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Old 10-23-2002, 05:06 PM   #101
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Access under bathroom sink

For AS owners:

This photo shows the access opening into the area under the bathroom sink. To expose the opening, use a tool to hook and pull out the fabric-covered trim piece behind the dinette cushion (I simply grab a fork out of the galley drawer).

The area under the sink holds a real mess of tangled wires, but is otherwise pretty empty.

The CCD has a similar opening underneath the galley sink that can be accessed by removing a cover. This area on a CCD would be a whole lot harder to access because of the cabinet and sink plumbing.
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Old 11-13-2002, 03:03 PM   #102
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Some poor workmanship

When I brought the trailer home today, the drawer under the sink came open enroute. When I removed the drawer, I found a little bit of terrible workmanship.

The wood bar that holds the drawer latch looked like it has been installed by a drunken sailer; it is high on one end and low on the other.

What was worse was that the wood bar was attached only by two metal angles from the top. The bar pivoted on the screws and just pushed back out of the way whenever the drawer was closed; there was no latching action at all. I don't know how long that drawer might have been banging open and closed.

It is a terrible place to try to reach in and try to work. I pre-drilled and toenailed the wood bar with two long screws as the best I could do from the front of the cabinet.
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Old 11-13-2002, 03:50 PM   #103
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And some more

There were great big chunks of caulking in the cap over the bathroom fan. The cauling didn't adhere to the plastic very well. It had shrunk and wasn't doing anything but being an eyesore. It was actually wet from the rain last week underneath the wads of caulking when I removed them. I was able to simply pick the loose caulking out with my fingers.

The drain hole in the base of the cap was also clogged with caulking and there are smears of useless caulking everywhere on the roof, including on the Fantastic fan cover.
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Old 11-13-2002, 04:17 PM   #104
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You know John, I didn't ask or remember what the build date was of your trailer but it brings to mind an experience that I had with my Hi-Lo.

My trailer was an early '82 which I bought in the November of '81. I got a great deal since the dealer didn't have to carry it over the winter. I took it home and parked it in the car port dreaming of the spring. This was my first travel trailer.

Spring comes and I start prowling around, opening doors and looking at cabinets. I got to the kitchen sink and I opened the cabinet door. The shelving was removable so I lifted them out to look at what was under them. At that point I discovered three water pipes all coming to one point to be joined by a "T" fitting. Only the "T" fitting was missing. One line was the direct feed for the city water hookup. You can guess what would have happend the first time I hooked up!

The dealer called Hi-Lo who did some investigation since every trailer was supposed to pass a pressure check. It ended up that my trailer was hurriedly pulled from the factory to be in a national RV show. The plumbing "T" was not yet installed and upon return of the trailer to the factory, someone screwed up and the trailer water lines were never pressure checked.

Thankfully that was the only issue I had with that trailer and it faithfully served me for over 14 years. You almost wonder if you got one of the first ones out of the gate where the folks didn't quite have it down yet.

Quite honestly I have always avoided purchasing year one model change trucks and autos and you wonder if that's also a good practice in the RV world.

Jack
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Old 12-27-2002, 12:13 PM   #105
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2002 International Shipped Back to Ohio

Hello All & Happy Holidays!

Well, our International AS was picked up the weekend after Thanksgiving and towed back to Ohio from California for fix-ups. I haven't heard anything back from Airstream as of yet, I will be calling customer service on Monday to discuss the status.

I am glad that Airstream is sticking by their product and has offered to fix the unit to our satisfaction. More to follow when we hear back from Airstream!

Happy New Year,
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Old 12-27-2002, 01:06 PM   #106
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Wishing you good luck with it

You have to wonder what the work ethic of the workers who actually assemble the traiers might be. It seems that in your case, and to a lesser degree in my case, it was "Just throw the parts together and smear on big wads of sealer when something doesn't fit."

I can forgive design errors if they are addressed when they come to light, but I can not forgive sloppy assembly and lack of inspection.

Crazy thing is that I love the trailer and I would buy another Airstream if something happened to this one. Call me a masochist, but there really is not another trailer on the market that I would want to buy.

I hope the word is getting high enough in the Airstream organization so that build quality will be improved upon. It may just spell the difference between future Airstreams and no future Airstreams.
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Old 12-27-2002, 01:59 PM   #107
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Wow!!

I just got done reading the 3 pages of problems with the new Int'l and this doesn't sound like A/S quality control manager has his/her act together.

My thoughts go out to you folks, since you've spent some good cash for these units.

The vintage owners, after updating some applicances, seem to be sailing through life with little or no problems.

I bought my A/S used and the previous owners also had problems: ie ceiling material coming down. I'm glad they got all the bugs worked out of it prior to myself buying it.

John Irwin- the next person who receives your Int'l after you're done with it, will have a fine tuned trailer.

I hope you document ALL of these problems and see what type of compensation A/S may give you.

This is an excellent thread for any person thinking about buying an Int'l.

Best to you- John
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Old 12-27-2002, 02:01 PM   #108
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Talk about word of mouth

If it wasn't for the internet, how would so many know of so many problems.

This forum is awesome!
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Old 04-02-2003, 02:34 PM   #109
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Latest change

The "phone stand" just inside the door is our "linen locker", but it was never really quite big enough and really needed an additional shelf.

I realized from the little magazine rack above it that there was about 3 3/4" of free space behind the cabinet. The refrigerator cabinet has a 3/4" outer shell and a 1/4" inner shell with empty space between.

A little sabre sawing, a little 1/4" clear poplar, some 3/8" plywood, ome matching laminate, and some plastic edge trim turned the cramped space into a very useful linen cabinet with space left over.
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Old 04-02-2003, 02:52 PM   #110
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Refrigerator fan

As I posted last summer, the fan behind the refrigerator blows against the opened trailer door and is not very effective when the trailer door is open.

Today, I relocated the fan away from the door and simultaneously replaced the original fan with a much quieter fan that I salvaged from my old IBM PS2. The new fan (Matshutsa) pulls only .2 Amps and has a different blade design which is very quiet while still moving a lot of air.
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Old 04-02-2003, 03:43 PM   #111
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John,

Mine has a similar issue, but I was thinking that on mine (not sure of yours) that it needed to be located over that coil as it cools the coil, not the compartment?

What are your thoughts?

Eric
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Old 04-02-2003, 03:47 PM   #112
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I was thinking the same thing, Eric. I believe the fan is for cooling the "fins" which dissipate the heat removed by the ammonia.
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Old 04-02-2003, 09:50 PM   #113
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Silvertwinkie: There is no space over the finned radiator for a fan. A/S put an aluminum deflector there within about an inch of the radiator.

In an ordinary installation (one with a rooftop vent), the finned radiator would be cooled by hot air rising and pulling cooler air up from the lower vents. For some strange reason, when they designed the AS, they trapped the finned radiator in a pocket above the louvers so that hot air would simply pool in that space.

In the International AS, the fan simply sucks that hot air out of the compartment; it does this rather indiscriminately since there is no ducting of any sort and this is a certainly a very crude way to perform the task. I found that with the fan in the center position, hot air simply bounced off the door and most of it was simply recirculated right back through the louvers.

If Airstream had just been smart enough to position the top louvers about 3" or 4" higher, in all probabliliy, no fan would be even necessary. This would have involved raising the TV connections several inches and making a simple modification to the refrigerator cabinet.

Since on the door side of the fan, the louvers slant down and the fan blades are moving down, that side gets just about all of the airflow. On the more exposed side of the fan, the blades are moving up and the louvers slant down so that there is very litle airflow on that side. Getting the fan away from the door prevents most of the hot air recirculation problem.

I had considerable experience with my former SOB TrailManor which is a folding hardside trailer which had a 4" tube to the top of the refrigerator compartment that exhausted downward under the trailer by a muffin fan. That was the only way to get airflow when the trailer was folded. The installation totally sucked! Everyone was constantly experimenting with homemade ducts to get the refrigerators to cool better.

I'll see how my new fan position works. If I am not satisfied, I'll relocate the fan to blow upward through some aluminum ducting which will make it more efficient.
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Old 04-02-2003, 09:59 PM   #114
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John,

Instead of trying to pressurize the space by reversing the fan would it make more sense to place a 3 inch duct that runs from the back of the fan to the "pool" of hot air and suck the hottest air out? Just thinking about how to resolve the issue. The other thing I have done is gotten a small ducted fan from Radio shack and have it suck in outside air and direct it up to increase the flow. You could do the same and at least mix it up some. The fan looks like a mini version of the blowers that fire departments use to move smoke.
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Old 04-02-2003, 10:00 PM   #115
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By the way

To show just how poorly vented the refrigerator compartment is, take a look at the photo I posted about 4 posts earlier. I'll post another photo to show what I mean.

The dark area to the top right of the fan is the finned radiator. As you can see, the radiator is up above the louvers in a little pocket. No way to get any natural airflow there.

IMHO, the fan was simply an afterthought when it was found that the refrigerator wouldn't cool without it.
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Old 04-02-2003, 10:08 PM   #116
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Ducting

thenewkid64

There isn't space for a duct of any size to get air behind the fins (believe me, I have looked). If this fix doesn't satisfy me, I intend to use aluminum to make a narrow duct against the back of the refrigerator and use a fan like I think you are describing. I actually used a fan like that on my old TrailManor and it was the best fix I was able to come up with on that trailer.

However, the refrigerator is designed to work simply on the thermal currents from heat in the fins (given adequate ducting). My guess is that the fan in the position that it is in now will be more than adequate to get sufficient airflow. As an extra bonus, this fan is virtually silent.
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Old 04-03-2003, 05:17 PM   #117
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One thing that has be a bit concerned is the fact that since it is not vented through the roof, where will all the CO go when trapped in there? In my case will the fan do this? Is the fan activated thermally? Also, I was reading about blow outs happening frequently. I think I may have to do that mod that I think Jack did to his Safari to stop the flame from being blown out.

Any thoghts?

Eric
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Old 04-03-2003, 06:36 PM   #118
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Venting

The refrigerator compartment is well sealed from the trailer interior; with all that vent area, there is no danger of any CO buildup. The heat of the flame will result in a flow of air from bottom vent to top vent, sucking out any CO. Unfortunately, on mine, the critical radiator is in a pocket of trapped hot air.

The fan is activated thermally by a sensor on the tube of the finned radiator. You can test the fan by shorting across the terminals of the thermostat with a metalic tool.

In about 6000 miles of running with the refrigerator on gas and in Texas crosswinds, I have never had a flame blowout. Of course, my fridge is on the curb side, so other vehicles (read trucks) seldom pass by it very closely at speed.
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Old 04-03-2003, 09:24 PM   #119
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I must have had a short in my head. Bambi also is curbside. I didn't even think of that, I just kept thinkin about those trucks that blow by me and the air pressure that moves the car, that I forgot that I'm curbside. Jack's post is on his Safari, which, if it's like the '03s, is streetside.

Glad to hear it vents out well. I noticed when I was at the dealer that there wasn't any roof venting and the dealer said it was fine, but then again, the dealer also told me that the freshwater pump was under the rear bed with the tank.....

Thanks John.

Eric
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Old 04-24-2003, 08:21 AM   #120
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Latest modification

There are two small drawers in the galley, above the furnace. Like the other drawers in the trailer, these drawers have 6" steel sides, but the drawer fronts are a lot higher. The result is a lot of wasted space.

For instance, if I put the supplied cutlery tray in the bottom of one drawer, the entire capacity for that drawer is effectively lost unless I pile things on top of the cutlery.

I am improving this situation by reducing the height of each existing drawer front and building a new top drawer for the cutlery tray. I bandsawed 1 7/8" off the fronts and used heat-bonding oak veneer to trim the edges. A little gel stain of the right color and the fronts look factory new.

The new top drawer was built from 3/8" plywood and a set of 22" bottom-mount drawer slides. I used the veneer on the edges, so that the drawers appear to be solid wood.

This would be a simple improvement for Airstream to make.
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