Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-11-2022, 04:45 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
2018 25' Flying Cloud
Newberg , Oregon
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 49
My crease got a CRACK!

I need some opinions on my new crease crack.

2018 FC 25 FBT, second owner, I've had her a year. During a 1200mi trip I discovered a 1/2 inch crack has developed on my curbside front storage compartment.

Trailer has had creases on both sides of the front storage consistent with those documented by other owners. I'm well-read on the topic and appreciate forum members' thoroughness in documenting the issue.

Original owner towed maybe 6000 miles (I'm guessing here) with a lifted F250 with a Fastway E2 hitch with 1000 lb round bars. I have towed 2500 miles in the last year with a bone stock F250 with the same hitch setup. Tires inflated to 75.

I know the previous owner had a really rigid WDH setup. I do not consider my WDH setup rigid. Cabinets stay shut, cushions stay in place. The rig tows straight, true, and gentle and I feel safe with my setup.

It's out of warranty and I'm hoping for "conservative" management. Meaning: Monitor my new crack for the rest of the season. I don't see any risk of water intrusion currently but I'm very aware it is probably going to worsen. When it extends to the rivet, I plan to do a stop drill, seal it with acryl-r and keep watching it. If it re-cracks - another stop drill, then patch it myself at that point.

Couple points:
1) Trailer is a "driver" and already has some cosmetic challenges so that's not at issue. I'm very comfortable with shadetree repairs.
2) Sadly, I have not had good experiences with my local dealer and would not trust them to do a repair
3) Also sadly, I do not have any capacity to drive it to JC
4) I do not want to change my tow vehicle or hitch. I have considered others opinions and I think the benefit of my setup outweighs the risk of worsening this skin crack. I trust my setup on the road, and my suspicion is that the bulk of the stress damage was done by the original owner's setup.
5) Crease was discovered 300 miles ago, unsure when it popped up but not worse over last 300mi

As far as I can tell from reading the many posts on this topic, the most likely worst case scenario is an unsightly crack that risks water intrusion but nothing more consequential. But I don't know this for sure.

Question is, for those who know: is there any actual risk of structural damage with a conservative approach?

Click image for larger version

Name:	thumbnail_IMG-1812.jpg
Views:	44
Size:	186.1 KB
ID:	414309
starlite29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2022, 05:56 PM   #2
4 Rivet Member
 
2018 30' Flying Cloud
Springfield , Ohio
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 460
Drilling a 1/8" diameter hole at the end of the crack can stop it from spreading. Then apply a sealant to keep water out. Watch ist and hope that will be the end of it.
__________________
2018 Flying Cloud 30RB + 2020 Silverado 2500HD Duramax/Allison
tbrowne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2022, 06:05 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
1988 25' Excella
1987 32' Excella
Knoxville , Tennessee
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 4,557
Blog Entries: 1
Not an expert. I do not see any problem with just living with it like you are doing. I might drill it and putty it now if it was mine.
Bill M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2022, 07:36 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
dznf0g's Avatar
 
2007 30' Classic
Oswego , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 12,385
Images: 5
It cracked due to flexing. It will continue to flex and sealant will fail very quickly. Been there, done that.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Airstream Forums mobile app
__________________
-Rich-

"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Red Green
dznf0g is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2022, 09:24 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
tjdonahoe's Avatar
 
2013 31' Classic
billings , Montana
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 3,362
Many posts on thisÖneeds more bracing
tjdonahoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2022, 09:38 AM   #6
2 Rivet Member
 
1960 24' Tradewind
dudley , Massachusetts
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by starlite29 View Post
I need some opinions on my new crease crack.

2018 FC 25 FBT, second owner, I've had her a year. During a 1200mi trip I discovered a 1/2 inch crack has developed on my curbside front storage compartment.

Trailer has had creases on both sides of the front storage consistent with those documented by other owners. I'm well-read on the topic and appreciate forum members' thoroughness in documenting the issue.

Original owner towed maybe 6000 miles (I'm guessing here) with a lifted F250 with a Fastway E2 hitch with 1000 lb round bars. I have towed 2500 miles in the last year with a bone stock F250 with the same hitch setup. Tires inflated to 75.

I know the previous owner had a really rigid WDH setup. I do not consider my WDH setup rigid. Cabinets stay shut, cushions stay in place. The rig tows straight, true, and gentle and I feel safe with my setup.

It's out of warranty and I'm hoping for "conservative" management. Meaning: Monitor my new crack for the rest of the season. I don't see any risk of water intrusion currently but I'm very aware it is probably going to worsen. When it extends to the rivet, I plan to do a stop drill, seal it with acryl-r and keep watching it. If it re-cracks - another stop drill, then patch it myself at that point.

Couple points:
1) Trailer is a "driver" and already has some cosmetic challenges so that's not at issue. I'm very comfortable with shadetree repairs.
2) Sadly, I have not had good experiences with my local dealer and would not trust them to do a repair
3) Also sadly, I do not have any capacity to drive it to JC
4) I do not want to change my tow vehicle or hitch. I have considered others opinions and I think the benefit of my setup outweighs the risk of worsening this skin crack. I trust my setup on the road, and my suspicion is that the bulk of the stress damage was done by the original owner's setup.
5) Crease was discovered 300 miles ago, unsure when it popped up but not worse over last 300mi

As far as I can tell from reading the many posts on this topic, the most likely worst case scenario is an unsightly crack that risks water intrusion but nothing more consequential. But I don't know this for sure.

Question is, for those who know: is there any actual risk of structural damage with a conservative approach?

Attachment 414309
I agree with others who suggest stop drilling the crack and using a sealant. Otherwise it is going to be a huge job. What do you have to lose in trying their suggestions.
bobstock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2022, 10:12 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
gypsydad's Avatar

 
2017 28' Flying Cloud
2014 25' FB Flying Cloud
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Georgetown (winter)Thayne (summer) , Texas & Wyoming
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,056
I agree also, with stop drill and some "flex sealant". You might also consider your AS tire pressure; I run my Endurance 15" at 58-60 psi cold. No issues on wear, and no more popped rivets. Not sure if you run at "Max"psi cold, but I know some folks do; just a bit harsh on larger AS's 25'+, IMHO.
__________________
Empty Nesters; Gypsies on the road!
2017 28' Twin Flying Cloud
2017 F250 King Ranch, 4X4, 6.7L, Blue-Ox WDH
Summer-Star Valley Ranch RV Resort (Thayne, WY); Winter-Sun City (Georgetown,TX)
gypsydad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2022, 10:20 AM   #8
Rivet Master
 
kscherzi's Avatar
 
2013 27' FB International
El Dorado Hills , California
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,771
Images: 24
Have a similar crack, except it went all the way to the rivet. Placed a small strip of clear packing tape over it to keep water out. So far, after 1,800 miles nothing has changed and the tape is still intact.

I did find two exterior rivets, one popped the other loose, used to attach the storage door frame to the trailer frame. I drilled them out and replaced them with stainless steel screws. Did this at the same time I placed the tape over the crack. Given that my trailer is nine years old I think I'll just keep an eye on things.
kscherzi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2022, 11:24 AM   #9
Rivet Master

 
2015 27' Flying Cloud
Portland , Oregon
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 638
Send a message via AIM to hhendrix Send a message via Yahoo to hhendrix
I have been thru this with my 2009 27FC. My WD bars were way to stiff for the F250 Suspension. Original bars were rated at 1000 lbs. I switched to 600-800 bars and no cracks on my 2015 27FC with over 50K miles. Andy (rip) at Inland RV posted this on a forum many years ago.
I think your bars are too strong for the stiff suspension on your F250 and you 25' AS.
__________________
The ability to follow instructions is highly underrated.
Always be wary of stupid people in large numbers.
hhendrix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2022, 11:35 AM   #10
New Member
 
2006 23' Safari SE
Camarillo , California
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 4
I would agree with the comments above on tires and bars. Your setup seems very rigid to me. I would go with 60-65psi on the tires and go down to #600 bars. Airstreams need a very very soft ride.
lkpills123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2022, 12:37 PM   #11
4 Rivet Member
 
2019 27' Globetrotter
Missouri Valley , Iowa
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 473
I've got a 2019 27' Globetrotter FBT and can see a "dimple" in the bottom corners of the problem area. Is there any merit to drilling a hole for an Olympic rivet and installing one before a crack shows up ?? I'm guessing there probably isn't because you can't outguess the stress areas good enough.

Dan
Farmer Dan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2022, 01:56 PM   #12
3 Rivet Member
 
SandKSmith's Avatar
 
2006 25' Safari FB SE
Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farmer Dan View Post
I've got a 2019 27' Globetrotter FBT and can see a "dimple" in the bottom corners of the problem area. Is there any merit to drilling a hole for an Olympic rivet and installing one before a crack shows up ?? I'm guessing there probably isn't because you can't outguess the stress areas good enough.

Dan
I donít know about installing a rivet now because itís unlikely to end up In the right spot, but maybeÖ.Iíve been out of the aerospace industry for over 20 years, but I seem to remember that a hole filling rivet, like a bucked rivet, introduces compressive stresses in the hole because the bucking tries to increase the thickness of the rivet and pushes outward on the hole. When subject to cycling stresses in tension ( like what caused the crack) the magnitude of the cycling stresses is decreased by compressive stress in the hole. Maybe an Olympic rivet in a tight hole will do the same. Maybe enough to not crack? Any engineers out there that remember this stuff? Or am I just crazy? I think Iím crazy but thought Iíd throw it out there anyway.
Steve
SandKSmith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2022, 02:55 PM   #13
thewolffman
 
2022 27' Flying Cloud
Mesa , Arizona
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 29
I am also an aviation type, A&P, BA & MS in Aeronautical Engineering, etc. We used to stop drill any cracks to prevent them from growing and we would also rivet scab patches over the top of the area. However, in this case since the crack appears to be around a 1/4" - 5/16" long my recommendation would be to stop drill it with a 1/8" , like tbrowne suggested. Then I would make a scab patch up overlapping the cracked area by about 3/8" , around the crack and up to the other rivet about 1/2 way around. I would clean the area well and attach the patch using structural adhesive. Hold it over the area with a couple of pieces of the blue painters tape until it is totally cured. Read the directions on the cure time.
You might want to duplicate that patch for the other corners around all those other storage areas. It might serve to prevent cracks in those other areas and cosmetically make them look the same like they were installed from the factory.

(Dear Airstream Factory Rep, Why don't you submit the idea of installing doubler's in these crack prone areas on the inside before assembly? Thanks! )


thewolffman
thewolffman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2022, 03:28 PM   #14
2 Rivet Member
 
2019 27' Flying Cloud
Yorba Linda , California
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 31
Stop and call Airstream Custmer service. This is a problem with the construction and needs to be addressed by a dealer. They installed an "L" bracket on both sides of the front door. I had mine fixed about a month ago. If not fixed the front area near the frame could separate.
soling917 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2022, 03:56 PM   #15
Rivet Master
 
thewarden's Avatar
 
2016 27' International
Sherwood Park , Alberta
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 898
Quote:
Originally Posted by soling917 View Post
Stop and call Airstream Custmer service. This is a problem with the construction and needs to be addressed by a dealer. They installed an "L" bracket on both sides of the front door. I had mine fixed about a month ago. If not fixed the front area near the frame could separate.
Yes, this. You have the beginnings of front frame separation, which is known to occur when towing with a HD vehicle, heavy WD bars done up tight, and rough roads.

You need to have this fixed at the dealer or the factory, and as has been suggested, lighten up on the WD and tire pressures on the trailer. And, probably slow down on rough roads.
thewarden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2022, 05:28 PM   #16
2 Rivet Member
 
2018 25' Flying Cloud
Newberg , Oregon
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 49
I appreciate everyone's thoughts, thank you.

I'll reduce my trailer tire pressure (zero cost! ). I'll think about the lighter WDH bars, while I've been resistant, that is a reasonable suggestion.

I agree that the ideal solution would be to have JC fix it. But I'm out of warranty and JC isn't an option for me due to logistics. While I wish it were otherwise, I am not confident my dealer would do this job right. I had a separate bodywork issue last year and the experience with them was really unpleasant. I used to sort of scoff at the complaints on the board - now I get it.

Many owners appear to have experienced this issue, and while cosmetics, skin integrity, and water intrusion are all real concerns, so far I have not seen anyone on the forum who has experienced a catastrophic separation or other disaster on a late model trailer due to this issue. (Emphasis on "so far" and if anyone has experienced this, I remain very interested in hearing!)

I like thewolfman's thoughts about a scab patch and structural adhesive. The challenge though would be the crease - seems like it would be really hard to get that to lay right. I'm also not sure what adhesive would be appropriate, from reading 3M's materials a urethane might work with the flexibility requirements. Anyone have any experience?

As an aside, this is the kind of thing that needs a good (and cheap!) DIY aftermarket solution. A kit with some brackets and reinforcements and clear instructions, that a guy can do in a weekend.
starlite29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2022, 06:21 PM   #17
Rivet Master
 
2022 25' Flying Cloud
2015 30' FB FC Bunk
2012 25' FB Flying Cloud
Golden , Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 730
It is a known factory construction defect/failure and they should fix it in or out of warranty. Call Airstream factory service and have them make arrangements to take it to an authorized repair center for repairs. Be adamant, this should not be at your expense.
__________________
2022 25RBT Flying Cloud, Dual AC, Full Awning Package, Solar and Convection Microwave.
2012FB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2022, 07:48 AM   #18
2 Rivet Member
 
2021 25' International
Plymouth , Michigan
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by starlite29 View Post
When it extends to the rivet, I plan to do a stop drill, seal it with acryl-r and keep watching it.
Why wait until crack intersects with rivet? ..Stop-drill and seal it now. I'd use a number 40 drill.
__________________
2021 International 25FBQ
2022 F-350 7.3 SRW CC LB
2018 F-350 6.7 SRW CC SB
SVTRIDE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2022, 08:26 AM   #19
Rivet Master
 
gypsydad's Avatar

 
2017 28' Flying Cloud
2014 25' FB Flying Cloud
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Georgetown (winter)Thayne (summer) , Texas & Wyoming
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,056
Couple thoughts; if you plan on keeping it, take the time, and make the effort to get to the factory or a good AS dealer/repair facility. There are a few that do pretty good work from what I read here, and folks here can recommend if you ask. I know JC is a long way; I would surely call them and discuss, even though out of warranty, and mention this is not uncommon from what you have read on the Forum. They will do out of warranty work on serious items, if you take it back there...I know because they fixed few things for me free when I went there couple times over the years.

I mentioned the tire PSI earlier, and as for the anti-sway bars, not sure which hitch you have. I use the Blue Ox with 1500lb bars. Seems harsh to some, but thats what BO recommended since my original tongue weight was 1100lbs when I picked it up 4 years ago. Good thing about BO is you can adjust the tension on the spring bars with the chain links. Not sure about other brands, but thats a consideration. The F250 being "too harsh" a ride with a 27', is nonsense, IMHO... Keep us posted.
__________________
Empty Nesters; Gypsies on the road!
2017 28' Twin Flying Cloud
2017 F250 King Ranch, 4X4, 6.7L, Blue-Ox WDH
Summer-Star Valley Ranch RV Resort (Thayne, WY); Winter-Sun City (Georgetown,TX)
gypsydad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2022, 09:05 AM   #20
4 Rivet Member
 
pjshier's Avatar
 
2017 27' International
Wasilla , Alaska
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 468
...like a float kit, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thewolffman View Post
I am also an aviation type, A&P, BA & MS in Aeronautical Engineering, etc. We used to stop drill any cracks to prevent them from growing and we would also rivet scab patches over the top of the area. However, in this case since the crack appears to be around a 1/4" - 5/16" long my recommendation would be to stop drill it with a 1/8" , like tbrowne suggested. Then I would make a scab patch up overlapping the cracked area by about 3/8" , around the crack and up to the other rivet about 1/2 way around. I would clean the area well and attach the patch using structural adhesive. Hold it over the area with a couple of pieces of the blue painters tape until it is totally cured. Read the directions on the cure time.
You might want to duplicate that patch for the other corners around all those other storage areas. It might serve to prevent cracks in those other areas and cosmetically make them look the same like they were installed from the factory.

(Dear Airstream Factory Rep, Why don't you submit the idea of installing doubler's in these crack prone areas on the inside before assembly? Thanks! )


thewolffman
thewolffman and other aviation survivors: we have seen aluminum skin laminations added to complex curve aviation skins as part of an effective way to brace aircraft structures to withstand the merciless punishment of repeated impact of aircraft floats on water - often lumpy water. No suspension relief like air in tires or torsion axles, either.

Some of the added skins wrap around baggage doors or other holes in the structures. For very little additional weight and slightly longer rivets, seems like a solution. Has anyone tried this? I imagine a double exterior skin wrapping around the front hatch on both sides from under the front window at the vertical seam at the top and tied to the frame along the bottom edge.
__________________
2017 Int'l Serenity 27FB
2020 F250 powered by converted solar
pjshier is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
crease dent removal? MrMz Ribs, Skins & Rivets 11 12-29-2020 08:39 PM
Crease in exterior aluminum Olrocker Ribs, Skins & Rivets 24 02-04-2019 08:40 AM
Crease Removal Knox Al Ribs, Skins & Rivets 14 12-21-2016 08:04 AM
Repairing large crease dent aboudre1 Ribs, Skins & Rivets 14 06-22-2015 07:18 AM
Roof crease Denis4x4 Roof 18 05-16-2006 05:56 AM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:11 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.