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Old 10-18-2015, 04:31 PM   #29
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I just hope some new owner doesnt stumble onto this thread and then takes his rig into Best Buy to get his new $79 Jensen stereo installed and demand that it be installed to aircraft specifications! :0
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Old 10-18-2015, 04:39 PM   #30
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chassis electrical replacement

They won't! They will just bring it to me in a year or two after it quits working. Them I'll bitch about cheep smash on connectors and lousy crapmanship!

The price and time to do it right is less than doing it over.
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Old 10-18-2015, 05:07 PM   #31
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The price and time to do it right is less than doing it over.
AMEN!! I think I'm quoting Kota as my new signature.

PS Lots of great ideas and input on this thread! Thanks!
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Old 10-18-2015, 05:53 PM   #32
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They won't! They will just bring it to me in a year or two after it quits working. Them I'll bitch about cheep smash on connectors and lousy crapmanship!

The price and time to do it right is less than doing it over.
Are you getting serious about the possibility of opening a service business up in Michigan??

Mike
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Old 10-18-2015, 10:12 PM   #33
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I just hope some new owner doesnt stumble onto this thread and then takes his rig into Best Buy to get his new $79 Jensen stereo installed and demand that it be installed to aircraft specifications! :0
Why not? It's not hard. Seriously, the stuff in AC 43.13 is just plain common sense and is a really good primer for people doing RV wiring. Now the Best Buy folks might be a little out of league because we'd really like them to use crimping tools specified by the maker of the crimp terminals, on the wire specified for the terminals, but that really isn't a very far stretch. This is for little airplane maintenance, not airliner building.
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Old 10-18-2015, 10:40 PM   #34
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Couple more points people have brought up here. Soldered connections are better *if* the joint is clamped to be immobile. As Kota says, without proper strain relief it can create more problems due to embrittlement. And there are further problems when people fail to clean properly before soldering. It's generally accepted that crimped connections, properly applied, are more secure than soldered ones.

And about corrosion, under grounds or otherwise, there is a nearly magic solution to that. Once the joint is clean (and this includes ground lugs securely bolted to the frame) you can exclude moisture for decades. There are several approaches. Aircraft often use par-al-ketone for that, in the telephone industry it's common to use an amine wax/grease that's very similar to cosmoline, called No-Ox-Id A-Special. If you buy a case of it, it's about $6 for a half-pound tube that will last decades. I have battery installations that were put together with this stuff and no corrosion after at least 20 years.
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Old 10-19-2015, 05:57 AM   #35
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Are you getting serious about the possibility of opening a service business up in Michigan??



Mike

It's been delay after delay after delay with the contractor. I gave him the job because he promised they start a project and finish it. Trusses are to be set today but after 8 days of beautiful weather, the winds just picked up to about 30. I'd send some pictures but my Quota is full.
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Old 10-19-2015, 08:36 AM   #36
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We must always remind ourselves that none of our vehicles, even going back to the earliest Argosies, were designed to last anywhere near this long. I am sure they built them for the second or maybe third owner, with 15 years in mind max. My chassis is 27 years old and my coachwork a few months younger. I am now finding the shortcuts and design faults that the guy who paid $150,000 was never aware of.

If this were the case, and I don't believe it is, AS should have a disclaimer stating that AS selects materials and a level of craftsmanship to last 15 years max. Please plan on getting rid of it before it falls apart.

People pay a premium for the product with the belief that it will last forever and retain its value. The difference between using inferior electrical components and installation practices is pretty insignificant compared to dealing with failures and a tarnished reputation.

Damage from one little red squirrel getting in through a carelessly cut and unsealed penetration can cost thousands of dollars. Don't get me started on that!
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Old 10-19-2015, 09:59 AM   #37
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Practically everything is built with a finite lifespan in mind, otherwise they would be prohibitively expensive.

Any RV that lasts 20, 30, or 40 years is way ahead of the design curve.


Brevi tempore!
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Old 10-20-2015, 04:58 AM   #38
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Any RV that lasts 20, 30, or 40 years is way ahead of the design curve.


Brevi tempore!
A truer statement couldn't have been stated. The owner of the garage that works on mine categorically stated he would never buy any coach constructed from year 1995 on; "they're garbage" he said to me, "all nice and shiny on the crust but dig deeper and it's garbage".

Cheers
Tony
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Old 10-20-2015, 06:26 AM   #39
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Practically everything is built with a finite lifespan in mind, otherwise they would be prohibitively expensive.

Any RV that lasts 20, 30, or 40 years is way ahead of the design curve.


Brevi tempore!
There was a big change in the automotive industry that really seemed to take off in the Sixties: disposable components and vehicles that were not designed to be renewed. Even though consumers in the Fifties wanted that redesigned fin or bumper or whatever that came along with every new model year, nevertheless the expectation was that the cars would last indefinitely. You just have to read a Chrysler workshop manual from the early Fifties to realize that pretty much every component could be adjusted and fixed relatively easily.

By the Sixties this was changing, automotive companies were bringing in more modular components and making less themselves, and gradually came the realization by the industry that the business could be greatly simplified and profits maximized by making almost everything modular and disposable.

Working on my 1989 MH, it is evident that it was not designed to be fixed, although it was well built (in general) with good materials (almost always). Nevertheless, it doesn't take a very extensive repair project to make you realize that it was built from the bottom up, and that if you want to get at many structures or components that went on it early in the assembly process, you are going to have to get out the grinder, hammer and chisel and cut away a lot of the items that were bolted, riveted or caulked on later in the process. There are also many little things, like the tiny strips of aluminum in the quarter sections of the hull, that were simply slapped in over gaps in design and construction.

But, as Mr. Morgan points out, if they didn't take some shortcuts, then it would have been even more prohibitively expensive than the already enormous $150K that my 345LE cost in 1989..... I bought a 44 acre farm in the Willamette Valley of Oregon for $70K the next year, so think what that new AS price translates to nowadays. I am very fond of my Airstream, but I know that it was not built to last this long.
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Old 10-20-2015, 07:40 AM   #40
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There was a big change in the automotive industry that really seemed to take off in the Sixties: disposable components and vehicles that were not designed to be renewed. Even though consumers in the Fifties wanted that redesigned fin or bumper or whatever that came along with every new model year, nevertheless the expectation was that the cars would last indefinitely. You just have to read a Chrysler workshop manual from the early Fifties to realize that pretty much every component could be adjusted and fixed relatively easily.

By the Sixties this was changing, automotive companies were bringing in more modular components and making less themselves, and gradually came the realization by the industry that the business could be greatly simplified and profits maximized by making almost everything modular and disposable.

Working on my 1989 MH, it is evident that it was not designed to be fixed, although it was well built (in general) with good materials (almost always). Nevertheless, it doesn't take a very extensive repair project to make you realize that it was built from the bottom up, and that if you want to get at many structures or components that went on it early in the assembly process, you are going to have to get out the grinder, hammer and chisel and cut away a lot of the items that were bolted, riveted or caulked on later in the process. There are also many little things, like the tiny strips of aluminum in the quarter sections of the hull, that were simply slapped in over gaps in design and construction.

But, as Mr. Morgan points out, if they didn't take some shortcuts, then it would have been even more prohibitively expensive than the already enormous $150K that my 345LE cost in 1989..... I bought a 44 acre farm in the Willamette Valley of Oregon for $70K the next year, so think what that new AS price translates to nowadays. I am very fond of my Airstream, but I know that it was not built to last this long.

But we are talking about short circuits not short cuts! There is no cost advantage to the crap I see. In fact I cost more to troubleshoot and fix a mess. Then there's the long term damage to reputation.
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Old 10-20-2015, 08:27 AM   #41
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But we are talking about short circuits not short cuts! There is no cost advantage to the crap I see. In fact I cost more to troubleshoot and fix a mess. Then there's the long term damage to reputation.
After 20 or more years you don't know who did what. Short circuits don't get built in by manufacturers, but rather by subsequent idiots who don't know what they are doing. Poor grounds are the most common cause of electrical faults in all old vehicles, and that is generally due to the salt and moisture content of the atmosphere, and to the Winter climate where you live, no matter what the OEM construction level was. Also the storage conditions that the vehicle undergoes, and the condition of the weatherstripping, especially in the dashboard area with its maze of wiring.

I am quite willing to criticize Airstream for not thinking about eventual dismantling for repair on many items, but I imagine that if I had wanted to stay in business (and they did stay in business) when my MH was being built, I would have done the same. The aluminum motor homes were already way too expensive for the market then, (compared to what you could get for half or less the price in a Fleetwood or Winnebago) and the writing was on the wall. Immediately after mine left the factory they would have been setting up for production of the fiberglass coaches that had the same amenities for half the price.

I don't think Airstream have any reputation to lose from the likes of us Classic owners. Their market is high income middle class youngsters who regard you and me as crusty eccentrics keeping dinosaurs on the road. Face it, they are right. Luckily that opinion is just fine with me.
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Old 10-20-2015, 08:38 AM   #42
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Pragmatism!

What an old fashioned concept!

I love it when I see it!


Brevi tempore!
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