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Old 04-27-2009, 06:38 AM   #855
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Thor has learned from delamination issues on SOB's. They understand that all it would take would be the interest of some states Atty General. A negotiated and costly recall.

Tom
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Old 04-27-2009, 07:05 AM   #856
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Originally Posted by dmac View Post
In addition to being way off-topic, this does not sound like a QC issue...

The standard winterizing procedure is to:

- blow out lines with air, or
- run RV antifreeze through the system

If the trailer was not winterized properly the problem is not Airstream's responsibility.
I did blow out the lines and did run antifreeze through the system. My point is that corrosion is a design and/or QC issue, and frustration with such issues leads to not buying new Airstreams. Frustration is increased at 11 pm when getting ready to go to bed and water is spraying around. It's very difficult to clear the sprayer and the quality of the sprayer is low. Off topic is a matter of opinion I suppose/

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Old 04-27-2009, 11:17 AM   #857
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Thanks, Vinnie. Excellant post.

Although the corrosion is troublesome, it does not spoil the love I have for my new (to me) trailer. But having purchased this unit second hand, I would like some idea of what they are condsidering is the "maintenence issue" that is causing the corrosion.
Is there something in the owner's manual that tells us how to avoid it?
I guess that I'm lucky that as of now, it is only showing up on the trim pieces.
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Old 04-27-2009, 11:56 AM   #858
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I would like some idea of what they are condsidering is the "maintenence issue" that is causing the corrosion.
Is there something in the owner's manual that tells us how to avoid it?
We would all like to know the answer to your question, but...

I'm afraid that the only "maintenance" that might prevent filliform would be to clean meticulously, wax, and store in a hermetically sealed plastic bubble kept at 0% humidity. Come to think of it, that's not too far off from what I'm doing and it still doesn't work!
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Old 04-28-2009, 07:47 PM   #859
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I noticed on the factory tour today the Flying Cloud now has the extrusion with the chrome colored insert along the beltline. I believe all the models now have that—International, Classic and the European ones, though I don't recall if the Sports had them. This may be a tacit admission that corrosion problems along the beltline can be solved in this manner.

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Old 04-28-2009, 08:08 PM   #860
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This may be a tacit admission that corrosion problems along the beltline can be solved in this manner.
With a very loose definition of the term "solved"! Since this strip only covers up about 1" of material, the filliform corrosion will spread past it in time.
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Old 04-29-2009, 02:31 AM   #861
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Dan, I think your right if the filiform has started. If not, I'm hoping it won't start. A preventative measure. I'm wondering why it seems the be more common on the beltline than on the other places where the panels are cut? Another corrosion mystery. I think the trailer looks better with the extrusion (trim), so I'm hoping for a win/win.

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Old 04-29-2009, 07:40 AM   #862
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I'm wondering why it seems the be more common on the beltline than on the other places where the panels are cut? Gene
I'm guessing that the beltline may be an Aistream cut edge, while some of the other edges with fewer corrosion problems may be mill cut prior to the application of the clear. The disturbance of the edge causes the clear to lift a little, and the filliform gets it's start.

Corrosion appears to be common wherever the aluminum was cut or drilled during assembly by Airstream, or where the finish has been hit by a stone, etc. It seems that salt, from sea air or road salt, makes the problem worse.

Once a corrosion cell gets a start, the worm tracks will progress unless some action is taken by the owner. I doubt that the spray-on corrosion preventive chemicals, like ACF-50 or Corrosion-X, are able to get far enough under the clear to reach the end of the worm track. Perhaps a very fine syringe could be used to inject the chemical under the clear into the worm track? I suspect that the only way to slow down the inevitable is to remove the clear over the affected area, remove the corrosion, and apply clear paint to seal it. Wet sanding is the best approach I have heard so far.
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Old 04-29-2009, 07:56 AM   #863
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Beltline corrosion

We have an 05 Safari with minor corrosion in spots along the beltline. AS provided the trim package and we were suppose to pay to have it installed by the dealer. After discussing it with the mechanic we opted not to put it on.

As has been stated, it is a band aid cover up and will not terminate the corrosion. I prefer to monitor the beginnings of corrosion and then nip them as the pop up. Covering the area with trim will not give me the access to the problem I think it warrants.

Yes, it does make the unit look good for a year or two. But when those little buggers spread beyond the trim, and they will, then what?

Further, if you examine the manner the trim is affixed, the bottom side of the trim is open to the elements and for drainage. So whatever is causing the corrosion continues to have access to the areas being affected.

My personal opinion on part of the cause, especially along the beltline, is when the metal was bowed or drilled for rivets to affix the the clear coat was breached exposing the metal to the elements causing the problem. Bottomline, it is an ipso facto case...manufacturer's defect. The facts speak for themselves.

Last, this thread is over two years old. No one is any closer to a viable solution short of self maintenance. Time to lawyer up and start a class action. I am tired of playing patty cake with AS. Given the economic conditions and the trend of corporate service and integrity (not), time to start discussing legal options.
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Old 04-29-2009, 08:18 AM   #864
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If someone had a viable option to go the litigation route, I would jump on, but again my initial thoughts early on were, heck yea, we need to get this thing going. Then, I thought about it and what would be the desired outcome of a class action?

1) A credit toward repair (there are no great repairs)

2) A credit toward a new Airstream (so far we've seen every model year have a showing of this problem so who really wants a possible second trailer with the same problem?)

3) Get some sort of monetary compensation (which most of it would be taken by the litigating lawyer)

My direction went from possible litigation to public information. If the factory would not solve or curtail the issue, then I would let everyone and their grandparents know what happened to my trailer. Others jumped on and posted pics of their trailers, their stories and of the factory now starting to walk away from the problem completely while under warranty claiming it as a "maintenance" issue, which we all know is totally false.

I would continue to suggest to everyone who has this problem to post pictures of it. Words are great, but pictures are worth a thousand words and as folks skim the pages of this novel sized thread, I am betting they stop to look at the pics than they read.

As I said earlier, this thread is typically in the top 3 search results of the major search engines by simply typing "problems with Airstreams". It's getting some attention and foot traffic for both current owners and customers looking to buy. Gene has indicated some production changes on some of the lines, which may or may not be a result of customer complaints on the issue. Time will tell what the final solution is, if there is any. As you can tell, this has been going on for several years now, and IMHO, long enough for the company's engineering teams to come up with a viable solution be it outright stopping the root cause, or significantly slowing the process from starting as early as 6 months off the factory floor.
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:11 PM   #865
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I may get flamed for this, but just for a moment, think about: what if there is no solution? In any analysis of a problem, one possible answer is there is no answer.

But on the other hand, how about coating the edges of the cut aluminum with clear coat? When I carpenter cuts wood siding or treated lumber as for a deck, he or she is supposed to coat the edges with a preservative to prevent deterioration. The same goes for the back of siding that is to be painted or sealed ("back priming"). Perhaps we should (or the factory should) use clear coat on all the edges to prevent corrosion. Once it's started it's too late where it's started, but it's not too late where it hasn't.

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Old 04-29-2009, 10:04 PM   #866
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I think that you are right... there is no current solution. Even sealing the edges would only help for a while. A better coating is needed, yet may not exist.

For now, many of us would like a repair procedure that would stop the corrosion locally, yet not look awfull. Something like:

- what grit wet sandpaper, or other abrasive tool, to use such that the mill surface grain of the aluminum is simulated
- what cleaning or prep chemicals to use on the sanded surface
- a spray can or bottle of clear paint that will adhere to aluminum and be reasonablly weather resistant

If the Company can't/won't help with this, I guess we will need to figure it out ourselves.
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Old 04-30-2009, 05:54 AM   #867
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Rivets: some time ago, 2 air started a thread about half moons just outside the rivets or creases across them. The possible reason was dirty rivet guns. I have some damaged rivets and they applied Corrosion X to them. It's a oil and won't last. Presumably corrosion could start at the half moons, so using something as a preventative seems wise. I bought a can, figuring better to use it than not. Since I have been using Griot's Paint Sealant, supposed to last a year (so far looks good) plus their Spray On wax when I wash it, that's another level of protection, though I don't know how the oil and wax interact. So far I have no corrosion.

Another similar problem is delamination of the chrome like inserts on the extrusions (trim). They have replaced that without question, once at the dealer and once at JC. It looks just like filiform, but apparently is a different process. There must be a difference between the surface of the insert and the aluminum—not clear coat on the insert, and I don't know just what it is. I think it comes in rolls and I know it glues on. The colored inserts on older trailers eventually fade and that stuff seems to be a plastic item. So each type of surface has a different dynamic.

What has all of us confused is that the filiform starts for some trailers and not others. How we protect the trailers doesn't seem to matter—some people use all sorts of products to protect the surface and some succeed, others don't. Luck? Different lots of clear coat, some of which are a bad and some of which are a good product? A dielectric reaction on some and not others? A critical combination of weather or salt? It feels like a crap shoot and we are helpless. That's not a good feeling. It's very difficult to be dispassionate about it and not get righteous instead of look for an answer. Since I don't have corrosion, I guess I don't get as worked up and I hope I don't sound preachy.

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Old 04-30-2009, 07:55 AM   #868
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Solution

Yes, some times no solution is the best one in the analysis process. But another phenom that occurs with the human mind is paralysis of analysis. You folks have been working this thing over for some time and are no closer to a solution then when you started. I am not saying this to be critical, just pointing out the reality of the situation.

A good number of the owners posting on this thread strongly believe the proximate cause(s) of the corrosion is a result of either the metal being used or how it is applied. Most agree it is a manufacturer's defect.

The large majority also are convinced the problem should be solved by Airstream one way or another. If solving the corrosion problem means removing sections of metal, so be it. If it means an yearly visit to the dealer to knock down the corrosion that has flared up, then fine. If it means compensation for cosmetic disfigurement, I accept. But I interpret each one of these is a viable resolution to an issue that is not our fault and we should not be absorbing the loss for it.

Until I can read a post from a lawyer who can advise us all what our options are, frankly I am not too interested in rolling merrily along and not be more agressive.

For the record, I am not the litigeous sort, I have never sued anyone. But that doesn't mean there won't be a first time and this could very well be it. Now how about we get a legal opinion posted to lay out some options. If we end up back at the no solution is the best solution, fine, at least we tried.
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