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Old 09-27-2009, 10:39 PM   #953
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No filiform corrosion on my 1968 Trade Wind.
Nice tutorial, though.
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Old 09-28-2009, 07:40 AM   #954
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[QUOTE=ROBERT CROSS;752609]
Quote:
Be careful what you ask for, you might get it

What a profound statement....

Had a 41 year old Safari with NO filiform anywhere, thats what I would ask for.

Pride in what your building, QC.....thats what I would ask for.

Falling back on your ICON status don't cut it, I want an ICON to be proud of.

I'll go put my head back in the sand now....
Bob, I had a 35 year old Safari. We did work on the trailer every year until it was trashed by vandals. The skin did need work. I had looked into having one dented panel replaced and getting the trailer striped and recoated. At 35 years old there were lots of areas that had a white look to them. Since there was no coating left on some areas of the skin, it did not have the apearance of filiform corosion but it's the same process.
You have a 41 year old Safari. Without regular care your trailer should now look powder white. I can only guess that you put the time and effort into maintaining the good appearance of your AS.
When we replaced the trailer we had the choice of going with a vintage trailer or a new one. By the time you figure in initial cost and then add in repair and restoration cost it was about the same either way. I just didn't have the time to put into an older trailer that I did the first time around. We got the new trailer.
I never got into Airstreams because it was an icon. I found my old Safari by accident. I had no idea that people were interested in these old trailers. I fixed the old trailer up and put it on the road. We went coast to coast in it and had a great time. We have an 08 trailer now and are happy with it. It still takes a little work to keep things up in the trailer but nothing like the time I had to spend on the old Safari.
I do find some quality issues with the new trailer. I find that the interior is not as durable as the older trailers. Much of this has to do with what materials are available on the market today. AS has cut some storage areas to lower cost. My little Safari does not have the big window our old trailer had; an other cost cutting measure. (We thought we would miss the big window but in actual use it seems to make no differance.) I was really suprised that I felt at home in the new trailer right away. Everthing is done much like it was 35 years ago and everything works as it should.
Just like our old Safari, the new one is tight and dry. It is light weight and tows easily. It is well laid out and we are very comfortable in it.
I did look at other brands of trailers. Often they were poorly built, too heavy and not well laid out. I could have bought a similar sized trailer for a lot less but after having had an Airstream they were all a bit disapointing. While I agree that AS could do a better job with their current line of trailers, they are still better than most of the compition. What I did find is that once you get into the luxury end of the market, AS does not offer any more or less than other brands. I don't consider my little trailer to be at the luxury end of the market. It's just a nice little trailer that gets the job done.
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Old 09-28-2009, 07:56 AM   #955
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Just purchased my Flying Cloud about a month ago and am a full-timer. (LOVE IT!) I am a volunteer nurse and generally follow the disasters as I work with Red Cross and another "Disaster/Community Health" response organization, so I could be in all sorts of weather situations. I've been reading up on all the maintenance needs/issues with Airstreams and am hoping to avoid problems. It's hard to tell what the right advice is to prevent this corrosion issue. Is there a white paper out there on this or any other definitive maintenance schedule? I'm with the guy who asked..."if this IS an AS maintenance need, then what sort of preventive maintenance does AS recommend that I should be doing?" Did I miss a response to that? Thanks so much for any links.
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Old 09-28-2009, 09:07 AM   #956
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlb435 View Post
I work with aluminum, steel, stainless steel and other materials in a marine environment. I can assure you that corrosion is going to happen no matter how the surface is prepared. I have had older Airstream trailers and they had corrosion too. The problem is not the corrosion, but how the corrosion is dealt with. When aluminum corrodes, it produces a natural anodized surface that is very stable and very tough. This anodized surface is usually white in appearance.
The current Airstream production system is to use pre-coated sheets of aluminum skin. They use power cutters to shape the panels. This leaves an edge that is not fully protected. Over time, this cut edge will allow some corrosion to form around the edges of the skin. This is usually not harmful but does distract from the esthetic appearance of the skin.
The ďrepairĒ from Airstream is to remove the protective coating and polish the aluminum to make the affected area seam less obvious. While this looks better, it does nothing to improve the skin or provide better protection for the skin. On the early trailers, the skin had a pure aluminum coating that provided outer skin protection. To maintain this surface, the owner had to wash, polish and wax this skin every month. By the early 70ís Airstream went to a clear coat that no longer needed monthly wash and wax. The down side was an outer skin that needed to be striped and recoated every seven to ten years. The current system is even more durable but will eventually need to be striped and re-coated.
I have a 2008 Airstream and it does show some small areas of corrosion under the protective coating. It does not bother me. It is small and hard to see. Iím probably the only person that knows where these little spots of corrosion are. I only need to wax my trailer every six months instead of every month. Iíll take the little spots of corrosion under the protective finish for not having to wash, polish and wax my trailer every month.
Be careful what you ask for, you might get it.
Thanks for this posting.
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Old 09-28-2009, 10:07 AM   #957
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I don't disagree with dbl345's posting, but it doesn't take into account why the corrosion occurs most of the time where the aluminum has been cut leaving an untreated edge.

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Old 09-28-2009, 10:16 AM   #958
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DBL,

I do miss our "63", it did get regular cleaning and sealing. I thought it's appearance at 41yrs was perfectly acceptable and would be happy if I thought the "03" would survive the years as well.
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Old 09-28-2009, 10:19 AM   #959
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"Be careful what you ask for, you might get it. "

I'm not sure what that implies, but...

I didn't exactly "ask for" this, but I did pay a great deal of money for it. This is one of the tail light bezels that was replaced less than 3 years ago. All the well-intentioned explanations of how it happened notwithstanding, the issue (speaking for myself,of course) is either getting Airstream to step up and correct this defect during the warranty period, (obviously caused by inferior materials), or at least take steps to prevent it in the future.
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Old 09-28-2009, 10:41 AM   #960
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Red face

SR

Been there, done that....

Bottom line.....did it myself. Although strictly speaking it's not filiform, corrosion is corrosion and it's a real PITA.
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Old 09-28-2009, 11:01 AM   #961
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Thumbs up

Nice job! I'm guessing that, in addition to skill and hard work, the secret ingredient in the picture enhanced the results.
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Old 09-28-2009, 11:13 AM   #962
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverRanger View Post
Nice job! I'm guessing that, in addition to skill and hard work, the secret ingredient in the picture enhanced the results.
YOU BET IT DID!!!!


And that wasn't the only one!!!
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Old 09-28-2009, 12:37 PM   #963
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlb435 View Post
...I work with aluminum... The problem is not the corrosion, but how the corrosion is dealt with...
---posted with authority but much of embedded post is INcorrect...

1. clearly to the folks posting here the PROBLEM IS THE CORROSION which is largely cosmetic and superficial, but so are airstreams.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlb435 View Post
... When aluminum corrodes, it produces a natural anodized surface that is very stable and very tough...
2. filiform is not the typical protective "stable" patina of old skin exposure...

3. "natural anodized surface "? interesting...wanna explain HOW this works? maybe we can all get together and naturally anodize our units...

-can we choose the colors too?

-natural anodizing reads like 'oxygen exposure ' being the cause of filiform on these units...

4. the filiform stuff UNDER the clearcoat isn't tough it is a loose powdery mix of elements.

-and my understanding is that unless the cl ions are removed or isolated from air/water the worm tracks keep on worming...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlb435 View Post
...The “repair” from Airstream is to remove the protective coating and polish the aluminum to make the affected area seam less obvious...
5. the OFFICIAL REPAIR from a/s is NOT to polish these spots.

6. the REPAIRS provided by a/s have VARIED over the last 5 years...

-some units were factory repaired by REPLACING panels.

-corrosion on trim bits was previously covered UNDER warranty (or goodwill) by REPLACEMENT of trim bits.

-and some units got COVERINGS placed over the issue (belt line trim added to seam edges or BIG oval decals)

7. the last semi OFFICIAL info i've seen is that...

-a/s recommends 'scraping' off the affected areas (coating and crud) with a plastic scraper, like a credit card...

-then COVERING the scraped area with clear nail polish or touch up clearcoat.

-they are also selling some of the 'corrosion prevention sprays' first mentioned EARLY in this thread by owners...

-but there is NO MENTION of POLISHING these areas,

-and mechanical polishing would thin/weaken the surrounding clearcoat, thus SPREADING the issue...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlb435 View Post
...By the early 70’s Airstream went to a clear coat that no longer needed monthly wash and wax...
8. a/s started OFFERING PLASTICOAT (in no way similar to clearcoats) coverings in the 60s as a factory/dealer option.

-this stuff is still available for reapplication on older units and is made by PLASTI KOTE...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlb435 View Post
...The current system is even more durable but will eventually need to be striped and re-coated...
9. while the alcoa pre applied clearcoat MIGHT b more durable than older plasticoats (which varied in formula and durability over the years)...

10. they have offered NO SUGGESTION that 'stripping and recoating' will eventually be needed OR used as maintenance.

-stripping the alcoa clearcoat is not easy

-and there is no evidence that a suitable replacement clearcoat or a PROCESS for application is available...

-the current factory approach to dealing with LARGE sections of corrosion or clearcoat damage on >2001 units is to...

>>> REPLACE THE ENTIRE PANEL<<<
at the owners expense
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissDaisy View Post
Just purchased...It's hard to tell what the right advice is to prevent this corrosion issue...what sort of preventive maintenance...should be doing...
miss daisy...

short answer is, wash it, get the surface CLEAN then apply a quality sealant or auto wax,

get some/one of the corrosion sprays to apply to any spots, buy some nail polish or touch-up clear coat

and LEARN to use all of those items...

>>>> there are many threads on washing,waxing/sealants, touch ups, polishing trim and so on <<<<
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there is no 'white paper' in this issue from a/s, they will now barely acknowledge the issue...

there are GOOD documents on what filiform is, how it happens, how it is DIFFERENT from uniform surface corrosion and so on...

there are maintenance papers or papers dealing with filiform, prevention, management, inspection and so on, linked EARLY in this thead...

but NONE provided by the airstream company of j/c ohio OR alcoa who make the skin and applies the rolled on clearcoat.

so START at the beginning of this thread and read the first 200 posts or so, along with some of the links embedded in those posts...

then scan the later pages for photos and member tips for DEALING with the issue...

we are NOT 'experts' on metal or coating BUT we owners have been dealing with this for AWHILE...

and the good stuff is ALREADY posted here, that can help you...

some owners are not bothered by a few blemishes and some are livid about it, others wanna minimize the issue if possible...

and still others MAKE UP stuff or confuse the issue.

you'll need to sort this all out and find your best approach...

because AIRSTREAM THE COMPANY isn't helping OWNERS or customers on this issue...

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-28-2009, 01:42 PM   #964
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Calendar update

On 9/2/09 Bob Wheeler responded to some of the questions posted in the Airstream Marketing thread (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f318...eam-53083.html). He said he would tackle the corrosion issue separately. That was 26 days ago.

The original statement that Wheeler would soon be responding to all the questions was on 7/17/09. Wheeler's 9/2 response did not cover all the questions nor corrosion specifically. So, it's 2 months, 11 days since then.

I can't wait to see it.

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Old 09-28-2009, 03:13 PM   #965
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You could put me in the camp of those that find corrosion a minor annoyance. I don't get too bent out of shape over it, but of course, mine isn't really that bad either. I've found a few small areas on some seams, but sprayed them with corrosionx so hopefully they won't get bigger. I've also got a little bit of corrosion on the left taillight. Nothing like the photo a few posts above, but noticeable. I sprayed it too.
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Old 09-28-2009, 03:15 PM   #966
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"I can't wait to see it."

Same here, Gene. I'll be standing by, toolbox in hand.

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