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Old 03-17-2020, 05:46 PM   #1
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Dear Airstream, stop making under counter sinks!

My wife was doing dishes a few days ago and the sink fell under the counter. Completely released from under the countertop.

There was water in the sink (you would think it should hold a few inches of water) and the water splashed out the back to inside the cabinet. I removed the drawers and wiped up with paper towels.

The water dropped right on the awning controller. It looked like it was protected by a clear cover, but no! Zip dee cut holes in the top of the cover to allow an ethernet cable to go in. Water fell right into the controller.

I put a small fan blowing on the controller for the night but when we went to put the awning in, it was dead.

I hooked up the manual cable to the awning and the batteries and brought the awning in. Nope. It came in almost all the way and stops with about an inch to go. I talked to Zip Dee and we used a drill to even out the "arms" that somehow got out of phase. Still won't come in all the way. Tied cord on both sides and strapped it to the trailer so it won't come out. We had to move as a snowstorm is hitting Flagstaff.

My question is, Airstream, what the heck is the awning controller doing under the sink and why did ZipDee not make it waterproof?

The sink something that also needs attention. It is glued to the bottom of the countertop with at best, flour and water. The four metal brackets are made from very soft metal. I was able to take two out and bend them practically by hand. I reinstalled them. The other two, well, you have to remove the countertop to get to the screws! Several months ago I bought a brace to put under my steps. It has a screw adjustment to raise the top plate. It fits perfectly under the sink while sitting on the platform above the silverware drawer (Classic 30). It will get me home.

Our trailer has an appointment on June 8th at Jackson Center and we have quite a few items on our list. All the above are covered under warranty according to Airstream, so that is a good thing.
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Old 03-17-2020, 06:26 PM   #2
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Wow, you have my deepest sympathy. What a cluster-you-know-what. Seems like Murphy's Law really ganged up on you. At least you are still in warranty though, that's the good news!

Yeah, sometimes I think Airstream Corp. doesn't always think things through. Be sure you give them an earful!
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Old 03-17-2020, 09:59 PM   #3
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What a mess
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Old 03-18-2020, 04:07 AM   #4
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Another testimonial to Airstream design and quality! Why would undermount sinks make any sense in a vehicle pounding down the road for its lifetime?

Larry
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Old 03-18-2020, 06:14 AM   #5
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FWIW (and a little too late in this case), first thing to do when an electrical component gets wet is to *immediately* remove power, dry it out (air, fan, time, whatever), and after confident that it is dry, re-apply power.



In general though, by allowing water to remain in a device while energized, the current will jump paths which is how the device usually fries. Without the current, short term exposure from water will likely have no long term effect. Have saved a number of mobile phones by simply immediately pulling the battery and letting them dry.
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Old 03-18-2020, 06:32 AM   #6
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Sorry to see you’ve had this happen. Hopefully AS can make it right. Although I’ve heard they don’t know much about the powered awnings.
Yep. This is an accident waiting to happen. I’m looking at the same situation in the future. We just spent a month in our Globetrotter. I told my lovely wife every day, not too much weight in that sink. It looks great, but it’s not practical, unless they find some way to secure it.
The wiring for the awning should be on the other side of the entry door. That’s where they put the switch. It’s easy to get water behind the sink even if it didn’t drop down.
I wonder if I should just set up an appointment at JC now, even though my sink hasn’t dropped yet, and my awning is working. Never had an issue with the manual awnings on our 2004, or 2011..
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Old 03-18-2020, 06:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turk123 View Post
My wife was doing dishes a few days ago and the sink fell under the counter. Completely released from under the countertop. . . .
There is an earlier thread on this, which hits the nail squarely on the head, so you are by no means alone in suffering from this . . .

. . . abhorrent "miss" on quality control . . . [ ]

. . . sorry to say.

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f54...ng-195077.html

If Airstream would attach sinks correctly to the bottom of the counter, they could not drop, so this is the more sensible, and simpler, solution IMO.



No need to "ban" under-counter sinks.

Good luck,

Peter
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Old 03-18-2020, 08:08 AM   #8
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To the thread title - wrong! Sinks should be under counter so water flows down off the counter.

To the real issue of the post - right! AS should a) not install electrical components under plumbing. b) should water proof critical electrical components (Airstreams will leak). and c) if AS can't install a sink so it will stay installed, they need to sell out to a company that can deliver a quality product.

Most of the coaches through the years have bugs, unintended features, issues, opportunities and yes, learning opportunities. The world of ASRVing is much less frustrating for folks who accept the challenge and improve what AS fails to do well. The old thought that what does not kill you, makes you stronger, is applicable on this issue as well as a lot of others in the current mix.

Significant sympathy to you and the wife for this problem. Time to do the work arounds and get in the warranty line.

Hope to see your smile down the road soon. Pat
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Old 03-18-2020, 08:32 AM   #9
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Mine fell out last year on a washboard road. Now how the heck do you fix that. I've got the corian counter tops.
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Old 03-18-2020, 08:51 AM   #10
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First thing was to check our... stainless steel sink installation. It rests on the top edge of the sink and well secured with a number of easy to get to brackets and adjusting screws below the counter top.

The awning electronics are on the aluminum skin under the sink.

The 2019 27 foot International with stainless steel sink... is secure. Whew... just never thought of checking my sink installation... Now... thanks for the heads up.
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Old 03-18-2020, 08:56 AM   #11
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Picking my trailer up this morning from dealer for the sink dropping. No other damage. I used a strap to hold sink up for my trip home before taking it to the dealer.

I had not been off road or any unusual terrain.



Hope whatever they did will hold. At least thankful for the warranty.


Dave
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Old 03-18-2020, 09:28 AM   #12
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Are there any adults working at AS?

I share the aghast frustration you feel in this situation.

Sadly, it is but one more example of some pretty fundamental problems at Airstream; problems so fundamental it begs the question of whether there are any adults in the room over there.

We know that many, many coaches suffer from sloppy assembly, but these issues can be addressed, relatively quickly and easily as long as there is already a core commitment to quality in the corporate culture. However, AS does not currently follow any Six Sigma or TPS philosophy which would make correcting assembly problems easy. They would need to first implement this process, which is itself a long and painful ordeal, despite the obvious and well-documented advantages it offers.

But yours is an example of an even deeper and more intractable problem: poor design, and evidence of a complete lack of "Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)" a widely used process in industry that looks at, say, putting electronics under the sink and recognizes that such an arrangement is not only sub-optimal, but in fact, an unacceptable risk.

From what I have seen, I would wager no one working at AS has any idea what FMEA even is. But even a clever teenager would have a clue that putting electronics under a sink, or installing a suicide door on a trailer, or choosing plywood or OSB as a subfloor material, or routing wiring through an ungrometed aluminum spar will lead to tears. Heck, I'm not even an engineer and I can see this. Do they actually hire real engineers at Airstream, you know, ones with actual engineering degrees and who know math, basic physics and stuff?
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Old 03-18-2020, 10:16 AM   #13
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Their "engineers" are no doubt tasked with designing the unit to be built in the fastest and cheapest method possible, while preserving the iconic look of an Airstream. By that standard, I am sure they earn ample bonus payments.
Larry
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Old 03-18-2020, 10:34 AM   #14
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Here's a solution- my over-undermount sink design. The thickness of the undermount sink flange is routed down into the supporting 3/4" marine plywood. The top of the undermount sink sits flush with the surface of the ply. The laminate has a pre-cut hole that then attaches to the combined surface.

The sink is completely supported by the plywood, the correct lightweight materials are used, water/debris is easily sponged off into the sink (without gross stuff accumulating under a top-mount sink flange).

Looks nice too, I think!
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Old 03-18-2020, 10:38 AM   #15
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Very nice.

Why can't AS do that? Is it so hard or costly? Really?

I must say honestly that one of the best things about the Airstream experience isn't the product itself, but rather the clever owners that take a good concept (the trailer) and make it what it should have been.
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Old 03-18-2020, 11:03 AM   #16
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In case anyone missed this earlier post, that other thread has good details as well:

Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
There is an earlier thread on this . . .
. . .
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f54...ng-195077.html
. . .
Peter

FYI
FWIW
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Old 03-18-2020, 11:33 AM   #17
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Now I have to check my sink.
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Old 03-18-2020, 01:01 PM   #18
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Peter,

Using an under-counter sink in a bouncing trailer with insufficiently engineered supports is one thing but then electing to mount electronics underneath is at least one whole magnitude of stupidity more.

And if this was a known problem, well we are in Uncharted territory then.
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Old 03-18-2020, 02:16 PM   #19
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Re: "known problem?"

That earlier thread was started on 4/30/19, almost a year ago.



Yes, putting electronics under the sink gives one a sinking feeling!

Don't you sink?

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Old 03-18-2020, 03:12 PM   #20
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Not to diminish turk123's experience, and it is unfortunate it happened, but I wonder how often the sink falls under a counter in an AS?
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