Starting the New Year with warranty repairs

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Our Rocinante spent over a month, from Christmas through late January, at our trusty Airstream dealer for warranty repairs. She had suffered a flickering outside entry light, a leaking front storage compartment door, and a small crack in her Corian counter top.

The issues:

The flickering entry light had been dealt with previously,but once again on became flaky. A good slap on the fixture while standing on the doorstep typically did the job, getting the light working again, but this was clearly not a good long-term solution.

On three prior occasions, our dealer had worked on the leaky front compartment door, which is apparently a frequent complaint for Airstream trailers with the Front Bedroom (FB) queen-bed configuration. As you may be aware, in this configuration the under-bed storage is in the front of the trailer and the door to that compartment is right behind the propane tanks. This is prime territory for water spray hitting the trailer hard while it is under tow. Unfortunately, none of the repair attempts were successful. Each time we towed Rocinante through the rain, we got enough water inside the forward storage compartment, around the edges of the door, to be a real annoyance. We knew that if we didn’t get this resolved, it could lead to serious problems. Airstreams are famous for succumbing to floor rot when water is allowed to persistently penetrate the interior, so we have been determined to get this fixed before it does any permanent damage.

The crack in our counter top was a new issue. It was near the edge of the counter, close to the entry door. This kind of thing is usually caused by cabinetry underneath (uneven, loose, or improper bracing) putting stress on the counter. We feared that we’d need them to replace the entire countertop under warranty, which seemed a shame since it was only a year old. We hate putting stuff in the landfill if there’s a good solution.

The fixes:

Our dealer quickly dealt with the entry light – no drama, no problem – by more thoroughly tightening connections inside the fixture. We're hopeful that this time the fix will stay fixed.

The leaky front compartment door was more of a challenge. Given they had already tried three times to fix that leak, the dealer decided to ask AS for a new compartment door, with two latches, and a new gasket to better seal out the weather. AS had to custom-build the door, since our 2014 model came with a single latch door. The 2015 models are apparently coming with a new two-latch system. It took some time to get the new door from Jackson Center. When everything arrived, they quickly installed the new door and gasket and gave it a serious water spray test to verify the fix. The door seems to be much better now, and we’re hopeful that the problem has finally been resolved.

The counter fix took a while too, though it looks great. Corian is apparently quite easily repaired, and the repair is usually invisible. The process took a while because they had to coordinate with a technician who would make the fix after the dealer had re-jiggered cabinetry to eliminate the underlying cause. Apparently, the cabinetry was a bit loose, and they anchored it down more securely.

The good news is that Rocinante is back in our arms once more, and everything seems to have been corrected. Thanks to our dealer for bringing AS to the table and doing the right thing for us with the counter top and the storage compartment door.

Cracked Corian

Cracked Corian

Our counter top developed a crack!

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