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Old 12-16-2011, 02:35 PM   #1
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$1200 Aircraft Sealant on New AS?

We signed our names to the purchase contract. The next question out of the dealer's mouth was, "Would you like to buy the $1200 aircraft sealant to protect your trailer from filiform corrosion?"

I laughed nervously thinking he was kidding. I mean, when you spend 60 grand for a new trailer, you somewhat expect the manufacturer has built it to last, right? Wrong.

I decided that shelling out $1200 bucks without some consideration would be a bad idea. Now, I am doing the consideration.

The claim is that this will protect the trailer for 5 years from this corrosion, but it is NOT guaranteed to do so. Yer kiddin', right? Wrong again. No guarantee.

If I were a betting man, I'd bet that it is a $10 can of some goop that is probably already $9 over priced. Anyone know what this is? Has any other new buyer been offered this? Has anyone spent the $1200?

I was really excited to have a new AS. Now however, I am feeling a bit taken in by the manufacturer. If you build a product where aluminum is the primary material, wouldn't you take every conceivable measure to do it properly?

I'm not sure why I didn't read this section before purchasing. Maybe I didn't want to know? Maybe I let my enthusiasm cloud my decision? I wish I had the opposite feeling - - that I have just bought the greatest thing going, made by brilliant engineers.
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:51 PM   #2
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Just use a regular over the counter wax or sealer same as you would use on a car that had clearcoat paint. Do it yourself and save a bundle.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:01 PM   #3
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I thought new Airstreams came already clearcoated direct from the factory. If so why would it need additional highpriced "sealant" applied. Sounds like typical new car sales tactics. I can see using a good wax with UV protection or a product like "303 Products Aerospace Protectant". I use in on my jeep and boats.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:06 PM   #4
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Tell him to drop dead! I'd even go buy the Airstream somewhere else for that kind of treatment (trying to sell you that.)
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:08 PM   #5
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Sorry, it is a trailer, a very good one at that, but not perfect, and not a work of art, or an engineering masterpiece. It is not an aircraft built to withstand every conceivable force or thing that may happen to it. It is a very good trailer though, by most standards.

But seams do leak, floors do get water in and on them and rot out, and corrosion does happen.

And no, I doubt that a $1200 "protection" is going to buy you anything that will significantly change things.

BTW, I ripped a new one to my Toyota dealer who tried to sell me a $2700 extended warrantee package to my Camry Hybrid. I told them, "You just sold me a $30k car and now are telling me it is a piece of crap and will need lots of expensive service. You sure know how to make your customers happy with their purchase".

Airstreams are virtually handmade, to very good, but not great standards and with very good, but not great engineering, and with very good, but not great materials. Everything has a cost and a limit to what can be sold at a price that anyone would pay. Airstreams are not immune to those pressures. For a million bucks though, boy, could it be something! Grin.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:09 PM   #6
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Too bad you're not a betting man, because you would have won this one. Unfortunately, it appears to be true that the newer Airstreams are prone to filiform corrosion. It is the consequence of using coated aluminum, to the best of my understanding. I think that the stuff that they use (I can't remember the name of it at the moment) is available for less than $100 for enough to treat an entire Airstream. I, too, was offered this option, but I chose to decline, especially since it appears that the filiform corrosion needs sufficiently high humidity to develop, and I live in the desert. Considering where you live, it may be more of an issue for you, but filiform seems to be fairly simple to treat and stop if you are vigilant.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:10 PM   #7
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wow, $1200 and no guarantee!

that $1200 would buy an awful lot of

Walbernize RV Super Seal or

Griots Garage Paint Sealant

and probably a good bit of labor to apply them once or twice a year, too!

I'd respectfully decline your dealer's offer....
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:15 PM   #8
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Where to start.

Filiform corrosion is a huge deal in aviation and is by no means a solved problem. It is certainly not a problem that lends itself to "miracle products" because the inherent nature of filiform is that it attacks the surface of the aluminum where coatings bond. The aviation industry by and large uses Dupont Imron and similar catalyzed polyurethane products. Though these are excellent coatings I doubt if they are any better at preventing filiform than whatever Airstream is using.

Airstreams are clearcoated at the factory. To apply a product (were such a thing to exist) that prevents filiform, would require removal of the existing clearcoat. This is a labor intensive process that would cost far more than $1200.

Your dealer is trying to rip you off.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:29 PM   #9
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I would agree with the previous posts as far as applying some $1200 miracle with no guarantee. But, having experienced accelerated filiform corrosion while living a mile from the beach in Ft. Lauderdale, I would suggest that you pay more attention to washing off the salt air residue and keeping your unit waxed.
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Old 12-16-2011, 04:35 PM   #10
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Sealing any exposed edges will help. The corrosion starts at the edges where panels have been cut and there are uncoated exposed edges. The corrosion starts any place there is no clear coat and it eats its way between the aluminum and the coating.

Perry
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Old 12-16-2011, 04:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
Sealing any exposed edges will help. The corrosion starts at the edges where panels have been cut and there are uncoated exposed edges. The corrosion starts any place there is no clear coat and it eats its way between the aluminum and the coating.

Perry
Bingo. They aren't clear coated at the factory (JC), the coating comes on the full sized sheets of aluminum they buy.
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:03 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
Sealing any exposed edges will help. The corrosion starts at the edges where panels have been cut and there are uncoated exposed edges. The corrosion starts any place there is no clear coat and it eats its way between the aluminum and the coating.
Would the same go for edges of all of the rivet holes?

I would also take the $1200 savings and buy some Acryl-R or your favorite sealant of choice to make sure all of those seams are well sealed.

Tom
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redwoodguy View Post
We signed our names to the purchase contract. The next question out of the dealer's mouth was, "Would you like to buy the $1200 aircraft sealant to protect your trailer from filiform corrosion?"

I laughed nervously thinking he was kidding. I mean, when you spend 60 grand for a new trailer, you somewhat expect the manufacturer has built it to last, right? Wrong.

I decided that shelling out $1200 bucks without some consideration would be a bad idea. Now, I am doing the consideration.

The claim is that this will protect the trailer for 5 years from this corrosion, but it is NOT guaranteed to do so. Yer kiddin', right? Wrong again. No guarantee.

If I were a betting man, I'd bet that it is a $10 can of some goop that is probably already $9 over priced. Anyone know what this is? Has any other new buyer been offered this? Has anyone spent the $1200?

I was really excited to have a new AS. Now however, I am feeling a bit taken in by the manufacturer. If you build a product where aluminum is the primary material, wouldn't you take every conceivable measure to do it properly?

I'm not sure why I didn't read this section before purchasing. Maybe I didn't want to know? Maybe I let my enthusiasm cloud my decision? I wish I had the opposite feeling - - that I have just bought the greatest thing going, made by brilliant engineers.
I believe this is no different than the add-ons that car dealers try to hang you with. I think peace of mind could be had by contacting AS in Jackson Center. I am sure they would tell you to wash the AS a couple of times a year and to Walbernize it a couple of times a year. They would probably also tell you to hose the AS off after a trip to the beach.

They would probably be interested in knowing about a dealer trying to sell you on this notion of $1200 for a treatment to a new AS.

There are many threads on the forum about filiform. I have some filiform on my 10 year old Safari that i have treated with Corrosion X from AS. I would not let it keep you from enjoying your new AS to the maximum.
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:41 PM   #14
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Doesn't it also happen whenever you have a defect in said clearcoat, like a small scrape, chip, dent, etc?
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:52 PM   #15
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Doesn't it also happen whenever you have a defect in said clearcoat, like a small scrape, chip, dent, etc?
I have read that flaws in the clear coat give it a place to start. The filiform on my AS is mostly where there is dissimilar metal attachments. For example: where the stainless steel front window guard clips are riveted to the aluminum, where the Airstream name plate is attached to the side of the trailer, where the tail lights are attached to the trailer, and where the stove vent cover is attached. Very - very little filiform otherwise. I have used techniques described in other treads to control it.
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Old 12-16-2011, 06:20 PM   #16
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I have read that flaws in the clear coat give it a place to start. The filiform on my AS is mostly where there is dissimilar metal attachments. For example: where the stainless steel front window guard clips are riveted to the aluminum, where the Airstream name plate is attached to the side of the trailer, where the tail lights are attached to the trailer, and where the stove vent cover is attached. Very - very little filiform otherwise. I have used techniques described in other treads to control it.
Hmm...I can say that on my '71, I have it everywhere, including in the middle of a panel without any holes, rivets, seams, etc.
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Old 12-16-2011, 06:28 PM   #17
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Bingo. They aren't clear coated at the factory (JC), the coating comes on the full sized sheets of aluminum they buy.
Hmmmm? That's a bit disappointing too. There are miles of "raw edges" on one of these things.

Well, I'll have to set aside an allowance for all this Wilberizing, Waxing, and Washing - the Three W's. I do understand the comments that these are "just trailers," and not space shuttles. A $60,000 trailer is simply not built to the standards of say a $60,000 car, and I better get use to that idea real fast.

I am 2 miles from the Pacific ocean. Salt will be ever present here.

Ok, here's a specific question about the actual corrosion itself. Aside from the unsightly appearance, does it destroy the metal? By which I mean the way rust destroys steel? And as a follow up, let's say in some years from now I had this corrosion - could it be all buffed out - the way I see these older mirror-like Airstream finishes?

(sigh)
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:45 PM   #18
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Corrosion will in time destroy metal. When aluminum is left uncoated it forms a protective oxide layer. When there are situations where the oxide layer can't form properly or where there are two different metals, or constant water being trapped between the clear coat and the metal surface then you have a problem. Places where I see corrosion are in nooks and cranies where there is dirt and mold etc that hold water and dirt against the surface. Also any damage to the clear coat will be a place for corrsion to start. Older Airstreams were Alclad with pure aluminum for corrosion resistance. I believe the newer ones are not Alclad. Alloys will corrode faster than pure aluminum. The clear nail polish trick is probably not a bad one. Using something like WD 40 might also help to repel water. Alclad was developed so that high strength alloys could be used on airplanes to help minimize corrosion. Unlike airplanes, Airstreams are not inspected for corrosion and other structural problems on a regular basis. Anodized aluminum is going to provide the most durable finish but is it expensive. Anodize is a way of enhancing the natural oxide layer that aluminum has. It is a conversion of the metal to an oxide or ceramic coating. There is alodine that is used as a semi anodized coating to protect aluminum. If you can alodine the surface and not change its color you would have a good way to preserve your Airstream.

Perry
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:05 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redwoodguy View Post
Hmmmm? That's a bit disappointing too. There are miles of "raw edges" on one of these things.

Well, I'll have to set aside an allowance for all this Wilberizing, Waxing, and Washing - the Three W's. I do understand the comments that these are "just trailers," and not space shuttles. A $60,000 trailer is simply not built to the standards of say a $60,000 car, and I better get use to that idea real fast.

I am 2 miles from the Pacific ocean. Salt will be ever present here.

Ok, here's a specific question about the actual corrosion itself. Aside from the unsightly appearance, does it destroy the metal? By which I mean the way rust destroys steel? And as a follow up, let's say in some years from now I had this corrosion - could it be all buffed out - the way I see these older mirror-like Airstream finishes?
(sigh)
RWG,

Grab your favorite adult beverage and prepare for an enlightening read.
Notice when the thread was started, a chronic problem that JC has chosen to ignore.



KSC Corrosion Technology Laboratory -- Filiform Corrosion




Different Types of Corrosion: Filiform Corrosion or Underfilm Corrosion - Its Causes and Prevention, by WebCorr Corrosion Consulting Services. corrosion types, corrosion forms, pipe corrosion, generalized corrosion, pitting corrosion, galvanic corros



aluMATTER*|*Aluminium*|*Forms of Corrosion*|*Filliform Corrosion

Just enter filiform corrosion in the search function above for the additional chapters.

POI...ignore the dealer add-on. Just keep the AS clean and sealed, inspect often and address the filiform as it appears.

Bob
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:27 PM   #20
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If you read the guarantee it will simply state that you will probably need to apply a renewer treatment every so many years and that if their product fails they will reapply it at no charge.
They will not fix anything they will just reapply at no charge hmmmmmm?

I think I will just clean and wax and save the $1500 and use some anti
corrosion techniques listed elsewhere on these forums.And if I fail I will reapply at no charge.
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