If you own one of these trailers, do not tow it!

13

By Chuck Woodbury
EDITOR

Did you read the news that Airstream is recalling nearly 2,000 trailers because of a welding error that could result in the RVs’ ball couplers not providing enough clamping force, which could cause the trailer and tow vehicle to separate? The actual recall information is here. How could this happen?

For now, until it is checked by a dealer, Demco has manufactured a temporary use adapter that can be slipped over the ball portion of the coupler to allow the owners to tow their RVs (presumably to a dealer to get it checked it out).

The recall states that if the trailer were to be disconnected it could “become a road hazard resulting in a crash which could result in personal injury” (a little understated, perhaps?).

Airstream learned of the recall through social media in early October. A trailer owner posted a video showing his Demco hitch coupler detaching from the ball hitch while in the latched position.

The company will contact owners by phone if possible to notify them of the recall and tell them not to tow their trailer until it is checked by a dealer.

If you know someone who owns any one of these trailers, please tell them. Or send them the following web address so they can read this article for themselves, and then take action: https://www.rvtravel.com/airstream-recall .

You do not want to be towing one of these trailers, or, heaven forbid, following one on the highway!

Here are the models involved
• AIRSTREAM/BAMBI/2020
• AIRSTREAM/BASECAMP/2020
• AIRSTREAM/CARAVEL/2020
• AIRSTREAM/CLASSIC/2019-2020
• AIRSTREAM/FLYING CLOUD/2019-2020
• AIRSTREAM/GLOBETROTTER/2019-2020
• AIRSTREAM/INTERNATIONAL/2019-2020
• AIRSTREAM/NEST/2019-2020
• AIRSTREAM/SPORT/2019-2020
• AIRSTREAM/TOMMY BAHAMA/2019-2020

##rvt-922b

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13 Comments
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Mike Bertin
7 months ago

Much safer than safety chains.

Mike Bertin
7 months ago

I’ve been using this for years. Will never have that problem. http://Www.shurtow. com

Michael Harlan
7 months ago

If anyone would look, the recall is from Demco that has a product that is used by Airstream.
Demco, NOT Airstream manufactured this part.

Mike Bertin
7 months ago
Reply to  Michael Harlan

Agreed. Airstream, like many others, have contracted Demco among others to manufacture their couplers. Typically, manufacturers will have secondary suppliers to reduce back-orders & ensure their supply chain. You don’t have the option to select your coupler. Their object is to get their product to market in a timely manner so you get what they have in inventory. There’s no standards regarding balls & couplers &/or the combination whereof. Balls vary in height, surface configuration & other areas which necessitate adjustments & possible modifications to the specific coupler attached. Demco is simply one of dozens of coupler manufacturers who make multiple models for specific uses. Without knowing the model number on this part it would be difficult to solve this problem. This is the only thing I trust. It works. Www. shurtow.com

tokar
7 months ago

Regarding the couplers coming loose: Because a picture of the coupler is not shown, I looked at Delco website and from what I saw, the only thing I see could be wrong is that the person hooking up hasn’t passed the ID 10 T test. Because there is no picture to confirm, the couplers I have seen on Delco site and I have used, they all have provision for a lock, a bolt, a clip, or anything else that would prevent the handle from lifting up, therefore allowing separation of the tow vehicle and trailer. If you want to keep it, lock it up.
Since no picture shown to compare mine to the one in question, I may be wrong in my reply, but for those that do use a flip lever to open and lock the ball hitch, LOCK IT OR LOSE IT.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
7 months ago
Reply to  tokar

Thank you for writing, tokar. However, your information doesn’t sound like what this recall is about.

First, the part is from Demco, not Delco.

And here is a direct quote from the Safety Recall Report from the NHTSA website:
“The Demco ball coupler installed on the travel trailers was manufactured out of tolerance. The ball coupler welding fixture allowed the rear guide plate on the inside of the ball coupler to be welded outside of tolerance. This defect does not allow the ball coupler to create enough clamping force on the tow ball. The Demco ball coupler can come off of the tow ball while being towed. If the travel trailer becomes detached from the tow vehicle while in motion, it can become a road hazard resulting in a crash which could result in personal injury. The ball coupler welding fixture allowed the rear guide plate on the inside of the ball coupler to be welded outside of tolerance.”

Here is a link to the NHTSA website for this recall: https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls?nhtsaId=19V753Diane at RVtravel.com

Caleb Byers
7 months ago

That’s almost every 2019-2020 airstream. Wow.

Brian
7 months ago

I guess Airstream just became the first company to provide home service for their trailers. If you need a camper inspected and can’t tow it that is the only possibility, isn’t it? I don’t believe Thor is improving Airstream’s reputation..

M. Will
7 months ago
Reply to  Brian

I made a comment on this article earlier in the week in one of the daily newsletters. Airstream was known for having built a high quality long lasting travel trailer for years and now they can’t seem to get a weld on the hitch right before one goes out the door. All you Airstream owners out there should get in touch with THOR and thank them for there great quality control!!

Robyn Hirschberg
7 months ago

Can we stop blaming millenials for the decline in the RV industry when some of the most expensive trailers are built this shoddy?

bull
7 months ago

Shoddy? Maybe? Maybe not?

Airstream DOES NOT MANUFACTURE the Demco coupler. They purchase the coupler from Demco and weld it on the trailer chassis.

In the original description of the problem the original social media post says the coupler can lift off the ball.

The recall says and I quote:

“Due to improper welding, the Demco ball coupler installed on the travel trailers may not provide enough clamping force on the tow ball, potentially causing the coupler to separate from the tow ball.”

Unfortunately the recall does not specifically say if the weld issue was by Demco on their coupler OR when Airstream welded the coupler to their chassis. I read the weld issue to be a problem with the Demco coupler not the attachment of the coupler to the frame.

Get ALL THE FACTS before you start making such foolish statements about Millenials, Shoddy Workmanship and the decline of the RV industry!

Sink Jaxon
7 months ago

Who’s blaming millenials?

Pat
7 months ago

Thanks, I sent this to a friend who has a new Airstream, hope this doesn’t apply to her but better safe than sorry.