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Old 08-13-2012, 12:30 PM   #1
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Airstream on Discovery Channel's "How It's Made"

Did anyone else catch this episode?

It was the first time I got a good look at what is exactly behind those walls.

For a relatively short segment, they did spend an innordinate amount of time showing what is done to "waterproof" the shell beyond that predictable rain tunnel test. (You'd swear someone on the show has been reading this forum.)
A lot of a sealing and caulking is done before that inner skin is applied, apparently.

The rest of the segment was devoted to the installation of the shower stall (not the most interesting part of an Airstream - thought that was rather unsual), a few seconds showing the gas range and sink, and that was it. The trailer highlighted was an Ocean Breeze - 27 footer, I believe.

Anyway, the workers at JC did appear to be diligent, and I don't think it was just because the cameras were rolling, so good on them for that.

I believe the entire episode can be downloaded. If not now, later.

Discovery Channel - How It's Made S12E10 Airstream Trailers - Horseradish - Industrial Steam Boilers - Deodorant (2008)
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Old 08-13-2012, 02:38 PM   #2
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It's going to repeat Tuesday morning (14 Aug) at 02:30 Central on Discovery Science HD (and I assume the standard def version of the channel.)
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Old 08-13-2012, 06:55 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Fly at Night View Post
Did anyone else catch this episode? For a relatively short segment, they did spend an innordinate amount of time showing what is done to "waterproof" the shell beyond that predictable rain tunnel test. (You'd swear someone on the show has been reading this forum.) A lot of a sealing and caulking is done before that inner skin is applied, apparently.
I did see that show. Thought all the time showing the goop being spread across the inner seams was a tad much and the stated amount of time the new trailer sits in the water test was excessive. Under that degree of pressure, I'd think any leak would be very apparent very quickly.

Wonder why ~ I've never seen any discussion here that it might be a very good idea for Airstream to include (or substitute?) a simple (interior) pressure leak test. I may just now know all there is about leak testing, but it sure is impressive to discover how many leaks I had in a newer model Airstream . Your thoughts??
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Old 08-13-2012, 07:14 PM   #4
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Boring! The subject could have been done much better. MUCH BETTER!
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Old 08-13-2012, 07:26 PM   #5
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That video is several years old. It was reported here in another thread that some of the manufacturing processes have changed.
Ex: CNC machines are being used for panel and interior furniture making. They are no longer cutting out window openings with chop saws. The holes are now cut during the panel forming process.
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Old 08-13-2012, 07:43 PM   #6
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I've seen this on Discovery several times, and always sit through the whole show to watch it (usually at end after watching all of the stuff being 'made'), but I still like this video on Youtube.com. Vintage Airstream Classic Motorhome Factory Production 1980's - YouTube Maybe it's because I'm an Airstream Classic Motorhome owner......
Thanks, Derek
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:04 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Fly at Night View Post
Did anyone else catch this episode?

It was the first time I got a good look at what is exactly behind those walls.
...

Anyway, the workers at JC did appear to be diligent, and I don't think it was just because the cameras were rolling, so good on them for that.
...
I did see that. If I recall, it was on well after midnight here, so I also tried to wake up my wife to share the experience. Somehow, she wasn't as enthusiastic as I was.

Been to Jackson Center several times, and the workers have always appeared to be very diligent. I have also met some of the employees outside of the factory setting (you can't throw a rock in JC without hitting someone who either works at Airstream, has worked there, or is a relative of someone who still works there). Most were long term employees, and are proud of their work.

Stop me if you've heard this :
On the last trip, a lady approached us at a nearby campground (about 12 miles from JC) and asked us how we liked our Airstream. Of course we told her we loved it, and that we have two of them. I asked her why she seemed relieved when I told her we loved our Airstream. She said, "That's not the answer I always get".

As it turns out, she and her husband were employees of Airstream, and were staying at the campground in their Airstream. She asked us what year our AS was. When I told her it was an 05, she told me exactly which part she installed on our Airstream. I'm happy to report that she did a great job.
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitsend View Post
...

Wonder why ~ I've never seen any discussion here that it might be a very good idea for Airstream to include (or substitute?) a simple (interior) pressure leak test. I may just now know all there is about leak testing, but it sure is impressive to discover how many leaks I had in a newer model Airstream . Your thoughts??

Great question. I think a pressure test, in addition to the leak test would go a long way in helping them get a handle on some of the quality control issues they've had with leaks. This is rather basic technology. Pressure testing is offered at many RV repair facilities, and has come a long way from the leaf blower and duct tape method. It would seem to be a logical addition to the assembly line.
Perhaps... they could put it just after the Shop-Vacs, and just before the leak test (so they can rinse off the soapy water). Wait! ... for efficiency, maybe they can use the exhaust from all the Shop-Vacs to do the pressure test. There, I just economically solved the construction debris, and the leak problem.

On the last trip to JC, while we were getting brake work, I noticed there was an AS sitting just outside of the service bays. Apparently, it had just had some leaks repaired, because they were sprinkling water on it with what looked like a horizontal pipe with a series off irrigation sprayer nozzles attached atop of some kind of telescoping stand, hooked up to a garden hose (I should have taken a picture). It was kind of a mini leak test. Believe me, it was a pale comparison to some of the torrential rain storms our trailers really experience.
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Old 08-19-2012, 03:10 PM   #9
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Found the episode~!
How It`s Made - S12 E10 (Airstream Trailers, Horseradish, Industrial Steam Boilers, Deodorant) - YouTube
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