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Old 10-28-2009, 07:38 PM   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catman6 View Post
Don't mean to hijack your thread, but you got me to thinking;

What if you don't use w/d bars? What if you have a solid 10,000 lb hitch w/ a tongue weight rating of 1000 lb.'s? Is relying solely on the factory tongue too much for these trailers? Will I be looking at cracks too?

I hope you get somewhere!! If this is as wide spread as it's sounding, A/S may be looking at a class action lawsuit. Can you imagine the PR nightmare that would cause?
It isn't so much the tongue weight as the amount that is taken off the front wheels by not using WD of some kind. Think of the rear axle of your truck as a fulcrum, and the tongue of the trailer as a lever. You've got 1,000 pounds levering against the rear axle, probably about 3 feet away. You're removing something like 400 or so pounds of weight from the front (steer) tires, which could make it more likely to understeer when turning, especially at highway speeds. This, of course, doesn't address the sway control issue either, and that's also part of the equation. a 29 foot long trailer will have about 10 feet of overhang behind its axles, and that is what usually starts swaying before anything else. this sway moves through the structure of the trailer to the coupler, which then moves into the hitch of the tow vehicle, and through the tow vehicle to the front tires, which are already lighter than normal, which will start to wander from side to side, which then goes back through the truck, hitch, trailer, to the rear of the trailer, which moves side to side even more.
So, that is why you need WD AND sway control, not just one or the other, and not because any travel trailer will come apart, except indirectly, from not using it.
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:09 PM   #102
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All,

I have tried posting the pictures here using the methods previously outlined. None of the options mentioned below the message window are available to me. I sent the to 2Air just tonight in hopes that they can be posted. As mentioned earlier my cracks are identical to what you see in the way early posts.

My trailer does not have the front panoramic window for the very purpose of I did not want any more frontal glass than possible.

As far as the price of the repair goes...The repair shop quoted me $2000 for the repair and that includes replacement of the front sheet and reinforcing the door frame area. Seems a little high, but this is a newer trailer and we love this thing and I hope that A/S steps it up a bit. My wife and I bought it for the sole purpose to drag our now 9 year old son around to see all of the great things our country has to offer and to allow him to experience places that have been often too forgotten by our fast paced society.

I do not consider myself a trailering expert but have towed all sorts of odd things in my time with a variety of tow vehicles (from boats and cars to nukes) and I have never been more confident in a set-up than my F250 crew cab diesel 2wd and the 07' Safari 27' FB. They seem to go together like "peas and carrots"

The more I research this the more it sounds like it could be filed as a Class action, especially since this has been well documented and known for at least 2 model years prior to mine and there were no design changes made. I really do not think that sort of thing benefits anyone except the legal slime that supports these cases, but as a consumer that is sometimes the only recourse you have when the manufacturer refuses to own up to their error. I have offered my own engineers service to Airstream at my cost with no response. So take that for what it is worth. I think they may have used an incorrect sheet alloy and heat treat for the amount of flex and stress on the trailer, but have not fully researched it. A 6061 T3 aluminum is "strong" but may have some durability issues that I am researching. Usually a 20 series is used in these sorts of applications if my memory serves me correctly but I am looking in to it.

Tin Hut I will look you up when I get my trailer back. You can be sure of that.
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:36 PM   #103
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ok kj'

here are the pictures.

i had to resize them from 3000 wide and 3mb sizes, down 2 fit the software here...

first we have the STREET side lower door margin...

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and now for a CLOSE UP of that area...

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i see a water/drip line and a crack TO THE RIGHT of that water line...

ZOOOOM them 4 a clearer view...

cheers
2air'
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:41 PM   #104
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now for the curb side....

here is the wide shot with a LONG crack...


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and the close up of that....


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we really can't tell from this view IF the crack extends beyond the segment protector, but it sure could.


and 2 RIVETS over toward the CENTER of the lower door hinge is another one....

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and the close up....

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ZOOOOM them 4 a clearer view...

again this crack MAY extend all the way to the panel edge, which is below that belt trim...

cheers
2air'
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:47 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by Krazyjohnny View Post

My trailer does not have the front panoramic window for the very purpose of I did not want any more frontal glass than possible.

As far as the price of the repair goes...The repair shop quoted me $2000 for the repair and that includes replacement of the front sheet and reinforcing the door frame area. Seems a little high...
so NO pano' windows and a rear door...

wow that's a problem, folks.

the PRICE u've been quoted is NOT out of line for this repair.

of course A/S should be paying the bill 4 this repair.

while the materials aren't expensive there is SIGNIFICANT labor hours involved to do this correctly.

including REMOVAL of the inner skin IF a hold down brace of any sort is included...

additionally the skin segment REPLACED will be done with olympic rivets, NOT bucked rivets.

2-3K$ is ~what folks were paying at the factory s/c for front end repair.

cheers
2air'
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:30 AM   #106
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Well come to find out all of that "wonderful customer service" talk is just that. TALK. I have an 07' model trailer with stress cracikng around the front compartment due to bad design and construction and Airstream says it is not there issue. My repair center has another trailer there same year and model with the same issue and Airstream has pretty much turned their nose up at the repair as if it is something that I did to the trailer. I have a call into Airstream Customer Support to hear it direct from them and will keep you all informed. So far 2 thumbs down for these guys. I thought the extra expense bought me a more stand up company...doesn't look that way at all. It appears to have been just a name. What a shame.
I can empathize with you, Krazy, because I've also experienced Airstream's customer service. But, anyone that says it is "wonderful" is more krazy than you or me!

In my case, I bought a new 2004 30' Classic that had running gear that was SEVERELY out of balance, and wheel bearings that had practically no grease on them.

I was fortunate to find and correct those problems almost imediately after buying my trailer at my own expense before experiencing what could have been disasterous results, but when I went to Jackson Center and discussed my concerns with Airstream's management in person, I was basically told "tough sheet". -- the same thing they like to tell MANY customers, from what I've seen and heard over and over, as you're now experiencing.

You'll never hear me compliment Airstream management or their almost total lack of concern for their customers.

I got rid of my Airstream 2 years ago and purchased a Newmar Kountry Aire 5th wheel, and am happy to be now dealing with an ethical company that values its customers and stands behind its products.

John
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:43 AM   #107
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:30 AM   #108
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I don't see a big deal in those pics, the body can't fall off the frame.

I wouldn't pay $2,000 to fix it at this point, wait and see.

But I would say that a Court would find in your favor and make Airstream pay the bill.

You don't need a class action suit, just sue them now.
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:20 AM   #109
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I don't see a big deal in those pics, the body can't fall off the frame.

I wouldn't pay $2,000 to fix it at this point, wait and see.
The cracks can become a point for water to get into the front compartment, and (long-term) can cause the floor there to start rotting.
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Old 10-29-2009, 09:44 AM   #110
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I don't see a big deal in those pics, the body can't fall off the frame.
that's what I was thinking... until I checked out 2air's links to HowieE's hidden damage...

...

in response to OP, we're drawing conclusions based on anecdotal data... yeah, I'm relatively a newbie to this site, but I'm not seeing more than a dozen units with owners posting real structural issues- and those are from units spanning 50 years.

My experience is firsthand inspection of a late model 31' that rolled 6-7 times. That sucker still had a 'straight' frame and tongue, with the shell attached at every point visible around the perimeter.

I've also seen the aftermath of an SOB rollover- debris everywhere, and the frame was in pieces on the shoulder.

With all due respect to 2Air, and I mean that sincerely- there's a reason my '08 Slide is 9,000lbs dry- and it ain't from Corian counters and IC chips over plastic laminate and vacuum tubes. It's got a *beefy* frame.

Those cracks are not systemic. It's poor QC (methods, materials or both), and if A/S isn't covering it 6 months out of warranty- there's something else they're aware of, that we here are not.
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:46 AM   #111
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...there's a reason my '08 Slide is 9,000lbs dry...

Those cracks are not systemic. It's poor QC (methods, materials or both), and if A/S isn't covering it 6 months out of warranty- there's something else they're aware of, that we here are not.
no disrespect seen in any of your posts fc'...

but understand that a/s SIGNIFICANTLY re-inforced the frames on slide models like yours and the d/c 34 slide and 28 safari slide.

they also reinforce the frames used on the 34ft pan am model.

in-fact the FRAME is DIFFERENT on classics (and ccds) from those years than the safaris from those years.

ANY recent trailer with the machined aluminum entry steps has a slightly different frame/reinforcement at the steps...

when compared with the models that have the steel steps used on the bunkhouses and base safari models.

this is because the outriggers need to be stronger JUST TO SUPPORT the entry steps.
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i agree this is anecdotal reporting but i'm not sure how else we can b-aware or track these issues.

and as to the numbers of units with issues...

i have seen as many as 10 trailers in one week end of camping...

with front end separation, shell cracks, LOOSE window frames, BENT A frames and so on...

ALL 2005 or NEWER.

when a model only has 50-100 units produced, 4-10 with similar structural issues is significant.
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i don't want to sidetrack krazy's thread or his problem but,

keep in mind the warranty/repairs costs have been CHOKING the company bottom line.

they actually considered (and discussed with dealers) REDUCING the warranty to ONE YEAR to stop the bleeding of green.

and as to IF a/s KNOWS something we don't about these things,

my personal experience is they MOST CERTAINLY DO know about a variety of structural problems.

the service center is DEALING with issues like this regularly and in NEWER models.

there are 'private deals' made with owners regularly.

folks are asked to sign NON DISCLOSURE statements in exchange for out of warranty repairs...

the variety of 'unique' ways they deal with customers borders on absurd to UNreal.

but after hearing the same story/sequence from lots of different folks a pattern is clearly seen.

and i mean NO DISRESPECT to the company or SOME of the employees who are well meaning, skilled and sincere about helping.

the opinion posted earlier by dwightdi is very much ON TARGET here.

the trend and in-house effort has been on DECORE and TRIM not engineering.

for example the 'quiksilver' model had a CARRY CAPACITY of 51 lbs...

that's right they designed/engineered, built and SOLD units that were capable of carrying 51 pounds.

and this '50 units ONLY' model sold so fast that they build 50 more and sold them too.
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for folks who actually USE/TOW their trailers much these structural issues are NOT rare or isolated.

for the TYPICAL trailer that goes 50 miles to the local state park and back or 1 rally a year, it is unlikely issues like these will manifest.

but even PARKED trailers get filiform corrosion and THAT issue is easy 4 almost any owner to see,

which is one of the reasons cosmetic issues get so much PLAY time here...

cheers
2air'
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Old 10-29-2009, 01:05 PM   #112
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Thanks for the help on the pics 2Air. As I stated earlier I have offered to pick up the costs of a true airframe engineer to run the calcs on this issue for A/S and have gotten no response.

I don't know the difference between olympic rivets or bucked so you got me there and I hope the ones they use on the repair are the best available because that is what I thought I paid for. If I would have known the Classic model was built better that is what I would have gone with. I was not told that by my dealer either. "Surprise, Surprise, surprise Gomer Pyle." It appears the accountants, insurance lawyers and marketers have taken over many of the practical and sound manufacturing around the world.
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Old 10-29-2009, 01:27 PM   #113
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folks are asked to sign NON DISCLOSURE statements in exchange for out of warranty repairs...

the variety of 'unique' ways they deal with customers borders on absurd to UNreal.

but after hearing the same story/sequence from lots of different folks a pattern is clearly seen.

and i mean NO DISRESPECT to the company or SOME of the employees who are well meaning, skilled and sincere about helping.


2air'
I was even asked to sign a NON DISCLOSURE statement for an in warranty issue (replacing flooring that had been destroyed during the original manufacture of my trailer), and even then they wold not comply with their own warranty terms and made me return my trailer to the factory at my own expense to get the repairs done.
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:07 PM   #114
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They can ASK you to sign (heck, a company is free to try anything), but do they actually make warranty work dependent on you signing a non-disclosure? Because I would think the warranty is something they are required to service as part of the purchase agreement.
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:41 PM   #115
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They can get away with it if the customer doesn't push the point.
Not standing behind the product is a sign of a company that's either in denial of the issues and who is responsible for them, or is in such dire financial condition that they feel that it could put them under. The fact that they are owned by Thor doesn't make them a "deep pockets" business.
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:11 PM   #116
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They can ASK you to sign (heck, a company is free to try anything), but do they actually make warranty work dependent on you signing a non-disclosure? Because I would think the warranty is something they are required to service as part of the purchase agreement.
I wanted to take my trailer back to an Airstream dealer or authorized service center for the repair, as stipulated by Airstream's written warranty policy, but Dave Schumann said I had to return the trailer to Jackson Center at my own expense because, according to him, the factory was the only place that could perform the repair. (My trailer was BRAND NEW and we had not even used it at that time.)

It is 1000 miles roundtrip from my home to the factory, and they wouldn't even pay a nickel of the cost for me to get it there.

Since I could not spare the time (much less wanting to incur the expense) of taking my trailer to the factory at that time, they made me a modest cash offer in lieu of doing the repair -- much less money than it would cost for the actual work --and required me to sign a non disclosure in order to receive their token payment.

Much later, but still within the 2 year warranty period, I took the trailer to Jackson Center at my own expense (a 1000 mile round trip) to have them do the repair, and returned for another 1,000 round trip a couple weeks later, also at my own expense, to pick the trailer up after the repair was done.

Airstream, and Thor, seem to operate on a "let the buyer beware" policy, and if they can sell trailers with structural or other issues and get away with it, they seem to be happy to do it.

Personally, it also ticks me off that some people on this bulletin board say that you should read "how-to" recommendations here to find things out, (like setting up your hitch and weight distribution bars) AFTER you purchase your trailer, rather than Airstream putting complete and accurate information in the owner's manual in the first place. (My owner's manual contained so much imcomplete and innacurate information it was a joke - for example, like my manual saying my trailer's tires were balanced before they left the factory, when in fact they were not doing this with any trailers at that time.)

John
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:33 PM   #117
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I just returned from the Newmar factory where I talked to a couple Newmar owners who were there to have their motorhomes completely repainted due to faulty DuPont paint that Newmar had used a number of years ago (6-7 years ago for one of those guys).

DuPont would not stand behind their paint, claiming it was out of warranty, but Newmar stood behind thier product, and was doing these major renovations largely at their own expense (one guy told me it was a $40,000 repair cost on his motorhome).

For me, that says it all, and is the reason why I'm now proud to say that I own an RV built by a company that stands behind its product. I could, and would, never say that about Airstream.
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:01 PM   #118
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Krazyjohnny, my sense is that you want to enjoy and get the most out of your Airstream. They are a beautiful, imperfect product. Life is like that. My career was Naval aviation maintenance. You find a crack in aluminum, locate the cause, fix it best you can and keep flying. Little to gain by beating up on the manufacturer except a waste of time.

There probably are engineering weakness, but your owners manual and Inland Andy, based on fixing many broken trailers, recommends caution with heavy suspensions. Andy suggests lighter w.d. bars for your truck. Another suggests repair of the cracks to prevent water intrusion. I haven't seen an effective argument against this. The damage is not your fault and we do wish for better guidance from the company, but we need to deal with what we have. I would give Andy a call. Airstream probably has an out if there is a warning in your repair manual, relative to repair costs.

Okay 2air, you can ridicule us again.

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Old 10-29-2009, 06:31 PM   #119
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I wanted to take my trailer back to an Airstream dealer or authorized service center for the repair, as stipulated by Airstream's written warranty policy, but Dave Schumann said I had to return the trailer to Jackson Center at my own expense because, according to him, the factory was the only place that could perform the repair.
John
Right here is where my BIG BOOT WOULD HAVE GONE WHERE THE SUN DON'T SHINE. You purchased a defective trailer with a warrantee that covers the defect. It should never have been shipped to begin with, and now it's your dime to get it back to them? And the factory IS NOT the only place that could perform this repair. It's just the least expensive way for the manufacturer to get it done, and an even better deal if they can pawn-off the travel on YOU!
This is the kind of customer service that makes companies disappear. Like I said before, They are either ignorant, or in dire financial condition to be doing this type of thing to people who want their product. Especially with todays financial climate and the amount of bad publicity already flying around the net about them.
The last time I looked Airstream marketing hadn't even shown their faces here for 2 or 3 weeks.
HELLOOO! WHERE ARE YOU?
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:55 PM   #120
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let's deal with this silly notion 1moretime...

be sure to do this while wearing a foil hat, copper bracelet and sway control undies...

AND the naked alien bouncing should be ON THE FRONT BUMPER for calibration...

cheers
2air'

Uh oh... 2Air's been abducted and probed by the aliens again... ain't sayin' where neither...
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