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Old 10-03-2008, 05:57 PM   #519
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Timemachine,

It's very disturbing to hear of your 2006 having corrosion you describe.

My 2001 Bambi, purchased in 2000, showed filiform corrosion on the panels in 2001, and I've been dealing with it ever since.

At that time, I started looking into filiform corrosion and compiled a bit of research about it, intending to understand how to bring it under control.

A few years ago I posted in the forum that I considered filiform corrosion to be only cosmetic.

However, I was wrong. Several years ago I purchased a research book about the subject ("Corrosion of Aluminum and Aluminum Alloys" edited by J.R. Davis, ASM International, 1999).

In it I found a report of filiform corrosion causing a perforation in an aircraft pylon tank made from 6061-T6 aluminum. (To see this online, do a Google search for "filiform perforation" and ignore the references to colon perforation- if you thought aluminum filiform was bad...!)

For the past few years I've been letting some spare panel cut sections which I received from Airstream sit out in the air near my office, which is 200 meters from the ocean, intending to see how the corrosion would progress on intentionally-scratched panels. Filiform corrosion started on the test samples at various rates, but all scratch lines showed it forming.

Cutting through several test sections, my samples confirmed what I read, that while the filiform corrosion was extensive under the corrosion, it did not go deeply into the panels.

It is possible that other corrosion mechanisms are at work in addition to filiform, and thus there may be more extensive cross-sectional deterioration than filiform alone would cause.

Have you ever travelled in conditions where salt from roads may have gotten onto the trailer? I know I did, and I am sure that contributed to my problems. Living near the ocean doesn't help me either.
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Old 10-04-2008, 12:28 AM   #520
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We're new Airstream owners -- just coming up on the six month mark -- and have a serious corrosion problem. I posted some pictures on my web site tonight. I am quite unhappy about this recent development and am wondering what to do about it. I find it hard to believe that this is simply part of the Airstream experience, to be accepted with a tight smile and a sigh.
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Old 10-04-2008, 07:16 AM   #521
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Nicely documented Mike, welcome to the forums. Your pictures make me sick, I can't imagine how you must feel. Hopefully in the near future a critical mass will be reached triggering a class action suit. There are way too many frivolous law suits these days, and lawyers aren't some of my favorite people but , I wouldn't put this in that category. Your analogy is right on, and not being a lawyer, I don't understand why Airstream can get away with defects that an automobile maker cannot. For now, grin and bear it
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Old 10-04-2008, 08:58 AM   #522
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Here's what I'm talking about

I received a private message that some folks were having a hard time viewing the photos I posted off-site, so I've uploaded them here, along with the text that accompanied them.

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What's this? It's the aluminum skin of my Airstream Travel Trailer, showing signs of a production defect just a few months after I took delivery.

This defect, filiform corrosion, is a process that afflicts aluminum that has suffered a breach in the protective Clear Coat coating applied by Alcoa, the supplier of the lightweight metal used by Airstream to skin its trailers.

It often shows up around rivet heads and the edges of aluminum panels.

Let's see where else my Airstream is starting to look a little rough around the edges.


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It doesn't just affect the trailer's skin; this is the grab handle outside the door. Notice how it's covered with creeping crud.

Nice.


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Moving around to the back of the trailer, let's take a look at the picture window that frames the dinette area.


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In this close-up there appears to be rust -- the conventional, red kind -- around one of the rivets.

This does not make me happy.


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In this shot you can see more of the corrosion, as well as a bit of the discoloration of the caulking between the window and the frame -- some of which is already pulling away from the metal.


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Airstream says that this isn't covered under its warranty, which is astonishing, when you consider that they're washing their hands of the distinguishing characteristic that defines the product.

Imagine, if you will, that automakers said that any defect in the paint or body wasn't their problem, but that of the paint supplier, or the mill that made the steel used in the body panels.

There's talk on some of the Airstream forums about a class-action lawsuit, which is a symptom of how widespread the defect is -- and how widespread is the unhappiness of Airstream owners.

Here's the deal: We really like the Airstream; it's well designed, stylish and fun to use. Traveling with Bogie, having a home away from home, is a blast.

But this is more than a little ding or a minor glitch in the manufacturing process.

Quite frankly, the Airstream is starting to look a lot like a fading Hollywood starlet: from a distance, she's the stuff dreams are made of, but when you get too close, the rot, the decay becomes obvious, and the bloom is seriously off the rose.

I am informed that Airstream has taken a hard line when it comes to complaints about the defective aluminum skins of its trailers; we'll see if they're truly as unwilling to stand by their product as the critics say.

This is less than six months since I took possession of the Silver Twinkie, and that's just not acceptable.
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Old 10-04-2008, 09:01 AM   #523
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I truly feel your pain Mike. A 2008 no less and looks like that. It's just so unbelievable....there are times I feel like at any time I could wake up and this would all be just a bad dream...then I see things like this, on even far, far younger units than mine, and realize it's the reality many of us are facing, some worse than others. I hope the factory takes care of you....they did take care of me, but I hadn't noticed it on any body panels at the time. If the factory does walk from the warranty claim, it would be good to post that here with as many details as possible. I have not exp this alleged new warranty stance myself, but now I am way out of warranty to see what the response would be today. Others here have posted they have been declined warranty work, but again, I have not seen or witnessed this, just read about on this forum somewhere.

On the roadside there should be a sticker or maybe still a small square piece of stamped metal indicating the month and year of production...can you share with us the month and year your unit was produced as a 2008 model?
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Old 10-04-2008, 09:37 AM   #524
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Thumbs down Need help

I give up!!
What does it take to open the little red x's that I see?
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So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 10-04-2008, 12:51 PM   #525
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Hi Mike, saw you're post sorry about the problems with corrosion,I too have a 28' CCD, few filiform on the trailer,but tail lights and grab handle have a healthy filiform growth--minimal on wheels. I called a/s customer service and was told they now sell acf-50 which would arrest the filiform (questionable in my mind). Also they would email instructions on cleaning and refinishing the handle and tail lights (which are about $250-$300 each). a/s never emailed those instrucs.---anyone out there have them? Darrell
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Old 10-04-2008, 01:11 PM   #526
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Originally Posted by MikeDBF View Post
... have a serious corrosion problem...
hi mike welcome to the forums...

really only your first pic shows filiform corrosion.

the others are basic surface corrosion/creep, which is different.

the grab handle looks nasty and so do the window frames.

but neither of those parts are alcoa-clearcoated skin.

the window framing bits get a factory applied spray of plasti-kote like material.

this stuff is VERY easy to remove, cleaning with a solvent or vigorus hand rubbing will do it.

once an area of naked aluminum is exposed, an entire window frame can frost over with corrosion.

same with the grab handle.

so how are the wheels?

my guess is that your unit was washed/cleaned and then exposed to regular salting.

that's not an excuse just a distinction from the one spot of filiform around that rivet in pix 1.

for the window frames, they need to be buffed/polished down to fresh metal...

then either RE-plasti-koted or sealed with a poly sealant or other aluminum metal treatment.

mask off the skin nearby to do this work to avoid damaging the alcoa coated skin.

the same approach applies to the grab handle.

clearly a/s has dropped the ball on this issue and supporting owners...

as time' notes the claims/warranty department...

has made a HUGE blunder,

NOT supporting reasonable solutions 2 this issue,

and no doubt the bosses above the warranty/claims department are in on this too...

they keep a list of 10 or so issues posted on the wall that they 'red flag' meaning NO WARRANTY coverage...

corrosion, mold, wheel/hub separation, interior damage from leaks are a few things on "THE LIST"...

it is embarrassing to own this product and see how they are NOW treating loyal owners and paying customers.

cheers
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Old 10-05-2008, 08:37 AM   #527
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Behold the source of my aggravation!

Thanks to the fine folks at Tech Support, the photos of my scabby 2008 trailer are again viewable -- check 'em out.
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Old 10-05-2008, 09:13 AM   #528
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Hey Mike. I notice a lot of water marks in your photos. I'm on a well system here, and I need to wipe with chamois to eliminate them. Is there a chance there could be some salts in your wash water? Probably not, but just thought I would throw it out there.
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Old 10-05-2008, 09:31 AM   #529
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Sky, those are from condensation -- morning dew and such -- running down the sides. When we washed -- using hard water, but not the house's softened water -- we made sure to dry the trailer with microfiber towels.

Thanks for the educated guess; I can use all the help I can get.


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Hey Mike. I notice a lot of water marks in your photos. I'm on a well system here, and I need to wipe with chamois to eliminate them. Is there a chance there could be some salts in your wash water? Probably not, but just thought I would throw it out there.
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Old 10-05-2008, 12:16 PM   #530
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...When we washed -- using hard water, but not the house's softened water....
so does this mean...

you are using SOFTENED water for washing?

most home application water softening is salt based and VERY corrosive...

cheers
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Old 10-05-2008, 12:27 PM   #531
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Why are some trailers showing corrosion and not others? I have some on my wheels but none that I can detect on the body panels ,hinges, door pull etc.
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Old 10-05-2008, 01:02 PM   #532
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No, no, no!

We are NOT using softened water to wash; we're using unsoftened water, from an outside faucet that isn't plumbed into the treated water loop.

The only thing about the untreated water is that it's so darn hard that rocks practically come out of the faucet. That's why a water softener is necessary in my neck of the woods.

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so does this mean...

you are using SOFTENED water for washing?

most home application water softening is salt based and VERY corrosive...

cheers
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