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Old 05-04-2009, 02:50 PM   #883
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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.
I don't think Airstream is going to "step up". They can put this off until people get tired of posting about it. My guess is their warranty costs have gotten out of hand the past couple of years because of the "lack of quality" issues. All in all I really can't complain because my unit had very few issues, and I took care of those. I know a lot of owners have had many problems and if I were one of those, I would be sick after spending $60K + on a trailer.
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Old 05-04-2009, 03:10 PM   #884
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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??
I went to inspect a model for someone at a local dealer and he showed me the corroision that was already present on all the new models that he had in his lot, about a half a dozen units. Most was at the raw edges pretty much all across the front and back segments. Now mine does not have that extent of corroision nor is that location particularly heavily corroded as the ones I saw on the lot that day. However Brad's 2007 has it there quite heavily and his tail light castings are a terrible mess. AS is no longer taking care of the tail light corroision as they had in the past now either. It's a do it yourself recoat unless perhaps we got it back to the dealer. It used to be some owners were able to have the new part ordered out and replaced, depending upon your dealer perhaps.
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Old 05-04-2009, 04:11 PM   #885
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Does anyone have access to a free printer and free ink? I was thinking why couldn't someone print off all these discussion pages and send them to the decision makers at Jackson Center and a copy to the Chairman at of Thor and ask for a response.
They(Airstream company rep.) could actually become a member of the forum and answer the questions concerning these problems directly. I know that won't ever happen, just thought it might be a good way for them to address problems first hand.
To be frank, I was thinking about a new 27 footer in the near future, but this thread
had me put on the breaks on that idea. I'll just stay with my old trailer, who needs to spend all that money for a bunch of problems.
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Old 05-04-2009, 04:24 PM   #886
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Does anyone have access to a free printer and free ink? I was thinking why couldn't someone print off all these discussion pages and send them to the decision makers at Jackson Center and a copy to the Chairman at of Thor and ask for a response.
They(Airstream company rep.) could actually become a member of the forum and answer the questions concerning these problems directly. I know that won't ever happen, just thought it might be a good way for them to address problems first hand.
To be frank, I was thinking about a new 27 footer in the near future, but this thread
had me put on the breaks on that idea. I'll just stay with my old trailer, who needs to spend all that money for a bunch of problems.
B.,

The factory is well aware of this thread. As a matter of fact I personally know a few factory employees in the know that have been on this thread. A fellow forum member was out at Jackson Center a bit ago and they told that forum member that they were well aware of this thread and what is in it. This is not the first time a forums member has told this either. It's fairly common when a forums member goes to Jackson Center I heard something about this problem and how they spoke with them about it. Sending them a paper copy will yield the same results as the thread itself.....a dial tone.

You could buy a pre-owned at up to half the price if you have aluminitus. That way if the nasty comes out, you wouldn't have paid top dollar. Odds are if you find a 2 year old trailer or older an it doesn't have it, it most likely won't, but that is not a promise......
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Old 05-04-2009, 08:33 PM   #887
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m.a., I don't have any corrosion after 1 1/2 years. Since the owners with corrosion are more likely to post than those without, trying to figure out just how many have it is impossible (maybe someone wants to start a poll?). Will it go through the skin? Well, all metal corrodes or oxydizes (not exactly the same I think, but enough for an amateur), but the oxidation actually protects the surface to some extent because it forms a film over it. It doesn't look pretty though.

When you put some sort of surface coating on, and water or some other substance gets under the coating, I think it can speed the process because the substance is in constant contact with the metal, or wood, for that matter. A piece of unpainted wood can last hundreds of years while a painted one, once the surface of the paint is compromised, can rot. Paint looks good so long as it is uncompromised.

The filiform corrosion is under the clearcoat, but it doesn't seem to go very far into the metal. Mainly it makes the clearcoat look bad because you see a lot of seemingly random tracks. I think if the clearcoat was removed, the filiform could be polished off and the trailer would shine, not like the trailers of decades ago because it's a different aluminum, but it could be polished. It not coated with a wax or a paint sealer, it would then oxidize and look dull.

This much I have learned from this thread and some life experience. I don't know why the trailers are clear coated. Maybe it would be better if they weren't. Using a transparent sealant, a wax or similar substance, would protect the surface for a while, and we would then have to reapply that.

Airstream is well aware of this thread. I was just there and I know this to be true. I can say no more about that other than I made my thoughts known and was heard.

There are a lot of other metal parts, mainly steel, that rust. That's oxidation. Paint chips off from road damage. I have removed the rust in some places and repainted them. Somehow that seems normal to me, but the aluminum feels different when it gets filiform. Not sure how I reason that out.

It's possible that the clearcoat quality varies greatly and that's why some get filiform and others don't. Maybe more exposure to road salt when they are transported cross country or where they are bought. Maybe electrolysis. Maybe voodoo. Maybe all of the above. I try to make sure I work paint sealant into all the seams where the panels have been cut, but Bob Cross uses the same stuff and has corrosion, so what does that prove? Better to do it anyway.

Gene
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:57 PM   #888
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Since they are aware of the problem, I just can't get it thru my thick head why they won't address the problem, and just fix it. If it takes money for the fix we all know that Airstream is not bashful about asking for extra, above what their product or services are worth. so it just leads me to believe they are not interested.
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:03 PM   #889
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My guess is their warranty costs have gotten out of hand the past couple of years because of the "lack of quality" issues. All in all I really can't complain because my unit had very few issues, and I took care of those.
Hi, Just think what Airstream's warranty costs would be if it wasn't for the fact that many owners do their own repairs due to: Long distances to a dealer, denyed claims, and lack of faith in some repair shops. Not to mention Corrosion.
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Old 05-05-2009, 06:43 AM   #890
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I can't confirm this, but one of the reasons that I think my unit had fewer quality issues is because it was a custom ordered unit. I not only had contact many times with my dealer in the year before the actual order but with people at the factory who came to recognize me (or at least the unit) when I called). Airstream seems to straddle this world between being a high end semi-custom trailer builder and turning trailers out as fast as they can during a good economy.A lot of people who buy off the lot end up with a unit that reflects the workers day or factory atmosphere that particular day. I don't think you can take anything for granted. The more you're personally involved in the process the more influence you have. Maybe we should expect that because of the "Airstream legacy and heritage" any Airstream should be with out faults when delivered but I don't think their production methods, workforce, quality control,pay scale or anything else is much different than companies making trailers that cost half of what an Airstream does.I don't think you're buying "better", only different. I think Airstream wants to project an image of higher quality because you can sell at a premium but we all pay a pretty high cost to tow that Aluminum body behind our trucks.
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:47 AM   #891
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I can't confirm this, but one of the reasons that I think my unit had fewer quality issues is because it was a custom ordered unit. ]
Good observation, but my unit was a custom/special order too, so we're back to the drawing board.
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Old 05-05-2009, 11:29 AM   #892
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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?!!
Yep, Huge!

Lot's of info here, free read.
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So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 05-05-2009, 12:04 PM   #893
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I have a small amount of spider web starting but almost everyone i know has some amount if its a newer AS.
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Old 05-05-2009, 12:38 PM   #894
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[quote=Silvertwinkie;694311]Good observation, but my unit was a custom/special order too, so we're back to the drawing board



Then I guess it is a matter of chance and if the workers are having a good or bad day. The corrosion problem seems to be an Alcoa issue. The QC is something else and whoever does the QC check list knows that these units are going out the door in less than perfect condition. It's frustrating but Airstream isn't going to publicly admit anything.
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Old 05-05-2009, 01:04 PM   #895
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craftsman - the probable reason you haven't seen any corrosion yet is because a Classic has that ugly molding around the belly line. The most common place for the corrosion to start is the front and back curved panels on the belly line and that area on yours is covered. For all you know it's under there already eating its little heart out!
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Old 05-05-2009, 03:32 PM   #896
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craftsman - the probable reason you haven't seen any corrosion yet is because a Classic has that ugly molding around the belly line. The most common place for the corrosion to start is the front and back curved panels on the belly line and that area on yours is covered. For all you know it's under there already eating its little heart out!
Do you mean the beautiful chrome moulding around the middle? You may be right and the top half will seperate from the bottom somewhere down the road.
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