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Old 01-05-2009, 09:57 PM   #575
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Originally Posted by Al - K4GLU View Post
whitsend what is the "simple fix that may" be available?
You are not the 1st to question my comment, so I obviously wasn't "clear". What I meant to say was that it seems to me that it wouldn't be rocket science for Airstream to do the research, work closely with their supplier & find a solution to this problem , if they cared about producing a quality product and their customers satisfaction with a trailer that customer has paid a large bucket of bucks to buy . You will note that I did use quotes.

Sorry to have given any of you good folks a wrong impression .
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Old 01-06-2009, 06:55 AM   #576
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I agree. With Thor behind them, the largest RV builder in the US, I find it difficult to understand how Airstream's engineering team (if they have such a team) has yet to come up with a solution and one that will stand some tests of time.

Then again, if you've read the QC threads over the past 5 or 6 years, you've seen trends that cannot be simply attributed to "in transit" occurrences, etc. There have been and continue to be fundamental construction and engineering issues with these new trailers. This corrosion is simply one aspect of the overall problems I and others have had. I've owned two Airstream trailers, a 2003 and a 2004. Mechanically, my 2003 was a POS. I traded it on a 2004 and though the build quality was better than that of my 2003 (which really isn't saying much given the fact that my 2003 was a train wreck), it still had a list of about 19 items that the factory addressed. More issues come up every season, more than any other vehicle or product I have ever owned.

Though clearly Airstream is not alone in the realm build quality issues, they do charge 2 to 3x more for their trailers than nearly any other RV builder. Then I read here how even under warranty Airstream is simply calling the corrosion issue a maint issue and not doing much in terms of warranty for those still under warranty is just disgraceful.

Now I know that every exterior fails over time and the exterior of my Airstream is no exception. Even the vintage units exteriors have issues. But after 6 months? A year? I personally feel and this is just my opinion, that less than 5 years is bad. Less than 3 years is unacceptable. 6 months to a year from leaving the production line is an outrage. Mind you, my unit is extremely well cared for. It is stored indoors under somewhat climate controlled conditions (interior garage with heat, A/C spill over and dehumidifier) cleaned and Walbernized regularly, been in only a handful of rainstorms, never seen snow, salt, etc.

My interior has some riveted alum in the kitchen area. CCDs and SE units have the same alum all throughout the interior. Few have any issues with the inside metalwork. However, that is not exposed to the elements like the outside. So to me, and mind you I'm no engineer, the issue is that the exteriors are not sealed well and once exposed to the outside, these production nicks and coating breaches simply accelerate the problem.

The old saying goes:

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. There won't be a third time for me folks.

These trailers may be on the road for years and years, but what will they look like in 10 years if they look like this now, so soon? How much will you have to spend to get it refinished, then how long will that last and then cost again? Don't get me wrong, I love the Airstream design, but from a simple numbers perspective, buying a box, disposing of it and getting another box can be far less costly than owning and Airstream. Of course, it's not nearly as slick, retro or cool, but take the cool factor out of it, you can easily buy 3 average RVs for the price of 1 average Airstream. In finish and repair costs, you might even be able to pick up a fourth SOB for the price spent on 1 Airstream.

These are the Ferraris of Travel Trailers and those of you who know Ferraris know they cost a lot to maintain, need constant maint, expensive to fix, only a handful of places can fix them, they cost 3x or more than the average vehicle on the road... sound familiar? To Ferrari's credit though, their exterior finishes do last more than a few years!
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Old 01-06-2009, 07:40 AM   #577
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I agree. With Thor behind them, the largest RV builder in the US, I find it difficult to understand how Airstream's engineering team (if they have such a team) has yet to come up with a solution and one that will stand some tests of time.
Silvertwinkie - My take is that they just don't care, especially in these trying times. But I stick to my comment about rocket science to solve the problem. I could not care less whether or not AS has an engineering team. Either way, you simply hire the best, most knowledgeable consultants in that field and task them to work very closely with their aluminum supplier and also take a look at their own methods of handling their stock of aluminum UNTIL THE PROBLEM(S) ARE RESOLVED. Being Airstream, tied to Thor, they have the leverage to demand the supplier work with them to solve the issue.

We all know "they" don't give a tinker's toot, especially right now, but ole Wally would be screaming his head off and firing people left & right. I'm referring to his motto about "changes vs. improvements". I just don't want to believe Wally would accept not only the foloform issue, but the lack of a quality finished product going out "his" door.
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Old 01-06-2009, 09:05 AM   #578
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Sadly, Wally has been gone for a number of years and it shows.......and this my friend is what we are now left with-- Great design +poor engineering +poor quality of build + hefty cost+shady warranty on corrosion= lost customers (myself being one of them).

I think they care, I just think the bean counters have nixed any idea of doing the right thing here. If you've been to the factory, clearly there are some great folks out there, but upper mgmt has basically made it a numbers game and this is what we get for the price paid. I think now the vintage folks were right all along.

For now, with the economy being so bad, anything they build, there is a lot more time to put it together right. When I was there they couldn't keep up with demand, hence no reason to change, but I think after this recession finally tapers off, folks are going to be a lot more careful on what they spend on things, so maybe in the end this could be a good thing, but from my seat currently, a ball has clearly been dropped.
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Old 01-06-2009, 10:59 AM   #579
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I wonder if something like this has been tried or even tested by Airstream?

It's an electrostatic corrosion control system called CounterAct. I have had one installed on my TV since last Feb so it's too soon to tell how it's working.

What's CounterAct?

Has anyone else considered something like this? What are your thoughts?
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:31 AM   #580
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Originally Posted by NDM & 12paws View Post

What's CounterAct?

Has anyone else considered something like this? What are your thoughts?

That or similar devices have been around for years.

They do work..sort'a.

Back in the 90's I worked as a tech at an Austin/Marina Dealership, MG, Morris etc. Had a customer who installed one on the inside wheel well of a brand new MG Midget. After two Bflo Winter's it had rusted it's way out.

Rest of the car looked like it had been thru two Bflo. Winters.
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:56 PM   #581
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Question Electrostatic....



Check this out....

Electrostatic Rust Protection - GT40s.com
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:37 PM   #582
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NDM & 12paws View Post
I wonder if something like this has been tried or even tested by Airstream?

It's an electrostatic corrosion control system called CounterAct. I have had one installed on my TV since last Feb so it's too soon to tell how it's working.

What's CounterAct?

Has anyone else considered something like this? What are your thoughts?
I had one of these systems on my Honda Accord. It was a freebee from the alarm company that installed a system on the car. Whether it worked or not, I'll never know. I know I kept the car over 10 years, kept it outside and put 165,000 miles on it. We drove it through salt and all kinds of inclement weather. When I sold the car, it didn't have a speck of rust on it. The car was waxed about twice in its lifetime.

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Old 01-06-2009, 02:52 PM   #583
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Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie View Post

For now, with the economy being so bad, anything they build, there is a lot more time to put it together right. When I was there they couldn't keep up with demand, hence no reason to change, but I think after this recession finally tapers off, folks are going to be a lot more careful on what they spend on things, so maybe in the end this could be a good thing, but from my seat currently, a ball has clearly been dropped.
I know that Airstream went through a particularly bad time in the 90's when EPA regs required them to mess around with the clear coat formula. During that period of time there were a lot of issues with the clear coat peeling due to "environmentally friendly" reformulations. In some cases they refinished trailers under warranty only to see the refinish job peel.

I don't know how many trailers were produced over that decade with the finish problems but the solution of the Alcoa prefinished aluminum became "the fix". My gut is that Airsteam is probably looking at the issue, but hasn't come up with a good solution at this point. Obviously while the problem is maddening to us, it's not as evident to most folks as the 90's era trailers with the peeling clearcoat.

It probably will eventually be worked out (unfortunately the solution will probably not be retro to those of us with the existing problem). My only advice is to keep this issue front burner here on the forum. It may dissuade some folks from buying new and if it gets back to management that sales are being impacted, the speed of the solution might be positively impacted.

While our polls are somewhat less than scientific, it may be interesting to start one which would classify responses from current owners who were turned off from buying new due to the problem. Another choice might be those who frequent here, don't own an Airstream, and didn't buy new because of the problem. At this point I have a couple of very minor spots near some rivets. The major outbreak is on the aluminum trim that surrounds the access doors to the battery storage boxes. I'm assuming this trim is similar to the tail lights that have gone south on many units.

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Old 01-06-2009, 10:04 PM   #584
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Two new opinions.

Hi, although my trailer is far from pampered [never waxed] and spends it's whole life outside, I have very few corrosion issues. This is in comparison to some of those who wax, park indoors, temp control, Etc. Etc.

1st, maybe Airstream could do a secondary clear coat spray on each unit after the body has been completely assembled. This would cover all rivets, joints, and exposed edges that were cut. [unprotected] And maybe this would get these units a few years before the corrosion starts to come out.

2nd, I have read many of the links posted on this forum about Aluminum corrosion. And it seems to me that no-one has an answer and that in reality there is no magic cure. [or protection] The aircraft industry does inspections on the planes and at a certain point determines it's time to replace that corroded part.

We don't have to like it, but [my opinion] corrosion happens.
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:44 AM   #585
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I have a '08 Safari SE Bambi currently in inside storage for the winter. The only area that might be starting to have surface marks (rust?) was the door hinge. Like everyone out there I want to do what I can to protect my investment. I just came across this product Rust Prevention Rust Protection Metal Penetrating Lubrication Anti Corrosives Multi Purpose Metal Protection BOESHIELD T-9 has anyone tried it on their aluminum babies?
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:21 PM   #586
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What an interesting, monster-long thread. I've evenly skimmed about 40% of it, focused a lot on the beginning and end. Too bad it's dark right now and I can't check my 2008 (purchased June 2008) 23' CCD to see. Anyway, I think the forum would benefit from a "Corrosion FAQ or Wiki." If I find mine has significant corrosion, maybe I'll take a stab at a contribution. There is a lot of meaty content in here mixed with in with a lot of verbage. One could probably spend a full day reading posts 1 through 586. There should be a more efficient way to spend 30-60 minutes and leave with 98% of the knowledge you would have if you suquentially read all.

To add a data point to the collective research pile, I have had mud splattered on my front guards for 2 months. I think I'll clean it tomorrow to see what it did.

I saw the "What's your favorite wine vote." Is there a "How much alluminum corrosion does your 2004-2009 Airstream have?" vote?
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:50 PM   #587
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Unhappy Corrosion

I too have corrosion on the tail lights and have noticed it on my rims.
Surely there must be an Attorney somewhere in this group. If there is someone that can help please let us know.
If I knew about this forum before I purchased I would have bought and older one and restored it. I would not buy new.
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Old 01-25-2009, 11:20 AM   #588
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My 03 Safari has numerous white spiders around the “Airstream” emblem on both the curb side and road side. Elsewhere the skin is in good shape. All wheels show the problem. My concern is around the emblem. It would seem likely that the corrosion is caused here by the presence of dissimilar metals. I though about removing the emblem, sanding, and paint some sort of design to cover the area. Does anyone know how the emblem is attached?
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