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Old 05-07-2015, 03:36 PM   #1
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Rust around windows

So our 2014 AI has developed small hairline rust cracks at the top portion of the windows. It has occurred on all four windows that are installed by Airstream, not the 2 center ones done at MB factory.

Airstream has agreed to pay cost of repair at a shop of our choice after getting 3 quotes. But several shops indicate they will not warrant a rust repair and it is quite extensive as windows have to come out.

Question is:

Should we have repair done?

Or my favorite shop says since it is under a year old Airstream should replace vehicle.

I will post pics. Click image for larger version

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Old 05-07-2015, 03:38 PM   #2
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Old 05-07-2015, 04:40 PM   #3
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Recently discovered the same type of rust "streaks" in similar locations on my 2013. No doubt initial damage occurred when Airstream cut the metal for the windows. Will have to take this up with Airstream sooner than later.
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Old 05-16-2015, 01:52 PM   #4
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Any thoughts on this?

Should we repair or seek replacement?

We have stored indoors since we purchased but I do know it sat on lot for almost year before that.

The rust will only get worse. And we bought a new AI because we take exceptional care of our things and would like to keep if for many years.


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Old 05-17-2015, 06:20 PM   #5
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Go big and see what recourse you wind up with. Realistically I do not think that Airstream will replace the whole coach but will pony up for the repair. Then again the body shop not wanting to warranty the rust repair could be a good leverage for other concessions such as extending the warranty or if they choose to allow you to trade, a trade in credit in your favor. Keep us in the loop.
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Old 05-17-2015, 06:32 PM   #6
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You see this kind of rust on old conversion vans where they cut the holes for the windows at the conversion van plants. If you notice on factory passenger vans you don't see this kind of rust. The difference is that a factory passenger van panel is stamped with the openings. Then the entire panel is dipped with rust proofing prior to painting. When you cut openings, all they can do is apply some type of rust proofing over the bare metal exposed by the cutting. Unfortunately that rust proofing is usually not the quality of the original factory job.

I wish there was an answer but for all intents the windows have to be removed, the metal cleared of rust and rust proofed again. How long it will last is purely based on the skill and quality of the materials. The fact that no one will guarantee that the rust will stay away says volumes about cutting openings into the sheet metal on cars and trucks.

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Old 05-20-2015, 12:33 PM   #7
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Van conversion companies have been cutting the entire roof off of vans for many years, and adding fiberglass raised roofs. I don't recall roof rust being that big of a deal. What is different with the Sprinters?? And, what about all of those roof vents installed on vans, including these interstates? So, are roofs rusting out around the vents, or is this problem just effecting the windows that they install?

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Old 05-22-2015, 12:18 PM   #8
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Hello Teamaron,
We had the same problem and Airstream repainted the troubled areas no cost to us. They removed the windows and did a very professional job to make it look like new again. Here's a picture of our scratches... Good luckClick image for larger version

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Old 05-22-2015, 12:37 PM   #9
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More picsClick image for larger version

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Old 07-10-2015, 12:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Interstate1 View Post
Hello Teamaron,
We had the same problem and Airstream repainted the troubled areas no cost to us. They removed the windows and did a very professional job to make it look like new again. Here's a picture of our scratches... Good luckAttachment 238962


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Interstate,

Did your dealer elaborate further on the repair (other than removing the windows)? At least from my observation, a lot of the the interior valences and lower sidewalls have to be removed, not to mention the galley cabinet to gain access to the lower window frame screws.

TIA
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiato View Post
Interstate,



Did your dealer elaborate further on the repair (other than removing the windows)? At least from my observation, a lot of the the interior valences and lower sidewalls have to be removed, not to mention the galley cabinet to gain access to the lower window frame screws.



TIA

Airstream has agreed to the repairs. They are having dealer remove and reinstall windows and Mercedes auto body do paint work. They also are offering an additional warranty for the work.

It hasn't been scheduled yet but I will post some pictures and updates when time comes.


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Old 07-10-2015, 07:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Interstate1 View Post
Hello Teamaron,
We had the same problem and Airstream repainted the troubled areas no cost to us. They removed the windows and did a very professional job to make it look like new again. Here's a picture of our scratches... Good luckAttachment 238962


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Interstate 1,

Who did the repairs? Was it directly by Airstream factory?


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Old 07-11-2015, 01:05 PM   #13
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Hello Teamaron,

Yes, Airstream factory service garage had a local body shop do the paint job. Airstream then reassembled the interior panels and made sure everything was put together correctly. That's why we went back to Airstream so it was assembled correctly. The last thing you want is some third party forgetting how to put the interior panels back together. You don't want the windows leaking causing bigger problems later.


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Old 07-11-2015, 01:16 PM   #14
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Airstream Factory Service down in Jackson Center, Ohio isn't the fastest service department. You'll have to be extremely patient. It might take weeks to get the job done. Make sure you talk to Brad Herring. He's the new Service Manager and he takes these matters seriously. He's a good point person

His email address:
bherring@airstream.com


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Old 07-12-2015, 08:36 PM   #15
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Based on this thread, I inspected my 2011, and sure enough, there's an area where the installer hit the perimeter with the tool and scratched the paint, and now it's starting to rust. Fortunately, it's only about 6" long, and it's more like where it skipped along, so there's just a few spots starting to show.

I think I can get it under control with some touch-up paint. You would think they would know how to cut out windows without damaging the surrounding area, or at least repair the damage they do.

You would think. Apparently, they don't do much of that in Jackson Center, unfortunately, in the production department.
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Old 07-20-2015, 08:46 AM   #16
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I ordered touchup paint for Brilliant Silver Metallic (Paint Code 744) from Touch Up Paint and Accessories | AutomotiveTouchup and applied it to the damaged area. It now is invisible and it should keep it from rusting further.

Highly recommended. The paint was a perfect match, reasonably priced, and quickly delivered, if anyone is in need of touching up the paint on your Interstate. You can also get clear coat to top it off for a better appearance.
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Old 04-14-2016, 12:43 PM   #17
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After 2 months of being in Colonial Airstreams care for the rust repair mentioned in this thread , I picked up my 2013 last week.

Airstream covered the whole repair under warranty.

I started the process with Colonial Airstream last November when I made them aware of the damage and subsequently followed up my communication with images. I had paint damage incurred during assembly on the 4 windows that Airstream installed.

After a few follow ups with Colonial and ongoing Colonial communication with Jackson Center my repair was green lighted by Jim Parret.

I dropped my unit of during the third week of January so that they would have plenty of time to perform the repair plus some fudge time (just in case the repair takes longer) and have it ready for the start of my track driving season.

The repair entailed the partial dismantling of the interior, followed by window removal and subsequent painting of the damaged areas. After that the same windows are re-installed but with a better quality window sealant tape.

To wrap up the whole repair, Colonial did a superb job in detailing the interior and exterior of the coach. Now all I have to do is de-winterize.

Patience goes a long way with this process. Timing as well. Plan it out weeks in advance during the off season, with some fudge factor before yoru first use date and there is no reason at all to lose any RVing time.

All in all this was a very, very positive experience.
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