Airstream Forums

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

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......


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:13 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.