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Old 03-09-2009, 09:57 AM   #701
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Several people have posted they can see no evidence the clear coat is compromised, but the filiform has started. That doesn't mean it isn't compromised because unless you have an electron microscope at home, your eyes aren't good enough to see things at the molecular level.

It could mean the clear coat has enough spaces between it's molecules for other things to get through the clear coat such as salt or water or some other chemical. It could mean the clear coat is not sprayed on evenly and there are slight voids or it is so thin in places other substances can get through. The clear coat may be so inferior that it wears in some places quickly. It seems obvious it is more likely to happen where the aluminum has been cut or pierced, but it doesn't always happen there. Some parts, such as tallights and door handles are even more susceptible. The aluminum, in addition, could be of inferior quality as suggested above.

Why do some people have this problem and others don't? Are different lots of aluminum and/or clear coat involved? Is application of the clear coat done differently at different times or by different people, some of whom are careless?

Without real scientific analysis all this is speculation. Unless we know what process or processes are at work here, any solutions are a process of elimination until someone stumbles, perhaps intelligently, perhaps by pure luck, upon a solution.

I keep hoping someone with the scientific knowledge and access to the right equipment buys an Airstream with the problem and finds this Forum and thread and gets to work. It's possible the answer is known at a manufacturer—Alcoa or the provider of the clear coat. Hiding a product defect and hoping it will magically go away is not uncommon in the manufacturing world and has often been discovered in legal proceedings, but as we know, that is also an expensive process. I'm hoping for the aggrieved scientist to show up.

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Old 03-09-2009, 10:36 AM   #702
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Several people have posted they can see no evidence the clear coat is compromised, Gene
I'm one.

Found these last month high on the rear panels. This area was "clean" when sealed last Fall. No hail or ice falling over the Winter. I inspected the one spot that I missed with the DW's jewelery loupe after first posting this photo and did not find any compromise of the coating. I don't rule out something being there, I just couldn't find it
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:23 AM   #703
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I'm sure some of you know, this is NOT a new problem. The gentleman I bought my Safari from has a 1965 Globetrotter with the original peeling clearcoat and very significant filiform corrosion. I really don't think that there is a solution to the problem you are discussing here, Weather you are talking about the finish or the alloy. To the best of my knowledge this has been a problem since they started clearcoating back in the late fifties/ early sixties. Any honest finish producer will tell you that finishes are not a completely protective coating. There is always transfer of moisture through clear finishes.
The issue here is that it's happening WAY TOO SOON! It is a defect, in my opinion, if it shows up significantly in about the first eight to ten years of a trailers life. If I had a two year old trailer with the corrosion I see on Sherries I would be filing a small claims court suit for the maximum allowed in your state. It would only take a few losses in that arena for airstream to take serious notice of your problem.
Sorry for your loss, Rich
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:52 AM   #704
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I can't tell you what other states do, but here if you file a claim in small claims court against a large corporation they will get it transferred to county or district court so their lawyers can appear. Small claims court is a good solution for many small claims between individuals, but isn't set up for these kind of claims.

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Old 03-09-2009, 12:18 PM   #705
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If there was no coating applied to the skin, how long would the shine last???

The units still need washing and waxing yearly.
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:44 PM   #706
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I understand that each state has their own laws regarding small claims, but if you want to get any redress at all you have to pursue it. This thread is huge, and it has been going on for years, yet there is apparently nobody taking any legal action that I have heard of. Obviously the first step in the process is to file a warranty claim, so the company will have something to dismiss/ ignore. After that the next step is to PUSH them into paying attention, which, for any business means legal action. I understand that trying to make this a class action suit is really not in the cards, but that would be the third or fourth step in the process, not the first.
In California it is not possible for a corporation to have a claim moved out of small claims and into another forum. They have to deal with you there. And who here thinks that a civil court judge would look at the pictures we see here and dismiss it as "normal wear? I think it's probably the only way to address the issue that would make AS stand up and take notice. After all, they are in business to make profit, and if you take a small bite out of it you will become much more important in their eyes.
The fact that they were previously replacing and repairing these problems shows that they took responsibility for it in the first place. This is just a tool to get them to accept that responsibility again, as they well should.
Thanks, Rich
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Old 03-09-2009, 08:23 PM   #707
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Hey THANKS everybody for all of the support and very good suggestions. While I am now the official "Filiform Poster Trailer"....geeze.....at least now I have some direction for contacting Airstream, contacting Bates RV, removing this mess myself, and knowing I have a whole bunch of intelligent Airstreamers helping me out. THANKS!
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Old 03-09-2009, 09:03 PM   #708
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Today I tried removing several corrosion spots with fine Scotch Brite. Much of the corrosion did come off, but the aluminum dust tends to discolor the immediately surrounding clearcoat. I cleaned it the best I could with mineral spirits, and brushed on a little Krylon clear paint. It does not look very good, but it's no worse than when I started. Maybe it will slow down the cancer a little.
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:56 PM   #709
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Great posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by VIKING View Post
I understand that each state has their own laws regarding small claims, but if you want to get any redress at all you have to pursue it. This thread is huge, and it has been going on for years, yet there is apparently nobody taking any legal action that I have heard of. Obviously the first step in the process is to file a warranty claim, so the company will have something to dismiss/ ignore. After that the next step is to PUSH them into paying attention, which, for any business means legal action. I understand that trying to make this a class action suit is really not in the cards, but that would be the third or fourth step in the process, not the first.
In California it is not possible for a corporation to have a claim moved out of small claims and into another forum. They have to deal with you there. And who here thinks that a civil court judge would look at the pictures we see here and dismiss it as "normal wear? I think it's probably the only way to address the issue that would make AS stand up and take notice. After all, they are in business to make profit, and if you take a small bite out of it you will become much more important in their eyes.
The fact that they were previously replacing and repairing these problems shows that they took responsibility for it in the first place. This is just a tool to get them to accept that responsibility again, as they well should.
Thanks, Rich
VIKING,

I agree with both of your posts. The small claims action is on my list since California does have a very good small claims system. My corrosion started in the first year and was noted on each service visit at our local Airstream Service Center. Each time I requested the problem to be repaired under warranty, and at first the simple problems such as the tail lights, license plate lamp and door hinges were replaced under warranty, but when we got to the panel corrosion...denied, they offered to cover it up with a beltline trim if I paid the labor...I refused. All of this is in writing with one final letter direct to Corporate at Jackson Center requesting repair under warranty. All of this was done within the two year warranty period. I keep hoping the small claims limit is raised so the real cost of the damage can be fully covered. My corrosion is horrific, sherrylyne's pictures are mild in comparison, and as you suggested, I am pretty sure a judge would agree and then some.

We are going to keep our Airstream, it (not sure if it is a he or she) deserves a good life, and even though there are some imperfections, we are not going to let some corporate baffoons ruin the legacy. America needs it's icons, now more than ever.

Thanks for everyones input and collective mindset, and a special thanks to Silvertwinkie.
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Old 03-10-2009, 05:33 AM   #710
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Today I tried removing several corrosion spots with fine Scotch Brite.

Point to remember here, Scotch Brite is glass and will scratch glass, not to be used to clean the bugs off the windshield or filliform off the Airstream.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:50 PM   #711
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As somebody who is seriously looking to buy a new 28ft Airstream 684 UK type . This has really started to concern me. Sherry`s corrosion is shocking on a 2007 model and airstreams stance is of a company that, either does not care or cannot afford too. If they think people do not wise up before they buy , time to smell the coffee . Thanks for the info may have saved me a lot of grief .
I hope your consumer laws are tougher in Europe. DO NOT buy the damn thing new. If possible find a used one, hammer them on pricing, all of our recently made units value will be dropping like a rock. I can not think of a better time to buy used, Armed with this information, and the economy, well happy hunting. You may need a good body shop/ repair center like inland rv to strip and repaint the thing, or just it let it go. The world is going to be full of silver tubes with blotches going down the road.
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Old 03-10-2009, 02:53 PM   #712
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Me thinks at some point, I will have a date with these boys:

P & S Travel Trailer Service, Helena, Ohio

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Old 03-10-2009, 03:25 PM   #713
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Small claims courts, usually a division of a county court, have pretty low limits on damage awards. Your damage may be far more and if you win in small claims, you may forfeit the amount over the award limit. County court recovery limits are also low in many states and also may not cover the full amount of the damage. You also have to know the jurisdiction of the particular court. A warranty claim may not be within the jurisdiction of a small claims or a county court. I know this stuff is obscure to most everyone, but be sure to ask the court clerk about it. The general idea of a small claims court is to help the plaintiff fill out some forms and they should be able to tell you what can be filed there, but if they are wrong, you may be up the creek. A small claims or county court may not have the authority to order the dealer or the company to do anything. Their jurisdiction may be limited to money awards only. For example, in Colorado, such courts have very little authority to issue an injunction and not in this type of case. Only courts of general jurisdiction (district courts here, circuit courts in some states, other names elsewhere) have such jurisdictional authority, but it depends on the state. You will need to show what it would cost to fix this. Since it is difficult to know what will solve this, how much money will cover the repair? Or can you show how much the damage reduces the value of the trailer—pretty hard to do without expert testimony—and would seem to need some understanding of product liability law. There may be more claims than a warranty claim, but that calls for some research.

You will need copies of your purchase contract and the warranty and hopefully some record of any corrosion claims made by you to the dealer or company. Can you show what it would cost to repair the damage? Would it mean replacing all the aluminum? Is the state's Lemon Law involved? The Lemon Law may mean, and I don't know as they are different in every state, you have to follow its requirements before you can file a suit.

There may be statute of limitations issues—they are different for different types of claims and can be very confusing. Experienced lawyers get this wrong at times, though Colorado may have the most confusing limitations of all. So, it's best to act fast, but also to know what you're doing.

I'm not trying to discourage anyone, though it is discouraging. You do have to consider: What level of court works for this? Where is that court, i.e., where do I file it?—probably in the county where a dealer which is an agent of the company is located. What authority does the court have to take the case?—a statute perhaps, as well as the jurisdiction of a court. What am I trying to prove and how can I back that up?—photos, documents, witnesses. What is my goal?—a court order for someone to do something, money, or both. Not everyone is good at litigation, including some lawyers, and it's good to know your personal limits. Asking an experienced professional how to proceed may be a good idea.

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Old 03-10-2009, 03:37 PM   #714
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I understand not using it for bugs, but corrosion? What makes this different than sandpaper? sand = glass
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Point to remember here, Scotch Brite is glass and will scratch glass, not to be used to clean the bugs off the windshield or filliform off the Airstream.
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