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Old 08-08-2021, 10:02 PM   #1
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Any idea what caused this?

Just noticed these creases on both side of the front panel under the front storage door. Could have been there we we purchased it new a couple months ago.

Are AS is new (2021 International 27')and we have only 2K miles on her. Have not had an incident that we would think would cause this.

Called our sales rep and he said he needed to call the Airstream rep.

Any ideas what caused this. Is this normal?

Apologize about the pics turning 90 degrees when uploading.
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Old 08-08-2021, 11:11 PM   #2
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What vehicle are you towing it with?

What hitch system are you using and what is the setup/configuration?
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Old 08-08-2021, 11:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seanlb View Post
What vehicle are you towing it with?

What hitch system are you using and what is the setup/configuration?
2021 F250 (7.3L) with Blue Ox Pro. Recommended and set up by dealer.
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Old 08-09-2021, 12:15 AM   #4
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That is a very common issue on a rear door models with the access door over the tongue that weakens the front shell attachment to the frame. Caused by a stiff tow vehicle with lots of weight distribution dialed in that bends the tongue upward during dips in the road. Many such cases have been repaired under warranty.
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Old 08-09-2021, 02:53 AM   #5
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Being that your towing with a heavy truck, adding something like an airsafe hitch could greatly reduce stress on the a-frame.

I’d also consider reducing the preload on your bars as well — or step down to a lower rated set.
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Old 08-09-2021, 04:16 AM   #6
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I have that same issue….just noticed it a couple months ago…..I’ve read a lot in this forum about towing with a 3500 and a Hensley being a rigid connection. A lot of folks tow Airstream with my same setup and some report this issue but not sure if it’s just my Airstream?

My question is if reducing preload is helpful, does this problem no get worse? I have also a 27FBQ International and my front cargo door still opens without any issue at all so doesn’t appear a major concern right now but curious to know if this weakens over time.

Just so much going on right now at Airstream and the dealers….is it ok to defer a while until REAL normalcy returns?
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Old 08-09-2021, 09:17 AM   #7
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It maybe front end separation. This is very common and has been for several years. Take it to Jackson Center for repair. The service department has notified manufacturing about this issue before.
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Old 08-09-2021, 09:47 AM   #8
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Over-rated WD bars....

What is the WD rating of your bars, and how much weight do you have to move for a proper set-up?
Have you been to the scales do dial the WD in properly?

ie...we move 720lb with 1000lb bars on a Hensley Arrow with a 1200lb TW.👍
I base bar rating on the weight that needs to be moved, not TW.

That is something that will have to be repaired...do NOT ignore it.

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🇺🇸
Notice the flex in the tampered bars. (square tends stiffer)
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Old 08-09-2021, 05:21 PM   #9
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We had the same issue!

We have a 2014 International Sterling, 27' and have put well over 10K on her. I noticed a shell separation right below the storage compartment above the front frame just behind the tow coupling. We have our AS serviced at Jackson Center every year, and I had the techs check it out. The attachment points had given way and when they took it apart, I was surprised to see small "L" brackets with rivets holding the shell supports to the main frame had failed. They replaced with larger, more adequate "L" brackets and bolts to re-secure and haven't had anymore issues. We have the Equilizer hitch.
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Old 08-09-2021, 07:38 PM   #10
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Old 08-09-2021, 10:22 PM   #11
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Update:

We went back and looked at the video of the dealer tech going over the hitch hook up procedure (before we left the dealer at purchase) and low and behold the creases were present.

The AS is brand new and supposedly it was delivered to the dealer on a trailer from the factory. I texted the pre purchase pictures to the dealer and made an appointment for early September.

So glad my wife took the pics and video of the tech going over the trailer. Definitely will save me the hassle of proving it existed before we picked it up and drove away.
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Old 08-10-2021, 08:29 AM   #12
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Interesting and good catch.

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Old 08-14-2021, 10:54 AM   #13
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Sorry to see, good luck with the fix and keep us posted.
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Old 08-14-2021, 12:15 PM   #14
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A little help needed and an observation:

1. If the creases were there when picked up new, and it was delivered to the dealer on a trailer, are we really saying that front end separation occurred from the front door of the factory to the front door of the dealer somehow? Yikes!

2. Observing the very useful photos of the "L" brackets and their location - including what appears to be confirmation that the left and right sides of the storage compartment door do indeed attach to the shell vertical framing member, makes me think a durable fix could involve a large and perhaps gusseted "L" bracket that bolts to the frame through the storage compartment floor and to the back side of the shell vertical framing member - maybe as much as four or five inches up the member or more - perhaps using CherryMax or Olympic solid core pull rivets. A gusset might make some trouble using the full storage compartment, but not that much.

More - a similar aluminum "vertical strap" to reinforce the attachment of the shell vertical framing member on the front side. Might take some machining if the strap is made such that it extends upwards over the edges of the storage compartment door frame and attaches there using the same holes but with longer Cherry Max or Olympic solid core pull rivets.

Not ideal perhaps, but might mitigate unhappiness in the area until a visit to the mother ship could be arranged? Thoughts?
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Old 08-15-2021, 10:03 AM   #15
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We have the same Airstream and the same problem. We made an appointment at Jackson center for this (& a few other items).

By the way, be on the look out for the lower oval window at the kitchen shattering. This is common too.

Good luck.
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Old 08-15-2021, 11:08 AM   #16
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Creases

Am I missing something? - I am not an engineer but aren’t the creases the result of a problem? - wouldn’t the cause , possibly chassis flex be the primary concern and the repair of the resulting crease be secondary?
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Old 08-15-2021, 11:27 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syclone93 View Post
Am I missing something? - I am not an engineer but aren’t the creases the result of a problem? - wouldn’t the cause , possibly chassis flex be the primary concern and the repair of the resulting crease be secondary?
Under applied stresses, the aluminum shell and the steel frame are going to flex at different rates/magnitudes. That's basic physics. When the shell is properly mounted to the frame, this is not a problem since everything moves as one.

However, when there is a weak connection (like, say, when they install a front locker door which causes the removal of some of the ribs in the front of the shell), sometimes the connections fail. The early symptoms are buckled areas shown in the pics in this thread. Eventually, the gap between shell and frame will widen, and the chrome trim will fall out. Once again, this is basic physics.

The repair that fixes the creases is the same repair that fixes the root cause. The real cause is the long trailers with front lockers don't have enough connection surface area. This is a design flaw. For those of us who have been through this, it's a simple repair (especially if done under warranty). They remove the front of the shell and reinforce the quality and quantity of connection points. Once fixed, they never fail this way again.

You can blame harsh WD conditions or harsh TV suspension, but this isn't necessarily the case--it definitely wasn't the contributor in my trailer. I noticed first signs of frame separation within the first 3000 miles, and I use only a very very small amount of weight distribution.
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Old 08-15-2021, 01:54 PM   #18
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Following. Have appt at JC in 4weeks to follow up
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Old 08-15-2021, 04:59 PM   #19
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One more try - pre-existing condition?

Referring to Texasvine's post about his new trailer... anyone have a theory about why he was able to photograph creases on a brand new trailer with virtually no towing miles on it?
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Old 08-15-2021, 05:24 PM   #20
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Airsteam dimples

It’s a Airsteam problem. Ours did this Airsteam Jackson fixed it. It is always front locker units. And last year we saw 2020-2019-2017 and older all levels of trim 25-33 feet. The shell separates from the floor.
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