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Old 01-03-2013, 07:14 PM   #267
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Smile

A broken frame, is not the result of design, but is the result of improper use.
Sounds like something straight out of the Airstream lawyers CYA playbook .
Seems strange that if 100 customers come in and buy new 25 ft trailers, uses them as normally as folks generally do after spending a fortune on the very best trailer money can buy, and 5 years later after pulling them around with mostly half ton pickups and unbalanced factory tires and wheels , they are
mostly in as good condition as the day they were new.
But if the same 100 folks bought nice new 22 ft trailers instead of the 25 footers towed them with the same 1/2 ton pickups as normally as they would have had they bought the 25 footers , MMMM? But Wait ! Somehow 5 years later the 100 folks towing the 22 footers have abused and misused their very expensive travel trailers to the point that the perfectly engineered frames under the 22 footers are breaking in half right and left causing untold amounts of agony and nashing of teeth for the Airstream sales Gods who have to explain as to why the 22 ft trailers with their perfect frames are falling apart !
If only the poor dealers could administer some sort of test on folks prior to allowing them to spend their hard on money on an Airstream travel trailer to find out in advance if this person was going to abuse the new trailer to the point of breaking the frame. If they found the potential customer a likely trailer abuser they could simply send them to the competition to abuse their trailers instead ! This would prevent any future abuse to the wonderfully engineered 22 footers.
P.S. I have some wonderful ocean front property just outside of Phoenix that I could let you buy right !
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:26 PM   #268
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Hey, watch it. I'm from Phoenix and I already own that ocean front property.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:18 PM   #269
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Hows the surfing ?
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:24 PM   #270
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It's not too bad once I get the sand out of my eyes.

Back to the original post, I wonder why the NHTSA doesn't take this issue up. It appears that most of them are breaking behind the axles. Can you imagine what could happen if they break in front of the axles.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:23 PM   #271
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Based on over 46 years experience repairing Airstreams and writing the crash book some 43 years ago, I hate to tell you, but facts are facts.

Your frame broke where it did because of vibration, simply caused by lack of proper running gear balance. A secondary effect could be a bad axle, excessive hitch bar rating and/or excessive rated tow vehicle, or a combination of these things.

That has happened hundreds of times, and will continue unless balancing is properly used.

A broken frame, is not the result of design, but is the result of improper use.

That has also proven itself over the course of many years and many failures.

Andy
I'm afraid something have changed since 43 years ago Andy. You've got a model that has a factory-kit available specifically to address this defect. Yes, DEFECT. New, or relatively new trailers in the early production years failed in the same spot, in the same way. As these trailers aged and leaked... this caused a secondary issue when the floors couldn't spread the load to the outriggers evenly, and some of them started to buckle.

This model was obviously engineered at the very edge of failure, so that of any little thing was out of whack, the system would be overloaded and something would fail.

The whole 'the shell is the frame' spiel is tired nonsense. You went on for years about how you couldn't hang so much as a towel to dry off the back of an Airstream or it would fold in half. Now, Airstream makes a bike rack that... guess what... mounts to the FRAME.

You need to rewrite your book... and recognize that once in a while, even Airstream screws up.

Once spring arrives, my 22' will be on the classifieds. I hope you buy it if it so great.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:33 PM   #272
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Originally Posted by M2HB View Post
It's not too bad once I get the sand out of my eyes.

Back to the original post, I wonder why the NHTSA doesn't take this issue up. It appears that most of them are breaking behind the axles. Can you imagine what could happen if they break in front of the axles.
There are complains on file... but what needs to happen is every person that has this issue needs to file a report with the NHTSA... then when a threshold is met, they can say with certainty that there is an issue.

With only a few people taking that extra step, and Airstream stepping in to weld the kit onto the frames, I'm sure to them it looks like everything is under control.

It is because there are no deaths or major injury that this hasn't made their radar... expensive RV repairs? Probably not really news to them.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:05 AM   #273
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Very well said Mr Friday ! Has your frame broken in half or have you seen the tale tale signs of future calamity in the rusty streaks on the side of the frame to the rear of the back axle ? Mine had not yet failed but all the signs of metal fatigue and uneven floors were there. I hope I have remedied any future problems with the truss that was welded under the trailer.
It would have been so much easier and ,yes less expensive , to have had a REAL frame put under the trailer at the factory !
We are planing a journey next summer through your beautiful Provence as well as Alberta and the Yukon. Would you mind if I asked you a couple of questions about your laws . Things have probably changed since my Dad and I last ventured through your neck of the woods heading for Alaska back in 1970.
Danny And Rachael Dimitt
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:29 AM   #274
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There are complains on file... but what needs to happen is every person that has this issue needs to file a report with the NHTSA... then when a threshold is met, they can say with certainty that there is an issue.

With only a few people taking that extra step, and Airstream stepping in to weld the kit onto the frames, I'm sure to them it looks like everything is under control.

It is because there are no deaths or major injury that this hasn't made their radar... expensive RV repairs? Probably not really news to them.
Do you mean the "frame beef up kit"?

If so, that was designed to prevent "rear end separation" and nothing else.

Needless to say, it did not prevent nor did it cure rear end separation.

It was designed to cure the buckeling of the axle mounting plate.

The cause of the axle mounting plate bending, was due to the fact that inadequate welding to the frame, was very obviously the culprit, and not a weekness of any kind.

Andy

Andy
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:48 AM   #275
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If not a weakness, and the axle mounting plate just needed more welding, why did AS make up a kit to re enforce the area? Why not just recall the affected trailers and re weld the mounting plates?
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:49 AM   #276
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Andy - I appreciate you trying to be loyal to your "bread and butter" - but even the most doting loving parent sometimes has the duty to say to a wayward child

YOU CAN DO BETTER AND I WON'T ACCEPT MEDIOCRE!

It appears that Airstream isn't listening.... If They don't change pretty damn quickly, well my next Airstream will be an Avion. I can buy a nice 30' for $10K and put $25K into it and I'll have a strong frame, strong axles, a custom design, and about $50K in my pocket!

Paula
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:51 PM   #277
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Frame failure

As most of you know I bought one of the first 22' int trailers in 2002. It turned out to be a disaster. Shortly after and less than 20,000 on it, the frame completely collapsed, un-tow-able. The factory trucked it back on a flat bed truck and put another frame under it. I broke also. The new and improved one.
What I have now is an Airsteam Trailer that I paid $30,309 for that is now worth nothing! The frame is a collage of patches and misc welds. It sags on one side about 2 inches. Nice outer shell tho. And since I live at NTAC I must own an Airstream. But I do have options; I could buy another, more reliable, Airsteram. I could move out of NTAC and buy another RV brand. Or just tough it out. I'm 78 years old now, not much fight left in me. I hope you guys can get AS to change and become the responsible Icon that they use to be.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:12 PM   #278
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Hello Don !
I have a question ? what is NTAC ? I don't think I ever heard that one before. Do you ever make it down to the Bastrop - Austin area ? My coffee pot is most the times on .
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:53 PM   #279
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If not a weakness, and the axle mounting plate just needed more welding, why did AS make up a kit to re enforce the area? Why not just recall the affected trailers and re weld the mounting plates?
I do not the authority to speak on beholf of Airstream.

The answer to your first why is easy. To beef up the frame to prevent rear end separation. Obviously a "JOKE" in reality. BUT, it did stop the buckling of the axle mounting plates.

Why not a recall? You will have to ask Airstream. The issue, generally speaking, took several years to show up.

We must understand that engineers learn in time, ..............well at least most of them do.

Dexter engineers still say "no shocks needed" with their torsion axles, yet every Dexter axle I saw at Jackson Center December 21st, 2012, had shock brackets on them.

Andy
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:57 PM   #280
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I'm still trying to wrap my head around how you can hurt a trailer with a bigger truck?????
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