View Poll Results: Would you be in favor of these changes??
Complete trailer frame treated with POR 15 before outer shell is attached. 19 57.58%
Complete trailer frame constructed out of Aluminum materials. 15 45.45%
Doesn't matter about the POR15 paint treatment prior to construction 2 6.06%
Doesn't matter about trailer frame Aluminum constructions 0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 33. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-17-2009, 01:49 PM   #29
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Shoot Andy, they don't even cover some concerns on new(er) units when the unit is under warranty, 6 months from being off the line. If anyone is going to kill anything, it's Airstream mgmt in the long term.

They could put a 5 year warranty on these babies and it would only make it marginally better. My biggest issue, the corrosion issue from what I have read here on the forums, Airstream is simply turning their head on, so much for customer service and from the company's now defunct forums where they had said, "we will service the heck out of our customers". Nothing but lip service if what I've been reading here is remotely true.

Warranty? Bahumbug!
You do have some valid points.

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Old 02-17-2009, 01:50 PM   #30
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You do have some valid points.

Andy

Too bad you, me and a significant number on this forum are the only one's to think so. I love Bob's statement, "20 acres of denial" at Jackson Center.

Sadly, it's true.
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Old 02-17-2009, 03:43 PM   #31
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One of Airstream's main selling points (along with design) should be durability. Remember the old Volvo ads... about how many are still on the road? I imagine it's easier to get someone to write a big check for a travel trailer if they are convinced it could last them a quarter century or more and will hold resale value.

On some level, these forums are like a large testing laboratory. We are taking apart vintage Airstreams and evaluating what worked well... and what didn't work. This is a virtual clinic on rear end sag and frame separation. Why not take advantage of this cumulative knowledge by incorporating these lessons learned into Airstream construction. Many renovaters are using POR-15 on refurbished frames. The "community" likes the stuff. At the very least, make it an option. The cost of shooting a couple of coats of POR-15 when the frame is just sitting there can't be terribly expensive. In another 40 years, there will be a group of Airstreamers here telling someone that it worked or didn't. Even if the POR-15 was not a magic bullet, giving the stuff a try would at least show the community Airstream has some interest in incorporating design ideas from end users. It's like the converter guy. Why put in a converter that isn't good with AGM batteries? Do they customers are going to say, "Hey, I know I dropped sixty large on my coach, but I really need to save a couple of bucks on the batteries."

This forum is raising the bar on renovation by people helping people. Projects are better, faster, stronger... and they only feel like they cost $6 million. Not to put too fine a point on it... but if Thor/Airstream is not smart enough to figure out what a resource they have here... I don't see that they are smart enough to build the best travel trailers in the world.
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Old 02-17-2009, 04:29 PM   #32
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It's like the converter guy. Why put in a converter that isn't good with AGM batteries? Do they customers are going to say, "Hey, I know I dropped sixty large on my coach, but I really need to save a couple of bucks on the batteries."

Not to put too fine a point on it... but if Thor/Airstream is not smart enough to figure out what a resource they have here... I don't see that they are smart enough to build the best travel trailers in the world.
Amen to that! I couldn't agree more. Hemp, the reality is that the info has been on these forums now for at least 5 to 6 years, and I'm not talking just the QC or corrosion stuff, I'm talking about galv frames, thermopane windows, better sound deadening, etc.

In this window of time, they've added a ton of FB units, made different CCD units, created SE units (many), added disc brakes to Classics, upgraded rock guards, created a toy hauler, got rid of a lot of larger units and FB units, yet the issues still remain both in QC and features folks have been talking about for years, so fine point or not, clearly the ball was dropped some time ago. So in terms of what we'd like to see incorporated into the design, I hold very little hope of such things, even at an additional cost, even if I were willing to pay even more.

...and how about putting in a charger that is good for batteries in general. I had to spend a few hundred more bucks and my own labor (not terrible) installing a 3 stage charger.....that was after my factory installed converter cooked my batteries, which I have to replace that will cost me about another couple of hundred.
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Old 02-18-2009, 09:19 AM   #33
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POR 15 will not work on new steel. It has to have rust to bite on or to form a chemical reaction. If you paint POR15 on new steel it just peels and flakes off in days.

2 or 3 coats of GOOD paint or possibly some type of undercoating plus some attention to ventilation and drainage under the floor pan would do the trick.

And replace the soggy old fibreglass insulation with waterproof styrofoam.
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Old 02-18-2009, 09:35 AM   #34
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POR 15 will not work on new steel. It has to have rust to bite on or to form a chemical reaction. If you paint POR15 on new steel it just peels and flakes off in days.

2 or 3 coats of GOOD paint or possibly some type of undercoating plus some attention to ventilation and drainage under the floor pan would do the trick.

And replace the soggy old fibreglass insulation with waterproof styrofoam.

Auto spray undercoating works great.

Styrofoam is not recommended since it turns to crumbs from simple vibration.

Andy
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Old 02-18-2009, 09:45 AM   #35
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It would be relatively easy to "season" raw steel frames before shooting POR-15. One option is to use the "metal ready" sold by the POR-15 guys. This is what I used on my coach hitch and on my utility trailer. Marine Clean then Metal Ready then shoot. Unlike the underbody of a car, the underside of the coach is protected (somewhat) by the belly pan. I would think any decent undercoating system would work well in that environment.

As for insulation, I'm sure there are resiliant, waterproof insulation materials suitable for use under the coach. Something like a polyfoam (closed cell) would seem to work relatively well.
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Old 02-18-2009, 11:43 AM   #36
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Spray the frame with Line-X or other similar product before mating the shell to the frame. This stuff is fairly inexpensive, dries in seconds and would provide rust protection.
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Old 02-19-2009, 12:44 AM   #37
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Is frame protection really needed?

Hi, "Is frame protection really needed?"

(1.) How many years does it take to have a rusted out, damaged frame? And I don't mean surface rust.

(2.) What really causes these frames to rust through? Parked waist high in melting snow, driven in or through lakes or streams, caught in a flood, water leaks from above that aren't found until too late, [many years later] improperly sealed undercarraige that won't alllow the water to drain out and keeping the insulation wet like a sponge.

(3.) From the time that I bought my new trailer [Sept 2004] until I'm too old or physically unable to use it any longer, I don't expect to have frame rust out issues. [maybe 25 years]

(4.) What is the newest Airstream trailer, year model, that has been known for a fact that has a rusted out, damaged frame; And once again, not suface rust. [not cosmetically mared]

(5.) Would it be nice to have, at least, a painted frame from the factory? Yes.
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Old 02-19-2009, 10:24 AM   #38
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The frames at the factory come with some paint on them. How good that paint is or how well it is applied might be up for discussion, however they are painted. Below is a pic of a chassis being loaded up with tanks and such during the construction process.

As for how long it takes to rust through frames. If this is any indication under harsh conditions, my 1980 Oldsmobeater Delta 88 with body on frame construction, lasted about 20 years as a daily driver in the rust belt. It saw all kinds of salt, moisture, etc. The frame had actually rusted through.
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Old 02-19-2009, 06:30 PM   #39
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POR 15 will not work on new steel. It has to have rust to bite on or to form a chemical reaction. If you paint POR15 on new steel it just peels and flakes off in days.

2 or 3 coats of GOOD paint or possibly some type of undercoating plus some attention to ventilation and drainage under the floor pan would do the trick.

And replace the soggy old fibreglass insulation with waterproof styrofoam.
It does work on clean aluminum. We used it this summer on one of airplanes that spends it winters whale spotting.
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Old 02-19-2009, 07:10 PM   #40
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ahh... what else?
NO Q/C
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Old 02-19-2009, 09:12 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie View Post
The frames at the factory come with some paint on them. How good that paint is or how well it is applied might be up for discussion, however they are painted. Below is a pic of a chassis being loaded up with tanks and such during the construction process.

As for how long it takes to rust through frames. If this is any indication under harsh conditions, my 1980 Oldsmobeater Delta 88 with body on frame construction, lasted about 20 years as a daily driver in the rust belt. It saw all kinds of salt, moisture, etc. The frame had actually rusted through.
When I went on a factory tour about 4 years ago, the tour guide (Don) mention several points, as I recalled, in reply to several questions we had asked him concerning the frame.
1. The frame was fabricated off site and, not at the Jackson Center.
2. The paint was water based due to EPA air quality requirements.
I got the impression from him the whole frame thing was done off site due to EPA ruling (clean air issues) versa cost effectiveness, etc..
I find this hard to believe (cost effectiveness) but that's was the official information given.. as the reasons why POR15 was not used, etc.
To my way of thinking, the 3 things that Airstream has failed it customers on is..
1.The long term water tightness issues of it's roof. Given that there's no chance of any improvement in this, then to educate the new owners about what needs to be checked and, at what interval, in order to maintain that roof .
2. The floor material specification needs to be re-evaluated, clearly the material used for the last 30 plus year is just not designed for the kind of life we all expect for our money. Floor rot issues is not acceptable, PERIOD~!
3. For the last 56 years, since the frame went from pipes to what it is today, it has sorely been in need of massive redesigned approach for added strengths and, longevity.
Clearly, Wally would agree (if he were alive today), the experiments in the past on cost cutting has not worked for the owners~! Replace the frame with a better designs and, the use of either Aluminum or Titanium materials in place of this recycled steel.
There are people who have been associated with the Airstream product for many years that, clearly need to step back out of the box that they have built up around themselves.
As consumers and, owners of Airstream products, its time that we demand that the product be built to the standards that we can live with..
Jackson Center and, the network of dealers are just a temporary part of this process~ We are, after all, the ones paying our hard earned monies and, towing this trailer down the road.~
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Old 02-20-2009, 06:29 AM   #42
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An excellent synopsis of the situation, now lets hope they get the message!
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