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

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.


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