Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-18-2015, 09:28 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
Puyallup , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 6
I find myself confused

This is my first post. I visit this forum and read and dream about being out there with you. At this time my husband and I own a 1994 34 Pace Arrow but I have a special longing for an Airstream.

We are retired but have custody of our twin granddaughters who are 15 years old. We are very busy with running them around and for the next three years they will be our focus. Our dreams of rving are going to remain just a dream until they are settled in college. A weekend now and then will be about it for now.

Originally Posted by BigButtUgly View Post
Airstreams are leakers, not good the farther north you go during colder temperatures, have complex systems which tie you to campgrounds, and are stupidly expensive.

The above quote from another thread really concerns me. If Airstreams are leakers then maybe I should not entertain this obsession with owning one. We just recently paid $8000 for a new roof for our motorhome and if we were to buy a new or nearly new Airstream I don't want to have to worry about this.

I cant even imagine how this could be. Airstream has been around for years and years. For the price I would expect more.

I'm very interested in your comments.

yorkiebeebs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2015, 09:42 PM   #2
Rivet Master
1995 25' Excella
xxxxx , xxxxxx
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 1,399
It's a fact. Many leak. With diligent monitoring and some upkeep, you can get years of good service...if you choose to do nothing, at least the only thing that will rot is the floor unlike most other brands where you have to worry about the walls, ceiling, and floors.

CRH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2015, 09:59 PM   #3
Rivet Master
2016 30' International
Scottsdale , Arizona
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 723
Washington State.... umm hmm. Lived there for over a decade. Rain, rain, rain, rain, rain.

Store the AS under cover so it stays dry when you're not traveling and exercise vigilant maintenance and upkeep to keep the leaks at bay. You can't let this get away from you, though, stay on it.

Same advice I would give no matter what RV you buy.
DHart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2015, 10:02 PM   #4
Rivet Master
dkottum's Avatar
2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7,716
We check ours periodically for leaks with a moisture detection meter probing the interior perimeter floor of our Airstream. It was delivered with no leaks, we have found four that developed with use in four years. Fixed them easily by caulking around awning bracket, tightening loose door hinge screw, tightening a window latch.

About $30 for the moisture detection meter, 20 minutes once a quarter to use it, a tube of caulking, wrench and a screwdriver. Long way from your $8,000 roof repair. It's part of routine maintenance that any equipment needs.

Any post that mentions an Airstream (or any product) problem is an opportunity to vigorously unload grievances, over and over.
Doug and Cheryl
2012 FC RB, Michelin 16, ProPride 1400
2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4 Ecodiesel 3.92 axles

The Truth is More Important Than the Facts
dkottum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2015, 10:06 PM   #5
3 Rivet Member
1968 24' Tradewind
1967 17' Caravel
Northborough , Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 136
Everything leaks ...

There is no such thing as a leak-proof RV. Some maintenance is always required, especially where aluminum meets something else like plastic.
Modern RV vents are plastic and the transition between aluminum and plastic need an annual check and scrape off the old sealant and replace every 2 years to do your best to keep leaks out. The aluminum will transfer heat in/out depending upon season so yes they may be a bit more lossy... but they don't chalk, crack, or rust. Fiberglass, steel, and canvass have their own issues.
Aircraft aluminum is superior in many ways... just not in every way.

Older Airstreams had aluminum vents (Herr) and fewer leaking problems because of it. Thousands of rivet holes can be problematic if stressed incorrectly... not usual but possible. Don't use acidic cleaning and stripping products... ever. Same for aluminum wheels on cars... acid is one of Aluminum's weaknesses.

cwbiii is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2015, 10:58 PM   #6
2 Rivet Member
Denver , Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 62
There are many trade-offs in life - I am sure you know this as you appear to be someone experienced in living. I was once told that I should not have a skylight as they will eventually leak. That is, for certain, a guarantee - as, eventually everything leaks. I have a roof over the rest of my house, and if it is not properly maintained (replaced or repaired) it will leak as it will not stand forever. The other option is not to not have a roof - I need a roof either way. I did not remove the skylight in my home, but did diligently examine the house for signs of a leak. If you want an Airstream, and have the funds, I say get one - they are nice.
ukulele2010 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2015, 11:41 PM   #7
Len and Jeanne
Len n Jeanne's Avatar
2005 16' International CCD
2015 19' Flying Cloud
Creston Valley , British Columbia
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,552
We had some leakage with our first AS, but a couple of calking jobs by the AS mechanic later, and problem solved.

A huge eye-opener while we were in the RV shop was seeing Some Other Brand with its entire backside exterior removed, due to black mold that moisture had caused in the insulation. There's worse to get to.
Len n Jeanne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2015, 11:42 PM   #8
Rivet Master
1974 31' Sovereign
1979 23' Safari
Wayland , New York
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,624
Images: 3
"For the price I would expect more."

Yep! True for far to many things these days!

Of note I had a while to kill one day last week and happened to be near SOB (starts with w )dealer, thought I'd just look for a little while for ideas. While the sales guy showed me around one of the trailers I noticed a good sized puddle on the counter near the stove, told him "she's got a leak", it had rained earlier.
Squares without a thousand rivets are easier to seal though.

Yep, they're all prone to leaks.

Stupidly expensive, yep by about 30% IMHO. But they are much nicer than SOB trailers. But the difference in niceness vs cost don't equate.

"I can’t even imagine how this could be. Airstream has been around for years and years. For the price I would expect more."
Makes two of us. It's managment and pride in craftsmanship. Could write a 100 pages on this.

Complex systems that tie you to campgrounds.
Same systems as any other SOB trailer. No more tied to a CG than any other trailer. Ground clearance can be a bit more limiting though.
HiJoeSilver is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2015, 06:01 AM   #9
Rivet Master
Currently Looking...
Gainesville , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 6,794
Blog Entries: 2
Most AS are designed for at least limited boondocking, no need to be tied to a cg. Choose your model carefully for your needs, there are many variables. Good luck.
xrvr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2015, 11:34 AM   #10
4 Rivet Member
dcasr's Avatar

1990 29' Excella
Stone Mountain , Georgia
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 264
Between now and when you might be ready to buy learn as much about AS first hand. I had a SOB for 32 yrs, and it's roof leaked if I didn't reseal it every third year...and finally rotted out. Bought a 1990 AS in 2009, and it needed some floor work from previous leaks that had been fixed. Had one persistent leak near curb side front window by small table. Finally had JC (Jackson Center) reseal that whole area. Cost about $350 and now 0 leaks even in monsoon. Money well spent. When you arrive at hit-the-road time, make your decision then, and enjoy your granddaughters while you have them for now.

WBCCI 2456 Georgia Unit 32
1990 Excella 29' Centramatics
2016 GMC Sierra Crew Cab 2500 HD 4x4
6.6L Duramax + Allison, 3.73 axles
dcasr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2015, 02:23 PM   #11
3 Rivet Member
1978 31' Excella 500
Barrie , Ontario
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 186
Yorkiebeebs. I have a 1978 31' international Airstream and I have had only one small leak at a vent a couple of years ago, nothing before or since and my trailer lives outside in Ontario Canada.
Bev1940 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2015, 04:09 PM   #12
2 Rivet Member
2002 31' Classic
Houston , Texas
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 40
The question is, who is it that's confused.....


I didn't check to see what the date of your posting was, but this is at the bottom of the VERY first round of comments.

I've had four (4) ASs, a '72 Ambassador, a '74, an '82 Excella, and a 2002 Classic. The only one that DIDN'T leak (so far) is the 2002. The last owner was the second owner, my wife and I are the third. The trailer was originally bought new here in Houston. It was bought by it's #2 owner in about 2006-2008, and taken to NW Kentucky. I do know that #2 took fantastic care of it, including storing it inside a NICE, large metal building. He kept the temperature in the building above freezing all winter, and checked the seams (ALL the seams) every year, and (probably, just in case) recaulked it on a regular schedule. When I got it, the caulking was in very good shape all around. I've had it for about a year and a half, and the caulking will be redone this winter. And, it's kept covered.

And, the reason I got the first AS was the massive ceiling leak that ruined my first trailer (non-Airstream) with a VERY slow roof leak in a place that was not installed properly by the factory. It was totaled by the insurance company.

I don't know the history of the "other" thread that influenced you, so the basis of the opinions of that writer may or may not be sound. From the tone of what you took away from his/her postings, that writer seemed to me to be very concrete, and not particularly fair.

Since every person in this thread who said that 1) every trailer leaks. and that 2) coaches leak also, and that 3) houses leak also, are right down the pike, and their experiences track with mine, and about 6-8 close relatives who ALL are Airstreamers over the last FOUR decades (except one and he's coming around because he's put out with his non-Airstream's record of persistent leaks), I have to say that he/she is somewhat "biased".

Dunno the history of the writer in the "other" thread, but I'm strongly convinced that he/she may have been lax in seam maintenance.......

I wonder if he/she owns an airplane?
KMarshall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2015, 06:41 PM   #13
Rivet Master
1996 25' Excella
Tillsonburg , Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 859
Neither of my Airstreams ever leaked ('89 and 96 Excella) Our SOB (can't say the name) leaked badly enough to rot.

We specifically bought Airstream because the units are better built than most slab sided Fiberglas on plywood SOB's that can't recover from a leak and the ensuing rot in the wood.

We live in Southern Ontario so it is not as cold as say Minnesota but -20 degrees F has never had any effect on the three Airstreams I have had use or ownership in

Cold is a red herring!

Some leak most do not. Those that do do not rot away....witness the numerous vintage units still in service 30 -60 years later ...Not many SOBs can claim that!
JCWDCW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2015, 07:25 PM   #14
1 Rivet Member
Currently Looking...
Meyersdale , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 8
No leaks in an sob

True Story: In 1994 We bought a new Nomad 27ft with bunk beds and queen in front. Towed it to Maine and back, then parked it in a campground outside for the next 12 years. Never, had a leak...anywere. That trailer was quality from Day One. Traded it in in 2006 for a larger model with a slide-out. (Prowler 31 foot). Guess what? shower leak, broken hinges on two doors, awning was hard to operate.

My point? Quality of new products is dismal at best (and I do not care what the brand is). Recently in a 2015 new plastic hinges on a small side table, a molding strip in the bedroom was unevenly installed, loose vent covers above my head. Poor design, there was a vent on the floor ( I assume it was for heat) when I entered the coach I stepped on it. Should never put vents where you walk. As my Latin teacher taught us.."let the buyer beware" Get educated. Talk to people that have AS and other brands. Good Luck.

dstoner is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Trying to find Grandpa's Old Airstream...can I find it with Serial Number?? Jakescheid Our Community 13 11-22-2011 11:01 AM
Allow myself to introduce...Myself. -Austin Powers Greenblazer Member Introductions 17 01-13-2009 08:45 PM
Please Allow me to Introduce Myself aluminator Off Topic Forum 26 05-13-2005 11:16 AM
Should I install AC myself? Bryanhu Furnaces, Heaters, Fireplaces & Air Conditioning 3 02-22-2004 11:26 AM
Just introcing myself PatCrusse 1970-79 Tradewind 10 12-23-2002 06:47 AM

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:36 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.