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Old 10-27-2013, 06:33 PM   #1
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Helena , Central Montana
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 36
Corrision and Floor Issues

I recently joined the forum for myself and wife and we have a couple of new 2014 units that we like. As always I really get into researching my prospective buys and now I have the following questions. I've seen a number of posts that pertain to newer units developing corrosion under the clear coat. I also have been reading some posts about leak issues causing floor damage. Am I overacting or is there an amount of concern that I should be aware. We really like the AS and have been through the small fiberglass camper, the 5th wheel and a Toy Hauler that we presently have for sale. What say you fine folks?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:42 PM   #2
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Battle Lake , Minnesota
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It's metal, some of the cut edges, rivets, and fittings not finished and exposed to weather. If they get a combination road or coastline salt, and moisture, they will corrode. There are various protective products that can mitigate it. It's manageable, but takes regular inspections and treatment of affected areas.

All RV's probably leak, and most people don't know it until there's damage. If it leaks it will most probably get to the plywood subfloor (under the vinyl), and left unattended may eventually rot the wood. Again, regular inspections (probing the floor with a moisture detection meter) and prompt repair will mitigate the problem, if there is one.

None of this is difficult, in fact very easy. I inspect ours quarterly and treat for corrosion; have found four very minor leaks (awning lower mount rivets, entrance door loose hinge screw, and improperly snugged rear window opening latches). No corrosion at all after two years, about 14 months travel and living in it.

Watch some new dealer trailers they may have been already exposed to corrosive conditions without maintenance, if they have been on the lot for some time. Then you're already behind the curve.
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Old 10-28-2013, 06:42 AM   #3
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Helena , Central Montana
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Thanks for the info and I'll take what you said to heart.

We don't have road salt around here but we do get something just as bad if not worse at times. It's called potassium chloride that they spray on the roads as a de-icer, especially on bridge decks and that has done some serious damage to undercarriages and ruined many a nice polished aluminum wheel and I can attest to that. It also makes surfaces very slick in the spring when it builds up and then add a little rain.

I guess we should also find a good cover for the winter time because snow can get deep around here at times. Forget trying to find an indoor storage facility because they don't exist in my area.
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Old 10-28-2013, 06:43 AM   #4
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While I was camping in FL the other day I got to see some of the corrosion on the newer Airstreams first hand and these were not Airstreams that lived near the ocean. There is something about the clear coat on the newer Airstreams that make them MUCH more susceptible to corrosion. The newer airstreams use coated panels and then these panels are cut to shape and holes drilled in the etc. Any place there is a hole in the clear coat there will be corrosion and it will creep under the clear coat and make a white mess. I looked at one trailer (2007 model) very closely and there was white stuff under all the rivet heads and any place there was an exposed edge of metal. The older trailers were assembled with bare metal and then clear coated. I suppose that if you bought a new trailer and had it clear coated the old way then your corrosion problems would go away. My 81 model trailer had much less corrosion than the 2007 trailer I looked at. The guy was from NC and he kept it outside and waxed it yearly. If you keep the seems sealed or oiled then you might be able to avoid the problem for a while. In places where my clear coat is damaged, I have some of the filiform corrosion that you see on the newer Airstreams.

Perry
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Old 10-28-2013, 07:11 AM   #5
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Lake Charles , Louisiana
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If you purchase a newer AS you are going to have to deal with the corrosion issue at sometime or another. To what level will depend on how much you keep an eye on it. We've gone through the excitment of purchasing what we considered our "retirment" trailer, only to start having to deal with filiform a year or so later. I'm an aircraft owner so I immediately knew what it was. I also knew what to do. I wax my trailer once a year. About twice a year I give it a good looking over. As I find the corrosion I have a bottle cap holding some Corrosion-X and a Q-tip. A quick scratch of the area with a fingernail and a dab of Corrosion-X. That does the trick. I know I'll be dinged here for not being more professional here but I don't go through the trouble of preping the surface and applying a dap of clear-coating. Now I'm much different when it comes to my cars and aircraft. I'll spend much more time on them. My dad has a 90 model AS which is dinged in various places and you cannot find one spot of corrosion in it. Dad is 84 and he will wash it when he pulls it out to go camping and it pretty much sits until the next time. AS just does not build them like the use to. But in saying that.... we love our AS. And I kind of look at it like I do the wife and I. Just because you have a few issues doesn't mean you get discarded :-) Purchase and enjoy the thrills of camping in an AS............. steve
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Old 10-28-2013, 08:57 AM   #6
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Helena , Central Montana
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Thanks again for some more informative information.

The wife also mentioned that we live in a very low humidity state. We'll have humidity levels like 10 to 15% at times. This may help the corrosion issue also.
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Old 11-13-2013, 05:10 PM   #7
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Could someone pleas share the proper procedure for fixing the corrosion? I've heard several different procedures, most of which involve sanding or scraping off the corrosion, using the product CorrosionX and reapplying clear coat. A step-by-step procedure would be very helpful.
Thanks so much.
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Old 11-13-2013, 06:12 PM   #8
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There is no 'proper' procedure, just 'your' procedure.

Many options presented here. Read and be enlightened. Develop a regimen that works best for you and follow it obsessively.

You've got a good start by reason of your awareness.

Bob
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