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Old 12-16-2011, 02:35 PM   #1
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$1200 Aircraft Sealant on New AS?

We signed our names to the purchase contract. The next question out of the dealer's mouth was, "Would you like to buy the $1200 aircraft sealant to protect your trailer from filiform corrosion?"

I laughed nervously thinking he was kidding. I mean, when you spend 60 grand for a new trailer, you somewhat expect the manufacturer has built it to last, right? Wrong.

I decided that shelling out $1200 bucks without some consideration would be a bad idea. Now, I am doing the consideration.

The claim is that this will protect the trailer for 5 years from this corrosion, but it is NOT guaranteed to do so. Yer kiddin', right? Wrong again. No guarantee.

If I were a betting man, I'd bet that it is a $10 can of some goop that is probably already $9 over priced. Anyone know what this is? Has any other new buyer been offered this? Has anyone spent the $1200?

I was really excited to have a new AS. Now however, I am feeling a bit taken in by the manufacturer. If you build a product where aluminum is the primary material, wouldn't you take every conceivable measure to do it properly?

I'm not sure why I didn't read this section before purchasing. Maybe I didn't want to know? Maybe I let my enthusiasm cloud my decision? I wish I had the opposite feeling - - that I have just bought the greatest thing going, made by brilliant engineers.
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:51 PM   #2
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Just use a regular over the counter wax or sealer same as you would use on a car that had clearcoat paint. Do it yourself and save a bundle.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:01 PM   #3
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I thought new Airstreams came already clearcoated direct from the factory. If so why would it need additional highpriced "sealant" applied. Sounds like typical new car sales tactics. I can see using a good wax with UV protection or a product like "303 Products Aerospace Protectant". I use in on my jeep and boats.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:06 PM   #4
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Tell him to drop dead! I'd even go buy the Airstream somewhere else for that kind of treatment (trying to sell you that.)
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:08 PM   #5
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Sorry, it is a trailer, a very good one at that, but not perfect, and not a work of art, or an engineering masterpiece. It is not an aircraft built to withstand every conceivable force or thing that may happen to it. It is a very good trailer though, by most standards.

But seams do leak, floors do get water in and on them and rot out, and corrosion does happen.

And no, I doubt that a $1200 "protection" is going to buy you anything that will significantly change things.

BTW, I ripped a new one to my Toyota dealer who tried to sell me a $2700 extended warrantee package to my Camry Hybrid. I told them, "You just sold me a $30k car and now are telling me it is a piece of crap and will need lots of expensive service. You sure know how to make your customers happy with their purchase".

Airstreams are virtually handmade, to very good, but not great standards and with very good, but not great engineering, and with very good, but not great materials. Everything has a cost and a limit to what can be sold at a price that anyone would pay. Airstreams are not immune to those pressures. For a million bucks though, boy, could it be something! Grin.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:09 PM   #6
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Too bad you're not a betting man, because you would have won this one. Unfortunately, it appears to be true that the newer Airstreams are prone to filiform corrosion. It is the consequence of using coated aluminum, to the best of my understanding. I think that the stuff that they use (I can't remember the name of it at the moment) is available for less than $100 for enough to treat an entire Airstream. I, too, was offered this option, but I chose to decline, especially since it appears that the filiform corrosion needs sufficiently high humidity to develop, and I live in the desert. Considering where you live, it may be more of an issue for you, but filiform seems to be fairly simple to treat and stop if you are vigilant.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:10 PM   #7
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wow, $1200 and no guarantee!

that $1200 would buy an awful lot of

Walbernize RV Super Seal or

Griots Garage Paint Sealant

and probably a good bit of labor to apply them once or twice a year, too!

I'd respectfully decline your dealer's offer....
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:15 PM   #8
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Where to start.

Filiform corrosion is a huge deal in aviation and is by no means a solved problem. It is certainly not a problem that lends itself to "miracle products" because the inherent nature of filiform is that it attacks the surface of the aluminum where coatings bond. The aviation industry by and large uses Dupont Imron and similar catalyzed polyurethane products. Though these are excellent coatings I doubt if they are any better at preventing filiform than whatever Airstream is using.

Airstreams are clearcoated at the factory. To apply a product (were such a thing to exist) that prevents filiform, would require removal of the existing clearcoat. This is a labor intensive process that would cost far more than $1200.

Your dealer is trying to rip you off.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:29 PM   #9
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I would agree with the previous posts as far as applying some $1200 miracle with no guarantee. But, having experienced accelerated filiform corrosion while living a mile from the beach in Ft. Lauderdale, I would suggest that you pay more attention to washing off the salt air residue and keeping your unit waxed.
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Old 12-16-2011, 04:35 PM   #10
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Sealing any exposed edges will help. The corrosion starts at the edges where panels have been cut and there are uncoated exposed edges. The corrosion starts any place there is no clear coat and it eats its way between the aluminum and the coating.

Perry
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Old 12-16-2011, 04:51 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
Sealing any exposed edges will help. The corrosion starts at the edges where panels have been cut and there are uncoated exposed edges. The corrosion starts any place there is no clear coat and it eats its way between the aluminum and the coating.

Perry
Bingo. They aren't clear coated at the factory (JC), the coating comes on the full sized sheets of aluminum they buy.
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:03 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
Sealing any exposed edges will help. The corrosion starts at the edges where panels have been cut and there are uncoated exposed edges. The corrosion starts any place there is no clear coat and it eats its way between the aluminum and the coating.
Would the same go for edges of all of the rivet holes?

I would also take the $1200 savings and buy some Acryl-R or your favorite sealant of choice to make sure all of those seams are well sealed.

Tom
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:40 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by redwoodguy View Post
We signed our names to the purchase contract. The next question out of the dealer's mouth was, "Would you like to buy the $1200 aircraft sealant to protect your trailer from filiform corrosion?"

I laughed nervously thinking he was kidding. I mean, when you spend 60 grand for a new trailer, you somewhat expect the manufacturer has built it to last, right? Wrong.

I decided that shelling out $1200 bucks without some consideration would be a bad idea. Now, I am doing the consideration.

The claim is that this will protect the trailer for 5 years from this corrosion, but it is NOT guaranteed to do so. Yer kiddin', right? Wrong again. No guarantee.

If I were a betting man, I'd bet that it is a $10 can of some goop that is probably already $9 over priced. Anyone know what this is? Has any other new buyer been offered this? Has anyone spent the $1200?

I was really excited to have a new AS. Now however, I am feeling a bit taken in by the manufacturer. If you build a product where aluminum is the primary material, wouldn't you take every conceivable measure to do it properly?

I'm not sure why I didn't read this section before purchasing. Maybe I didn't want to know? Maybe I let my enthusiasm cloud my decision? I wish I had the opposite feeling - - that I have just bought the greatest thing going, made by brilliant engineers.
I believe this is no different than the add-ons that car dealers try to hang you with. I think peace of mind could be had by contacting AS in Jackson Center. I am sure they would tell you to wash the AS a couple of times a year and to Walbernize it a couple of times a year. They would probably also tell you to hose the AS off after a trip to the beach.

They would probably be interested in knowing about a dealer trying to sell you on this notion of $1200 for a treatment to a new AS.

There are many threads on the forum about filiform. I have some filiform on my 10 year old Safari that i have treated with Corrosion X from AS. I would not let it keep you from enjoying your new AS to the maximum.
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:41 PM   #14
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Doesn't it also happen whenever you have a defect in said clearcoat, like a small scrape, chip, dent, etc?
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