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Old 03-28-2024, 01:42 PM   #1
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Sutton , Ontario
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Front end separation

Thinking of buying a 2024 airstream and am reading a lot about the front end separation problem. Most posts I see are 2 - 4 yrs old. Has airstream resolved this issue or is it something I should be concerned with?
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Old 03-28-2024, 02:11 PM   #2
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Jackson , New Jersey
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All 2024s have additional bracing/brackets installed at the factory. We are being told it should not be an issue going forward. Only time will tell, but at least they have made an attempt to resolve this.
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Old 03-29-2024, 10:49 AM   #3
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2022 27' Globetrotter
Haslet , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garygosse View Post
Thinking of buying a 2024 airstream and am reading a lot about the front end separation problem. Most posts I see are 2 - 4 yrs old. Has airstream resolved this issue or is it something I should be concerned with?
I have a 2022 GT 27FBT that was delivered in October 2021. I noticed recently that three rivets had popped from the trim around the exterior front hatch. Took it to my dealer this week and they confirmed that the factory had installed brackets in the front, but that the shell was attached to the bracts with rivets. The dealer replaced the rivets with 3/8" bolts which, hopefully, will provide long-term protection against FES. The work was completed under warranty.
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Old 03-29-2024, 11:10 AM   #4
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2022 27' Globetrotter
Costa Mesa , California
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SWAT2,
That is good news for me. I have a 2022 Globetrotter 27FBQ that delivered in late November 2021. I did have one rivet head pop off from the lower area trim around the exterior front hatch, which I replaced. How can I confirm my trailer has the brackets? Are they doing via the VIN#? Thanks
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Old 03-29-2024, 11:16 AM   #5
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Oak Park , Illinois
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It's my understanding that the factory did not start applying this to production units built prior to late 2022, early 2023. The odds of a 2021 having this is pretty slim unless it was done post construction. I have a 2021 build date of 8/20 and it does not, for sure have the brackets pre-installed.

Depending on when the 2022 was built, there is a chance. A unit delivered late 2021, is a long shot. I really think the brackets were not pre-installed until sometime in 2023. The fact that you are popping rivets up front seems to support this.

2024, pretty safe bet if you have a front hatch, the factory has applied the described modifications at the time of construction.
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Old 03-29-2024, 11:51 AM   #6
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2022 27' Globetrotter
Bethlehem , Pennsylvania
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfranklin View Post
It's my understanding that the factory did not start applying this to production units built prior to late 2022, early 2023. The odds of a 2021 having this is pretty slim unless it was done post construction. I have a 2021 build date of 8/20 and it does not, for sure have the brackets pre-installed.

Depending on when the 2022 was built, there is a chance. A unit delivered late 2021, is a long shot. I really think the brackets were not pre-installed until sometime in 2023. The fact that you are popping rivets up front seems to support this.

2024, pretty safe bet if you have a front hatch, the factory has applied the described modifications at the time of construction.
My Globetrotter was built in April of 2022 and I am 99% sure that it *just* got in with the new brackets. I think they started in February or March of 2022. My trailer was recently serviced by Colonial for one popped rivet at the lower corner of the front hatch. They confirmed that it is not FES and replaced the rivet. There's obviously a lot of stress in this area which is causing some rivets to fail in many trailers, but as of yet I haven't heard of anyone with the brackets having FES.
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Old 03-29-2024, 03:15 PM   #7
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2024 28' Flying Cloud
Jackson , New Jersey
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All this concern about FES, and if the factory fix is in, and if it’s fixed right, and if the fix is gonna work. I’m already stressed out about this and thinking about it entirely too much. DW and I discussed and we’re heading into Colonial tomorrow AM to change our order to a RBT. My salesman told me it’ll only add a week or two to my delivery date and I have time to make the change. So we’re going to.

We had originally set out to get a RBT anyway, but got starstruck over the interior storage of the FBT’s. We’ll figure out how to make due with the less drawers and etc.
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Old 03-29-2024, 05:42 PM   #8
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2023 27' Globetrotter
Williamsburg , Virginia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S1njin View Post
All this concern about FES, and if the factory fix is in, and if itís fixed right, and if the fix is gonna work. Iím already stressed out about this and thinking about it entirely too much. DW and I discussed and weíre heading into Colonial tomorrow AM to change our order to a RBT. My salesman told me itíll only add a week or two to my delivery date and I have time to make the change. So weíre going to.

We had originally set out to get a RBT anyway, but got starstruck over the interior storage of the FBTís. Weíll figure out how to make due with the less drawers and etc.
Worry not. Just get the rig you'll be most comfortable with. There's always going to be somethin'!
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Old 04-07-2024, 12:24 PM   #9
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Cedar Rapids , Iowa
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It is also my understanding front end separation is primarily primarily an issue with twin front end beds that have a storage compartment in front. That "hole" for the front storage area comprises the strength of the front end. While FES may not exclusively be a twin bed issue I have not read or seen it being an issue on other floor designs.
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Old 04-07-2024, 06:31 PM   #10
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2017 30' Classic
Cave Creek , Arizona
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A far greater problem than most suspect. We have 2017 30’ classic (rear bed) and had true front end separation- front end lifts up and off the frame, not the “crush” of the front hatch models. Each of these have the same dynamic- frame flexes and shell doesn’t . Just different damage. Our friends with the same trailer had the same problem. Both fixed at JC and many of the same model in the body shop for the same problem. The body shop said lots of the long trailers have the problem and they believe too much rear weight was the primary cause - but anything the dynamically stresses the frame CAN cause the rivet failures. The fix is similar but not the same as the front hatch models. But in both cases brackets are added to spread the stress. In my case six brackets were added.
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Old 04-08-2024, 06:14 AM   #11
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2024 28' Flying Cloud
Jackson , New Jersey
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FWIW, I just received an email from the rep supporting Colonial on this very topic. I asked him if the bracing was only added to front compartment storage models or if it was a universal fix, and of special interest my ordered 28RBT.

His response to me:

"Yes, the 28 has the new shell with added structural support."

So it would appear that AS has addressed this, or certainly has attempted to mitigate it. I feel very comfortable with my order.
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Old 04-08-2024, 07:46 AM   #12
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2023 33' Classic
Chandler , Arizona
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My March 2023 Classic 33 had this issue & it was noticeable within 2-3 months of camping. My local Airstream of Chandler resolved the issue which took about 4 weeks.
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Old 04-09-2024, 05:27 AM   #13
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2021 27' Globetrotter
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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I was at Jackson Center March 12-14 having braces added, I had no sheared rivets on front hatch only small dimples on lower corners. I called two five rivet dealers and Jackson center and they told me to get it fixed because of dimples had gap that kept opening back up. Here are the corner braces that were installed, they are the same braces used on all new Airstreams 2024 and on.
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Old 04-09-2024, 05:54 AM   #14
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Wildwood , Missouri
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I also follow a FB AS group. There was a post yesterday about someone with a brand new (2024) either a classic, or 30’ GT, if I remember correctly. They came back from their shakedown trip, first nights out, with dimples beneath the front compartment, and popped rivets below it. They were towing with a Blue Ox hitch. The overwhelming response from FB users was to get rid of the WD hitch, and just tow on the ball. I guess FES isn’t over for some models. I wonder if towing with these one ton trucks contributes?
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Old 04-09-2024, 06:01 AM   #15
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Oak Park , Illinois
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saullman View Post
My March 2023 Classic 33 had this issue & it was noticeable within 2-3 months of camping. My local Airstream of Chandler resolved the issue which took about 4 weeks.
This is, at least to me significant, depending on when your trailer was built and when they started putting the braces in. If your unit is a unit with "the fix" built into it and you still had this happen, that could be a bit worrisome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bzizzi View Post
I was at Jackson Center March 12-14 having braces added, I had no sheared rivets on front hatch only small dimples on lower corners. I called two five rivet dealers and Jackson center and they told me to get it fixed because of dimples had gap that kept opening back up. Here are the corner braces that were installed, they are the same braces used on all new Airstreams 2024 and on.
Odd. I have the same dimples and they told me I'm ok and did not do the FES repair...but then there is this....

Quote:
Originally Posted by GettinAway View Post
I also follow a FB AS group. There was a post yesterday about someone with a brand new (2024) either a classic, or 30’ GT, if I remember correctly. They came back from their shakedown trip, first nights out, with dimples beneath the front compartment, and popped rivets below it. They were towing with a Blue Ox hitch. The overwhelming response from FB users was to get rid of the WD hitch, and just tow on the ball. I guess FES isn’t over for some models. I wonder if towing with these one ton trucks contributes?
As this is a 2024, this to me is even more concerning because if it's an FB unit, is 30' long and has the front hatch, there is no way I could see this unit could not have had the braces installed...unless it is not an FB unit and/or does not have a hatch.

I did read where someone that had the fix had it happen again and Vinnie's fixed it and it stayed fixed. Not sure the accuracy of what I read, but it's out there for what it's worth.
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Old 04-09-2024, 06:38 AM   #16
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2021 27' Globetrotter
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Setting up the WD hitch must be key, I have a Equalizer hitch, selecting the correct hitch is very important, always select a hitch at the upper end of tow and tongue weight, most people including myself thought it would be better to go up one size and choose a stiffer more robust hitch. I was told you want those bars to flex and not be too stiff. When installed correctly you also don't want the torsion bars to have too much preload, my bars require very little jack pressure if any to be installed on the shelf brackets installed on my Airstream A frame. So basically the bars just sit lightly on the trailer A frame brackets and give just a little support when needed. My tow vehicle is a GMC Sierra 2500HD and can take the front hitch weight of my Globetrotter just fine, the leaf springs do a great job with soaking up the bumps along with a little added support from torsion bars to eliminate any possible sway. I was told this from a Airstream Dealer that installs these hitches and sets them up all the time without any issues.I had the brackets install on my 2021 Globetrotter just to be safe, I have towed my rig a couple thousand miles without any issues or sheared off rivets. I credit this to a hitch that was installed and set up correctly.
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Old 04-09-2024, 08:26 AM   #17
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2022 27' Globetrotter
Haslet , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GRadventures View Post
SWAT2,
That is good news for me. I have a 2022 Globetrotter 27FBQ that delivered in late November 2021. I did have one rivet head pop off from the lower area trim around the exterior front hatch, which I replaced. How can I confirm my trailer has the brackets? Are they doing via the VIN#? Thanks
Your may have already gotten an answer to your question, but JC may be able confirm whether or not brackets were installed of you call with your VIN#. In my case, I had contacted my dealer, Airstream of DFW, to see if they had Hollywood rivets that I could buy to install or if they would do it under warranty. They recommended bringing the trailer in so they could diagnose the problem, why rivets were popping up front. I asked if they were suspecting FES, and the dealer hesitated and said, "we're not calling it that." Mind you, this was before I took it in to them. When I took it in, they removed the trim around the front hatch, confirmed that brackets were present but not secured adequately according to the technician, so they replaced the (weak) rivets from the bracket with 3/8" bolts. I hope that takes care of the problem. Time will tell.
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Old 04-09-2024, 10:31 AM   #18
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2023 25' Globetrotter
Ancient City , Florida
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Some that gets lost when towing. Our vehicles are set up for a wide range of loads (springs) and not typically designed to be at max load all the time. Look at how different Superduty springs are to an F150. Big overload springs that engage quickly vs flat overload.
Set your springs, air, hot air, rubber baby jounce bumpers, up for that constant load we are all moving rather than using WD to cover all sins.

Or not, ymmv.
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Old 04-09-2024, 12:41 PM   #19
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2018 27' International
Dunlap , Tennessee
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Lucky?

After reading some of these posts, I was feeling worried. I have a 2018 27FB twin which apparently has this structural issue. I just checked the front end and donít see any rivets popped. In fact I havenít seen any missing rivets on the exterior ever. Wondering if I should have anything proactively done to make sure it doesnít happen or leave it alone. I normally carry all my camping supplies in my TV so maybe that has something to do with it. I also use weight distribution and have air bags on my TV; perhaps that plays a part? I keep my trailer tires at about 67 PSI.
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Old 04-09-2024, 12:50 PM   #20
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2021 19' Caravel
Wilderness , MO
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No FES here. Our 19cb doesn't have the weak spot in the structure resulting from a compartment door having been cut into the front end.
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