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Old 01-05-2016, 07:22 AM   #1
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A question about clear coating

Good day! Please understand that I am a complete newbie (this is my first post). I understand that Airstream no longer clear coats their units, rather the skin from ALCOA is pre-finished in such a way to make coating unnecessary. My question is when did Airstream make this change: using the new ALCOA material and stop clear coating? Thank you very much.

Rob
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Old 01-05-2016, 09:03 AM   #2
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This is the first I have heard of that change, so I am curious to learn more about it. Where did your information come from?
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Old 01-05-2016, 09:07 AM   #3
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That would certainly be an attempt to address many current and past issues.... hopefully ....
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Old 01-05-2016, 09:12 AM   #4
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I believe it was 1998-99 when they began using the Alcoa pre-coated panels. A very durable and sun-resistant finish, but susceptible to filiform corrosion beginning at the panel edges and rivet holes, or scratches. Those traveling/living in corrosive (salt) environments will need to treat these areas with corrosion preventive products such as CorrosionX or Boeshield T9 to stop or limit spread of the corrosion.

There are many good posts on prevention and repair of filiform corrosion in this forum, Google it. As usual you'll have to sort out a lot of complaints to get to the good information.
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Old 01-05-2016, 09:53 AM   #5
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From their website, in the section about their partnerships:

Alcoa® has been Airstream’s trusted partner for over 50 years. Did you know that Airstream uses almost 2 million pounds of flat aluminum every year? The Alcoa aluminum used to build Airstream trailers is painted with a thermally-cured clear coating that resists fading from direct sunlight, meaning your gleaming Airstream will remain untarnished, no matter how far the road takes you. They also supply durable aluminum-forged wheels for Airstream trailers.

Our Partnerships | Why Airstream | Airstream.com
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Old 01-05-2016, 05:09 PM   #6
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No dates..but conformation

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Old 01-05-2016, 05:19 PM   #7
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Thanks to all! I can easily see what a great group this is ... I'm really hoping that soon we, too, may join the group of happy owners! In the meantime, I'm sure that I will spend a lot of time here in "continuing education!"

All the best,

Rob
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Old 01-05-2016, 07:05 PM   #8
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Prior to 1963 Plasticoat clear coating was an optional extra. 1964 -1997 Plasticoat was standard equipment. Plasticoat was a more flexible and softer coating than regular automotive enamel. It had a tendency to degrade with time, especially on the upper parts of the sidewalls and roof. Sometimes called Airstream male pattern baldness.
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Old 01-05-2016, 07:21 PM   #9
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I have seen some 2002's and a 2006 with the coating coming off like it's pealing and if it gets nicked and salt gets under it it turns black . at least the early stuff could be stripped and recoated . I was told by a refinisher he wouldn't touch one of the newer ones to refinish.
I almost bought a 2002 that had that problem drove 400 miles one way to see it . I'm still looking .
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Old 01-05-2016, 07:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodfox45 View Post
I have seen some 2002's and a 2006 with the coating coming off like it's pealing and if it gets nicked and salt gets under it it turns black . at least the early stuff could be stripped and recoated . I was told by a refinisher he wouldn't touch one of the newer ones to refinish.
I almost bought a 2002 that had that problem drove 400 miles one way to see it . I'm still looking .

I would like to see a photo of an Airstream 2000 or later that has a pealing coating or has turned black underneath. You are the first that I know of to report such. Filiform corrosion, yes, but pealing?


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Old 01-06-2016, 09:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard L. View Post
I would like to see a photo of an Airstream 2000 or later that has a pealing coating or has turned black underneath. You are the first that I know of to report such. Filiform corrosion, yes, but pealing?


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I guess if I would have bought it I would have lots of pictures . When I see another one I'll send you some pictures .
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Old 01-06-2016, 11:23 AM   #12
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Pealing off?......more like falling off.


1/2 way down, just under/next to the awning roll...

5"



Frt curbside...

3"



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Old 01-06-2016, 03:30 PM   #13
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Wow! I had thought that new coating was proving durable since issued. I had always regretted getting my '98, one of the last years with the old clearcoat (that has gone to hell).

Now I don't feel quite as bad...
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Old 01-07-2016, 10:19 AM   #14
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The new precoated aluminum was started during the 1999 production year with serial number 512613
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