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Old 06-25-2014, 05:24 PM   #127
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I guess I'm not paying attention. I've noticed that new Airstreams use fewer visible rivets and I'm sure there's been a discussion on the forum about it, but what are they using to attach the panels in place of rivets?

I gotta admit I like the look of the old ones with more rivets. There's something cool about rivets.

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Whatever floats your boat. If you get a newer one, add rivets.....I mean water entry points.
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Old 06-25-2014, 05:35 PM   #128
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Well first of all I hope we're all here fussing over our Airstreams and yakking about them 20 years from now.

Rich says that after 15K miles things are looking good from a sealed and dry point of view with his trailer. Which leads to a thought I have had about old vs. new trailers, which might be especially true given his point about Airstreams being largely hand built.

Perhaps one of the reasons that we perceive older trailers as being solid is that they have been sorted over years of use. I know that when I acquire a Porsche, even one in top condition, there is a period of sorting to get things just right. I think those of us who acquire trailers from POs like Rich who have maintained them to a high level benefit from a lengthy sorting process.

As I continue to dig into my trailer I see many signs of previous owners doing things right. These trailers are well built and tend to last and over time I think it's possible to improve things faster than they deteriorate when you work at it. Older trailers with those kinds of POs are jewels.

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Old 06-25-2014, 05:37 PM   #129
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The numerous rivets being close set like they are on the old Airstreams IS going to add strength to the individual joints and the overall structure of the trailer.




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Old 06-25-2014, 05:38 PM   #130
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Whatever floats your boat. If you get a newer one, add rivets.....I mean water entry points.
As you might have surmised by now, no plans to buy a newer one.

I wasn't being disingenuous with my question about attaching panels. Do they simply use fewer rivets or do they use supplementary methods as well?

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Old 06-25-2014, 05:52 PM   #131
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When I was at the plant a couple years ago, they were using a double sided tape of some sort between the outer skin and ribs. I never got a definitive answer whether this was a structural adhesive tape or a thermal break or both. If I ever suspected an under reinforced area, I'd add rivets. But to date, I have no reason to do so.
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Old 06-25-2014, 06:24 PM   #132
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Each rivet is a chance for filiform corrosion and potential for a water leak.
Most likely Airstream has recognized this design problem and is working on a combination of adhesive and fewer rivets.

I know people have been complaining about the so called fancy gadgets added to new Airstreams but the truth is, Airstream is probably more stubborn than any RV manufacturer at not making changes for change sake.

Almost every new RV by Newmar, Winnebago, Prevost, etc. are loaded with ten times the gadgetry of an Airstream. Most have gone all electric with networked control so that everything is tied to your tablet. Awnings, toilets, cooktops, ovens, leveling systems, on demand water heaters, etc are all power and use latest tech for control.

By most standards the Airstream brand is a dinosaur. So it seems to me that all RV owners are pushing for updates not just new Airstream owners.

I also don't believe you can stereotype a group of people based on age. Everyone is different and everyone has had different experiences in their life. To say that all young people are to blame for quality issues and timesaving gadgets because they lack common sense is as false as saying that all people over age 65 are a whining worthless bunch who only put a drain on the economy, with their union pensions and healthcare costs driving the US into bankruptcy.
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Old 06-25-2014, 07:54 PM   #133
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Each rivet is a chance for filiform corrosion and potential for a water leak.
Most likely Airstream has recognized this design problem and is working on a combination of adhesive and fewer rivets.

I know people have been complaining about the so called fancy gadgets added to new Airstreams but the truth is, Airstream is probably more stubborn than any RV manufacturer at not making changes for change sake.

Almost every new RV by Newmar, Winnebago, Prevost, etc. are loaded with ten times the gadgetry of an Airstream. Most have gone all electric with networked control so that everything is tied to your tablet. Awnings, toilets, cooktops, ovens, leveling systems, on demand water heaters, etc are all power and use latest tech for control.

By most standards the Airstream brand is a dinosaur. So it seems to me that all RV owners are pushing for updates not just new Airstream owners.

I also don't believe you can stereotype a group of people based on age. Everyone is different and everyone has had different experiences in their life. To say that all young people are to blame for quality issues and timesaving gadgets because they lack common sense is as false as saying that all people over age 65 are a whining worthless bunch who only put a drain on the economy, with their union pensions and healthcare costs driving the US into bankruptcy.
After reading a ton of outlandish comments on this tread, finally one that makes some sense! - Thanks you
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Old 06-25-2014, 08:28 PM   #134
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Well, ya know, that dual hole is for the young kids who want to shotgun a beer without any effort at all with carrying a pointy can opener and punching their own hole in the bottom of the can. What kind of lazy generation have we produced anyway!
This one.
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Old 06-25-2014, 08:31 PM   #135
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Why would anyone want to control their toilet via tablet?

Begging the pardon of those who disagree, so much of the automated stuff in a thirty foot footprint is ridiculous.

This stuff is going to be a headache to keep functional no matter what.

I built my trailer very simple on purpose, arguably more simple even than it was new in 72.

We are gadget addicted in this nation. Tending after after needless bells and whistles steals joy.

Frankly I think the new AS trailers are damn cool. I like their looks and appointments, I don't like things like electric toilets and computer thermostats that need rebooting etc.


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Old 06-25-2014, 09:00 PM   #136
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Some people just like gadgets.
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:10 PM   #137
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And I respect that,,,, but we should all as ourselves why.

Saying this I rejected the notion of getting a smart phone for a long time. Now I have one and I use it too much.... Like right now....

I guess one of my points is that I read many of the posts on here about the failure of the fancy electronics on top of devices that didn't used to be computerized,,, but seemed by most accounts to have been more reliable.

I am going to say, the first time I couldn't flush my dookie down an electric toilet I would be seriously reconsidering the need for such a device.

Who remembers twenty years ago needing to read an operators manual to set a thermostat? Who remembers twenty years ago having to reboot their thermostat to re-establish communications with the air conditioner?

Who remembers when a refrigerator would run for twenty years never needing to be repaired?

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Old 06-25-2014, 10:33 PM   #138
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On the subject of rivets...in what year did AS start to reduce rivets?


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Who remembers when a refrigerator would run for twenty years never needing to be repaired?
When we sold our previous house in Sept. 2012, we left our large freezer for the new owners. It took four guys to bring it down the basement stairs in 1976. It probably weighed 300 lbs and had insulated walls about 4" thick. We bought it used in 1976, and I suspect it was at least 10 years old (possibly much older) at the time. It was still running fine in 2012 (at least 46 years) and probably still is. Trouble is, it was a noisy energy hog compared to the flimsy stuff today. Our current freezer is about 2/3 the size, uses a fraction of the electricity, is almost dead quiet, and probably weights all of 70 lbs. Better technology, but cheaply built! I wonder how long it will last?
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:38 PM   #139
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Who remembers twenty years ago needing to read an operators manual to set a thermostat? Who remembers twenty years ago having to reboot their thermostat to re-establish communications with the air conditioner?

Who remembers when a refrigerator would run for twenty years never needing to be repaired?

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Problem is, it is hard to find standard (non-computerized) gear. Because the demand has driven most manufacturers to re-tool, and re-design so that all they supply to the RV industry are computerized devices.

Have you ever tried to find a new land-line phone that doesn't plug-in with a wall wart, has a rotary dial, and no micro-chips? Record players, 8-track tapes, incandescent light bulbs, freon based a/c, etc. all are going or gone.

I guess I am not as frustrated with computerized gadgets. I haven't found them to be too complicated or unreliable. But I usually don't buy the cheap ones with poor interfaces either.

I do agree that some things really aren't improved with computer interfaces and specialized sensors. Most of it is for luxury and not necessity.

Part of the demand for these convenience items is that more and more customers are not just looking for a camper for weekend excursions but instead are going full time and want all the luxuries of a modern home.
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Old 06-26-2014, 12:00 AM   #140
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Newer is Not Necessarily an Upgrade

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f427/dometic-penguin-2-install-tech-question-121595.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f446/toilet-suddenly-stopped-working-121494.html

These are pretty current threads.

I agree that a lot of the reason that things get complicated is because that is what the customer wants. I guess my point of posting on this thread is to incite thinking as to WHY customers want such things.

I am not being adversarial, I am just presenting a point of view that is becoming more rare.

Considering the title of this thread I think it is OK to express my frustration with complexity that I consider to be for no good reason. (The problem is not exclusive to Airstreams, it is widespread).

I would like for someone to tell me why a computer thermostat that talks to an air conditioner is better than a thermostat that simply tells the air conditioner what to do. Same with an electric toilet.

Are these two new devices REALLY improvements? If so how so?


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