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Old 10-19-2011, 07:15 AM   #181
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Originally Posted by AnnArborBob View Post
It sounds to me like a problems with recent units is the lack of sealant under the belt-line trim which allows water to get to the wood floor around the edges. Several posters have indicated that they have added sealant to this area after discovering the problem. Seems like an obvious and easy fix (not counting repairing the water damage.) I have two questions: #1 does anyone know if the factory is now sealing the belt-line in the current model year of trailers? #2 does this solve the problem of water getting to and rotting the floor on recent model year trailers or are there still other design and manufacturing issues that let an excessive amount water into the unit and thereby cause the floor to rot?
While getting the repair done last week I went on the factory tour again. I can confirm that a large caulking bead (or possibly caulking backing weatherstrip) is being installed along the top of the bumper.

For question #2, check back with me in a couple of years but I believe that with the bumper caulking repair on mine and yearly checking the caulking around the windows, our trailer will be fine.
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:45 AM   #182
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SilverCottage, thanks for the on-site report from the factory. Much appreciated.

Would you describe the factory seal a bit more, for those who may want to duplicate this seal on their late model trailers. The bumper itself is located a bit back from the rub rail. More specifically, where is this bead of sealant or weatherstrip being applied?

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Old 10-19-2011, 09:11 AM   #183
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
SilverCottage, thanks for the on-site report from the factory. Much appreciated.

Would you describe the factory seal a bit more, for those who may want to duplicate this seal on their late model trailers. The bumper itself is located a bit back from the rub rail. More specifically, where is this bead of sealant or weatherstrip being applied?

doug k
Hey no problem. Between checking out the new LED's, the welded corners on the pano windows, the CNC-cut side panels (no more routers), and the bead of caulking I was busy on that tour. I probably should have said rear bumper "storage" rather than just bumper.

If you pull off the plastic chrome insert in the rub rail the rivets in the rub rail are exposed. The rivets holding the rub rail on can be drilled out so the entire rub rail from the door around to the furnace can be taken off.

With the rub rail removed you will see a gap where the rear aluminum body panel below the rear window meets the gray rear bumper storage at about 90. If yours is like mine, there will be some caulking in that seam but enough voids to allow water to enter where it is wicked into the edge of the floor.

So the idea is to clean out the old caulking and right where the aluminum meets the gray bumper storage compartment fill it with caulking. This means the caulking is sealing the area between the aluminum rear panel and the gray bumper storage panel. You will need caulking to go the entire width of the gray bumper storage panel.

Don't be shy with the amount of caulking since it will all be covered when the rub rail goes back on. After you re-install the rub rail you could also caulk the 2 seams where the rub rail meets the aluminum body panel and the bumper storage panel for added protection.

Oh, I don't know what they are doing on the new ones but you might consider slitting the insulation above the belly pan at the rear to allow air circulation and water drainage.
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Old 10-19-2011, 09:54 AM   #184
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While at the factory last year, I got a glimpse of what they are doing on the new ones. See post #77.
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Old 10-19-2011, 04:06 PM   #185
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So if you drill out the old rivets holding the rub rail and reinstall it with new rivets, wouldn't those new rivets be a source of leakage through and around them, and in back of the rub rail? Or are they also sealed somehow?

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Old 10-19-2011, 04:12 PM   #186
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And I wonder when the factory is installing this rub rail, before or after the interior sealing is done?

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Old 10-19-2011, 06:18 PM   #187
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There is no intrior sealing - all of the sealent is appied to the outside. They apply the sealent to the outside edge on top of the rub rail. The rub rail trim is then applied over the center part to cover up the rivet heads. This is suppose to seal the rivet heads and the top sealent is suppose to protect the rivet hole through the rub rail and the skin. This is designed to make a water tight seal in that area.
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:52 PM   #188
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New model rear bumper area seal now installed at factory

Following SilverCottage report of bumper area seal now being applied on new Airstreams, I checked our 2012.

Good news. There is a round neoprene-type seal installed where the rub rail and body meets the rear storage lid mounting plate (visible on either side). I wonder when they started installing that seal?

That should stop water from entering this area from the outside, but I imagine we still have to be diligent inspecting for leaks at the pano windows (they also weld the miters of the pano window frames the past couple years).

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Old 10-29-2011, 06:25 AM   #189
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When you purchase an article of clothing there is a piece of paper in the pocket " Inspector # " They need to put these pieces of paper at various locations in the Air Stream . We will see who is lax on the job
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Old 10-30-2011, 08:59 AM   #190
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They're doing that now with these more complex video system installations.
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Old 12-21-2011, 03:18 PM   #191
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The new type of seal is good news on the fix for the very recent builds of AS trailers.

I'll share our recent experience to give folks another data point regarding the vintage of trailers affected by similar issues. We recently found a section of floor in the rear section of bathroom on our 2009 23 FB had rotted. The area extended about 18" from the rear wall and was mostly covered by cabinets. We probably would not have realized the problem for a while had I not stepped off the the commode and heard a distinct crunching noise under foot.

Upon further inspection, I realized that there was also some mild discoloration of the vinyl foor covering as well. The discoloration was really difficult to see until I photographed it with our digital camera. Apparently the spectra of the flash is a bit better at color enhancement than the natural light in the AS.

I communicated this issue to AS customer service and received a response the same day. After some discussion about our situation, AS readily recommended an inspection at a recommended warranty facility to determine the cause and get the best possible solution. This was despite the fact that the warranty period had expired a couple of months prior. I'll also note that before the inspection we both agreed that it was likely due to a bumper leak that has been present since day one as the trailer has been stored in-doors for much of the time.

After we dropped the trailer off at Camper Clinic II, we did not hear a peep for about 2-1/2 weeks (which they had told me would be the case since they were really backed up). The call I received was simply to inform me that my trailer was repaired and ready for pick-up. When I pressed for additional details I was informed that the bumper leak was confirmed, subfloor replaced, and bumper area sealed at AS expense. When I looked over the invoice and inspected it myself, everything appeared have been dismantled and replaced properly. It was also clear that this was an expensive repair given the labor involved.

The take-away lessons from this are:

1). Know your trailer - Had I not spent significant time researching these forums and doing routine maintenance myself I doubt I'd have recognized the problem. I'd encourage folks to do a positive pressure leak test as routine maintenance. Especially while you are still under warranty. I'd also strongly consider doing this prior to delivery of a new trailer. That way you get the dealer to fix it before having to call JC. (Jackson Center, not Jesus Christ). Dealer service has a strong tendency to disappear once the sale is complete.

2). Remain calm & assume good intent - should you be pissed that your trailer has a significant problem? Probably, but it won't solve anything. Many of the posts in this thread have great information about the origin of the leak issues as well as the repairs that were implemented. Being well informed usually gives you an edge in any situation where you may have to negotiate. I have had a couple of other minor issues with our trailer and have been surprised at the level of honesty I've gotten from the AS reps once we started discussing the details what was wrong. They generally realize that there are problems that occur with their product and seem very willing to come to a reasonable solution.

Could AS quality be better. Probably. However, I suspect that this is more endemic to the industry, than it is to AS. I've had similar discussions with folks spending way more money on high end diesel pushers and in many cases the Mfr has left them holding the bag. All in all I'd still recommend an AS to a friend.
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Old 12-21-2011, 03:54 PM   #192
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AIrstream repairs

To all who are looking for a good repair place on Airstreams, there is a place call North Dallas RV....They have certified technicians on Airstreams....Randy, one of the technicians has been there over 28 years.....They are located in Carrollton, Texas, about 40 miles North of Dallas.....
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Old 12-21-2011, 03:56 PM   #193
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Following SilverCottage report of bumper area seal now being applied on new Airstreams, I checked our 2012.

Good news. There is a round neoprene-type seal installed where the rub rail and body meets the rear storage lid mounting plate (visible on either side). I wonder when they started installing that seal?

That should stop water from entering this area from the outside, but I imagine we still have to be diligent inspecting for leaks at the pano windows (they also weld the miters of the pano window frames the past couple years).

doug k
Could you post a few pics of this seal? Might be a good retrofit when the next maintenance time arrives.
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Old 12-21-2011, 04:57 PM   #194
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Can't take pictures for a week or so when the camera returns. Not much of the seal is visible, just the ends. Maybe someone else can get a pic in the meantime?

doug k
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:14 PM   #195
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Well, now I'm thinking......does she or doesn't she? Only her trailer builder knows for sure.

I assumed (from forum discussions) this seal was installed from 2010 on. However, assumptions can be dangerous.

If we contacted Airstream directly and asked them, was bumper seal installed or not, surely they could tell us.

In the meantime, would appreciate any pictures and further info.
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Old 12-25-2011, 08:07 AM   #196
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Rotten floor 2007 Safari FB

I have not read all the threads but it appears there are numerous problems with leaks and rotten floors at the rear. I also had a rotten floor at the rear of my 2007 Safari FB. Called Airstream and after some discussion they agreed to fix it if I brought it to JC Repair Shop. When I got there there was constant uncertainty if they would cover the repair. When my trailer was taken apart they tried to extort $3000 out of me to finish the repair. When I asked to speak to Bob Wheeler they came back with a compromise. I left with part of my leaks repaired. When I got home I had to fix all the leaks in the front bedroom and replace the carpeting with vinyl. I have also completely resealed everything, but have not tested in a rain storm yet.

This is definitely a manufacturing problem. I took the factory tour when I was at JC and they now are putting a gasket at the rear to prevent the leaks.

I am very disappointed with the product quality, customer service and the help I received from Airstream. I spent over $1500 in travel, hotel rooms, meals etc. I also lost one week pay from my job. I would have been better to pay out of my pocket to get this fixed. It is very disturbing that Airstream will not stand behind their product.

I had a very similar problem with a Fleetwood travel trailer. They accepted the problem and completely fixed the problem at no cost to me and no hassles.

I hope Airstream will wake up. They should look at what happened to the US Auto industry when their quality declined and they did not take care of their customer's.

Airstream should have done a recall and fixed this problem. If we as a group of owners can take some action to recoup our cost I would like to be involved.

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Old 12-25-2011, 11:57 AM   #197
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They have had decades to solve this problem and it is not fixed yet.

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Old 12-26-2011, 05:01 AM   #198
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Where exactally is this leak ? I want to check mine .
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Old 12-26-2011, 09:12 AM   #199
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The leak is at the rear of the trailer at the trim band that is between the trailer body and the compartment for the waste hose storage. Water enters under the body and stays between the vinyl and the insulation and rots the sub-floor. Check for soft spots in the floor and discoloration of the vinyl.
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Old 12-26-2011, 10:43 AM   #200
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I've been reading this for a year or so, watching the trainwrecks of rotted floors as they come in. Anyone who has read this ever-lengthening thread of disasters from start to finish will know that I posted quite a lot on this problem two years ago. My experience is a bit like Captain Hanks, although I did not bite on the offer of a partial fix from the factory, which is over a thousand miles from here.

Every now and then you read a post on this thread that looks as if all is Sweetness and Light....that Airstream has fixed the problem, and that we should look to maintaining our vehicles better, and that we should "remain calm and have good intent." Don't buy a word of it....some of these posts look like plants. Read the whole thread. See the dozens of people who posted on the SAME problem, and how they were stiffed by a reprehensible company who would not fully stand behind their product, who would not issue a recall on what was a manufacturing defect pure and simple, who would 'fix' the problem (years later) on their assembly lines but who would not post warnings on their website or in their users manuals to warn their (once) loyal customers. This is not a company to do business with.
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