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Old 05-22-2024, 01:00 PM   #1
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2022 30' Flying Cloud
OKEMOS , Michigan
Join Date: Feb 2022
Posts: 59
Another FES victim

Our 2022 30-ft Flying Cloud Office with about 13,000 miles has popped 2 rivets on the lower frame of the front storage door. Suspecting an early indicator of Front End Separation, I sent pictures to Airstream.

They didn't blink about getting us scheduled for the repair, which shows how much they know this is a problem. So, we're booked for a trip to the factory, but they are scheduling into late November for this type of work.

Thankfully, we'll be back in our home state of Michigan then so it's not a terribly far drive in the winter weather. 😕
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Old 05-22-2024, 01:36 PM   #2
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2022 33' Classic
Chesapeake , Virginia
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I hope you do not have FES. We had the same rivets pop on our Classic 33, but did not have the dimples. I do not see dimples in your pic. When we were at Jackson Center last fall, our tech said we did NOT have the beginning of FES. They just replaced the rivets with Olympic rivets.

My understanding is your '22 model has the reinforcements, as does ours. Fingers crossed.

Good luck.
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Old 05-22-2024, 02:14 PM   #3
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2022 30' Flying Cloud
OKEMOS , Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BGClassic View Post
I hope you do not have FES. We had the same rivets pop on our Classic 33, but did not have the dimples. I do not see dimples in your pic. When we were at Jackson Center last fall, our tech said we did NOT have the beginning of FES. They just replaced the rivets with Olympic rivets.

My understanding is your '22 model has the reinforcements, as does ours. Fingers crossed.

Good luck.
Hmm... how can you tell if it is already reinforced? They have our VIN so it seems that would be noted in their records.
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Old 05-22-2024, 02:21 PM   #4
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2022 33' Classic
Chesapeake , Virginia
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I would ask Airstream. I have only read on here that newer units have the modification/reinforcement. Our tech told us we did not have FES. I have found sometimes it takes more than one call/email to get a full response.

I use a Propride hitch, and have backed off on the WD considerably. I also lowered tire pressures in the Airstream, and added Centramatics.

I am sure someone more experienced than me will chime in here.
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Old 05-22-2024, 04:05 PM   #5
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2024 25' Trade Wind
Seattle , Washington
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Hmm... how can you tell if it is already reinforced? They have our VIN so it seems that would be noted in their records.
My understanding is, the reinforcement came with the new front and end caps / roof connection. Our 2022 from the first half of the year was not reinforced, and there were two seams between the front cap and the white roof, between which was a small bump up. The new roofs don't have that additional bump, it's just the front and end caps sealed directly into the white roof panel. I thought it wasn't until 2023 models that they started doing that, but maybe they started later in 2022.

Down below, the roof with the person on it has the bump. The one being towed (A new Trade Wind actually) doesn't have the bump, straight from endcap to white roof).

Note that going even further back, much older Airstreams did not have the bump our either. I could be wrong, but I think that was introduced when they started ducting the heat pumps through the roof.
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Old 05-22-2024, 04:20 PM   #6
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I grabbed a You Tube link to that goes to the part of a Trade Wind overview video from a dealer that talks about the new roof structure.
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Old 06-05-2024, 09:48 AM   #7
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2022 27' Globetrotter
highlands ranch , Colorado
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We picked up our 2022 Globetrotter in Nov 21, ours has the same missing rivets and crease. Called the factory they said that ours has the new reinforced brackets to keep the FES from happening. Makes me wonder. They told me it was from bumper impact or WDH. Confused.
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Old 06-05-2024, 07:40 PM   #8
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2021 30' Flying Cloud
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Lady Lake , Florida
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Not in November

Your Trailer should be factor reinforced , I would be concerned , I would not trailer there in "November to much of a chance for salt to be on the roads, You think you have a problem now drag that rig through Calcium chloride sand grit and salt! Not for me make a Spring after April appointment and for a temp put your own rivets in or seal it up with silicone.

JC does great work on the ft end separation issue however I have learned its more the truck and Weight Distribution set up vs the trailer. I have backed WAYYYYYYYYYY of on the WD bars with our F-250 I let the truck be a truck. I also went to a Shocker WD hitch it smoothed out the trailer tug and push greatly.

When I stopped in to Vinnies Airstream in North Bay two years ago with our 30, Vinnie had a lets sit down at the host camp site and talk. I listened,
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Old 06-06-2024, 03:55 AM   #9
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2023 27' International
Oceanside , CA
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Too much tension on the WDH will do that on the 2022 and newer. Ask me how I know...
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Old 06-06-2024, 06:10 AM   #10
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2024 28' Flying Cloud
Jackson , New Jersey
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With all the FES talk on this forum, I don’t understand why folks don’t consider the Anderson hitch or perhaps the WeighSafe hitch that you can dial DOWN the tension on very easily?
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Old 06-06-2024, 03:18 PM   #11
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2022 25' Globetrotter
Katy , Texas
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AS tech support response to FES claim

Here is the response I got from Airstream tech-support regarding pop rivets failing lower left corner of my front compartment frame. I have a 2022 globetrotter 25 FB twin. Pic of failed pop rivets attached.

“Rivets popping is only one symptom of a front-end support issue. Thank you for the picture. As I see no concaving in the corner, on the front plate, and no bulging of the rub rail, I highly doubt this is a front-end support issue. The biggest identifier is the concaving at the front plate, in the corners. These rivets most likely popped from rough roads, or possibly an over tightened anti sway/weight distribution system. I am showing your unit was produced on April 28, 2022. This is after the factory began installing front-end support brackets for the front compartment. It is likely you have these supports pre-installed on your unit, as we began installing them at the end of March, beginning of April, timeframe. I do not believe you have an issue with front-end support, but merely some popped rivets.”

Subsequently, I took the unit to Bob Jones RV repair here in Houston and they replaced the three rivets under warranty. Airstream has also agreed to extend my warranty to include any front end separation issue that might come up.
It is my opinion that the rivets popped due to their location over a main support frame beam providing a hard point and the fact I was following airstream’s recommended 80 PSI tire inflation pressure.
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Old 06-06-2024, 04:45 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by S1njin View Post
With all the FES talk on this forum, I don’t understand why folks don’t consider the Anderson hitch or perhaps the WeighSafe hitch that you can dial DOWN the tension on very easily?
I think because it’s a lot of speculation at this point. For instance, some have argued that the solid, un tapered bars like those on the Weigh-Safe contribute to FES, while the tapered bars, like those on the BlueOx, are not as stiff and allow for more flex and put less stress on the Airstream frame (and maybe that’s a contributing factor to why Airstream endorses / partners with BlueOx). Also how much WD you apply needs to match with your tow vehicle’s manufacturer specifications.

I have other reasons for considering a WDH that is easier to adjust tension on the fly, though I worry that the options out there will make it harder, rather than easier, for me to back in and hitch or unhitch from my spot. The B&W Continuum has been of interest to me in particular. Though there are other cons to that system that make me wonder if the trade offs are worth it.
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Old 06-06-2024, 05:18 PM   #13
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The whole reason I purchased the WeighSafe was so I could dial the tension DOWN w/o necessarily relying on washers and wheel well height. I’m hoping I can soften the ride a bit, make it somewhat more forgiving.

Plus, I’m also hoping the rear bed model (no front storage compartments) buys me some leeway as well.
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