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Old 10-09-2011, 05:02 PM   #1
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Trailer Leaks,...2009 to current..

Airstream Trailers....2009 or Newer,....Who has had or has leaks. From where? What part of the Trailer.?

How did you solve the issue? Factory Dealer? Are you satisfied?

Thanks.

Shane
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Old 10-09-2011, 05:26 PM   #2
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What I'm getting at is my 2010 FB Pana window was leaking street side. The dealer put a line of silicone from where the leak was. On the bottom of the glass where the seal is met with the glass. Not the frame of the window on the frame,..but the Glass seal itself. Dealer says they are waiting for an answer from Airstream. They were told by Airstream wekks ago " WE have NEVER replaced a pana window in the history of Airstream" Well this is a window manufactuer defect. I don't know if Airstream makes the windows,,but it was not made properly before install.

Now jump to today,....It's been raining here for over 12 hours...hasn't rained here since the first part of JUNE. I was sitting inside looking for leaks and guess what,,..My small window above my bed was leaking. Not a lot but leaking. My warranty runs out in February next year.

Who has actually taken their Airstream to the Mothership and had them repair it? What do they do? Pressure test it the whole thing? Or do they just put silicone/sealant on the leak. Would it be a waste of a trip...I run my own business, It would be a huge overtaking for me to go to Ohio from Texas and wait for it to be repaired. If I schedule an appt,..whats the usual turn around? Will my expenses be even considered?

Thanks any comments/help is needed.

I might come see Andy instead in California. He seems to be one of the most honest guys I have been in contact with.

Airstream and I have butted heads on several occasions over the phone.

Shane
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Old 10-09-2011, 05:55 PM   #3
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Shane, they all leak. I was astounded to see a 05, an 08, and an 09 with rot issues just this weekend at a rally. I would think that after 75+ years this issue would be gone. Maybe someday the factory will shove the trailers into the rain tunnel to prove they don't leak instead of finding where they do.
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Old 10-09-2011, 06:39 PM   #4
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I had this problem on a Safari 25 FB with pano windows. Several trips to the dealer without success. I finally ran strips of 1/2" foam insultion along the edges of the swing out front & rear window and for the first time in 5 years, no more leaks!

Quite frankly, the AS is grossly over rated as far as perceived value based on the selling price.
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Old 10-09-2011, 06:54 PM   #5
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Not an '09, but we have our share of leaks. The front pano was the last leaker—over the bed where the little table is. It was resealed at the service center, leaked again in Alaska last summer (2010) and I sealed the outside again. Hasn't leaked since and nothing has leaked since then.

This tells me the factory (as opposed to the service center at JC) does a bad job and it takes a couple of years to solve all the problems they create.

We have had leaks in both fans, front and rear panos, one vista view and the skylight. When I re-seal them they haven't leaked again. I'm certainly no expert at this, but I guess being thorough makes me a better sealer than employees at the factory. Several months ago, lewster was here doing a solar panel install and while he was on the roof, he checked everything and put more sealer where necessary, so I'm good for a while.

I realize sealant has to stretch because everything moves and eventually it tears somewhere. It also gets old and less flexible, especially in the sun. But the factory does not do the best job and slops stuff all over. Reports are the constant complaints about leaks caused the factory to put even more sealant on the roof, but not to necessarily do it carefully.

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Old 10-09-2011, 07:36 PM   #6
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I am fairly new to Airstreams, and a complete rookie in all things Airstream. So the thought I am about to share may already be a common practice.

My other passion is sailboats. I have owned several sailboats over the years. There are many similarities between sailboats and high end RV's. It is very common to have a professional survey inspection performed on any sailboat selling for over $20,000. This applies to new and old sailboats. Sales contracts are almost always tied to the results of the survey inspection. I would think there would be a major market for professional RV surveyors who were competent to perform comprehensive survey inspections on all types of RV's. Based on my experience with sailboats, the problems with new high end RV's does not surprise me.

I know there are volunteers on this site who will participate in an inspection of an Airstream. What I am speaking of are trained and bonded professionals.

Do professional RV surveyors, as I have described, exist?

Bud
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Old 10-09-2011, 09:40 PM   #7
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I guess I am Soooo lucky. I recently damaged the back end of my AS, so I decided to get rid of the carpet in the back end. I figger either I opened up some seams with the body damage or the soon to be completed repairs will allow water in. I am as dry as the Saraha!

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Old 10-10-2011, 06:02 AM   #8
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Leaks...YEP

Rear trunk and side storage compartments...

Airstream..... great design, poor execution, using carpet & padding to soak up the leaks.

Bob
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:33 AM   #9
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Having watched how they seal the outside at the factory, its no wonder that so many leak. Makes you wonder why they don't deal with this perpetual problem where it starts.
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kosm1o View Post
Having watched how they seal the outside at the factory, its no wonder that so many leak. Makes you wonder why they don't deal with this perpetual problem where it starts.
Couldn't agree more, this is how our black tank vent looked straight from the "factory".

Should'a looked...

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Old 10-10-2011, 07:08 AM   #11
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Shane
We feel your pain. When we first purchased our 'stream (new), we not only had leaks, but a good flood after a storm...water was over our feet in the bedroom. Anyway, we had soo many leaks and the dealer was not kind to deal with. After much frustration, we decided to visit Jackson Center...and stayed three nights! We are now (knock on wood) leak free...big test was the hurricane in Maine! JC was great in trouble shooting all our leaks....but be aware of your floor! I noticed a dark spot on our flooring under the table and ended up having all the flooring replaced. Took pictures to send to AS to get approval for replacement. The floor integrity was not damamged...no soft spots..but lots of water spots especially under the pano window by dinette. Dealer in ALachua replaced flooring after making sure the floor was dry and sealed....looks great!
After living thru our leak nightmare...make appt with JC and spend the time to get it fixed right. While we were there, we picked up some extra "stuff" that we couldn't love without
One dealer actually replaced the rubber molding around the outside compartments...but it was the wrong molding and thus our flood in the bedroom.
You won't regret going to JC, and we learned alot from other Airstreamers that were there for other reasons.
Feel your pain Shane!
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:24 AM   #12
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It strikes me that there are a couple of simple solutions to the problem of floor rot, ones that Airstream can't or won't resolve.

Firstly, if the floor has to be plywood, then why not use marine grade ply? Obviously it's more expensive and Airstream are champion cost cutters, but maybe they don't want to admit to themselves that their products do leak.

Secondly, why not ditch ply go with an alternative, plastic based floor, as they have with the European models? Again, cost cutting is the prime motivator I'd guess. I suppose Airstream strives to keep the unit cost down to what it thinks the market can bear whereas the Euro models tend to sell for about twice the price they do in North America so there's room for some more costly materials.

Maybe Airstream will see the light in the future?
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:02 AM   #13
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And marketing at Airstream wonders why so many folks pass on AS and buy Arctic Fox trailers?
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:50 AM   #14
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Getting back to Thepill's original question: I've had leaks fixed two times at JC. Most recently it was the same problem with the pano glass-to-frame seal.

Mine's an '07 and I had a recurring pano leak that JC fixed. It turned out to be where the center window solar guard attaches to the body of the trailer. Not even the pano frame. They made the repair and then put it under their spraying device to water test it for 45 minutes- no leak. This was a couple of years ago and was done under warrantee. That leak reappeared a couple of months ago- I could see where the sealant had cracked at the end of hinge. I was on the road so I just sealed it with some silicone and the leak stopped. I just had the hinge properly resealed.

At the end of the same trip (this summer) I had the lower curbside corner of my curbside pano separate from the frame. There was a 1/4" gap between the glass and the frame. Some butyl tape and duct tape sealed that until I could get it repaired. I went to JC last week for the repair. I could have sealed the daylights out of it or had the window replaced. I felt that just resealing it would be temporary and something I'd have to constantly watch, so I had the window replaced. I wasn't cheap, but after looking at the old window after it was removed, I'm glad I did it. The glass to frame bond was broken from the bottom corner all the way up the side to the top corner. I'm also glad I had the factory replace the window rather than a dealer who may not had had as much experience doing that job.

Frank- they do put every AS that comes off the line through the water tunnel. I think they do it before the inner skin goes on so they can see any leaks and repair them.

My trip this summer was 12,000 miles from NY to Alaska so the Safari certainly took a lot of shaking on some not so great roads which may have precipitated the pano failure (aggravating an already marginal bond).
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