Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-02-2015, 01:25 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
2015 Interstate Ext. Coach
Tigard , Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 23
Raining in our Interstate - You Too??

Have had our 2015 Interstate Grand Tour Ext. for 4 months. Since purchase every time it rained we have had water leakage problems. First around the refrigerator. Then we had water coming in through the bath vent when the vent was closed. We have had it into the dealer 3 times, and each time they say they have looked at all the seals, etc., recaulked areas and that it was fixed. So, we left home on a 5 week trek across America. My first shower came while camped and sleeping, with water running down off the port side under the storage area into my face. Nice wake up call. No leaks while raining, even intense rain when we are moving, but when parked we have had water coming through the air conditioning unit, both left and right sides, and through the bath vent. (Have video of each) While it was dripping through the AC, I took a flash light and looked to find the source and it appears the water is entering somewhere on the roof and "riding" the ceiling and directing itself downstream based on the angle and slope we are parked at. ie, a 1 degree slope to starboard and water heads that way. Called the dealer to get into another dealership, but it is the 4th of July and they could not get me an appointment, but if we stop someone "might get a chance" to look at it. Ironically, we took the factory tour on this trip and I watched closely an AS being water tested. They do it perfectly flat with what appear to be fire sprinklers. I wonder if they tilted the vehicle, if they would have more issues? Now, after 4 months of leaking, what other damage is done? We now have squeaks in the floor. The water was discolored dropping through the AC. Is the particle board deteriorating? Are wires rusting? Are we now subject to mold? How do we handle this? Lemon law?? Looking for suggestions, and anyone else with an Interstate seeing this........thank you!!!
__________________

__________________
"The more you think you know...........The more close minded you will be"
Oldforester is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2015, 02:04 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
Lily&Me's Avatar

 
2006 22' Interstate
Normal , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 13,569
Boooo!

I am sorry for those troubles, because an Interstate really is the way to go, in my opinion.

Have had ours 8+'years. We had roof leakage, too....around the Fantastic Fan vent and the black water tank vent....the latter of which let copious amount of rain into the closet, where our clothes were.

I believe your dealer, and/or Airstream, have an OBLIGATION to find the source of the leaks, and then FIX them. Period. Also any resulting issues as a result of the leaks.

Ours were finally tracked, by my husband, to installation problems.

He finally took things apart, down to the roof, and they looked like they had each been installed by chimpanzees playing with a drill for the first time. Seriously.

The original holes in the vent fan had been ignored in favor of new holes, the original ones caulked but insufficiently to keep rain out.

The black tank vent did not fit the area it was crammed into on the roof, holes were drilled every which way, the vent broken and cracked to fit, and the whole mess covered with caulk.

All the caulk in the world will not prevent leaks from improper installs.

My suggestion is that you have a conversation with Jackson Center about the problems, confirm in an email, and insist that they coordinate with your dealer to fix your problems.

They monitor these forums, someone from JC may jump in here and offer their assistance.

You should not be having these issues with a new rig.

Good luck, and keep us posted.


Maggie
__________________

__________________
🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚❤️
Lily&Me is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2015, 06:52 PM   #3
4 Rivet Member
 
2011 Interstate Coach
Muskogee , Oklahoma
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 452
Welcome to the world of Airstream quality control, where the customer is the unpaid employee used to find the things the installers in their hurry to crank out product did wrong.

The AC is more than likely leaking around the perimeter of the unit itself. The roof is not flat; it has ribs, but the AC is designed for a flat roof. That's one problem. When stationary, the water will flow around the unit and find its way inside if there is the slightest leak.The other is that the flat part that the unit sits on is sealed with a foam strip, and if the installers forgot to tighten it down, it will leak. Mine did exactly the same as yours on a early dawn morning. I seriously doubt Airstream water tests these units before they go out the door.

On inspection, I found they had not tightened down the bolts that hold down the AC unit on the roof, so the foam strip was not water tight. The bolts were less than hand tight. I'm lucky the thing didn't fall off. In the corners, there was a minimal attempt to seal the unit between the ribs with some Sika221-but very minimal.

I tightened the bolts, and added a bit of Sika 221. Haven't had a problem since.

The leak around the plumbing is probably something similar. Get up there and take a look, and you will likely find the problem is inadequate sealant. Get a tube of Sika221 and do a better job than the installer, and you will likely fix that, too.

Good luck.
__________________
2011 Interstate WD/Lounge
gmillerok1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2015, 12:07 AM   #4
Jeff
 
jkinglet's Avatar
 
2013 Interstate Coach
Seattle , Washington
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 184
Images: 37
Speaking of leaks. Another place to look. Since we bought our AI couldn't figure out why water was leaking out from under the bath area periodically forward and rear depending if the AI was parked nose down or rear down. Checked all the pipes and fittings I could get at including the bathroom sink plumbing accessed by the removable section just below the wardrobe. After a more thorough examination earlier this year discovered that both bathroom sink water line connectors were loose and leaking, either not tightened down properly from the factory or shook loose as the AI aged (we bought it new 16 months ago.) The leaks were small enough even under pressurization not to be that noticeable under routine scrutiny. Leakage into the main living area apparently happened after enough water had pooled deep enough on the floor under the bath area. Discovered the leaking connections by making sure the fittings had no condensation (dried thoroughly), then wrapped the pressurized hot and cold water fittings in paper towels for a short period of time. Soaked. Tightened both connections and no water problems since.
__________________
jkinglet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2015, 04:47 AM   #5
3 Rivet Member
 
ben322's Avatar
 
2009 Interstate
Bethesda , Maryland
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 121
Check the windows as well. Sometimes driving down the road in the rain with the AC on doesn't reveal leaks because of a slight pressurization. I had two windows that leaked only when sitting still . One was really small and fixed in place, the other right rear window involved taking it out and reinstalling properly. I also had a small bath vent leak that was fixed with a little caulk. Keep in mind the the caulk is Sikaflex P21 typically not available at the local home improvement store.
__________________
2009 Airstream Interstate
ben322 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2015, 07:09 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
InterBlog's Avatar

 
2006 22' Interstate
League City , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,432
As a general measure for all Interstate owners, I suggest pulling your screws whenever you happen to be working on something on the roof, even if pulling screws is not required of the task at hand. Sometimes you find leak problems about to occur, or problems that had begun to manifest that you hadn't learned about yet.

Here is a pic of one of ours. The screw looked like this but the water hadn't yet made it all the way inside. For whatever screwy reason, we had this result at the Fantastic on the starboard side but the port side showed no evidence of any corrosion or incipient water penetration. If we'd only pulled one of four screws to check this, we would have had a 50% chance of missing the issue entirely.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	screwy.JPG
Views:	102
Size:	623.2 KB
ID:	242126  
__________________
InterBlog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2015, 07:51 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
Lily&Me's Avatar

 
2006 22' Interstate
Normal , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 13,569
The bottom line, tho, is the OP has a brand new Interstate.

They are under warranty and Airstream needs to fully resolve these leaks and any resulting interior issues.

It is really sad and hard to read of all this, and difficult to imagine that someone did not know of these problems before it was sold.

Airstream needs to step up.


Maggie
__________________
🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚❤️
Lily&Me is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2015, 02:39 PM   #8
2 Rivet Member
 
basecamper's Avatar
 
2008 Base Camp
Elizabethtown , Kentucky
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 27
When we bought our brand-new Airstream Basecamp in 2007, we also had problems with leakage and worried about what damage was being done behind the walls. This really should not be happening with brand-new Airstreams. We finally solved our leakage problems with Captain Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure on all the exterior seams (for visually undetectable cracks, through capillary action). I learned about this product years ago on the forum. Product — Capt. Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure
__________________
basecamper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2015, 06:29 PM   #9
3 Rivet Member
 
Wolf Alaska's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
Currently Looking...
Madison , Alabama
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 154
Images: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
As a general measure for all Interstate owners, I suggest pulling your screws whenever you happen to be working on something on the roof, even if pulling screws is not required of the task at hand. Sometimes you find leak problems about to occur, or problems that had begun to manifest that you hadn't learned about yet.

Here is a pic of one of ours. The screw looked like this but the water hadn't yet made it all the way inside. For whatever screwy reason, we had this result at the Fantastic on the starboard side but the port side showed no evidence of any corrosion or incipient water penetration. If we'd only pulled one of four screws to check this, we would have had a 50% chance of missing the issue entirely.
This is a cadmium plated screw, not suitable for external use.

I personally installed a Fan-tastic vent fan in the roof vent of my Featherlite. The co. supplied a stainless steel screw for each mounting hole. 6 years in service and no leaks for that installation. No rust on the screws.

There can be no excuse for use of the fastener shown in the photo.
__________________
Wolf Alaska is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2015, 06:47 AM   #10
Rivet Master
 
InterBlog's Avatar

 
2006 22' Interstate
League City , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,432
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolf Alaska View Post
This is a cadmium plated screw, not suitable for external use.

I personally installed a Fan-tastic vent fan in the roof vent of my Featherlite. The co. supplied a stainless steel screw for each mounting hole. 6 years in service and no leaks for that installation. No rust on the screws.

There can be no excuse for use of the fastener shown in the photo.
I agree with you, but so far, we have not located a stainless steel screw ANYWHERE in the Airstream-built portions of our Interstate. And we've pulled it apart extensively. Each time we get set to do maintenance or upgrades, we have to spec the hardware that we will need to replace corroding hardware. Sometimes it's best to order that stuff off the internet so it has to be done in advance of a project.

Case in point. We have a T1N Interstate, and they were built with running boards. The running boards are held on in two ways - via a series of structural struts attached to the chassis, and then stabilized with about 40 screws (20 on each side) securing it tight to the frame.

You would think that, if Airstream were going to use more durable hardware anywhere, it would be directly beneath the vehicle because that's the area of highest corrosion potential. But no. We have to retrofit all the running board hardware because the heads are rusting off the existing screws to the point where pretty soon, the only way to get them out will be to over-drill. Our Interstate has only 28,000 miles on it and it is garaged, so it hasn't been subjected to extremely corroding conditions.

The reason for Airstream's choice is easy to surmise: stainless hardware is expensive. This pic shows the replacement hardware for the running boards (project to be done as soon as I figure out what product will work best to re-seal the underside of the fiberglass of which they are constructed). The handful that is shown here probably totaled around a hundred bucks in cost.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	20150704_RUNNING_BOARD_STUFF.JPG
Views:	98
Size:	323.0 KB
ID:	242172  
__________________
InterBlog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2015, 07:56 AM   #11
2 Rivet Member
 
2015 Interstate Ext. Coach
Tigard , Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 23
Thanks to all that have responded!! We are still on the road and fortunately have not encountered any additional rain. We bought a new Interstate because, in part, of Airstream's reputation and the MB Sprinter powertrain, etc.. (FYI, on our way we traveled over the highest road in the U.S., within Rocky Mountain National Park. 12,250 feet, no guardrail, with sheer drops of thousands of feet off the road. The MB diesel was flawless, even at over 2 miles altitude.)
But, we expected, with all the components to have the usual glitches. Water leakage was not one of them. I appreciate the knowledge shared here, and the ability to tear into your rigs to ascertain what is going wrong, sharing that insight. The issue we have with a new rig is how should AS be stepping up? Obviously this is a problem which started while it was being manufactured. As I mentioned water can cause mold, rust, deterioration of particle board, etc.. When these issues present themselves down the road how do you prove it was related to the initial leakage? (if, in fact they can find and fix the leaks)
So, we now are faced with confronting a dealer who inherited the problem from AS. They may handle this well, but maybe not. We just didn't buy an AS to have these problems. We, as many of you, have been around the block a few times and most situations are handled appropriately, but there are the 5-10% where you have to use a bigger stick when you are correct. This is so disappointing to have this on our mind through a vacation we have planned for years. Are we going to have to battle AS over a congenital defect in one of their units that could have caused internal damage related to all the leakage. (some of the water dripping is discolored)

I would be interested in hearing what you believe should be the appropriate response from AS, given we have had it into the dealer 3 previous times with water leakage issues in our first 4 months of ownership, and it was obviously not resolved. (Although, I believe they gave it genuine effort-it was not enough, obviously)
Thanks to all for your responses, we find this "extended family of AS owners" extremely helpful and very useful.
PS: A while ago there was a book called "In Search of Excellence". They interviewed CEO's about why their companies were successful. I remember one from an airline who said: "If a passenger sits down in their seat and the tray table comes down crooked, what will they think? If we can't fix a tray table, what are we doing with our engines?" I always remember that. In the AS factory, the floor was covered with scrap metal, rivets everywhere. I was surprised they didn't make more of an effort to sweep. Possibly I was wrong about AS, and they would be OK with crooked tray tables. I will keep you all posted on how it is handled.
__________________
"The more you think you know...........The more close minded you will be"
Oldforester is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2015, 08:41 AM   #12
Rivet Master
 
InterBlog's Avatar

 
2006 22' Interstate
League City , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,432
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldforester View Post
... In the AS factory, the floor was covered with scrap metal, rivets everywhere. I was surprised they didn't make more of an effort to sweep. Possibly I was wrong about AS, and they would be OK with crooked tray tables. ....
What you note about associative quality is generally true. I've been an industrial consultant for more than 20 years, and have seen the inside of somewhere between 100 and 200 manufacturing and heavy service facilities. The attitude that shows in the workSPACE is most often reflective of the quality that gets transmitted into the workPIECE. There are certain exceptions for specific reasons (some historical, some logistical), but this is most often the case. All totaled, it sounds to me like Airstream might need to seriously clean house where their QA/QC process is concerned.
__________________
InterBlog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2015, 08:59 AM   #13
Rivet Master
 
Denis4x4's Avatar
 
2006 25' Safari FB SE
Currently Looking...
Durango , Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,111
A couple of years ago, we decided to look at Sprinter based class B units. Having owned a 2006 Airstream, complete with leaks and construction trash, an Interstate was not on the short list. We were able to compare the quality of the Interstate with another make at the dealership. We went with the SOB and 2 years and 10,000 miles later, we have had ZERO defects. Our unit is built in Canada by Mennonites and there is currently an eight month wait time for delivery. In fact, I can sell mine for the same price that I paid.

If I were to make an observation, it would be that the pressures Thor has put on Airstream along with their other individual brands to contribute to corporate profits has created the situation described by Oldforester and others.
__________________
If you don't go first class, your heirs will!
Denis4x4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2015, 09:43 AM   #14
Figment of My Imagination
 
Protagonist's Avatar
 
2012 Interstate Coach
From All Over , More Than Anywhere Else
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 10,328
Quote:
Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
All totaled, it sounds to me like Airstream might need to seriously clean house where their QA/QC process is concerned.
For the benefit of those who don't have QA/QC experience, QA is quality assurance. QC is quality control. The difference is that the manufacturer does quality control. The customer, or a representative of the customer, does quality assurance. At least that's the distinction made by the Corps of Engineers. The guy who welds the frame needs to perform quality control on his welds, and own up to any mistakes and fix them. The guy who sets the rivets needs to do quality control on his rivet work, and be willing to own up to any mistakes and fix them. And so on.

There also have to be inspectors, who come along behind the workers, and perform an independent check on the quality, to assure themselves— and the customers— that the quality control has been done. If the QC is done properly, the QA is easy and cheap. If the QC isn't done properly (or done at all), proper QA runs up the cost of the total job because of all the work that has to be done over.

My guess is that the less-experienced workers don't know how to do QC, and have a vested interest in hiding their own mistakes rather than owning up to them. I would also guess that the Airstream QA inspectors have a vested interest in keeping costs down rather than keeping quality up, and so don't do their job the way it's supposed to be done.

I would like to see every Airstream product come with a list in the set of owner's manuals, that identifies exactly who did what, so that you know that John Doe installed the air conditioner and Joe Blow set the rivets, and Anon Y. Maus performed the final inspection on the Airstream. Then when repairs are needed that can be traced back to a factory defect, Airstream would know exactly who messed up, and thus would know who needs additional training to keep it from happening again— or if one person is responsible for an inordinate number of defects, who needs to be fired to make room for someone better.
__________________

__________________
WBCCI #1105
TAC LA-4

My Google-Fu is strong today.
Protagonist is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Its raining inside the AS Snedwid On The Road... 6 06-09-2011 09:51 AM
It's raining INSIDE! GRRRRR!!! Catman6 Full-Timing, Winter Living & Workamping 24 01-26-2011 05:19 PM
It's Raining INSIDE ncbambi Furnaces, Heaters, Fireplaces & Air Conditioning 6 09-28-2010 04:33 PM
It is raining and the truck wont start! memgrove2000 Tow Vehicles 19 05-03-2009 07:24 PM
raining inside gotair Leaks - Weatherstrips, Gaskets, Caulks & Sealants 24 01-26-2005 08:11 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:15 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.