend a couple of weeks next to salt air.

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Order Nyalic on line:

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Your clear coat on cast pieces and things like the wheel well trim will show loss of coating sooner than you would like. They are an easy fix with Nyalic also. Just sand with 2000 grit and either tape off and spray or if small like the boarding handle, hinges or trim, use a slightly larger brush. The product flows very well and thus small brush work looks as good as spray.

Tail light castings sprayed and door hinge brushed.

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If I was bringing one home brand new right now, I would lightly sand and go ahead and coat right over the factory clear on the handle, hinges, tail light castings, wheel well trim and maybe even the rear bumper. Again, no problem if you don't the fix is easy when needed.
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Old 05-01-2014, 05:35 PM   #1896
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Great post Howard, Thanks!
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Old 05-01-2014, 07:25 PM   #1897
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Thanks Howard, I'm going to add painting those cut edges with Nyalic to my corrosion control plan. Looks like this is a one-time application unless a future filiform repair is needed.

I wonder if there is any flexing between panel overlaps. Have you noticed anything on your edges painted with Nyalic that indicates movement between panels?
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Old 05-01-2014, 07:28 PM   #1898
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I took the factory tour Tuesday. I noticed they are still dragging the aluminum segments on the floor along the bottom edge which breaks the seal Alcoa puts on the aluminum and allows the filaform corrosion to begin.

I can't understand why they don't have a rolling cart with padding to support the aluminum side panel to assist with transporting inside the factory. Another option would be to have an overhead conveyor to attach the panel to when moving it from one place to another. Instead I witnessed multiple occasions of two employees holding a large panel and dragging it across the floor.

Perhaps Airstream should hire some TQM and Lean Manufacturing consultants to help them engineer better processes.
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Old 05-01-2014, 07:37 PM   #1899
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Yesterday I was towing the Airstream east near Dickinson, North Dakota with some of the strongest crosswinds I have seen, from the northeast. A gravel truck went flying by showering the street side panel between the rock guard and stainless segment protector. as well as the protectors themselves.

I'm looking for a good repair to a bunch of tiny nicks in the panel. That's a lot of acrylic touchup pen. These are the sort of things that become difficult to protect effectively while keeping it looking good. The touchup will show but it will not spread; if I leave it go to filiform (and it will) I can expect it to spread.
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Old 05-01-2014, 07:50 PM   #1900
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I took the factory tour Tuesday. I noticed they are still dragging the aluminum segments on the floor along the bottom edge which breaks the seal Alcoa puts on the aluminum and allows the filaform corrosion to begin.

I can't understand why they don't have a rolling cart with padding to support the aluminum side panel to assist with transporting inside the factory. Another option would be to have an overhead conveyor to attach the panel to when moving it from one place to another. Instead I witnessed multiple occasions of two employees holding a large panel and dragging it across the floor.

Perhaps Airstream should hire some TQM and Lean Manufacturing consultants to help them engineer better processes.
Chuck, it really doesn't matter that they are dragging the panel edges across the floor. The Alcoa precoated panel edges are already opened by the cutting process that sized them to fit. If they were to tip the panels on their side and drag them, they would ruin the panel and you would very clearly see it.

Airstreams are hand-built by assembly workers. If they used only highly-skilled craftsmen I couldn't afford to buy one, and I'm not sure they would be any better. Ours came out looking really good, so I'm satisfied with the process.
With more than a little pride that it is American made.
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:06 PM   #1901
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Thanks Howard, I'm going to add painting those cut edges with Nyalic to my corrosion control plan. Looks like this is a one-time application unless a future filiform repair is needed.

I wonder if there is any flexing between panel overlaps. Have you noticed anything on your edges painted with Nyalic that indicates movement between panels?
Doug, I really don't think there is movement or flexing between the overlapping panels. That should be one of the stiffest most solid areas with the double surface and all the rivets--remember all those Navy planes you worked on. Even so, the Nyalic is relatively soft compared to acrylics or lacquer, so flex would not bother. That's its one draw back when used on, say, the boarding handle. Finger rings, etc will scratch it. Easy to touch that up when needed though.

A spray can of the Nyalic and a pack of those craft/artist brushes will do a million rock chips. Spray some into the lid and paint from there. Touch up kits and a full pint can of the liquid are available also. The pint costs almost $150 however and you would never use more than a couple of ounces. Lacquer thinner is for brush clean up. Acetone and even alcohol will work on the finish dried product, so just know that if you later use Acryl R or ParBond for caulking and need to clean that residue with alcohol. If your work is where you have touched up with Nyalic, you'll need to re-touch up.
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:20 PM   #1902
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Chuck, it really doesn't matter that they are dragging the panel edges across the floor. The Alcoa precoated panel edges are already opened by the cutting process that sized them to fit. If they were to tip the panels on their side and drag them, they would ruin the panel and you would very clearly see it.

Airstreams are hand-built by assembly workers. If they used only highly-skilled craftsmen I couldn't afford to buy one, and I'm not sure they would be any better. Ours came out looking really good, so I'm satisfied with the process.
With more than a little pride that it is American made.
Doug, even though Airstream forms and cuts to size the Alcoa per-coated panels, I was under the impression that all edges were sealed prior to delivery to the assembly line. If not, every one of the curved/molded edges would spread Filiform up toward the rivets. But you know what, I'm going to call and try to find out just what Airstream does. Dan, customer service, has been there a long time and never not had an answer for my many questions. I'll start with him.

Stay away from trucks the rest of your trip home.
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:33 PM   #1903
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Howard, I do remember those fighter jets I worked on and the pilots who flew them. You broke 'em and we fixed 'em, we had great respect for each other and were a great team.

I've got a least a million little nicks in a small area from that gravel truck. The Jerk. I hit it good with CorrosionX and wiped it up tonight until I can do a permanent fix.
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:46 PM   #1904
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Correction, it's a quart of the Nyalic liquid that costs $150. It might be difficult to buy it from the company anyway. They like to refer customers to their distributors. But individual spray cans of the product should be available and that's all you really need.
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