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Old 05-05-2009, 04:05 PM   #897
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Gee, I wonder what's going to happen to all those coaches AS sold to KOA?
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Old 05-05-2009, 11:44 PM   #898
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For information only.

Hi, I'm not jumpng on the band wagon and I'm not complaining. As I mentioned before, my trailer sits outside all year round, I'm eight miles from the ocean, I have never waxed my trailer, I don't store it on shore power, I don't winterize it, and it gets washed before trips and hosed off in-between. What corrosion I have mostly was written off by me as assembly glue and was there from day one. I am going to post pictures and try to explain what you will see.

(1.) This is the top/back side of my entrance handle. On the very top, it actually is glue or sealer above the corrosion.

(2.) This is the bottom/front side on my entrance handle with corrosion showing.

(3.) This is the bottom door hinge. It has a few spots on the leading edge of the door part and on the front flat spots on the body part of the hinge.

(4.) This is the upper door hinge and it only has spots on the front flat spots on the body part of the door hinge.
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Old 05-05-2009, 11:58 PM   #899
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More pictures.

Hi, I have a few more corrosion pictures to show you.
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Old 05-06-2009, 12:10 AM   #900
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On my Body.

Hi, this will be my last corrosion picture and the only one actually on the body/skin.

(1.) This is the vertical seam where the front curved segment on the street side is attached to the side in front of the first window. There are about five little spots and on the highest one I scraped it off and put clear nail polish on it.

(2.) I ordered my trailer with the Classic belt moulding on it because we like the way it looks, not to cover up anything. The American flag decal does cover up something, but that's another story.
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Old 05-08-2009, 12:46 PM   #901
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2006 19 foot Safari, noted corrosion for the first time now--I may have missed it previously but it's now obvious on wheel, light molding, and several areas on the lower body seams. The fact that there are a number of approaches indicates that a solution that is not expensive and/or labor intensive involving removal of clear coat has yet to be found.

I presume this will continue and worsen. From what I read Airstream has no acceptable suggestions?

What a disappointment, I and to think I thought Airstream was a quality, lower maintenance unit--for which we pay a premium price.

Many thanks,

pagoff
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Old 05-08-2009, 03:12 PM   #902
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m.a. View Post
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?!!
I have a 2008 27FB International CCD that was manufactured in late 07. When I bought the trailer there were no signs of corrosion. Within the first year it showed up along the cut seams at the belt line and on the cast alumimun tail light housings. AS of course denied the warranty for the belt line corrosion, but they did authorize the dealer ( Demontrond RV in Houston, Tx) to replace the housings as a "good will" gesture. The corrosion on my belt line is not very noticable yet, and once I found it I first treated it with a very liberal and repeated application of Corrosion X which actually did seep in and get to all of the corrosion. You will know if it gets to it because the corrosion will turn a dark grey or black color instead of it's normal white color. After wiping off the excess CorrosionX I then apply a good coat of wax on the seams. I have been doing this about every couple of months for the last year and as of now it seems to have stopped the progress of the corrosion. Although I am not happy about Airstreams lack of response to this problem, I do have to say that I have not regretted my full price purchase and have had only a couple of minor QC issues beyond the corrosion. When I consider the complete package of the air stream, I still believe that it will outlast by far anything else that is currently on the market. I just completed a 6 week, 6,000 mile round trip from my home in the Houston area to a jobsite in Anacortes, Washington (about an hour and a half north of Seattle) and I had zero issues or problems with the trailer. It pulled and performed like a dream on the road. I went through some of the worst cross winds in the country and didn't even notice how bad the wind was until I stopped for gas and the wind tried to rip the truck door out of my hand! I have a load levelling hitch without any sway control bars.
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Old 05-14-2009, 04:31 PM   #903
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I am in the market for a 23' or 25' safari/flying cloud. I was going to wait till the 2010 models came out hoping for a drop in price in the leftover 2008/2009 models at the dealerships. I wanted to buy new so I wouldn't have to deal with any issues for a while but it sounds like QC is not what I expected at all. The worst part of this corrosion part to me is not that it happens but that the company isn't acknowledging it. A simple "we are sorry" would go a long way for me. Now that I know about the issue, at least I won't feel blindsided if I do go ahead with the purchase. This leads me to my 2 questions:

1. If P&S can recoat a 27' trailer for around $2k to resolve the issue (as indicated in post #872) I would feel extremely comfortable asking a dealer to knock off $2k from the sale price (I understand they usually go for less than MSRP - I am talking about an additional discount). This way, if the problem does occur, I have the hassle of getting it fixed but at least I won't feel ripped off. This doesn't help all of you out there that currently own (and I feel terrible for those of you with this issue - I am disgusted with the whole thing) but it may give us newbies more of an incentive to buy.

2. This may be blasphemy and if so I don't want to start a flame war, but what other trailers are comparable to AS that you would consider if AS was no longer an option? My understanding is that AS is the last aluminum trailer out there (still in production). Are there companies that build them completely custom (this would probably be out of my price range but I am curious).

The forums and this thread in particular have been immensly helpful. Despite the QC and corrosion issues, it's clear that AS owners love their trailers and have quite a vibrant community.
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Old 05-15-2009, 06:07 AM   #904
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For some time I was looking at a company called Millennium, they can build both 5th wheel and traditional trailers and all metal construction. Very durable and well built. I wish now after all the corrosion issues I would have done so.

You need to get into the companies web site, but remember it does not show all the custom work they can do. For example, cherry interiors can be ordered, and complete trailers not just garage models can be built. If I sell the a/s, and decide to stay with a trailer vs motor-home this is how I would go. I may have 2004 28 up for sale if interested, and it has corrosion.
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Old 05-15-2009, 07:51 AM   #905
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Hi user497.

I don't have an answer to the question of where to go if not Airstream. I know that Bigfoot closed it's doors, but was a very well made trailer if you can find one out there.

As for the P&S posting in 872. That price was an approx price. I would call P&S and talk it over with them. My thought is that once stripped and re-coated, you will most likely solve the fillform corrosion issue, but as with the vintage units, depending on exposure and care, the clear will eventually fail as well. This I can accept as a maint issue since a cared for unit that has been cleared can last far longer than most of the new(er) trailers that see this issue.

My opinion, FWIW, is if you still want to buy Airstream, I would to buy a pre-owned unit about 2 years or so old. Why? To be honest, the issues are a crapshoot with a new one in terms of QC (not even taking into account the corrosion issuse). Take a look at the unrelated QC threads via this link:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f142...ity-50306.html

If you bought pre-owned, you may have found a previous owner who has solved most of the QC issues. If not the QC threads will point you on where to be on the lookout. In addition, a unit around 2 years old will have depreciated far more than a few thousand dollars (beyond the average 19% off list on a new unit). If it is a 2 year old unit, I would think at least somewhere between $6k and $8k as new units depreciate hard the first 3-4 years. If you then came across a good pre-owned and it had signs of this corrosion, then you could negoit additionally off asking price, thereby saving you even more money than the route it sounds like you were considering. In all without any price increase between 09 and 10 model years, you could easily save between $9k and $12k (if corrosion is found) well beyond the $3k additional on an already price inflated new unit.

That's just my opinion. I am not an engineer, a financial guru, etc.
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Old 05-15-2009, 10:55 PM   #906
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Thanks Silvertwinkie. It's now my understanding that the refinishing would be a lot more than $2k so there goes my idea. Alternatively, I gather from the forums that a lot of people have the factory customize their AS. Is it possible to have them use aluminum sheets that don't come pre-coated with the clearcoat? My understanding is that you think the issue is that the sheets they use from Alcoa are pre-coated and that they are damaged during the manufacturing. If they could provide an option to use un-coated sheets (which would cost less $$$) that would give us flexibility to handle the finishing after the AS is manufactured as we see fit without being locked into the clearcoating. Depending on our preferences and resources, some people may still choose to apply the Alcoa clearcoating (either pre or post production) while others may choose the less expensive but less durable pasticoat. That would seem like a fair way to handle this issue that puts more control in our hands. On that note, clearcoat and plasticoat are the only 2 finishing options I know of. Are there others? Do some people simple polish and wax their AS? (And, no, paiting is not an option as far as I am concerned )
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:08 PM   #907
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That kind of custom, for most would be cost prohibitive and I'm not even sure they'd do that. There is a custom department where they make them in a different place than on the line I believe, but expect to pay at least 1.5 to 2x what a normal Airstream would cost.

I "special" ordered my unit, but with upgrades that were easily installed on the line

My suggestion would be:

1) Buy a new one and roll the dice

2) Buy a used one that is a few years old and is already significantly depreciated and if it has corrosion, back out the cost of what re-coating would be at P & S.

3) Buy a different trailer

4) Buy a vintage that has either been fixed up or buy a vintage and fix her up the way you want.

I really think going the custom route is a neat idea, but it's the most expensive way to go as I recall. This doesn't even take into account that Airstream stopped coating the trailers years ago, and I'm not sure they'd clear a whole trailer even if they would build one with different non-coated alum. Best bet would be to call the factory directly. They will tell you first hand what they will or won't do.

If it were me doing it all over again, I'd seriously lean toward option #2.
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Old 05-16-2009, 12:06 AM   #908
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A couple of days ago I noticed the coating on one of my wheels was deteriorating—about 2 square inches were gone and another small piece was screwed up. Wheels come from another manufacturer. But, I've never had a problem with aluminum wheels on any truck. Since wheel problems are sometimes reported, does Airstream buy cheap ones?

I'll agree with Eric that custom work is cost prohibitive. The factory is not set up to do coating and it requires special rooms. The VOC's are dangerous, it's difficult and very expensive to protect the workers and to contain the fumes. I think that is why Airstream stopped doing the coating. It's become very specialized work.

If I were to do it again, I would look for an older, well treated one and expect to have to fix a lot of things. Still should be cheaper. But when I bought, I knew very little and that would make it hard to know what I should be looking for. I bought new because I didn't want any issues, but so far as QC, I've had plenty, though not corrosion on the body.

From what I've read here in the past few months, a lot of sales of new trailers have been lost at a time when the company cannot afford it. A lot of people read this who aren't members or never post, so the amount must be a lot more than just counting the posts of people who have said they will not buy a new trailer. Think what 20 lost sales mean in revenue to the company and the struggling dealers.

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Old 05-16-2009, 07:40 AM   #909
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Gene, Don't feel too bad about having issues with a new trailer. Almost every one does. My next door neighbor has a big motor home that he bought new. I've got an 08 Airstream. We were comparing notes and having a laugh about the little things that have to be fixed after any trip. Having had older Airstreams, I can tell you that new is a lot better than old. It was fairly normal in the old trailer to pull panels to fix leaks or broken gear while at the camp site. Most of the issues I have now can wait until I get home.
As far as the corrosion problems with the new Airstreams goes, what I'm seeing is small amounts of corrosion under the clear coat. This is fairly normal (look at the wheels of any 2-3 year old car) I don't see a big problem here, it's just a little disappointing to have your "new" Airstream showing signs of age. Wait 15 years and we can buff these babies out to a high shine.
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Old 05-16-2009, 08:50 AM   #910
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The auto industry in the 50's and 60's had a terrible corrosion problem, bodies rusting through was very common. They did something about it, with corrosion dips and other fixes, I presume.

The RV industry does not seem as quality oriented. Aside from the unique shell of an Airstream and some nice interior design stuff, generic parts are the rule. They are not better or worse than other trailer manufacturers. In many instances they are cheaply made.

I picked up my airstream from the dealer with water in the running lights--they were corroded and had to be replaced with the same cheap generic lights. I had to seal them myself.

Regarding our corrosion problem, the clearseal is in all probability uniquely developed for the airstream application and as we are learning has problems. What's disappointing there is not acknowledgment by Airstream of a problem; and no recommendations for prevention.

Yes I realize they must be worried about legal issues but if they want to stay in business
they can't deliver a trailer for which they charge a premium with corrosion already extant.
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