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Old 05-09-2013, 04:17 PM   #1
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Tell me it isn't so!

Maybe this is a rhetorical question. Are all Airstreams destined to leak, have rotten floors, have frame detoriation etc even with preventative maintenance?

Can a good dealer's annual inspection/maintenance program keep these issues at bay?

This forum represents a subset of all the Airstream units out there in operational condition of one kind or another. There seems to be a constant stream of repair issues on this forum.

I would hope that every unit is NOT destined to become a huge sink hole for repairs if properly looked after.

Your experiences.
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:22 PM   #2
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Okay - it isn't so. The thing most of the problematic units have in common? They're old.
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:27 PM   #3
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I have a 62 model..looking great!
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:27 PM   #4
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Living in Apache Jct. will help a lot! Not a lot of rain - or road salt in them parts!

Brian.
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:31 PM   #5
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If you keep up properly, ;minimal issues. Now, proper in my eyes will be different to yours. Sealing, replacing / upgrading parts as they inevitably fail, you probably will never wear it out.
AS resemble any significant investment.
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:53 PM   #6
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If it has windows, doors, vents, air conditioning, plumbing, or seams. It will leak somewhere, sometime, someday.
Storing it under roof helps significantly.
Some have new trailers that leak, most old trailers leak. Somewhere.
I have not been able to figure out why the ENGINEERS (if there are any) at A$ can't or won't come up with a composite floor material along with a design that would incorporate drains between the inner and outer skin. Thus allowing the water to drain out the bottom of the trailer instead of out onto or into the floor.
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:05 PM   #7
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Your car, your house, your lawn mower..... nothing ever broke or needed maintenance?
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:06 PM   #8
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Airstreams are like anything else you own ; if you use it you have to maintain it. Ours is now 50 years old and in great shape. For me working on it is a pleasure and a great source of pride.
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
If it has windows, doors, vents, air conditioning, plumbing, or seams. It will leak somewhere, sometime, someday.
Storing it under roof helps significantly.
Some have new trailers that leak, most old trailers leak. Somewhere.
I have not been able to figure out why the ENGINEERS (if there are any) at A$ can't or won't come up with a composite floor material along with a design that would incorporate drains between the inner and outer skin. Thus allowing the water to drain out the bottom of the trailer instead of out onto or into the floor.
I believe this is the same as the age old pantyhose theory...why can't they make them not to run...they probably can but then you wouldn't buy any anymore.

they probably have figured out a way to drain between the floors but then you wouldn't spend money at the repairshop.
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:07 PM   #10
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I have said this before...
it has 3200 holes in it...(or more)
you think it won't leak ever...
maintenance is the key word here.
Same as a ship or airplane...
maintenance!
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:14 PM   #11
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I have a boat but am new new RVing. I just bought a new Cloud 25'er and I am going into it assuming that it will have many of the same problems as a boat. Many of the systems are quite similar. The key of course is to maintain a vigilant eye and not to neglect or put off maintenance or repairs.
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:35 PM   #12
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I remember the first time I saw water drizzling down the wall under a window about 3 months after we bought our AS. I felt ill. And Mr. Mod gave me a look that said "What have you gotten us into with this trailer?'
Then the good people on this forum informed me that all trailers leak.
About 6 months after that, we were in a major down pour and had water dripping in from light fixtures, the hood vent, etc. It was so bad, we just laughed (after we shut off the lights).
We finally got around to resealing the exterior after that trip.
As fantastic as Airstreams are, there is perfection in nothing. Maintenance is key.
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:53 PM   #13
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It happens, but not as often as house items as I have been through two refrigerators and two washers in six years, where as the 42 year old Airstream has cost me only a hot water heater and vista windows due to wear and tear. Not a bad comparison.

The other items have been due to acts of nature, high winds, tree limbs or hail. Still running the original refer, stove, and oven.

Does it leak, only where I repaired it with new replacement panels but they eventually sealed themselves.

Its all good.

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Old 05-09-2013, 08:01 PM   #14
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Inspection and maintenance is the ticket, and it's easy to do. (I'm not sure a dealer would be thorough enough, maybe if you told them specifically what you need.) This is what I believe a new(er) Airstream needs, in a nutshell:

Set up a quarterly inspection and maintenance schedule to look for leaks, corrosion, or anything not working properly. Use a moisture detection meter to probe the edges of the vinyl floor to see if their is moisture leaking into the plywood subfloor. Promptly fix any leaks found.

Treat the cut metal edges, drilled rivet holes, and exterior fittings as soon as you get it home with a preventive such as CorrosionX, then at least annually after that. Spray the steel underbody components with a product such as Boeshield T9 which will leave a protective paraffin wax coating. The more you use it near salt water or winter road salt, the more you need to wash it and treat it for corrosion. You still may get some, but it can be kept under control. Carefully clean any corrosion off and touch up the area with clear coat.

Best to store it in a shed, but if you can't, use a UV protective spray on the external rubber and plastics. Keep it clean, food removed when not in use to discourage mice and insects. Keep the storage tanks clean when stored.

Switz, of course you know that your Southwest desert location almost guarantees a long life if you can protect the exterior finish, plastics, seals and sealants from sun damage. And keep the interior heat from baking everything to a crisp in the summer.

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