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Old 08-21-2008, 06:51 PM   #1
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A/S Greenhorn; any issues with oxidation along the TX coastline?

Hello to all!
I am an AirForum Greenhorn and I'm currently looking for a late year model 25' or 28' Safari FB SE or something close to it. I have to admit that I've never considered RVing before, but since I'm headed back to graduate school next year (and will hopefully land a temporary job before then) I foresee either a lot of moving and/or a lot of rent money down the drain. So, after a ton of research, I've decided that I want to do some full-timing in an A/S . This forum has been very beneficial to a newbie like me, but I have one question that I haven't been able to answer from reading the forums (maybe I'm not looking in the right place).

I plan on spending a TON of time on the Texas coast for jobs/graduate school (biological oceanography). SO, my question is: Are Airstreams very susceptible to corrosion/oxidation from salty sea-air ? If so, are there preventative measures that I can take to alleviate some of the corrosion? Can I just gel-coat the whole thing? Like I said, I'm totally new to A/S and I guess one thing that concerns me is that I can't find an A/S dealer along the TX coast. It just would be nice to know how a coastal dealer handles any corrosion issues, if any. Maybe they like to avoid the salty-air and/or hurricanes? Who knows? Please advise.
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Old 08-21-2008, 07:06 PM   #2
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Sorry I can't answer your question. I'm sure someone with more knowledge regarding living along the gulf coast or any other coast will chime in but I wanted to welcome you to the forums. There is a ton of info here, so jump right in and make yourself at home, so to speak.

Brad
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Old 08-21-2008, 07:10 PM   #3
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FishStreamer - There are a lot of Airstreamer's living and/or working along the Texas coast. There is the Texas Coastal Plains unit, Joanne Lewis is the Membershiip chair. I'll PM you her phone number.
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Old 08-21-2008, 08:42 PM   #4
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There are a number of Airstream dealers in Florida, some pretty close to the coast.

Aluminum oxidizes and forms a thin, clear film that actually protects the aluminum from further damage. The frame, however, is steel and can rust. The factory paints the frame and then encloses it in the belly pan and that helps protect it from impact damage from gravel, etc. but it usually takes a few years for rust to show up. The best thing to do is preventative maintenance on the frame. The SOB's (some other brand) trailers have the same issues, but the frame is usually easier to get to since they are normally not enclosed.

The models you are considering are great plans. Technically, our 30' Bunk is a front bedroom, but is more for family camping than for individual/couple full timing. I would suggest that you go for the larger of the two units you are considering. That extra 3' will be greatly appreciated on a rainy day. Don't be timid about the extra length though, I had never towed anything other than my Dad's ski boat in High School until I bought our 30' Airstream at 45 years old so if I can do it with that long of a break in towing, so can you.

And by the way, welcome to the Airforums.
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Old 08-21-2008, 10:44 PM   #5
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Welcome from the Florida Panhandle

First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

We have a 2005 25FB, named Lucy, that we bought new in June of 2006. We live 3 house off the Gulf of Mexico in the Florida Panhandle. We have not noticed any unusual corrosion on Lucy even though she spends about 2/3 of her time within 150' of the Gulf.

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Old 08-22-2008, 02:59 PM   #6
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Oh, BTW, you wouldn't want to
Quote:
just gel-coat the whole thing
That would add too much weight to the shell and create problems with the axles, etc. It would also spoil the exterior look unless you used a white gel coat and went with a neo/pseudo-Argosy look. Airstreams do come with a clear coat finish already applied and if you wash it on a regular basis and wax it once or twice a year you should have no problems with corrosion.
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Old 08-23-2008, 06:00 AM   #7
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A short distance from the coastline -- in miles -- makes the biggest difference, IMO.
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