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Old 03-17-2005, 08:36 AM   #1
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Unhappy 2005 Bambi Home, Problems

Got our 2005 Bambi home yesterday evening. Can't believe how nice it tows (being as how this is our first Airstream) but that's another story. Can't believe I didn't see this on our walk-through inspection in the mid-day sunshine. Can't believe that an Airstream inspector would have let this pass.

With the setting sun shining on the front of the trailer, the radius area of the roof corner on the curb side on top of and to the left of the front window has about a 12" circle that appears to have been buffed out to hide some damage. Also showing are two minor bumps inside the "buffed" circle. It almost looks like someone hit something and then pushed it back out and tried to smooth (buff) it out.

The dealer says he didn't see it. He is going to call Airstream today and he will probably be coming out to take a look at it. I can't believe that at least the clean-up person didn't see it at the dealer.

Not sure what to do or what we should expect Airstream to do. It is definitely very noticeable because the other roof corner radius area is so perfect, this really stands out when standing away from the trailer.

I was always listening to our sales person during the walk-through and he was bragging about what a good job they did on the unit with a great rivet job, etc. I was not really inspecting closely for this type of damage since this is a brand new trailer.

We were about ready to let the mis-match of colors on the Ultra-leather sofa slide but now I'm ready to send it back to the factory and have them fix these things. This tiny trailer costs a lot of money!
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Old 03-17-2005, 09:13 AM   #2
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Get these items fixed NOW--if you don't they will come back to haunt you at trade in time or in enjoyment of your trailer. I've also had similar things happen with new things. At first the excitement of having something new alows you to accept them as is, then like a cancer the more you look at them and the newness wears off they begin to eat at you. Oftimes by the time you "just can't stand it any longer" it's out of warranty etc. You paid top dollar for a premiumn product, you deserve to get what you paid for.--Pieman
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Old 03-17-2005, 09:26 AM   #3
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Stephen & Miriam.

Can you post photos of this? This sounds a bit worse than the two pebble dings that came with my new unit. I just decided that it wasn't worth tearing the whole coach apart for two small imperfections.

Again, it sounds like yours is much more serious. Airstream will take good care of you, that I know.

Jonathan
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Old 03-17-2005, 09:59 AM   #4
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Jonathan ... will try to post photos this evening after work. That was my initial impression also ... do I really want someone to take off and replace this piece? I think the only ones I would trust to do this would be the factory itself.
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Old 03-17-2005, 10:43 AM   #5
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Is the area you speak of on the inside skin or outside skin that has the bumps/buffing? I don't think you have a CCD, but I am not sure.

If it's the outside, I can tell you from what I have read (and this is not law), the official Airstream fix for outside skin repair is to place a new sheet over the old. I have also seen them take panels off. To be honest, I don't care for either, but the lesser of two evils is having a new sheet placed over the old because what will happen is that if they tear it off and fully replace it, you have now taken the caulk (silkaflex??) out of the equation since that is done from the inside of the coach at the time of construction. You can see part of that process at www.silvertwinkie.org It's on page 2. You'll see the inside of the coaches without the inner skin installed and you'll see gobs of grey looking sealer all around the joints, windows, etc.

Additionally they use different rivets because the inner skin is attached and you can't access the outer skin rivets with the inner skin installed. Now I am not going to tell you that either rivet is better, they both do a great job.

Those are the choices I think might be proposed to you. As for the couch, I think we have the same leather couch. That couch is not made by Airstream. I know this because when I took the tour, I met the trailer production manager (really nice guy). He told me that my coach was delayed because they had to wait for the couch (mine was only one of two that past week that had the leather couch upgrade). I would think that would be a simple swap out.
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Old 03-17-2005, 10:53 AM   #6
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You know, one last thing came to mind about the sheet metal issue. Get some Walburnize Super Seal. It's what Airstream suggests you use to protect the outer finish. I have noticed that it does do some conditioning of the outer skin coating. It may take some of the edge out of those buffing marks.
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Old 03-17-2005, 11:41 AM   #7
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Thanks Silvertwinkie. I don't think I want to do anything myself until I find out what options Airstream / dealer are suggesting. Sounds like, from what you've described, we're better off having them try to make it look as good as possible without removing/replacing.
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Old 03-17-2005, 11:57 AM   #8
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Your situation sounds similar to ours. After leaving the dealership with our 2002 Safari we noticed a blemish on one of the curved panels next to the front window when the sunlight was on it. We contacted the factory and they agreed to look at it at the International Rally in Rapid City SD. It was hot and sunny at the rally and when an Airstream representative came over to our trailer on the 4th day we could no longer see the blemish. We theorize there was an oily type substance used in the forming of the curved panel and it stayed adhered to the surface even after washing several times. The sun must have evaporated the oil that was creating the blemish. The size is similar to what you described but we did not have any roughness to ours.

Last fall I hit a large bird in the roof corner curved panel and it appeared to have flexed the aluminum a little. I can see a slight change in color and some roughness to the curve. I will always be able to see the spot but everyone else seems oblivious to it so I decided to just leave it alone.

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Old 03-17-2005, 12:04 PM   #9
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I had skins replaced on my nearly new trailer a year ago. Given my experience I suggest either exchange the trailer for another one IMMEDIATELY or negoatiate a discount on the one your have and live with it. The process of fixing it is probably worse than living with a minor blemish. Please believe me: drilling out all the rivits, cutting the edge of the skin, and riviting a new piece over the old as an imperfect art - even for the factory repair center. Good luck!
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Old 03-17-2005, 12:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamStream
Sounds like, from what you've described, we're better off having them try to make it look as good as possible without removing/replacing.
It's really a judgement call. If it were my coach (fully understanding how new it is and how timid you might be considering tinkering with it--cause I've been there! ), my first thing would be to see if I can get the buff marks off without doing anything major. A wash and a Walburnize Super Seal to me is a very low cost attempt. If it worked, then I'd see if the panel dings were something I could live with (knowing that there will no doubt be more in the future--it's fairly unavoidable really).

The wash solution most folks talked about and Jack Canavera did exhaustive research on was Armor All Car Wash....it can be picked up almost anywhere for a few bucks. Walbernize can be picked up here:

http://www.walbernize.com/rvsuperseal.html

OR

http://www.airstream.com/shop/dynami...=cat&offset=10

I think I paid about $15 for a gallon of it from Walbernize directly.

You'll need both products regardless of the outcome of the panel. My suggstion would be to give it a try to see if you can get 1/2 the issue resolved (buff marks) and see if it's something you can live with because I think the solutions offered will be panel replacement in some shape or form, neither of which I care for, but would do if the dings/dents were an issue for me.

Otherwise, if you're headin' out to Jackson Center, I'll be there in April sometime for some misc warranty and non warranty fixes and needs.
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Old 03-17-2005, 12:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmac
I had skins replaced on my nearly new trailer a year ago. Given my experience I suggest either exchange the trailer for another one IMMEDIATELY or negoatiate a discount on the one your have and live with it.
I'm not sure what he might be able to do given that it sounds like he's taken delivery. Once that happens, it's a repair/warranty issue. When we had a problem with our Safari, we refused delivery until the issue was resolved. In that case we had some added control as the unit was not titled. Once titled, I think it's a whole different ballgame. I could be wrong.

Dan, how is the coach holding up? Any pics you can share with us?
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Old 03-17-2005, 04:27 PM   #12
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Silver --- In some respects I agree with you and some I don't. Yes he now owns the short end of the stick. I like you would have said "I won't accept this unit". Doing so was a major mistake. They are at the mercy of Airstream and a they won't concider a buy back without going to court and then maybe not then. The thing I disagree with is that I don't think I would touch it with anything. To do so gives them an out in that all they have to say is "we could have had fixed it if you hadn't messed with it. However it turns out it's a crying shame a customer who waits and works so long to have a new product has to go through this right out of the box. Personally I would not settle for anything less than it being PERFECT. Thats what they paid for.
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Old 03-17-2005, 05:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Can't believe that an Airstream inspector would have let this pass.

With the setting sun shining on the front of the trailer, the radius area of the roof corner on the curb side on top of and to the left of the front window has about a 12" circle that appears to have been buffed out to hide some damage. Also showing are two minor bumps inside the "buffed" circle. It almost looks like someone hit something and then pushed it back out and tried to smooth (buff) it out.
What's Airstream inspector?

There is very little opportunity to "buff out" damage on these trailer without effecting the thin clearcoat. I had a number of scratches on my new trailer last Spring. The factory service department had one guy whom I was told was their buffing specialist. They brought him in from vacation for the day I was there -- whatever he did seemed to cover up the scratches until I got a few thousand miles down the road and then they scratches mysteriously reappeared!!

I agree with you in that (at the very least) someone doing the PDI on your trailer at the dealership should have noticed this problem -- maybe that same person caused the problem???

John
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Old 03-17-2005, 10:16 PM   #14
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I guess I can only say that I have had issues with both our 2003 Bambi and our 2004 Safari. Both times the company was willing to help us through the issues. Now I agree, that some of the thing folks are finding are just plain out of line, yet some might have happened at the dealership. You'll just never know unless you saw it happen yourself.

Flash forward to our 2004 Safari. Yes we had a leak, yes Airstream and the dealer went the extra mile to make sure it was right. In the end, we found a few issues and found the factory folks very happy to help us. Given the situation that DreamStream is in, having taken delivery, folks are right, it would be a fair battle to get it taken back. But on the flipside of the coin, I doubt seriously that the factory folks would try to back out of an issue, when you are using the products that they not only suggest you use for the finish, but sell in the Airstream store.

To each their own. I sincerely doubt that at this point, given the situation that they would walk from supporting the unit. In the end, the fact is that DreamStream owns the unit, I can't see Airstream taking this back or swapping it for another now that it's been titled. So given that possible reality, I can see no harm using product they suggest and sell to see if it helps, but again, that's just me. I've done some repair work myself with supplied parts from the factory and to me, I'm statisfied with that knowing that they still support me regardless of me doing some of the small work myself.
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