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Old 05-28-2010, 10:38 AM   #1037
Rivet Master
2005 25' Safari
Trabuco Canyon , California
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 866
Images: 2
5.5 year report on my Safari:

I live in non corrosive environment 15 miles from ocean. The trailer is parked outdoors on asphalt.

I've been very happy with the coated aluminum panels. They simply look great. There are two small filiform spots which showed up at a year but have not grown, and no new ones have formed. So far the aluminum panels have displayed no UV damage or deterioration at all. They are very easy to wash and maintain. They have exceeded my expectations, and I hope I can say the same in another few years.

The wheels look great. The rear bumper is deteriorating and at some point I'll probably need to have it plated. The license plate bracket needs frequent waxing to avoid corrosion. I just painted the Ventline stove vent (paint flaking). The Dometic AC shroud shows minor cracking and will be replacing it. I replaced the cracking skylight last summer, and the roof vents once. The water heater and furnace sheet metal cover paint is fading and will need attention in the next year or two. "Thor America's Greatest RV Value" decal has failed, and ruined the clearcoat under it. Factory sent me more decals, which covers up some of it.

Generally it has exceeded my expectations, and looks better than many 5 year old trailers of conventional design. It has been a good choice for a non corrosive environment.

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Old 06-12-2010, 06:53 PM   #1038
2 Rivet Member
Dallas , Texas
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 63
Has anyone tried covering the trailer with a clear bra type automotive film? Some exotic car owners cover their entire cars with the invisible film to protect the paint from rock chips, bugs, corrosion, etc. There are professionals out there who do the installation and it's 99% invisible.

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Old 06-12-2010, 07:08 PM   #1039
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After three years with nothing my battery door frames started sprouting corrosion like a bad fungus. So bad that it affected the lower rub trim and disclored the Chrome insert. Also I was just at a dealer with new units that had extensive corrosion on the main door hinges and grab handles, and battery doors. I was a bit taken back. I don't think the problem is solved and because you don't have it now one of the techs told me just wait it'll show up. All models now have the belt line trim to cover up the rivet line. Discouraging to say the least.
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Old 06-13-2010, 06:18 AM   #1040
1 Rivet Member
2005 25' Safari
Oregon City , Oregon
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 14
Belt line trim

I had the option to put the belt lint trim on my 05 Safari and chose not to. It would not seal the belt rivet seam so the elements would still affect the area being covered. Felt it was a band aid approach and thought it would cover the corrosion and but not stop it. Plus as the corrosion continued to affect the the metal it could not be tended to.

Now, if the trim is applied in the factory, it may give the seam a better chance to ward off the elements and prevent the corrosion. Hope this works.

I am of the opinion one of the causes is whatever sealer is put on the aluminum, it is breached by the metal being drilled in to or bent. All of my spots of corrosion exist in the belt line seam around rivets or the four corners. I have yet to see any corrosion in the flat fields of metal. Since polishing the spots, applying new sealer, the spots have not returned. New ones have flared up, but the old ones are stable. I did have corrosion on my door hinges and tail light surrounds but that corrosion was polished out and never returned.
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Old 06-14-2010, 07:05 AM   #1041
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2005 30' Classic
Burlington , Ontario
Join Date: Sep 2008
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Originally Posted by Frody View Post
I did have corrosion on my door hinges and tail light surrounds but that corrosion was polished out and never returned.

Can you share what method you used to remove corrosion on the hinges and tail light surrounds? Did you remove them from the trailer to deal with them?

I have some corrosion on battery door surrounds, hinges, and the grab handle next to the door and would like to do something about it. I presume these items don't have any clear coat?

I was thinking to use either very grades of wet & dry paper by hand, and or maybe a dremel tool with felt bob and some sort of rubbing compound/metal polish.

So far I have just left things alone as I was a bit concerned about making things worse especially if I do this in situ. I guess I would try to protect the adjacent trailer skin with masking tape to hopefully avoid any mishaps.

Appreciate any tips!

Brian & Connie Mitchell

2005 Classic 30'
Hensley Arrow / Centramatics
2008 GMC Sierra SLT 2500HD,4x4,Crew Cab, Diesel, Leer cap.
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Old 06-14-2010, 08:03 AM   #1042
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 6,856
My first thought was to start grinding away at the first sign of corrosion, but instead treated the spots with a Q-tip dipped in Boshield or Corrosion X (have both), and that seems to have stopped advancement of the corrosion entirely.

I think the least invasive method is best.

Doug K
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Old 06-15-2010, 06:34 AM   #1043
1 Rivet Member
2005 25' Safari
Oregon City , Oregon
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 14

"Can you share what method you used to remove corrosion on the hinges and tail light surrounds? Did you remove them from the trailer to deal with them?"
The dealer in Eugene Oregon did that work under warranty. They would have had to remove parts to polish them.
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:11 AM   #1044
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2005 30' Classic S/O
Annandale , New Jersey
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 19
Thumbs up

Have been having this same conversation on forum. Obviously they are very CAREFUL as to what they say. But I did have an actual comment from AS Customer Service. More interesting is the the forum administrator did share a PDF of the history of aluminum sheeting and sealants from 1947 to present at Airstream. You can see the major switch in 1998/99. If you go to the forum and on the home page go to "New Members - Me, my AS and I", my string is from Stonegate and entitled "Initial impressions and concerns". Hope you find the info helpful.
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Old 06-17-2010, 10:32 AM   #1045
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,279
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The actual link to DL46's thread over there is

The .pdf on aluminum mentioned is not viewable over there unless logged in. Here's something from Airstream that is quite similar --

5 meter Langford Nahanni

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Old 06-19-2010, 10:10 PM   #1046
2 Rivet Member
2008 23' International CCD
golden , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 74
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
This plague, like the European ones in the Middle Ages, does not strike everyone. We've had our Safari 2 1/2 years ago and have none. Good luck.

Of course, lots of us have many problems with QC, but some don't. Good luck again.

My two year warranty ends tomorrow. Lucky to be in the same position with no signs of corrosion (not that the warranty would help in anyway). Maybe it's something to do with the Coloardo air or altitude. I would say I have been impressed with the warranty process, even though the dealer doing the work has a lot of room for improvement. And, I've never needed to use anything but water, a sponge, and a towel to clean it (i.e. no soap). The rock guards are the only part that don't look brand new.
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Old 08-10-2010, 05:03 PM   #1047
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2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
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Posts: 10,814
It has begun

My last post on this thread was April 13 and then all was fine. But since then we've been in the salty air of Alaska.

It has begun—a small spot (about 1/4 square inch) on the top of each door hinge. I bought some clear coat in a touch up version and will sand the spot and apply the clear coat in a few days.

Nothing else yet.

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Old 10-09-2010, 01:16 PM   #1048
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2003 22' International
San Francisco , California
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Posts: 10
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Interesting thread. I just purchased an '03 Airstream and it has slight filoform corrosion around the edges of the aluminum plates just about everywhere there's an edge. The people at Geo. Sutton RV (Eugene OR) do a coating that's like a wax (rub in and rub off) called Xzilon. It's supposed to protect from corrosion (stop the old stuff from spreading and stop new stuff from starting) for 10 to 12 years. Pricey: $1100 for my 22' unit. I didn't want to make the 8 hour trip up to Eugene from San Francisco to have it done at Sutton so got contacted their distributor through them and got the names of some dealers who do the ZXilon
coating near me. One of these dealers, RVs4less in Madera CA, said they no longer use Zxilon, they now use Trident. It's a 2 stage process that causes a negative charge and then a positive charge, maybe like electro-coating. It would cost about the same as Xzilon, but has only a 4 year warrantee. This guy said Xzilon only offers a 2 year warrantee, but I understood from Sutton it would protect for 10 - 12 years, as I said before.
Anyway, has anybody heard about these treatments? Any opinions? I'm trying to decide what to do.
BTW, the fellow I bought my unit from said he sprayed WD-40 on the seams to keep the filoform from spreading.
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Old 10-09-2010, 03:17 PM   #1049
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1967 30' Sovereign
Los Lunas , New Mexico
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 6,334
I was looking at some limited-area corrosion on the tail-light bezels of a new rig belonging to a friend. Found that it was basically losing its protective coating, and when water seeped underneath, it resulted in chauky-white corrosion.

We removed it all easily. I recommended that he top-coat the cleaned area with clear nail polish (an acrylic clearcoat that comes in very small containers with a small brush).

WBCCI 21043
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:59 PM   #1050
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2015 23' International
Lake Forest Park , Washington
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 80
Images: 21
We just bought a trailer from the Airstream dealer in Milwaukie, OR. They recommended the Trident exterior treatment to protect finish and preclude need for waxing. I think they clean it with alcohol and apply this coating. I am searching to learn more about it - it costs about $79/ foot of trailer length ($1495 for our 19').

I have not noticed any corrosion yet on our 2007, but will look more closely tomorrow.

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