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Old 04-30-2009, 08:55 AM   #869
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In the end, it's my opinion that the trailers need to be re-coated after production. Yes I know Airstream did this before moving to the Aloca pre-finished product and I am also keenly aware that the clears also failed on the older models.....however, I am of the impression that few of these finishes failed as early as 6 months off the factory floor.

Now I heard the whole long drawn out reasoning why Airstream chose the Aloca solution (EPA, etc), but IMHO, if you are going to build a product, charge a premium price, well then you just have to do it right. Clearly the Alcoa protection is not working as described. The old way was problematic, but less so than the current method at the early ages of the trailers.

So, IMHO (and mind you I'm no engineer) Airstream has to take the drastic step of doing something more substantail than simply putting the trim piece back on the center line. This will mask the issue as has been pointed out and will NOT solve the corrosion that is happening on the rivets all over the trailer, nor will it solve the issue on the rims, tail lights and door handles (but these last three may be a supplier issue). That step IMHO is to get a coating booth and start really clearing the trailers by hand themselves after all the cuts and assembly parts are completed. I strongly feel that this would in fact solve the problem to at least a level in par with a customer expectation of a finish that lasts more than 6 months.

Once mine gets bad enough I suspect I'll have a trip in my future to P&S to strip and re-coat my trailer, knowing I may get between 5-10 years if maintained properly.....but it is far more than the 8-10 months I got as I bought my unit brand spanking new, special ordered.

In line with what Frody posted....any lawyers in the house care to comment?
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Old 05-01-2009, 05:27 PM   #870
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Sorry as I'm sure I missed something. Who is P&S and what kind of money are we talking about for refinishing a 27-28 foot trailer?

Thanks

Bob
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Old 05-01-2009, 08:31 PM   #871
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To M Gardens, Bob.... buy a used one! perhaps at least 15 years old. You won't believe the tons of money you will save, plus you won't have the current corrosion problems. We bought a 1987 Excella, exactly the way we wanted it, and it looks pretty darn good! So don't walk away completely, think used. Shop, look, and then decide. We did it because with a 22 year old AS we're still better off than some new SOB. Good luck!
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Old 05-01-2009, 09:29 PM   #872
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Originally Posted by M GARDENS View Post
Sorry as I'm sure I missed something. Who is P&S and what kind of money are we talking about for refinishing a 27-28 foot trailer?

Thanks

Bob
P & S Travel Trailer Service, Helena, Ohio

...a couple grand.
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Old 05-03-2009, 04:19 PM   #873
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Frody, Lawyering has become very specialized. A products liability lawyer would be the one to comment, not a retired generalist like me, but I have already done so many, many posts ago. Briefly, the costs of the research and experts to prove what is happening, what the alternatives are and comparing the loss in value or the cost of fixing it, don't add up.

Many smaller claims (let's say $20,000 or less) cost so much to pursue no lawyer will take it on a contingency basis and who would pay a lawyer and the experts $10,000 or more (much more probably) to win $10,000? I think a metalurgist and an expert on surface coatings would be necessary, maybe at $300/hour or more. If they tell you there is no solution, money down the drain. And you would only win if you could show one or more the defendants were at fault, not an easy thing to do in such a case. You would have to show Airstream and Alcoa knew of a better way to do it and didn't, and if you could show it, the damages aren't that big. The defendants would show such corrosion is common and inevitable on aluminum—see all the posts about planes and boats and there's a logical argument to be made. The cost of refinishing is several grand and that isn't enough damage to outweigh the costs.

Class actions were designed to aggregate many claims so that costs would be spread amongst many, but several years back Congress made federal class actions (the only realistic forum in this kind of case) much more difficult. Thank the political party in charge at the time.

Others have looked into this in the past year and decided it wasn't worth it. I think Eric talked to a lawyer and decided it wasn't to road to go.

This may feel unfair, but it is what it is. Personally I think a large part of the population is denied the financial resources to hire a lawyer, and I don't like that. I made that point to my state bar association several years ago, but was ignored. The costs of practicing law are very, very high, so I don't have a solution to that either.

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Old 05-04-2009, 09:04 AM   #874
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Class Action

Good answer and thankyou. I will put this in Corrosion archives for a reminder when this issue bums me out in the future.

I guess our best alternative is to continue to make it known to RV comsumers the problems incurred. In a past post I suggested writing to RV magazines ie letters to the editor, etc.

I get several and I will send letters to both.
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:31 AM   #875
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I guess our best alternative is to continue to make it known to RV comsumers the problems incurred. In a past post I suggested writing to RV magazines ie letters to the editor, etc.

I get several and I will send letters to both.
Pretty much my MO right now. Writing to the camping mag is a great idea. Airstream Life had some info on it on their blog. I can't begin to tell you how many folks have PM'd me, contacted me and said "hey man, thanks. I would have never known this was possible." One said "I wish I had found the QC and corrosion threads before I bought....."

On the other side of the coin, I was told by some folks basically love it or leave it, take my money and go someplace else if I wasn't happy. Of course none of these folks who have drunk the Kool-Aid and spouted off love it or leave it have any skin in the game, whereas folks on this thread, have anywhere between 6 mo and 7 year old trailer that they paid $40k+ that are basically being abandoned, even under warranty for what is IMHO a manufacturing defect that has to date only had from what I can tell superficial solutions. Maint issue my behind.....it's no maint issue, even by a longshot.

You better believe I'm letting as many folks know about it. Every campground where folks want to come to see the trailer, every camping show where I wind up talking shop with other campers, and yes, this thread, which still comes up in large search engines as one of the top three links when you enter problems with Airstreams.....
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:09 PM   #876
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Unhappy ???!!!!

Hi guys - I'm brand new to the site and stumbled across this thread. My Airstream bubble has burst! This is the first across-the-board negative problem I've heard of.

Do ALL the newer models have this? If I plunk down $50m or so for a 19' '08 or '09 (which is a HUGE amount of $$ for me, BTW) within minutes of leaving the salesroom floor I'm gonna have white spider-y corrosion lines creeping out from every joint???!! - with no means to stop it??

9,878 posts on this! It must be a huge problem. And it sounds like Airstream could care less.

Am I missing something here? I thought (and bought) one of the major reasons for choosing Airstream was the wonderful quality, and how long they retain their worth. I was so sure about my decision. Somebody give me something encouraging here please?!!
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:26 PM   #877
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I've asked this question before and I guess no one knows the answer---will this corrosion eventually go completely through the metal or is it just cosmetic? jim
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:30 PM   #878
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Wow! I sure feel for you guys, my skin is as good as it was when new because of proper clearcoating.
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:35 PM   #879
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Take a look at posts 833 and 834 of this thread (I think they are on page 59 and/or 60). The answer is that there is no common element to know if you'll get it or not. After looking at the photos, you decide if you want to punk down 2x what an SOB costs, go for it. You might be just fine. If yer feeling luck and go through with it, go to Vegas and try your luck there too!

I have no idea if it will go through the metal. The pics though in I think post 834 are bad enough where I think it eventually could, but again, I'm no engineer.
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:40 PM   #880
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I'm a semi- retired sprinkler contractor, years ago Rain Bird had a problem with one of their heads. I called the factory to see what the deal was; they said, "we'll replace the heads and send us a bill for the labor". They stepped up, just like Airstream should.
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:41 PM   #881
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Interesting because the older I get the less I can see the corrosion and the less likely it is that I remember what I was looking at!!! jim
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:43 PM   #882
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I still haven't found any problems with corrosion on my 07 Classic. It's been two years and is now out of warranty so I have my fingers crossed.
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