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Old 09-29-2009, 09:18 PM   #981
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2005 25' Safari
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Same thing but different?

Hi, I have an earlier version of Gene's wheels. [no problems yet] Mine came with metal valve stems and they point straight to the center. Late 2005 models came with the rubber valve stems pointing outward.
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2005 Safari 25-B
"Le Petit Chateau Argent"
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2000 Navigator / 2014 F-150 Eco-Boost / Equal-i-zer / P-3
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:49 PM   #982
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Grand Junction , Colorado
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Mine came with rubber valve stems which I had replaced with metal ones for the TPMS sensors. Thanks for clarifying the difference between Alcoa wheels and mystery wheels.

I haven't yet found out then name of the mystery manufacturer which I suspect is Chinese and I am studying the Airstream warranty (which I think has some loopholes and contradictions), but never received a warranty on the wheels which means I have a statutory warranty on those. Before I bore you to tears on the joys of the Uniform Commercial Code, I'll go back to watching Ken Burns National Parks series.


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Old 09-30-2009, 07:25 AM   #983
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Left Jackson Center yesterday with four new wheels on my trailer - free.

Despite swearing I would never buy another Airstream I did. Picked it up on July 9 from Colonial. Over Labor Day weekend it got its first thorough washing and waxing. Discovered that all four wheels had filiform and on two of them it was widespread already. Had appointment for Sept 21 to get window awnings installed and some warranty work done. While at the Service Center I requested the wheels be replaced under warranty and got the usual about the warranty not covering corrosion. After a bit of this and that the guy from Customer Service said that he would have them take one of the wheels off and try and polish the corrosion out. Not what I wanted but better than nothing. Later that afternoon I was sitting out in the customer lobby and was told that the Airstream wheel supplier had been contacted and due to the newness of the trailer they had agreed to replace all wheels. That has been done.

The supplier of the wheels/tires on my trailer - 14" - is:

Tredit Tire & Wheel Co.
57941 Charlotte Ave
Elkhart, IN 46517

Tredit Tire and Wheel Company

866 - 443 - 9907

According to the brochure I got most wheel manufacturers warranty for one year. Also included with the package of stuff I was given are four UPS labels presumably for returning the new wheels in case I have additional problems. The brochure also has a list of contact numbers for various tire manufacturers/distributors but nothing about wheels so no clue as to who the wheel manufacturer is but like others I suspect they are in China.

So if you're having corrosion problems on wheels that are less than a year old you might want to contact these people and see what they'll do for you. Have no idea what other wheels/tires Airstream gets from them but suspect they get most if not all from the same company since the more you buy generally the better the price.

Hope this helps somebody.
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:07 AM   #984
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Austin , Texas
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Aluminum Wheels

Those wheels look terrible. Apparently the wheels on the newer AS are not nearly as good as the older ones which were still a pain to keep shiny. My 2005 Classic does not show any peeling like yours, but they do keep getting dull, which means elbow grease and polishing to keep them shiny. The thing I do not understand is why the Alcoa wheels take so much maintenance in order to keep them looking good. My 2007 Ford F250SD TV has aluminum wheels and take absolutely no maintenance other than just washing them and they shine and do not have pits or dings. I have wondered why AS is so stuck on Alcoa with all the problems that keep occuring with their aluminum. It is obvious to me that AS should either put pressure on Alcoa or find another supplier.

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Old 09-30-2009, 09:39 AM   #985
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Chesapeake , Virginia
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Originally Posted by M GARDENS View Post
Quote"He told me that AS did not warrant against corrosion and would do nothing. He did tell me how I might get rid of the spots - spray with a corrosion inhibitor and said that would only leave a small gray spot. I guess this explains why CEO Wheeler chose to ignore this issue at the "Town Hall Meeting. During the warranty period, my dealership replaced both tail light bezels and the door grab bar because of this corrosion. According to them, Airstream did not support this. The grab bar is still looking good, but both bezels are now badly corroded."

I'm not an engineer, just a CPA. I might be wrong, but it appears to me that Airstream adopted a new (cheaper) manufacturing process (shaping pre-coated aluminum) that has turned out to be lacking. The company could spend money and scrap the new process, stand behind their product and warranty this apparent manufacturing defect, or ignore it and save the warranty costs while ruining a great name. It appears they decided on the latter. This forum saved me from a very expensive mistake. We had looked at and fell in love with Airstreams and had decided on a new 28 footer. The corrosion issue caused us to wait and now after seeing that Airstream apparently isn't the company or trailer that it used to be, we have now ruled out purchasing one.

It's a shame, but one has to face reality and make decisions that make sense. We will not spend the kind of money a new Airstream costs for something that will be a source of irritation.

Thanks again to all for the dose of reality.


It is this kind of service that makes me really sad and fearful about our future. I for one am beginnging to look to other places to live. I truly am afraid that our best days are behind us and we will never recover. Say hello to the new American standard that we see in AS and to a period of hyper inflation that will wipe us out that will come soon. I truly pray that I am wrong.
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Old 09-30-2009, 10:43 AM   #986

2003 25' Classic
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Question Coat or no coat....

If I had my chooz, I pick no coating.
The Alcoa's on our 03 Classic are not coated and do take some maintenance to keep them looking good. But they are six yrs old and still look very nice.

In our area you would be hard pressed to find a coated wheel without corrosion after two Winters. It got so bad at the Chevy Store, we had a specialist that would come right to the shop to polish and re-coat all the warranty claims. They ended up lasting/looking better than the factory replacements, cheaper too.

Sandra wanted to go to Cleveland on vacation,
but I’m the Husband, so we went to Cleveland. 😂

Step aside Starbucks, this is a job for alcohol.
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Old 10-06-2009, 04:59 PM   #987
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Grand Junction , Colorado
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More on wheels. This from the Airstream parts manual:


The dates of the changeover depend on the models, but are in the first half of 2008. I have the Greenball wheels. The parts manuals can be found on the Airstream website where you can compare your serial number (the last 6 digits of the VIN) with the changeover dates:

That's the 2008 parts manual. The ones for other recent years are also on the website.

Note also the difference in torque for the wheels. The Tredit wheels are less than the Greenball ones and this information is different than what it says in my owner's manual.

It is apparent that both wheel distributers are selling wheels with coatings that fail quickly.

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Old 10-06-2009, 07:32 PM   #988
2008 27' Classic FB
Hope Valley , Rhode Island
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I have a 2008 27' FB that has the same problems. I did have the grab handle replaced and its looks like they cut into the wall to do the job. The area is covered with the white cloth like material they use on the walls. I have the lines on the rims and in other areas of the exterior. I'm in the same mind set to experement with anodes, I've had conversation with a person very knowledgeable about metals and he reccomened the anodes. Just where to locate them is another thing. As he said you need the water to activate the process.
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:10 PM   #989
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I have been gone from this thread for some time. I brought the streamer home in june from colorado, took her out east and now packing for the annual 20 k nationwide tour twice to the west coast. For the most part she and I bonded in the driveway for the summer while the boat was the main focus.

In all, she is beautiful. The door hinges are wasted, and some clear coat is missing. The leading edges from all the miles on some panels are worn thin. My twice coating of waubernize annually is making her shine, and yes some corrosion, but in light of where thing has been, not bad. I have neighbor with a very expensive fifth wheel. It is huge, I thinks ugly, and lots of delamination. A problem that reminds me of why I wanted rivets.

I have looked at Renegades, some older Prevost, and then you realize the value of this rig. Really, and everything is is relative, it is a huge value even with the corrosion issue. From a business aspect, what she has saved me in Hotel rooms and eating out, and then planes and rental cars, well it owes me nothing. But for now, I am loading up, the air is crisp, and she is shining and ready for another season.

So, to keep the story short, I have been hard on the mother ship, called more banks and lending institutions than most. They should do something for all of us with the models that are most effected. Still, it is a unique creation, unlike any in the world. I rest my case, and some day will leave her somewhere in the Rockies for the kids to visit.
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Old 10-30-2009, 12:34 AM   #990
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I was wondering if, in about 2000, when the furniture designer was hired to do new interiors for Airstreams, the company went to an inferior metal for the exterior. The savings would, in effect, pay for the new Swedish look on the inside which I like so much.
Maybe some of you know that the metal is the same as in the 1990s and earlier models?

Would love to get an Airstream but this corrosion business is a big issue. It is hard to believe that it is simply a handling issue as one would think that the company would have fixed that. They have to be saving big bucks by allowing whatever is causing the corrosion to continue. Apparently, they don't understand the bucks they are losing from people who will not buy. The salesman we saw made it a point to say that the warranty does not cover corrosion (presumably because of that problem.)
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Old 10-31-2009, 05:40 AM   #991
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We have some corrosion on or 04 Bambi.. I don't think it is going to spread too much. I need to clean up the hinges to the door. I have to admit, at first it did upset me, but now, I'm not too concerned. It's cosmetic, if I don't get to the door hinges, oh well..
I certainly would not "reject" a AS due to some white stuff around the middle seam.. But that is just me. There are no other trailers like an AS...

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Old 10-31-2009, 06:23 PM   #992
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Someone posted elsewhere that Airstream began to use a clear paint in 1999. They stopped using acrylic clear coat then. So there is no acrylic clear coat on any AS in recent years.

I wonder if that is the filiform problem --- the clear coat used to protect against that wormy corrosion that people are seeing in recent years?

Does anyone know what exact product the acrylic clearcoat is and whether it can be applied by owners of a new AS (the ones built since 1998) to prevent the corrosion? Has anyone ever done this. Perhaps it would be too expensive but maybe a little could be used at seams and rivets on a new AS to prevent the corrosion.

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Old 10-31-2009, 09:34 PM   #993
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Here's the story I've been told.

Airstream used to clear coat their trailers at the factory. In the 90's the govt. regulators got involved with emissions and Airstream was forced to change the clear coat formulas to meet emission standards. During that timeframe peeling clear coat was quite common and even when Airstream recoated the trailers, the clear coat soon failed. In some cases Airstream was even using paint on their new trailers. Big Al here on the forum has a beautiful painted Airstream. It was painted by the dealership when it was brand new.

Eventually because of Airstream's inability to correct the problem, they turned to Alcoa who came up with the formula to prefinish the aluminum panels. P&S Trailer Service in Ohio seem to have the best handle on a clear coat product.

P & S Travel Trailer Service, Helena, Ohio

I've personally seen this 34' trailer and it is beautiful. It's a 90's vintage with 2005 graphics. The only give away that it's not an '05 is the wheels.
Jack Canavera
AIR #56
'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
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Old 11-13-2009, 12:03 AM   #994
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Our 2008 has white stuff on the edges of the aluminum panels. We live in Southern California. It is parked out side. We keep it clean and waxed and the weather is mild.

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