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Old 10-24-2010, 10:01 AM   #101
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Explanation of Airstray's photos!!! Pic. 1, shows the length of the frame stiffeners. I was sent one for each side. Pic. 2 & 3 are the horizonal cracks in frame under the step. Pic. 4 is 2 & 3 combined. Pic.5, 6 & 7 is the curbside frame just behind the rear axel and yes, the vertical section is distorted enough to drop the rearend approx.2 in. Pic. 8 is the outrigger stiffener. I was sent 8. Pic. 9 is the frame stiffener and the last pic. is the thickness of both frame and outrigger (band aids). I took my AS back to the local RV dealer where it was purchased and they are making the repairs at no cost to me. They have a BBB rating of A+. Go on line and check out AS's rating. Hoping for the best. Thanks for all the support. If we stick togather, we can get help. Airstray P.S. Clancy Boy. Where did you obtain the #13? Add me.
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Old 10-24-2010, 10:13 AM   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JK3500 View Post
I am really sorry to hear more and more people reporting frame problems with their 22' Internationals. It's a terrible knot in the gut, thinking the trailer you spent so much money on (and are still paying for) may become lawn furniture long before its time.

My 22' was a later model than most having problems, and a significant contributor to my frame issues were the tow system my Airstream dealer set up for me with too heavy WD bars for my 1 ton truck and wimpy framed trailer. My hope was that, after the frame was repaired, not running any WD bars whatsoever would be gentle enough on my frame that it would hold up. Still, I never knew... Then there was also the fact that, even though my 1 ton truck never even noticed the 5000# trailer attached to it, if I ever had to execute a radical maneuver while towing, the lack of WD bars could allow the trailer to take control of things, resulting in a not so desirable outcome...

My frame issue was resolved on by an act of God, a freak hailstorm in Colorado on 4 July. Golfball size hail can certainly do a number to thin aluminum. While not as bad as the pictures of some of the hail damaged Airstreams on this forum, the damage was enough to total my trailer. When the insurance company asked if I wanted to buy back the trailer on salvage it didn't take much thought for me to answer "No thank you."

I was relieved when they came and towed away the trailer that had certainly brought me enjoyment but with it a lot of worry and disappointment.The timing couldn't have been better as I had been living in the trailer full time until only a month before the hailstorm. Like I said, an act of God..

I still like the look and image of Airstream trailers, though I don't think I will buy another one, certainly not a new or late model. They are just too expensive and, at least in my experience, not built well enough to justify that expense.

Sorry to go off topic; I guess technically this would be considered a highjack. However, I figure since I have previously contributed on this thread with my own "frame failure" issues, it is fair for me to post how my frame issue was resolved.

Again, I am sorry to hear of those with catastrophic frame failures and even more disappointed that Airstream does not appear to be standing behind what certainly seems to be a systemic problem resulting from a poor design. Best to you all and God bless. jk
JK, Can you refer a good rainmaker/hailmaker? Maybe I can park under a rotten tree. Joking aside, like you I'm considering another make. Beware!!!! Thor, who makes AS's is buying out numerous RV Company's. Check out, www.thor.com. Airstray
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Old 10-24-2010, 10:41 AM   #103
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Thanks for the explanation of each photo.

As for the cracks under the stair. There is no way the trailer load or travel would cause those cracks. I am at a loss to explain them.

The replacement of the outriggers will have no effect on the drop of the rear of the trailer. If the outriggers had failed the body would have dropped around the frame rather than the frame bending. The failure was the frame.

If you want to keep the trailer I would find someone that can heat the frame while jacking the rear back into place and insert a box beam into the channel. That beam wants to be at least 2 ft either side of the current bend. Weld into place at each end and at the center, current bent point. There is no need to weld the complete lenght of the box beam as the new beam will be much stronger than the original. I would do both sides, as it is only time before the other side fails also. The new beam wants to be forced up against the top flange of the original frame before welding each vertical edge of the beam to the frame. It will not be possible to weld the top of the beam along the center of it but bolting through it and the original frame should work. I would use at least 3 1/2in. #8 bolts. It may be necessary to pre drill the box beam inset it mark the frame and then drill the holes in the frame starting with a 1/8 bit and working up as that hole will have to be drilled on and angle because of the drill motors size Inserting a beam inside to old 50 and 60 trailers is a common fix for the older 3 in. frames that have just rusted over time.

Inserting a beam in behind the axle flange plates and welding it is going to require cutting an access hole in the plate that is used to mount the axles. That hole should be fish plated over when done. Cutting it out completely is too risky as it is the alignment of the axles.
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Old 10-24-2010, 06:08 PM   #104
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This is the add from Thor Industries website.

Airstream

Airstream is the most thoroughly tested Airstream in trailer history. It is years ahead in engineering . the culmination of over 70 years of experience in trailer making, millions of miles of Caravan travel throughout the world; plus millions of miles more, run up by happy Airstream owners!
Airstray
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Old 10-24-2010, 06:27 PM   #105
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Thanks, HowieE

Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
Thanks for the explanation of each photo.

As for the cracks under the stair. There is no way the trailer load or travel would cause those cracks. I am at a loss to explain them.

The replacement of the outriggers will have no effect on the drop of the rear of the trailer. If the outriggers had failed the body would have dropped around the frame rather than the frame bending. The failure was the frame.

If you want to keep the trailer I would find someone that can heat the frame while jacking the rear back into place and insert a box beam into the channel. That beam wants to be at least 2 ft either side of the current bend. Weld into place at each end and at the center, current bent point. There is no need to weld the complete length of the box beam as the new beam will be much stronger than the original. I would do both sides, as it is only time before the other side fails also. The new beam wants to be forced up against the top flange of the original frame before welding each vertical edge of the beam to the frame. It will not be possible to weld the top of the beam along the center of it but bolting through it and the original frame should work. I would use at least 3 1/2in. #8 bolts. It may be necessary to pre drill the box beam inset it mark the frame and then drill the holes in the frame starting with a 1/8 bit and working up as that hole will have to be drilled on and angle because of the drill motors size Inserting a beam inside to old 50 and 60 trailers is a common fix for the older 3 in. frames that have just rusted over time.

Inserting a beam in behind the axle flange plates and welding it is going to require cutting an access hole in the plate that is used to mount the axles. That hole should be fish plated over when done. Cutting it out completely is too risky as it is the alignment of the axles.
I'm sure the failure of the rear frame and subsequent drop caused the outriggers to fail also. What I can't comprehend is why the curbside failure......as most of the weight is on the street side, ie. shower, cabinets, stove, fridge, etc. Granted, that isn't much weight but more than the dinette. Anyone have any input on that thought? Airstray
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Old 10-24-2010, 06:33 PM   #106
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Aluminum frame!!!!!

I've read pro's & con's on an aluminum frame, but numerous manufacturers are using them and under much longer rigs with only 2 axles. Check out the "Vinstream" website. Airstray
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Old 10-24-2010, 06:43 PM   #107
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Thor Industries

I just read Thor Ind. also builds buses and ambulances. Duh!!!!!
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Old 10-25-2010, 05:25 PM   #108
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I would say the streetside is reinforcing the frame with all the cabinets,bath etc. The curbside on the other hand is flapping in the breeze. Add weight from the grey/black tanks being full? Its a head scratcher.
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Old 10-25-2010, 06:36 PM   #109
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zedex, have you had troubles with your 2004? Seems most of the frame problems are 2002 and 2003.
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:19 PM   #110
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No. I see no problems with my unit.
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Old 10-26-2010, 12:09 AM   #111
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I read this thead with interest, and sadness.
My suggestion... all of you with these problems get together, find a good Attorney that has experience in these matters and wave the big stick at them!
They have already admitted that the frame is not up to the job by providing a "reinforcement kit".

Airstream, as a company should be ashamed of themselves for not just pulling these units in and replacing the frames with something that is "right".
No mess, no fuss, just stand behind your product and show the world you do.
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Old 10-26-2010, 09:23 AM   #112
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Question Stiffener?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyair View Post
I read this thead with interest, and sadness.
My suggestion... all of you with these problems get together, find a good Attorney that has experience in these matters and wave the big stick at them!
They have already admitted that the frame is not up to the job by providing a "reinforcement kit".

Airstream, as a company should be ashamed of themselves for not just pulling these units in and replacing the frames with something that is "right".
No mess, no fuss, just stand behind your product and show the world you do.
I have always been a bit confused about the recall #131. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f212...ing-40193.html Reading around, it seems something happened back then but how effective it was, I don't know. There is a rectangular piece welded on the side of the frame aft of my wheels. I made one phone call inquiry to JC a long while back and was told that the recall didn't apply to my model because the "fix" was applied on the production line.

Does everyone with this model have this piece of metal welded on the frame? For that matter, is this "patch" that I look at even the "stiffener" fix that I hear others talk about?
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Old 10-26-2010, 11:58 AM   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zedex View Post
No. I see no problems with my unit.

If you don't have any frame failure problem, then:
1. you have not put many miles on it, or
2. The factory fixed the problem and you have a good properly engineered frame.

I wish you well and happy traveling.
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Old 10-26-2010, 05:05 PM   #114
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News flash!!!! I got cracks. After more carefull examination i see small cracks at the outriggers at the rear most wheel . I see no stiffeners welded in. I can see small cracks on 3 outriggers on the curbside. I dont understand why the cracks run horizontal though. I will be talking to Airstream shortly.
I smell class action law suit.
I do have a signed letter from airstream that there are no recalls on my model of airstream. Obviously they are keeping this hush hush.
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Old 10-26-2010, 06:24 PM   #115
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I think i may know why there are horizontal cracks. The outriggers are causing undo strain on the frame. The top of the outrigger where its welded to the top of the frame is acting like a hinge . The outrigger is flexing downward causing the bottom of the outrigger to flex the frame inward. The frame wont flex inward so the bottom of the outrigger is cracking the frame. All the cracks are at the bottom of the outrigger and the cracks are horizontal. That makes sence at least in my head.
Frankly, im not worried about it right now. Easily fixable.
If i did not have my own shop though things would be very different.
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Old 10-26-2010, 11:43 PM   #116
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Cracks!!!!

Zedex, sorry to hear about your cracks. Even if you fix it yourself I hope you will take before and after pictures and stand with the rest of us on this, where ever it goes. Thanks, Jim
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Old 10-27-2010, 07:51 AM   #117
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Absolutely. I think its pathetic that airstream, known for quality. Puts a trailer on the market with such poor quality control. Really. No quality control.. All the osb flooring is exposed under my airstream FFS. They didnt even bother to spray the osb. Truly pathetic.
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:48 AM   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JK3500 View Post
I am really sorry to hear more and more people reporting frame problems with their 22' Internationals. It's a terrible knot in the gut, thinking the trailer you spent so much money on (and are still paying for) may become lawn furniture long before its time.

My 22' was a later model than most having problems, and a significant contributor to my frame issues were the tow system my Airstream dealer set up for me with too heavy WD bars for my 1 ton truck and wimpy framed trailer. My hope was that, after the frame was repaired, not running any WD bars whatsoever would be gentle enough on my frame that it would hold up. Still, I never knew... Then there was also the fact that, even though my 1 ton truck never even noticed the 5000# trailer attached to it, if I ever had to execute a radical maneuver while towing, the lack of WD bars could allow the trailer to take control of things, resulting in a not so desirable outcome...

My frame issue was resolved on by an act of God, a freak hailstorm in Colorado on 4 July. Golfball size hail can certainly do a number to thin aluminum. While not as bad as the pictures of some of the hail damaged Airstreams on this forum, the damage was enough to total my trailer. When the insurance company asked if I wanted to buy back the trailer on salvage it didn't take much thought for me to answer "No thank you."

I was relieved when they came and towed away the trailer that had certainly brought me enjoyment but with it a lot of worry and disappointment.The timing couldn't have been better as I had been living in the trailer full time until only a month before the hailstorm. Like I said, an act of God..

I still like the look and image of Airstream trailers, though I don't think I will buy another one, certainly not a new or late model. They are just too expensive and, at least in my experience, not built well enough to justify that expense.

Sorry to go off topic; I guess technically this would be considered a highjack. However, I figure since I have previously contributed on this thread with my own "frame failure" issues, it is fair for me to post how my frame issue was resolved.

Again, I am sorry to hear of those with catastrophic frame failures and even more disappointed that Airstream does not appear to be standing behind what certainly seems to be a systemic problem resulting from a poor design. Best to you all and God bless. jk

The attorney route does sound interesting exept they cost a whole lot, and Airstream will fight it I expect.
In all fairness however, Airstream will supply their various patch kits free but we will have to pay to have them installed. The frame stiffener kit probably can be installed for a few hundred dollars but the outriggers kit could run into the thousands to install.
Also initially Airstream did do a lot of free work on my RV as I was the first to bring the problem to their attention. Sadly tho, nothing they did fixed the problem. I was just their ''field test guy''.
The bottom line here is Airstream would rather take an image hit than a big financial one by replacing all the defective frames. It's a business decision.
One more point. All of us out there with the defective frames....the resale value of our rigs is near zero. The reason is obvious.
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Old 10-28-2010, 02:29 AM   #119
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Frame "fix"!!!

I returned my AS to the RV dealer where I bought it, with all the patch kits and they are repairing it at no cost, they say. I'm wondering how the welds will be made without burning the floor. The floor is badly warped, so I'm waiting to see what they will do there. The WA.State Attorney General advised me to go ahead and allow the repairs, then they could file a complaint if the repairs were not satisfactory. I do not plan to let this rest.
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Old 10-29-2010, 06:19 AM   #120
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Originally Posted by Airstray View Post
I returned my AS to the RV dealer where I bought it, with all the patch kits and they are repairing it at no cost, they say. I'm wondering how the welds will be made without burning the floor. The floor is badly warped, so I'm waiting to see what they will do there. The WA.State Attorney General advised me to go ahead and allow the repairs, then they could file a complaint if the repairs were not satisfactory. I do not plan to let this rest.

I sincerly hope your patch fixes work out better than mine did. The dealer here in Tx botched that job pretty bad on my rig. The guy who did the welding clearly did not know how to weld. The only right fix for our rigs is to have a new frame put on, a redesigned proper one. You can put all the patches you want on that frame and you still have a poorly designed frame.

Good luck.
Don
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