Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-04-2008, 08:25 AM   #1
Rivet Master
 
Soyboy's Avatar

 
1999 28' Excella
Frederick , Maryland
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 661
Images: 41
Filiform - only newer trailers or older too?

I have been reading the posts about filiform here in the forum. I still can't get my hands around what years are effected. It seems like it is mostly newer trailers, perhaps after '00 or '01 or later. Is that right? I know I have read a couple of posts or blogs where a few older / vintage trailers were effected, but it does not seem as prevalent. Is that correct? Does it have to do with the coatings used by the factory to protect the skin? I understand they have changed over the years.

We are thinking about a late '90s Excella, I thought the worst thing I would have to deal with is the headliner, but is filiform going to be an issue too? Depending on how the economy goes have also been thinking about an early current decade model with the newer interiors.

Curious also, on the vintage units where they polish the surface, is filiform still an issue. Also curious, if AS was to paint the units similar to a car, would this problem decrease?
__________________

__________________
1999 28' Safari
2012 F150 Platinum Max Tow 7650 GVWR 3.73 Elec. Locking Diff.(Prev 2003 Dmax).
Honda EU2000i, Equalizer Hitch
AM Solar Panels 150W - 2 Trojan T 105 6V Batteries
TAC MD-6
AIR 4534

On internet forums, please research and separate the wheat from the chaff (including mine!)
Soyboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2008, 08:38 AM   #2
Rivet Monster
 
wahoonc's Avatar

 
1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 7,174
Images: 40
Filiform is going to occur on any aluminum product where the protective coating is compromised and something to cause the corrosion sets in. I have seen it on aluminum architectural sheet metal where someone screwed up and put decorative copper above it. I think most of it on Airstreams is caused by rock dings micro cracking the surface of the coatings or Alclad and then having what ever getting into the actual aluminum and having it's way. It can also sometimes result from electrolysis, caused by improper electrical grounds and corrosion on electrical connections to the shell.

Here is a link to a paper dealing with it.

Edit: Missed the part about trailer age... I have seen it from the 70's foward. I think it is less prevalent on the trailers from the 50's and early 60's they were not coated.

Aaron
__________________

__________________
....so many Airstreams....so little time...
WBCCI #XXXX AIR #2495
Why are we in this basket...and where are we going
wahoonc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2008, 09:47 AM   #3
Well Preserved

 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,189
It's not just found on newer trailers. Our '74 has some, in a couple locations. Our trailer has spent most of its life near either the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico.
__________________
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
Terry
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2008, 10:29 AM   #4
Aluminut
 
Silvertwinkie's Avatar
 
2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,334
Though I would agree that any alum product has the potential to corrode, it would seem to me that steps could be taken to prevent or at the very least minimize the effects.

Taking only newer model Airstreams from the linked thread below, a legitimate question is how can new units, some as young as 6 months old see such widespread symptoms? I wish I had more answers and frankly, had I known this was going to be such an issue, I may have opted to buy a used one that already had taken some depreciation hit, rather than pay top dollar for a new unit. I love my Airstream, just very unhappy with both the overall quality of the build (a whole different thread) and the corrosion issue. Both issues, IMHO could be resolved for future new units rolling down the line, but oddly enough, QC issues elude Airstream and frankly the industry as a whole.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f142...ams-31743.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f142...ity-41668.html
__________________
Computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq and millions of others are by far the most popular with about 70 million machines in use worldwide. Macintosh fans note that cockroaches are far more numerous than humans and that numbers alone do not denote a higher life form. -NY Times 11/91
Silvertwinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2008, 10:42 AM   #5
Well Preserved

 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,189
Eric, I talked about this a few months back, but I am comparing this situation to when the Big 3 auto makers got poor quality steel in the early to mid 1970's. This resulted in many cars rusting away to junk in less than a year. I can only hope the aluminum maufacturers will "fix" he problem soon.
__________________
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
Terry
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2008, 11:23 AM   #6
Rivet Master<br><img src="/ugala/forums/images/5rivet.gif">
 
CanoeStream's Avatar

 
2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,279
Images: 19
Blog Entries: 3
The flipside to this question would be, "By what age would I expect clearcoat on all airstreams to be degraded?" Perhaps there would be some agreement on 10 years +/- for units stored outside.

The issue Silvertwinkie has always raised is why the heck these problems happen on trailers so new.

Walbernize is the old product and there have been countless posts about products that offer better protection. An example searchword that will take you to some of these threads is Meguiars. Pull up a stool; this will take some reading. FYI our search function is only useful with one word in the search field.
__________________
Bob

5 meter Langford Nahanni

CanoeStream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2008, 11:33 AM   #7
Rivet Monster
 
wahoonc's Avatar

 
1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 7,174
Images: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by CanoeStream View Post
The flipside to this question would be, "By what age would I expect clearcoat on all airstreams to be degraded?" Perhaps there would be some agreement on 10 years +/- for units stored outside.

The issue Silvertwinkie has always raised is why the heck these problems happen on trailers so new.

Walbernize is the old product and there have been countless posts about products that offer better protection. An example searchword that will take you to some of these threads is Meguiars. Pull up a stool; this will take some reading. FYI our search function is only useful with one word in the search field.
I think it is actually faster than that, and it will depend on the local environment and how the owner took care of the trailer. I checked in to the possibillity of redoing the clear coat on my 1975. At the time I was quoted over $5000 and it probably wouldn't last more than 5-7 years before needing to be at least partially reworked. Painting it with an aircraft quality paint job was approximately the same price. But even those don't last forever.

For the time being I have allowed mine to acquire a gentle patina quite often referred to as APB (Airstream Pattern Baldness)

If and when I ever win the Megamillions Lottery I may reconsider my decision...

Aaron
__________________
....so many Airstreams....so little time...
WBCCI #XXXX AIR #2495
Why are we in this basket...and where are we going
wahoonc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2008, 12:26 PM   #8
Rivet Master<br><img src="/ugala/forums/images/5rivet.gif">
 
CanoeStream's Avatar

 
2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,279
Images: 19
Blog Entries: 3
I win Megamillions and I'll tool down the road in the Airstream president's parting gift...
__________________
Bob

5 meter Langford Nahanni

CanoeStream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2008, 01:32 PM   #9
_
 
. , .
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,812
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soyboy View Post
...if AS was to paint the units similar to a car, would this problem decrease?
hi soyboy...

the DID paint'em one year.

and some folks have older units painted once the plasti-kote peels...

YES paint last much longer, but there may still be places with filiform corrosion under the paint...

it is just not VISIBLE, until the paint lifts, peels or fails, after 10-20 years.

i agree with wahoonc on this, EVERY 'stream ever built is subject to CORROSION.

forget the filiform issue, that's primarily the 'type' of corrosion happening on newer CLEARCOATED units...

but they all can corrode and often NOT on the surface, but deeper and in structural places.

imo the use of mag and cal chloride in winter road salting and dust control on un paved roads is the issue...

steel and automobile bits exposed to these new road salts are EATEN quickly....

we are now seeing this with aluminum things too.

i've seen vintage units and new trailers being dissolved by these road salts...

it's amazing really.

cheers
2air'
__________________
all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
2airishuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2008, 01:40 PM   #10
Aluminut
 
Silvertwinkie's Avatar
 
2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,334
I can say without question, my unit spends most of it's time in a somewhat climate controlled garage. Dehumidifier on in the garage (not that it needs it really), and my unit is washed and Walbernized 2x per year. Never any salt, not near the ocean and have never taken the unit within 3-4 states of an ocean. The exterior is so clean you could eat off of it. I never let sap or bugs stay on long. My unit is well maintained, yet what started now has grown. You can see my first pics posted at the beginning of the corrosion thread at:

Airstream Issue

It's my understanding that the skins and the wheels are Alcoa. I am on my second set of rims and cast tail lights, which are in the photos...these were replaced in spring of 2005 at only about a year and a half old. The pictures of the rims and tail lights were two years old from the replacement date and I can assure you, even though the pics don't look as bad as some, in a little over a year since those 4/07 pics, the issue has grown.

My interior CCD like skins are beautiful, of course, they are not on the outside.....
__________________
Computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq and millions of others are by far the most popular with about 70 million machines in use worldwide. Macintosh fans note that cockroaches are far more numerous than humans and that numbers alone do not denote a higher life form. -NY Times 11/91
Silvertwinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2008, 02:04 PM   #11
_
 
. , .
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,812
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie View Post
the wheels are Alcoa...
not true, unless u have now have classic 5 spoke wheels that were discontinued in 2006.

cheers
2air'
__________________
all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
2airishuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2008, 11:36 AM   #12
Rivet Master
 
Soyboy's Avatar

 
1999 28' Excella
Frederick , Maryland
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 661
Images: 41
Silvertwinkie: It's a major bummer what you and others have been going through. I would be upset too. In this day and age there ought to be a way of preventing or at least delaying this problem for a longer time. I still kind of lean towards painting as it seems to work on cars and trucks for 10-15 years or more. Houses have alum siding on them (RVs too) that lasts for years and still looks good (well.....in a way . Why not on these trailers?

2airishuman: I still don't understand why the new units seem more inclined to have this problem. When I read the other threads, it seems that the newer units, over maybe the past 5 or 6 years are pretty much the only ones being discussed. I know that it does happen to more vintage units, but it does not seem to come up as much. Maybe it's just that owner's of the newer units are upset after spending the big bucks and then having this problem. Or is it the current "treatment" they are using on the trailers? Seems like the "treatment"/protective coating should get better over years that the trailers are built, not worse.

As to wheels, I have Alco wheels on my Dmax and they look like new after 5 years and my truck spent the first 3 years of it's life in Michigan with all of the salt and snow. Why can AS use a similar quality product on their trailers. Same with the light housings etc.

It almost seems like the best thing to do (as others have said) is purchase a used trailer where you can see how it is holding up and which has already taken the major depreciation hit (my plan). Plus, if you are ambitious and have the time, maybe polishing it is the route to go, then you can "keep after it" on a seasonal basis when you to the necessary re-polishing. But that is only if you are in to Airstreaming the way other folks are into hotrods. Some folks are into Airstreaming as more of the RV/Camping thing and have no interest into putting that effort/money into the trailer.

Me, I kind of strattle that line which makes the decisions more difficult. I have always wanted an AS and now I am considering scratching the "itch" likely with a mid to late 90's Classic or Excella with the ceiling falling down (but that's another issue). If not I'll likely go the Bigfoot or Arctic Fox route (maybe a used Sunline). But they have their issues too. It amazes me that most of the folks that have these problems still love their AS and woudl still purchase another one.

Oh yeah, when I hit the Lotto, it will be a Newell or Prevost. I'll worry about getting into the smaller campgrounds later . Maybe I'll purchase a new AS International and a nice new diesel for those times when I want to "rough" it. After all, lots of folks on here have muliple trailers and kind of do the same thing!

Thanks for the input!
__________________

__________________
1999 28' Safari
2012 F150 Platinum Max Tow 7650 GVWR 3.73 Elec. Locking Diff.(Prev 2003 Dmax).
Honda EU2000i, Equalizer Hitch
AM Solar Panels 150W - 2 Trojan T 105 6V Batteries
TAC MD-6
AIR 4534

On internet forums, please research and separate the wheat from the chaff (including mine!)
Soyboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Nuclear Reactor Corrosion versus Airstream Filiform Ray Eklund Ribs, Skins & Rivets 0 06-08-2008 01:56 PM
Filiform Corrosion? Harper Ribs, Skins & Rivets 7 06-08-2008 11:45 AM
Filiform corrosion Brad Hunt Ribs, Skins & Rivets 4 11-19-2007 01:17 PM
Small MH: Older Airstream v. newer SOB Jan Airstream Motorhome Forums 11 10-19-2003 09:58 PM
The newer models have different engines. TBKP's Overlander Our Community 0 04-10-2003 08:33 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:20 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.