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Old 12-16-2014, 07:50 AM   #1
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Airstream in the snow and ice melt !!!!

HI

I want to use my airstream from Canada to Florida and someone told me this is a bad ideal because the airstream can rust !!!!

In the road they put the icemelt and its can make a reaction with the airstream

someone have a ideal for that ???

is it a fact or legendre ????

thank you
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Old 12-16-2014, 08:10 AM   #2
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Hi Soccoo:

No your AS will not rust, the frame and axles are the only parts subject to rust. BUT, your and every AS is subject to corrosion from the salt used on the roads in winter. Once it, the salt or salt water gets into the rivets you will have a tough time getting it out and will then be fighting it for as long as you own the AS.

What we have done, as we live north as well, is once we hit an area where we pretty much know there will no longer be salt is stop at a self service car wash and take quite a long time to wash and scrub the UNDERSIDE of the AS and then wash the visible exterior using a Micro Fiber hand wash glove so as to not scratch the visible outside. On the underside I use the scrub brushes provided at the car washes as well as the high pressure hoses. We had a 2010 which when we sold her never showed any corrosion using this method.

Enjoy.
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Old 12-16-2014, 08:10 AM   #3
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Road salt and aluminum don't mix. The salt will corrode the aluminum. Aluminum does not rust, it corrodes, which is just as bad.
Many ASrs pull their AS through salty roads to get to a warmer place. When you get there, wash or at least hose down your AS very well to get the salt off.
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Old 12-16-2014, 08:42 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by socool69 View Post
HI

I want to use my airstream from Canada to Florida and someone told me this is a bad ideal because the airstream can rust !!!!

In the road they put the icemelt and its can make a reaction with the airstream

someone have a ideal for that ???

is it a fact or legendre ????

thank you
If you travel when the roads are dry, there will not be a lot of salt getting onto the trailer. Go south!!!! Enjoy the warm in FL. I have several friends from Canada who are already there. I was in FL, swimming in the outdoor pool, just a few days back. I hope I'll be back in a few weeks!
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Old 12-16-2014, 09:31 AM   #5
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See story and photos: extensive corrosion due to road salts that led one forum member to replace his trailer.
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Old 12-16-2014, 09:39 AM   #6
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Aluminum does not rust, it corrodes, which is just as bad.
Rust is corrosion is oxidation. It's all the same process, just different names. Corroded iron or steel is rust, corroded aluminum is aluminum oxide, but it's all corrosion.

Of particular concern with regard to road salt is driving on wet roads as the ice melts. Saltwater is an excellent electrolyte, and aluminum is an excellent anode for steel. Anyplace that you have aluminum in direct contact with steel and both in direct contact with saltwater, you can get galvanic corrosion of the aluminum.
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Old 12-16-2014, 10:01 AM   #7
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See Bert Gildart's full story with photos:

Industry Secret! Airstream - and "the Worst Case of Filiform Corrosion Ever"
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Old 12-16-2014, 10:30 AM   #8
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There's an Underbody Treatment. Cold weather info is garbage.

Recommended by the dealer here for people who use the trailer in the winter, and apparently there's a subset who do.In fact there's a group who consider this the most enjoyable trailering(with some supplemental heat for the tanks) in their allegedly 3 season trailer. I believe it's the wax-type treatment.

As mentioned here, water and snow aren't your enemy, salt is. Keep the trailer washed and waxed and clean it off after trips.

Your mileage may vary. Honestly, Airstreams' information on this topic seems contradictory and inconsistent to me. The brochure shows the bambi being used as a toasty apres-ski chalet with hot chocolate, some literature says all tanks are insulated, others seems to say only international and cloud tanks are, and maybe only international tanks have ducted heat, some parts of the manual claim there isn't much to worry about so long as you can keep the inside of the trailer above freezing, other parts and posts seem to warn you to winterize at the first cold breeze or the connectors will snap off. Or maybe you'll be fine so long as long as your airstream doesn't get "wind chill" on the highway, so you should keep an eye on the temp then, but you can't because it's not legal to ride in the towed trailer.

Or : "You'll be fine as long as you don't run out of propane, which we give you no way to monitor/hot swap.", or the "furnace will keep the airstream warm enough, unless it doesn't and you'll only be okay if you stay plugged in and run the furnace and the heat strip."
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Old 12-16-2014, 10:36 AM   #9
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The Magnesium Spray is now used extensively throughout the region we live in. So this year we are not going south. Unfortunate for us, but simply not worth it, plus I am so busy training and rehabilitating dogs at the new rescue we are helping get off the ground, I basically don't want to go. I know I'll eat my words come January - February - March.
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Old 12-16-2014, 11:09 AM   #10
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Or maybe you'll be fine so long as long as your airstream doesn't get "wind chill" on the highway, so you should keep an eye on the temp then, but you can't because it's not legal to ride in the towed trailer.
I honestly don't know who came up with that one, but it sure is persistent among people who don't really know what windchill means. I blame TV weathermen for that misconception.

Here's a simple illustration of windchill:
Let's say the temperature is 35F. The temperature is above freezing, right? So nothing in your trailer will freeze. Now, let's add a 60mph wind, equivalent to the slipstream from driving down the highway. The windchill is a below-freezing 17F. But guess what? Still nothing in your trailer will freeze!

Windchill only affects critters with a metabolism, that is trying to keep warm as the wind sucks away their body heat faster. Your trailer effectively has a metabolism if you are running a furnace. It's trying to keep warm as the wind sucks away the heat faster, with the heat controlled by a thermostat.

Windchill will not make your trailer colder. What it will do is make your trailer cold faster. Windchill will make you use more BTUs to keep it warm, so your furnace will have to run longer to keep the same interior temperature. But the outside of the trailer will never get colder than the actual outside temperature, no matter how much windchill there is.
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Old 12-16-2014, 03:05 PM   #11
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These forums are so educational! Haha I never understood windchill (Cali girl-sorry! haha) but that makes sense with relation to trailer temps. I think I'm still too much of a coward to go snow camping in my trailer in the near future...
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:00 PM   #12
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Sorry Protaganist, thought the windchill was self explanatory .... short of some wierd evaporative effect air movement can't make your trailer cooler than the air it's sitting in. That's basic thermodynamics.

However air flow across the surface will certainly cool it faster. Like the reverse of a convection oven. If the outside temp is below freezing, it could decrease the ability of furnace at given BTUs output to maintain the tanks above freezing for a given sub-zero tempurature and model.

Is there any data ? -10C is safe when stationary with the furnace running full tilt, but will freeze you up with a 40MPH-55MPH wind/drive ? I have no idea. If your heat source conks or because you have to drive across a state, or you go get more propane, how much time do you have. Manual basically says Good Luck.

For 100k list on the top of the line trailers there should be a small touchscreen that tells you all of this. tank temp, lbs of propane remaining and burn rate, battery AH and use rate, etc, out and in temp, etc ... but then the 100k trailer shouldn't be shipping with U-Boat battery tech either.
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:10 PM   #13
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I just noticed that if you are not signed in, the above link will not work. But if you are signed in, it will.

For those of you who do not want to sign in and still see Bert's story of his extensive corrosion due to magnesium chloride road salt spray resulting in his replacement of his trailer, one of the below links should work:

Industry Secret! Airstream €“ and €œthe Worst Case of Filiform Corrosion Ever€ | Bert Gildart: Writer and Photographer

or his posting on September 4, 2011 on his blog:

Travel photography, national park pictures and RV travel.

"Glimpses From Bert & Jane Gildart's Travel Adventures"

(Moderators, can you look into this problem with links. It would be nice if all viewers could use the links, whether they're signed in or not. Thanks!)
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Old 12-16-2014, 05:42 PM   #14
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If the outside temp is below freezing, it could decrease the ability of furnace at given BTUs output to maintain the tanks above freezing for a given sub-zero tempurature and model.
The real problem comes in when you're losing heat so fast that the furnace can't keep up with the loss even when constantly running. Which of course will deplete your propane and/or house batteries in a hurry as well.
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