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Old 06-30-2019, 05:42 PM   #1
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Rock Guard Damage

After our second trip with the Basecamp X, I noticed missing Acorn Nuts on the rock guards; this has since again happened on our last trip. I have been replacing the Acorn Nuts with Nylock's 1/4-20 nuts, I have also removed the remaining Acorn Nuts and installed thread locker to them.
I began watching the rock guards from my mirrors and noticed a harmonic vibration in them; the resonance is the result of the design and build of the guards. The perimeter moulding of the guard is split to allow one piece installation on the sheet metal. The split allows the vibration and actually encourages it as it deflects the wind while traveling.
I contacted the factory and spoke to one of the engineers, not the Basecamp engineer, he never called me back. We spoke to our dealer and replacing it is not a problem; the problem is it will continue to do it until a fix is installed. I suggested an angle be riveted to the back of the guard, to stiffen the area and eliminate the vibration. I guess we will see what I can get the dealer to do, as they have told me, if I do it, the warranty will be voided.
The first photo is a close up of the lower aft hole on the drivers side guard. Stainless steel is brittle, but should not see this type of fatigue in its application. The second photo shows the split perimeter moulding on the guard itself.
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Old 06-30-2019, 06:00 PM   #2
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Something is creating a vibration. Tire balance?

ps:

I've owned several airstreams with rock guards mounted the same way. None have cracked like that shown in your photo.
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Old 06-30-2019, 06:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
Something is creating a vibration. Tire balance?

ps:

I've owned several airstreams with rock guards mounted the same way. None have cracked like that shown in your photo.
I agree. Tire balance may be an issue here. That seems like a violent shake to get those results.

I would take it to your local tire store and have them check the balance of the wheels and tires. This cannot be a typical case or others would have chimed in here long ago.
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Old 07-01-2019, 04:48 PM   #4
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Tire balancing would be a good place to start; but the tires have nothing to do with the damage. The Basecamp X is new for 2019, so unlike all other Airstreams, rock guards are new this year to the X model; so there are not that many out there yet. The Basecamp's front aerodynamic design is nothing like other Airstreams, leaving nothing to base a comparison on.
It is my understanding, in speaking with Airstream, the rock guards were not specifically designed for the Basecamp X; they are simply a modification of the old design. The fit and finish appears to be an after thought, starting with the mounting system. A U channel with legs, drilled to accept a 1/4"-20, the bolt is captured with a nut, with the nut allowed to rub against the stainless, the stainless is then captured with an Acorn. A rubber grommet or bumper could minimize the metal to metal contact, while reducing vibration.
Nothing with less than 1000 miles should require disassembly and reassembly by the owner. After modeling it and running finite element analysis, the vibration is easy to see; the vibration gets worse as the fasteners are loosened. The split at the rear of the moulding, lies directly in the wind stream, allowing the vibration to increase its frequency.
In the model I added a 10" long 3/4"X3/4"X1/8" angle at the split, this eliminated the bad vibration; at the same time looking like a small grab handle. Hopefully Airstream will do more than just replace the rock guard.
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Old 07-02-2019, 06:44 AM   #5
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Ahhh...thats the trailing edge of the guard.🤔
Does the leading edge have a larger gap?


I agree wind buffeting at speed is most likely the cause.
Closing & equalizing the gaps should do the trick.

Bob
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