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Old 07-19-2010, 03:06 PM   #21
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Not good....not good at all. I would encourage everyone with this issue or any issue, to post to one of the QC threads for their particular year to keep these issues centrally located for folks to find. This particular "leak" issue appears on the surface a bit more widespread than just a few units. Of course this is only a suggestion.

Here is the link to the 2010 model year quality and within it are links for every year down to about 2004:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f142...ity-50306.html
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Old 07-19-2010, 05:06 PM   #22
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I had the same issue with mine. I removed rub rail and sealed. Also dropped belly pan and removed the foil insulation, lots of water drained out. Removed dinette and linoleum to dry subfloor. I regularly check for moisture in the subfloor with a Delmhorst Meter. This happened almost 2 years ago. Windows also leaked at seams. The big issue is the bumper area.
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Old 07-19-2010, 06:19 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by CHallinger View Post
I had the same issue with mine. I removed rub rail and sealed. Also dropped belly pan and removed the foil insulation, lots of water drained out. Removed dinette and linoleum to dry subfloor. I regularly check for moisture in the subfloor with a Delmhorst Meter. This happened almost 2 years ago. Windows also leaked at seams. The big issue is the bumper area.
Thanks, Challinger. So it looks from several of these posts that both the bumper area and the rear window seals are major problems.

Silvertwinkie, I checked through the 2007 posts on the site you mentioned. The last post was about a year ago. Most of the posts are from the first year's experience of 2007 owners...and I can relate to them, as we went thru that stage too--enjoying the Airstream, though lots of mostly minor defects while it was still in warranty. I'll try to tie in this thread there, to see how many are so happy now. Judging from this thread, the bloom is off the rose for many....we are talking about truly serious defects that typically do not surface until year 3.
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Old 07-19-2010, 07:04 PM   #24
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thanks for DOING the phase FOUR research...

the ISSUE imo is placing PANO windows at the rear of these models...

the rear ends are SUBJECT to a lot of movement, vibration and bouncybounce.

the pic posted above clearly shows the older assembly using sealant.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f456...ows-66779.html

the wrap window design may also weaken the over-all rear end/cap integrity...

since a big 'ol HOLE in the cap is needed for the 3 sections of glass.

especially if there is a storage door anywhere NEAR the window holes...

oh yeah, the ENTRY door is back there too and again weakens the unified SHELL concept.
_________

that window assembly and the holes may also contribute to the 'bumper' issue.

because even when there is sealant present at the bumper it can still shake/crack and fail.

perhaps moreso than a unit withOUT all those shell intrusions.
_________

many here APPLAUDED the rear door models with big windows...

and everyone here was THRILLED when a/s started using bubble foil under the subfloors...

now we know it CAN serve to collect and hold WATER, not a good thing.

while the windows can be a source of LEAKing.
____________

new models/floorplans/styles and materials ALL have issues...

but many of the problems will not show up till extensive FIELD TESTING is done...

that's called "post release research" and is funded by the buying public.

((in the drug/medication field this is PHASE IV research, known as POSTmarketing trials/surveillance))

it's NICE 2 c they are welding the window frames now, if that's really happening.

cheers
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Old 07-19-2010, 07:28 PM   #25
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Thanks so much to all of you for your responses. This forum website is amazing -- so helpful. We've got to stick together on this. Glenamoy, your post is priceless. My husband just went to the window to check and says that, "Yep, he's right. I can see it now. We too have the panoramic windows." What can we all do to insure that Airstream covers this? We will post on the QC thread, and we will contact Airstream first thing tomorrow. We may have to do something more formal, but what that is I don't know. It's just not right to spend all of this money, and to have this happen, and to then get the run-around and be told that we didn't pay close enough attention to our sealant issues, and now we have to fork out the money to fix it. We called one shop in Southern California and the owner said to contact Airstream, but not to be surprised if they blame it on us for simply not taking care of our sealant issues. It is a fascinating fact that they welded the area on the 2010's. Tomorrow afternoon we travel to an area that I don't think has internet reception, but we will try and check in at coffee shops along the way.
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:03 PM   #26
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I just bought an '07 30 Classic. This post scared me. Today I pressure washed my AS and really flooded the top of the bumper area to get 2 years of "barn dirt" off. This area in my trailer is carpeted underbed/rear hatch storage. I just ran out and checked...it is bone dry. Before I tear off the molding, has anyone heard of this issue on 30 Classics?
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:38 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
new models/floorplans/styles and materials ALL have issues...

but many of the problems will not show up till extensive FIELD TESTING is done...

that's called "post release research" and is funded by the buying public.

((in the drug/medication field this is PHASE IV research, known as POSTmarketing trials/surveillance))

it's NICE 2 c they are welding the window frames now, if that's really happening.

cheers
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Well...let's look at some numbers. Thor Industries owns several grades of RV manufacturers, so let's see what we are paying for in their products. Looking at 2010-2011 new prices at my local dealer, I see that:
Crossroads 5th wheel ranges about $22000-38,000
Dutchmen 5th wheel ranges about $28,000-44,000
Keystone Springdale ranges about $24,000-$26,000
Keystone Challenger (their premium) $44,000-50,000

Now look at Thor's Airstream, in 27-28 foot sizes. Depending upon its level (Flying Cloud to International to Classic), they range $70,000-$86,000.

Can we say "premium price"? Many (perhaps most) of us did not buy Airstream because of its looks, but because of its claims of outstanding reliability and quality, and its reputation for having been around for more than 75 years. This is their sales pitch, undeniably.

Anyone charging that kind of price premium---double the competition's!--needs to guarantee that quality. With all due respect, they need to back up their sales pitch with their own field testing, or pay when their "user" field testing goes awry. Period. Having massive leaks in 2 and 3 year old trailers causing multi-thousand dollar repair jobs, in multiple numbers of trailers, does not indicate quality or reliability. It says they goofed on the design table and the assembly line. We shall now find out what they back up their reputation--and their premium prices-- with. Sparkygus, we both now have claims in. I look forward to hearing from you on your results. Putting it on the forum makes it all transparent for everybody.
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:57 PM   #28
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don't confuse my post and your new found cause as being on the OPPOSITE sides of this issue.

and for the totally clueless, the phase 4 research (field testing) notation was HUMOR.

now, continuing with info for the clueless...

we have carefully EXPOSED many problems and issues with newer streams.

explore and u might find 8 or 10 of those major problems written about here.

-wheel bearing failures directly related to inadequate grease

-wiring issues leading to the potential for fires

-leaky skylights from the SOP approach to install

-FRAME/SHELL SEPARATION from inadequate attachments

-SHELL CRACKING and leaks as a result of frame/shell movements

-the dreaded filiform corrosion

-frame/floor inadequacies in SPECIFIC years/models...

and so on.
_____________

none of those issues have resulted in a recall, so good luck with that.

100s perhaps 1000s have applied pressure on some of these issues..

without any 'system wide' correction for previously built trailers.

and the fact that a/s has IMPROVED a production technique is irrelevant.

they can and will simply point out that "improvements" are on going

and part of the rich history of the brand.

while u now have a PET ISSUE (again don't interpret this note as UNsympathetic)...

there is a lot to learn from reviewing these OTHERS problems and how they've been handled.

the wheel bearing problems (and how a/s handled it) of 2004 would be particularly instructive.

as would learning about how the "corrosion folks" faired following the "lets get legal" tactic.
________

the price point issue is OLD NEWS, we all know about a/s pricing relative to other travel trailers...

and while you might THINK price guarantees freedom from major trouble, there is NO EVIDENCE of that ever...

THOR is multibillion dollar (annual sales) holding company.

a/s does a couple 100 million in business yearly.

it IS their marque brand but accounts for almost ZIP on their financials.

agaIn ALL of that's been deeply covered too.

so has the "lets get an attorney and band together on this"...

find those very instructive threads, read and LEARN what ultimately happened.

((i could supply the links but somehow suspect ZERO interest in getting up to speed by reading related topics))
________

it should also be noted that open exchanges HERE on problems like leaks, corrosion and so on...

have lead DIRECTLY to a/s updating the warranty and owners manual...

to further LIMIT their exposure on those issues.
_________

finally read the TOU for this site...

vendor disputes are not encouraged, AWARENESS is...

cheers
2air'
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Old 07-19-2010, 11:04 PM   #29
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Hi, so the big questions are:

(1.) Are we sure the floor rot problem is caused by the lack of sealant where the body meets the bumper cover?

(2.) Do we all need to remove this lower body moulding and seal this area?

(3.) Are all of these trailers lacking sealant in this area, or a few, or only FB models?

(4.) Is the floor rot problem only caused by, above floor leaks, such as in panoramic windows Etc.?


Note: pictures borrowed from glenamoy & TennisMan.
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:13 AM   #30
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Hi Robert,

I'll take a stab at answering your questions....or at least summing up what we have learned in this thread so far.

(1.) Are we sure the floor rot problem is caused by the lack of sealant where the body meets the bumper cover?

(2.) Do we all need to remove this lower body moulding and seal this area?

(3.) Are all of these trailers lacking sealant in this area, or a few, or only FB models?

(4.) Is the floor rot problem only caused by, above floor leaks, such as in panoramic windows Etc.?

So far, there is information on floor rot in the dinette area associated with leaking, on eight separate late model 2007-2009 trailers mentioned in this thread. Of them, four of the owners have concluded that it was the lack of sealant underneath the beltline trim in the bumper area. Challinger also notes that he removed the belly pan and found water pooling underneath the subfloor. These posts seem pretty persuasive to me.

With regard to sealant (question 3), tennisman, altamont, and me (glenamoy) have clearly indicated from observation that there was no factory sealant along the bumper, underneath the beltline trim. The others who indicated leakage from the bumper imply it but don't say so specifically. Altamont has indicated that Airstream knows of this problem. I don't know if there is now sealant on 2010 trailers.

Three also mention demonstrable rear window leaks, associated with the panoramic windows. As legandwillyG noted, his window leak did not seem to be the main problem. In my case, our local A/S service rep did a water test, and we could see a tiny stream of water from a window leak associated with an unwelded mitre joint (Clearly A/S has known of this problem, because all 2010s now have welds there). The rep could not see incoming water from the bumper area, but that may be because the water comes in under the plywood (note that challinger showed that it got to the belly pan and pooled there). I would say it is an open question what supplied the main leak and subsequent rot in my case, but I suspect the bumper area may have caused much of it, and I know that the window leak at least contributed.

To summarize, judging from all this evidence, one might say that the floor rot at the dinette in all these trailers seems to indicate a major leak source at the bumper, and a secondary source at the windows. The numbers of incidences suggest that design flaws, not "maintenance issues," are at fault in these eight young trailers.

With regard to 2airishuman, no one in this thread has mentioned lawyers or lawsuits or vendor disputes, and for him/her to bring that in is most unhelpful. Many of the posters have noted difficulties in getting their issues satisfactorily addressed. Two of us (I and Sparkygus) are currently at work with local service agents, who are working the issue with the factory/head office on our behalf. I am quite pleased with our local dealer. My trailer has been in the shop for over 10 days now, and I am told that an answer from Jackson Center is forthcoming. I believe firmly that squeaky wheels get the grease, and as I mentioned in my posts, I am documenting this all so that other A/S owners will know what might happen if and when they have the same frequently-occuring problem. Transparency and pooled knowledge are good for everyone. For my part, I fully expect Airstream to step up and offer to help, somehow...either on an individual repair basis or, perhaps less likely, as a recall. We shall see!
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:24 AM   #31
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My Chat with Customer Service at Airstream

I just got off the phone with Airstream and presented our problem, while also mentioning the thread of others here experiencing the same issue. (I don't know if I should write his name) was quick to note that we are out of warranty and therefore, Airstream can do nothing to help us. He also said that he reads the threads here, but that didn't register in his mind to it being a major problem. However, I pressed the issue, commenting about how the same leaky area has been rectified in the 2010's, and that this issue is clearly not acceptable for such a young trailer regardless of when the warranty expires. He said that changes are not always made because of any type of previous problem, and that every year they make changes and do things, but that doesn't mean that it is due to any particular problem. Personally, I don't buy that in this case, this isn't an aesthetic issue -- this is a quality issue and the fact that we've spent over $50,000 on this quality American product, then something that should have been noticed when the trailer was built, regardless of when it is discovered, should rightly be fixed by the company.

Because we're on vacation and 12 hours away from C&G and four from the nearest Airstream repair shop in Eugene, OR, we can't have it looked at immediately, and until we do, they won't make any decisions, or comment. While it would be ideal to run up to Sutton in Oregon, we have pre-paid reservations with friends who have driven a long way to meet us today, and we've waited two years for this trip, so we'll hold off and take it to C&G when we return. To alleviate further floor damage, we've made the dinette into the bed and we'll just leave it.

There's power in numbers, that's for sure, and I can only imagine the people out there who are experiencing this, but who don't get on the forum to even know that this is a problem, or those who have the issue, but aren't even aware yet. If you've got a 2000 plus year trailer with wrap around windows, I'd highly recommend taking the time to pull up your floor just to see. I truly hope that Airstream comes to the aid of all of us on this, since they are pretty much my last hope for believing in the ideal "American company" -- the kind that admits fault and wants to do the right thing simply because it's the right thing to do.

My husband doesn't want to pull off the trim piece, but here are the pictures of when he pulled up the linoleum.

We will be reading posts here, and posting on this when we can. We won't be heading back down to our repair shop until early August, but we're here to support and fight this, you can count on that.
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:55 AM   #32
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Sparky-Has your trailer been in south OC since new? It has probably only been exposed to about 9 inches average annual rainfall with the drought years. And basically 6 months of no rain per year typical of so. CA climate.

Not that they should leak in wetter climates either.

How they can say the damage is anything other than factory defect is beyond me.
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Old 07-20-2010, 01:32 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Sparkygus View Post
My husband doesn't want to pull off the trim piece, but here are the pictures of when he pulled up the linoleum.
Sparkygus,

Many thanks for the post and the photos. Here is an idea that struck me on seeing your photos. As in my trailer, the rot is away from the wall, well under the dinette. This had puzzled me, as the water has to be coming in from the edges, until I saw your photos (I have only seen parts of my plywood flooring so far, as it is still in the shop awaiting Airstream's decision). The water gets trapped of course under the linoleum. On the edges of the floor it has a chance at least to dry out, hence no rot on the edges. It cannot evaporate in the middle, so the rot on these trailers is under the dinette. A white residue--minerals in the water--is left behind where the floor was damp, but has dried out--along the edges of the rot. If the source of the leak had been just one window leak, at a mitre joint, say, one would expect a point source trail of white along a part of the edge. Instead, you get a massive amount of white all along the back wall, suggesting what other posters have said---that the rear bumper was the source of most of the inflow. Yikes! You also can pretty much rule out much moisture coming from the sides of the trailer, with the same reasoning.

Factory defect....no seal at the back wall on these trailers....that seems to be the only logical explanation, unless someone comes up with a better reason.

Keep squeaking! Back to you later.

ps, tpi: My trailer, as I think I may have mentioned, is kept in a barn. It has only seen about three rainstorms and four washings since I have owned it, so wet climate is not really a factor (although it probably sat on the dealer's lot for up to a year before I bought it!). Obviously, those living in desert areas may be spared--or will get their rot later in the trailer's life.
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Old 07-20-2010, 03:31 PM   #34
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The trailer mostly stays in So. Cal except for trips, so TPI as you know being our neighbor out there in Trabuco, when we purchased the trailer we were in drought years, and this past year simply drenched us ("drench" in So. Cal terms). And Glenmoy you make an excellent point about where the white is showing up, and most of the moisture -- right there along the back but not on the sides.

C&G (great company, by the way) will be looking at our trailer on Monday, August 9, and rest assured we'll be there camera in hand and will post pictures as soon as we get back. I'm still hoping that Airstream will come through for all of us, after what I've read about Wally Byam, I think he'd make it right.

Well, we're off now to the Rogue and I don't believe we'll have the internet, but we'll be back as soon as we can.

Thanks everybody and happy trails.
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:26 PM   #35
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Sparky-Has your trailer been in south OC since new? It has probably only been exposed to about 9 inches average annual rainfall with the drought years. And basically 6 months of no rain per year typical of so. CA climate.

Not that they should leak in wetter climates either.

How they can say the damage is anything other than factory defect is beyond me.

I could give a long lecture on their excuses - having just went through a trip to JC for extensive repairs. I have posted before - you will get the run around - I can even put a name to the people you all have been talking to.

They will not believe that any of this is their problem - you bought it, you should of maintained it. I have 11 serial numbers in retatiive close proximity to each other that show the same damage to the same model in the same location by the same leak - NOT THEIR FAULT, you should of maintained this trailer better, it would not of happened if you did.

I am not a great writer but if you want to talk about it PM me, I will give you my cell # - I have no ill feelings to the company but they need to stand up and take care of their customers. Even better - tell us all there are issues and help us solve them - they have the records.

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Old 07-20-2010, 11:19 PM   #36
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Hi, Sparkygus. Those floor pictures look horrible. I am somewhat concerned about this although I have no signs or evidence that my trailer has a problem. [that doesn't mean that I don't have a hidden problem] I am concerned that my bumper area is not sealed. My trailer is a 2005 year model, rear queen, with Safari windows, and I haven't heard of anyone, with a trailer like mine having this water rot problem. I have carpet in the bedroom and it has never been wet. My trailer has the pink insulation; It has been said that the newer type under belly insulation lets the water pool. If the lack of sealant in the rear bumper area is determined to be the cause, I may just have to remove the moulding and check for or seal this area. I just don't want to do it, if on my trailer, it is already sealed or not a problem. Wish I could see in there without tearing things apart.
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Old 07-21-2010, 08:02 AM   #37
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In looking at my 07 Classic, without taking it apart, it appears that the center section of the (fiberglass?) top bumper cover is molded with a lip that rolls up to where it is sandwiched between the silver molding and the rear lower skin. This would negate the need for sealer between the floor and the wall. I assume that the bumper corner pieces have the same lip (I can't see due to the belly pan)

It doesn't appear from the above photo that these FB models have the bumper configured with a vertical lip to act as a "dam" to prevent water from running under the floor area.

Does anybody know if this is the case?
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Old 07-21-2010, 08:45 AM   #38
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I agree that the folks at the company are a good bunch of folks, however, a number of the folks you've spoken with, and I too can prob guess who were talking about here as well are simply following the company line. They have no authority to deviate significantly from the company policy.

If in fact the company were not to rectify the situation, I would first write a letter to Bob Wheeler. There have been some occasions where fixes or support is given, but non-disclosure is required. If there were no answers provided or compromises, I would then write to THOR. If that also yielded no compromise or assistance, it's up to you what you'd do from that point. My guess is that Bob would read this with the info provided and clearly see that units that are around 3 years old with floor rot is not acceptable. In a thread that Airstream participated in, Bob accepted the challenge of building Lexus type quality (his words exactly). We'll see if walk matches the talk because IMHO, one unit, not good, a few units worse, but the numbers of these keep on growing and there have been at least 2 fixes that occurred later on which seems to have resolved the issue for owner(s) of newer units. One was on the pano window and the other was a caulk bead.

I wholeheartedly agree that the factory talks a good game on QC and they may have improved a bit too, but I firmly believe that as 2Air pointed out, there are laundry lists of things, some small, some not so small. No one that has a 3-7 year old trailer should have to deal with things like this, particularly after having spent "Lexus" type dollars on these silver palaces and be told simply...sorry, out of warranty (when even under warranty they walk from some things they ought not to). The company should really step up. Enough ducking tail and simply build the best trailers they can and take care of us. Leaks, front end separation, etc are simple fixes that could and appear to have been addressed in later production years, which leaves the early adopters holding the bag.....sorry but IMHO, that isn't right and eventually will come back to haunt Airstream possibly the same way it came to Harley Davidson.

As a side note, my trailer had a leak since day one. Luckily, I found it after a few months. No one could find it, even the factory (as I bought it from Sherry RV down the street from Jackson Center). Got it home, no leaks. Rain like a monsoon, no leaks. On vacation, driving on the interstate during a slight rain storm, stop, go into the trailer for lunch-- trailer floor wet. Did the light test as suggested, no luck. Did some basic water tests and found that during manufacturing, the factory had put ZERO caulk/sealant in my curbside wheel well.

We're all human and we all make mistakes, but later on, when I added a subwoofer to my coach, I opened up the front box under my couch. When I did this, I found a McDonald's breakfast sandwich wrapper stuffed into a passageway hole in the front inner skin that would not have been normally seen by the customer, it basically reinforced the mind set that a number of the factory workers may not have the best work ethic....and the thing about the workers being artisans, though in some cases true, I still wonder what they call the folks on the line that do things like stuff food wrappers and leave 5lbs of shaved alum, wire, tools, etc inside the built coaches? I have a few ideas.
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Old 07-21-2010, 02:17 PM   #39
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Can you post a couple of pictures of what you are looking at under the bumper that makes you think the Classic design is OK and does not need extra sealer?
I looked, but do not see what you are saying, the pics would be a big help.
Thanks!



Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
In looking at my 07 Classic, without taking it apart, it appears that the center section of the (fiberglass?) top bumper cover is molded with a lip that rolls up to where it is sandwiched between the silver molding and the rear lower skin. This would negate the need for sealer between the floor and the wall. I assume that the bumper corner pieces have the same lip (I can't see due to the belly pan)

It doesn't appear from the above photo that these FB models have the bumper configured with a vertical lip to act as a "dam" to prevent water from running under the floor area.

Does anybody know if this is the case?
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:23 PM   #40
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It's important to note that the CCDs/Flying Clouds don't use or have the same molded bumper with a lip like the Classics.
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