View Poll Results: Filliform
Have it feel like other campers stay back because it is contagious. 5 14.71%
Have it, everyone gets it so who cares. 12 35.29%
Lucky, don't have it or want it. 10 29.41%
Have it. I care and take the appropriate measures. 8 23.53%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 34. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-06-2012, 08:01 AM   #1
Shiny Drag-on
 
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Filiform, white worm, corrosion, what ever you call it

It has a lot of names Filiform, white worm and corrosion. Until yesterday I had only heard about Filiform on the forum. If I saw corrosion I thought it was part of age, gave the unit some character. In our long search for the right unit we tried to find an older unit that would be serviceable with some love and care. We are not handy enough to do a floor off rehab. So we have changed gears and started looking for a new unit. We took a four hour drive to Los Banos Airstream and it reality kicked our butts. Disappointed is an understatement the majority of their new units had noticeable to extensive Filiform damage along belt line, light assemblies and smack dab in the middle of the panels. Was amazed how icky it looked and itchy it made me feel.

I have searched the forum and read many post that I have found, but I am sure not all. So this question may have been answered, I just have not found it. Did we just find the mother load of affected units at Los Banos? When you buy a new Airstream is it not a matter of if, but when you will have Filiform.

With a poll can you help us decide how wide spread this problem might be.
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:50 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiny Dragon
It has a lot of names Filiform, white worm and corrosion. Until yesterday I had only heard about Filiform on the forum. If I saw corrosion I thought it was part of age, gave the unit some character. In our long search for the right unit we tried to find an older unit that would be serviceable with some love and care. We are not handy enough to do a floor off rehab. So we have changed gears and started looking for a new unit. We took a four hour drive to Los Banos Airstream and it reality kicked our butts. Disappointed is an understatement the majority of their new units had noticeable to extensive Filiform damage along belt line, light assemblies and smack dab in the middle of the panels. Was amazed how icky it looked and itchy it made me feel.

I have searched the forum and read many post that I have found, but I am sure not all. So this question may have been answered, I just have not found it. Did we just find the mother load of affected units at Los Banos? When you buy a new Airstream is it not a matter of if, but when you will have Filiform.

With a poll can you help us decide how wide spread this problem might be.
That is very interesting, I was just at that dealer about a month ago and did not notice this. Their website has detailed pictures of the majority of their units, looking at some of these pictures still not seeing the issue? Do you recall a specific unit that had this extensive damage so I can look for it on the online pictures.
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:05 AM   #3
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Yes we were looking at 23,25 and one 27 footer. The 2011 FB Fling Cloud and Base Camp had the most. There was another 25 foot unit that had very bad tail lights.
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:12 AM   #4
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I must say the salesman Jason Smurphat was extremely helpful and explained that it was cosmetic only. That it was not covered under warranty, but wanted to "get it off the lot, and would deal." That being said I just don't know if I could pay that much for something that could not be repaired. Replacing panels would be an option, but that would be most on the 2011 Flying Cloud.
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:37 AM   #5
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If you are looking for a cosmetically perfect airstream, you will not find it. It is the nature of the breed. Jim
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:43 AM   #6
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Thanks Jim, we are not perfect, and did not expect the Airstream perfect. We were surprised at the amount of worm patterned marks in the middle of the panels. When we heard about filiform thought it would just be along edges and rivets, not everywhere.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:12 AM   #7
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What you describe is the conundrum of the modern Airstream travel trailer. Does one accept this unsightly corrosion as a fact of Airstream life, or does one reject it and pursue a different path?

Our dear Lucy is a 2005 Safari 25FB that we bought new in 2006. Within the first year she started developing the dreaded "white death" corrosion. We were disappointed that there was not much that could be done to correct the problem, and that it was not even a warranty issue.

Over these past six years, Lucy's corrosion has continued and spread. This is probably exacerbated by the fact that when we are home, Lucy is stored outside at our house which is three houses off of the ocean.

We decided early on that we would just tolerate this situation as we were having such a good experience using Lucy. We have now had Lucy a little over six years. We have camped in her for 1,130 nights, and have towed her right at 100,000 miles. Lucy has visited all of the lower 48 states, and has camped in most of them. With Lucy, we are living the retirement dream and would not trade her for anything.

Now that we have become somewhat experienced RVers, we have looked around at the RV options out there and have decided that Lucy is right for us, even with her faults. Lucy is now road dinged, dented and corroded, but she is still our girl. As a matter of fact, this is being written from Lucy as we are camped with her in Maine today.

In retrospect, we would much rather have had these six wonderful years of traveling the highways and byways than to have rejected Lucy due to this corrosion issue.

Brian
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiny Dragon View Post
... Replacing panels would be an option, but that would be most on the 2011 Flying Cloud.
Our filiform started about a year after purchase. We didn't replace any panels, but did replace some of the components, such as the tail light bezels and the door grab. Turns out that the AS parts were the same defective components as came on the trailer, and promptly corroded despite us doing the recommended maintenance (as we always have). So, I have low expectations that replacing anything else will yield different results.

Brian (Moosetags) has the right idea, and his experiences and attitude summarizes ours. The Airstream experience is very much worth the hassle. We bought our AS to travel, and this cosmetic issue hasn't affected that in any way. A myriad of QC problems were resolved in the first years of ownership, and now we don't have time to sweat the cosmetic issues. Everything else is holding up quite well, and we plan to keep traveling in it until we, or the Airstream, wear out, whichever comes first.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:31 PM   #9
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That's our plan, also. We will travel in Lucy as long as she and/or us last.

Brian
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:59 AM   #10
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Those of you with Filiform on the outside, do you also get int on the inside skin of your Airstream? Thanks for your information.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:58 AM   #11
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Filiform corrosion on Airstream happens at the cut edges, rivet holes, scratches, and fittings from moisture and ocean or winter road salt begins at the unprotected aluminum at those areas and spreads under the clear coat finish, where it flourishes because it cannot dry out easily. I treated mine with CorrosionX product the day I brought it home (it was fresh from the factory delivered on summer roads), treat it quarterly, and have none. It is easy to do. I have seen it at the dealership on newer trailers than mine that went on winter roads to RV shows and sat on the lot during winter next to a salted roadway. I have seen trailers in Arizona several years old with none.

As a side note, filiform also is a normal condition on the wheels cars and trucks with clear coat aluminum wheels in Minnesota due to road salt. Not unique to Airstream.

It would be preventable if you could keep the moisture/salt combination away from the exposed aluminum edges. Regular washings and treatment with CorrosionX or Boeshield T9 may be enough, more frequently in moisture/salt conditions. I have thought about taping along side the edges and applying clear coat (auto scratch repair bottle) to protect them. Coating each individual rivet would be a challenge though.

This could be a good discussion for us owners if it avoids the "bitch about Airstream design /quality" trap. In other words, this is what we have, what can we do about it. Does anyone else have ideas or solutions?

doug k
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:15 PM   #12
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Another option would be to go with an older trailer, from before they made whatever change that caused this problem. My '95 has no corrosion, thankfully.

There are many restorers around that can turn an older trailer into something nicer than what rolled out of Jackson Center, usually for less money than a new one.
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:25 PM   #13
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Skater, indeed that is an option. They have there own problems though, the clear coat only lasted a few years before it degraded and peeled. Go back a few more years before clear coat and it must be polished regularly (although some don't mind the "patina" of unpolished trailers).

So it's a tradeoff, beautiful panels with some edge corrosion, peeling clear coat, or polishing. No perfect answer, I like what I have, will like it more if I can prevent the filiform. So far, so good, but after only one year.

doug k
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
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.................................................. .....

With a poll can you help us decide how wide spread this problem might be.
If you want data that you can look at, there is a way to make a thread that is a poll with the results to the question tabulated. I don't remember how, but someone here can tell you.

For the record our trailer has none anywhere. When it was new I thought I found some, but it turned out to be some sealer not clean up properly.

Ken
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