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Old 07-12-2013, 04:06 PM   #1373
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Running lights Filiform repair

Here's a rundown of what I did with the lights. Fixed the corrosion by sanding and re-clear coating with Nyalic spray. Cut small pieces of 1/8th inch thick Rubber Pipe Insulation Tape--self adhesive and pressed the sticky side to both the front and rear of each light (the metal base is concave with sharp edges, so the pressure on the flat side skin when tightened is at the front and back, i.e. wonder why the corrosion starts there? duh). Used a sharp razor knife to trim excess away, using the edge of the base as a guide. Dip the knife in paint thinner so as to minimize the knife sticking to the adhesive. Started the mounting screws back in place but did not tighten. Rolled some thin "ropes" of Plumbers Putty and placed along the edge of the base. Tightened base and removed excess putty. The putty will stay pliable and not harden. I'm not sure if it will try to collect dirt or not, but can be removed and something else used if it does. Don't know what that sticky stuff Airstream uses is, but the putty will be water tight and the 1/8th inch foam tape will stop metal to metal contact. There should be a rubber gasket base for those lights and maybe the 2013s have it, but my 2012 does not and of course, there in is the problem.
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Old 07-13-2013, 07:34 AM   #1374
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Howard, Airstream has (unofficially) recognized that clearance light/corrosion problem on 2011/early 2012 models as they went from incandescent to LED light fixtures, and provided a thicker gasket for them as a fix. Contact Customer Service if you need more help with this.

These plastic frames and fixtures are not admirable. The Classic models use a heavier aluminum frame and fixture that is a good replacement, and the route we took.

doug k
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Old 07-13-2013, 07:47 AM   #1375
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Howard, Airstream has (unofficially) recognized that clearance light/corrosion problem on 2011/early 2012 models as they went from incandescent to LED light fixtures, and provided a thicker gasket for them as a fix. Contact Customer Service if you need more help with this.

These plastic frames and fixtures are not admirable. The Classic models use a heavier aluminum frame and fixture that is a good replacement, and the route we took.

doug k
Doug - can you post pics of the updated frame/fixtures? Thx!
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Old 07-13-2013, 08:03 AM   #1376
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Howard, Airstream has (unofficially) recognized that clearance light/corrosion problem on 2011/early 2012 models as they went from incandescent to LED light fixtures, and provided a thicker gasket for them as a fix. Contact Customer Service if you need more help with this.

These plastic frames and fixtures are not admirable. The Classic models use a heavier aluminum frame and fixture that is a good replacement, and the route we took.

doug k
Given Airstream's knowledge and experience, they should be ashamed of themselves.
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Old 07-13-2013, 08:06 AM   #1377
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Doug - can you post pics of the updated frame/fixtures? Thx!
They're the same as on the 2012 and up Classics with LED clearance lights. Airstream Store sells them, I don't know if they will mail them out, may have to go through a dealer. They're a little larger than the original plastic assemblies, look good.

You'll need both aluminum frame and matching LED fixture, which has wire pigtails. Airstream Service Center installed mine, cut old wire and spliced on new ones. I believe new holes had to be drilled for screws to hold them. They sealed lens and also frame with Acrl-R leaving the bottom of the frames unsealed to drain any trapped water.

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Old 07-13-2013, 10:16 AM   #1378
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Here's a pic of one of mine that is capturing moisture and if you zoom in on it, do you see filiform filiforming on the rear/thin side?

It's a 2012 but was manufactured in October so I'm not sure if this is what it should look like...what do you think?



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Old 07-13-2013, 10:42 AM   #1379
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SteveSueMac -- you should contact your dealer or Airstream directly. My 2012 had the same problem and Airstream will supply a nice upgrade kit and materials for your dealer to do the work under warranty. It worked well on mine and I think it enhanced the appearance, too.
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Old 07-13-2013, 10:48 AM   #1380
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Originally Posted by SteveSueMac View Post
Here's a pic of one of mine that is capturing moisture and if you zoom in on it, do you see filiform filiforming on the rear/thin side?

It's a 2012 but was manufactured in October so I'm not sure if this is what it should look like...what do you think?



Attachment 190830
That's a double problem, leaking fixture lens and fixture frame rubbing through the clear coat finish. Yes that's the faulty fixture before the larger seals were installed at the factory. The corrosion will get much worse, but is not nearly there yet. The Classic fixture is slightly larger and will cover it.

You're still under factory warranty which specifically does not cover corrosion but the company can authorize repairs "in good faith", and probably will.

I had 7 of 11 fixtures leaking and a tiny indication of corrosion at the corner of two of them. They replaced them all with Classic fixtures.

Contact Airstream Customer Service, not your dealer. Ask for the Classic model fixtures to cover the corrosion that has started. Email them good pictures to support your claim. They will know exactly what you're talking about and most probably will offer a repair.

doug k
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Old 07-13-2013, 01:17 PM   #1381
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Thanks Doug and Hoonanea - I asked my Sales rep to look in to this before taking delivery based on what I had read here. Methinks his claim that the factory said it was fine is BS :-(
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Old 07-13-2013, 02:10 PM   #1382
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Howard, Airstream has (unofficially) recognized that clearance light/corrosion problem on 2011/early 2012 models as they went from incandescent to LED light fixtures, and provided a thicker gasket for them as a fix. Contact Customer Service if you need more help with this.

These plastic frames and fixtures are not admirable. The Classic models use a heavier aluminum frame and fixture that is a good replacement, and the route we took.

doug k
As you might see Doug, the lights on my 2012 are LED. The frames/bases are metal ( thin metal with sharp edges where it meets the outer skin. Horrible design unless backed up with full rubber gaskets). Airstream is sending me new gaskets, but I suspect they will be the foam teardrop shaped fillers that fit internally inside the base--I suppose they are meant to cushion and hold the edges off AL skin. These were on my stock lights and are of little help since, tightened down, the front and back snug down touching the trailer's sides anyway. If the gaskets are full size and insulate the complete metal base from the skin, that will be great. We'll soon see.
The only lights with skin corrosion are the concave based units mounted on flat sides. Top lights, front and rear are still filiform free--concave base mounted on convex skin producing a proper fit. Yes, Airstream should be ashamed. I bet your Classic aluminum bases are both flat and concave depending on mounting area.
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Old 07-13-2013, 03:50 PM   #1383
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Yes the aluminum Classic light frames are curved for curved surfaces and flat for flat surfaces. The FC/Int'l/Sport frames are one size fits all plastic with curve applied even on flat surfaces. It took 1 1/2 years of installing these before they took corrective action, which is the thicker gasket as used now.

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Old 07-14-2013, 05:13 PM   #1384
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Quote:
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Yes the aluminum Classic light frames are curved for curved surfaces and flat for flat surfaces. The FC/Int'l/Sport frames are one size fits all plastic with curve applied even on flat surfaces. It took 1 1/2 years of installing these before they took corrective action, which is the thicker gasket as used now.

doug k
Hi Doug. We picked up our 2012 FC in February 2102, so i suspect it may be susceptible. However, I don't see any filiform anywhere at this point. The only issue I have had is the lens on the lower curbside, rear had popped out. I snapped it back in. Do you think I should go ahead and start the repair process? I am really not excited about taking it back to the dealer but if I should, perhaps I can/should do that. Thanks for the input. We have followed the same course with the 2007 20ft Safari SE-then the 2012 25ft. FC.
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:22 AM   #1385
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Hi Silverbee. Your 2012 trailer may be the later model year where they put the "fat" gasket between the fixture and shell. If so the light frame does not touch the shell clear coat, wearing through and initiating corrosion where they are in contact. If the frame ends do touch the shell, it's will most surely wear through.

Your 2007 Airstream does not have the culprit LED fixtures discussed here, they have a incandescent bulb in them.

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Old 07-16-2013, 12:45 PM   #1386
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Hi Silverbee. Your 2012 trailer may be the later model year where they put the "fat" gasket between the fixture and shell. If so the light frame does not touch the shell clear coat, wearing through and initiating corrosion where they are in contact. If the frame ends do touch the shell, it's will most surely wear through.

Your 2007 Airstream does not have the culprit LED fixtures discussed here, they have a incandescent bulb in them.

doug k
Hi Doug aka all you corrosion experts out there. Talked to Airstream again yesterday, asked for Classic style lights. Reply, "send a email asking and let me see if I can get those for you". So will keep you informed as to whether I get the larger gaskets, Classic lights, or both. I did just ask for the lights and would put them on myself, saving them the service charge from dealer. Would like to keep it away from the dealer as much as possible as they keep the trailer forever and it always comes back with a new dent in it somewhere. Thanks for the info on this Doug.
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