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Old 02-15-2009, 12:46 PM   #617
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It's been an eye-opening few days.

Like others - our trailer does not want for attention. I can honestly say that I felt pretty lucky with our lack of filiform problems - and what little that had begun to show last year I felt confident that I had caught early, done enough research to be able to manage it and, in fact, had "nipped it in the bud".

Well - the bud is flowering.

Following the last series of posts in this thread I went out to the trailer to see how it was fairing out. These pictures show the story.

The first picture was taken last July 7th when I noticed that filiform corrosion was present around the reflective markers and the grab bar. Following this I contacted Airstream who suggested the use of Corrosion X. I ordered Corrosion X from a Canadian supplier of the product (the salesman suggested the HD version for its superior adhesion properties). Corrosion X was applied over the filiform (no one advised me to break the surface of the clearcoat) and allowed it to stand for several days before I took it off then cleaned, sealed and polished the trailer with 2 applications of Rejex. The trailer looked great. Once back from our fall road trip at the end of October the trailer received its final wash and Corrosion X was applied to be left for the winter (again - I did not break the clearcoat) - there was no significant change in filiform growth that caught my eye from July to November (I did look for obvious growth but did not compare to the first pictures).

I felt confident the issue was being managed.

The last two pictures show the winter application of Corrosion X application as it appeared today and the growth of the filiform corrosion (presumably over the winter) after it was removed. What really caused my eyes to open was not just the speed of the growth - but the fact that there are brand new locations - adjacent but separate from each other - without any visible reason for it to have started.

So - I guess, as of today, I have formally joined the club - and this thread has taken on new meaning.

My next step has changed to the extent that I will break the surface of the clearcoat before applying Corrosion X again. This I will do within the next few days. Come spring I will repeat the cycle of cleaning, sealing and polishing.

And now that you’ve got my attention - and perhaps because my energy level is fresh on this topic - anyone interested in organizing a Filiform Rally this summer?

Thanks,



Jay
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Old 02-15-2009, 01:27 PM   #618
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Jay,

We all share your frustration. Take heart that your not alone.

A lot of folks are dealing with it in a number of different ways. Keep sharing and maybe we can make some progress.

I spent some time inspecting the coach today. Found a LOT of new spots very high on both end caps. Scrapped and sealed with clear-coat. Not the normal condition, these are very high, dime size but out of the stone/bug area and none are joined. They just seem to start in a random pattern. More to be done during warmer weather.
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Old 02-15-2009, 01:45 PM   #619
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The more I think of it, the more I am suspicious of the clear coat. Who makes it? Are there different suppliers? Different batches? Corrosion starting away from a place we would think the clear coat is pierced (aluminum cut to fit, things screwed to the body, scratches) has no chance for oxidation unless the clear coat is porous. Am I correct?

Is there a clear coat expert who can comment?

I like the idea of a filiform rally, perhaps in Jackson Center. I hope I am not qualified to attend.

Gene
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Old 02-15-2009, 02:08 PM   #620
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I saw no evidence today of any chips or breaks in the clearcoat. They just seemed bubble-up from underneath. Will have more info after it warms up a little around here. Also noted two new spots around both rubber hold-downs for the front window shield.

We're all on the same road....some just further along.
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Old 02-15-2009, 02:27 PM   #621
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
I saw no evidence today of any chips or breaks in the clearcoat.
Bob, maybe you can't see them, but they are large enough for salt and oxygen molecules to enter. Get out your electron microscope and check it. Maybe there are people at UB who would be interested in testing the clear coat for a research project.

Gene
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Old 02-15-2009, 02:54 PM   #622
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Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
Bob, maybe you can't see them, but they are large enough for salt and oxygen molecules to enter. Get out your electron microscope and check it. Maybe there are people at UB who would be interested in testing the clear coat for a research project.

Gene
Gene,

Now that I think about it, the only commonality, all were high up on slightly curved portions of the panels. It could very well be caused by uneven clearcoat, but the random pattern is a mystery. Photos in Spring.
They may not look at all like they do now.
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Old 02-16-2009, 09:24 AM   #623
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After reading all this and reflecting on the situation, I can truly understand the frustration of all, and in particular those that purchased brand new recently.

My take on this is as a manufacture, that eventually this will bring down air-stream. I was very interested in purchasing a Pan American for product demos in the Garage when on the road, not now. Multiply that times how many of us will never buy new and those contemplating buying new and reading this forum and the news is not good for corporate. In this economic climate you have to hitting all 8 cylinders or be slaughtered.

I had 2 major reasons for buying an Airstream. 1. The look. 2. Other Rvs I owned had delamination, and that pissed me off unlike any other problem. This corrosion issue is serious and eventually the passion and then the reason to keep it go into the sunset. At least for me.

Airstream, you have screwed up big time. I see no way for you to overcome such an obvious flaw in quality. I wish you all the best, but my prediction is some very bad years ahead, and a once proud reputation tarnished(no pun intended) beyond repair.

Now for that prevost???
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Old 02-16-2009, 09:57 AM   #624
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Here are some interactions I had with both Airstream and Alcoa on this subject. Keep in mind there were at least 2 phone conversations with Airstream between these emails that took place and that my website link with the photos is over 2 years old and my unit has in fact gotten worse (updates to follow in the spring). I did take the site down after Randy saw the pics, but after repeated attempts to get resolution, with no success, the site went back up and will continue to be updated with pictures of my unit and any new unit I find that has this so that others know what to look for prior to buying a new or newer Airstream. Additionally, I do know that the forum link in the Alcoa communications do not work, but they did back in 2007 prior to this site doing normal maint and site changes. Also, if you take a look at the Aloca link, they claim they had a treated sheet of alum in the salty south Florida sun. Funny, my unit has never been anywhere near salt, yet mine is not showing the same results Aloca is claiming. For the record, I never heard from Randy again after he was going to check with Chris about what they did when I was there, nor did I ever get a response from Dave Schumann (two attempts made, one by email, one by phone-- message left). I do not recall if I posted any of this info earlier, and since none of this is listed under non-disclosure and was not indicated to me to be private or confidential in any way, here they are, FWIW (I apologize in advance if any of this is repeat info):


Sent: Tuesday, January 09, 2007 9:37 PM
To: t***@airstream.com
Subject: Photos of problem....

Randy,

Attached are the photos we talked about before the holidays. There are several pictures where the corrosion is showing up. These are compressed. If you can't get them decompressed, I've also placed these on my quasi private website for you to see at www.silvertwinkie.net


Once you've seen the pics, I'll take them off the site.

The unit has been indoors most of the 3 years I've owned it since new. I don't know what might be causing it or how to stop the existing from spreading. I seem to get 1-2 new ones every month or so. I had the unit at the factory back around 2005 where some of the corrosion was addressed in the cast alum tail lights and all 4 rims, but as you'll see, it's not only come back in those areas, it's also come back all around the body now too.

Any suggestions or help you or Airstream might be able to provide I would appreciate! In case this support ticket is no longer open, one of the pics has the VIN number on it.

Thanks!



From:
"Randy" <r*****@airstream.com>

From some of the photo’s I would suggest cleaning the area and then applying a cover such as clear finger nail polish to help prevent the spread. I am checking with Chris to see if we can pull past records to see what was done at the service shop.

Randy
Airstream Customer Relations



Here was my interactions with Alcoa:


Contact Message
===============
Country USA

Subject Alcoa coatings on Airstream RVs

Message

I own a 2004 Airstream and the aluminum shell, wheels and other areas are showing signs of fill form corrosion. Airstream is saying
that the coating you place on the panels, prior to them getting the
aluminum is cracking, and I so far cannot figure out why this is
happening or get an answer as yet from Airstream. Your web site
showcases the success of Airstream and Alcoa and even says on this link
that the coatings don't fade, peel or crack:

Alcoa: Worldwide: Markets: Automotive: Customer Successes: Airstream Travel Trailers

Yet this is what Airstream is telling folks in a public form on post #39
when asked why this is happening:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f206...it-31208-3.htm
l

Do you have any insight as to what is causing this to happen. My unit
started corroding after only a year after production. So far there
16-17 units reporting this same corrosion issue from between the 2002
model year up to an including the current 2008 Airstream model year.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.




thanks for your comments. We've passed them on to the
manufacturing team to inform them of this situation.

Your best bet for specific answers on your product will continue to be
your Airstream dealer.

Regards

Alcoa
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Old 02-16-2009, 10:05 AM   #625
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PS- In the spring, am considering creating a totally separate message board dedicated solely to two things, the Airstream build quality and this corrosion issue where folks can enter pics, data, etc. We'll see if time permits this.
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Old 02-16-2009, 11:36 AM   #626
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I have a 2005 Classic 25 that I purchased from the original owner and it has the corrosion on the door grab handle and on the trim around the battery box doors. The previous owner purchased it in October 2005 and stored it inside except for using it a couple times and when it was on the dealer's lot before he took delivery.
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Old 02-16-2009, 11:42 AM   #627
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I don't know whether this is true for this type of corrosion, but it has been shown that vehicles stored in a heated garage rust faster than those left outside or in an unheated garage. The freeze-thaw cycle caused quicker oxidation.

Gene
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Old 02-16-2009, 11:59 AM   #628
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dstalzer View Post
I have a 2005 Classic 25 that I purchased from the original owner and it has the corrosion on the door grab handle and on the trim around the battery box doors. The previous owner purchased it in October 2005 and stored it inside except for using it a couple times and when it was on the dealer's lot before he took delivery.
That type of corrosion can be delt with, it's still a PITA though.

Google filiform...
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Old 02-16-2009, 12:01 PM   #629
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Woah!
I have not seen them in my 2007 yet. But you can bet I am going to look closely. This is very disappointing.
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Old 02-16-2009, 01:02 PM   #630
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Thumbs down Well it's not spring yet......but

ref post #622

These have appeared since Winterizing last November.

Only a few of at least 20 spots on the rear end cap's

Sanded and cleared yesterday....what now? Cr@p looks like I missed one.

Oh yes, I'm very happy they can't be seen from ground level.

ST,
Your correspondence with AS & Alcoa was very enlightening.
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