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Old 02-04-2016, 02:35 PM   #351
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1966 24' Tradewind
2005 22' Safari
Bastrop , Texas
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Have not heard about any resent problems with this frame in particular , perhaps the posts have moved to a more recent thread ?
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Old 02-05-2016, 10:30 AM   #352
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2003 22' International CCD
Hillsboro , Texas
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Originally Posted by dannydimitt View Post
Have not heard about any resent problems with this frame in particular , perhaps the posts have moved to a more recent thread ?
I have not heard of any frame problems on newer rigs. You may recall mine is an ..02 and one of the first made of this model. I have had the original frame replaced with a ''newer'' one and it also failed. After welding on additional support railings and new outriggers it seems to be holding up. So far so good on the frame. I have had many other failures, i.e. the fresh water holding tank leaked, the tank monitors don't work, and the list goes on.
It is an expensive piece of junk. I would buy another AS but NOT a new model. BTW I have to own an AS because I live at NTAC.
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Old 02-06-2016, 09:33 AM   #353
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My 05 22 streetside galley with rear desk was not spared. Had a frame break clear through just behind the rear axle on curb side.
After much research and communication with the factory the issue was poor metal. They fatigue and break.
Once the issue was found out they apparently welded stiffeners and outrigger overlays to the new units coming off the line in 03 and 04 but for some reason my unit did not get the treatment in 04.
Anyway the factory worked with me to fix the issue to my satisfaction. I got a welding kit sent to me and they took care of my costs for a reputable welder to do the repair. Very helpful.
I keep checking my frame and all is good. Better than new actually.
I made a mod to my layout and ditched the dinette for pull out L seating with drop in pole tables. So much better and way more functional. The bed is much bigger on the slide and EASY to make- no more cuts and pinches with the drop down table lol.
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Old 04-15-2016, 12:07 AM   #354
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1973 31' Sovereign
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Wow, I just read this whole thread and was just a little surprised at the frame failures. The first thing I thought of when I heard of the frame failures was metal quality. I'm not a professional welder but I've welded a variety of things back together and it does seem like there is some difference in the quality or chemical make up of steel. Sometimes it seems like there is something wrong with the metal as if there are impurities that turn to slag in the puddle. Guys used to say "cheap imported crap" when that happened. I'm pretty sure if a frame maker was shopping for a price on the steel they could have got stuck with something that was not as good as what was promised. Also, I have wondered if there was any real engineering put into an Airstream? I would like to hear from an Airstream factory engineer just why it is that the frame and shell are joined with wood the way it is, is that the best way for some reason? Why is it exactly, does anybody know why Airstreams are done this way? In any case there are a lot of examples of products not living up to the expectations that the computer models predicted. Stuff happens... Anyway, it's a bit shocking that something that is a "premium product" and sells for so much money would have a frame problem. I can see how it could happen if the frames are outsourced.
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Old 04-16-2016, 08:44 AM   #355
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One of the objectives for that model was to reduce the weight. And indeed they did. The result was a frame that was NOT field tested and was to light to handle the body on the road. The people who bought the early ones became the ''field testers''.
The unique feature of an AS is the alum body and shape, not the quality.
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Old 04-16-2016, 09:01 AM   #356
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One of the objectives for that model was to reduce the weight. And indeed they did. The result was a frame that was NOT field tested and was to light to handle the body on the road. The people who bought the early ones became the ''field testers''.
The unique feature of an AS is the alum body and shape, not the quality.
I think you are correct. There is no doubt that the frames were too weak. It could be the quality of the steel or just the thickness of the steel, or a combination of both. Either way, they were not strong enough. The newer trailers, including longer lengths, use the same basic frame structure. If they last, they are probably marginal at best. This frame issue isn't anything new. Avion copied the basic trailer design of the Airstream with a completely different frame design. They did this for a reason, and they did it decades ago. I really believe that Airstreams design worked well when the trailers were smaller. When they got longer and heavier, they should have gone to something similar to what Avion did. The weight difference (as a percentage of the total trailer weight) isn't that much when you are dealing with a trailer with as many options as they come with today.
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Old 04-17-2016, 04:15 AM   #357
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Well yes, a lot of vehicles and other things are touted as made with new high strength steel to reduce weight. Also I know some truck frames shouldn't be welded on because of the type of steel. Crap, sometimes things don't work like they were supposed to. All you folks that got screwed by being unknowing "Beta Testers" have my sincere sympathy! I would hope a class action suit could help all you folks. A real shame this happened.
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Old 04-18-2016, 07:57 AM   #358
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We ''Guinea Pigs'' talked about a class action suit but nobody took the initiative to get it started. I have gotten use to owning a defective AS and learned a lesson, don't buy the first of a new model.
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Old 04-18-2016, 01:35 PM   #359
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Don and all others: One of the really sad things is that IMHO, the CCD with the side kitchen & desk was one of the best layouts Airstream ever had in the small trailers. The wet bath was relatively huge and easy to use, squeegee down and clean, the desk was handy for all sorts of projects - and even as a makeup table if needed. The Dinette "cushions" - eh, not so much, and the front bedroom was quite comfortable. Also had a handy "hide the laundry" space at the foot of the bed, and a bigger closet than the 25'. The very small refrigerator wasn't a big problem - and the resulting BIG kitchen counter was really handy. Plenty of room to add a microwave.

Unfortunately - no one is every going to truly LOVE their 2002-2005 CCD's until AFTER they do a frame off reno and replace the piece of crap frame.

Now that I'm getting ready to retire I almost wish I had the 22 back instead of the 25'. Oh, and if your sliding doors slide open, just crimp the ends of the metal glides so that they "stick" when fully shut.

Paula
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Old 04-18-2016, 03:50 PM   #360
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Iron can Crystallize and become Brittle in the process

This is more out of the realm of Airstream 'frame failures' but it does not hurt to toss in other examples of failures in Industrial situations. Not that the 22' iron frame failure is related, but one must look at the frame to see if it has 'crystallized' at the break.

Natural Gas compression in Wyoming used large engines (1970) to compress natural gas into a liquid form to be transported in natural gas pipelines. The constant low frequency engine vibrations would crystalize and weaken the hand rails where they became brittle and would snap if you applied pressure in their use. The edges would show a rough break with crystal granular edges. These handrails were reported to need to be replaced once some had become brittle.

It might have affected the piston rods, crankshaft and other iron parts of these 'huge engines'.

Using the axles as a fulcrum and the rear of axle and the front of axle flexing, I can visualize these fulcrum points creating 'heat' and flexing which would speed up the crystalizing of the iron making it brittle and then failing.

Of course, this is taking one industrial example and applying it to a higher mileage 22 foot trailer frames. The 19th Century, expanding uses of iron alloys, discovered a lot of problems with iron and it would be nice if those building frames understood iron alloys better today.

Take a thin piece of iron material you can flex yourself. Moving it back and forth creates heat and then the metal fails... you call it successful as you wanted it to fail. Even a piece of frame is solid and appears unable to flex in a three foot section. Make it 22 feet+ long and if not strong... it will flex when weighted down on the back and the hitch holding the front down. The center can heat up, rust or corrode over time and fail.

Railroad track is an excellent example with 1/4 mile rail and you can curve it without difficulty using modern rail equipment. It is expected in these lengths for use. Take ten feet... good luck trying to easily make it sag...

Sometimes something totally unrelated makes sense. In my case, this beats plowing more of the big snow storm here in Colorado.
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Old 04-18-2016, 05:54 PM   #361
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2003 22' International CCD
East Durham , New York
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22 ccd

I guess I'm (sort of) a lucky one. I bought an 03 22 ft. CCD used in 03, was only a couple of months old. Had no idea about the frame issues until I took it to the factory for repairs a few years later. They reinforced the frame and have not had any problems since then (except of course for that crappy rear bumper leak that resulted in replacing a 1/4 of the rear floor).

I have to say though that this layout is awesome, the counter space is so useful and the wet bath is really easy.

I often fantasize about getting a larger one but I really like how easy it is to tow and park this one.

Fingers crossed the frame holds up for many more years!
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Old 04-19-2016, 01:40 AM   #362
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I had a 2004 22' CCD with that wonderful layout that I bought used. The frame had already been reinforced at the factory and I had no trouble with the frame at all.
I did have that bumper leak and had the floor fixed, but luckily caught it early. It is with a new owner now and I think we're all lucky.
I fault Airstream for using chipboard in the floor, and generally cheaping out in some places, but the overall layout and design of that one is superb. You have to go up to a 30' unit to get that much kitchen space today.
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Old 04-19-2016, 07:40 AM   #363
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I guess I'm (sort of) a lucky one. I bought an 03 22 ft. CCD used in 03, was only a couple of months old. Had no idea about the frame issues until I took it to the factory for repairs a few years later. They reinforced the frame and have not had any problems since then (except of course for that crappy rear bumper leak that resulted in replacing a 1/4 of the rear floor).

I have to say though that this layout is awesome, the counter space is so useful and the wet bath is really easy.

I often fantasize about getting a larger one but I really like how easy it is to tow and park this one.

Fingers crossed the frame holds up for many more years!
Good luck my friend. BTW my frame was just fine for the first 10,000 miles, then it completely collapsed. It was un-towable. The factory arranged to have it transported to the factory and they put a new frame on. IT TO CRACKED!
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Old 04-19-2016, 10:48 AM   #364
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1966 24' Tradewind
2005 22' Safari
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Good luck my friend. BTW my frame was just fine for the first 10,000 miles, then it completely collapsed. It was un-towable. The factory arranged to have it transported to the factory and they put a new frame on. IT TO CRACKED!
I had the pleasure of meeting Don when he stopped by with his trailer a while back . Airstream had already "fixed" it with a new upgraded frame , and it too was failing at the time . We exchanged horror stories about Airstreams lack of engineering skills among other things. Gave him a new rear bumper for his trailer as the one off of mine did not fit into the equation of the inverted truss that I had built into mine to save it from the junk yard . Did ya ever get it switched out Don ?


Our 2005 22 ft had the wet noodle frame when we bought it , but after a couple of months fabricating and welding back in 2012 it's now 150% better than new and has been at least 40,000 miles since then and even with the addition of a rear mounted aluminum box with a 4000 watt Champion permanently attached inside , and a trailer hitch for towing a small two wheel trailer behind , the frame is rock solid still , unlike the day that Airstream completed building it new .
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