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Old 12-28-2016, 05:43 PM   #1
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Hickory door damage

This is my first Airstream. A 2012 classic with solid hickory woodwork. Now, just a few months into winter storage about half of the cupboard door floating panels have swollen and split the door frames. This despite the use of multiple Drizair chemical dehumidifiers. Prior owners must have had power/heat during the winter months. I'm not so fortunate. Has anyone else experienced this? What is the easiest way to repair?
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Old 12-28-2016, 06:01 PM   #2
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As a very skilled cabinetmaker I would need to see pictures to see the extent of the damage.

As an expat of B.C (Saltspring Island) myself, I do have experience with B.C's weather; while the interior can experience high levels of heat and humidity the coast tends to be cooler and less humid, unless raining.

I'm not 100% familiar with AS cabinet door construction but I'm having a little trouble believing the interior panels swelled up to break the miters, as most interior panels fabricated today are a veneer over an inert substrate, such as MDF or a type of Luan; only direct exposure to moisture (sitting in water) will swell them up. Also Hickory along with Beech and White Oak are an extremely tough wood that doesn't allow for as much water absorption, which also has the downfall of not as much glue contact in the miters; but AS should have used Dominoes or hardwood biscuits?

I'm inclined to believe that the cracking is due to DEHUMIDIFICATION, ie the wood dried out due to your extensive use of dehumidifiers; see link below. The humidity in the trailer should have been at say 10%-15% to maintain the moisture content in the wood.

They live just above you in Comox, (so does my sister).

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ed-146543.html

Send me pictures or post them and I'll try and find out all I can about AS door manufacturing.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 12-28-2016, 06:54 PM   #3
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You can see by my forum name I know something about cabinets. Plus we just happened to have had a classic with the hickory in the past. Those panels are real wood not veneer. Real wood moves with temperature and humidity fluctuations. If this is a 2012 classic and this problem just happened then it's not a cabinet construction problem. Something has caused thes door panels to swell. Usually it's humidity. When we build door panels we make them "floating" so there is room for the panels to swell some without breaking the door frames.

We usually see problems in really wet conditions after very dry. Remember, when you turn the heat on it will dry the wood out. Then air conditioner will make it humid.

Wood shrinks when dry and swells when wet.

Wood needs 6-12% moisture content to mill correctly. When they kiln dry wood they add this back in to stabilize. We use a moisture meter to check our wood before milling.
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Old 12-28-2016, 11:57 PM   #4
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Strange twist to this saga.
Chris air owns the trailer originally reported on your referenced thread by Vagabond.
Seems the problem was not fixed, just sold with no declaration of the issues. 😡
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Old 12-29-2016, 04:35 AM   #5
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Too dry, you've sucked the moisture out of the wood. Strange.
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Old 12-29-2016, 04:26 PM   #6
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Hickory Door Damage

Here are the pictures. Airstream what the hell are you doing?? Floating panels have been used for decades! I just cannot believe that in 2012 Airstream would build cabinetry suitable only to be located in a house kitchen. It's an RV!! There is no excuse for this, in what purports to be a quality product. Clearly, the floating panels are too wide; have swollen during 2 months of west coast storage (despite adquate ventilation and chemical dehumidification) and "popped" and split the corner joints of the doors.
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Old 12-29-2016, 04:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avionstream View Post
Too dry, you've sucked the moisture out of the wood. Strange.
Definitely not the issue!
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Old 12-30-2016, 06:03 PM   #8
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