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Old 06-22-2008, 03:51 PM   #407
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Hi folks, and greetings from across the Pond here in sunny England

I've just trawled through many pages on this thread as I'm considering buying a European Airstream 532 International. However, I was stopped in my tracks when I enquired about the warranty. It's only for two years, and it was made very clear to me that the warranty excludes oxidisation and corrosion. Here in the UK, RV bodyshells normally carry a 5-6 year warranty.

I live by the sea, and my passion is kitesurfing so I'm normally camping by the sea too. I have a horrible feeling that my Airstream might look ragged within five years. I'm seriously put off... do you think it's worth trying to negotiate the warranty terms, or has this been tried already?

Cheers,

Andrew
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Old 06-22-2008, 04:05 PM   #408
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...I've just trawled through many pages on this thread as I'm considering buying a European Airstream 532 International. However...
hi andrew and welcome to the forums!

how exciting SOMEONE might finally buy one of these things!

here is a thread for ya on the units....

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f341...ead-35473.html

but u may already have much more info than included there...

IF you've got some euro poop, please consider posting it there!

not only is the warranty just 2 years and DOES NOT cover surface issues like corrosion...

but they considered reducing it to ONE year, awhile back...

you might try negotiating the corrosion issue, clearly that doesn't cost anything BEFORE BUYING...

my worry with a euro model would be ALL THAT extra handling and shipping and salt exposure...

JUST GETTNG it to the homeland!

i don't think they wrap 'em in plastic or coat them with cosmolinelike the autos coming THIS way...

a/s has decades of history on NOT supporting customers on finish issues beyond a band-aid approach...

whether it be peeling clear plasticoat, or peeling clearcoat or CORROSION...

then you'd also have the issue of WHO is extending the coverage, the local dealer OR corporate...

currently the ONLY way to restore a corroded panel is to REPLACE the entire panel/skin section...

every other approach is geared toward HIDING existing corrosion or customer trying to prevent it...

BUT PLEASE tell us more about your searching and investigations of a euro purchase in the LINKED thread...

cheers
2air'
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Old 06-22-2008, 04:48 PM   #409
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Cheers 2Air. I've just emailed my concerns to Airstream Europe.

Interestingly enough, the UK industry standard for RV warranties is now 3 years component and 5 or 6 years bodyshell. So surely, if an AS costs three times the price of a 'white box', then surely the warranty should either match or exceed?

I'm very concerned about ploughing my life savings into something that could end up looking like a scruffy and stained tin box within a couple of years.

After all, for such a little country we have an awful lot of coastline!

Andrew
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Old 06-22-2008, 05:11 PM   #410
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...After all, for such a little country we have an awful lot of coastline!

Andrew
and VERY FINE BEER i might add too!

the issues are interesting and the build parameters are different/better for canadian and the euro spec units...

like the galvanized bits...

imo ALL of the frames/shells/running gear and structural bits SHOULD come with a LONGER warranty...

from a company that claims LONGEVITY as an attribute...

but the "3x the cost of a white box" argument may not help you much...

since we HERE have been paying 3x per foot too, for many many years...

so i do WISH you great success on the longer warranty issue...

a longer warranty for u would only fuel the hostile feelings of the many long time, loyal domestic buyers...

who keep the company in the air....

cheers
2air'
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Old 06-22-2008, 06:48 PM   #411
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Hi Silvergate: I am guessing that we are sort of neighbors. (My kids went to Silvergate). I too am having that same filiform corrosion that you have.
Hi, fellow San Diegan, Randy (OB Bambi)!

(BTW, Silver Gate is a historical reference to San Diego, just as Golden Gate is to San Francisco. See: http://www.airforums.com/forums/228237-post6.html)

My guess it that OB means that you live in Ocean Beach.

Marine air and our hard water make an ideal environment for the growth of filiform corrosion.

So, that is why I apply an anti-corrosion spray and a good quality wax routinely.

Cheers,

Bill (SilverGate)
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Old 06-24-2008, 03:30 PM   #412
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Apologies if this has been covered a hundred times before... although I'm using mobile internet on a 2G network (think the same speed as a 56k dial-up modem) so I don't have the means or the hours to sift through hundreds of pages...

Can anyone tell me or point me to a thread detailing the best way to look after the exterior of an 'new' AS? Is it possible to prevent corrosion by applying product or does it happen on 'bad' ones regardless?

I guess the other problem will be finding the right equivalent products in the UK...

Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-25-2008, 05:48 PM   #413
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I have read this thread with some interest. My wife and I were at our local AS dealer on Tuesday drooling over the new Classic 30, then I came home and started reading. My plans are definately on hold. We are going to be full timers and this would be our home for many years to come. I've looked at the "plastic" boxes and came away disappointed with the quality, I felt the AS was the answer. Now? Here is an article from the aviation perspective on alum corrosion that addresses this issue. Corrosion Control
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:52 AM   #414
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AAAGHH!

So I just found this thread after following the lead from my thread on tree scratches. Holy Bejeezus. I think the part of this that is the most frightening is that it doesn't seem to matter how careful you are about keeping the camper clean and waxed, and that there's no clear fix. If someone said, "Hey, you have to do X, and it will prevent the problem, but it will cost you $X," emotionally the impact would be completely different. As it is, the worry that this might happen is very... nauseating...

Questions:

-- Has anyone considered having the beltline trim installed as a preventative measure?

-- Has anyone thought of using caulking on the seams themselves as a preventative measure? You know, the sort of clear silicone/acrylic outdoor caulk used for windows & doors?

-- Has anyone taken their unit to a car finisher and said, "Clearcoat the whole thing for me"?

-- Does the type of wax you use make a difference, mayhap?

-- What's best to coat the raw aluminum window frames?

Sigh...
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Old 06-27-2008, 02:06 PM   #415
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hi hayley...

be careful about some of your conclusions.

many of those reporting the most C problems haven't done well with waxing/sealing, IF u dig closely into the history....

and some indoor storage setups are actually worse than being outdoors, where corrosion is concerned.

the classic line DOES have the belt line trim and it does cover those exposed edges....

a/s is NOW putting some sealant (acryl-r) on some of the areas where the clearcoat is guaranteed to b breeched....

for example the hardware that attached the segment protectors to the shell now has a edge bead of acryl-r which should help.

adding another 'clearcoat' over the alcoa coating would be a problem, but using a good durable poly sealant may help...

the issue is DRIVING can/will nick the coatings just like paint chips happen on cars...

and each nick is a location where new filiform may potentially start.

the 'raw aluminum' window frames do start out with a factory applied 'plasticoat' that is DIFFERENT than the alcoa panel coating....

all of the other corroded bits like wheels and license brakets and door handles and so on...

are other issues, BUT do reflect just how aggressive the newer road salt formulations have become.

-keep your unit clean and waxed.
-rinse off any road salts as soon as possible.
-put some time into detailing the trim
-avoid using products that are bad for aluminum (regular simple green for example)....

AND LET A/S know you expect THE COMPANY to admit this issue exits and that THE COMPANY needs to address it.

cheers
2air'
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Old 06-27-2008, 05:01 PM   #416
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You've got me worried now!

I am booked to pick up our already paid-for 2008 25' FB SE in a week and a half.

Having read some discouraging reports under the initial quality reports & threads, I have now just read this entire thread with growing dismay...

The primary reason we have opted to buy an Airstream was the perception that better QC & longevity were part of Airstream's significant advantages over those stick & staple cr@p boxes littering the RV lots. (We had one; loved the camping but loathed the shoddy workmanship & rotting sidewalls from the leaks.) I have been telling my good wife that the reason we are spending so much more for this trailer than for a standard RV is these units are so much more rugged & reliable.

Am I correct in deducing that I may very well be paying for a new trailer that will be deteriorating faster than your average FG Bigfoot?

Am I within my rights to refuse to accept delivery of a new unit if it has evidence of this sort of corrosion? I haven't seen the unit we've bought yet but I plan to look hard at it prior to accepting delivery. Even if the unit checks out initially, the worry remains though; i.e. even if the unit does not demonstrate this corrosion at delivery, it may start deteriorating at any time without any sort of warranty protection.

It does not appear that Airstream has the will or technology to fix this...

I feel sick with worry.


-evan
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Old 06-27-2008, 05:19 PM   #417
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...Am I within my rights to refuse to accept delivery of a new unit if it has evidence of this sort of corrosion? I haven't seen the unit we've bought yet...
generally YES, but it all depends on WHAT U SIGNED and how money exchange has happened....

i've posted many times about NOT paying or signing UNTIL AFTER FULLING INSPECTING the unit...

and even overnighting in the dealer lot.

before signing and paying, any and all problems belong to the dealer and a/s...

after signing and paying, ALL THE PROBLEMS ARE YOURS....

some dealer are great with repairs and so is the factory service center....

but once you pay, they are repairing YOUR TRAILER and transportation to/from the dealer or factory is YOUR EXPENSE.

the warranty clearly excludes surface/finish problems....

right or WRONG, but it's clearly written into the warranty.

and if ya need another issue to worry about read this thread...

starting with post #36...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f142...ity-31210.html

NO ONE should ever accept a trailer sight unseen or without doing a through inspection and using ALL the gadgets...

we had one member here who accepted a new trailer only to later learn a/s had LEFT OUT rivets on the roof...

this lead to massive leaking and interior damage, but a/s did not COVER ALL the issues...

it is a SAD example of following exactly what the warranty covers,

because interior damage 'as a result' of manufacturer defects is NOT covered...

how'd ya like to have gunny's unit?

http://www.airforums.com/forums/221364-post22.html

ultimately his unit was 'reassembled' at j/c and most of the interior removed for the work...

but they did NOT cover the interior damage (a i understand it) as part of the warranty work,

and if anyone suggest "mold" they will really run for cover....

and one of his repairing dealers is where YOU are buying?

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f335...ops-25290.html

these are expensive purchases for the average person and

it's your money and their trailer UNTIL you sign on the solid line...

cheers
2air'
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Old 06-27-2008, 05:38 PM   #418
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Originally Posted by eheffa View Post
I am booked to pick up our already paid-for 2008 25' FB SE in a week and a half.

Having read some discouraging reports under the initial quality reports & threads, I have now just read this entire thread with growing dismay...

The primary reason we have opted to buy an Airstream was the perception that better QC & longevity were part of Airstream's significant advantages over those stick & staple cr@p boxes littering the RV lots. (We had one; loved the camping but loathed the shoddy workmanship & rotting sidewalls from the leaks.) I have been telling my good wife that the reason we are spending so much more for this trailer than for a standard RV is these units are so much more rugged & reliable.

Am I correct in deducing that I may very well be paying for a new trailer that will be deteriorating faster than your average FG Bigfoot?

Am I within my rights to refuse to accept delivery of a new unit if it has evidence of this sort of corrosion? I haven't seen the unit we've bought yet but I plan to look hard at it prior to accepting delivery. Even if the unit checks out initially, the worry remains though; i.e. even if the unit does not demonstrate this corrosion at delivery, it may start deteriorating at any time without any sort of warranty protection.

It does not appear that Airstream has the will or technology to fix this...

I feel sick with worry.


-evan

In most states, if you have not inspected the trailer or taken delivery your deposit is refundable and you can cancel. It is my belief that if you have not been given a copy of the full warranty, and the warranty is not acceptable, then you should have the right to cancel prior to delivery. Most of us get a huge bag of warranty information after we sign, or at the same time. I would advise any new purchaser to read the full contents of the "bag" before signing. I can tell you first hand that Airstream Corporate will deny any claim regarding panel corrosion after you have purchased the trailer.

Just to be clear, we love our Airstream and the people we have met over the last two years, but as far as the corrosion is concerned, we have a bad case of the malady and there seems to be no solution other than replacing the panels....can you say big bucks. BTW, ours showed no sign of the corrosion on delivery, and it has never been pulled in the winter on salted roads, we live in California and it is maintained religiously. Fell free to PM me.

John
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Old 06-27-2008, 06:51 PM   #419
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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
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Old 06-27-2008, 08:07 PM   #420
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Heartbreak

Well, this is upsetting. I got out the flashlight today and went over my Bambi carefully...

Under the kitchen windows I think I may have found evidence of filiform corrosion. I'm stressing the words "I THINK". I sat down in the driveway and had a little cry. I know, I know, there are folks out there who are thinking "Well, that's just silly."

I bought this camper after coming back stateside after an extending time frame flying for OIF. The truck and Bambi are, quite literally, my warbucks. I don't have an expectation that the thing be perfect, obviously. But I'm sick to my stomach at the thought that my $40k investment might eventually be seriously compromised by a factor that I can't control.

The truck I bought outright with my war money, but the camper I financed as a legal real estate deal through my Dad. My dad has offered to buy the camper back from me for the price I paid. Of course, this doesn't begin to touch what I've really laid out with gas and kit for Bambi (generator, dishes, linens, etc), but it's an out. So now I'm working up an ulcer trying to decide what to do. I love it dearly... but can I really afford to have my investment compromised? And by how much? How bad will it get?

The worst part is, I could be wrong in my assessment. It might just be manufacturing scratches. I could be torturing myself over nothing. But now I know I'll be inspecting it with a sinking feeling in my stomach every time I go out to the camper. Maybe I'm being dramatic right now, but it's really sucked a lot of the joy out of the whole affair at the moment.
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