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Old 06-19-2012, 05:51 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS

Hi, well I fixed mine so my tank cover sits on the frame and is as level as possible. I put some vinyl trim on the bottom of the tank cover so it wouldn't rub the paint off of my frame. I pushed my tank cover's front edge off of the top of the tongue jack flange, onto the frame. I used some angle aluminum, attached to the battery box hinge, to hold the cover straight and so it would not interfere with my battery box lid.

You might have to enlarge the second picture to see the aluminum angle that I installed.
Is that battery box for the main batteries? I have a cutout in the rear of my propane box, but could never figure out what is was for. My batteries are on the front wall below the pano windows.

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Old 06-19-2012, 06:00 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c_lewis77 View Post
Is that battery box for the main batteries? I have a cutout in the rear of my propane box, but could never figure out what is was for. My batteries are on the front wall below the pano windows.

Attachment 161361
I believe Robert's is the same as our's, a "tool box".

Bob
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:06 AM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS

I believe Robert's is the same as our's, a "tool box".

Bob
Good idea!
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:31 AM   #60
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Question Nothing else to do this morning....

Some other "small things"...

Rusty stuff..


Shiny...stainless replacements.


Slippery, stuff ends up on the ground...


No double sided tape to hold things together, especially the shower door. Frame separated within 6 months...the brown bead line is an epoxy reinforced with sawdust, quarter round secured with same.




Bob
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:42 AM   #61
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General observation on Quality Control

I got a new BMW 550i this March and a new 23' AS Int'l. Serenity last August, both roughly the same price (BMW slightly more). The difference in build quality is stark. Virtually no issues with the BMW. The AS, while having no significant problems, had a number of examples of poor quality control that I found surprising. I think that AS, given the price of its product, should be expected to do a much better job of manufacturing their product, both in sourcing and in assembly.

I am at heart not a negative person, and in fact love using the AS, but in my opinion (am apparently not alone here) AS needs to do a significantly better job of building their product.

John S.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:41 AM   #62
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If you look at post #54 and #55 you will see a classic example of poor design and poor fit and finish. It is the same on my 2008 Bambi DWR. The cover that goes over the LP bottles is poorly designed and does not fit properly. I have a Toyota FJ Cruiser for a TV, and I have never had an issue with it in almost three years. It cost half of what my Bambi cost new! Just as Robert did in post #55, many of us are having to use our own ingenuity to come up with fixes for problems that should be embarrassing for AS. These are not even technical things. If they actually used their own product, they would see the same poor fit and finish that we do.

There is a program on television called 'Under Cover Boss', maybe the head of Thor Industries needs to to disguise himself and go under cover at AS to see where some of these problems are originating and what they can do to bring AS back in line with the quality, innovation and fit and finish that we expect.
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:07 AM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schu View Post
The last trailer with OSB flooring was 2006

The edge of the fllor fits into a u shaped channel and not easily caulked to size of cavity.The exterior seem is sealed at edge of side sheet and underbelly.

We use several floor coverings --most are vinyl --stapled and glued around perimeter per manufacturer.

Tabled leg is still screwed when installed correctly works.

The side walls are routed using computer program.

We will see how the threshold is accepted.
Thanks again for the reply. OSB, I thought only some trim lines had it and when did it start?

My vinyl was not glued, but it was stapled. I am surprised the manufacturer would say to put things on top of the vinyl as even ceramic tile manufacturers recommend an expansion/contraction space at all walls.

Some more suggestions:

1. This may have been corrected. For years the propane cover was atop some wires and trapping them against the frame, thus wearing the insulation off. Wires need to be routed from under the cover. The latch for the cover top is rusting after 4 1/2 years; better quality latch suggested.

2. The water pump in ours was installed backwards and access to the filter was almost impossible. Has it been turned around? Mounting the pump on a rubber mat would reduce noise.

3. Someone described the sealant on the roof as looking like it was applied by a monkey. Some training in how to apply sealant effectively and do it neatly is necessary.

4. Formica edge banding was not applied properly and I have to reattach it every year in one or two places. Either the guy who applied it took too little time to heat and activate the glue, or this glue does not work well in extreme temps. Since it stays after I heat it with an old iron, I suspect the workers need training how to do this.

5. The pre-installed cable for solar is 10 AWG. As solar systems get more powerful and prices go down, more panels are being installed. Thus it would be appropriate to pre-install 8 AWG cable. When the dealer installed a solar panel, they did not know about the pre-installed cable and drilled a hole through the roof to run a cable—better training needed at the dealer level.

6. Getting back to the subfloor—on another thread there is a drawing for the edge of the floor. It uses Z flashing to direct any water inside the skins down and out to ground, possibly through weep holes. It keeps water out of the belly pan and from damaging the edge of the subfloor. This is pretty standard construction technique for housing.

7. Rivets in the rear section of my belly pan have been working through the holes drilled in the sheet metal. The holes are too big or the rivets are too small and because they are close in size, vibration eats a bigger hole in the pan. I fixed it with stainless steel screws and washers.

8. Why not weep holes in the pan to direct water to the ground rather than accumulating on the top of the sheet metal.

9. The belly pan is unevenly applied to the frame and obviously does not seal the bottom. A rigid metal strip along the frame would hold the pan tight to the frame. This should be sealed to keep water splash from getting into the area.

Gene
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:28 AM   #64
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Schu, My 2012 25FC did not have a pillowtop mattress. Since you are saying it should have had one would you be willing to reinburse me for the Sensus topper I had to buy so I could get a good rest?
The pillow top mattress was a running line change in Dec 2011. mid model year.
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:49 AM   #65
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There are always threads about QC, workmanship, design and corporate policies. Sometimes on these threads there are suggestions about how to improve Airstreams, they get lost amongst the frustrations.

Let's focus on suggestions to improve them on this thread. Maybe Airstream will engage and tell us what they think and whether they will adopt the ideas.

So, I'll start:

To produce a waterproof trailer is not all that difficult. Cars and trucks don't leak, so Airstreams don't have to either. Here's how:

1. Attach roof items with 2 sided extra strong tape. This stuff works. The number of screw holes would be significantly less.

2. Any other penetrations should be sealed with rubber (or rubber like substance) strips. You've started to do this with courtesy lights and at the rear bump compartment, but it can be done everywhere.

3. Use rubber seals under the overlapping outer skim panels.

4. Will bolts and nuts seal better than rivets? Stainless steel bolts with square drive and round heads will look like rivets. Check this out; maybe labor costs would be less.

5. Keep rivet guns clean so rivets are not scored and set gun with less power so dimples do not appear in the outer skin. Both these things may reduce failed clear coat and corrosion.

6. Abandon the skylight—one less place to leak and a lot of people don't like it (too much sun and heat, or loss of heat in cold climates).

7. Abandon panos in bedrooms—are corner windows really necessary in a room usually curtained? This would save money, reduce chance of water penetration, make for stronger trailer, and be a trade off for any expenses of better seals.

8. Don't use flat bottomed items on curves—unless a seal that curves on one side and is flat on the other.

9. Lens for lights on cars do not pop out when squeezed—they are screwed down and sealed and don't leak. Do the same.

10. Awning supports are installed over a seam making it almost impossible to seal properly. Move one or the other. WHen water runs off the roof and comes down at the ends of the awning, it streams down on the awning supports making them especially vulnerable. A rain gutter would help.

A water tight RV would be a rarity and make Airstream innovative as befits a "premium" brand. But the promise must be followed with good quality seals, not the cheapest made.

More ideas? Mods, move this if there's a better place for it.

Gene
Gene,

#1 -- While there are some excellent adhesives in the marketplace, there is no substitute for the long term durability and performance of a mechanical fastener particularly on a roof where fastened objects are subject to 70 mph winds, rain, and UV light. Any chemical adhesive will break down over time. I personally prefer the use of adhesive sealants and mechanical fasteners on the exterior.
#2 & #3 -- Any natural rubber or synthetic rubber will deteriorate over time the same as sealants. After 10 years finding replacements could be a problem unless Airstream decides to maintain a large parts inventory. However, more use of rubber seals could reduce the incidence of leaks in the first 5 years or so of the trailer's life, thereby increasing initial owner satisfaction. For this reason alone more use of seals should be considered.
#4 -- Good question for an engineer. There may be manufacturing in-process quality control issues with using the number of bolts and nuts required to assemble a unit. There may also be a significant labor cost differential.
#5 -- This is a manufacturing operator training and in-process quality control issue. Should be simple to fix.
#6 - The Maxim skylight seems to be the answer for those who do like the skylight and want something that won't leak and will last more than the warranty period. Unfortunately the per unit cost is likely 5 to 10 times the inexpensive skylight being used today by Airstream. If so this price differential is too large for them to adopt it. My factory skylight has been replaced once already and I'm in the process of placing my order with Maxim for a long term solution.
#7 - My 2008 27FB Safari SE does not have the pano window in the bedroom. We are very happy with this plan, even though the salesperson at a large Airstream dealer in the northeast told us no one would want it when it came time to resell the trailer. The closets on either side of the bed provide extra storage and hanging space. The cubbies in the side of the closets provide handy space for books, eyeglasses and alarm clocks as well as charging of cell phones (there are 110 outlets on both sides). We don't have the pano leak issue in the front of the trailer which takes the brunt of wind and rain while on the road. As you mentioned, the smaller window area makes the bedroom darker for sleeping, particularly afternoon naps. If I were ordering a new trailer I'd go with the bedside closets instead of bedroom pano window again.
#8 -- Good thought.
#9 -- Exterior lights can be improved on a number of dimensions. They have been an aggravating source of leaks for my unit.
#10 -- I strongly agree.
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:54 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
Thanks again for the reply. OSB, I thought only some trim lines had it and when did it start?

My vinyl was not glued, but it was stapled. I am surprised the manufacturer would say to put things on top of the vinyl as even ceramic tile manufacturers recommend an expansion/contraction space at all walls.
The vinyl is glue around the edges (about 4-5") and then stapled along the wall.
Some more suggestions:

1. This may have been corrected. For years the propane cover was atop some wires and trapping them against the frame, thus wearing the insulation off. Wires need to be routed from under the cover. The latch for the cover top is rusting after 4 1/2 years; better quality latch suggested.
The Bottle cover has been modified to address this issue. Had been a problem

2. The water pump in ours was installed backwards and access to the filter was almost impossible. Has it been turned around? Mounting the pump on a rubber mat would reduce noise.

Sorry about the installation.All current pumps have a garden hose type hose on the inlet and outlet side of pump to help reduce vibration.

3. Someone described the sealant on the roof as looking like it was applied by a monkey. Some training in how to apply sealant effectively and do it neatly is necessary.

Agree we continue to work towards improving

4. Formica edge banding was not applied properly and I have to reattach it every year in one or two places. Either the guy who applied it took too little time to heat and activate the glue, or this glue does not work well in extreme temps. Since it stays after I heat it with an old iron, I suspect the workers need training how to do this.

We have changed thickness of the edge banding and have installed new equipment that should take care of this issue.

5. The pre-installed cable for solar is 10 AWG. As solar systems get more powerful and prices go down, more panels are being installed. Thus it would be appropriate to pre-install 8 AWG cable. When the dealer installed a solar panel, they did not know about the pre-installed cable and drilled a hole through the roof to run a cable—better training needed at the dealer level.

Noted. 10 guage works for current production options

6. Getting back to the subfloor—on another thread there is a drawing for the edge of the floor. It uses Z flashing to direct any water inside the skins down and out to ground, possibly through weep holes. It keeps water out of the belly pan and from damaging the edge of the subfloor. This is pretty standard construction technique for housing.

7. Rivets in the rear section of my belly pan have been working through the holes drilled in the sheet metal. The holes are too big or the rivets are too small and because they are close in size, vibration eats a bigger hole in the pan. I fixed it with stainless steel screws and washers.

We have changed the type rivets being used in the underbelly along with verifying proper drill bit size.

8. Why not weep holes in the pan to direct water to the ground rather than accumulating on the top of the sheet metal.

9. The belly pan is unevenly applied to the frame and obviously does not seal the bottom. A rigid metal strip along the frame would hold the pan tight to the frame. This should be sealed to keep water splash from getting into the area.

I understand your thoughts on 8 and 9 but no solution at present.



Gene
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:41 AM   #67
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Schu,

Once again, thanks for the reply. Try putting inserts in bold so they are easier to see; I know there's a way to break up the quote into parts, but I don't know how to do it yet either.

The vinyl—when I pulled up the vinyl, there was a black substance that had been brushed on the subfloor about 5-8" inward. It had been applied poorly with a number of areas missed. If this were glue, it failed and only the staples were holding the vinyl down. I thought it was some type of sealant to protect the perimeter of the plywood, but maybe it was glue.

Chuck,

I appreciate your analysis. I sure hope the heavy duty 2 sided tape works because my solar panels are attached with it. Lewster's have been attached even longer and I think they are still on his roof. It is possible that 2 sided tape and several fasteners would be the fail safe option; that would still substantially reduce the number of penetrations. I am more optimistic about the life of rubber seals as I have had vehicles that don't leak for 10 or more years. Standard sizes should be used to make sure they are available years from now. If I had realized the panos were such leakers, we might have opted for the 27' FB like yours.

Thanks for your response done in a reasoned and calm manner—a good example of how to discuss and brainstorm issues with fire and brimstone.

No more suggestions right now from me, though I'm itching to get at the insulation.

Gene
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:53 AM   #68
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10. Awning supports are installed over a seam making it almost impossible to seal properly. Move one or the other. WHen water runs off the roof and comes down at the ends of the awning, it streams down on the awning supports making them especially vulnerable. A rain gutter would help.

I believe the supports must be fastened to an interior rib for support. Diversion/thorough sealing is probably the answer.

Bob
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:25 AM   #69
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I believe Robert's is the same as our's, a "tool box".

Bob
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:54 PM   #70
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Just a note about water leaks. The first line of defense should be gravity, with sealer secondary. You wouldn't shingle a house roof starting at the top, and sealing each row of shingles as you go. Cars didn't used to be leak free either, until we got our design and process under control and quit relying on water test to find leaks. The off shore producers never had water test, and their cars didn't leak. I speak from experience, 45 years in product engineering at GM.
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