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Old 04-18-2007, 09:53 PM   #57
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OK since I like to worry this looks like something I can get my teeth into.
My classic 25 2006 is just shy of 2 years and I have given it a good look no problems as of yet. But even before this thread I had decided to treat seams with Aviation CorrosionX. Now I may make the Rivits a target as well. I have owned private aircraft since 1974 until a year ago when someone stole my new engine off of it. I guess I should have worried a little more about that.
Anyway other than those products mentioned I thought I would mention this one. No smell, won't hurt the paint or coating according to them. Only thing is once used it will weep for quite awhile requiring clean up.

Pappy
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Old 04-18-2007, 09:57 PM   #58
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My unit, described in post #20, was purchased new from a Florida dealer that was ~20 miles from the Gulf coast, and I towed it home in the winter upon which it may have received some road salt. It has been stored inside except for January through October of 2003, and May through October 2006. It has been washed a few times, and Walbernized about 3-4 times. I attribute the skin corrosion problem to:

- clearcoat lifting at edges
- factory holes for accessories and trim
- rivits
- tiny road chips in frontal surfaces

Once started, it worm-tracks all over. ACF-50 and the like might help prevent some initial problems, but may not help much for advanced problems as the corrosion continues underneath the clearcoat. It seems that where the clear has not failed, it works fine. Where there is the tiniest breach - the clearcoat actually appears to make the problem worse.

The corrosion of the trailer wheels, license plate frame, exterior lights, door handle, etc... is easy to fix (temporarily) by replacing the part. The skin is a much more serious problem. I believe that Airstream has a systemic problem, they know about it, and are choosing to do nothing about it because the warranty is only for 2 years. They do not appreciate that the Internet will spread the word quickly, and their principal asset (the Airstream brand) will erode.

Look at this old thread: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f236...sues-8654.html
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Old 04-18-2007, 10:57 PM   #59
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and so it begins

Quote:
Originally Posted by SafariSS
[...] I am concerned with what the long term (that is 10years old +), effects are. I wonder if the aluminium is pitting under the bubble?
Me too!

Sadly, I can confirm the AL below the clearcoat is most definitely pitting. *sigh*

As promised, I checked my 2007 Safari -- built 10/2006, parked in San Diego ~ 5 miles from the ocean in my own yard, and alas, no overhead cover -- and it had a couple of spots (click for larger):

corrosion started on the R.S. tail light assembly:
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corrosion well entrenched on the grab handle by the door:
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The handle's clearcoat had already flaked away in the affected area. Scratching at it with my fingernail reveals a rather rough surface and some powdery debris. I'd guess that if the handle were attached with some sort of gasket this wouldn't be a problem. It certainly looks as if the mating surface is completely unsealed, as the corrosion seems to be eminating from those surfaces.

I found many buck rivets to be a little "off center", so some of the clear coat is actually bunched up a bit around them (over bucked?). Fortunately, no signs of corrosion that I could see other than the pictured spots.

Going in, we expected this trailer to be with us for decades...hope so? Guess I'll be ordering some of the treatments noted here...

bummed,
-jd.
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Old 04-19-2007, 01:52 AM   #60
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Hmmmmm

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
hi john

what month did your unit travel to the dealer...

just thinking about the first dose of midwest road salt/sand and rocky mnt sand followed by more salt...

the na, mg and ca salts are leave chloride on the skin..

cheers
2air'
Hi 2air

I believe our As was towed to our dealer in So Cal from the factory in early March of 2006. It was made in late February. I have no clue if the travel took it through salted roads. I did see it when it first arrived, before the PDI, and I did not see signs of road grime on the aluminum or the plastic covers over the rock guards. I am fairly sure it wasn't washed before I saw it that day. Although it has been in lots of rain, it has never seen snow on the road.....and in California that requires a trip to the mountains in the winter...that is when we are in the desert.

Should I be using one the the previously mentioned products to slow this process down?

John
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Old 04-19-2007, 06:45 AM   #61
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With 5Cats, I think we're now at 16 units.

Keep 'em coming.......
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Old 04-19-2007, 07:25 AM   #62
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Ok, it seems we have some consensus that it would be a good idea to apply one of the treatments mentioned above to the seams and rivets. Can anyone provide a suggestion on which one to use of:

Aviation CorrosionX (CorrosionX Aviation)

ACF50 (ACF-50)

Boeshield (Boeshield T-9)

Each of these seems to be the best according to their web pages. I am looking for first hand experience. My thoughts are a waxy product would be more effective than a thinner product. I also wonder if one of these might damage or dissolve the existing sealants used during manufacturing.

Any thoughts?
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Old 04-19-2007, 10:07 AM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TIMEMACHINE
Should I be using one the the previously mentioned products to slow this process down? John
hi john...

it's hard to imagine a trek from ohio to cali in feb/march
that wouldn't hit some snow, rain or road salts...

i hope that was your case.

i heard about a few units shipped during that time with tank sensor failures.

the sensors were all corroded and travel through a 'spring' snow storm was blamed.

YES i would be experimenting with one of the cpc for aluminum...

corrosion of exposed aluminum is a characteristic well known...

what isn't well known is the overall success of the alcoa applied finish.

airstream and airstreams have 75 years of finish issues...

and the truly painted units (argosy and 1 year of a/s trailers) have held up best over all other finishes...

wjboswell

i agree with the notion that some waxy residue is better than none....

perhaps even better would be a product that dries to a HARD finish,

except for the inevitable breaches.

fair comparisons or 'proof of the best product' is tricky...

the 2nd link in a previous post does include an apparently neutral comparison of some of the products...

here again

http://dspace.dsto.defence.gov.au/ds...pounds+for.pdf

clearly folks need to experiment some...

i like t-9 and even use it to coat the exposed iron under the ford 2-3 times/year...
but plan to try some acf 50 soon too...

marshall reports no negative effects on the sealants using acf...
i've not seen any issues from t-9 either, but i don't intentionally use it on rubber/plastics/acrylics

cheers
2air'

for those that have watched a/s construction; seen how the finished panels are stored and handled...

it should be 'clear' why the alcoa finish is breached at many regular locations...

imagine a stack of plywood palets delivered; then each piece cut, drilled, nailed with very few finished edges or trim pieces...

now imagine no additional surface finished applied to the boards....

that is the exterior of our newer units...
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Old 04-19-2007, 11:23 AM   #64
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wheel care....

we've not covered this issue...

wheels.

alcoa made mine so here's the dope...

the a/s store carries these alcoa branded products.

they are hard to find elsewhere.

some trucker truck stops have 'em

but alcoa has more than one wheel finish.

so sort this out yer self .

it's a leap of faith assuming the a/s store has the right stuff...

took the leap but forgot these products were in my kit...

i do have them...
but only use 'step 1 and 3'

basically a 3 part system.
1. clean
2. polish
3. seal

so i'm wondering now IF the sealant product (which dries hard) might be useful on the skin....

i have not tired this (danger danger will robinson)

cheer
2air'
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Old 04-19-2007, 12:21 PM   #65
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The best thing you can do before using any of the selant type products is get the seam really clean. Then rinse it with de-ionized or distilled water and let it dry.

Filiform corrosion starts as a little microscopic bit of material that is cathodic to aluminum. With a little bit of moisture, it forms a tiny concentration cell. It invariably happens under a coating, otherwise the environment is too dry for the corrosion to proceed.

I don't have any filiform corrosion on my uncoated '59.

If you wash your pride and joy with water that is just the slightest bit hard, the calcium salts will form a hard water spot on the unprotected edge of the seam. That hard water spot is enough to cause a corrosion cell. Imagine if you live close to the ocean?

Everything else said above about seams and rivet holes makes alot of sense. I would just make sure the last step before you use the corrosion preventer is a DI water rinse.

ref: MIL-C-5541
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Old 04-19-2007, 01:20 PM   #66
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Andy from Inland posted Dave Schumann's email address. I decided to give the company another try and I have emailed him the situation and perhaps he may have some solutions that the support folks didn't or couldn't suggest.

Here is the content that was sent:

Dear Mr. Schumann,

Andy of Inland RV posted your email to the airforums today and I felt that having worked with ********** on this issue, that it may be time to get answers from someplace else.

I bought a new 2004 Airstream Safari and took delivery in December of 2003. I've had some issue with this unit, but all issues have been small compared to the corrosion my unit is showing (you can see a few photos of the issue at Airstream Issue) Randy's suggestion to me was that I apply nail polish to the effected areas. The only problem with that is the corrosion is everywhere now and this does not seem like a good solution, nor does it address the root cause. Additionally, Randy said that adding the belt line trim and overlaying panels may also be solutions, of course, now at my cost.

Back in spring of 2005, I drove out to Jackson Center and had some warranty work done. In that list of items were all four rims and both cast aluminum tail lights that were replaced due to what is being described as form fill corrosion.

I understand the unit is out of warranty and I do expect that some level of wear and tear is normal for finishes exposed to the elements, but 30% or more of my body panels are now showing this corrosion (and growing), even though my Safari spends most of it's time indoors in storage when not in use. It has never been used in the winter, nor has it been abused in any way. The unit is kept clean and Walbernize RV Super Seal is applied about 2x per year based on the factories suggestion when I bought my 2003 Bambi.

I'm not satisfied with the fact that I spent about $**k on this trailer to have the body finish totally fail at such a young age. You can imagine my shock to find that many Airstream owners are having the same problem. You can read more about it here:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f142/corrosion-issues-31743.html

I'd like to know what Airstream is prepared to do about this issue, and clearly there is an issue. I don't personally feel that we owners should bear the entire cost of any of Airstream's suggested solutions.

I look forward to hearing from you and thanks in advance for you help in this matter.
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Old 04-19-2007, 01:52 PM   #67
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Andy from Inland visted Airstream recently and offered to take any questions we had to the folks there. Of course, my question had to do with the corrosion issue. This was the answer that Andy posted. As you can tell, it's an answer, but not a very good one if you ask me (not directed toward Andy of Inland RV).

This means that EVERY Airstream since mid 1999 through today can have this issue. That is a VERY EXPENSIVE gamble that your Airstream won't go through what 16 of us so far are going through.

How would you like to spend $90k on a nice 34' Classic and find that the exterior is corroding like the pics you've seen on this thread? I can tell you I spent less than half that amount and I'm still very troubled by this problem.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
Airstream advises that the new style clear coat can "crack."

That being the case, corrosion can take place.

Andy
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Old 04-19-2007, 08:29 PM   #68
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Does anyone have a recommendation for a very small polishing wheel to locally polish through the clear-coat and corrosion? Something which will work on a very small area such as visible in some of the photos-maybe something like a dental tool. Then the small polished area can be touched up with some clear-coat. Mine ish't to that point now but thinking ahead.

Eric: Spent a while googling filiform corrosion aluminum. One point which often recurred was humidity (less than 50% will slow the process). Is there a way to check humidity in your enclosed garage, and run a dehumidifier effectively?
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Old 04-19-2007, 09:16 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane
I don't have any filiform corrosion on my uncoated '59.
thanks for helping to clarify this...

my post regarding all airstreams having "finish issues" was incomplete.

i was lumping glavanic events AND oxidation into the topic of corrosion...

galvanic activity is the most distructive (right?)

and the normal expected surface oxidation is mostly cosmetic until the pits get deep...

filiform corrosion is exactly as mark has described but not usually a threat to the structure...

filiform looks ugly, contributes to decline of the topcoat, and these are big concerns for us...

also it leaves an oxide behind (right?) similar to the basic oxides of surface oxidation on most aluminum alloys...

so i may be incorrectly lumping ugly filiform corrosion with the universe of oxidation...

but my point is that airstreams have had 'finish issues' across the decades...

surely mark you've had to deal with surface oxidation occasionally?

isn't that partly why folks buff, compound, polish and so on,

along with the 'pretty' factor?

here is a big site with LOTS of corrosion AND oxidation resources...

Corrosionsource.com - The One-Stop Materials and Corrosion Information Resource

for those that still hunger...

cheers
2air'

Quote:
Originally Posted by tpi
Does anyone have a recommendation for a very small polishing wheel to locally polish through the clear-coat and corrosion?
check some of the auto detailing forums, websites or auto paint shops in your local...

i've used small pen-brushes for prep that might work...

typically these are fiberglass and some are very precise...

and like all tools require some practice to master...

so don't sand through the skin..
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Old 04-22-2007, 11:40 AM   #70
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Our trailer was built in July '06. So far we don't have this issue.

How many of the affected Units have T.V.'s or upgraded/modified stereo's?

Being Ludites we have niether and rarely use the factory radio.

Just wondering if thats a factor as improperly grounded electronics were
listed as a cause.
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