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Old 09-17-2010, 10:06 AM   #1
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Items of interest from 9/16 plant tour

I'm not sure where to put these nuggets of info, so I'll go off topic. Some may be old news, but new to me. Sorry if it's redundant.

AS has installed, (but not up and running yet) Laser cutters for all the openings in the skin. This should eliminated the potential human error of measuring each opening and routing the hole.

About 3 months ago they started using tape for sealing the skin seams "just like the old days" according to the tour guide. I am unclear on whether he meant within the skin seam or on the inside of the outer skin. He said is is a butyl tape.

As of "about 5 years ago" all AS have the silver "foil" insulation between the floor and frame. No pink stuff.

AS built for Europe have floors made of two sheets of aluminum with a foamboard sandwiched between them. These units are only 90" wide and are on an aluminum frame imported from Europe and exported back. All this for narrow roads and low weight for tiny cars. Thy are $$$$$$.

Pan Am and slideout models are no more (at least for now).

Chevrolet based Class B's sarted shipping to dealers a week ago or so.

That's all I recall right now.
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Old 09-17-2010, 01:07 PM   #2
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They used to use the butyl tape as a thermal break between the skin and the frame, so that may be what they're doing again. I will certainly be using butyl tape to insulate my inner skin from the frame on my next resto, because the frame is an excellent conductor of heat from the outer to the inner skin.
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Old 09-17-2010, 01:29 PM   #3
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Hey, I have an idea . Offer those European models over here. Wow ,Aluminum frames and floors. I guess they just figure we love those rusting steel frames and particle board floors.
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Old 09-17-2010, 01:39 PM   #4
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the plant tour IS fun...

getting the info right ON the tour isn't easy,

and often takes doin' the tour many times.

butyl tape is and HAS been used for many years...

as a thermal break between OUTER skin and ribs.

this goes back to when 3 piece ribs started

and PUSHED out corner radii, so approaching 17-18 yrs.
________

the euro units do NOT have aluminum floors OR frames.

they do have galvanized steel frames assembled like recto'sets...

and styro/styrene core/wood ply sandwich subflooring....

see da pics here (take well after the camera ban...)

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f341...ead-35473.html
_________

no idea what 'sealing the skin with tape' means,

perhaps this is a reference to how sealants are now applied b'tween skin overlaps.

don't worry about getting the details right dz'...

there are 100s of threads with 'tour stories' and they're all a bit different...

sorta like the streamz...

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-17-2010, 01:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Park View Post
They used to use the butyl tape as a thermal break between the skin and the frame, so that may be what they're doing again. I will certainly be using butyl tape to insulate my inner skin from the frame on my next resto, because the frame is an excellent conductor of heat from the outer to the inner skin.
Dave, the butyl tape is used between the laps of the skin where they overlap and rivet. Metal buildings use the same tape on the panels where they overlap. Good long lasting stuff, dont know why they stopped using it.
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Old 09-17-2010, 01:59 PM   #6
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As 2air said, I don't think there's two identical airstreams in the entire world, they're so hit and miss. My A/S used to have butyl tape between the frame and outer skin, but not between the frame and inner skin, or between skin sheets. There was a vulkem-type product between the exterior skin sheets, but it wasn't butyl or a tape.

I am sure others have all sorts of combinations. I just wish they'd use the butyl tape everywhere - it's not expensive or hard to use.
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Old 09-17-2010, 02:43 PM   #7
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Items of disappointment from recent plant tour:

1) Tourguide spent entirely too much time reminding us of his 50 plus year tenure with Airstream, along with pointing out several buddies of his along the way, each with similar longevity.....during which time we got to stand there waiting, while he had a nice little personal chat with each of them. (I know, that could be an intentional marketing strategy, but frustrating for me).

2) Tourguide proudly proclaimed AT LEAST twice: "They've got ALL the conveniences!!" (Well, OF COURSE they do! The cheapest box trailer coming down the line at the Jayco plant has "ALL the conveniences"! While I can imagine Wally Byam successfully using that line in the 1950's, the RV world has come a long way since then, so please, lose that one!)

3) Tourguide seemed "stingy" with information: "Here's where they make the doors"....(we all stand there and watch that for a while, then move to another spot)...."Here's where they test for leaks".....(then we all stand THERE for a while watching that). If asked a direct question he would respond, of course, but otherwise little information was offered. (I think most of us here on the forum could have provided more interesting information, along with showing a little enthusiasm.)

Now, to be completely fair to the tourguide, he had to do battle the ENTIRE time, beginning in the lobby, with a primitive, INTERMITTENT portable P.A. system, which I'm sure became even more disconcerting to him than it was to me!! Nevertheless, I think it's time for Airstream to make some improvements (not just changes) to the factory tour.
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Old 09-17-2010, 05:02 PM   #8
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Well, the guide did seem to contradict himself several times. He is 80, ya know. Not trying to be offensive....but. Anyway the butyl tape is in the skin seams instead of the liquid sealer used for many years. It is still used between the ribs and outer skin as well. I could just see some in the seam and it appeared dark in color. Guide said that it is more difficult to get a flat seam with it as it is bulkier than liquid....but supposedly seals better and lasts longer under road vibrations.

2air, he definitely said sandwiched aluminum floor for Europe and aluminum frame.....maybe what he means and what he says gets discombobulated sometimes??? None there to look at.
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Old 09-17-2010, 05:31 PM   #9
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dz'

the post doesn't mention WHO has issues gettin' it right on da tour...



don is a great guy and yes he's ancient...

isn't 80 the new 50?

he's also not entirely well, but still comes in day after day.

in fact he's probably tardy fewer dayz than the big wigs.

taking the tour is fun for us, it's a chore for don, but a good chore.

besides it's not about just getting the latest greatest news,

stepping over tools, in and out of units IN assembly

and looking at piles of batteries, sealant, shower stalls and mouse fur...

it's like going to a shiny riveted whaling wall for this secular obsession.

and each experiences it differently or not at all.

cheers
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Old 09-17-2010, 05:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
dz'

the post doesn't mention WHO has issues gettin' it right on da tour...



don is a great guy and yes he's ancient...

isn't 80 the new 50?

he's also not entirely well, but still comes in day after day.

in fact he's probably tardy fewer dayz than the big wigs.

taking the tour is fun for us, it's a chore for don, but a good chore.

besides it's not about just getting the latest greatest news,

stepping over tools, in and out of units IN assembly

and looking at piles of batteries, sealant, shower stalls and mouse fur...

it's like going to a shiny riveted whaling wall for this secular obsession.

and each experiences it differently or not at all.

cheers
2air'
I passed over your comments before. I know what I heard.
Have ya got some kind of superiority complex which forces you to continually put others down?

And yes, all those parts are VERY distracting. I was like...I need one of those....some of that....etc.
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Old 09-17-2010, 06:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Park View Post
My A/S used to have butyl tape between the frame and outer skin, but not between the frame and inner skin, or between skin sheets. There was a vulkem-type product between the exterior skin sheets, but it wasn't butyl or a tape.
After thinking about it I went duh, butyl is too thick for sheet skins, vulkem is the stuff. Butyl and vulkem are excellent long lasting products.
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Old 09-17-2010, 06:48 PM   #12
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I passed over your comments before. I know what I heard...
where does ne1 question what u heard?

point that out 4 the confused reading this (like me)

did don say aluminum and did the tour group hear aluminum ?

eye got no idea.

so is that the issue, subfloors and frames?

my comment about NO ALUMINUM subfloors and frames...

was as much for craftsman as ne1 else.

nothing anywhere (except this thread)

suggests they've adapted alum to frames OR subfloors for euro models.

i've posted a LINK to photo evidence of what's used....

if u wanna clarify it further, email tech support or a EURO stream dealer n ask.

and i'll pass over your comments NOW too...

but there r folks who have some sort of inferiority complex that forces them 2 c putdowns that don't exist.

cheers
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Old 09-17-2010, 07:03 PM   #13
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Old 09-17-2010, 07:03 PM   #14
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Am I the only person who automatically skips over double spaced posts that verge on spam?

For on-topicness: butyl tape is getting more expensive. Has anyone seen a good priced supplier recently?
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