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Old 06-25-2019, 06:24 PM   #1
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Clear Protectant Film offered by AS Dealer

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?
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:57 PM   #2
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Pass. I donít add anything dealers are trying to sell. No extended warranty, no detailing package, etc.
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Old 06-25-2019, 07:01 PM   #3
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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).
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Old 06-25-2019, 07:16 PM   #4
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Old 06-25-2019, 07:19 PM   #5
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Apply your own 'protective' film...we use a 'WAX'👍

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Old 06-25-2019, 07:40 PM   #6
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Clear Protectant Film offered by AS Dealer

I realize this is all the rage with sports cars, but I wouldnít spend my money on it either.

I also donít spend money on extended warranties either.

And thanks for the responses!
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Old 06-25-2019, 09:02 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 06-25-2019, 10:11 PM   #8
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First off, no wax for how long?.....2 weeks, 2 million years? What are they guaranteeing...and for bird smuts, tree sap, against what exactly? I would probably ask them for the Scientific challenge study and time study to show that their statement is true that my trailer will shine like off the showroom floor with their treatment........otherwise ask them if the sales person is taking you out to dinner on their increased commission check.
Now if you are going for classic car show finish maybe it works. But if you are going to use your trailer then I am not so sure, except that a dealer upcharge....which is valid for the crowd that buys one then never tows it and just looks at it - a valid option if it makes you happy.
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Old 06-25-2019, 11:19 PM   #9
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The advantage of film is that it offers protection against dings and scratches, not so much that it keeps the trailer (or your car) looking shiny, so in that respect saying that film means you never have to wax is misleading. Applying some kind of finishing product is still a good idea even with film.

For what it's worth, film would be of the most value to someone who uses their Airstream on a regular basis and wants to avoid certain kinds of damage; less for the "crowd" that never tows their garage queen.
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Old 06-26-2019, 06:38 AM   #10
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I bought 3m film and applied it to my trucks door jambs. It is durable stuff. It will protect unlike any wax or polish can. I would love have the entire truck professionally covered with it....Same for a brand new Airstream if I had one.
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Old 06-26-2019, 07:02 AM   #11
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A friend had a plastic coating on his motorhome front. With time it aged cracked all over and became fused to the paint. Nothing tried would remove it.
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Old 06-26-2019, 07:11 AM   #12
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My 10 cent input. I have used Xpel film and I have used ceramic coatings on expensive cars. Neither would appear to be applicable to Airstreams, although they have an automotive-type clearcoat. The quartz coatings really improve shine and make cleaning much easier, but offer no protection. The films offer protection but they do age if left outside, as in the case of most Airstreams. The films are not an alternative to seam sealing and trying to deal with that is a thing of nightmares.
After your first few dents or scratches, the idea of a pristine, showroom quality travel trailer is just banished from your mind. I just use a auto wash-wax combo fluid because I cannot face the idea of really waxing anything that big. I doubt it adds any real protection.
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Old 06-26-2019, 10:54 AM   #13
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I have a 2017 Bambi Flying Cloud, which came clear coated from the factory. The aluminum comes clear coated from their supplier. I don’t know when AS started offering as “standard”on all their models, but believe it continues as this is a big selling point. If I’m wrong about it being standard please enlighten me. I just washed my AS yesterday and found no flaws in the surface to indicate any flaws in the coat. The unit sits out in all weather here in Wisconsin.

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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Old 06-26-2019, 12:55 PM   #14
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Are you kidding me

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!!
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Old 06-26-2019, 01:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
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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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

Quote:
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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