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Old 06-27-2008, 09:35 PM   #421
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Right will prevail

iHaley,

Don't panic. Even if you have it or it happens in the future, don't let it ruin your enthusiasm for Airstreaming. Eventually, some fix/cure will be discovered. If it is truly a manufacturing defect, Airstream will end up taking care of those afflicted, there are too many strong owners who will insist on being treated fairly. Stay hopeful and enjoy your Airstream.

After all, I keep hearing this old question, "What would Wally do?" I think we all believe that he would do the right thing and maybe that message will make it to the right person with authority who will follow Wally's creed.

As you know, life is too short to let little things waste your time.
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Old 06-27-2008, 10:30 PM   #422
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...I could be wrong in my assessment. It might just be manufacturing scratches...
take a picture or 2 and POST them...

we can tell ya quickly what it is.

or just LOOK at the pix others have posted, it's pretty easy to label a scratch vs corrosion.

but it IS manufacturing 'scratches' in the clearcoat that allow salts to penetrate and cause this problem...

this is a cosmetic issue, the surface issue folks are ticked about isn't a structural threat to the 'stream.

and the only 'error' i see in your thinking is the notion of the a/s as an 'investment'...

it's a travel trailer, not a stock fund.

it IMMEDIATELY lost dollar value as it was towed OFF the dealer lot.

sell or trade it tomorrow and it is WORTH LESS than your purchase price...

keep it for 30 years and much of that depreciation will be irrelevant.

the scabs might affect resale value, but so might the future scratches and dents YOU will give it...

so please don't think of vehicles or rvs and INVESTMENTS in the same sentence.

the 'stream is a tool for camping and travel.

the 'stream is a tool shared by many in the 'stream club...

the 'stream is a tool envied by many (without one) who have a romantic image of what might be...

the COMPANY is a TOOL (the other meaning) for not dealing better with the scabs growing on their new trailers...

cheers
2air'
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:24 PM   #423
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No, no, no... I didn't mean it in that sense. I don't see it as an investment in the same way I view my stocks or my IRA or such... It's just a shocker. Lot to take in after only a day. Let me catch my breath.

I bought the thing so I could have a way to travel and enjoy my leisure time. I bought an Airstream because I wanted quality and a company that stood behind it's product. I'm not saying that I'm unhappy with my camper or that either statement is 100% untrue about Airstream... just that I'm more than a little shocked, is all. I know it depreciated the day I bought it, and I accept that there's depreciation with use. My truck is scratched up because I USE it, instead of polishing it and keeping it in the garage, and I'm okay with that. I do understand that it's cosmetic... but when I see some of the pictures posted on here, I know that I as a buyer would have ran a mile from a unit that presented such issues, as would many others. Will my options ultimately be severely restricted because of this in the future, when in 10 years I'm ready to retire and I want to trade up?

Just musing here...

I think the thing that makes this so frustrating is the sense that there's not a workable, reliable solution for this issue from Airstream themselves, and that my camper is so NEW.

Give me the chance to get through the grieving process here.
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:37 PM   #424
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No, no, no...Give me the chance to get through the grieving process here.
sure take your time.

along with the corrosion,

there WILL be faulty wiring, shell leaks, battery failures, loose plumbing, poorly closing doors, frame separations,

brake/hub failures, peeling graphics, defective charger/converters, crapy water pumps and so on...

to keep ya busy.

a/s ownership is love drenched in grief...

thank goodness for the camping (and beer)

cheers
2air'
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:59 PM   #425
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Will my options ultimately be severely restricted because of this in the future, when in 10 years I'm ready to retire and I want to trade up?
No more so than a '97 or '98 model sold today. Your current trailer is unlikely to deteriorate at a faster rate than those models. In fact you may want to look at some 10 year old trailers to get a feel for what you're in for. I think you may be pleasantly surprised.

As far as price depreciation goes, well that's RVs!
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Old 06-28-2008, 12:02 AM   #426
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Hi, corrosion is just a fact of life; In a sense we as people corrode too. I think I found about four little spots on my trailer. Not a big deal. And it won't cause me to not use it or worry myself sick over it. As of yet, I haven't seen or heard of any Airstreams with sheets of aluminum flying off on the freeway. [I have seen chrome pieces fall off of Harleys on the freeway.] As I have said before; My trailer sits outside all year around, only gets a good wash job before a trip, gets hosed off several times a year, and has never been waxed. Yet other's who park inside and wax the heck out of their trailers have corrosion everywhere. No rhyme or reason. If it ever looks too bad, my wife and I agreed to just have a custom paint job done on it. Or maybe by then we will be so old that we just won't care about the looks as much as camping and traveling. Resale means nothing to us because this is going to be our only trailer for many years to come; We don't need or want the latest and greatest, the fanciest, the biggest, or the Flying Cow or whatever the next generation has to offer. Our trailer will only be replaced if for some reason it is damaged beyond repair. Enjoy life. Enjoy your Airstream. Unfortuneatly there are things in life that we can't do anything about, so we move on, and don't look back.
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:12 AM   #427
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Hi, corrosion is just a fact of life; In a sense we as people corrode too. I think I found about four little spots on my trailer. Not a big deal. And it won't cause me to not use it or worry myself sick over it. As of yet, I haven't seen or heard of any Airstreams with sheets of aluminum flying off on the freeway. [I have seen chrome pieces fall off of Harleys on the freeway.] As I have said before; My trailer sits outside all year around, only gets a good wash job before a trip, gets hosed off several times a year, and has never been waxed. Yet other's who park inside and wax the heck out of their trailers have corrosion everywhere. No rhyme or reason. If it ever looks too bad, my wife and I agreed to just have a custom paint job done on it. Or maybe by then we will be so old that we just won't care about the looks as much as camping and traveling. Resale means nothing to us because this is going to be our only trailer for many years to come; We don't need or want the latest and greatest, the fanciest, the biggest, or the Flying Cow or whatever the next generation has to offer. Our trailer will only be replaced if for some reason it is damaged beyond repair. Enjoy life. Enjoy your Airstream. Unfortuneatly there are things in life that we can't do anything about, so we move on, and don't look back.

Thanks Bob.

It's important to keep a little perspective on this.

Is this simply a cosmetic issue or is it structural & functional?

I am quite concerned about the implications of this whole issue in terms of usability and function more than cosmetics. I am not one of those guys who washes & waxes the heck out of my vehicles ( I don't have the time or the passion for that). OTOH, I am not interested in buying a relatively expensive trailer that leaks or starts to fail structurally at a faster rate than the stick & staple junk, I've come to loathe...

I read here on this forum that Airstream is failing to honor their warranty obligations or refusing to fix water damage from a warrant related leak. This is a much more serious issue in my book but this corrosion question is also very concerning.

-evan
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Old 06-28-2008, 10:01 AM   #428
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Airstream and life

The question I ask myself is whether I would buy it now since I have had it since last October and have learned a lot more. I did a lot of research before I bought the Safari, but I didn't learn everything. I certainly read this thread before buying—it's been around a long time and is always pretty depressing. It almost stopped me before I bought; when I did the walkthrough, I looked for and didn't find any filiform. I also read other threads before buying, some depressing, some informational, some both.

Barb and I like retro and Art Deco. That set us up for an Airstream. Barb really, really wanted one and I have a hard time saying no to her.

Would I do it now? I don't know. I like using it, I hate motels and looking for them. I like having our own food and bed. I like having a real table to eat on—motels sometimes, usually don't, have a decent sized table. I like not having to look for a bathroom while traveling long distances—just stop and go. I like having a good radio and CD player and HD TV. I like not having to carry luggage and food and a big, heavy cooler in and out of motels. I like the original design for its beauty and strength—form and function come to together. I am not enthralled by towing or gas costs, but I am getting used to the former and can do nothing about the latter.

I have come to believe the company is run by empty suits who try to avoid all responsibility for their errors and think they can screw the customer. This is not an unusual attitude in the corporate world. They will get theirs someday (I hope), but how many people will they hurt in the meantime? There are some problems with Airstreams, no doubt, and there are also positives.

Like most questions in life it's a decision what to do after weighing all the things that need to go on the scale plus knowing enough about yourself to know what you can accept or not.

Most people buy a house, if they can afford it, rather than stay in an apartment where the owner has to fix the things that inevitably break. This is a house on wheels and has things to fix, but it's mine. A motel is like an apartment and has an owner to fix things.

As I wrote before, until you accept delivery, you may be able to get out of the deal, but may require a lawyer to do so. At the least, if on the walk through, you discover filiform corrosion, don't accept it and demand one without it. But for iHayley, you already have one and are upset. I would be too—we, so far, have no corrosion. People have very different experiences with corrosion as you have probably learned by now. Since I don't have it, I haven't gone through the warranty carefully and haven't considered every word and composed the letter I would send if I were hired to write one to the company. Having written plenty of those kind of letters before I retired, I know what much of it would say and I know it might get results, but not every time.

The company is stonewalling a lot of people. That is stupid PR and this thread among others has I think persuaded some people not to buy. That eventually will be noticed in Jackson Center, but right now the empty suits are being defensive even though that never works in the long run.

If you have a problem and getting no satisfaction, get a lawyer to write a letter and see what happens. Let us know too. Also, wax, wash, watch and try to contain the problem. If you don't know whether to buy or not, it's an individual decision and you have to be comfortable with what you do. I can't know what I'd do now because I already have one. I ask myself the question, but I know there's no real answer. I try not to have regrets about past decisions because I know I did the best I could at the time. So, iHayley, don't blame yourself and figure out what to do with what you have and find a way to enjoy it. Talk to a lawyer if you have corrosion. Also note that almost any older Airstream has dents; other brands that old are in a junk yard.

Gene
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Old 06-28-2008, 12:51 PM   #429
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The question I ask myself is whether I would buy it now since I have had it since last October and have learned a lot more. I did a lot of research before I bought the Safari, but I didn't learn everything. I certainly read this thread before buying—it's been around a long time and is always pretty depressing. It almost stopped me before I bought; when I did the walkthrough, I looked for and didn't find any filiform. I also read other threads before buying, some depressing, some informational, some both.

Barb and I like retro and Art Deco. That set us up for an Airstream. Barb really, really wanted one and I have a hard time saying no to her.

Would I do it now? I don't know. I like using it, I hate motels and looking for them. I like having our own food and bed. I like having a real table to eat on—motels sometimes, usually don't, have a decent sized table. I like not having to look for a bathroom while traveling long distances—just stop and go. I like having a good radio and CD player and HD TV. I like not having to carry luggage and food and a big, heavy cooler in and out of motels. I like the original design for its beauty and strength—form and function come to together. I am not enthralled by towing or gas costs, but I am getting used to the former and can do nothing about the latter.

I have come to believe the company is run by empty suits who try to avoid all responsibility for their errors and think they can screw the customer. This is not an unusual attitude in the corporate world. They will get theirs someday (I hope), but how many people will they hurt in the meantime? There are some problems with Airstreams, no doubt, and there are also positives.

Like most questions in life it's a decision what to do after weighing all the things that need to go on the scale plus knowing enough about yourself to know what you can accept or not.

Most people buy a house, if they can afford it, rather than stay in an apartment where the owner has to fix the things that inevitably break. This is a house on wheels and has things to fix, but it's mine. A motel is like an apartment and has an owner to fix things.

As I wrote before, until you accept delivery, you may be able to get out of the deal, but may require a lawyer to do so. At the least, if on the walk through, you discover filiform corrosion, don't accept it and demand one without it. ...

The company is stonewalling a lot of people. That is stupid PR and this thread among others has I think persuaded some people not to buy. That eventually will be noticed in Jackson Center, but right now the empty suits are being defensive even though that never works in the long run.
...

Gene

Thanks Gene,


You've articulated all this very well.

We have, as a family, travelled a lot towing a trailer & generally like it for the same reasons. You have your bed and gear with you as well as easy access to good washroom facilities and a kitchen to cook your own good healthy food.

Towing can be stressful if you get into tight quarters en route or if you're tackling long high altitude grades in the mountains but I actually don't mind the travel style while towing if everything is working well. What I haven't enjoyed is limping home with a trailer brake system that is acting up or the feeling that the SOB unit is falling apart with plastic fittings degraded by the sun & the knowledge that if the rubber roof isn't leaking this week , it will be, soon enough.

I have an Airstream sitting at the dealer with my name on it but if I can't have the confidence that this A/S unit will be good for 20 years of use with responsible maintenance & care, I don't think I want it. The reports of Airstream using weasel words & failing to honor their warranty obligations when the units are failing prematurely are very concerning. I do not want to gamble on getting a non-lemon unit if there is no recourse if I lose on the draw.

We too are really attracted to the spare 'Bauhaus" form following function interiors of the Safari SE line. The typical RV "Aunt Tillie" school of interior design, with garish florals, colonial lighting & brass filigree leaves looking for the barf bag. Why do they do that?

Anyways, the horns of a dilemma are not a soft & comfortable resting place.

Have you been happy with the quality & fit & finish of your unit? Have you had any significant repair issues with yours?

Thanks for your comments


-evan
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Old 06-28-2008, 01:35 PM   #430
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Evan,

There's a thread under Airstream Trailer Forums called "2008 model year quality" that will further distress you.

The short answer to your question about "quality & fit & finish" is yes and no. I have a tendency to focus on the problems, but most things are fine. Some of the problems are expected, some are stupid sloppy mistakes, some are design issues that should have been solved long ago. Since I haven't taken it to the dealer yet (240 mile trip) I do not yet know how things will work out.

As you've discovered, there are other A/S owners near you. Safari57 posts frequently and you've discovered cameron already. Maybe some PM's with them will help you sort it out.

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Old 06-28-2008, 01:37 PM   #431
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good post

Gene

Very well written, I think most of us bought our Airstrems based on the same perspective. No matter how bad any issue is with our Airstreams, we should not loose sight of the enjoyment they bring to our lives and the lifestyle it permits.


Quote:
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I have come to believe the company is run by empty suits who try to avoid all responsibility for their errors and think they can screw the customer. This is not an unusual attitude in the corporate world. They will get theirs someday (I hope), but how many people will they hurt in the meantime? There are some problems with Airstreams, no doubt, and there are also positives.

The company is stonewalling a lot of people. That is stupid PR and this thread among others has I think persuaded some people not to buy. That eventually will be noticed in Jackson Center, but right now the empty suits are being defensive even though that never works in the long run.
Gene

Empty suits, probably right, sad but true, it is especially bad for those long time Airstream employees who really take pride in their work, they will also suffer from poor corporate decisions.

I agree with your analysis of their stonewalling, eventually it will catch up to them, and hopefully with a parent company as large as Thor, the judgements and/or settlements will be enforceable.

John
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Old 06-28-2008, 01:39 PM   #432
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sure take your time...

a/s ownership is love drenched in grief...

thank goodness for the camping (and beer)

cheers
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Old 06-28-2008, 01:42 PM   #433
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I have an Airstream sitting at the dealer with my name on it but if I can't have the confidence that this A/S unit will be good for 20 years of use with responsible maintenance & care, I don't think I want it.
I think you can go back to late '80s models, talk around and get a very good feel for what this care entails. Why not start a thread requesting info from long term owners? One thing though, any vehicle sitting outdoors for 20 years is going to need at least a paint job (and it is likely to have water leaks), most houses require paint before 20 years. If I keep my Airstream beyond 10 years I will anticipate painting the trailer-I've seen them painted a silver color which looks very nice.
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Old 06-28-2008, 01:48 PM   #434
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not just cosmetic

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Thanks Bob.

It's important to keep a little perspective on this.

Is this simply a cosmetic issue or is it structural & functional?

-evan
In the past this question has come up with many suggesting it is only a cosmetic issue, I have always maintained it is a potential structural issue and I believe this link provided by vegasdan concurs with my belief:

Corrosion Control
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Old 06-28-2008, 05:15 PM   #435
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To me it's all about getting some solutions to the problem. I can't say I was stonewalled when I was at the factory for service, more the contrary. However, it is important to point out I had, at the time, no panels showing the signs of corrosion. Just all four rims and both cast alum tail lights, which the company addressed to my satisfaction. Little did I know that all 4 rims, both cast alum tail lights and body panels would start and in some cases, start again after the first replacements......

What I can say is that after the warranty ran out, it has been hard to get anyone at the factory to say anything intelligent or offer any real solutions, let alone an acknowledgment of the issue and any steps that are being made to correct the issue. About the only real thing I've seen is what 2Air posted about something they are putting on in certain places. Only time will tell if this can stop a 6 month old Airstream, really almost straight off the line from showing what so many of us have seen.

As I said earlier, if I had paid slightly more than an SOB, I'd not be as discontent, but if I buy a luxury vehicle, I expect a certain level of service and quality, and few issues with a unit less than 2 years old.

The price paid is high for these RVs and the quality is sadly just not there for th prices paid. I'd buy another one, but NOT a new one. Why pay top dollar for something with these kinds of issues?!?

I have no idea what kind of engineers Airstream employs, nor do I really know what QC steps they follow or how closely they follow them. What I can say is that if you read the QC threads from the avail 2004 through 2009, you see some fairly disturbing trends. Read this thread and that just adds to it. What I can also say is that there is lots of room for improvement. In this economy, these kinds of issues only add to the over issues the RV industry is facing, and more importantly, Airstream.
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Old 06-29-2008, 12:07 AM   #436
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Evan, there are many ways out of a deal, but you need to consult a lawyer licenced (is that the Canadian spelling of license?) in BC for all your options. Every state and province is different. Usually if you raise hell, there's a way out before you accept delivery. Even after accepting it arguments can be made if you weren't given a chance to see everything. I can see an argument coming on mine over a gouge in the floor—you have to be on the floor to see it, and, during the walk through I neglected to roll around on the floor.

I think A/S's are better than other brands, but everything has problems, even Toyotas and Lexi.

Make sure you take your time on the walk through. I don't know if they'll try to rush you, but I expanded ours from the 2 hours they wanted to 4, and I still missed things. Write down all your questions and make sure you ask them all.

Congratulations on your good taste in ordering the same trailer as ours.

Gene

Hi Gene,

Thanks for your considered advice. I am not really wanting out of the deal. I just want to be as sure as possible that the Airstream we have picked out is sound and not a lemon, riddled with fatal flaws. If the unit is a lemon, I just hope I can recognize it and have the fortitude to resist the momentum of the occasion. I didn't mean to be hyperbolic in my previous posts, but after reading the various horror stories of folks like GunnyUSMC and others dealing with recurrent water leaks, I have felt a little gun-shy and been quite tempted to pull the plug.

it is probably important to recognize that others do receive good units & good service that allows them to enjoy their A/S's as they had hoped. For all I know this may well be the majority of buyers; but, we have no good statistics or data on this it would seem.

At this point we intend to travel to Eugene to pick up the trailer as planned but we will only take possession if it passes our slow & careful inspection. (The trailer has been on the Dealer's lot for some time now in monsoon conditions so if it hasn't leaked with that it probably won't for a while...I hope) Much of the information I have read here on this board & this thread should allow us a reasonably informed inspection.

Thanks.

-evan
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Old 06-29-2008, 07:17 AM   #437
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Thumbs up


It might help to let the dealer know, in a very subtle way of-course, that you have 27828 Airstream Friends stand'n behind you.
Just mention the Forums about a dozen times during the check-out, carry a clip-board, and excuse yourself several times to make a cell call.

If you can't dazzle em' brilliance, baffle em' with B.S.
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Old 06-29-2008, 08:42 AM   #438
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To me it's all about getting some solutions to t
I have no idea what kind of engineers Airstream employs, nor do I really know what QC steps they follow or how closely they follow them. What I can say is that if you read the QC threads from the avail 2004 through 2009, you see some fairly disturbing trends. Read this thread and that just adds to it. What I can also say is that there is lots of room for improvement. In this economy, these kinds of issues only add to the over issues the RV industry is facing, and more importantly, Airstream.
As a retired Quality Engineer I can reasonably state AS does not have a QC program,period. We have been fortunate to have purchased a unit relatively free of major defects and still love ours.
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Old 06-29-2008, 09:44 AM   #439
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Frody

We have a new Safari. There were problems with corrosion the day we picked the unit up from the dealer. The tail light surrounds had spots, one door hinge had a hairline crack with corrosion and spots at mid level where the metal bends on the four corners.

The understructure also had a very poor paint job on it and surface rust was already showing. The dealer took care of the surface rust before we took possession.

After our first trip, we took the unit to the dealer. A.S. had the tail light surrounds polished and the hinge was replaced.

The spots around the mid seam were negotiated. A.S. gave me a mid seam trim band and I will pay for installation. This is a bandage type solution I am not yet comfortable with. That is like painting over wood rot.

A.S. also sent sample products of ACF-50 which you can find on the web. The product does not prevent corrosion but is suppose to neutralize corrosion. We will see.

Another product that will take the corrosion down to bare metal is Mothers Aluminum Polish at auto parts stores. But this also takes the clear coat off, if used, one needs to protect the bare metal. Finger nail polish has been suggested but I will probably use an acrylic enamel.

It took about 90 minutes to clean up the corrosion. I used 00 steel wool to knock the corrosion down to bare metal, then applied ACF 50 to the spots. There is a slight residue and discoloration but not blantant.

The other step I may employ (but have not yet) will be to spot spray a clear coat of acrylic enamel. I am waiting to see if ACF 50 works and if any new corrosion flares up. Once the clear coat is applied I figure I am back to ground zero but will probably still have discolored spots.

Next, once I see if the corrosion is neutralized and no new corrosion forms, I will then have the trim band installed over the mid seams.

My position is A.S. should be taking care of this problem. It is an " impso facto case". The facts speak for themselves. I don't care what the warranty says, or lame AS excuses, the bottom line it is their job, not ours to produce a unit that can withstand the elements and road hazards. My unit had no more then 300 miles of road travel on it when I took possession. No way under any circumstances can it be justified it is not a manufacturer's defect of one sort or another. AS should be kissing my red, white and blue American butt to get this right for me.

If my unit was three years old exposed to adverse conditions, way different set of circumstances. But brand new, sorry we consumers just ain't stupid enough to not know better. What is very stupid is AS not protecting their number one asset, their reputation. Fools! They are trying to avoid what could be a simple fix and wasting away gobs of marketing and advertising dollars. AS will lose sales and their rep will be in the toilet. It will take them a ton of money to get back to where they once were. Talk about the adversre affect of corrosion. Bit of irony here.

If AS thinks they are immune from the adversity, guess again. One only needs to look at other American icons like Schwinn and Coleman to realize the international market is a very fragile jungle.


AS needs to understand who their customer is. We are people who want quality and are willing and able to pay for it. We are also loyal to an extent. AS doesn't deliver, we are also smart enough to move on. Way too many other units out there that consumers have the option to buy. If another unit is less money, and doesn't corrode, that is pretty much a no brainer for the average thinking person.

Will I go after A.S. any more? Life is short and then you die. I have other things I would rather spend my time enjoying then mess with them.

Would I buy another A.S.? No.
Would I recommend to others to buy an AS? What for?

Game over, AS loses!
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Old 06-29-2008, 11:11 AM   #440
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2004 25' Safari
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahab View Post
As a retired Quality Engineer I can reasonably state AS does not have a QC program,period. We have been fortunate to have purchased a unit relatively free of major defects and still love ours.
Well, I know they have something in place, though I'd agree, it might not appear like much, and we have clearly seen the outcome of whatever is in place .

Attached is an image of what I captured during one of the factory tours. It's photos like these where I am fairly certain, are the root cause of cameras not being allowed in on the production floor....
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