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Old 03-11-2009, 09:06 AM   #729
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Polishing out filiform corrosion takes longer than polishing out regular aluminum oxide. I would tend to think that it takes longer because it is a deeper form of corrosion. When I polish my trailer it gets a good even shine to it except where there is filiform. I find I have to go over it three or four times more than the rest of the trailer needs. I think that having the corrosion trapped beneath the finish allows it, or forces it to plow deeper into the aluminum surface than it would if left unprotected.
I understand that the newer trailers are made with a grade of aluminum that does shine up well, but maybe a little less shine than the old type aluminum. No doubt it would be much shinier than the stock milled finish. I heard this discussed on an early episode of The Vap, Probably the one on the worlds shiniest trailer.
I would love to see pics of one that's been polished. Anybody out there done that?
Lets see some shiny new trailer pics, please!

Good day, Rich
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:32 AM   #730
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VIKING View Post
=
I would love to see pics of one that's been polished. Anybody out there done that?
Lets see some shiny new trailer pics, please!

Good day, Rich
All About P&S Travel Trailer Service

Take a peek at the tri-axle in the picture. Not sure, but it very well could be a unit with the pre-treated Aloca finish and for sure the different alum than the vintage.
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Old 03-11-2009, 12:43 PM   #731
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VIKING View Post
Polishing out filiform corrosion takes longer than polishing out regular aluminum oxide.
I would love to see pics of one that's been polished. Anybody out there done that?
Lets see some shiny new trailer pics, please!

Good day, Rich

In process, it won't happen real soon but I'll post results. Need a couple of 5"x5" Samples of the current skin.
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Old 03-19-2009, 03:31 PM   #732
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Oh my goodness!

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Originally Posted by sherrylynne View Post
Well, thanks everybody for all the information. I thought I was the only one with this problem. Bates RV in Tampa told me this is not a warranty item...I find that hard to believe. If my 2006 Tundra were doing this, I can assure you Toyota would fix it! Love the Airstream...don't like the corrosion.
All the Best,
Sherry
I can't believe this is my first post on the Airstream forum.

Last month, my wife and I had finally decided that we would actually purchase our first RV. We'll soon have the house to ourselves; our son is graduating, and our retirement approaches. It seems like we've been dreaming about it for years, going from one RV show to another, one dealer to another, always putting it off because we didn't see just what we wanted - though I'll admit we didn't quite know what we wanted till we saw it. The Airstream Flying Cloud 25FB we saw on a NJ dealer's web sit is the one though. We were so excited that we were planning a trip up there from Virginia to see it in person!

Now, we're back to the drawing board. I've spent the better part of a day reading the 50+ pages of this thread. I just cannot imagine how awful I'd feel every time I looked at my new $50K+ Airstream and saw things like Sherry shows in her post (#658 and #659). Then, to hear that it's still happening in 2009's! Add to that the fact that the dealers and Airstream are walking away from helping you in an economy when they should be falling all over themselves to make you, their best ambassadors, insanely happy. It is just stunning.

Someone mentioned earlier, maybe they're walking away from you because they simply don't know how to fix the problem. That's just hard for me to believe though considering the kind of resources Alcoa, Airstream and Thor have. Somehow car manufactures can handle clearcoats. There has to be a scientific solution to this problem.

I believe Airstream, probably for financial reasons, has made a conscious decision to continue without fixing the problem with the hope that enough people will buy the "magic of Airstreaming" before finding out about the problem. In today's connected online environment, that is a huge risk to take. It's a risk that is even more pronounced in a tough economy for the RV industry.

I do want to thank you folks for the information. You have saved us from making a very costly mistake. From the other threads I've read, I can tell you all share a wonderful community and much joy in your Airstreams and your travels. I wish you all well and hope that someday, when this issue is solved, we too may join you. We will keep checking back because I still believe that there's just nothing like the Airstream.
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Old 03-19-2009, 03:36 PM   #733
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VaVet, consider an older one before this became a problem. Not all newer ones have corrosion, but I suppose it is a crap shoot.

Gene
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:41 PM   #734
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VaVet, consider an older one before this became a problem. Not all newer ones have corrosion, but I suppose it is a crap shoot.

Gene
Thank-you Gene. I'll do that. I've leaned toward buying new just because I'm not the handiest of people and I'm not really looking for a big rehab project. Got a "can do" attitude though and still learn pretty quickly. What's the latest model year or two you'd consider "safe"?
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Old 03-19-2009, 07:17 PM   #735
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VaVet, I haven't a clue. We bought new because I have so many projects going at home, I didn't want to do a trailer also. Of course, I just spent 3 1/2 hours securing vinyl tubing around the propane lines under the trailer, so there's always plenty to do.

If you are not handy, you will become so, or be spending a lot of money at an RV shop. The '90's had some nice trailers and they were lighter, so you wouldn't need as big a truck to tow it. I think the same can be said of the '80's. We like the blue stripes on the Excellas, but that's not a good enough reason to buy anything. Before the present clear coat came along in 1999, an earlier version peeled off in splotches on some trailers. You will see some trailers looking like skin peeling off a sunburn. Some have been stripped of the older clear coat, some not. Only if you go back a generation or so, will you find the shiny, uncoated aluminum. Then you'll have to polish it a lot, no fun in that to me.

Every one has a different level of what they want to do themselves. Every era of Airstream seems to have its problems. Look for one owned by an anal retentive person who has kept everything in great shape and replaced and modernized before anyone else, but can't travel anymore and will sell his or her beauty. You may have to look around for a while. Make sure to have it inspected (see the right side of the Forum page, or maybe it's the Portal page, for inspectors) because no one can see everything even if you're an expert.

We have towed 9,500 miles in 1 1/2 years and have no corrosion. Others buy a trailer off the lot and it already has corrosion. Some have them for several years and then it shows up. It may depend on what days it was made, the particular lot of clear coat, or aluminum, or how much salt has attacked, or dumb luck, or electrolysis, or something, or somethings. I was aware of this thread when we were looking at trailers and checked them for corrosion and found none. We decided to take a chance. So far, so good, but if I start seeing it, I'll sure be mad and looking for a solution.

I think once someone has aluminitis, it is hard to wait, so be careful. I was going to wait and check everything, but I succumbed very fast. If you have read so much already, you probably have the disease and it will manifest virulently once you get near an Airstream. There is no cure. It's like growing a second head after taking some prescription drug that wasn't tested enough—think of it as a companion for life even if it's a little funny looking; just accept it as a dear friend.

Gene
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:13 PM   #736
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Vavet.....Gene is right....it's a crap shoot. No way to tell until you own it, then it can be too late, or not. Some however might show it right on the dealer's lot.

My only suggestion would be to buy a newer pre-owned unit. Buy an 05, 06 or 07. Some depreciation is already gone, and if the issue comes up you won't have paid top dollar. With the $$ you'd save you could pay to have the shell redone down the road and maybe have some $$ leftover.

If however you have already signed the papers on the '09, I will keep my fingers and toes cross for you.
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:34 PM   #737
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I have never seen a late model Airstream that does not have filliform corrosion. Perhaps there are some in dry country like CO or AZ.
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Old 03-20-2009, 04:11 AM   #738
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Thanks folks. Great ideas. I hadn't heard the term "aluminitis", Gene. Both my wife and I got a good laugh out of your description! She got it bigtime the first time we walked into an Airstream (a 30' Classic I think) at an RV show. Took me a little longer, but you're right, once you've got the bug, you're in for life!

I'm very hopeful that Airstream Inc. is addressing this and will solve the problem soon. Their products are such wonderful American icons, and there are too few of those left anymore. It's sad to see something like this cost them sales. Anyway, great forum. Thanks again.
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Old 03-20-2009, 04:27 PM   #739
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Yep...best bet IMHO 2-5yr old 25-27ft.

Shop careful
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Old 03-20-2009, 10:23 PM   #740
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It seems to be arrested!

I've been watching and adding to this thread for some time. I have corrosion along the waist line of my 2006 Bambi. I also live just a few blocks from the ocean. What I have noticed in the last year or so is it doesn't seem to be spreading or getting worse where it already was present. What I have done is: I have q-tipped the waist line seam and rivets with Boeshield T-9 and I have waxed it three times in the last year with Turtle wax paste. (The waxing is a pain and would be worse if our trailer was a longer model). I think that I have probably sealed up the raw areas along the waist line. Before I started reading this thread I used to just wash and dry it. Maybe if I would have waxed it when it was brand new the corrision wouldn't have come at all, or not.

Randy Bowman
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Old 03-21-2009, 06:20 AM   #741
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Randy,

You have done it right, keep them clean and sealed, frequent inspections,

Face JC and pray to Thor.
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Old 03-21-2009, 07:10 AM   #742
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It is important to remind folks to look at post 685 and 686 of this thread, as it shows IMHO, the worst case scenario played out. I wax that hell out of my unit too and perhaps that is one reason my unit does not look like the pics in post 685 and 686 of this thread (on page 49 at the bottom).
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