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Old 11-29-2019, 11:03 AM   #181
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OK, I'm surrendering to the brilliant analysis of my fellow posters. I realize now that by "shim" AS & Demco clearly mean NOT a temporary fix, NOT an add-on part which can shift, degrade, fall off, etc, NOT a band-aid, NOT a thing that doesn't repair the underlying problem but just makes its users feel better. No, by shim they actually mean a permanent complete and bulletproof fix for a manufacturing problem that affects the most critical safety hardware on my trailer.



I'm surrendering because I now realize after reading all of the very incisive analysis above that even if there were a 99% chance of failure of the coupler or the shim, that means there's a 1% chance that it will never be a problem. A 1% chance that the thing I bought will work properly? Who but a snowflake has the right to expect anything more? Not a real American, for certain.



I mean, hell, when I was a kid, I once drove my used Pinto without brakes and a worn clutch and with only one headlight in the middle of the night when I was falling asleep after a full day of socializing--and since that didn't get me killed, surely a little problem like a bandaid on a defective coupler could not possibly kill me. QED. So no more worries for me.
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Old 11-29-2019, 01:04 PM   #182
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I requested the lockout kit from Airstream last week and it arrived a couple of days ago. The components are heavy duty, made from 3/8" steel. They are nicely finished in gloss black and the kit comes with a set of color instructions. Those last bits don't really add to the functionality of what will be a temporarily used fix but to my mind it speaks to an effort by Demco to provide quality components. Airstream also included the official recall notice and an inspection sticker.
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Old 11-30-2019, 01:02 AM   #183
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belbein View Post
OK, I'm surrendering to the brilliant analysis of my fellow posters. I realize now that by "shim" AS & Demco clearly mean NOT a temporary fix, NOT an add-on part which can shift, degrade, fall off, etc, NOT a band-aid, NOT a thing that doesn't repair the underlying problem but just makes its users feel better. No, by shim they actually mean a permanent complete and bulletproof fix for a manufacturing problem that affects the most critical safety hardware on my trailer.

I'm surrendering because I now realize after reading all of the very incisive analysis above that even if there were a 99% chance of failure of the coupler or the shim, that means there's a 1% chance that it will never be a problem. A 1% chance that the thing I bought will work properly? Who but a snowflake has the right to expect anything more? Not a real American, for certain.

I mean, hell, when I was a kid, I once drove my used Pinto without brakes and a worn clutch and with only one headlight in the middle of the night when I was falling asleep after a full day of socializing--and since that didn't get me killed, surely a little problem like a bandaid on a defective coupler could not possibly kill me. QED. So no more worries for me.
It is understandable that you are disappointed by your Airstream being recalled. I know I am disappointed every time a vehicle that I own is recalled, though I choose to accept whatever remedy the manufacturer deems is correct.

You are probably taking this harder than most because you were already unhappy with the the Demco coupler, although the difficult unhitching issue you described has also been experienced by many of us with the prior style coupler that is no longer available.

Resorting to sacrasm and exaggeration in this thread will not solve anything, nor win you any support. Whether you intended it or not, some of your responses to others with differing opinions come across as aggressive. That certainly won't win you any support, either.

If you have serious doubt about the shim solution and would prefer to have your original coupler cut off your Airstream and be replaced with a new one, you should contact Airstream directly (or at least talk to your dealer, who may have some "pull" in getting Airstream to approved that action).

I have to admit that were my Airstream affected by this recall (luckily it is not), I would much prefer the shim solution to having then coupler cut off and a new one welded on and then the previously perfect paint on the tongue being redone. It is understandable that not everyone would see it this way, but complaining that others do not see the issue the same way you do in this thread does nothing to remedy the situation.

I am sure that everyone reading this thread wishes you the best in getting this recall resolved to your satisfaction. Good Luck!
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Old 12-02-2019, 09:00 AM   #184
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I'm thinking about this a few days ago. If the ANGLE of the mis welded back wall is not within a specific tolerance, then shimming isn't going to be a good fix.

I'm assuming that this will only affect a small fraction of the units installed, but that will be known soon.
The angle of the back wall is important but not extremely critical. The we made tool measures the opening size of the coupler which is the most important. If the back wall is to steep or shallow of an angle but opening is correct the only thing that changes is how much travel of the handle is needed to "open" the coupler.

I hope that makes sense? If it does not i can maybe doctor up the shim cutaway picture i posted earlier to explain better.
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Old 12-03-2019, 12:29 AM   #185
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The angle of the back wall is important but not extremely critical. The we made tool measures the opening size of the coupler which is the most important. If the back wall is to steep or shallow of an angle but opening is correct the only thing that changes is how much travel of the handle is needed to "open" the coupler.



I hope that makes sense? If it does not i can maybe doctor up the shim cutaway picture i posted earlier to explain better.


I am pretty good at visualizing how things work, i was mainly addressing the issue where maybe not ALL affected hitches may be a candidate for the shim fix.

I'm one of those people who if he owned an affected trailer (I don't) would be fine with the shim solution.

It seems apparent to me that the shim is CAPTIVE, and it seems to me that once it's installed it will never be a problem for the lifetime of the trailer.
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Old 12-06-2019, 11:19 AM   #186
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You are probably taking this harder than most because you were already unhappy with the the Demco coupler
Actually, no. I was not unhappy with it, I just didn't understand how to use it to uncouple. That's the selling dealer's fault in not giving me correct instruction, but dealers aren't always very good about knowing their product.

I was very, very happy with Demco's response in that instance and throughout. I remain very impressed with them. And correspondingly very, very unhappy with Airstream disappearing in this whole issue and letting Demco take the heat.

The difference between the two companies' customer service is really clear: One of those companies is an old fashioned family-owned company that cares about its customers … and the other is Airstream.

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Resorting to sacrasm and exaggeration in this thread will not solve anything.
I don't know, 66O … I find sarcasm to be quite satisfying in a situation in which the consumers are powerless to solve anything. And "exaggeration" is a historically approved method of making a point. It's called satire.

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aggressive
I apologize if I've offended. Satire is intended to provoke thought. Sometimes that's offensive. But it's never "aggressive"--it's passive aggressive, to which I plead guilty. (By the way, the comment in the post above about $400/hour: that's satire. I thought it was pretty funny and certainly well timed. [Though the idea that I'd discount my hourly rates by 2/3rds to just $400/hour is offensive.])

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I would much prefer the shim solution
I guess coupler preference is like sexual preference: it's nobody's business but the people involved. So I won't judge your preference for shims. But for me, the lessons of history are clear: when you take a defective design and add a bandaid on to fix the defect, what you end up with is ... a bandaid covering up a defective design. And the result has typically been disaster. I personally would prefer not to participate in that list of disasters just yet. But everyone can make their own choice.
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Old 12-06-2019, 11:31 AM   #187
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I see where hitch balls come in sizes from1 7/8; 2; 2 5/16; 2/12 and 3 . Has size been addressed as to a possible problem? (with the hitch)

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Old 12-06-2019, 03:55 PM   #188
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Originally Posted by Belbein View Post
Actually, no. I was not unhappy with it, I just didn't understand how to use it to uncouple. That's the selling dealer's fault in not giving me correct instruction, but dealers aren't always very good about knowing their product.

I was very, very happy with Demco's response in that instance and throughout. I remain very impressed with them. And correspondingly very, very unhappy with Airstream disappearing in this whole issue and letting Demco take the heat.

The difference between the two companies' customer service is really clear: One of those companies is an old fashioned family-owned company that cares about its customers … and the other is Airstream.



I don't know, 66O … I find sarcasm to be quite satisfying in a situation in which the consumers are powerless to solve anything. And "exaggeration" is a historically approved method of making a point. It's called satire.

I apologize if I've offended. Satire is intended to provoke thought. Sometimes that's offensive. But it's never "aggressive"--it's passive aggressive, to which I plead guilty. (By the way, the comment in the post above about $400/hour: that's satire. I thought it was pretty funny and certainly well timed. [Though the idea that I'd discount my hourly rates by 2/3rds to just $400/hour is offensive.])

I guess coupler preference is like sexual preference: it's nobody's business but the people involved. So I won't judge your preference for shims. But for me, the lessons of history are clear: when you take a defective design and add a bandaid on to fix the defect, what you end up with is ... a bandaid covering up a defective design. And the result has typically been disaster. I personally would prefer not to participate in that list of disasters just yet. But everyone can make their own choice.
Well said Belbein. Well said indeed!!!
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Old 12-06-2019, 04:27 PM   #189
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Originally Posted by Belbein View Post
........

I mean, hell, when I was a kid, I once drove my used Pinto without brakes and a worn clutch and with only one headlight in the middle of the night when I was falling asleep after a full day of socializing--and since that didn't get me killed, surely a little problem like a bandaid on a defective coupler could not possibly kill me. QED. So no more worries for me.
... and you admit to that? 😂
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Old 12-06-2019, 05:00 PM   #190
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Hey, I was like maybe 20, and male, and footloose and fancy free in my first (very used) deathtrap, so it was all a matter of macho pride.



When my older son did practically the same thing at practically the same age, he also survived, but I nearly killed him for being so stupid.
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Old 12-06-2019, 05:01 PM   #191
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"Size of the ball"??? Sheesh. People always blame the size of the hitch. Sometimes it's the size of the coupler that's the problem. (Which, indeed, in this case, it seems to be.)
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Old 12-06-2019, 06:06 PM   #192
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Hey, I was like maybe 20, and male, and footloose and fancy free in my first (very used) deathtrap, so it was all a matter of macho pride.



When my older son did practically the same thing at practically the same age, he also survived, but I nearly killed him for being so stupid.
Hey, I can relate😀
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Old 12-07-2019, 08:10 AM   #193
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I'm not blessed with the Demco hitch but have read about the entire situation, including this thread.

First, I'd be livid, and likely request a re-weld of the coupler up front to be equivalent to factory spec, possibly even requesting it NOT be a Demco.

Now IF, IF a shim is to be the final solution, then Demco should put a lifetime guarantee on it for those affected.....LIFETIME for the shim and receiver/coupler, for ALL owners of the trailer(s) involved.
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Old 12-09-2019, 10:33 AM   #194
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Hopefully this might give a little measure of comfort to those concerned about their coupler.

I was unhooking this trailer this morning so I opened the coupler (if you zoom in you can see that it is open) and lifted the back of the car until the ball started to move in the coupler. I was able raise the car 6 1/4" at which point the ball shifted 1/8".

So as long as you have weight distribution bars you will never get the trailer to come off the ball in any kind of normal driving.

Not that you should not get it fixed sometime but don't make it a big inconvenience either.

Also of course if you can lift the back of your tow vehicle with the trailer jack when installing the torsion bars your coupler is fine. Both of the failed couplers were discovered this way.

I hope this helps.

Andy
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Old 12-09-2019, 11:55 AM   #195
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Andy,
Thanks for sharing your skilled observations. We are heading to Colonial in early January for our coupling “fix”.
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Old 12-20-2019, 09:03 AM   #196
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U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) (NHTSA-Recall-Alerts@service.govdelivery.com)

To:you Details

U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration



Your vehicle MAY be involved in a safety recall and MAY create a safety risk for you or your passengers. If left unrepaired, a potential safety defect could lead to injury or even death. Safety defects must be repaired by a dealer at no cost to you.



Why am I getting this email?

You are receiving this message because you requested to be notified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) if there is a safety recall that may affect your vehicle.



The following may apply to one or more of your vehicles if your vehicle is listed below. Click on the NHTSA Recall ID Number below to read more about the safety issue and the reason for the recall.



To find out if your specific passenger vehicle is included in the recall, use our VIN Look-up Tool.



NHTSA Recall ID Number :19V753

Manufacturer :Airstream, Inc.

Subject :Trailer may Detach from Tow Vehicle

MakeModelModel Years

AIRSTREAMBAMBI2020

AIRSTREAMBASECAMP2020

AIRSTREAMCARAVEL2020

AIRSTREAMCLASSIC2019-2020

AIRSTREAMFLYING CLOUD2019-2020

AIRSTREAMGLOBETROTTER2019-2020

AIRSTREAMINTERNATIONAL2019-2020

AIRSTREAMNEST2019-2020

AIRSTREAMSPORT2019-2020

AIRSTREAMTOMMY BAHAMA2019-2020

What is a recall?

When a manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determines that a vehicle creates an unreasonable risk to safety or fails to meet minimum safety standards, the manufacturer is required to fix that vehicle at no cost to the owner. That can be done by repairing it, replacing it, offering a refund (for equipment) or, in rare cases, repurchasing the car.



What should I do if my vehicle is included in this recall?

If your vehicle is included in this recall, it is very important that you get it fixed as soon as possible given the potential danger to you and your passengers if it is not addressed. You should receive a separate letter in the mail from the vehicle manufacturer, notifying you of the recall and explaining when the remedy will be available, whom to contact to repair your vehicle, and to remind you that the repair will be done at no charge to you. If you believe your vehicle is included in the recall, but you do not receive a letter in the mail from the vehicle manufacturer, please call NHTSA's Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236, or contact your vehicle manufacturer or dealership.



Thank you for your attention to this important safety matter and for your commitment to helping save lives on America's roadways.



Additional Resources

Understanding Vehicle Recalls

Recalls FAQ

Thank you,



National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

United States Department of Transportation


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Old 01-12-2020, 11:12 AM   #197
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Hopefully this might give a little measure of comfort to those concerned about their coupler.

I was unhooking this trailer this morning so I opened the coupler (if you zoom in you can see that it is open) and lifted the back of the car until the ball started to move in the coupler. I was able raise the car 6 1/4" at which point the ball shifted 1/8".

So as long as you have weight distribution bars you will never get the trailer to come off the ball in any kind of normal driving.

Not that you should not get it fixed sometime but don't make it a big inconvenience either.

Also of course if you can lift the back of your tow vehicle with the trailer jack when installing the torsion bars your coupler is fine. Both of the failed couplers were discovered this way.

I hope this helps.

Andy

Andy I just took my 2020 GT in to be inspected. I thought like you did that if I could lift the tow vehicle that surely I was fine. Turns out my coupler failed the inspection and they installed the shin kit.

With the shin kit it feels like the coupler is much tighter. In the past to unhitch I would just flip up the lever and raise the trailer. Now I have to start raising the trailer while lifting on the hitch until it releases.

I still think this is a good hitch, at least better than others I have had.
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Old 01-20-2020, 09:27 AM   #198
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Andy I just took my 2020 GT in to be inspected. I thought like you did that if I could lift the tow vehicle that surely I was fine. Turns out my coupler failed the inspection and they installed the shin kit.

With the shin kit it feels like the coupler is much tighter. In the past to unhitch I would just flip up the lever and raise the trailer. Now I have to start raising the trailer while lifting on the hitch until it releases.

I still think this is a good hitch, at least better than others I have had.
Rob,
I thought i would touch base on this quick, just because the Coupler "failed " inspection, doesn't mean the coupler was not able to retain the ball in the socket or that it posed a theoretical safety concern. As with everything there is a regulation that states a spec force needed to comply with SAE rules pertaining to couplers. This force is much greater than the coupler will see in any day to day use. That being said however high the spec is in comparison to real world force seen, the spec must still be met and therefore the need for the shim.
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