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Old 07-19-2012, 12:43 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by zigzagguzzi View Post
Just curious, did you take it to an authorized AS dealer. They may or may not help you. Jim
As mentioned earlier. There are only two Airstream Dealers in Ontario - one in London 6 hours drive and the other in Ottawa a 4 hour drive.

My first step is getting a professional welder to my site to let me know how towable I am to even take it to a shop on my own.

He/she will give me some sort of assessment - I am not going to inform him of any information I have received thus far - I want a non-bias best speculation as to what would cause this type of break and how long do you think it has been this way.

Then I will continue with Airstream Inc. to get this fixed.
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:45 PM   #44
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I have forwarded my photos and requested assistance - I have been directed to Dan McNeely who happens to be away today - so I hope to hear something tomorrow. The welder is also coming tomorrow to have a look.
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:46 PM   #45
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I suppose if it were me, I'd be thinking about whether the frame broke at a known stress point and whether the other side needs sistering also. Then I'd wonder whether the entire frame needs strengthening. I'd certainly want to remove all the rust and old paint down to bare metal and repaint the entire frame with a better paint. Just thinking about it makes me cringe.

I've been reading about frame failures for some time and the info gets jumbled in my mind. I have some vague remembrance of frames originally being 5" and then reduced to 4" and maybe 3" on some trailers. From the photos, GT's frame looks like 4", but measuring from a photo is risky.

At least I have a friend who is an expert welder and he would refuse any money to fix it. I hope I never have to call on him. I still haven't inspected mine, but the tongue has some surface rust to clean up and repaint and that is on my list for sometime soon.

I think the best way to remove rust down to bare metal is to use some sort of small grinder, but I don't really know about that. Sandpaper takes forever though for just the tongue, may be enough. A grinding wheel on a drill may work. What are the best tools for this?

Canadian consumer protection laws are stronger than in the US. Of course, Airstreams imported to Canada are subject to Canadian law. You've had a consumer protection agency for a long time (one reason Canadian banks are stronger because they had more regulation than US banks). Our new agency was modeled after the Canadian one, though it is far weaker and very underfunded.

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Old 07-19-2012, 12:53 PM   #46
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My frame is 2"x4"
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:53 PM   #47
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You gotta love Avions and their 6" frames. I've never heard of a frame failure on an Avion. But Airstreams fail all the time, so much so that there is even a name for the post failure damage "rear end sag". Rear end sag would not occur without frame flexing and floor failures.

There's never a good new Avion available when you need one.
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:23 PM   #48
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Update... Had my first assessment today. He is a structural engineer in welding. (note for those who saw the Airstream Motor Home Hybrid I posted a while back) Same fellow.

He came up to have a look.

His first word was WOW! That should not happen. Okay besides the shock.

He confirmed my own suspicions of NOT moving my BABY anywhere!!! in this state.

Not even move her back to her spot - don't even hook her up he said. "Right now you have NO skin damage but she is twisting really bad and one more road trip and she will buckle the skin on top of the floor or even pull the skin from the floor or better stated the floor on the curb side will drop away from the skin..

He said she definitely needs a temp weld on site just to get her to the shop. He also recommended taking the stress off the break right away. So we put a bottle jack and pulled the break slightly but not too far to pull her out. The frame has settled inside itself about 3/16 of an inch.
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He then took a look inside the trailer and I told him what had happened this past 6 months.

First he said that the break looks like about 2 years old. Over time your frame rails have twisted and dropping which will pull your floor and heave it on the inside.

Now that explains the stuff that was going on my last two trips. First when we installed the new Lounge seating it was flush to the floor and straight and level - we did the summer of 2011. (pictures to prove it)
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I had taken two 2200 mile trips since. The first one At Christmas - the Lounge seating came completely off the floor and part way off the wall by the door - I just thought the screws used were not long enough - so I put in longer screws but she was not quite level in one corner and I thought that was me also thinking that I could not get the screws to draw tight

The second trip this past march - although the seating did not come loose the bottom heaved and bent my EXPENSIVE ALUMINUM LAMINATE! and she sits as you can see by the photos almost 3/8 inch off the floor by the door and at the front of the L part.
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The laminate flooring is like the ocean floor with waves all over the place - all noticed when I got home.

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You can even see how the floor has heaved at the entrance.

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But going to school and then right into my internship and moving out of my marriage and home with not a single penny to my name I could not do anything but take her to my new park and let her sit with me in it scratching my head. I knew something was not right but NEVER expected a broken frame!

I thought maybe the common door wetness issue in airstreams had softened the floor or maybe rusted the outrigger in that location making it weak - but the floor is good and solid. I was wanting to just rip up the floor and replace it thinking that it was just crap and not installed right. But also a big job and no money.

So several months have gone by - and it was time to get my brakes done first as my priority. I was really soft coming home and had stopped in before my trip south for a check and they said they need changing upon your return.

And of course you know the rest. And now what has been happening INSIDE all makes perfect sense.

You know even when I brought it home in August of 2008 and after we used it a few times more that summer - when I went to go for my trip that winter the floor had puckered all along the front of the galley cabinets. I had mentioned this to Paula and we just figured it may have something to do with experiencing its first winter. I called the factory and they told me it was a floating floor and that it would settle in the warmth - ha it did not - so thought it had stretched - and yes I just lived with it!!! DUMB ASS ME!

That kind of tells me this frame broke either in Paula's possession or on my trip home - but neither one of us would suspect a frame break and nor were either of us told about the possibility of it being an issue - Now there is a fact that the factory WAS aware of this at that time - in 2008 - so no hiding behind any dumb curtains on this one for sure.
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Old 07-19-2012, 06:13 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Secguru View Post
You gotta love Avions and their 6" frames. I've never heard of a frame failure on an Avion. But Airstreams fail all the time, so much so that there is even a name for the post failure damage "rear end sag". Rear end sag would not occur without frame flexing and floor failures.

There's never a good new Avion available when you need one.

I sold this unit to GT and am just sick that she is having this trouble. If I ever sell the current one it's going to a dealer so I don't have to feel bad for anyone who buys it.... but frankly as it sits now I'll be diligent about repairs and upgrades and wait until
  1. Hell freezes over or Airstream makes significant quality improvements before I ever buy a new trailer OR
  2. Wait until I find that perfect AVION to customize. (GAWD I hate the whorehouse tinted & marbled mirrors and French Provincial cabinet pulls and upholstery choices in the Avion ... but the "bones" ARE beautiful.)
Sadly, I DROOL at the LOOK of several new Airstreams. The 27 Eddie Bauer, the 30 Serenity OR Signature with Recliners... But like men - da BONEs is more important than the LOOKS (I even embarassed myself with that one, but I'm leaving it in! ) I still think the original 22 FB CCD's are just a perfect layout for a small trailer with plenty of storage, closet space and counterspace. The little desk was good for my laptop and my makeup and the wetbath was roomy and easy to "hose down clean". It's just too bad I didn't know they put that layout on top of a pile of crap frame and floor.

I Hope the factory is reading this, or that Mr. Bottacelli from Colonial sends this to them. I CAN afford to pay CASH for any one of the Airstreams listed above. I just WON'T be doing it any time soon unless I win a mega lottery and buy the whole company. (Aint it funny how "fat chance" "slim chance" and "no chance" all mean the same thing?)

I have to disagree about frames flexing - they all should flex a little bit. I've got to wonder if the steel isn't too brittle to give and recover. I'm no metallurgist, but that looks like a clean snap, not a gradual thing. We've all heard about metal fatigue, but for crying out loud a car frame is designed to bend or break in crush zones when it's in a BAD WRECK. It doesn't just fall apart from riding over paved roads once a month or so like this model of Airstream!

I know GT's put a lot more miles on the 22 than I ever did - but still if we sat down with our charge cards, checkbooks, etc. and figured every trip we both took, I'll bet the total miles on that trailer would fall FAR short of 20,000 - possibly not even 15,000. I took it back and forth to Ohio twice, Baltimore once, Newbern NC once, and Savannah GA once... along with several 100-200 mile trips around Virginia. Every single time I was on interstate or good paved secondary roads. 5k to 6k total. I made ONE panic maneuver on the Baltimore beltway due to a crazed Semi driver. I am NOT a leadfoot when towing.

ABOUT THE FLOOR. When I bought it I was told that only the 16 footers and 19 footers had OSB. I bought it from out of state and did not go inspect it and drop the belly pan to check for plywood before I purchased it. I since found out that it has OSB. And of course the dealer is out of business.

I'm sure the lower strength of OSB compared to plywood didn't help the frame issue any. Hopefully on the 16's and the 19's the frames are just too short to flex all that much. With weaker OSB the frame should have been made stronger, not lighter.

I had had this unit in storage for about a year when I sold it, and I took it to Jackson Center to have two rear curbside segments replaced... They'd parked it by a crepe myrtle bush (almost a tree in the south) and a big windstorm had banged the tree against the panels and dinged them. In addition to those two factory guys replacing the panels in GT's pictures, they were instructed to inspect for leaks and repair any deficiencies, and reseal the whole trailer roof and end segments. (They DID miss the water intake - which was cracked. I never filled the water tank in all the time I used it because I always stayed in full hookup locations.)

At point of sale neither of us had heard word one about the frame problem - and had I known about it, I'd have had the doublers preventively installed on both sides and warned GT.

Paula
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Old 07-19-2012, 07:16 PM   #50
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My trips
1. Mothership to Fantastic Vent Factory - and Home 700
2. Algonquin Park - 100
3. PEI via Main 1800
4. Charleston 2200
5. St. Peters Provincial Park 75
6. Charleston 2200
7. Ohio - Charleston - Home - 2800
8. Edmonton - Montana - Charleston - Home 9800
9. Charleston 2200
10. Ferris Provincial Park 50
11. Charleston 2200
12. Charleston 2200
13. Island Park RV Resort 20 - and my last stop! Lucky 13 it seems!!! and I did not even make 13000 miles on my watch...(11545) - all flat highway driving well within the speed limits and I take care of my trailer too - may not afford all the fixes at once but she is kept clean and sprayed after each trip top and bottom - just can't help the bloody rust. Now if Airstream had properly coated these frames too - then they would not rust so dang quick either.

When this is fixed I am going to have that resin spray done on all exposed metal. The metal corrodes as fast as all the aluminum parts it seems - my trailer needs new lights and handle already - again for the second time.
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:30 PM   #51
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Hi, I was going to say it, but Paula beat me to it; Airstreams are supposed to flex, that's what we keep hearing. This frame must be brittle to break like that. Airstream's fix for this trailer was to replace it with the much stronger and one foot longer 23' models. [5" frames too]
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Old 07-20-2012, 12:31 AM   #52
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Quote:
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...This frame must be brittle to break like that....
Or the frame is under-rated for the weight it is carrying, or the distribution of the weight, or maybe cause it was a cheap off shore metal that has way too much recycled metal in it or maybe they just did not realize that those points in the trailer frame were going to take ALL the "Flex/stress" and she just could not take it and snapped...OMG that actually sounds like my own life right now
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Old 07-20-2012, 12:33 AM   #53
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Oh poop - I have no idea who Dan is - I meant Randy McNeeley
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Old 07-20-2012, 12:42 AM   #54
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I'm sorry - this just made me chuckle - was going to look at the new models see if any designs tickled my fancy....

"Every Airstream is exactingly built to satisfy the travel expectations of the world's most adventurous roamers: Airstreamers"

My first thought...."just don't take them on the road" Okay that was bad, but I have to humour myself while I am on the disabled list....cause I have two weeks before I am supposed to be on the road!
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:33 AM   #55
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There are damages caused by the broken frame (consequential damages of the original negligence, all of which can be expected): floor, skin, etc. Ask Airstream what they will cover.

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Old 07-20-2012, 12:49 PM   #56
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We really need one of these frame threads labeled something like, 2002-2006 22' Frame Defect, and have it pined to the top of of the correct forum section (maybe a new section?). How can airforums.com make information on this major defect easier to find? I wonder if Airstream Life and the WBCCI Blue Beret have the courage to run articles about it?
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