Airstream RV Blog #64 – Doing It Yourself from Sean Michael on

The old saying goes, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” Nothing illustrates this principle better than the sad saga of our Airstream ceiling fan.

When the fan malfunctioned, we first entrusted our Airstream to a local RV service center. It wasn’t an official Airstream dealership because the nearest such business is located far away from our hometown. This was a local place that specializes in RV storage and repairs. But still, we’re talking about a simple ceiling fan here. What could go wrong? Right?

After they kept our baby for three weeks, we got our beloved travel trailer back. Not only was the fan STILL in a state of disrepair, but the RV service guys had damaged our roof! Apparently an employee walked on the aluminum portion of our Airstream’s roof end cap, which is a MAJOR no-no. Aluminum stretches, and once bent it does not return to its exact previous shape. This felt like taking your car to a place for an oil change, and having them destroy your engine.

The service guys first denied any involvement. Then they admitted guilt, and offered to repair the damage. But quite frankly we didn’t trust them anymore. Sure, they might be able to fix the roof. But what else would they wreck in the process?

Thankfully, Kristy’s father Harry has the knowledge and skill to repair just about everything ever created by human hands. As you’ll see in the video, Harry has restored our Airstream to “almost” its original condition. The roof looks about as good as possible. The only way to repair this sort of damage 100% is to literally remove the aluminum panels (risking future leaks, etc.) and replace them with new panels — an expensive and time-consuming process. It’s a job best done by the factory in Jackson Center, Ohio. I think we can live with it for now, as the indentation is scarcely noticeable.

As for the ceiling fan? As you’ll see in the video, Harry isolated the problem to a faulty switch. Note that the professional service guys never reached any such conclusion. In fact, they appeared to just replace one part, slap the pieces back together, and then surrender. We finally got the thing fixed in Las Vegas at a REAL Airstream dealership, but Harry’s spot on diagnosis was helpful.

Special thanks to Harry for all of his help with our RV…and everything else he’s managed to fix.


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  1. Rick & Gail, it is a Fantastic Fan, and the company did send us the necessary parts. Although we had a lot of problems out of that unit, the company is apparently one of the most pleasant with which to deal in the entire industry. They are really great in terms of supporting their product.

    G.M, good idea about loosening those buts. Also, that piece is probably begging for a dose of Boeshield T-9 lubricant (which is WD-40 on steroids).

    As for the camera, yes the camerawork in this episode is a little rough. Errrr, I like to think of it as “authrntic.” It’s certainly not slick. Note that this was shot before we got our fancy new Sony CineAlta cam.

    Our trailer is a 25-footer. We like the 30-footers, too. Who knows, maybe someday we’ll pony up the $$$ to buy that extra 5-feet!

    That’s a nice idea about the aluminum sheet. I will tell wifey your suggestion. No more burned biscuits! Sounds good to me. 😀

  2. g.m.

    Well…. goes to show the oldies know how to do it. Ahhh if you check on the window lock Sean you will find that they have two nuts on the shaft that goes through the locking tab. Loosen slightly and you can adjust it just right. Also from the pictures it shows that some form of lube has escaped and it looks like corrosion has started in. I would probably use some 3n1 oil and help the actions out a little. Of course Kristie is going to say the most dangerious thing in the trailer is a guy with a oil can…

    Yep you need a gryo stablizer for the camera.. note all the jumping around… when you zoom in on your subject… it will help dampen the digital effects. One could back off on the zoom also and get the same effects… but then the subject would be less defined. (#63) Too much motion… again use the vo to achieve your goals while showing the item. To save time one can agree with what one already has demonstrated (I am surprised that kristie hasn’t hit you yet for showing her up)

    Hey how big is your trailer anyway.. I thought you had a 30 footer… hmmm

    As to the oven heating evenly… we put a alu sheet in above the flame holder… it caused the heat then to circulate within the oven. They used to have one but, got cheap and took it out I guess. ( I hate to tell kristie what mine does.. but she said to tell you to put a cookie sheet on the next rack down to disperse the heat… and you won’t burn the bottom of the rolls again… works for corn bread in the pan too… (ya engineers have to always come up with solutions… guess that is why we get paid the big bux) Let the adventure contenue…

  3. Rick & Gail

    It appears your fan is a fantastic fan. If it is, they will send you any parts you need to fix it for free. They are a great company.