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-   -   Corrosion problems with new Airstreams (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f142/corrosion-problems-with-new-airstreams-31743.html)

Silvertwinkie 04-16-2007 07:04 PM

Corrosion problems with new Airstreams
 
Who out there has a newer Airstream (say from 2001 through the current model year) that has the dreaded white spider veins AKA: form fill corrosion?

I know that Dmac had this and I do recall others saying they their shells had issues. I'm wondering now how widespread this issue may be. IMHO, this issue started on my trailer back in spring of 2005. The factory replaced all 4 of my rims and both cast alum tail lights. Not only has the corrosion come back on all 4 rims and both cast alum tail lights, but it now appears to be all over the body on both the exterior alum skins and the outside door trims.

A conversation with support in Jackson Center suggested that I lightly sand down the spots and apply clear fingernail polish to it. Do you know how bad my Safari would look after that given all the locations where this is??!!?? :rolleyes: Asked what they felt was causing this because others also have seen this and I got no response.

You can view pictures here:

Airstream Issue

If there are a number of us out there, perhaps it's time we grouped together. I can't believe a $50k RV (and in some cases, a heck of a lot more) is doing this at only 1.5 years old and is 10x worse now a 3.5 years old. Anyone know how to start a class action if there are enough of us??

Silvertwinkie 04-16-2007 07:09 PM

BTW, my unit is stored indoors in a somewhat climate controlled garage (barely gets colder than 38 degrees). It is outside maybe 3-4 weeks a season. It is washed and Walbernized 2x a year and all bug and bird droppings are quickly washed off. The Safari does not sit on bare concrete and has not been abused in any way FWIW.

CanoeStream 04-16-2007 07:21 PM

I feel your pain, Eric. It's bad when I feel it is inevitable with my unit. It's got to be daunting to apply clearcoat to complex shapes with seams, rivets, pebble dings, etc. I know Jack Canavera has mentioned his solution several times: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f4/c...tml#post263493

Proved it to myself by using the search -- There are many hits if you search on the word filiform.

The question is open folks...

TomW 04-16-2007 07:27 PM

I think you're doomed anyway
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
BTW, my unit is stored indoors in a somewhat climate controlled garage (barely gets colder than 38 degrees). It is outside maybe 3-4 weeks a season. It is washed and Walbernized 2x a year and all bug and bird droppings are quickly washed off. The Safari does not sit on bare concrete and has not been abused in any way ...

With what you have outlined, the only thing left to do is to vacuu-seal your Airstream in a giant seal-a-meal bag between trips.

FWIW, filliform corrosion, in my opinion, starts from assembly stresses at the factory. Once ALCOA's clearcoat is breached, the clock is ticking. Unless oxygen can be kept away from the affected areas, corrosion will result.

The vintage way of spraying clearcoat on everything after assembly appears to last longer. In all fairness, this method had its drawbacks though. :rolleyes:

Tom

SafariSS 04-16-2007 08:22 PM

It is a bummer...
 
I had the filiform corrosion on my taillights and door hinges, entry handle as well as many areas of the "beltline" area. The dealer has a procedure for the recoating of the cast pieces (and they look fantastic might I add). As far as the miscellaneous rivets pieces and beltline areas the warranty fix was to add the classic lines extruded aluminum beltline trim to my Safari. It looks better than I thought.

I have a new "white worm" coming out from under the ventline vent cover that I am going to try to use the clear coat touch up on.

How far will the corrosion go, that is my concern.

Silvertwinkie 04-16-2007 08:40 PM

The exp with my unit suggests that it will become more and more widespread all over the unit. I too have it on the beltline as you do. Problem is adding that trim piece only masks the issue. Eventually you may find that the white lines grow beyond that cover up piece.

I owned a 03 Bambi and it didn't have this issue, but this '04 is now everywhere...started small like yours and it's clearly expanded.

I really am serious about a class action lawsuit thing if there are enough of us. If it's just a handful of us, I suppose I'd caulk it up to hey, it happens, but if there are dozens upon dozens, upon dozens of us out there with the same problem, we shouldn't be silent and we should just take this on the chin because then, clearly there is a problem with either the manufac process or, a problem with the finish. I don't know, but since Airstream built the thing, it would seem like they own the problem.

2airishuman 04-16-2007 08:41 PM

classic belt line and acryl-r for the majority of your photos...

perhaps your dealer will do this as a jesture of good will :lol: :rofl: :ermm: :closedeye

i can well imagine the nicks that happened at assembly and along the alcoa panel edge...

but wheels AND tail lights x 2 ?

so that's alloy products from 3 separate vendors AND the factory?

well that suggests to me more than an inherent airstream issue....

there are several threads here on the belt line corrosion and repair.

'dozens upon dozens upon dozens'... that isn't my impression, at least on the forums.

you aren't ocean coastal....

so i'd wonder about user care, acid exposure, salts...

water, soaps, toppings and other things we do in the name of love...

sorry

2air'

and i still feel the basic warranty (shell, frame, floor, running gear, windows) should be 5 years at least.

Silvertwinkie 04-16-2007 08:47 PM

Everywhere my Safari has been, one of 2 cars have been there with it. Acid rain, etc would have shown up on either tow vehicle. No salt. Trailer was even delivered before it snowed here, though it did see snow after it was built and delvered to the dealer in Ohio. After that, the unit has not seen snow and has been kept indoors all winter, only coming out long after the salt is gone.

Cleaning consists of Armor All Car Wash and Walbernize 2x a year. The same stuff I used on my 03 Bambi for about a year.

If it is just a handful of luck folks like me, then there isn't much of a case, but if enough folks come out and say, yea, I have that, then maybe, just maybe there is a case here.

Silvertwinkie 04-16-2007 08:51 PM

What I am thinking if this is not as widespread, then I may either trade this unit for another brand (being my second POS Airstream, I think I won't go for a 3rd-- unless it's preowned) or, I may just have the Safari sanded down and cleared by that place in Ohio (the two brothers). I know it won't be shiney like the vintage units, but it will correct the skin issues I'm seeing.

lewster 04-16-2007 08:58 PM

I've got it too, on my '06 19CCD. I noticed it at delivery, but the dealer said they couldn't do anything about it. It was just one more reason that the CCD never saw the dealer after delivery.

I have replaced BOTH tali light bezels, and have a noticeable white area on the entry door grab handle.

When I spoke to Airstream tech support, they said that the handle is mounted to the outer skin from the inside and can't be removed for polishing unless you remove an inner panel.......AIN'T HAPPNIN'!!!

Anyway, I think I might have a solution to this problem. I was speaking to the marine tech guys where I rent my office space and was describing my corrosion problem. One looked at the other and the BOTH said.......ANODES!

They thought that by adding a sacrificial anode that went thru the skin into the steel frame, that it might stop the corrosion......same as it does on boats.

I'm going to try one on the bottom of the trailer in a couple of weeks after I clear up and re-polish any areas I find, and we'll see what happens. Worth a shot anyway!:D

2airishuman 04-16-2007 09:06 PM

well plastic-coating to replace the acrylic clear coat will be...

6 grand $ plus....

and guaranteed to peel in 3-5 years...

IF you're gonna paint it,

paint it with a/s silver ala big al's trailer.

this is a very durable paint and very aluminum looking...

have you talked with the dealer about beltline trim? that would make a huge difference for way less coin...

i would not sand anything, but use an appropriate eraser and then wipe with one of the many aluminium anticorrosives.

then apply a better wax, like a poly sealant many of us swear by!

no this isn't permanent but the anti corrosion aluminum sprays are effective with each application....

cheers
2air'

Silvertwinkie 04-16-2007 09:11 PM

Good info. I have yet to fully investigate all the options. I did talk about the beltline trim, but in the end, it's most likely a bit better band aid and won't solve the remaining issues on the rest of the outside body panels.

We'll see. Right now, after 2 Airstreams, both with issues, I've just about had it and to be honest, I am thinking about just trading in this POS for something else. I'm not thinking about another Airstream either, but cooler heads will prevail when it comes time to make the final call, after all the avenues have been fully explored. I was at one point thinking of trading this for a 31' Dinette (a 2006) that hopefully would be showing any issue by now, but then I said to myself, $55k to risk this again? Who knows. Lots of variables right now to mull over......

Tinsel Loaf 04-16-2007 09:33 PM

The corrosion is rampant on our unit. It appears to be a faulty product and nothing is being done about it except Airstream continues producing the same product. A class action may bring an end to this. When people ask what it is I tell them and it is a problem with Airstream and their skin. Don't buy one.

tpi 04-16-2007 10:01 PM

I'll check mine and post the results. Off the top of my head, the corrossion issues I've seen are the license plate light (requires frequent waxing), the Safari emblems seem to need frequent applications of WD40 to slow corrosion, the top of the rear bumper displays some deterioration, the wheel well mouldings have some crazing or checking, the clearance light screws are rusty. I have not noticed the corrosion lines starting at the rivets or edges of the aluminum panels. My trailer has been parked outside for over two years about 14 miles from ocean. I have only used this trailer for 2 nights of on the beach camping. The only wax product I've used on it is Meguiar's Quick Detail (except for rubbing out scuff marks).

Speaking of anodes, etc. the trailer is powered off electrically when not in use.

If I start to see this issue on mine, my first thought will be to try some kind of penetrating oil such as the aerospace protectant or WD40 on the nearby rivet. Not to improve the damage but to attempt to stop the progress of the corrosion.

Silvertwinkie 04-16-2007 11:01 PM

Ok, so we have 4 possibly 5 so far. I know Dmac has the issue too, so we then have 5, possibly 6. Anyone else, please add your name to the list. :)

GlenCoombe 04-17-2007 06:34 AM

Lewster, I'm not sure where these little tidbits come from but I seem to remember from my marine days that multiple smaller anodes will do a better job than one big one. Again this is coming from memory and mine is good...just short for the most part.
Twinkie, shutting off the electric will not stop galvanic corrosion. This is caused by dissimilar metal contact.
I like the idea of a couple of sacrificial anodes in out of the way spots.

lewster 04-17-2007 06:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tpi
I'll check mine and post the results. Off the top of my head, the corrossion issues I've seen are the license plate light (requires frequent waxing), the Safari emblems seem to need frequent applications of WD40 to slow corrosion, the top of the rear bumper displays some deterioration, the wheel well mouldings have some crazing or checking, the clearance light screws are rusty. I have not noticed the corrosion lines starting at the rivets or edges of the aluminum panels. My trailer has been parked outside for over two years about 14 miles from ocean. I have only used this trailer for 2 nights of on the beach camping. The only wax product I've used on it is Meguiar's Quick Detail (except for rubbing out scuff marks).

Speaking of anodes, etc. the trailer is powered off electrically when not in use.

If I start to see this issue on mine, my first thought will be to try some kind of penetrating oil such as the aerospace protectant or WD40 on the nearby rivet. Not to improve the damage but to attempt to stop the progress of the corrosion.

I have a 'fix' for your rusty marker lights, and it is NOT expensive either!!:D

wbrownrr 04-17-2007 09:25 AM

These posts pretty much describe the filiform corrosion on our 2002 CCD. Door handle and hinges.... light bezels, wheels, and spots of filiform around various rivits. I've tried ACF-50, which does slow the corrosion temporarily, and plan to try spot treatment with either clear nail polish or automotive clear coat, after thoroughly cleaning the areas before application.

wasafari 04-17-2007 09:28 AM

corrosion
 
Hey Eric,
throw my name in the hat, my tail light bezels look like they have been bolted on the side of an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, wheels look two toned, and the beltline looks like it has grey measles. hard to accept on a 3 year old unit, it actually started right after we picked it up in Yakima.So I guess it's Sierra Tango Bravo time eh?

Jack

dmac 04-17-2007 10:35 AM

Corrosion
 
1 Attachment(s)
If you search the archives you will find my story of corrosion within a year of purchasing my then-new 2003 Safari. The factory replaced a number of items, including wheels and some skins. Trim items don't bother me, it's the skin that I am concerned about. Now I have significant filiform skin corrosion below my tail lights (either I didn't notice it before I had the work done by Airstream, or it is "new", I don't know which). So far the problem is cosmetic, and the trailer will probably functionally last a lifetime (stored indoors). But it is very bothersome to spend so much on a product and have it look so ugly!

I have a question... does anyone have a trailer that is 2-6 years old that does NOT have filiform corrosion of the skin itself? See my photo below for a filiform skin corrosion example...

crazylev 04-17-2007 11:08 AM

Eric.

I plan on taking some pictures of our 04 ccd:

The door grab handle (the thing just to the right of the door) and door hinges are deterirating. You can actually see the layer of clearcoat peeling off.

There are parts of the awning arm that are pitted out and white-ish. PArts that were anodized seem to be holding up, like the arms. Obviously, these are not made by AS, and could be an issue for Zip Dee to deal with.

Our tail-light housings, which I think are either chrome-platted plastic or polished alluminum show drastic pitting and are no longer shinny. This is also the case for the license plate light. The wheels seem to be holding up.

As far as the skin goes, that seems to be in OK shape except around a few exterior rivets. Interestingly, the couple of dings in the front that came with the AS when it brand new are holding up.

Here's some background:

Our AS is stored about 33 miles from any major city, so air pollution is not as big a factor. Our unit is outside, but under a giant awning. The storage facility does not go near my unit with salt. In fact I invite them to plow snow near our unit to create a protective baricade in mid-winter.

I know I'm bummed about this, too. Stainless steel is much more impervious to the elements, but then the weight of the AS would be completely unreasonable.

I'm wondering if sanding or trying to rid the units of this corrosion is the best thing, since the actual corosion of aluminum is a very thin coating of "ruby". If there is a metalurgist amongst us, maybe you could clarify.

Eric- I also PM'ed you a while back, but maybe you were totally wigged out about your AS to deal with anyone. Let me know if you got it. I sent it the same day the forums took on the name change, so anything could ahve happened.

Jonathan

Silvertwinkie 04-17-2007 11:25 AM

So, in less than 24 hours, we're up to 9 folks...... anyone else have corrosion issues?

You can see what it looks like here:

Airstream Issue

2airishuman 04-17-2007 12:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by crazylev
The door grab handle (the thing just to the right of the door) and door hinges are deterirating. You can actually see the layer of clearcoat peeling off.

Our tail-light housings, which I think are either chrome-platted plastic or polished alluminum show drastic pitting and are no longer shinny. This is also the case for the license plate light. The wheels seem to be holding up.

As far as the skin goes, that seems to be in OK shape except around a few exterior rivets.

while the skin (from alcoa) is clear coated...

the rivets, hinges, windows, grab handles and most other aluminum trim is NOT...

the classic style window frames do get a coating of the traditional plastic coat...

i think.

this plastic coat comes off easily :blink: with basic solvents. mine was gone during the first good detailing...

buck rivets are bare naked. they all are

on bare alum surfaces like the handles and window trim, abrasion or polish and alum polish/coating is a good choice.

the filiform corrosion may seem like a 'ruby coating' but the problem is, the leading edges...

which continue to migrate UNDER the good clearcoat....

like frosty white worms creeping along under the shine....

no doubt this can affect resale value...

and it ain't pretty.

cheers
2air'

Silvertwinkie 04-17-2007 03:37 PM

Looking at DMacs images, a fair amount of his corrosion is not at the edge or rivet. It's smack dab in the middle of the finished skin. :blink:

tpi 04-17-2007 06:53 PM

I checked mine thoroughly today. There were 4- 1/4" to 1/3" spots of corrosion. Two originating from rivets, and two on panel seams, but I still suspect originated from the nearby rivets. Thanks for the heads up, knowing about the problem should help me control it.

I strongly suspect all the trailers are equally prone to this problem, why some are better than others are due to local environmental conditions. The rivet holes represent a breach in the clear plasticoat which may allow corrosion to start. Road dings are another mode of moisture entry.

Basically I think living in a relatively dry climate has spared me from major problems. While it isn't desert dry (15-20 inches rain during winter/spring and some fog), many days are dry in winter and nearly all days in the summer are dry.

One of my preventive measures may be to spray ACF50 along the rivet lines prior to Meguiars Quick Detail or waxing (unless anyone can tell me why this would be a bad idea).

On mine the rate of deterioration is slow enough and I think I can slow it further to not present much of a problem down the line. I'm more interested in the general presentability of the trailer, not minute flaws or details. I plan on keeping it 10-15 years. If it is a little weathered at the end of that time, at least it has company...so am I.

WayWard Wind 04-17-2007 07:44 PM

Count me in
 
Our rear lights are REALLY bad. Looks like they'll soon be gone. Always stored under cover ( except when being used ) never near a salt source.
Best,

SilverRanger 04-17-2007 08:16 PM

There is some corrosion on the grab handle by the door, and a few very small spots, mainly on the edges of some panels of my 05. Not too unsightly... yet. It's been kept outside about 7 miles from the coast.

2airishuman 04-17-2007 08:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tpi
One of my preventive measures may be to spray ACF50 along the rivet lines
prior to Meguiars Quick Detail or waxing (unless anyone can tell me why this would be a bad idea).

hi tpi...

haven't tried acf 50 yet, or 'corrosion x'

i do use boeshield t-9. really a good product read about it...

Rust Prevention Rust Protection Metal Penetrating Lubrication Anti Corrosives Multi Purpose Metal Protection BOESHIELD T-9

my understanding is the acf remains as a liquid and doesn't last long relative to t-9 or others that dry to a film.

the msds indicates acf is non toxic and basically a proprietary mix of petrol and syn distilates...

what effect it has on the silkaflex inside our shells is unclear.

as it penetrates the rivets, holes and seems...

here is a little light reading for ya....

http://dspace.dsto.defence.gov.au/ds...pounds+for.pdf

absolutely the best approach is to cover the rivet heads/ edges and seal out the air, salts and water that attack...

so adding the beltline and acryl-r IS an a more complete approach...

regardless of the cpc applied i'd wax the skin FIRST and then apply the corrosion protection by dabbing or blotting the specific spots...

in fact that is sequence i use now.

lewster...

my understanding is that sacrifical cathodes/anodes only work in marine environments or on submerged (soil or water) materials...

for example INSIDE a pipeline the effect is only regional like cell tower coverage....

but i don't believe copper bracelets work either...

cheers
2air'

mswartz 04-17-2007 09:21 PM

filiform corrosion
 
It is an unfortunate consequence of having this type of coated aluminum. See my post on my experience with filiform corrosion on my 2001 Bambi, along with technical research on the process and a remedy I use to halt the corrosion path:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f381...on-23287.html?

I've applied the ACF-50 Corrosion Block product for several years now and can tell you that it works to halt the progress. I've photographically inventoried every visible rivet on the outside of my Bambi to track corrosion progress, and have had minimal growth on existing, treated tracks, but I apply ACS-50 every six months. And I live right near the ocean. I've also applied ACF-50 on every rivet. I cannot say it prevents filiform corrosion, but I have only seen a few spots that have developed since I started.

2air is right, sacrificial anodes will not work to prevent such corrosion. Read about how filifrom corrosion progresses and you will understand why.

tpi 04-17-2007 09:33 PM

Thanks for the suggestions and reading 2air. I ordered Boeshield.

Mswartz, I have a few cans of ACF-50 and your report sounds promising. Are you treating areas not affected by corrosion as preventive measure? Such as rivet lines?

mswartz 04-17-2007 09:35 PM

tpi,
Sorry, I was editing my post while you sent yours. I have applied ACF-50 when dry and when I'd expect some time to penetrate crevices in the sun.

TIMEMACHINE 04-17-2007 09:53 PM

Yep..we got it
 
Although I wish I didn't have it, it seems to be a problem with more than just a few of us. My tailights were replaced within the first six months and my grab handle next to the entry door is past saving. I also have numerous incursions of the same malady along the beltlines as well as the window trim.
As for my wheels, I wondered what that stuff was after looking close during a wash job.

My unit just had its first birthday. Add my name to the list. I will certainly try to get this solved or at least noted on my sixth warranty excursion to the dealer/service center. I love our Airstream, but I am not impressed with the quality control from the factory.

John

2airishuman 04-17-2007 09:56 PM

hi marshall

the link to the paper you supplied is no longer valid...

did you copy the paper?

also with usage of acs 50...

have you noticed any sealant decay?

thanks.

i always feel itchy,

after viewing your photos...

cheers
2air'

tn2 04-17-2007 10:03 PM

Corrosion
 
Just a thought....
You see this kind of corrosion in boats. They do use an anode metal but sometimes even that does not seem to prevent it.....in those cases it often is strongly believed to be an improperly grounded electrical system....and that is most often caused by persons adding things to the electrical system....such as radios....that are not grounded properly. It can get so bad that alert bullitins have been issued alerting swimmer that they could be electrocuted by swimming close to an improperly grounded boat.
Just a thought.

mswartz 04-17-2007 10:06 PM

2air:

The Journal of Corrosion Science and Engineering paper is on the site:

JCSE Volume 2 Paper 36

I've also saved this as a .pdf so if you cannot access it let me know and I'll send it to you.

The purpose of the research article was to discuss research findings on the progress of filiform corrosion on coated aluminum panels, comparing corrosion progress between humid and immersed conditions. One conclusion was that the filiform corrosion was enhanced by humid conditions, but did not significantly progress if the sample was completely immersed.

for tn2: Note that if the sample (ie, the trailer skin) is not immersed with the proposed anode in the fluid, then an anode cannot do any good.

re: sealant degradation; so far I've not noticed any softening or degradation of the sealant on my Bambi from use of ACF-50, going on several years now.

Thanks for the note on the link.

tpi 04-17-2007 10:11 PM

John (Timemachine) how close to the ocean is your trailer stored? Even though I'm in OC I'm at about 1200 ft. and the climate is more like Hemet than HB.

ROBERTSUNRUS 04-17-2007 11:04 PM

I have a question... does anyone have a trailer that is 2-6 years old that does NOT have filiform corrosion of the skin itself? See my photo below for a filiform skin corrosion example...[/quote]

:) Hi, I bought my trailer [actually picked it up Sept. 7th 2004] two and one half years ago. I have had some corrosion on the tail light plastic bezels and a rusty license light cover, but not aluminum problems. I'm probably ten miles from the beach/ocean and my trailer has spent it's entire life parked outside, next to my house, on my driveway. I only do a real wash job just before a trip; So I have hosed it down several times [in cool shaded weather] and only gave it about five real wash jobs. I have never yet waxed my trailer. Also my trailer came with the Classic belt moulding and rubber framed windows, if that could make any difference.
:) I wrote this because you asked; And maybe something that I did or didn't do made the difference. For now my trailer is fine. [fingers crossed] One last note: I don't leave my trailer plugged in to shore power while in storage [parked] and I use a portable battery charger without disconnecting my batteries about once a month.

SilverCabin 04-17-2007 11:18 PM

We have it on our 2007
 
Add us to the list. I sent a detailed photo survey to Airstream a few weeks ago. I heard from them today that Customer Service is reviewing it. I've attached a copy of the email. The photos are small in this copy but not in the email--not sure why.

Randy

TIMEMACHINE 04-18-2007 12:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tpi
John (Timemachine) how close to the ocean is your trailer stored? Even though I'm in OC I'm at about 1200 ft. and the climate is more like Hemet than HB.

We are 300 yards from PCH. It has spent half of its short life on the road or at service centers far more inland, 20 to 80 miles from the coast at a minimum. I would say we have done a fairly good job of washing it on a regular basis with the same specialized mild detergents I use on our black cars. The AS was bought inland and exibited the corrosion even at the original pick up. At the time I thought that the areas I first discovered were just "tape residue" still present after a very poor PDI. I guess I was wrong.

John

DFord79 04-18-2007 12:47 AM

These issue are a more than just a bit disturbing since We are currently in the middle of dealing for a new AS. I ask both dealers that I am working with for a purchase of an AS 25 FB and both of course said they don't see these kinds of corrisive issues you guys are talking about. However,,,,a third dealer I talked to who is no longer an AS dealer told me one of the reasons they don't sell AS anymore is the quality controll issues you guys are talking about. The only way AS will fix it is to put pressure on them. My puchase has been put on hold. We need to rethink AS as a retirement option. As much as I hate to think about it We are going to start shopping for SOB. It's really got me bummed out since this is all I have been thinking for a number of years. Sorry for the rant and raveing but when you want something special...and you find out its maybe NOT so special...well,,,you know what I mean. Thank you for listening.

TIMEMACHINE 04-18-2007 01:08 AM

Don't give up..
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DFord79
These issue are a more than just a bit disturbing since We are currently in the middle of dealing for a new AS. I ask both dealers that I am working with for a purchase of an AS 25 FB and both of course said they don't see these kinds of corrisive issues you guys are talking about. However,,,,a third dealer I talked to who is no longer an AS dealer told me one of the reasons they don't sell AS anymore is the quality controll issues you guys are talking about. The only way AS will fix it is to put pressure on them. My puchase has been put on hold. We need to rethink AS as a retirement option. As much as I hate to think about it We are going to start shopping for SOB. It's really got me bummed out since this is all I have been thinking for a number of years. Sorry for the rant and raveing but when you want something special...and you find out its maybe NOT so special...well,,,you know what I mean. Thank you for listening.

Although we have some issues, we would do it again. Don't give up the ship yet. There is nothing on wheels that is without some problem or defect. I still believe that an Airstream is worth the price if you use it. If it just sits and it is used once every couple of months, well, then it is not worth the price, but that is true with anything. In a year we have traveled to 25 states and about 15,000 miles. Oceans, mountains, deserts, lakes, rivers, big cities, little towns, no towns. (and we are not retired) And doing it in an Airstream just feels good. And the people you will meet, especially other Airstreamers, well, I can't say enough about how many wonderful friends we have made. It is not about money and any Airstream is no more perfect than you or I.

Please don't let our drive for perfection ruin your dream, we are addicted to aluminum and that's OK, even with a few irritating defects.

John

2airishuman 04-18-2007 02:17 AM

hi john

what month did your unit travel to the dealer...

just thinking about the first dose of midwest road salt/sand and rocky mnt sand followed by more salt...

the na, mg and ca salts are leave chloride on the skin..

cheers
2air'

tpi 04-18-2007 07:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 2airishuman
hi john

what month did your unit travel to the dealer...

just thinking about the first dose of midwest road salt/sand and rocky mnt sand followed by more salt...

the na, mg and ca salts are leave chloride on the skin..

cheers
2air'

Mine travelled in Oct 04 and I bought it Dec 04. Robertsaurus unit also travelled during the summer/fall. Both of ours have below average problems, although Lakewood has a little more humidity than where I live. Both of ours went through a very wet winter the first year we had it. Mine has never seen salted roads since I've owned it. In fact the bottom of the frame and trailer was delivered in very clean condition.

CanoeStream 04-18-2007 08:50 AM

A high interest topic! Leave town for a day and look how many posts! I have yet to get out to my Safari but will take a look. We had a snow fog last week and they went crazy with road salt again. Hoping for a good rainstorm now but it looks dry for the coming week.

Wonder how many of the respondents to Twink's survey store inside vs. out?

Sacrificial anodes are immersed in marine applications and have electrical continuity with the surface being protected. Sure, the entire Airstream could electrocute with miswired shore power. Unresolved issues -- could low electrolytic voltages lack oomph at a distance from a zinc and face other capacitance/conduction issues between panels? I haven't heard convincing arguments that sacrificial anodes work for our babies. See http://www.airforums.com/forums/f4/w...air-19735.html. And http://www.airforums.com/forums/f381...ion-23287.html.

Silvertwinkie 04-18-2007 08:55 AM

So far then I see 14 or 15 units. Some barely a year old. This has got to be a problem. If this was not a problem 15 folks would not all be saying the exact same thing.

Anyone else out there that has a newer Aistream that has anything looking like any of the white spider marks anywhere on their Airstream (see Airstream Issue or see the picture in post #20), please post and let us know.

To me, it's just plain not acceptable for a unit of 5 years or less to look this way. I do expect some wear and tear and aging, but this is totally unacceptable. Those of you who have a warranty still, please share with us the solution that Airstream proposes. To date, the current fix is to add sheets of alum over the existing, replace parts that can be replaced or cover up the issue with trim pieces. The issue though is that it comes back no matter what they do. There is a root cause that is NOT being addressed.

One or two units, I could accept (like Airstream said, they are hand built), but nearly 15 units, all having the exact same issues, posted less than 36 hours ago?? Folks, (if the average Airstream price paid was $50k) this represents about $750,000 in hardware that has a MAJOR flaw in it, just from what's been posted to date! It seems to me, and mind you, I'm no expert here, but, it seems to me that whatever is causing this to happen, is not being addressed since we have units from 2002 all the way through 2007 reporting here-- that's 6 model years! Me, I seem to have been blown off so far, but I'm not giving up. How Airstream responds to folks with this issue (both in and out of warranty given how common this appears to be) will determine if I ever own another Airstream again.

Please continue to post if you haven't already and see the issue happening to your Airstream!

Thanks!

wbrownrr 04-18-2007 09:03 AM

I posted earlier (#18) and have always assumed that since my AS is out of warranty I have no options with Airstream. Perhaps I'm wrong. Please keep me in this loop. Interestingly, my CCD was two years old when we bought it and it had lived mainly in the desert, in very dry conditions. I assumed the sunlight/heat were the cause of the filiform corrosion, but the consensus here seems to be that humidity is the problem. This leaves me scratching my head a bit.

48_liner 04-18-2007 09:06 AM

I've been following along with great interest as our trailer has massive amounts of powdery decay at the seams. This past weekend we started removing exterior panels for replacement. The only original aluminum will be the 13 panel caps and the top center section. Until last night. Using a wire brush to knock the powdery corrosion off the top panel it looked like an awful lot of damage along the seam line. I pushed on the thin spots with my finger and I pushed clear through. Looks like I need to order another 4 x 12 sheet for the top.

The end caps are still in good condition with the exception of a bullet hole in one of the sections. The frame ribs have corrosion. Does anyone know if this needs to be treated with something? Better to do it now before the skins go on. The corrosion was from water leaking through the seams into the insulation. Not dissimiliar metals.

At least it will be easier to polish new aluminum than resurrect the old stuff.

DFord79 04-18-2007 10:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TIMEMACHINE
Although we have some issues, we would do it again. Don't give up the ship yet. There is nothing on wheels that is without some problem or defect. I still believe that an Airstream is worth the price if you use it. If it just sits and it is used once every couple of months, well, then it is not worth the price, but that is true with anything. In a year we have traveled to 25 states and about 15,000 miles. Oceans, mountains, deserts, lakes, rivers, big cities, little towns, no towns. (and we are not retired) And doing it in an Airstream just feels good. And the people you will meet, especially other Airstreamers, well, I can't say enough about how many wonderful friends we have made. It is not about money and any Airstream is no more perfect than you or I.

Please don't let our drive for perfection ruin your dream, we are addicted to aluminum and that's OK, even with a few irritating defects.

John

Thank you for your encouragement. One of the reasons for AS as a retirement vehicle is the PEOPLE and the heritage of the make. I was a little down last night when I wrote my reply:o but it has become clear that my exspectations are higher than NORMAL?..LOL.

We have not given up on AS by any means, just exspanding our options,,,O..but then I remember shopping for SOB in the past and comming back to AS.

I live in a 4 climate invoirment with very hot and dry summers and cold (below zero) winters with wonderful springs and falls in between. Storage of our unit will be under a carport so it will be protected from rain, snow, and sun but of course in open air when not in use. We plan on using our RV a lot. Of course it might set more in winter but winter camping will happen a lot.

Once again thank you for your thoughts.

SilverCabin 04-18-2007 10:20 AM

Picture of Corrosion on a 2007
 
1 Attachment(s)
Here's what it looks like on the rear beltline on my 2007. This is one of the photos I sent to Airstream and am waiting on their Reply. Note also the poor workmanship on the NE rivet.

Randy

TIMEMACHINE 04-18-2007 11:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rgodfrey
Here's what it looks like on the rear beltline on my 2007. This is one of the photos I sent to Airstream and am waiting on their Reply. Note also the poor workmanship on the NE rivet.

Randy

That is it! The picture tells it all. Thanks for the picture.

John

SilverCottage 04-18-2007 04:37 PM

Is there any point to coating the seams on my 3 week old Safari 27FB with ACF50 or some other substance as a preventative measure?

5cats 04-18-2007 04:53 PM

That picture from rgodfrey scares me! I'll report if I find anything this evening after work on my own 2007...

-jd.

tpi 04-18-2007 08:31 PM

filet-O'-form
 
Spent some time this PM hitting the rivets with AC-50. I gave it a while before wiping excess so the product would have time to seep into the cavities. Nearby in the storage lot is a 25' front bedroom-looks to be about a year old. I spent about 5 minutes looking it over, did not see any corrosion. Maybe a more thorough examination would reveal a little, but at most there wasn't much. My '05 built Oct 04 has the four affected areas-each one line only, and all totalled maybe 2/3 inch.

WayWard Wind 04-18-2007 09:01 PM

Where does one go to get this "stuff" you're putting on the corrision? Can it be ordered on-line? would like to get some---soon---
Best,

tpi 04-18-2007 09:04 PM

I got the ACF50 from
Pilot Supplies, Avionics, and Homebuilt Aircraft Parts from Aircraft Spruce and Specialty Co.

I ordered the Boeshield from the link 2air posted above.

SafariSS 04-18-2007 09:07 PM

rgodfrey...
 
My 05 bought new last fall had the same. The only fix was to remove panels (segments) or install a beltline trim. I chose the latter with sanding/sealing the spots as I did not want to "open a can of worms". I do have several off station rivets as well. It appears that the segments have pre punched holes in them, and I actually have 2 that missed the holes, and have sealant in the holes.

I dont want to freak out about the corrosion issue, however I am concerned with what the long term (that is 10years old +), effects are. I wonder if the aluminium is pitting under the bubble?

Pappy 04-18-2007 10:53 PM

OK since I like to worry this looks like something I can get my teeth into.
My classic 25 2006 is just shy of 2 years and I have given it a good look no problems as of yet. But even before this thread I had decided to treat seams with Aviation CorrosionX. Now I may make the Rivits a target as well. I have owned private aircraft since 1974 until a year ago when someone stole my new engine off of it. I guess I should have worried a little more about that.
Anyway other than those products mentioned I thought I would mention this one. No smell, won't hurt the paint or coating according to them. Only thing is once used it will weep for quite awhile requiring clean up.

Pappy

dmac 04-18-2007 10:57 PM

My unit, described in post #20, was purchased new from a Florida dealer that was ~20 miles from the Gulf coast, and I towed it home in the winter upon which it may have received some road salt. It has been stored inside except for January through October of 2003, and May through October 2006. It has been washed a few times, and Walbernized about 3-4 times. I attribute the skin corrosion problem to:

- clearcoat lifting at edges
- factory holes for accessories and trim
- rivits
- tiny road chips in frontal surfaces

Once started, it worm-tracks all over. ACF-50 and the like might help prevent some initial problems, but may not help much for advanced problems as the corrosion continues underneath the clearcoat. It seems that where the clear has not failed, it works fine. Where there is the tiniest breach - the clearcoat actually appears to make the problem worse.

The corrosion of the trailer wheels, license plate frame, exterior lights, door handle, etc... is easy to fix (temporarily) by replacing the part. The skin is a much more serious problem. I believe that Airstream has a systemic problem, they know about it, and are choosing to do nothing about it because the warranty is only for 2 years. They do not appreciate that the Internet will spread the word quickly, and their principal asset (the Airstream brand) will erode.

Look at this old thread: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f236...sues-8654.html

5cats 04-18-2007 11:57 PM

and so it begins
 
3 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by SafariSS
[...] I am concerned with what the long term (that is 10years old +), effects are. I wonder if the aluminium is pitting under the bubble?

Me too!

Sadly, I can confirm the AL below the clearcoat is most definitely pitting. *sigh*

As promised, I checked my 2007 Safari -- built 10/2006, parked in San Diego ~ 5 miles from the ocean in my own yard, and alas, no overhead cover -- and it had a couple of spots (click for larger):

corrosion started on the R.S. tail light assembly:
Attachment 35835

corrosion well entrenched on the grab handle by the door:
Attachment 35836Attachment 35837

The handle's clearcoat had already flaked away in the affected area. Scratching at it with my fingernail reveals a rather rough surface and some powdery debris. I'd guess that if the handle were attached with some sort of gasket this wouldn't be a problem. It certainly looks as if the mating surface is completely unsealed, as the corrosion seems to be eminating from those surfaces.

I found many buck rivets to be a little "off center", so some of the clear coat is actually bunched up a bit around them (over bucked?). Fortunately, no signs of corrosion that I could see other than the pictured spots.

Going in, we expected this trailer to be with us for decades...hope so? Guess I'll be ordering some of the treatments noted here... :(

bummed,
-jd.

TIMEMACHINE 04-19-2007 02:52 AM

Hmmmmm
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 2airishuman
hi john

what month did your unit travel to the dealer...

just thinking about the first dose of midwest road salt/sand and rocky mnt sand followed by more salt...

the na, mg and ca salts are leave chloride on the skin..

cheers
2air'

Hi 2air

I believe our As was towed to our dealer in So Cal from the factory in early March of 2006. It was made in late February. I have no clue if the travel took it through salted roads. I did see it when it first arrived, before the PDI, and I did not see signs of road grime on the aluminum or the plastic covers over the rock guards. I am fairly sure it wasn't washed before I saw it that day. Although it has been in lots of rain, it has never seen snow on the road.....and in California that requires a trip to the mountains in the winter...that is when we are in the desert.

Should I be using one the the previously mentioned products to slow this process down?

John

Silvertwinkie 04-19-2007 07:45 AM

With 5Cats, I think we're now at 16 units.

Keep 'em coming.......

SilverCottage 04-19-2007 08:25 AM

Ok, it seems we have some consensus that it would be a good idea to apply one of the treatments mentioned above to the seams and rivets. Can anyone provide a suggestion on which one to use of:

Aviation CorrosionX (CorrosionX Aviation)

ACF50 (ACF-50)

Boeshield (Boeshield T-9)

Each of these seems to be the best according to their web pages. I am looking for first hand experience. My thoughts are a waxy product would be more effective than a thinner product. I also wonder if one of these might damage or dissolve the existing sealants used during manufacturing.

Any thoughts?

2airishuman 04-19-2007 11:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TIMEMACHINE
Should I be using one the the previously mentioned products to slow this process down? John

hi john...

it's hard to imagine a trek from ohio to cali in feb/march
that wouldn't hit some snow, rain or road salts...

i hope that was your case.

i heard about a few units shipped during that time with tank sensor failures.

the sensors were all corroded and travel through a 'spring' snow storm was blamed.

YES i would be experimenting with one of the cpc for aluminum...

corrosion of exposed aluminum is a characteristic well known...

what isn't well known is the overall success of the alcoa applied finish.

airstream and airstreams have 75 years of finish issues...

and the truly painted units (argosy and 1 year of a/s trailers) have held up best over all other finishes...

wjboswell

i agree with the notion that some waxy residue is better than none....

perhaps even better would be a product that dries to a HARD finish,

except for the inevitable breaches.

fair comparisons or 'proof of the best product' is tricky...

the 2nd link in a previous post does include an apparently neutral comparison of some of the products...

here again

http://dspace.dsto.defence.gov.au/ds...pounds+for.pdf

clearly folks need to experiment some...

i like t-9 and even use it to coat the exposed iron under the ford 2-3 times/year...
but plan to try some acf 50 soon too...

marshall reports no negative effects on the sealants using acf...
i've not seen any issues from t-9 either, but i don't intentionally use it on rubber/plastics/acrylics

cheers
2air'

for those that have watched a/s construction; seen how the finished panels are stored and handled...

it should be 'clear' why the alcoa finish is breached at many regular locations...

imagine a stack of plywood palets delivered; then each piece cut, drilled, nailed with very few finished edges or trim pieces...

now imagine no additional surface finished applied to the boards....

that is the exterior of our newer units...:lol:

2airishuman 04-19-2007 12:23 PM

wheel care....
 
4 Attachment(s)
we've not covered this issue...

wheels.

alcoa made mine so here's the dope...

the a/s store carries these alcoa branded products.

they are hard to find elsewhere.

some trucker truck stops have 'em

but alcoa has more than one wheel finish.

so sort this out yer self .

it's a leap of faith assuming the a/s store has the right stuff...

took the leap but forgot these products were in my kit...

i do have them...
but only use 'step 1 and 3'

basically a 3 part system.
1. clean
2. polish
3. seal

so i'm wondering now IF the sealant product (which dries hard) might be useful on the skin....

i have not tired this (danger danger will robinson):bb:

cheer
2air'

markdoane 04-19-2007 01:21 PM

The best thing you can do before using any of the selant type products is get the seam really clean. Then rinse it with de-ionized or distilled water and let it dry.

Filiform corrosion starts as a little microscopic bit of material that is cathodic to aluminum. With a little bit of moisture, it forms a tiny concentration cell. It invariably happens under a coating, otherwise the environment is too dry for the corrosion to proceed.

I don't have any filiform corrosion on my uncoated '59.

If you wash your pride and joy with water that is just the slightest bit hard, the calcium salts will form a hard water spot on the unprotected edge of the seam. That hard water spot is enough to cause a corrosion cell. Imagine if you live close to the ocean?

Everything else said above about seams and rivet holes makes alot of sense. I would just make sure the last step before you use the corrosion preventer is a DI water rinse.

ref: MIL-C-5541

Silvertwinkie 04-19-2007 02:20 PM

Andy from Inland posted Dave Schumann's email address. I decided to give the company another try and I have emailed him the situation and perhaps he may have some solutions that the support folks didn't or couldn't suggest.

Here is the content that was sent:

Dear Mr. Schumann,

Andy of Inland RV posted your email to the airforums today and I felt that having worked with ********** on this issue, that it may be time to get answers from someplace else.

I bought a new 2004 Airstream Safari and took delivery in December of 2003. I've had some issue with this unit, but all issues have been small compared to the corrosion my unit is showing (you can see a few photos of the issue at Airstream Issue) Randy's suggestion to me was that I apply nail polish to the effected areas. The only problem with that is the corrosion is everywhere now and this does not seem like a good solution, nor does it address the root cause. Additionally, Randy said that adding the belt line trim and overlaying panels may also be solutions, of course, now at my cost.

Back in spring of 2005, I drove out to Jackson Center and had some warranty work done. In that list of items were all four rims and both cast aluminum tail lights that were replaced due to what is being described as form fill corrosion.

I understand the unit is out of warranty and I do expect that some level of wear and tear is normal for finishes exposed to the elements, but 30% or more of my body panels are now showing this corrosion (and growing), even though my Safari spends most of it's time indoors in storage when not in use. It has never been used in the winter, nor has it been abused in any way. The unit is kept clean and Walbernize RV Super Seal is applied about 2x per year based on the factories suggestion when I bought my 2003 Bambi.

I'm not satisfied with the fact that I spent about $**k on this trailer to have the body finish totally fail at such a young age. You can imagine my shock to find that many Airstream owners are having the same problem. You can read more about it here:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f142/corrosion-issues-31743.html

I'd like to know what Airstream is prepared to do about this issue, and clearly there is an issue. I don't personally feel that we owners should bear the entire cost of any of Airstream's suggested solutions.

I look forward to hearing from you and thanks in advance for you help in this matter.

Silvertwinkie 04-19-2007 02:52 PM

Andy from Inland visted Airstream recently and offered to take any questions we had to the folks there. Of course, my question had to do with the corrosion issue. This was the answer that Andy posted. As you can tell, it's an answer, but not a very good one if you ask me (not directed toward Andy of Inland RV).

This means that EVERY Airstream since mid 1999 through today can have this issue. That is a VERY EXPENSIVE gamble that your Airstream won't go through what 16 of us so far are going through.

How would you like to spend $90k on a nice 34' Classic and find that the exterior is corroding like the pics you've seen on this thread? I can tell you I spent less than half that amount and I'm still very troubled by this problem.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
Airstream advises that the new style clear coat can "crack."

That being the case, corrosion can take place.

Andy


tpi 04-19-2007 09:29 PM

Does anyone have a recommendation for a very small polishing wheel to locally polish through the clear-coat and corrosion? Something which will work on a very small area such as visible in some of the photos-maybe something like a dental tool. Then the small polished area can be touched up with some clear-coat. Mine ish't to that point now but thinking ahead.

Eric: Spent a while googling filiform corrosion aluminum. One point which often recurred was humidity (less than 50% will slow the process). Is there a way to check humidity in your enclosed garage, and run a dehumidifier effectively?

2airishuman 04-19-2007 10:16 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by markdoane
I don't have any filiform corrosion on my uncoated '59.

thanks for helping to clarify this...

my post regarding all airstreams having "finish issues" was incomplete.

i was lumping glavanic events AND oxidation into the topic of corrosion...

galvanic activity is the most distructive (right?)

and the normal expected surface oxidation is mostly cosmetic until the pits get deep...

filiform corrosion is exactly as mark has described but not usually a threat to the structure...

filiform looks ugly, contributes to decline of the topcoat, and these are big concerns for us...

also it leaves an oxide behind (right?) similar to the basic oxides of surface oxidation on most aluminum alloys...

so i may be incorrectly lumping ugly filiform corrosion with the universe of oxidation...

but my point is that airstreams have had 'finish issues' across the decades...

surely mark you've had to deal with surface oxidation occasionally?

isn't that partly why folks buff, compound, polish and so on,

along with the 'pretty' factor?

here is a big site with LOTS of corrosion AND oxidation resources...

Corrosionsource.com - The One-Stop Materials and Corrosion Information Resource

for those that still hunger...

cheers
2air'

Quote:

Originally Posted by tpi
Does anyone have a recommendation for a very small polishing wheel to locally polish through the clear-coat and corrosion?

check some of the auto detailing forums, websites or auto paint shops in your local...

i've used small pen-brushes for prep that might work...

typically these are fiberglass and some are very precise...

and like all tools require some practice to master...

so don't sand through the skin..:huh:

Goin camping 04-22-2007 12:40 PM

Our trailer was built in July '06. So far we don't have this issue.

How many of the affected Units have T.V.'s or upgraded/modified stereo's?

Being Ludites we have niether and rarely use the factory radio.

Just wondering if thats a factor as improperly grounded electronics were
listed as a cause.

Silvertwinkie 04-22-2007 01:58 PM

I added a sub, but I used the factory provided wiring. I have no TV.

The garage my unit sits in is shared and connected to a warehouse type structure that is somewhat climate controlled. In summer, the heat usually never gets beyond 78 degrees. Humidity rarely beyond 20%. Winter, mostly zero humidity and temps not much less than say 38 degrees.

I'm concerned about this for several reasons, particularly given the short response I've been able to get from support, Andy from Inland, and so far no response from Mr. Schumann. It would seem to me that Airstream does know there are issues, knows that the coatings are failing, yet it appears to me they are just throwing they're collective hands up saying, you are out of warranty, what do you want us to do about it? This may or may not be what they are doing, but it is the perception. For folks that are still under warranty, they are overlaying panels on top of existing ones, adding trim and/or replacing parts, but the problem is the issue comes back, so any work you have done is NOT a long term fix from what I have seen both first hand and and from folks that have had panels overlayed and/or parts replaced.

Now, with 16 units reporting on this forum (which in my mind would represent a small cross section of ownership), leads me to believe that this issue is far more serious that I ever could have imagined. In a year or two, the value of my Airstream will have taken a substantial hit as it will look like something out of an Elvira movie. :rolleyes:

TIMEMACHINE 04-22-2007 02:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Goin camping
Our trailer was built in July '06. So far we don't have this issue.

How many of the affected Units have T.V.'s or upgraded/modified stereo's?

Being Ludites we have niether and rarely use the factory radio.

Just wondering if thats a factor as improperly grounded electronics were
listed as a cause.

GC,

Not a bad guess, however, most of our "electronics" as well as our refer and heater are on the street side of our 25FB, interestingly, our curb side has more corrosion on the middle seam than any other area. The door grab handle looks like it was dipped in corrosion. I will try to get a picture uploaded today.

Time

minifan 04-22-2007 03:59 PM

could be contaminated recycled aluminiun bars used for manufacturing

Silvertwinkie 04-22-2007 04:17 PM

I'm of the thinking that since the bulk of the issue appears to be on the edges and where the rivets are, it seems to me the issue is less of a bad ground, than it might be just as simple as the coating being disturbed, but keep in mind I'm no expert, just an upset and disappointed customer.

wasafari 04-22-2007 04:23 PM

more ammo
 
2 Attachment(s)
nice tailight bezel eh? and the wheels seems to have got the disease too...

wasafari 04-22-2007 04:51 PM

the cancer spreads
 
2 Attachment(s)
well, I haven't washed the winter off but there are a few new spots. FWIW, the ACF-50 seems to have stopped the corrosion cells I treated last fall.

TIMEMACHINE 04-22-2007 07:55 PM

Corrosion picture
 
1 Attachment(s)
Here is a picture of my door grab handle, the other end is even worse.

Silvertwinkie 04-22-2007 09:03 PM

These are just gut wrenching......

SilverCottage 04-22-2007 09:31 PM

I just ordered ACF50 and Boeshield in hopes of preventing any corrosion on my month old Safari 27FB.

I don't know what it says but when we got it home EVERY exterior running light was full of moisture. :huh: What the heck is going on at the factory?

I can't figure out how to remove the small clear light lens just left of the bottom of the door. Does anyone know how to remove the lens so I can "drain" it. It says "LIFT" on it but it doesn't seem to want to move.

Thanks.

2airishuman 04-22-2007 09:47 PM

the leprosy thread...
 
pains me to see these images...

gives me pruritus too!

but twink, IF the humidity REALLY is that low...

therein lies the cause...

you've cracked the ol' girl's skin from dryness!

your indoor spot is drier than az...

Relative humidity - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

most likely your unit lives in 30-70% relative humidity year round...

Relative Humidity Test Applet

like the rest of us indoors.

and the notion that improperly grounded electronics might be the cause...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f37/...lks-21082.html

is spooky; thank goodness it's not likely.

lets go to malaki!

cheers
2air'

SafariSS 04-22-2007 09:49 PM

Boswell...
 
On that step light, use a small instrument size screwdriver and insert into the bottom. Then, lift up while grabbing each side. It should ease out. Mine kept getting water/condensation in it and I used di-electric grease around the perimeter of it to slow water penetration.

As far as a Class Action Suit, I am not so sure. Yes, I have filiform corrorosion on my rig that is 7 months old too. But, what is the fix? Sueing Airstream will not fix your rig, maybe glean some cash but what are you after cash or a fixed rig? I myself see it as a side effect from the precoated aluminum that is made worse by environmental conditions. I for one do not want the interior removed from my rig and the exterior skin replaced due to some corrosion between the clearcoat and aluminum. If you could sand the bad spots down and reclear the whole trailer than that would be decent. (it would be cool if they offered an option of the 60s grade skin w/o clearcoat for the "hands on owner" so that you may polish if you wish.

The way I see it, there is no perfect fix and the manufacturer will always claim environmental conditions caused it. I think a great maintenance regiment is probably the best answer and realize that we do not live in a perfect world.

2airishuman 04-22-2007 09:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wjboswell
I don't know what it says but when we got it home EVERY exterior running light was full of moisture. :huh: What the heck is going on at the factory?

like this?

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f48/...hts-21304.html

many threads here on this issue and some proposed cures that didn't work for me....

cheers
2air'

Silvertwinkie 04-22-2007 09:58 PM

You're right, I was just talking about this with someone a few days ago.

It's not really a money issue, it's a damaged unit and again, you are right on...win the battle and loose the war...particularly if the fix isn't gonna last.

I guess my only answer is buyer beware. The odds are that it's more widespread than anyone knows. The one thing I can say is this really isn't an environmental issue per se. It's an issue of poor engineering in my book. I mean if you really boil it down, the bottom line is that the front running root cause is that the coating is disturbed. Makes the most sense. If engineering found a way to reseal the disturbed areas, then this may not be as big of an issue. I mean right now, with very little prodding, we have 16-17 units all with environmental issues, from many different parts of the country? What about the tow vehicles? No issues to the paint or clear on them?!


As for drying out my unit with at or less than 20% humidity.... that's about the most funny thing I've heard yet..thanks I need a good laugh...... :lol:

Next thing someone will say, is you looked at it...you shouldn't look at the skin....it makes it unhappy! :lol:

SafariSS 04-22-2007 10:05 PM

Alcoa....
 
Really it is an Alcoa issue. They are the manufacturers of the aluminum, and own the process of clear coat application. If the clear coat integrity is being compromised during manufacturing then Alcoa/Airstream/Thor need to comingle the manufacturing process to eliminate the penetration of the clear upon riviting/manufacturing.

Correct, buyer beware and keep on your toes with good maintenance!!

tpi 04-22-2007 10:08 PM

I've tried various tricks on the running lights without success-some still manage to leak. I tried sealant around the screw heads, various kinds of form-a-gasket material around the lens base (instead of the foam gasket), so far no luck.

So what I've done is to remove the bulb and lightly coat the socket and bulb base with ACF-50. So far everything's still shiny and making good contact.

Silvertwinkie 04-22-2007 10:14 PM

SS, yer right on with the maint bit...my unit has been beyond well cared for.

The only problem I have with the Aloca issue is that from the sound of Andy of Inland's post, the factory knows about the issue, and yet, still, as far back as 2002 on this thread alone, the issue still continues through the current model year? It reminds me of the QC threads with the leaking showers that didn't have enough caulk. The issue went beyond just 1 or 2 model years.

If you ask me, the collaboration between Airstream and Aloca should have taken place at least 2-3 model years ago...but it does not appear to have taken place......:rolleyes:

With this issue there is zero fault with the QC folks, with this one, I currently squarely blame poor engineering. Maybe Alcoa does own some of this, but the folks at Airstream punch holes in the sheet metal (I know I've seen the machine they use to do it) and rivet the panels...Alcoa only sells them the coated sheet metal. Airstream beats the heck out of it in the manufac process.

Silvertwinkie 04-22-2007 10:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tpi
I've tried various tricks on the running lights without success-some still manage to leak. I tried sealant around the screw heads, various kinds of form-a-gasket material around the lens base (instead of the foam gasket), so far no luck.

So what I've done is to remove the bulb and lightly coat the socket and bulb base with ACF-50. So far everything's still shiny and making good contact.

Contact Lewster...he has a kit that not only seals the running lights, but the cheap a$$ screws that Airstream uses that rust, Lewster's kit uses stainless screws......a total of maybe $10 in additional cost, you have to seek out and do on your own......cause the factory can't seem to do it.... :rolleyes:

2airishuman 04-22-2007 10:42 PM

i've posted this link b4...

but it still seems useful reading...

Alcoa: Worldwide: Markets: Automotive: Customer Successes: Airstream Travel Trailers

perhaps better viewed

as wishful thinking?

alcoa may have tested in harsh condtions...

but have they seen how the sheets are handled in the factory?

cheers
2air'

tpi 04-22-2007 10:43 PM

I will contact him and order the kit-on my to do list :)

TIMEMACHINE 04-22-2007 11:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 2airishuman
i've posted this link b4...

but it still seems useful reading...

Alcoa: Worldwide: Markets: Automotive: Customer Successes: Airstream Travel Trailers

perhaps better viewed

as wishful thinking?

alcoa may have tested in harsh condtions...

but have they seen how the sheets are handled in the factory?

cheers
2air'

2air,

You are D'MAN. Great link, you are spot on, what about the degradation of the surafces during production? Common sense once again does not prevail at the factory, only here on the forum.

Time

Silvertwinkie 04-23-2007 07:03 AM

"No fading. No peeling. No cracking. Environmentally sound. And environmentally safe.

To prove the durability of Alcoa's solution, we set out our treated aluminum to bake under the sun in South Florida. Today - many years later - our coated aluminum continues to look as beautiful as the day it was set out in the salty, hot air of South Florida, enabling Airstream to continue to maintain the image of quality and design that it has for the past 70 years."



So what is the factory telling us (via Inland)?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
Airstream advises that the new style clear coat can "crack."

That being the case, corrosion can take place.

Andy

Right off the linked Aloca page 2Air posted, they say no fading, peeling or cracking. Is the factory is saying it is cracking on it's own or are they saying that their manufac process is cracking the finish?!? :huh:

Bottom line, until there becomes some known fix to prevent this (and I'm not talking lifetime here, but I do expect at more than 1 to 3 years), and Airstream makes good on these damaged units, this will be my last Airstream, and I won't be shy about sharing the exp from all posted here to all prospective buyers who ask to see my unit or ask me questions about it.

I still await a reply from Mr. Schumann as support has not been able to address the issue or address the issue in a timely manner.

Silvertwinkie 04-23-2007 07:36 AM

BTW, in the meantime, I would implore anyone with an Airstream from mid to late 1999 though the current model year (which should be the Airstreams with the new coatings) to go out and look at their unit closely for signs like this (white spider type lines):

Airstream Issue

...and post what you find here, good, bad or otherwise.

I have also contacted Alcoa and asked questions about their statements of the coating they apply not fading, peeling or cracking, and linked the statements by Airstream stating that the finish they apply was cracking (and inferring that this is the cause of the issues we are all seeing).

I am now also waiting to hear from the Aloca Engineering folks to either agree with the Airstream statements or point the fingers back at the manufac process that disturbs the coatings.......more to come as it becomes avail.....

Midamrail 04-23-2007 08:10 AM

We store 2 2004 Classics belonging to friends at our house, and as we keep kicking around the idea of a new trailer, I went out to take a look at both of them.

Sure enough - corrosion. Both units are very, very well maintained, and both had corrosion. One in particular had no fewer than a dozen different areas, some measuring a couple of square inches. The area beneath the Classic-only chrome beltline seems to be the most prone to the corrosion.

Despite being die-hard vintage people, we are closer than we've ever been to buying a new trailer, but this may well scare us off.

The original plasti-cote on our 1971 Sovereign held up amazingly well; corrosion was limited to the small scratches and an area on the roof that peeled, but it never spread. We had it recoated this winter, and while the company that did the work did a very good job for the most part, it's clear to us that even the re-coats aren't as good as the original Plasti-cotes of almost 40 years ago, and we regularly hear that the new re-coats only last 3-5 years. Therefore, even a re-coat of the damaged new trailers may still not give the performance owners who spend $40-$100K on trailers deserve.

In all, it's making me think our old polished Tradewind - which I once thought was the most difficult to maintain - may actually be the cheapest and easiest exterior to maintain next to, perhaps, an Argosy.

doorgunner 04-23-2007 08:29 AM

FWIW- I used to be able to buy good clearcoat to apply to the airplanes I was building, then about 10 years ago it was not available in Ca. had to go to Nevada to get the good stuff. None of this should surprise anyone. As long as the EPA has anything to do with formula's the products seem to be less protective , more earth friendly.But for anyone to misrepresent the finish--well thats a nono. I still think the good stuff can be had for a price, oh yea then you need a permit for your down draft booth, haz mat training, product sheets, escape plan,employee pensions, bathroom patrol , storm water runoff fees, clean air act, bla bla bla DG

5cats 04-23-2007 09:41 AM

wheel corrosion
 
3 Attachment(s)
So in my earlier post I showed some corrosion pics of the tail light and grab handle assemblies from my 2007 (built Oct 2006); yesterday I found the corrosion on the both wheels, too (click for larger):
Attachment 36065

Attachment 36066

Attachment 36067

Now my observations leads me to believe there is an interaction where the different components meet -- both on the wheels (wheel cap & nuts v. clearcoated AL mags) and the previous pictures (tail light assemblies & grab handle v. clearcoated AL skin).

I don't think this is strictly due to manufacturing "bumps and bruises" at all.

I've never seen this corrosion on any of my twenty-some-odd clearcoated AL alloy car/truck wheels I've owned in the past, including those from my 2006 F150, 2004 RX-8, 1999 Miata (and racing wheel sets), and a 1997 Ranger. Every last one of them had clearcoated AL alloy wheels.

Not one ever showed anything like what I've seen in this thread.

Given the span of model years, a "bad batch" from ALCOA seems an unlikely explanation. It's a mystery to me.

Cheers,
-jd.

fastrob 04-23-2007 02:37 PM

Old Junk Lives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
".......

Bottom line, until there becomes some known fix to prevent this (and I'm not talking lifetime here, but I do expect at more than 1 to 3 years), and Airstream makes good on these damaged units, this will be my last Airstream, and I won't be shy about sharing the exp from all posted here to all prospective buyers who ask to see my unit or ask me questions about it.......

Almost talked the wife into a new one once but like trying to buy a decent diesel, the new models' problems keep me in the old stuff.

R

Silvertwinkie 04-23-2007 06:15 PM

My rims have it by the lugs, by the hub and by the holes all around the rim. It's not just where the metals meet, it's pretty much all over my second set of rims.

SilverRanger 04-23-2007 06:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 5cats
yesterday I found the corrosion on the both wheels, too (click for larger)....

... I've never seen this corrosion on any of my twenty-some-odd clearcoated AL alloy car/truck wheels I've owned in the past, including those from my 2006 F150, 2004 RX-8, 1999 Miata (and racing wheel sets), and a 1997 Ranger. Every last one of them had clearcoated AL alloy wheels....

Your pictures look exactly like the corrosion occuring on the aluminum wheels of my other tow vehicle, which is ...

over 10 years old.

Silvertwinkie 04-23-2007 06:35 PM

Kind of my point....for the first set to fail after 1.5 years old, then the second set to start failing about 2 years after that, I had hoped to get about 10 years before I saw this happening.

BTW, still no reponse from Airstream yet...... :rolleyes:

...and even if they did contact me, I'm not sure what Dave would be able to tell me. The fixes to date don't work long term. Short term fixes are just that and most likely it's out of warranty will come into play too. Who knows though, they may shock me and actually do something.

Silvertwinkie 04-23-2007 06:39 PM

BTW, any of you CCD owners have any on the inside? I know that my back splash so far doesn't have anything, but that's the only area I have outside of the front alum trim by the windows and the alum fridge inserts......


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