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

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


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