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Old 06-23-2014, 05:15 AM   #381
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don.H View Post
Does AS offer a flyer showing the owner where they can calk to prevent water leaking in on the floor ?
I don't believe that AS has acknowledged that there is an issue.

When I reported the first of my leaks on the phone, they told me it was 'the owner's responsibility to be diligent and keep up with regular maintenance' which apparently includes caulking all the areas the factory forgot to caulk.

In the case of my unit, this represented caulking around all the windows, all the roof seams, pulling off the entire lower trim and the belly and caulking where they factory 'forgot' to caulk.

I have posted at length as to what this involved; but, since doing all that properly a year ago, I have not noted any leaks since.

It's totally unacceptable that with such an expensive unit that this would be necessary but AS's quality control & some of its design decisions are totally unacceptable.

I love travelling in our unit but it bugs me to think that the corporate minds behind this brand are potentially steering it into the same death spiral that killed many other 'infallible' American icons... anyone here remember Pontiac?

AS needs a big kick in the A$$; but, they think ignoring all these reports of leaks and rot is a clever strategy and they can continue to cruise with a reputation left over from the 1960's.

-evan
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Old 06-23-2014, 07:01 AM   #382
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I'm waiting to hear back from JC about my leak - front storage door is the culprit - got moisture under flooring near bed

Would never have noticed if I had not check floors with moisture meter - found the wet spot then found the terrible gasket/door design

AS Manual should describe how to use a moisture meter as dealers should as well

Also any new owner should definitely check all sub floors with the meter even before pulling off the lot (or before buying it just in case) - and after that put newspaper I.n all storage compartments and spray those compartments thoroughly and see if leak - I suspect many will - especially those longer type doors with only one latch
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Old 06-23-2014, 07:43 AM   #383
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Many Areas for Leaks

One thing I've learned is there are many sources of leaks. Any water leaking through the outer skin will run inside the wall, be soaked into the plywood, and ultimately contribute to floor rot. Two years ago our 2008 27FB went to Jackson Center for floor rot repair which resulted in 1/3 of the plywood floor being replaced.

Yesterday I noticed one of the mounting brackets for the main Zip Dee awning appeared to be loose as I was putting up the awning. I climbed up on a ladder and saw two of the screws were loose allowing the bracket to stand off the side a little when the awning arm was moved. On further inspection I noticed there appeared to be very little sealant on the bracket. I unscrewed the bracket from the trailer, confirming the factory put very little sealant on the bracket when the awning was installed and no sealant on the screws, around the screw holes where they are drilled into the skin, or on the bracket itself. See pictures below.

The bracket is installed on top of three rivets, which causes the bracket to stand out from the skin. With very little sealant on the bracket, or around the screws, water runs behind the bracket and into the screw holes.

I've had this trailer at the repair facility in Jackson Center twice and both times paid to have the tech check all of the seams for leaks. Apparently he missed the awning arm bracket. Fortunately the other awning arm bracket had plenty of sealant and the screws were tight.

Pictures of the skin when the bracket was removed, and the bracket itself, illustrate the lack of proper application of sealant when the trailer was built. Note how the bracket is installed over rivets. The other two pictures illustrate the repair in process. I forgot to photo the completed sealing job.

Water in the plywood floor can come from anywhere and even the factory service center technicians don't find all of the leaks. Ownership requires continuous inspection.

Another lesson learned here. Occasionally check the screws on the awning brackets to make sure they are tight.
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Old 06-23-2014, 12:47 PM   #384
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don.H View Post
Does AS offer a flyer showing the owner where they can calk to prevent water leaking in on the floor ?
NO...

But apparently they consider peeling off the rubrail insert, drilling out 27 rivets, removing 16' of rubrail, caulking, re-installing the rubrail, buying and installing new rubrail insert molding as "routine maintenance"...


You can get better advice on how to maintain and repair your AS from strangers on the internet than from AS. It's pathetic.
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Old 06-23-2014, 02:04 PM   #385
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As I always say when it comes to RV's....and it does not matter what brand: "some assembly required".
All part of the fun, eh ?
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Old 07-12-2014, 11:04 AM   #386
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After noticing a soft spot in my 2009 27FB just in front of the table/seat near the door I searched Airforums and found this thread. Needless to say I'm pretty horrified by the pictures and experiences of others of model years near mine.

I've kept up with maintenance, checking seals, and caulking. I full time so I either have the AC on all the time or a dehumidifier during the winter to keep the humidity down.

After reading this thread I checked all the places others have mentioned except the rear trim since I can't replace it at the moment. Nothing looks like it is leaking, but while pulling out of my spot to go on an extended trip I noticed water dripping out from the belly band just behind the steps and door. Makes sense with the soft spot near the door and table now.

I've ordered a moisture meter and will test the areas and post the results in the next week or so. If it's rotten I don't know when I can repair it since I will be still be full timing for several months until I get out of the Marines soon and move in with my girlfriend and her neighborhood doesn't allow trailers to be stored at the house.

If I do find my floor is rotten what is the best way to contact Airstream about repairs. I know they won't admit it is a design defect but this is unacceptable for a trailer that is only 5 years old. I bought my 2009 27FB used in early 2011, and it was barely used but didn't have a warranty. If any other members have experience dealing with Airstream on this issue please send me a PM on how it went. Thank you in advance.
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Old 07-12-2014, 04:10 PM   #387
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I asked a rep from airstream if they recommended moisture meters and why it is not included as a rec in the manual

I was told they do not publish a rec and that annual inspections of seams etc is all they formally recommend

Monitoring for moisture over time with a meter(s) seem incredibly critical - this is as it seem incredibly rare for owners to either know about or to do
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Old 07-12-2014, 06:59 PM   #388
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I have found that if you use Trempro on things that move you need a really thick fillet of caulk. The Parbond is much more flexible and won't crack with movement like the Trempro will if it is too thin. Awning brackets are always moving. You could also use the Parbond and let it get sucked into the crack and then put a thick fillet of Trempro over that.

Perry

Quote:
Originally Posted by Florida 55 View Post
One thing I've learned is there are many sources of leaks. Any water leaking through the outer skin will run inside the wall, be soaked into the plywood, and ultimately contribute to floor rot. Two years ago our 2008 27FB went to Jackson Center for floor rot repair which resulted in 1/3 of the plywood floor being replaced.

Yesterday I noticed one of the mounting brackets for the main Zip Dee awning appeared to be loose as I was putting up the awning. I climbed up on a ladder and saw two of the screws were loose allowing the bracket to stand off the side a little when the awning arm was moved. On further inspection I noticed there appeared to be very little sealant on the bracket. I unscrewed the bracket from the trailer, confirming the factory put very little sealant on the bracket when the awning was installed and no sealant on the screws, around the screw holes where they are drilled into the skin, or on the bracket itself. See pictures below.

The bracket is installed on top of three rivets, which causes the bracket to stand out from the skin. With very little sealant on the bracket, or around the screws, water runs behind the bracket and into the screw holes.

I've had this trailer at the repair facility in Jackson Center twice and both times paid to have the tech check all of the seams for leaks. Apparently he missed the awning arm bracket. Fortunately the other awning arm bracket had plenty of sealant and the screws were tight.

Pictures of the skin when the bracket was removed, and the bracket itself, illustrate the lack of proper application of sealant when the trailer was built. Note how the bracket is installed over rivets. The other two pictures illustrate the repair in process. I forgot to photo the completed sealing job.

Water in the plywood floor can come from anywhere and even the factory service center technicians don't find all of the leaks. Ownership requires continuous inspection.

Another lesson learned here. Occasionally check the screws on the awning brackets to make sure they are tight.
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Old 07-12-2014, 07:26 PM   #389
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Good advise Perry.


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Old 07-13-2014, 12:00 AM   #390
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLMarine View Post
After noticing a soft spot in my 2009 27FB just in front of the table/seat near the door I searched Airforums and found this thread. Needless to say I'm pretty horrified by the pictures and experiences of others of model years near mine.

I've kept up with maintenance, checking seals, and caulking. I full time so I either have the AC on all the time or a dehumidifier during the winter to keep the humidity down.

After reading this thread I checked all the places others have mentioned except the rear trim since I can't replace it at the moment. Nothing looks like it is leaking, but while pulling out of my spot to go on an extended trip I noticed water dripping out from the belly band just behind the steps and door. Makes sense with the soft spot near the door and table now.

I've ordered a moisture meter and will test the areas and post the results in the next week or so. If it's rotten I don't know when I can repair it since I will be still be full timing for several months until I get out of the Marines soon and move in with my girlfriend and her neighborhood doesn't allow trailers to be stored at the house.

If I do find my floor is rotten what is the best way to contact Airstream about repairs. I know they won't admit it is a design defect but this is unacceptable for a trailer that is only 5 years old. I bought my 2009 27FB used in early 2011, and it was barely used but didn't have a warranty. If any other members have experience dealing with Airstream on this issue please send me a PM on how it went. Thank you in advance.
The problem is that Airstream consistently neglects to apply caulk to critical areas in the assembly process and has designed a trailer that has significant weaknesses that allow water ingress. When the inevitable water entry wreaks its havoc, it's too late, but they escape the responsibility for this by blaming the owner for failing to do proper maintenance. It's total B$ but it keeps them from taking responsibility for what was their failing in the first place...

I have a seemingly solid trailer now but I had to fix it myself. I have recaulked essentially every seam in the trailer at least once. I have rebuilt the interior and redesigned entire sections of the unit. This cost me a lot of time and money and angst. Airstream dropped the ball but they won't admit it.

I will enjoy my trailer now but it is MY build not theirs. I am happy to tell anyone who asks that Airstreams are wonderful trailers; they tow like a dream, blah blah, but they are essentially crap until you get to rebuild it to a decent water tight spec....

Good luck getting them to admit that they screwed up.

If you have a soft floor, you are going to have to pull up the lino & bite the bullet. You need to find out where the water is getting in. Fix that and the damage from the rot. It can be made to be properly waterproof but A$ won't likely do it properly anyways. I would suggest you do it yourself or get someone smart & handy to fix it.


-evan
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Old 07-13-2014, 12:33 AM   #391
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If I hated something that much I would just get rid of it and get a trouble-free rv.
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Old 07-13-2014, 06:42 AM   #392
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Given the many water damage incidents reported here, Airstream's denials and refusal to take responsibility, I'm surprised there has not been a class action lawsuit filed.

As posted on this thread, I was lucky enough (and it was by pure chance I noticed water pouring out when trailer was jacked for tire change) to avoid the floor rot.
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Old 07-13-2014, 09:38 AM   #393
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FLMarine, you can view my pictures and problems on the later parts of this thread. Mike Goetz--Owner Relations Rep.--is just one of the people I talked with concerning my floor. He can be reached at 937-596-6111 ext 7405. I wrote down exactly what he told me, "Have an AS dealer determine the cause and AS will work with you." An AS dealer in Denver wanted $125 a hour to determine the cause of my floor rot. I spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $125 to replace a large portion of my rear floor. Time and having the tools to perform the repair is required. I have a very strict HOA where I live that doesn't allow RV's to be parked in your driveway overnight. I asked the HOA manager for a few days to do my repairs and got away with three weeks. Guess none of my neighbors complained about the extended stay. My only other option was to park it at the Air Force Academy wood working shop, but I would not have had a power source without using my generator. I would take a few hours and remove your furniture and peel back the vinyl and see what the extent of your rot is. If your rot doesn't extend into the inner wall, it is a much easier fix. Unless you are willing to have a long and contentious fight with AS without knowing the end game, I'd move on to fixing it yourself.
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:18 PM   #394
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Given the many water damage incidents reported here, Airstream's denials and refusal to take responsibility, I'm surprised there has not been a class action lawsuit filed.
Just a matter of time...when the right lawyer buys the wrong Airstream.

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Old 07-13-2014, 11:30 PM   #395
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Quote:
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If I hated something that much I would just get rid of it and get a trouble-free rv.
Hi Doug,

I don't hate my Airstream; I actually like it very much thanks...

That doesn't change the fact that I am very disappointed in the shoddy work that A$ does in building these units. This may be testament to the old adage that if you want something done right, you need to do it yourself; but, I don't expect to have to recaulk my Ford truck or my Subaru Wagon wagon joint lines or have to use a moisture meter on the floorpans to see whether they forgot to install all the appropriate weatherproofing gaskets... Airstream on the other hand, demands this of their owners for some reason.

Most of the extra months of work restoring my 2008 trailer could have been avoided if A$ had done its job properly the first time round. The lesson from this thread is that my experience is not unique. How many others have scrimped and sacrificed to buy what they thought was the Cadillac of Trailers only to find that their unit has wet sodden floors or worse yet, destroyed rotten floors?

Where is Airstream in dealing with these issues? There is no recall on the affected units. No correspondence from A$ warning registered owners that there is a potential problem and that they should get their trailers checked for missing gaskets etc....nothing.

A company that maintains this level of poor workmanship as an acceptable standard and sits back comfortably resting on a reputation it earned decades ago is not, IMO, looking to the future. This is a formula for a big shakeup or bankruptcy. I don't wish them ill. I just wish that they would take responsibility for their screwups and fix the problems before it becomes a widely held opinion that the "Cadillac of Trailers" is now the "Lada of RV's" courtesy of our friends in Jackson Center.

Does anyone here remember American Motors?

-evan
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Old 07-15-2014, 07:38 AM   #396
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If I hated something that much I would just get rid of it and get a trouble-free rv.
Three Airstreams since 2009 - all had their problems....

One new RV - the quality compared to the Airstreams is "night & day"

Thor needs to get a grip on their Airstream manufacturing & quality control for the price we all pay for these trailers!!!
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Old 07-15-2014, 07:45 AM   #397
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We also have some floor rot. Seems that it started in our rear hatch under the corner bed. If it is just under the bed, it won't be a big deal. My suspicion is that it extended under the corner shower. We will tackle this project in a few weeks when we are home for more than one weekend.
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:45 AM   #398
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Recent visitors to Jackson Center seem to report that consumer demand for new trailers is very strong. New trailer buyer demand is not pushing AS to come up with an engineering design to address how outer skin leaks are rotting the subfloors.

The outer skin is going to leak and condensation in the walls is going to happen. There needs to be a design that channels any leaking water or condensation away from the subfloor.
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Old 07-15-2014, 09:38 AM   #399
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Talking with other rv owners tells me they all have their problems. We're very satisfied with what we have for the money, the overall construction quality of our 2012 much better than our 2007. They may have fixed the bumper plate/shell leak by installing a rubber seal during assembly starting with 2012, so far so good.

Airstreams nagging issues are shell leaks and filiform shell corrosion. Our Airstream was delivered without leaks or corrosion. We have developed five leaks in three years and found and fixed them all by inspecting regularly with a Sonin moisture test meter. A dry floor can't rot. We inspect, touch up, and treat our trailer shell with CorrosionX and nicks with clear acrylic pen, the underbody steel with Boeshield T9. We still have no corrosion anywhere.

Airstream will always need improvements, it's challenges are a metal shell cut and drilled with 1,500 holes for assembly. But that difficult riveted metal shell gives us something unique, functional and beautiful that, unlike others, is worth fixing when it breaks.

They're certainly not perfect and I doubt they ever will be, but the problems are manageable with inspections and maintenance. They don't tell you that but then others don't tell you their slide outs will stick or the fiberglass will delaminate either.
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Old 07-15-2014, 05:53 PM   #400
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Well, I our 1999 has had and will have leaks. I will maintain or it will get wet enough to damage things.

I agree that there could be a better job done for most of our concerns.

There is one idea I have for better sealing and prove it before leaving Mothership. It is a very simple thing which may be why they haven't thought about it.
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