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Old 05-09-2010, 10:59 PM   #1
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Window rock guards.... warp

Why do they warp? Is it normal for these guards to go concave on a 3 year old trailer? The fit remains tight. There is no evidence that the PO had taken a hit.

Assuming that I am going to have to replace the center guard, about how much might it cost? I might replace all 3 so that they match, so how much might that cost?

Is this is a common issue, should I look forward to having to replace them again within 3 years... even if they have not had a fight with rocks, flying goats or small airplanes?????????????

I will call the dealer tomorrow and get the bottom line on pricing, but it would be nice to know what the general cost might be.

Once they are warped, other than replacing them, is there some magic way to get them back to their original shape/size?

As always, thank you all for any help/advice you may provide.

Oh, I hope all of you mom's had a great day.

Cheers,

Dan
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Old 05-10-2010, 12:04 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Gator113244 View Post
Why do they warp? Is it normal for these guards to go concave on a 3 year old trailer? The fit remains tight. There is no evidence that the PO had taken a hit.

Assuming that I am going to have to replace the center guard, about how much might it cost? I might replace all 3 so that they match, so how much might that cost?

Is this is a common issue, should I look forward to having to replace them again within 3 years... even if they have not had a fight with rocks, flying goats or small airplanes?????????????

I will call the dealer tomorrow and get the bottom line on pricing, but it would be nice to know what the general cost might be.

Once they are warped, other than replacing them, is there some magic way to get them back to their original shape/size?

As always, thank you all for any help/advice you may provide.

Oh, I hope all of you mom's had a great day.

Cheers,

Dan
Dan.

How about a photo?

Are they original Airstream?

If so, warping is not a common problem.

Andy
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Old 05-10-2010, 12:08 AM   #3
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Hi Dan. How concave? The middle one is never perfectly flat. The optics of their normal wave may throw you astray. But yes, if really warped -- pictures please.
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:04 AM   #4
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Andy and Bob... Thanks for your response. Unfortunately, it will be a few days before I get my camera gear back from my daughter... grrrr.

I can only assume that the guards are original factory.

The warping is not slight. My bride suggests that I should get used to it, but my personality defects will not allow me to do that. ;>)

I'll try to get photos when I get my camera back.
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:16 AM   #5
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the center section takes a lot of PRESSURE while driving/towing.

overly firm cleaning also pushes the stuff in.

when proped OPENED, if the 2 sides are not raised/lowered 2gether or evenly braced...

WARPING the frame is the result.

typically there is a flat alum brace running down the MIDDLE of the backside.

this keeps the smoked plastic from REALLY caving in.

so IF the only issue is the clear stuff looking wavy that's normal and common.

IF the waviness is diagonal the frame may have been twisted opening/closing.
___________

open the back and check the retaining gasket/piping that is at the perimeter.

tuck IN the corners (yes they'll be loose) TIGHT to the frame.

one can bend/bow the aluminum brace but that's a bad idea.

one can REMOVE the lexan/plastic and reverse it, which is a lotta work (frame must be opened)

COUNTERING any frame twist may just loosen the corners (that's bad)

buying new won't guarantee any improvement.

they are each '1 off' construction and the next one may be more or less wavy...

cheers
2air'
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Old 07-12-2010, 09:32 AM   #6
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Still warped stone guard

Yesterday, finally reinstalled the rock guard on our coach. After seeking out suppliers of lexan, was told they didn't have smaller scraps of the material so I would have to pay $268.00 for the entire sheet. I replied back that I couldn't spend that amount (don't forget shipping for a 4x10 foot sheet of lexan) on the application. So I just layed the window out, grabbed the original spline with pliers and pulled it all out. As suspected, it was about a foot short of what it should have been, so I imagine AS installs it by heating and stretching it. Sprayed the frame clean of all the dust, dirt and bugs, bleached and scrubbed both sides, reinstalled new store bought spline first and then went all the way around again with the clean original AS stock spline. Hope it last the year, wasn't really the final repair I wanted to make but my total cost was $1.68 at the local hardware store for vinyl spline. At least it's clean, and the stock spline isn't hanging out of the frame. This is another one of those "details" that AS should be handling...doing a better job, a more quality job the first time. Yes I still have the same warped piece of plexiglass, but "that's part of the charm!!!"
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:35 AM   #7
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Well I guess Gator never got that camera back from the daughter.
As for Alice&Billis ....well congrats, although I feel like your post is a follow-up to one that isn't there.

But I do notice that both Gator & Alice&Billis have 2000 era trailers. I have never heard of this warping or spline-hanging situation with the vintage era rock-guards, in fact I didn't know that spline was even a part of the 3 piece vintage era guards. Not sure about the 1 piece "starwars" looking vintage guards.
Someone please enlighten me.
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Old 07-13-2010, 11:55 AM   #8
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Well I guess Gator never got that camera back from the daughter.
As for Alice&Billis ....well congrats, although I feel like your post is a follow-up to one that isn't there.

But I do notice that both Gator & Alice&Billis have 2000 era trailers. I have never heard of this warping or spline-hanging situation with the vintage era rock-guards, in fact I didn't know that spline was even a part of the 3 piece vintage era guards. Not sure about the 1 piece "starwars" looking vintage guards.
Someone please enlighten me.
I got my camera back a little over 2 weeks later when my daughter returned from vacationing in Hawaii. By then, I had moved on to resolving far more important and interesting issues with this trailer.

I had gotten used to seeing the warping and decided I would just try to ignore it. I then realized it wasn't as bad as I had first thought.... or at least I convinced myself of that. LOL My perfectionism and critical eye (some call it OCD) is a curse I have had to live with all of my life...

I had called my dealer and learned that the ridiculously high cost of replacing them was not going to be worth it to me, especially when considering that the warped panels were only 3 years old, so I could expect to see the same thing in relative short order.

Additionally, everyone that has seen this trailer tells me how beautiful it is and they are surprised to learn that it's not new..... so I just moved on.

What should be normal..... is no warp, not an acceptable degree of warp.

LOL.. I am very fortunate in that my wife is stunningly beautiful, yet she also has imperfections I have learned to accept...... so far I have hung onto her and been very happy for 38 blessed years. Of course, she has yet to warp. Me, now I'm the warped one.

Finally, had I taken photo's they wouldn't have shown much or helped anyone...

So, instead of posting a photo at this late date, I recommend this. Take a black sheet of paper and place it flat on a table. Then from each side, at the same time, push the paper inwards towards the center of itself, by about 1/4". What you will then be looking at is kinda what my rock-guards look like. LOL I hope that was helpful. ;>)

Cheers,

Dan

p.s. I appreciate and took seriously the opinion provided by 2Airishuman.
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Old 05-27-2012, 09:57 AM   #9
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We have the same issue on our 2008 airstream. It is not due to anything pushing on the plexiglass but rather sun or heat. We parked our trailer at the end of the winter in our storage facility and when parked the rock guard windows faced west. It had a very slight inner bow on the middle rock guard window when we parked it for the winter. We just picked up the trailer this weekend and inspected it. The inward bowing on the middle front rock guard window is quite severe now. Amazing that these don't hold up to the elements better. Of course, we just went out of warranty.

I will try to post pics so others can see what this looks like when I next get the trailer out.
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:34 AM   #10
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We have the same issue on our 2008 airstream. It is not due to anything pushing on the plexiglass but rather sun or heat. We parked our trailer at the end of the winter in our storage facility and when parked the rock guard windows faced west. It had a very slight inner bow on the middle rock guard window when we parked it for the winter. We just picked up the trailer this weekend and inspected it. The inward bowing on the middle front rock guard window is quite severe now. Amazing that these don't hold up to the elements better. Of course, we just went out of warranty.

I will try to post pics so others can see what this looks like when I next get the trailer out.
You can add 2 or 3 aluminum bars on the backside of the plastic, that will take care of the "bowing" issue.

Cheap and effective.

Andy
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Old 05-28-2012, 08:08 PM   #11
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You can add 2 or 3 aluminum bars on the backside of the plastic, that will take care of the "bowing" issue.

Cheap and effective.

Andy
We will have to look into that. The bowing is pretty severe. Most of the surface is almost touching the underlying windows so I am not sure we can push it out far enough to get aluminum bars underneath.

Thanks for the idea though.
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Old 05-30-2012, 09:46 AM   #12
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Well I guess Gator never got that camera back from the daughter.
As for Alice&Billis ....well congrats, although I feel like your post is a follow-up to one that isn't there.

But I do notice that both Gator & Alice&Billis have 2000 era trailers. I have never heard of this warping or spline-hanging situation with the vintage era rock-guards, in fact I didn't know that spline was even a part of the 3 piece vintage era guards. Not sure about the 1 piece "starwars" looking vintage guards.
Someone please enlighten me.
I have a one piece rock guard on both of my trailers. On my 1975 the spline is tightening up and pulling out, happens all the time caused by thermodynamics and the spline shrinking. Cure...put new spline in.

For some reason the Lexan? on my 1981 has broken into a couple of pieces. Eventually I may repair it, or may not. That trailer is destined to become a permanent guest cottage on our property.

Aaron
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Old 02-27-2015, 09:14 AM   #13
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Yesterday, finally reinstalled the rock guard on our coach. After seeking out suppliers of lexan, was told they didn't have smaller scraps of the material so I would have to pay $268.00 for the entire sheet. I replied back that I couldn't spend that amount (don't forget shipping for a 4x10 foot sheet of lexan) on the application. So I just layed the window out, grabbed the original spline with pliers and pulled it all out. As suspected, it was about a foot short of what it should have been, so I imagine AS installs it by heating and stretching it. Sprayed the frame clean of all the dust, dirt and bugs, bleached and scrubbed both sides, reinstalled new store bought spline first and then went all the way around again with the clean original AS stock spline. Hope it last the year, wasn't really the final repair I wanted to make but my total cost was $1.68 at the local hardware store for vinyl spline. At least it's clean, and the stock spline isn't hanging out of the frame. This is another one of those "details" that AS should be handling...doing a better job, a more quality job the first time. Yes I still have the same warped piece of plexiglass, but "that's part of the charm!!!"
Well here we are 4-5 years later and I had reason to take the stone guard off a couple of weeks ago. I got mad enough to do something about the same ugly spline hanging out and the warped plexiglass that makes up the stone guard. Made contact with a local sign dealer and had a new 3/8 inch custom piece of Lexan (clear) installed. At 3/8's inch thick it's so flush there is no need for the original or aftermarket spline. Before installing I plan on running a thin bead of clear caulk around both sides to keep the dirt and water out. The Lexan is not supposed to dish from the heat of the sun and now that the spline is gone, no drooping or hanging. When it warms up enough to clean and apply the Vulkam behind the hinge and re-install, I'll take pictures and post. Think Warm Thoughts!!!
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Old 03-09-2015, 06:20 PM   #14
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New Lexan Stone Guard Installed

Well here we are 4-5 years later and I had reason to take the stone guard off a couple of weeks ago. I got mad enough to do something about the same ugly spline hanging out and the warped plexiglass that makes up the stone guard. Made contact with a local sign dealer and had a new 3/8 inch custom piece of Lexan (clear) installed. At 3/8's inch thick it's so flush there is no need for the original or aftermarket spline. Before installing I plan on running a thin bead of clear caulk around both sides to keep the dirt and water out. The Lexan is not supposed to dish from the heat of the sun and now that the spline is gone, no drooping or hanging. When it warms up enough to clean and apply the Vulkam behind the hinge and re-install, I'll take pictures and post. Think Warm Thoughts!!!

The sign shop that did this work for me drilled out the rivets, cleaned the frame up, cut the new pane to fit and then installed new rivets for me. I hope this takes care of the problem and that I don't have to revisit this task or expense again anytime soon.
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