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Old 03-03-2009, 01:16 PM   #645
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This is an explanation of the type of panel corrosion we have been dealing with.

It's different that what you normally see on wheels, door hinges, battery frames, tail lights etc.


aluMATTER*|*Aluminium*|*Forms of Corrosion*|*Filliform Corrosion
Wow. Very interesting, especially the video. Wonder why the older trailers don't have as big a problem? You'd think Airstream could figure it out. I've been looking at 2008's and 2009's online from various dealers, but think I'll hold off until Airstream changes the coating and/or their application method.
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Old 03-03-2009, 02:49 PM   #646
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Wow. Very interesting, especially the video. Wonder why the older trailers don't have as big a problem? You'd think Airstream could figure it out. I've been looking at 2008's and 2009's online from various dealers, but think I'll hold off until Airstream changes the coating and/or their application method.
To be honest it's actually an Alcoa problem, with Airstreams blessing.
The older trailers aren't effected as they were coated at the factory after assembly. The panels used now come from Alcoa with the coating applied.
Every cut or exposed edge now has the potential for corrosion to start. Count the rivets and you can calculate the odds.
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Old 03-03-2009, 08:06 PM   #647
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To be honest it's actually an Alcoa problem, with Airstreams blessing.
The older trailers aren't effected as they were coated at the factory after assembly. The panels used now come from Alcoa with the coating applied.
Every cut or exposed edge now has the potential for corrosion to start. Count the rivets and you can calculate the odds.
Great..... Saving money, I guess. Well, they can keep their $90k trailers if they're going to skimp on something like that.

Do you know what year they stopped coating them after assembly?
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Old 03-03-2009, 08:23 PM   #648
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Great..... Saving money, I guess. Well, they can keep their $90k trailers if they're going to skimp on something like that.

Do you know what year they stopped coating them after assembly?
The new pre-coated Alcoa sheets started appearing on Airstream trailers sometime during the second half of the 1999 model year I believe.

I don't know if there was a lull between when they stopped coating the trailers themselves and when the pre-coated Aloca sheets first started to show up, of if it was a seamless transition between the factory coating the trailer and the introduction of the Aloca pre-treated alum sheets.

I do know that the factory coated trailers also had finish failures, but I am not sure if they failed as early as 6 months off the line as some cases have been described by owners. Of course, back in the 70s, 80s and early 90s, they were not charging $100k for their largest trailers either......
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Old 03-03-2009, 08:51 PM   #649
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Thanks.... On a used trailer, is there any way to tell if they're likely to have the problem? In other words, if I were to look at a 2004 trailer that has no corrosion (after five years), is it less likely to ever develop the problem since it hasn't yet?
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Old 03-04-2009, 06:20 AM   #650
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Thanks.... On a used trailer, is there any way to tell if they're likely to have the problem? In other words, if I were to look at a 2004 trailer that has no corrosion (after five years), is it less likely to ever develop the problem since it hasn't yet?


Now that's a tough one, most of the filiform on ours showed up in the first two years. Others have found it on the dealers lot. It's been almost three years now with no significant expansion. Until this year. The new spots are a little puzzling as they showed up high on the rear end caps with no exposed edges or obvious breakdown of the clearcoat. I think though that once the exposed areas become apparent the problem does slow down until the clear is breached again due to age or from dings, stone chips etc.

You can see one spot I missed,(in the highlight), the rest I treated last month and temporarily sealed with brush on clear. Your looking at seven of at least 20 spots high on the rear caps.
Granted we are in an area of the Country that can be very hard on all manner of consumer products exposed to the environment, but this coach has been lovingly cared for since new. Gets cleaned regularly and sealed Spring and Fall.

POI, note the very careful application of the teardrop sealant.

RS said it best..."I can't get no satisfaction"
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Old 03-04-2009, 07:44 AM   #651
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I feel our only solution is getting Andy from inland to go public. Get in early and cheap on a IPO, let him manage some franchise shops around the country stripping and painting a/s CORRECTLY for the next 20 years. It might be one of the few stocks that goes in the right direction for a change. If anything, Thor with all that cash should start this one up. That way they can get another 8k on older trailers they sold for a premium price to rivet lovers who are desperate. Now this is a business model that just makes money no matter how bad the economy. Hell, they could shut down the factory and do well painting the units already sold.

What ya think Andy???
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Old 03-04-2009, 10:15 AM   #652
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Here is my suggestion...instead of spending all the money on toy hauler designs and all the fluffly PR stuff like KOAs, which will never yield the type of buyer Airstream is looking for, they should spend the money on improving the product and get back into the coating of the trailers or come up with a real engineering solution, and I mean one better than corrosion X, clear nail polish or the likes..........

I will say that I got flamed pretty hard a few weeks ago from some person that basically told me if I didn't like it, that I should vote with my feet and by something else. What I found interesting was that this person had no skin in the game, meaning they had not spent $30k to $50k (or more) to have the unit's finishes deteriorate between 6 months and 1.5 years after rolling off the assembly line. You can imagine how I took this person's comments to heart. Until you've had it happen yourself, you just can't appreciate the situation.

If you agree or not, do something or not, the fact remains this is an issue, one that has gone on as far as I can tell since 2002 or 2003. I think that is a more than reasonable timeframe for a worthy solution to have been found and implemented. Of course, should you wish to roll the dice and pick up a brand spankin' new unit, go for it...just don't come back saying you weren't warned.
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Old 03-04-2009, 01:35 PM   #653
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Well, just like old age......never thought it would happen to me.....but, our eight-month old Airstream's tail lights and door handle have the dreaded cancerous spots. Queries to Jackson Center, via our dealer, have verified that Airstream will not replace any corrosion items under warranty. After all the forum discussions on this issue, I can't say that I am surprised by the Mother Ship's actions.....but, I am disappointed (to say the least).

I should have learned from other's experiences, but instead have purchased two new Airstreams in less than two years.....I'm a slow learner.

What to do next???

1. Let my emotions take over and slap some "purchase warning" graphics on the Airstream, and continue with our 80+ days of planned travel this year.
2. Build a website entitled "Rolling Corrosion" (with Bob's permission), and allow everyone to post their experiences with new units (I have the resources and time to do this).
3. Cut my losses and find the best possible trade for an SOB, before this thing deteriorates any more.
4. Just suck it up and repair/replace at my own expense, while towing it until the wheels fall off and it's ready for the salvage yard.

The wierd thing is, we like the Airstream......and would like to continue to use for many more years. But, if that becomes our final decision, don't anyone expect me to join in a chorus of singing the praises of Jackson Center.

Buyer beware!
Chief
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Old 03-04-2009, 01:50 PM   #654
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Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie View Post
Here is my suggestion...instead of spending all the money on toy hauler designs and all the fluffly PR stuff like KOAs, which will never yield the type of buyer Airstream is looking for, they should spend the money on improving the product and get back into the coating of the trailers or come up with a real engineering solution, and I mean one better than corrosion X, clear nail polish or the likes..........
Absolutely right - I think it is called "returning to your roots". Fortunately those roots (which had everything to do with design, comfort, quality, functionality, value, longevity and customer satisfaction) don't have to be regrown - if Airstream Inc. wants to resurrect its corporate memory all of the fundamentals were very clearly articulated by ole Uncle Wally (methinks he has been rolling over in his grave for a while now .....)



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Old 03-04-2009, 02:50 PM   #655
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Chief, you've basically summed up the options.

I am choosing option #4:

4. Just suck it up and repair/replace at my own expense, while towing it until the wheels fall off and it's ready for the salvage yard.

Because frankly, I have already taken a significant depreciation hit and to trade it would get me a nice box type trailer with a minimum payment, but new depreciation...so, I am going to simply stick with my Airstream because it is what it is at this point. I've been left holding the bag on what I consider an engineering flaw that the company has no intention of resolving either for me or for new units coming off the line. I have ZERO motivation to ever buy another new one...maybe pre-owned, but will never buy new again and I did plan on upgrading to the 31' Dinette. Not a chance of that now.

I too have the ability to set up a website for folks to post what they have exp, butt I unfort don't have the time...and frankly the factory knows about this thread, knows darn well about the issue so again, as much as I feel it not a bad idea, I doubt it would do much more good than what we have here on the largest Airstream site on the Net.

In the meantime, anyone who asks me about my Airstream and you know you can't stay at nearly ANY campground without at least 1-2 visitors wanting to see the inside and hear about the Airstream. After the inside, guess what I show them next? Then they ask "if you don't mind me asking, about how much was this?" Then I tell them and they look like deer in headlights.

This is just an unmitigated shame.....
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Old 03-04-2009, 04:04 PM   #656
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The wierd thing is, we like the Airstream......and would like to continue to use for many more years. But, if that becomes our final decision, don't anyone expect me to join in a chorus of singing the praises of Jackson Center.

Buyer beware!
Chief


Nothing weird about it Chief, we also love our Stream and wouldn't own any other TT. This time of year most everything turns Silver around here, with a little 50's car cruise'n rolled in.

We were Vintage long before buying the Classic and the thought of getting anything else never entered our minds. My feeling then was, if this trailer is still going strong at 40+years how great would it be having a new one.
After all it's got all the modern conveniences and think how great it will be not having to spend all that time on maintenance and getting it ready every Spring.
Sandy absolutely loved the interior layout and if she's not happy, I'm not happy, QC and corrosion not even thought about. I had no idea the Forum existed then, (my mistake), but after 18yrs of Vintage Stream'n I thought I was pretty Stream savvy. I guess by now I've resigned myself to the fact that I'll be spending more and more of my time dealing with it.

I know there are some here that wish I would just shut-up and stop bitch'n about something your not going to change. But that's not the point, this is a problem, along with QC, that doesn't have to be. On top of that, WE ARE the ones trying to find a workable repair/solution, without even the aknowledgement by the Mothership that these concerns exist.

Again everyone, we love our Stream, are proud of the attention it gets on the highway and at the campgrounds and answer honestly all questions.

I just wish some of the honest answers weren't necessary.

Chief..."Rolling Corrosion".. go for it, just let 'em know it started here.

Bob
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Old 03-04-2009, 04:27 PM   #657
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Send a message via MSN to njoysrvin
we have the problem too and didn't know how wide spread this problem seems to be...count us in on a class action...
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Old 03-04-2009, 06:45 PM   #658
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Interesting observation, recently I have had oportunities to talk to airstream owners who have had very little contact with the airforums or the wbcci. Most noticed that the members of these groups seem to be whiners and complainers and and these people knew even less what the problems in each group were. So are we happy with this perception? I am not! jim
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