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

wheel interested 04-30-2007 02:30 PM

OK I stayed away from this thread until now and I am ready to confess. I just got back from JC. All 4 rims looked like the pictures in this thread. All four were replaced. I had the door handle and battery boxes sanded down and resprayed. On the 2005 the door handle and battery boxes aged similarly. Those wheels did not show corrosion through the winter camping and trips to Florida but they were sanded or buffed to a shine as they were cloudy.

I asked how to prevent these issues or why they occur and what to protect the Airstream with. I asked what kind of wheels I had several times and no one seemed to know, the general opinion was they were not Alcoa but no other information was offered. The comment on corrosion was much like the belief in the rapture...two will be side by side in the field and one will be taken and the other left...no discernable rhyme or reason...Clear coat nail polish was the tip for containment...pink stuff for wax.

I'll be getting up close and personal with the Airstream this week and Walbernizing, crossing my fingers and wishing and hoping... I ordered the kit from Lew for the marker lights, also got some silicone. At least one of the lights was filled with water and the tech took care of it, all the lights have condensation. Several techs spotted this on their own, some said water was filling up some said only condensation. I do know that when Bradley pulled the shield off you could see the backing/seal was not making a complete seal and had gaps on the side. One tech said to caulk the shields and I asked if that would not cause them to stick and he said yes and to be careful not to break them when I took them off next. I don't think we will be using any caulk on them.

SilverCabin 05-01-2007 10:15 PM

Communication from Jackson Center
 
Here’s the relevant text of the message I sent to Airstream about 25 days ago:

Quote:

My Airstream friends told me I needed to contact you about the filliform corrosion that is beginning on the rear seam of my new 2007 Safari SE. I discovered this while washing and Walbernizing my trailer a few weeks ago. The affected areas are in two places on the rear end cap. On both the street and curbsides, the corrosion is starting on the "waistline" seam (the horizontal seam that is about 4 to 5 ft off the ground). The workmanship on this seam is also of poor quality. I also found a small amount just under the street side front wrap-around window. I have attached a complete photo survey of the areas affected:

[25 photos here of the rear beltline of my Safari showing the extent of the problem]

This trailer was purchased new from Bates RV; Dover, FL on December 8, 2006. When it is not on the road, it is kept in an indoor RV storage facility in Rockledge, FL. In the few trips we have made around Florida, we have not been in any corrosive atmospheres, so what has happened to the trailer since December 8, 2006 should not have caused or aggravated this.

This needs to be remedied by Airstream under warranty, to restore the "newness" of the unit. I have received several recommendations as to what Airstream should do up to and including replacing the trailer. I am anxious to hear what Airstream thinks should be done here.
Here’s the reply I received today:

Quote:

Randall,
Your e-mail has been forwarded to me from our service advisor. The warranty issues may be handled though the dealership. As for the photos; If this should be the start of corrosion, this is something that would need to be addressed by sealing the area. Depending on the size, in most cases this can be cleaned and sealed by applying an acrylic to stop the spread. I have also heard of a product called ACF50 that is used to stop the spread. From that point I would continue to wax the unit as it sounds like you have.
I will be forwarding your photos on to be examined by our quality assurance department.

Please feel free to contact me if there is anything I may assist with.

Randy
Airstream Customer Relations
…and my reply:

Quote:

Randy,

Thank you for getting back to me on this. You say in your response, "If this should be the start of corrosion...." Who makes that determination? And, if it is the start of corrosion, since this is a new trailer, shouldn't Airstream remedy it for me? I will certainly keep it waxed, but I would think the cleaning of the corrosion and the acrylic sealing would be done by Airstream at Jackson Center or at my local dealer. What is the next action here, and who's action is it?

Thanks,

Randall Godfrey
The saga continues….

5cats 05-01-2007 11:26 PM

Well, for my part I received the ACF-50 & Boeshield last night. I applied the ACF-50 right away.

I will pursue wheel replacement, based on wheel interested's recent account.

I'm seriously hopeful the anti-corrosion treatments will stop the little bits on the body I've found.

Cheers,
-jd.

crazylev 05-03-2007 02:17 PM

10 Attachment(s)
You should all feel better about your AS after eyeballing these. Keep in mind, stored in midwest, covered, no salt. BTW- this is a 2004. Anyone wanna talk to me about fillform????

Jonathan

Westfalia 05-03-2007 02:32 PM

Jonathan, that looks horrible and is by far the worst I have seen. How can Airstream turn such a blind eye towards this???

Devoman 05-03-2007 03:01 PM

Same here
 
When I get a chance to take some pics I will show everyone how mine is doing the same thing on the door handles tail lights,etc,etc,With this many things happening in the same places as others with newer models we can all justify that this is a problem within the companies and they do know about it.It is now just a matter of when will they figure the solution out and then start working on it.I am not going to worry about it to much myself but it is dissapointing though

crazylev 05-03-2007 03:45 PM

Hey Devo, W-falia, Twink et el,

As bad as this looks, I need to point out that I posted 10 pictures, my problems are really only bad in seven places.

The tail lights look bad, but that is because of an odd pitting situation on the plastic suround on the LED. These look simple enough to replace, a few phillips head screws and some (courtesy) replacemnts from Jackson Center. There is a little filform on the metal flange that the tailight frames are mounted on as you can see.

The grab handle is another matter. I think AS installs those before the interior skin is installed making it imposible to replace unless the interior by the door is peeled back. The hinges have the same issue. On both the handle and the hinges, I can actually see places where the "coating" is peeling away from the metal.

In the picture of the rivet and "Thor", above the rivet are smudges of road dirt and not scratches.

The license plate light shroud is crap. But that also looks pretty easy to replace, assuming minimal electrical work, or easy elctrical connections.

I'm trying to think of how I will approach Paul Sherry (dealer) and AS on all this, but the more I write, the more pissed I get. I had to take alot of pictures to spend around 35K on this.

Maybe placing about a pound of pot in the toilet, lighting it, and inhaling from the end of my sewer hose will make me feel better.....

A Corsendonk and Dellerium Tremmens will do the trick too, and that's legal.

Jonathan

Mhenry2712 05-03-2007 05:48 PM

Looking at other brands again....
 
Thanks for all your posts, I just found and this forum and this is my first post. I've been planning on buying a new 28 ft CCD for almost a year. I like AS mainly because the way they look. I've been less than impressed with the other brand's "white boxes on wheels", now I'm thinking maybe a much cheaper WBOW would be a better and less painful alternative. Even if all RV's have issues, Airstreams are at least 50% more expensive than other brands... I would exspect they would be all about customer service. If the factory does read these threads, then I hope they notice at least one would-be buyer, who's postponed his purchase and is now looking at other brands.:( Thanks again for all the great information, I will let you guys know what I do end up with... AS or the dreaded WBOW.

5cats 05-03-2007 07:25 PM

a least we have some humor here
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by crazylev
Maybe placing about a pound of pot in the toilet, lighting it, and inhaling from the end of my sewer hose will make me feel better.....

You crack me up :lol: -jd.

Devoman 05-03-2007 07:44 PM

Problems
 
You are right about that Crazylev.The things you are posting can be fixed.Except for certain things but we all know this.It is fustrating that we have to go thru this but I am Just rolling with the punches.I am in the process of fixing some things but these are minor fixes luckily.
Rockman321...Airstreams are a great thing to get if one can afford one.Yes they do have there problems but if you own a car or house you will do just about as much maintnance on those as you will the Airstream in time.One hing I can guarentee is and I think a bunch of others will is that you get what you pay for and an Airstream I believe is worth its weight for sure.




crazylev 05-03-2007 07:51 PM

A couple of things.

I think that repair or replace of anything is to hasty at this point. A more wise move would be to isolate the why this problem is happening and fix it. It has to have something to do with the process/manufacture of the material. I think laminating another piece of skin over existing is a band aid. I have a feeling that all of us who have this issue are not going get a whole new shell, hinges, whatever. The issue needs to be acknowledged and then solved.

When a company is doing well, has back orders for months, and is able to get top dollar for their product, there is no reason for them to really have to "listen" to anyone. Keep the machine plugging away. As everyone knows, AS is owned by Thor, and Thor is publicly traded/owned. If the shareholders know of disatisfaction with the invested company, that might change things a bit.

I'm jumping way ahead off myself. Tommorow I will place my first call to my dealer, explain the situation, and directing them to here for more info if need be.

My next plan will be to contact AS, which I have a feeling the dealer will tell me to do anyway.

Jonathan

Devoman 05-03-2007 08:08 PM

Airstream
 
Yes...I think it will be long time before Airstream fixes this problem.I can see it being a process being that they have to go thru the other company(ies)to find a solution for a better fix with the clearcoat issue.
I am pretty sure Airstream is reading this as we all post on here.
It just seems to me that the clearcoating is just a tad to thin.

Midamrail 05-03-2007 08:29 PM

We're at a WBCCI rally right now, and a dealer has brought three brand new units to show. All three - a 27' FB Classic, an Ocean Breeze International, and a Safari LS - have filiform corrosion on the skin. The front middle segments on the International and the Safari are awful - they have corrosion for virtually the entire length of the edge of the segment with the occasional 1/8"-1/4" gap without corrosion. The Classic isn't quite as bad, but I wasn't able to look at them closely with the dogs in tow. But even on a cold, rainy, nearly-dark evening, the telltale white corrosion was plain to see.

wasafari 05-03-2007 09:17 PM

unbelievable
 
Three brand new units that I'm sure he/she is trying to sell and they are already showing corrosion. Unbelievable. Jonathan, you got a spare pound????

SilverCabin 05-04-2007 05:35 PM

Let's not overreact
 
While I donít like the corrosion on my unit, I really donít think there is a serious problem here that is unique to an Airstream, and canít be fixed or prevented. Airstream is offering to ďmake it goodĒ for us and we are in process of negotiating that.

Perhaps we are all overacting a little here and driving away potential new members of our great club. On our trip out last weekend, I noticed one small thread on one of my wheels too, but Patís Ford Focus has aluminum wheels and there is some on those two. When I look under my new truck, there are some small rust spots at the edges of the frame members. Everything comes with some potential to oxidize at some location, you just have to know how to control it and ďget it done.Ē

We bought an Airstream for the American Icon status and for the quality. So far, we are very impressed with the overall quality and how it tows and tracks behind the truck. These are the reasons we chose Airstream over an SOB WBOW. We owned one of those, and had significant problems from the start. Eventually the walls dry rotted away from leaks. Did you ever notice that there are no vintage SOB clubs out there? I probably wonít own it then, but 25 years from now I expect my 23í Safari will be in the VAC. My SOB was probably turned into sawdust and beer cans.

The few problems we have had (most of which I fixed myself) are minor. We have had no leaks in our Airstream and have been in some very hard rains. Airstream is going to fix the corrosion under warranty, and Iím going to care for it after that and prevent it from reoccurring.

Sure, we could have paid far less for an SOB of the same size, and some people who know the price of SOBs are a little taken back when they hear the Airstream price. Then they come aboard and are impressed with what they see.

Letís turn this thread into what to do about the problems and not a rant against Airstream quality. I donít want to see anyone turn away from the brand because a few of us have some issues that (at least from my perspective) arenít really apparent except on close inspection.

Randy

cosmotini 05-04-2007 06:08 PM

It appears that this is an issue ALL of could/will be facing.

If that's the case, then what can be done about it?

Should we load up on ACF-50?

Would a polymer based wax be better than Walbernize to prevent/minimize it?

Should we avoid pressure washers (I do anyway) when cleaning?

Maybe we should start a thread that addresses how to treat and prevent filiform corrosion.

TIMEMACHINE 05-04-2007 06:19 PM

For those looking to buy
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rgodfrey
Letís turn this thread into what to do about the problems and not a rant against Airstream quality. I donít want to see anyone turn away from the brand because a few of us have some issues that (at least from my perspective) arenít really apparent except on close inspection.

Randy

Randy,

It is always a tough decision on whether or not to bring up problems after one makes a large dollar purchase. I know some folks who won't tell anybody how bad their car relly is because they are affraid it will cause their cars resale value to drop.

I agree we should put our effort into the solution, but first we have to clearly identify there is a problem so the manufacturer will step up and develop a long term cure and stop producing the same defect until a solution is proven.

In the long run, our treasured Airstream Icon will endure as long as the faithful owners on this forum and elsewhere continue to provide support for the adherence to quality.

For those of you are reading this thread while considering the purchase of an Airstream, I truly believe that each poster who has dutifully filed a report of corrosion has every intent of keeping their Airstream and still believes there is no equal.

John

Silvertwinkie 05-05-2007 07:15 PM

Jonathan, sorry to hear and see how bad it is. Let me know what the factory says...though I found Sherry RV helpful, I think yours is to the stage where it's a big time factory issue at this point.

Randy, I spoke and emailed with Randy at tech support for this same issue.

BTW, FWIW, I still have no email from Dave Schumann or Alcoa (not that I really expected one from either, although I was disappointed with Airstream, talking all that game about caring for their customers and quality and all, and not even providing a reply...and before you say, try again, keep in mind that I know Airstream is aware of this thread, I have called and dealt with support and emailed Dave Schumann).

Can you say bald headed step child?

Talk about a Cinderella story (sorry, I just got back from Orlando).

In my case the warranty is out, and my Safari has turned into a pumpkin....

Carol, I am so sorry to hear your unit had some issues...hopefully, with some luck, you won't see the issue expand to the body of your unit!

Best I can say is buyer beware. You've been warned of what could (read not for sure will) happen to your unit...you have about 23 folks all with the same issue reporting it at various stages, some less than a year old!

The issue to me at this point is what is Airstream gonna do about it? Yea it would be nice if they could fix my unit, but the issue is deeper than that. If you have a new unit or are thinking about it, what will or has Airstream done to limit this from happening?

At some point this week I will tally these. I think we're up to about 23 units now. In the meantime, please, help others identify and avoid the pain we approx 23 unit owners are going through. Post your findings good, bad or otherwise along with pics.

At this point, I think it's a great idea to also have folks post and try to share what is working to limit, stop or slow the issue. Personally though, keep in mind these are band-aids at best so far. Even the big dollar fixes so far have not been long term either.

tpi 05-05-2007 08:11 PM

Quote:

Should we avoid pressure washers (I do anyway) when cleaning?
I think this is worth exploring. I have never used pressure washer on my trailer and it exhibits very minimal corrosion.

I learned on older Japanese motorcycles pressure washer at close range caused much the same issues with clearcoated aluminum (breaks in clearcoat, creeping corrosion).

85MH325 05-05-2007 08:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cosmotini
It appears that this is an issue ALL of could/will be facing.


Should we avoid pressure washers (I do anyway) when cleaning?

Dennis, using a pressure washer is a terrible idea for RVs in general. They can blow out sealing material around rivets, windows, joints, and anywhere else there is putty, vulkem, or other sealants. I don't know specifically whether the pressure can remove or craze the clearcoat, but it wouldn't surprise me. Recognize also that car washes specifically use some pretty strong chemicals for "brushless" washing that may not be good for the clearcoat.

Roger


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