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Old 07-02-2017, 11:43 AM   #1
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What is wrong with YOUR Trailer?

Mollysdad brought up an interesting Tow Vehicle 4x4 post that many of us might also be wondering about. This is the kind of material that makes each of us want to personally 'upgrade' what has not changed on our Airstreams.

- Popped rivets in the interiors. Ours popped pretty much shortly after purchase and they cluster closer to the upper curves. No doubt a high stress area if the interior aluminum panel is not flush when riveted at the factory. I replace a missing rivet with a Teks Lath Screw #8 x 1/2" and use an hand held battery operated screw driver to torque it down snug.

The Airstream pop rivet purists do not approve for the originality aspect, but if the rivet failed, this time it will not and maintain integrity for the rivets on either side. (My reasoning, which seems to be working just fine.)

- Tow vehicles. Soft suspension or hard suspension with a 4x4.

SUV, Half Ton pickup or 3/4 / 1 ton pickup as a tow vehicle. Which are 'nicer and trailer friendly'? You got me there. My 1/2 ton Tundra 5.7L had the same issues those with a heavier truck. Now with a 1 ton F350... nothing new popping or coming off the cabinet hinges, since changing those out to piano hinges or added latches.

- Interior cabinets coming off their hinges. Everyone has this issue and insists that the factory house designed hinges are just good enough for their home and the same goes with their use in their 'mobile' home.

Where you can, replace hinges with piano hinges. Never have to worry again. Also for those you cannot, secure them with swivels or other ways to make the cabinet doors rigid and not vibrating the screws out of the real or fake wood.

- Upgrade your 15" D rated tires to 16" E rated tires??? Good, Bad or just plain Evil? I say Good for Me... but the trailer's fender well may be 'hand trimmed' a bit wider or tighter from one trailer to the next. You do need a bit more height to slip the 16" tire onto the drum. Some find the front and the rear fender wells not equal in clearance.

They trim the excess aluminum if more gap may be desired. Opposite side can be different in fit, and not likely your axles were installed wrong... just some excess fender well.

My conversion to 16" Michelins presented no problem. Just needed an extra inch or more to slide the larger tire into the fender well to get onto the lug nuts. The WEIGHT of the 16" wheel and 16" Michelin makes the Marathon tire seem very... light in comparison.

Your trailer is hand made. The panels are cut, trimmed and 'made to fit'. If a panel is just a little off, or trimmed to fit, or fits as... planned... each trailer is not identical. Remember that. The guy who bought the trailer AFTER YOURS may have issues.. and yours... nothing.

We all use our trailer differently than the next person. After a couple years, the trailer is now 'fixed', if it needed to be. If not, you have that special trailer that everything went, as expected.

When you read on the Forum some of the complaints... just run this through your head... one more time:

Your Airstream is hand made and after the 'Airstream' is built... the interior is prefabbed and attached to the interior. Your complaint may not be with your Airstream... but with the outside components that are added afterwards. Once everything is tested and road worthy from your use... you have an Original Unique Trailer.

You may not be 100% happy... but step out and look at the alternative other brands. Then... you will understand.
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Old 07-02-2017, 11:53 AM   #2
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I haven't lost any interior rivets at this point, but we haven't really gone "off-road", if that matters. Since my 15" wheels are fine, I did just order 5 new 15" E rated tires to replace the original Marathons, so one day in the next week or two I will bring them one at a time to a local tire shop to get them mounted and balanced. I also haven't had any cabinets come apart.

So I feel like we got a good one, that we have slowly been making our own, by adding little upgrades along the way that make the experience a little more enjoyable.
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Old 07-02-2017, 12:36 PM   #3
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Hi

Pretty much nothing is wrong with mine. Everything that's been "wrong" so far has been a "read the instructions one more time" thing. Are there some things that could be improved? Sure there are. It cost a bit less than a $1.5 million RV. I can find things that could be improved on one of them as well.

For some odd reason, it seems that the driveway on my house is a bit short for my current needs. It wold be a lot better if I could add another 50 feet to it. This shortcoming became "obvious" right after I added the length of a 30' AS to the length of a F-250. Does that mean that my home is now "wrong"? Not really, just that it could be improved. Am I going to run out and sell it (and invest a pile of cash) to fix that? Nope, I'll solve the "problem" other ways. Will I grumble about it ... you bet ...

Bob
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Old 07-02-2017, 01:27 PM   #4
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Lexington , Kentucky
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Cabinets:
Our slide out pantry top left edge hits the left side of the opening when closing but it nearly hits the right side when opening all the way. Can you say something's warped? The laminate has been coming off here and there, I've had to glue it back on. I don't care for the gigantic round sink, don't see the need for it and it takes up too much space, but that's a design issue. I HATE the pull out dining table. Wheels are stuck, won't stay free for long, it's very heavy and is entirely too big for a 23' AS. Once the table is open you'd better be sitting on the couch. If you have to get up you nearly have to fold the table up again to get around it. I'd rather get rid of it and use the storage space for something else.

Interior:
We had the subfloor repaired in the first year we owned it. You could see a previous repair in the same area. A pressure test and forced water test did not show any leaks. Jackson Center said the original leak was probably fixed, they didn't see any signs of one.

The shower must be leaking. We have a soft spot (but dry) near the front of the shower door. I'm guessing the shower leaks because some caulk was applied at the shower wall joins. We used the shower only once, it's too small and not enough hot water. So now it's a storage closet. I may decide to take it apart some day, to see about repairing it and the floor.

Exterior:
Not had any problems there, no popped rivets, no noticeable leaks anywhere and we've been in some pretty good downpours. We had the pressure and forced water tests at Jackson Center and both were good.

Towing:
We have a 4Runner SUV and it pulls the 23' very nicely. There are no problems with sway and the 4.7L V8 pulls it along at 70, unless we're going through the mountains in eastern KY or West VA. (Toyota got rid of the V8 and reduced the towing capacity by over 2,000 lbs. I'm glad I at least got the 4.7L while a V8 was available.)

Wheels:
We have the original 14" wheels and second set of GYMs. It needs new tires before any major trips but we've had good service out of them. They still look new, no cracks or odd tread wear.
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Old 07-02-2017, 08:05 PM   #5
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Uncle Bob, is correct. My experience also. Actually. A breath of fresh air. I love my airstream and I fix things on it. Exactly like most every other thing in my life.
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Old 07-02-2017, 09:07 PM   #6
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No popped rivets. No cabinet door issues. The only minor issues we've had with doors has been the formica on the edges sometimes need re-glueing.

The shower accordion-screen lower track needed re-sealing at the ends (common problem with Sports) to prevent water from seeping out onto the floor.

I wish the convection microwave was contained in it's own fan-ventilated inner cabinet so that heat was exhausted. I plan to take care of that matter myself.

Ours is an '08 model and the previous owner(s) had not made any efforts to improve any shortcomings at all. We've made some mods/improvements like addt'l towel racks and lighting. Otherwise... as first-time Travel-Trailer owners.... we're sure glad we started out with an AIRSTREAM!
(instead of the SOB we almost did....whew!)
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Old 07-02-2017, 09:33 PM   #7
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Hanover , Pennsylvania
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I bought my AS two years ago. The PO had made some minor improvements, like replacing the outside covers for the furnace and hwh with stainless steel. But other than that not so much. The biggest issue I had was the water leak in the rear where the skin meets the subfloor. Apparently models built around 2009 are notorious for this issue of which I was not aware. So I repaired that issue, which was a lot of work. But that led to replacing the dinette (we have a FB) with a folding table, which I built myself, and removing the curb side seating and replacing it with a wall hugger recliner. And that led to replacing the floor covering. All these changes have resulted in a much more comfortable seating arrangement and I am ultimately happy making them.

I replaced the tires and the batteries, put in new LED lights, towel racks, and a few other things. Call me a bit strange but I find joy in making these improvements.
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Old 07-02-2017, 09:56 PM   #8
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My trailer goes off road every year for hunting season. I tow with a full size 4x4 suv with soft factory coil suspension, I've added Firestone airbags to the rear to help when towing. Once I leave pavement, if you can call it that, I have two and half miles of logging roads to get to our campground. A two wheel drive would not make it solo much less towing a trailer. There is mud, washout areas, ruts, hills (up and down) and two small creek crossings. I've towed my argosy to this campground for the last 10 years and to similar ones for six years prior that. I haven't lost any rivets on interior or exterior panels, but I have lost rivets on my center divider end caps. I too went with sheet metal screws to fix the issue. On mine the end caps are a dark brown plastic so I just painted the screw heads to match.
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Old 07-02-2017, 10:08 PM   #9
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My trailer doesn't do my dishes for me when I ask it to and the sauna button never works.
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Old 07-02-2017, 10:43 PM   #10
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I don't have a trailer, but my Airstream 310 motorhome now has a stronger, lighter, non organic (won't rot or mildew) subfoor. If I ever bought a new AS trailer I'd deliver the sheets to Airstream personally.

http://coosacomposites.com

Cheers
Tony
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Old 07-03-2017, 07:28 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TravlinMan View Post
My trailer doesn't do my dishes for me when I ask it to .......
Hi

Did you speak clearly into the microphone ?

Bob
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Old 07-03-2017, 08:51 AM   #12
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Buffalo , Wyoming
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I spend a good bit of time on poor roads. These roads are causing two of my interior walls to pull out of the aluminum channels on the wall. It's becoming a regular occurrence, and it's a real pain to get them set back in the channels. I haven't come up with a good idea on how to fix this yet.

I doubt that this would be a problem with newer trailers.

I too pop an occasional rivet. The biggest problem with that is that the replacements don't match the Zolotone paint.
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Old 07-03-2017, 10:17 AM   #13
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Portland , Oregon
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My 2015 27 FT FC FB Queen.

No popped rivets.

No leaks that I know of.

Drawers, cabinets, and all appliances working as they are supposed to.

The issues I've had are the interstate batteries dying after 13 months. Replaced with Trojan wetcells with a three year warranty. At the same time I replaced the single stage OEM converter/charger with the Progressive designs smart charger, and so far, it's been golden. Some day I'll add a real battery disconnect to the battery box but for now when I store the trailer I just physically disconnect the negative battery cables. Pretty easy to do.

We had a issue with our shower handle after a year or so. (Maybe 30 nights in the trailer?) the handle stopped wanting to turn. Airstream NW fixed under warranty, buy taking it apart and greasing the handle. Works fine now, I'm guessing that maybe sediment built up in it and caused a problem? Or the manufacturer just didn't put enough grease in it? Anyway, I now use a two stage exterior water filter, so that should be ok.

Things I'd like to change:

Before we head off to any big cross country trips I'm replacing the GYMs with LT tires. I've got Centramatics added already, and I can see the difference when I open the trailer after a trip. (The cushions are still in place)

Someday I'd like to replace the dinette with recliners or sofa or something more comfortable. And the seating foam on the sofa and dinette should be replaced with firmer foam soon.

But all in all, I absolutely love my AS. It's bueatiful, it feels good to be in it, it draws lots of positive comments, pass another one on the road and you frequently get a lights flash or wave. It's good to have a AS.

One last thought. At the same time I bought a new AS, my father in law bought a new Cougar with slide outs, and all the nice stuff. Cost him about 40 k. The interior furnature is just falling apart, trim pieces lightly stapled into cheap MDF that is turning to sawdust. He is disgusted with it and it's out of warranty. The paint on the front end cap is so faded it looks like it's a ten year old trailer, not a two yr.

Mike
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Old 07-04-2017, 11:02 AM   #14
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2015 27' Flying Cloud
Spring , Texas
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No major problems other than dead bolt pin doesn't stay centered when trying to lock -- thus can not lock deadbolt from inside. We must have tried to shut the door sometime with the pin extended.

Cheers,

Glenn
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Old 07-04-2017, 11:23 AM   #15
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MY trailer is Fine... What is wrong with YOUR trailer?

When I came up with the title of this Thread... I had a totally different thought than the typical... gripes.

When traveling a lot, you will have loose cabinet screws. I replace them with a more aggressive screw and add additional hardware to hold interior cabinets in the positions they were intended. If you look on the linoleum, look for where the cabinet is vibrating on the floor and stiffen it up a bit. Not to the point it is too firm, but so it is not moving.

The hardware used in our trailers is not Aircraft certified... so things come loose. If a wood screw falls out, do not put the same one back. I use unorthodox screws that are for combat vehicles.. like my F350. Lowes and Home Depot sell them by the pound... not pretty, but do the job.

You expect the minor hardware to come loose and need attention. Eventually... everything is tight and needs very little attention.

The biggest improvement in our 25 footer... LED lights and the mattress. The rest is the same old stuff.

After the shakedown trip and several years of upgrading parts and pieces... you are a FOOL if you sell your Airstream. In twenty years it will be worth more than you paid for it and was able to make good use.

The idea of the Thread was MY TRAILER IS FINE... what is wrong with YOURS? Everyone seems to have a complaint or three. But the alternative is buying one of those white cardboard boxes on axles you pass, pulled over alongside the highway lacking parts and pieces you do... not need.
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Old 07-04-2017, 12:01 PM   #16
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2016 27' Flying Cloud
Rapid City , South Dakota
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needs repair

2016, 27FB FC. Bought new.

First day I took a shower the paint on the tub, or whatever it is, came off and there are stains where I was standing. It looks like someone was standing there to put the vents in and shower head, etc. and so they painted over it and it came off. Peeves me so I got a pre-cut for AS teak shower base. Love that!

Next, the cabinet door clasps don't match up right on several doors and have had to be replaced. I have another one ready to bust.

The subwoofer clasps are cracked.

The USB charger plugs next to the bed don't work.

The cabinet with the microwave rubs against the top cabinet and causes sawdust material to fall between the micro and door.

The floor is so soft that if i drop anything it leaves a dent. Why didn't they go with cork flooring? Much nicer and soft, but won't leave a dent. I will replace the floor with cork one day.

Other than that I love the thing, I had a 2015 23FB FC and loved it too, but for full timing it was too small for me.

My TV is a 2015 GMC 2500 diesel and I have a shell on it. I have a flamma bike rack find I have plenty of storage.
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Old 07-04-2017, 01:17 PM   #17
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Mine likes to deposit sawdust in a few places as well when I'm towin. It's always the spot under that magazine rack and the spot under the thermostat, which are two spots they drilled a bunch so I just assumed it's from the drillin and will stop one day but it ain't yet so maybe it's rubbin.
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Old 07-04-2017, 01:50 PM   #18
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After fixing the obvious issues in both the Classic and the 23D from poor Quality Control at the factory and a poor (if even done at the trailer) PDI at the dealership, we spent considerable sums at a speciality third party restorer upgrading nearly every system in both coaches. The net fly swatter effect was many off the potential "issue" areas were fixed before they broke.

Our 2015 23D International Serenity has the stock German hinges on the cabinets. I was able to acquire the plastic clips so they cannot self unfasten from the base plate inside the cabinet any more.

As of this morning, we seem to be in more of a light maintenance and enjoy mode than "quick get the tool bag" mode.
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Old 07-04-2017, 08:25 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

Did you speak clearly into the microphone ?

Bob
I keep shoutin 'do the dishes!' and the dang microphone just stares at me. I even pounded on the counter and the dishes moved but they were still dirty.

If airstream had pointed the microphone up instead of down none of this would be happenin.
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Old 07-04-2017, 08:32 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isuzusweet View Post
I don't have a trailer, but my Airstream 310 motorhome now has a stronger, lighter, non organic (won't rot or mildew) subfoor. If I ever bought a new AS trailer I'd deliver the sheets to Airstream personally.

http://coosacomposites.com

Cheers
Tony
This stuff is made 20 miles from my home. GREAT STUFF!
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