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Old 08-23-2015, 06:28 PM   #1
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chemical Sensitivity and Airstream

I am new to the forum and am interested in buying a Flying Cloud so that I can travel and have a base for living--would love to hit all the National Parks over the next 10 or 15 years. However, I have a bunch of chemical sensitivities and was wondering if anybody has had any experience with the "outgasing of a new one" (how to, how long may it take,... ) or if it might be better to get an old one,...
any thoughts would be greatly appreciated,
thank you,
Sophie
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Old 08-23-2015, 07:29 PM   #2
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Sorry I can't answer your question - but you live in Texas which may be lucky. I know it's a big state but there are two "Airstream only" campgrounds, and several dealers. Best advice - visit your nearest dealer or one of the campgrounds and look for new or nearly new units, then ask to sit inside for an hour or two.

I can tell you that I've been to RV shows where I was nearly knocked out by some of the foul stuff emanating from particle board, plastic and heaven only knows what else was stinking up those things. I can't say Airstream would be perfect, but it should be less offensive if nothing else. Look at the "internationals" because they bare aluminum inside walls. Flying Clouds have "mouse fur" and Classics - well they have less vinyl than they used to but still have some.

Good luck and happy hunting.
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Old 08-23-2015, 07:54 PM   #3
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I recently looked at several brand new just arrived at dealer Airstreams. All had noticeable outgassing. Airstream is promoting that are building their trailers using more "green" content, what ever that is supposed to mean.
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Old 08-23-2015, 08:02 PM   #4
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I am sensitive to formaldahydes and preservatives.

I agree with Paula that most SOB camper are an athsma attacking in the making as compared to an airstream.

For me the noticable off gassing in the airstream is very minimal. It has real plywood as opposed to MDF or particleboard as some other brands have.

And the all aluminum interior skins are inert. There are adhesives used to attach the Formica and flooring. And sealants. But all in all a very satisfactory product.

Newer models use green recycled insulation, and are probably mold and vermin free. I would imagine getting new or nearly new would give the most probable trouble free experience.

Would recommend always ventilating with the fantastic fans entering to change out the air.
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Old 08-23-2015, 08:22 PM   #5
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I get headaches from outgassing and can't stand the smell.

We bought our 22FB new and the fumes were significant. A couple of steps we took.

1. Wipe down everything and pull all the bedding out to wash in hot water

2. Let the airstream bake in the Kansas summer sun vs. dropping it back in our enclosed storage. Kept the fan running and all the windows + the door open for days (sort of a pain to keep track of the weather but it was worth it IMHO)

3. Wipe everything again....

We've got about 6k miles on our camper and while there's a little lingering odor, it doesn't give me a headache and it's not that bad (wife and kids can't smell anything at all).

I think any new camper you buy is going to have this.. Hopefully the Green cert means something vs. just being marketing.

I would say after my first 1K of ownership it was relatively odor free..
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Old 08-23-2015, 08:26 PM   #6
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My sensitivities have gotten much worse over the years, I think it's because so many more chemicals are used.

We bought our new 2012 Flying Cloud (all have aluminum interior walls) the next day after it was delivered from the factory and slept in it within a week. No chemical issues at all, was very pleased. There are other brands and motorhomes I can barely walk into when new.

Here's why. The aluminum interior wall material is coated by Alcoa company before delivery to Airstream. The partitions and cabinets are all plywood and wood solids with formica type surfaces, aged before Airstream used them. The floors are plywood with vinyl surfaces, same same. Our upholstery was Ultraleather, a simulated leather over foam cushions. No problem. The assembly is with aluminum rivets and word screws inside, not adhesives.

So there isn't much fresh chemical in there, if any. Most of the components have little off-gassing even when new. But go inside, close the door and sit awhile. See how it does.
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Old 08-23-2015, 08:36 PM   #7
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Be careful of which toilet chemical you use. Some have a lot of formaldehyde.
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Old 08-23-2015, 09:06 PM   #8
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Good reminder on the toilet chemicals. We found one that came in a powder that was fragrance free/unscented (not sure which)

It came in a tub with a scoop. Don't know the brand, but we got at our dealer when picking up the trailer.
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Old 08-23-2015, 10:59 PM   #9
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Sophie.. Wish you luck!

I would think initially there will be a lot of 'out gassing'. But, FAR less than an SOB!

Do you have access to an ozone generator? It can help a lot...I have used one to deodorize a classA that had a mouse problem..

Question... Can you get a Doctor 's order / prescription to buy an Airstream?
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Old 08-24-2015, 05:38 AM   #10
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We had virtually no smell in our Pete when new. We spent 8 nights aboard 2 days after delivery with no complaints.

In fact Airstreams were the only new coach we looked at that didn't smell like glue and chemicals and cheap carpet whenever we were looking, and it didn't matter what the price point was.

Particle board, very poor quality fabrics and glue-lam walls all out gas badly and for a long time. Come on aboard, you'll most likely love the Airstream!


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Old 08-24-2015, 06:07 AM   #11
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We just took delivery on a new 2015 Flying Cloud (our sixth Airstream). It was manufactured last Fall/Winter, so had sat on the dealer's lot for a few months. My wife is very sensitive to odors and did not notice any the first nights in our new Airstream.

BTW -- The new Flying Cloud's interior skin is bare aluminum. The "mouse fur" is no longer used, so two potential sources of odors eliminated (glue and fuzzy fabric). Many of the later Airstreams have vinyl flooring, so no carpet odor.

my suggestion -- Pick a warm day and call ahead to the dealer and tell him you would like to see an Airstream (your choice on size and model) and request that he leave it closed until you arrive. That should give you an idea of manufacturing odors in the trailer. I like the earlier idea of sitting in the unit for an hour or so to get your body's reaction. You also might want to consider a left over 2015 that has sat on the lot a few months.
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Old 08-24-2015, 11:47 AM   #12
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People with chemical sensitivity react differently to various chemicals so it will be an individual investigation. We purchased a 2010 FC new after checking out Airstreams on dealers' lots. Others have noted aluminum walls and vinyl flooring which reduce out gassing. We have fabric cushions which have never been a problem. No scented products are allowed in the Airstream. It is easy to find non scented/ non out gassing if you look. White vinegar cleans everything! Our Airstream was fine from factory but we left it open to air out for a couple of months before hitting the road. My sensitivities may be different than yours but mine are serious enough that we moved to the NM high desert and built a "clean" house so that I could survive. We bought the FC so that we could travel safely. Hope your triggers will be compatible with an Airstream because they are wonderful.
Charlene
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Old 08-24-2015, 11:51 AM   #13
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I recently spent 5 weeks traveling in a my new 2016 25'FC. We all react differently To chemicals in RVs so don't take my experience with my 2016 AS as you may not have the same pleasant experience. I have severe damage to my respiratory system with chronic Bronchitis and Asthma. I am so sensitive to certain formaldehyde additives, glues and insulation I am kind of like the canary the miners use in mines. Basically, I can't take even the least amount of it with out a very bad reaction. I had an Excella Classic for 20 years and had no issues but then my chronic condition had not fully been an issue. Before ordering my 2016 AS I went to visit many 5th wheel dealers and the manufacturing plants of the 5th wheels. Honestly, I 'personally' only found one 5th wheel I could stay in, DRV. In the end I went to a known and trusted RV, Airstream. I have had zero issues or indication of a problem. Given I did this for 5 weeks and no issues, over time these chemicals subside. I know AS strives to maintain as low as a formaldehyde level as possible but I also think their use of the Ecobat insulation helps too. Good luck!
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Old 08-24-2015, 02:14 PM   #14
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Since you're new, it's probably a good idea to state that SOB means "some other brand". That confused me for a while
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