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Old 01-02-2008, 12:44 PM   #15
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The GIRL TOOL KIT Conquers Again!

I got my new vent cover on Thanksgiving Saturday, set it on the dinette seat and promptly forgot it until yesterday. YIKES! I'm going to Topsail in Florida and I doubt if my improvised cover will hold up to 900 miles of high speed towing.... Must install today. TG I didn't drink on New Years Eve!

So I took the vent apart again and realized NO way am I going to be able to shove the cover through the opening on the diagonal - the center brace is welded in, not screwed in and the real vent cover is about 3/8 inch bigger than the improvised one.... sigh.....

AHA! Brilliant idea, I'll haul it up from the outside using something like a string but semi-heavy.... Extension cord, that's the ticket! So I threw one end of the extension cord through the vent hole and over the street side (no awning roll), went outside, tied the new vent to it, got on my step stool and tossed the vent up on the roof so I wouldn't scratch the side pulling it up. Went inside and lo, the cover had landed almost on the hole. With a little maneuvering I was able to stand on a stool and pop it in place, then reassemble the inside pieces of the vent. Getting it on the raise/lower arm was tricky, but I resolved to brute force to bend the cheap metal, then restraighten it after I engaged the arm.

I had briefly toyed with the idea of knocking the center arm loose with a paint scraper or chisel, then drilling a small hole and putting in self-tapping screws to put it back into it's original place after pushing the vent cover outside through the opening... but hey if I admit I have a Miketa variable speed reversable drill and that I KNOW what self-tapping metal screws are... that would disqualify me from claiming ownership of the GIRL TOOL KIT wouldn't it?

Paula
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Old 01-02-2008, 02:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JStanley
Interesting to read that someone else had a vent cover disintegrate on a 2006 Safari.
The pieces on mine were very brittle and yellow. It looked like it was in the sun for 50 years.
Since the trailer was still under warranty I had it replaced for free and added a hood over the cover.
I bet someone mixed up a bad batch of plastic or errors were made in the fabrication process. How many others had the same problem?
Well not too much different in that my A/C shroud also suffering from UV disintegration. Problem discovered in year 3 of ownership only to find out that the Duo-Therm 3 year warranty does not cover shrouds. What's even more distressing is that their warranty on the shrouds is only 90 days. Never have had a shroud come apart before and this isn't a southwest clime where I might expect this.

Jack
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Old 01-02-2008, 02:53 PM   #17
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My '05 Safari needed new vent covers within a year of ownership. Both were severly brittle and UV damaged. They were "New Style Jensen" type covers. I spray painted the new ones with Krylon plastic paint, and so far they've been up there 2 years and are still intact.

The skylight dome appears UV damaged, but so far it is intact. Anticipating replacement at some point. Since I rarely open the skylight curtain, I may paint the new dome also-to cut down on heat entry (white paint) and prolong life.

Needless to say this stuff should be much better quality.
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Old 01-02-2008, 03:18 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpi
My '05 Safari needed new vent covers within a year of ownership. Both were severly brittle and UV damaged. They were "New Style Jensen" type covers. I spray painted the new ones with Krylon plastic paint, and so far they've been up there 2 years and are still intact.

The skylight dome appears UV damaged, but so far it is intact. Anticipating replacement at some point. Since I rarely open the skylight curtain, I may paint the new dome also-to cut down on heat entry (white paint) and prolong life.

Needless to say this stuff should be much better quality.
Yep I agree. I had to replace the front skylight dome on my Classic in the fall of 2006 due to a crack. Way too early for a trailer delivered in the fall of 2003.

Jack
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Old 01-03-2008, 11:46 AM   #19
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Ingenious way to get a rooftop job done from the inside, Paula. Big smart points (and karma, too).

Pat
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Old 01-03-2008, 12:27 PM   #20
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Same thing happened last September with our 2006 23 Safari front front vent cover. Went to a RV dealer in South Carolina (was on a trip), and got new one. It was a "new style" JENSEN. It goes on without screws or rivets like you said. Also, we went ahead and put one of those funny looking air vent cover thingies so you can leave vent open without rain coming in. "Half-heimers" has set in, and after 30 years of RV's, can't seem to think of the name of that thing...and wife isn't around right now to tell me!
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Old 01-03-2008, 12:49 PM   #21
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Airstream needs a good plastics/materials engineer or consultant. They seem to lack an ability to pick the proper materials for the job. They also seem to lack an ability to do accelerated ageing tests or enviromental tests to prove out their products before they release them to their unsuspecting customers. They need to hire someone with that experience to head up a program to do accelerated testing and only put into production materials that have been thouroughly tested.
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Old 01-03-2008, 01:27 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwightdi
Airstream needs a good plastics/materials engineer or consultant. They seem to lack an ability to pick the proper materials for the job. They also seem to lack an ability to do accelerated ageing tests or enviromental tests to prove out their products before they release them to their unsuspecting customers. They need to hire someone with that experience to head up a program to do accelerated testing and only put into production materials that have been thouroughly tested.
I doubt very much that Airstream has anything to do with the production of the vents. Many components of any trailer are purchased from outside suppliers who may well have provided good products in the past. From the posts in this thread, it sounds like the vent supplier got a bad batch of plastic and that the problem has shown up some time after the trailers were built.
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Old 01-03-2008, 02:47 PM   #23
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Having owned Airstreams for twenty years and been a member of the club for 12 years, and a professional materials/plastics engineer for 40 years; this example is not just a bad batch of plastic but an improper material choise by someone who should have be trained and responsible to make material subsitutions. This is far from my first observation of poor materials choises and testing done by Airstream and its vendors. The OEM (Airstream) engineer is person responsible for allowing the vendors to make poor material choises. All responsible OEM's (original equipment manufactures) have a material approval person on their staff who assures the engineering department and/or vendors are doing proper testing and supplying the test results for approval before a materials change is allowed to go into production. I had a discussion with the chief engineer for Airstream five years ago at the International and he admitted they did not have a materials/plastics engineer on his staff. They needed one then and they need one now.
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Old 01-03-2008, 07:05 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwightdi
I had a discussion with the chief engineer for Airstream five years ago at the International and he admitted they did not have a materials/plastics engineer on his staff. They needed one then and they need one now.
It is likely that many of us would like for Airstream to have more engineering input, but quality control of vent covers would probably not be economically justifiable for Airstream.

Assuming the numbers in another thread were correct, Airstream produced about 1820 units in 2007. You can easily find a replacement cover for about $10 to $13 retail, so the wholesale cost of the cover to Airstream might be about $7.50. Assuming an average of 1.5 vent covers per trailer, the total annual wholesale cost of the covers would be about $20,500, only a portion of the annual cost of a dedicated engineer. Please remember that the cost of an engineer includes not only salary but also such things as benefits and the employers' parts of Social Security, Medicare, and (in most states) disability.

I am not suggesting that Airstream should not increase its engineering staff, but they are a profit-making company in our capitalistic society and cost vs. profit considerations must be a part of their business.
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Old 01-03-2008, 07:49 PM   #25
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Vent cover

Mine is a 2005 and my vent cover ripped off after I got it.I went to an rv shop and got a cheap replacement for it.It has lasted the last 2 years but I think this one will go here shortly from being sun beaten.When I replaced the front one with a fantastic fan It crumbled when I was taking it off.
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Old 01-06-2008, 01:12 PM   #26
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Help!

I just bought a used 2006 Safari yesterday and once I got it home I noticed that the rear roof vent was missing. I figured it was an easy fix and I bought a new vent cover. Once I got out the ladder I noticed that half the hinge mechanism was missing.

My trailer is still under warranty as long as the factory warranty transfers to the 2nd owner. Is this something that a dealership would fix under warranty? It's a pretty long haul to my nearest dealership, so I'd rather fix it myself and save the time and gas. Does anyone know where I can get the hinge that's missing?

Steve
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Old 01-14-2008, 11:30 AM   #27
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Dear Tin Loaf

Quote:
Originally Posted by TinLoaf
I just bought a used 2006 Safari yesterday and once I got it home I noticed that the rear roof vent was missing. I figured it was an easy fix and I bought a new vent cover. Once I got out the ladder I noticed that half the hinge mechanism was missing.

My trailer is still under warranty as long as the factory warranty transfers to the 2nd owner. Is this something that a dealership would fix under warranty? It's a pretty long haul to my nearest dealership, so I'd rather fix it myself and save the time and gas. Does anyone know where I can get the hinge that's missing?

Steve
It isn't missing anything, you have the wrong vent cover. You need the new Jensen type. See the hook things along the right side of your picture? The proper vent has one side with perf's in it that will fit under the hooks. There are two screws on the opposite side that go from the brace into the plastic to hold the other side secure when you raise and lower it. My replacement HAD the two screws and the metal brace in it.

Take your picture back to the RV Dealer and he should instantly find you the new vent cover in stock. I took a picture of my vent cover (pieced together on the picnic table) when I went to get the replacement.

Paula
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Old 01-14-2008, 12:40 PM   #28
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Sorry to hear about this issue. I can relate to the feeling you all must be going through.

I had an '03 Bambi that had 2 standard vents as have been described here. I never had an issue with either, but I only owned it for about a year before upgrading to my 25' Safari SS, which has 2 Fantastic Vents in these locations, and have also had no issues, at least with that.....other things, now that's a whole nuther thread/story.
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