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Old 07-18-2012, 10:27 AM   #21
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and another thing

GT1963, I would "do" whatever fixes the one side, to the other. Symmetry makes us linear thinkers happy. Good Luck and I am glad the trailer did not end up in a ditch somewhere with you attached. I know, silver linings are only where you look, and right now, you are seeing dark.
be cool.
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Old 07-18-2012, 11:22 AM   #22
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There are many threads dealing with design and QC issues on the Forum, but they are scattered around and it is easy to miss them. The ones that has been around for about 5 years is the corrosion thread: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f142...ight=corrosion

I started one called http://www.airforums.com/forums/f161...Suggestion+Box and the purpose was to identify problems and offer suggestions. The idea was to avoid Airstream bashing (not always easy to accomplish because there are a lot of disappointed, frustrated and angry members) and focus on finding solutions that Airstream would listen to.

It has been quiet for a while as it is easier to identify than to solve a problem.

I know it has been followed by at least one person at Airstream.

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Old 07-18-2012, 12:07 PM   #23
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My fellow helping me with the brakes had a look and was shocked. It is not a crack it is a clean break and apparently it was NOT rusted before the break but after as a result of the break.

His first recommendation is NOT to take it to a mechanics shop in that it will need a professional welders assessment. I have contact a mobile unit to come and give me the first assessment to find out if I can at least tow it to a Professional welding shop.

I have contacted airstream requesting the appropriate person and process that I will now need to follow.

I will contact my insurance company and find out anything I can to see if anything may be covered.

I do hope that an amicable remedy will be found and not take too long either.

This is not only my home but my freedom to do my job as a freelance Photojournalist. If I get called to a job I don't want to have to miss opportunities. Ug.

But yes the silver lining is that it has been caught without it being a much more serious result.

I was given a wrong seal bearing kit for one of the wheels and now sitting waiting for the gentlemen to bring the seal and bearing up. I have two mechanics now stepping in to finish my brakes for me. Get the wheels back on. and then I will have to take the one wheel off again for when the welder comes up on Friday to inspect the frame break.

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Old 07-18-2012, 12:29 PM   #24
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GT', you are doing all the right things. It'll work out.

I'm assuming you bought it from Paula in Va. Beach. It used near the ocean and corrosion would be worse there, so it may have been weakening, though not noticeably, for a long time and then made a clean break. Road salt in Ontario only worsens the problem. But cars and trucks don't rust and weaken and break this way, so there is a design, material and QC problem. When I'm under my truck and SUV, both of which have more miles on them and are equal or older in age than our trailer, the frame isn't rusted. But decades ago, cars and truck did have rust problems. The manufacturers solved them; Airstream needs to catch up. I think in your case the problem is poor design aggravated by poor rust protection.

Now I'm going to look at my frame.

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Old 07-18-2012, 02:56 PM   #25
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Useless Trivia - this used to be a somewhat common problem with heavy trucks. In the truck repair industry welding a plate on the frame to repair it is referred to as "fishplating." There is an identical procedure done to repair the ribs on wooden boats, but using wood that gets bolted on. It's called "sistering in."
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Old 07-18-2012, 03:14 PM   #26
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More such trivia—when a joist sags or has more weight on it and another joist is joined to it to straighten or strengthen it, is is also called "sistering". I don't know if the original joist is the brother.

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Old 07-18-2012, 09:26 PM   #27
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Agreed - very disappointing - but you will get it fixed and 10 years from now we all will be laughing with you about this incident!
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:36 PM   #28
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Yeah happy day - my brakes are all done!!! ha that is what I started out to do Just have to do the wiring now but of course I am in no hurry at the moment.

Although under the added stress I caved and let two guys finish the job for me - well actually they both just sort of took over! - So I took on the roll of supervisor - while they slaved away in the heat.

Off the jack stands now and back on the rubber. Next I have to level the slabs and sit tight for a few days before I either move her back to the deck - or start un-packing and take her to a shop.

I wonder if I would survive two days in a tent and a blow up bed? and stay here NOT!!!

Thanks for all your support and shoulders to lean on. Yes it will get fixed and the good thing it is fixable - just a matter of who and when now.

But I bet good Ole Wally is up there shaking his head again....

Night folks and I will keep ya posted -

Mods - perhaps you might want to move this thread over to the former 02/03/04 cracked (or better stated broken frame) thread that was started in 09. ? your choice...
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:36 AM   #29
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Agreed - very disappointing - but you will get it fixed and 10 years from now we all will be laughing with you about this incident!
Anyone who watches action/adventure movies knows that an adventure consists of traveling to farway places and having a rotten time, but surviving to tell the story. A disaster is the same, except without the surviving.

So, by definition, this whole experience was an adventure, not a disaster.
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:20 AM   #30
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Ps. The fellas and myself had a look at the exposed frame on the street side and there does not look like there are any cracks splits or breaks - but can't tell around the rear tanks.

The curb side though both the cross pieces forward and aft of the wheel well are definitely not straight across and are sagging toward the ground.

I guess this would also explain the reason for the converter coming loose all the time and the ground lead for the 12V system which then would shut down my whole power.

Only had a few rivets come loose in the ceiling but always the same ones.

I have the other tell tail signs of wavy linoleum floor - which if I am not mistaken used to be the first complaint of the 22's - guess some of us have now figured out the mystery.

I always thought I had some floor rot or something, or they just installed it with staples at the door an it pulled away. Nope as someone mentioned the curb side flaps in the wind and my floor is the flag!

Well as they say one step at a time. So right now I now that when she gets back on the road I have a complete brand new set of drums and brakes to start me off.

So while on the topic of frames. There was also mention that this frame was not painted with some sort of oil base rust resistant paint. Would it be worth doing when they have to do the frame - get the frame sanded and re-painted to Canadian Standards of rust protection - and anyone had that done and how much does it run?

I know that only the frame is what Airstream will be taking care of but while she is up on the hoist and her underclothes off - I may as well get in there and take care of business in a few other ways.

Any suggestions as to what else - other than a few new pieces of aluminum or sheet metal what ever they use to replace the ones that are corroded. My black tank sensor has never worked so might be a good time to pop a new one in? Need to drill a hole through the floor and put in an Ethernet plug - I could do that now actually.

But any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated to round out my "adventure"
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:29 AM   #31
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Our frame cracked on both sides.... Airstream provided doubler plates and a service bulletin detailing repair procedures.. and we had it welded at a very competent local welding shop. We then towed it approximately 2500 miles on a trip to Yellowstone and back with absolutely no problems. No troubles at all.. and I have confidence that the repair is much stronger than the original.
Do I wish it had never cracked? Of course. Do I worry about it every time I tow? Not at all. I'm way down the road on that.
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:37 AM   #32
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Our frame cracked on both sides.... Airstream provided doubler plates and a service bulletin detailing repair procedures.. and we had it welded at a very competent local welding shop. We then towed it approximately 2500 miles on a trip to Yellowstone and back with absolutely no problems. No troubles at all.. and I have confidence that the repair is much stronger than the original.
Do I wish it had never cracked? Of course. Do I worry about it every time I tow? Not at all. I'm way down the road on that.
Oh heck once this is repaired I'm not going to worry. If you worry in life you will never leave the closet - so to speak

We traveled lots with the vintage trailers we had and you just never know with them what is going to fall off or come apart down the road. Same with the Tow Vehicles - anything can just wear and drop off and all you can do is keep up with your maintenance and do the best you can.

I was surprised though that no-one else noticed this. I had the brakes serviced three times, tires completely replaced as well at the factory too - so I guess it is something that people just don't look for - Broken frames cause your not expecting that. Unless of course it was publicized so people would inspect them more? Who knows...

But I'm glad you too did not have anything other than the broken frame a good fix and on your way - and Yellowstone park is a beautiful place to start off on a new "leaf - frame".
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Old 07-19-2012, 09:01 AM   #33
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Yes, the Yellowstone trip was great. I inspect the frame from time to time (it's been two years since the repair) and it continues to perform well. My wife and I expect to enjoy the Airstream for many years to come.
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:01 AM   #34
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I was surprised though that no-one else noticed this. I had the brakes serviced three times, tires completely replaced as well at the factory too - so I guess it is something that people just don't look for - Broken frames cause your not expecting that. Unless of course it was publicized so people would inspect them more? Who knows...
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Hi Sharon
MY my, you certainly are leading an interesting life, aren't you? When I looked at the first picture you posted the big crack was the first thing I saw.
But I have frames on my mind as my 2000 Toyota Tundra with 190K miles has just recieved a new frame courtesy of Toyota and the 25 million dollar lawsuit settled against the Dana Corporation. Shiny new black frame with new brake lines, exhaust connections and lots of new parts to pull off this kind of exchange. Looking at this new frame inside of my trusty Tundra is just too weird to completely take in still..but there it is. I am also the second owner and I bought this at the dealer as a trade in.

I have been driving around a truck also provided free from Toyota for the last couple of weeks and hope to pick up my truck today.

But I keep thinking, why should this happen to a 2005 trailer with double axles? I think Airstream has these frames made by outside sources as we have all seen the stacks of frames next to the factory at JC. Any recourse there? Maybe Dana Corp. also made your frame using the same inferior metal?

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Old 07-19-2012, 10:05 AM   #35
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I thought the problem was that they made the frames smaller on some of the smaller trailers and they were too small. That would indicate they didn't do the engineering on what the smaller frames could handle.

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Old 07-19-2012, 11:02 AM   #36
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So what is the flaw in the frame? Is it not strong enough, poor quality alloy, etc.? This length trailer has been made for a long time what gives on these newer models? Extra holding tanks, structural, what? Most frames rust and fall apart not just break.

Send me a sample of the alloy if the alloy is in question. I can take it to the met lab here at NASA and see what the hardness is and maybe get them to section it and look at it under the microscope. The construction of these trailers has not changed that much in the last 40 years so I have a hard time believing it is a design issue. It does not matter what I believe, the facts will speak for themselves.

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Old 07-19-2012, 11:15 AM   #37
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Well taking in all that I have read thus far - of course none have been official indications from Airstream (here on the forums) - as I have yet to see any bona fide documentation of this Service Bulletin #131 that refers to the 22' frame defect and fix welding kit.

It is a known issue based on consumer reports of splits, cracks and breaks to the frames of the 22' - various models during the manufacture years of 02-03-04. They have been both repaired at the factory as well as at the consumer points of either purchase or repair.

Also known is that the problem was identified as such severity that the factory during line production of the frames still in the production inventory were receiving an "engineered" fix beef up frame kit. I have not heard or read of any of the beef up kits failing (has anyone else?).

Laws have certainly changed in product liability - however the average Joe blow is not aware of this and usually just foots the bill.

Their is now both Strict Liability laws and Risk laws that safeguard the consumer - without having to go through costly litigation and unwarranted negative exposure to the product distribution system including manufactures using defective products, (i.e. Airstream) to the supplier, and dealers or re-sellers. I - "we" the consumer are protected but you have to know what you are facing - keep calm heads and stick with the facts at hand and leave the emotions in the top drawer!

The first and foremost with my frame break - is that as a consumer I should have been "notified" of this issue. Either directly or indirectly from the manufacturer, seller, or through a general manufacturer - Service Bulletin access point. i.e. Airstream Website.

It is certainly not a one off occurrence. Although there can be certain circumstances that may cause the same type of break that may be considered negligence on the owner part - for this type of break to happen in a X pound rated frame - there would not be much left of the trailer its self due to the extent of an impact required either from the side, rear, front or from the top. A wear and tear break would not be represented as the break is pictured. It is obvious that the break occurred at some point - where there was NO rust through at the point of the frame. The rust is and has occurred following the "clean break" - not just a crack - but a clean break through.

Perhaps a pot hole or bridge connections or railroad tracks when it happened - all of such is factored into the engineering of such frames for vehicle travelling on our engineered roads of today and particular speeds and carrying various weights.

Even the fact that the trailer is designed with tanks (grey and black) - low tanks too boot in the rear. It is the responsibility of the manufacture to design a proper load bearing frame to withstand the likelihood of worst case scenario - such that someone may travel with those tanks full and that considered weight would be a variable to the design of the frame.

Further interior design to distribute weight over the frame must also be considered as due diligence in manufacturing of the combined products to create a whole is not held harmless either. There is a duty of the whole process and all those involved to produce a product that is safe and with out potential dangerous harm to the consumer and/or those people who may become involved with the product or near the product.

"A manufacturer has the duty to make the product as safe as possible. If the manufacturer cannot do so, he has the obligation to adequately warn users and buyers of the dangers that exist." [Product Liability Law]

In my case - I purchased the trailer used. The trailer has a manufacture date of 07/04 a date in which known issues from the 02 and 03's existed. During the same year the "fix" came about (apparently) and further in the year the "fix" was being applied to the frame during line production. This constitutes this serial number as still being under warranty at the time of the known defect. Thus Airstream had an obligation to notify all consumers who purchased this model about the potential risk and defect of the frame and provide appropriate remedies under warranty. I know for a fact that Paula did not receive any such notification. Thus it was not passed onto me as the new owner.

Airstream also had and still has an obligation to notify all its Distributors - dealers of such defect and potential high risk of danger to the end users and those who may come in contact or involved with the product - such as it being used on the public road system— Plated and tagged— in other words to be of safe and sound use without posing harm or risk to others.

Simple reason - is there is a number of those frames out on the road, that either were not corrected during line production or owners notified of such risk. The fact that this product is subject to various inspection, licensing and registration - does not elevate liability to the consumer alone.

As the product is also included in the import export agreements (law) with Canada and the US it also has or had an obligation to notify the Import Registrar to allow for individual country notification during the inspection process. If there were bulletins provided by Airstream in this case then I would have been notified of the potential risk at the time of import in 2008. Appropriate action would have been taken to safe guard the consumer first and then to repair the frame or provide the remedy to avoid the risk from happening (potentially resulting in a fatal and disastrous accident).

This product is legally registered through the VIP Registrar, as such we are on a list for notification of any known factory defects that may arise to the knowledge of the manufacture from that date forward - there is NO statute of limitations applied to RISK, as it is ongoing and can arise out of unknown use or circumstance. It is a simple and economical process to safe guard the consumer as well as the manufactures from serious litigation resulting from injury or harm relating to an issue that could have and should have been avoided or remedied.

I am counting on Airstream to know their potential risk - to date all I can say is that they have had horse shoes hanging over their door.

I would think having a double frame break as others have experienced depending on their use at the time could cause such a shift in weight or handling of the airstream while under tow, to potentially render the driver in a situation that could potentially cause un-due sway loose control and cause an accident. This type of risk is and should NOT be taken lightly! It is of such severity that something needs to be done immediately to notify all appropriate parties.
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:23 AM   #38
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Just curious, did you take it to an authorized AS dealer. They may or may not help you. Jim
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:25 AM   #39
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I thought the problem was that they made the frames smaller on some of the smaller trailers and they were too small. That would indicate they didn't do the engineering on what the smaller frames could handle.

Gene
I would suspect both size of the frame AND corrosion that made the frame break. There was some problem with the metal on my year truck frame that lead to faster corrosion.
GT's frame looks to have excessive rusting BUT the crack line still is painted on each side. Right behind the rear axle and smaller frame rails supporting the larger black and gray tanks certainly contributed to this failure.
Still, with all of the floor, channel and body connections the break in the frame has a visible drop in the floor. Not to add insult to injury it would be good to look at those connections while it is opened up.
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:33 AM   #40
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Hey fellas - please don't start this thread into a guessing game and coming up with all sorts of theories that will just completely muddy the waters.

Stick with the facts until you hear further facts from the Company who is the only one that can provide the facts - Airstream Inc.

Defect - frames are breaking on the 22' models during the manufacture dates of 02-04 (based on reports provided through this public forum) - there have been no reports of other lengths of trailer frame breaks that I am aware of. (in non-vintage units that is).

As for the reasons - they have yet to be officially notified by Airstream.

I hope that as I go through this process that I will learn more and hope that my suggestions and or further research to uncover laws and due-dillegence will be put into place to advise other airstream owners of this potentially dangerous defect.

Your best consumer service at this time - would be if you know of anyone who has the above length Airstream of the years mentioned to pass on the caution. (Note; at some point there was made mention it only affected rear kitchen models - obviously with mine this is not the case! and most likely why I only have one side broken and not both sides)

Let them contact Airstream Inc. directly to obtain the information they need. I would suggest that they go through Dan McNeeley who is the Manager of Consumer Affairs and would be the first person to speak to about a consumer concern about a product you are in title of or have just purchased.

As it is obvious that this information has not circulated through any means i.e. the dealers it would be pointless to call them first - go straight to Airstream Inc.

Thanks Fellas - hang for a while be patient I will keep this thread informed - if nothing else out of concern for other unsuspecting Airstream owners of this model/year(s).
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