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Old 08-04-2014, 12:10 PM   #441
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Airstream corporate has this information, first hand, at their Service Center. They fix these leaks everyday on all year and model trailers, and it goes back a long way. I believe they're watching in recent years and are trying to improve the leak problem.

We've had new 2007 and 2012 Airstreams. A difference I noticed was the use of sealant on the holes on the pop rivets used to attach segment protectors and awnings; the 2007 were not sealed so were a direct path for water through the shell, while the 2012 is sealed. The 2012 has a trim piece around the upper mid-section sealing that seam and also protecting against corrosion. Most importantly the 2012 and newer Airstreams have a tubular rubber seal between the rear lower shell and bumper shelf. I haven't seen reports of leaks there since this improvement but it's early yet.

We monitor regularly with a simple Sonin Moisture Meter. The 2012 was delivered new with no leaks, but five different leaks have developed since and at different times. We found them all with our meter and repaired them.

So there are things we can do to mitigate the problem; they must be inspected and repaired as needed regularly. That is true of anything, especially with the road use and complexity of a modern travel trailer.

Airstream company, as well as other rv manufacturers have a ways to go to eliminate these leaks. They probably never will entirely. It would be nice if they put some procedures in the owners manual in the maintenance section, and included a moisture test meter. But you know marketing would never dream of it unless everyone did, for obvious reasons.

The reality is that it is a maintenance issue, shouldn't be but is. Get the meter, do the inspections, fix the inevitable leaks. Same with the corrosion issues, corrosion preventive treatment, inspections, and repair as needed. It is very easy to do and will save you a bundle of money and frustration in the future.
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Old 08-05-2014, 06:27 PM   #442
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From my own experience with a 2009 27' FB and from reading this entire thread, it takes about four to five years to notice floor rot by discovering soft spots. Only time will tell if new models have been corrected at the factory. I would certainly demand a discount due to possible floor rot from 2007 to 2010. Rolling back the floor covering and removing the belly pan is the only way to verify that all is well. That would take a lot of time and effort to do, but worth the piece of mind. After repairing my 2009, I'd buy another leaker at the right price. Not an expensive repair, just very time intensive.
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Old 08-06-2014, 12:11 AM   #443
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From my own experience with a 2009 27' FB and from reading this entire thread, it takes about four to five years to notice floor rot by discovering soft spots. Only time will tell if new models have been corrected at the factory. I would certainly demand a discount due to possible floor rot from 2007 to 2010. Rolling back the floor covering and removing the belly pan is the only way to verify that all is well. That would take a lot of time and effort to do, but worth the piece of mind. After repairing my 2009, I'd buy another leaker at the right price. Not an expensive repair, just very time intensive.

Yup. What Doug said. The repair to my 2008 27FB took time and effort but I'm glad I did it and the trailer fits our needs to a T. We soaked the rear bumper afflicted area with rot preventative (Ethylene Glycol) and Epoxy and did not have to replace any wood. We did have to drop the pan at the back and pull up the floor (including removing some furniture) to effectively dry the floor and also removed the reflectix insulation that held the moisture in. I also sealed the rear of the bumper area. All of this took three weeks of elapsed time but it was worth it.
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Old 08-06-2014, 06:31 AM   #444
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There is not a white box made anywhere that will hold up like an Airstream. Friends have one a couple years old, had plenty of problems, already looking much older. We had a leak, tore apart the rear, replaced, repaired, sealed, etc. So consider that an Airstream has more than 3200 holes in it, do you really think it will never leak? Keep an eye on it, watch for signs of deterioration and replace/repair immediately.
Enjoy your Airstream, you have joined a great family.
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Old 08-06-2014, 11:14 PM   #445
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Yup. What Doug said. The repair to my 2008 27FB took time and effort but I'm glad I did it and the trailer fits our needs to a T. We soaked the rear bumper afflicted area with rot preventative (Ethylene Glycol) and Epoxy and did not have to replace any wood. We did have to drop the pan at the back and pull up the floor (including removing some furniture) to effectively dry the floor and also removed the reflectix insulation that held the moisture in. I also sealed the rear of the bumper area. All of this took three weeks of elapsed time but it was worth it.
Ha!

It's slightly ironic for me to note that we were camping in Petaluma when I first started reading about the rotten floor issues and the rear bumper water penetration problems. When we got home from the trip (after a lot of travel through the rain), I thought that since we were going to replace the vinyl anyways, I cut into it to find that ours was a soggy mess too.

Thanks to you guys for posting your experience and making us aware of the issue. It's fixable but fixing it early is way better than after the plywood rots out.

-evan
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Old 08-07-2014, 02:04 AM   #446
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There is not a white box made anywhere that will hold up like an Airstream.
And the legendary quality myth lingers... despite empirical evidence to the contrary, this thread being a good example.

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So consider that an Airstream has more than 3200 holes in it, do you really think it will never leak? Keep an eye on it, watch for signs of deterioration and replace/repair immediately.
So, for twice the price we should expect twice as many leaks, twice as much deterioration, and twice as many repairs?

How can anyone rationalize "at least it's better than the worst" as an acceptable standard of quality?
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Old 08-07-2014, 08:40 AM   #447
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The cost to my unit was extreem for th erepairs. Their refusal to assist with a "KNOWN" issue was alarming. Their determination to push it off on owner lack of care was care was a slap in the face. I love my camper but now it's just a camper not any special brand.
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:04 AM   #448
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Knowing empirically the frequency and severity of leaks of all of Airstream vs. all "other brand trailers" would be a difficult task? I am not sure we have this data?

As such, a belief such as "Airstreams leak less than others" is not necessarily a myth...instead it is a speculation. Similarly a speculation such as "Airstreams leak at an equal rate" or "Airstreams leak more often" are also speculations based on anecdotal evidence.

"The plural of anecdote is not data"

This thread confirms (among other things) quality problems are present, but it does not confirm or debunk broader claims about relative quality compared to competitors.

"How can anyone rationalize "at least it's better than the worst" as an acceptable standard of quality? "

That probably is a very unfair summary of what people would actually say?
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:20 AM   #449
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Consider a used late 80's Avion. Airstreams last longer than SOB trailers because there is less wood in them. There are a few all aluminum trailers that will have less issues and some like Casita that are all fiberglass. Mix fiberglass or metal with wood = ROT.

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Old 11-16-2014, 02:29 PM   #450
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Thumbs up

Thanks to this thread, I've taken care of this same problem myself recently. As documented in my Adventure Floor Time. post, I had a rotted floor that was most likely a result of this being exposed for the last 7 years.



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Old 11-20-2014, 07:03 PM   #451
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That's exactly what I did
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Old 11-21-2014, 08:50 AM   #452
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Good for you! Hopefully not again...


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Old 11-21-2014, 09:03 AM   #453
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I had the same kind of leak on my 2007 Classic. I resealed around the
bumper area and still had water coming in. I finally tracked down what I think was the source of the leak. The recessed box that holds the rear license plate was only caulked along the top edge and not the sides. The side was sticking out about 1/4 in and allowing water to come in when it rained or when I washed it. I am in the process of repairing about 2 1/2 feet of the rear flooring. This repairing is a real pain. From the look of the damage, it has probably leaked from when it was new. I keep it under cover when at home.
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Old 11-21-2014, 09:10 AM   #454
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Wow! Will keep an eye on that...Thanks!


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Old 11-23-2014, 09:52 AM   #455
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I had the rear bumper line leak (No sealant) but also had water coming in freely along the bottom edge of the Right rear taillight assembly... When I removed the Taillight assembly, the hole they cut in the body looked like it had been cut with a pair of tin-snips by guy still hung over from the weekend. There was no caulk or sealant there with a 1/4 inch gap along the entire lower edge of the taillight. It was pretty appalling actually.

Basically, any breaches of the shell can be a source for water ingress.

I wonder if they play any sort of games at the factory to decide which caulk lines they will leave out...

The owners' manual may as well have a notice to the effect that:

"Due to shoddy construction methods employed at the Airstream Factory, each owner is advised to take their unit apart and redo all caulk lines and assemblies before subjecting the trailer to any wet environments."

I wish this was a joke.
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Old 11-23-2014, 10:02 AM   #456
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LOL...


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Old 11-23-2014, 11:53 AM   #457
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I had the rear bumper line leak (No sealant) but also had water coming in freely along the bottom edge of the Right rear taillight assembly... When I removed the Taillight assembly, the hole they cut in the body looked like it had been cut with a pair of tin-snips by guy still hung over from the weekend. There was no caulk or sealant there with a 1/4 inch gap along the entire lower edge of the taillight. It was pretty appalling actually.

Basically, any breaches of the shell can be a source for water ingress.

I wonder if they play any sort of games at the factory to decide which caulk lines they will leave out...

The owners' manual may as well have a notice to the effect that:

"Due to shoddy construction methods employed at the Airstream Factory, each owner is advised to take their unit apart and redo all caulk lines and assemblies before subjecting the trailer to any wet environments."

I wish this was a joke.
Oh you mean this:



Yeah, WTH Airstream? You needed a hole that BIG to wire two lights thru? Are you s$%ing me?

I just finished sealing the entire back of my Airstream, Windows, lights, plate holder, bottom bumper. Everything. Nothing getting in there. Fingers crossed.
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Old 11-23-2014, 12:40 PM   #458
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Oh you mean this:



Yeah, WTH Airstream? You needed a hole that BIG to wire two lights thru? Are you s$%ing me?

I just finished sealing the entire back of my Airstream, Windows, lights, plate holder, bottom bumper. Everything. Nothing getting in there. Fingers crossed.
It looks like you had the same Nimrod building your unit as mine... I note the wet fiberglass. I had to do a second look thinking maybe you were using one of my pictures. Thanks for saving me the trouble of finding mine. My unit looked exactly the same - wet fiberglass and all.

-evan
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Old 11-23-2014, 01:23 PM   #459
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Common sense tells me they could have designed a separate sealed external mounted tail light assembly and only had the wires come out a hole with a grommet with sealant protecting it.

Common sense......
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Old 11-26-2014, 01:42 PM   #460
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It looks like you had the same Nimrod building your unit as mine... I note the wet fiberglass. I had to do a second look thinking maybe you were using one of my pictures. Thanks for saving me the trouble of finding mine. My unit looked exactly the same - wet fiberglass and all.

-evan
Shopping around for our next RV and seriously considering an AS but crap like this is quite disturbing to see along with reading about all the sealing issues which should have "extra" vigilance in such a trailer with all the possible areas that could leak. For the cost of these units.....no excuse for crappy work just because it is hidden. Thanks for revealing what's behind the curtain. We'll have to rethink a possible AS purchase.
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