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Old 06-26-2019, 01:27 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Darby Mc View Post
I don’t see anyone else bringing this up, so I will. If this clearcoat is standard, why would further treatment be offered by a dealer? Does the salesperson know what they are talking about, or is a crafty hook for the unaware?
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Originally Posted by wavelength View Post
So at $120 per foot a 25ft AS would cost $3000 for the magic sealant. You can have your trailer waxed twice a year for 10 years and still have change left over. Forget about it!!

Again, film isn't intended to be a sealant. It's not a "treatment". Contrary to what the Airstream dealer told the OP, film doesn't take the place of wax. It does, however, provide a physical, self healing layer of additional protection against dings, scratches, rock chips, etc. (wax can't do that) and with proper care it can last years.

I understand completely that many people might not find this worth the money on a travel trailer, even one as nice as an Airstream. Personally I wouldn't consider doing an entire trailer in film although certain high exposure areas might be worth it. Regardless, it's not a gimmick and it does work well in appropriate applications.
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Old 06-26-2019, 02:13 PM   #16
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Itís called Xpel Protective Film

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Originally Posted by ijoe13 View Post
Iím in Seattle and recently visited my local AS Dealer (easy to Google and find as I donít want to mention their name) to look at the new 2020 models they had in stock. I was just doing some window shopping and was asking a few questions. The sales rep mentioned they highly recommend having a clear protectant film (I canít remember the exact name of the product) installed at the dealer as it will negate the need to wax the trailer. They quoted something in the $120/foot cost to have this applied to an AS.

Iíve seen similar clear protectant film added to sports cars, but not sure how well the stuff would hold up on aluminum. Anyone have any insight?
Itís called Xpel. They make various brands other than Xpel. However, Xpel is the best and what is used on exotic Super Cars. We have it on ours and are considering it for the Airstream as well. That considered, we are only considering it for the front end. Itís pretty incredible film. However, it is not inexpensive. The cost is more/less in how good the labor is done. I would not let AS dealers do it. The guys that do the autos are meticulous to make sure there are no bubbles or seams. Flawless. It takes days as well. For example, we just had the front end and mirrors (basically anything that can get hit by rocks, road debris, et al) done to a rather expensive auto that we own (couple times the cost of the AS) and just for the front it was $2,300. The quote on the AS for the front was in the same range. Yes. It negates the waxing issue If thats what you want. We currently use the Wally Juice on ours 4x per year and keep it in climate controlled storage when not in use, and the Wally Juice keeps most things from sticking. The Xpel film, for us, isnít about not waxing, but about protectant. Itís also guaranteed. Any expensive car on the road has this film. It also peels off easily with no residue or issues. Itís expensive. However, worth it if you want to protect your investment. Thatís what these things are to us.
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Old 06-26-2019, 02:15 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by mikeinca View Post
Again, film isn't intended to be a sealant. It's not a "treatment". Contrary to what the Airstream dealer told the OP, film doesn't take the place of wax. It does, however, provide a physical, self healing layer of additional protection against dings, scratches, rock chips, etc. (wax can't do that) and with proper care it can last years.

I understand completely that many people might not find this worth the money on a travel trailer, even one as nice as an Airstream. Personally I wouldn't consider doing an entire trailer in film although certain high exposure areas might be worth it. Regardless, it's not a gimmick and it does work well in appropriate applications.
Exactly. Worth every penny. Especially for the front exposed areas.
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Old 06-26-2019, 02:21 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by mikeinca View Post
Clear protection films from 3M, XPEL, and others are not just for sports cars and offer very effective protection for painted finishes. The better films not only protect against scuffs, scratches and stone chips but if the film is damaged it can "heal" itself with the application of heat. Film can be waxed or coated with any product that you would normally use on the paint. I don't see why it wouldn't adhere to and protect the finish on an Airstream.

$120 per foot is actually not a bad price assuming that a quality film is being used and the person applying the film knows what they are doing. Typical pricing to do the front end of a car is around $2000 and an entire vehicle will cost $5-6K. At $120/foot a 25 foot Airstream would cost 3 grand which is pretty cheap by comparison, again assuming that the film is good quality and is expertly applied.

I'm not making a judgment as to whether applying film to an Airstream is "worth it". I'm just saying that if done properly it would have value and is not necessarily the same as some of the other add-on scams that dealers often try to sell you.
Had our 27í AS looked at. $2,500 for the front. I think that the $120/ft is per square foot. Not the length of the trailer. We only use Xpel for all the reasons you mentioned. Amazing product. Worth every penny. Ours is going in after this 4th of July run to the casinos!
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Old 06-26-2019, 04:23 PM   #19
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I thought that the new trailers come from the factory with a clear coat. If your trailer comes with a clear coat you do not need a second coat. It will protect your outer skin from oxidizing. Also bird excreta should be removed and not left on the clear coat. It will cause the polymer to fail. You might want to look at vintage Airstreams. If you have experience in construction you can expand your wiring and outlets and replace the copper tubing with a PEX material. Look at the plumbing and change out any of the original stuff all for less than $20,000. If you can get a vintage trailer for under $10,000 (we paid $5000 for our 29' Airstream) you can then replace the converter, replace of the incandescents with LEDs, Install a new A/C, put in new gasket material on the windows, paint the letters that come with trailer. In the 1950s Airstream would put together a caravan and travel around the globe - literally. From that experience they made changes that the caravanners found. Some folks do not like the interior and gut the trailer but Wally and crew spent a lot of time designing and engineering almost every component and how they work together. The one thing that will kill the deal is the trailer floor. If it is rotting and you do not want to spend 6 months putting in a new floor or have someone else do the work wait for a month or two and start looking at the adds for a vintage trailer.
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Old 06-26-2019, 10:38 PM   #20
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Wavelength, can I get the contact info for the person that waxes your Trailer for $150?
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Old 06-27-2019, 04:59 AM   #21
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How many seams would there be when filming an AS?

I used the 3m film on the boat trailer, it did help with stone chips on the exposed side rails, but the edges did lift after two Seasons. Not in an area that was submerged.

Bob
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Old 06-27-2019, 09:53 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by AlinCal View Post
My take on the dealer applied add ons is itís just a way for them to get more money out of youíre wallet while they have you on the hook. The last trailer we bought was a used 2011 fc19 that was originally sold in Oregon and the sales document showed a $900 charge for some fancy clear coat that the name of eludes me of at the moment. Finish on the trailer as I got it a year ago was standard for a 2011.

If there was some magic coating available Airstream would be using it (I hope).


I recall my dealer when I purchased my TV had a $900 charge on the invoice for some sort of coating that they had applied. I said, no thanks, and guy just removed the charge instantly without question. I asked my wife later if she thought they actually did it. What a scam.
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Old 06-27-2019, 11:31 AM   #23
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Unlike a smooth finish car, the Airstream has rivet heads that park above the surface. You can go around them, but that will look terrible IMHO.



If you cover them, there will without question be a gap between the rivet head, body panel and the clear film, just inviting water and such to accumulate under there in that area and leading to finish corrosion. IF it was such a great idea, Airstream would have done it, particularly when these things are now at or well above the $100k mark.



Get a good set of rock tamers for the tow vehicle, get the pano front window, and the post mid-2005 model or newer that has the taller stainless steel rock guards.


If you still wanted to put some in clear film between the rock guard and the pano window, that might be ok, but I simply don't see how you are going to get that film to cover the rivets effectively, and if you don't cover the entire front, what is the point? IMHO, you've left part of the front end exposed.


Road rash and small dings are just a part of the overall ownership. It can be minimized with items mentioned above along with a good washing and coat of wax a few times a season, but you will never fully protect it on the road, plain and simple, unless of course you install Star Trek type shields....
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Old 06-27-2019, 02:45 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie View Post
Unlike a smooth finish car, the Airstream has rivet heads that park above the surface. You can go around them, but that will look terrible IMHO.



If you cover them, there will without question be a gap between the rivet head, body panel and the clear film, just inviting water and such to accumulate under there in that area and leading to finish corrosion. IF it was such a great idea, Airstream would have done it, particularly when these things are now at or well above the $100k mark.



Get a good set of rock tamers for the tow vehicle, get the pano front window, and the post mid-2005 model or newer that has the taller stainless steel rock guards.


If you still wanted to put some in clear film between the rock guard and the pano window, that might be ok, but I simply don't see how you are going to get that film to cover the rivets effectively, and if you don't cover the entire front, what is the point? IMHO, you've left part of the front end exposed.


Road rash and small dings are just a part of the overall ownership. It can be minimized with items mentioned above along with a good washing and coat of wax a few times a season, but you will never fully protect it on the road, plain and simple, unless of course you install Star Trek type shields....
You make an excellent point about the rivets. To do a proper job the installer would have to make tiny circular cutouts in the film around each one, just like they did with the headlight washer nozzles on my Porsche. If done right it's really difficult to see the edge of the film without very close inspection. Problem is I have only two washer nozzles and there are hundreds of rivets so labor on an entire trailer would be prohibitive, which is why the OP's dealer is probably just covering them over, risking the issues you mentioned.

IMHO, if one is going to do film at all on an Airstream it really only makes sense to do the most exposed bits at the front end. The idea would be to minimize the potential for road damage; you can't eliminate it completely.

My reason for getting into this discussion was when I read comments that seemed to suggest that protective film was a kind of scam similar to some other dealer add-ons. It's not. It a good product and it has it's place, but I agree that whether that place is on a Airstream is open to debate.
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Old 06-27-2019, 04:18 PM   #25
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I had the dealer install the 3M version of this stuff on the front painted surfaces of my GMC and I installed the Weathertech kit version on the front-facing lights. I'm glad I did both. We've been to Alaska and throughout Newfoundland-Labrador. It has provided excellent service for 45,000 miles it looks like it will go on "forever". The truck looks "like new".

However, I would not put it on an Airstream. The comment about the rivets is exactly the reason. I can't imagine how it could be applied and look acceptable.

The Walbernize wax that Airstream recommends applies easily. My wife and I can wash and wax our 25 in three to four hours. Jackson Center charged $300 for this task in 2014. We've done it ourselves since then.
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