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Old 09-26-2015, 06:19 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by dcasr View Post
The thing about owning an AS is that you can do with it however it pleases you. . ......
And there I beg to differ. It's a matter of philosophy and approach, but obviously is also highly subjective.

I believe that with some things that are special, and certainly when they have survived for a longer than expected period, you are merely the custodian. The thing, in fact, owns you. You will be the custodian until you hand it over the the next in line. I am not averse to tinkering and improving, but any classic vehicle, antiquarian book, antique item of furniture, or old painting has seemingly earned a right to existence in the manner in which it was conceived and constructed. I am an animist, the most primitive of religious forms, and am quite certain that the nature of an object made by human artifice gathers a spirit of its own, which grows over time with the treatment that it receives. I will want my 345 to survive long after its temporary association with me, and will never do anything to the potential detriment of its survival. If I tinker with it, it is with the intention of making it more desirable to a future custodian, and thus I have installed Gear Vendors overdrive, and shall install TB fuel injection when I screw up the courage.

Hogwash you say, and no doubt you are right, but that's the way I feel. By stripping off the protective covering on your AS, you put it at risk of accelerated deterioration. I appreciate that the oxidation does little harm on its own, it is just that if it looks like cr@p as a result of stripping followed by neglect, it is less likely to be valued and preserved by a future custodian, and more likely to become an abandoned wreck, like so many that I have seen.
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Old 09-26-2015, 07:06 PM   #30
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Bob(PUNCH),

Your post has made my day!! I have read the endless posts, and looked at the photographs of Airstreams that with the hours of polishing, blind you with the sunlight reflections, and I am certain their owners stand back and revel in the comments they receive. Yet I continue to totally enjoy our AS with its dull and grimy exterior. Yes, I do wash it occasionally, I do apply a coat of wax so that the rain beads up(not often), but there are long periods when that is not the case because I am having too much enjoyment enjoying other things.

I have "privately" held my head in shame that I am not out there endlessly polishing and waxing my Airstream, but instead being just happy to get the dead bug guts off, and the majority of the road tar removed before our next excursion. I am shamelessly comfortable puling into a campground in an Airstream that does not shine, that has only a modest amount of dirt and road grime, and setting up amongst SOB's with fading decals, hail dents, and black streaks.

So to read your post, it gives me great comfort that I am not the only one that does not have stress over not having our Airstream polished and waxed to the point of blinding those who are caught in the glare of the sun anywhere around us.

Thanks!!!
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Old 09-26-2015, 08:51 PM   #31
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Bob(PUNCH),

Your post has made my day!!.................... it gives me great comfort that I am not the only one that does not have stress over not having our Airstream polished and waxed to the point of blinding those who are caught in the glare of the sun anywhere around us.

Thanks!!!
The accepted term now is of course patina...... I am happy to have a heavily patinated Airstream. My waxing and washing routine sounds pretty much like yours, and I like the worn-but-cared-for look.
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Old 09-26-2015, 09:24 PM   #32
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My wife does a roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon recipe that might change your mind.

That sounds like a perfect waste of bacon😀


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Old 09-27-2015, 01:55 AM   #33
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The '95 Classic DP I'm looking at getting (dear lord if I start collecting moos like I do boats someone call Intervention) is polished...and I'm actually a member of the "they-look-better-au-natural" club too....plus keeping my boats polished is work enough, no way I'm having that done to an RV....cause I'm too lazy to do it on my boats myself as it is and I don't even want to think about how much it costs to polish an AS.
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Old 09-27-2015, 06:27 AM   #34
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My love for all things shiny knows no bounds.
But I know that if I polished my trailer it would consume me.
A little O C D goes a long way!
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Old 09-27-2015, 06:51 AM   #35
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Punch, this is a great thread and thought provoking. Glad you started it.

I wonder if there is a difference in the intended use of the rig, type of travel and where and how often, between those who choose to polish and those who choose not to. I originally thought that at some point we would bite the bullet and polish our 310. I dont plan to anymore. As we have moved from working on the rig for 2+ years to actually using it on a regular basis, I dont think a mirror finish polish job is a wise use of time or money. FOR US mind you. Mine was refinished at some point in its lifetime so the exterior is in pretty good shape anyway.

I would bet that those who mainly use their AS for weekends and rallies might have more tendency to polish than those who subject their rigs to the abuse of cross country travel. Just a guess. A few days of use then tucked away. A strong resemblance to the classic car enthusiast.

I just think it would be too hard to try and maintain a polished AS properly if one is traveling in it for long periods of time during the year, or live in it for months at a time. As far as looks go.......thats a personal choice thang and Im ok with the dings and road wear on our 310.

I think that the question of "to polish or not to polish?" might have a good deal to do with its intended use.

Great thread and good insights.

Mike
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Old 09-27-2015, 07:01 AM   #36
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... those who subject their rigs to the abuse of cross country travel......
yeah, travel is rough on the ole Airstream. When the engine panel got all polished up during re-entry, I decided to leave it at that, just to please the polishing gods
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Old 09-27-2015, 07:29 AM   #37
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Reminds me of the situation with my bikes.....

I have two bikes; same model. One has custom paint, custom chrome, 'lives' at a local Toy Storage, only gets used in fine weather and takes approx 4 hours to clean after every ride - it is 12 years old old has 4000 miles on it. The second is blacked out, lives in my shed, gets cleaned (occasionally) with a bucket/sponge/hosepipe and has 70,000miles on it. As a local bike shop says.....I keep one for polishing and one for riding.



I think they are both perfect, but serve different functions.
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Old 09-27-2015, 07:57 AM   #38
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There is a lot of good stuff coming up here, from all points of view.

Peter, I love the space travel pictures!
Martin, both very nice bikes, but 4 hours of cleaning after a ride! Scale that up to a 345..... I wonder what a blacked-out AS would look like? Oh no, maybe I shouldn't have written that!
Mike, I am sure you are right. Also, the southern part of the continent would be a lot more conducive to the polished idea. Wherever there is road salt, the effect on aluminum sheeting is quick and nasty. I bought an aluminum stock trailer a couple of years ago and our road salt spray turned it a dull grey very quickly. I ain't about to polish it!

I must say I'd like to hear from people who have gone the polishing route and persisted with it. I'd also like to hear what the solutions are to the non-polishable areas: covers and fiberglass, and also whether people have found waxes that last, or if clearcoat works to preserve the finish ..... I don't think you'd want to be crawling around on the roof every few days, so almost certainly something would have to be smeared or sprayed on the roof area.
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Old 09-27-2015, 08:19 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Punch View Post
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I guess I am probably the only person on this Forum who thinks that the polished look on a Classic looks ...... bad. Really bad. I apologize to anyone who does not like that statement, but it is my genuine opinion, and I think it is a great pity that this seems to be a developing trend.

Why don't I like it? For a number of reasons:
Firstly, mirror polishing shows up every blemish, whereas the original factory finish divides the bodywork up into several areas, and so seems able to hide blemishes, or at least make them less obnoxious than the purely reflective surface of the polished Classic.
Secondly, the covers on water heater and furnace(s),on roof-mounted covers and accessories, and over the spare tire suddenly stand out like sore thumbs: I guess a guy could have them all chromed to look good too.........
Thirdly, the basement area, that is the external drawer compartments and bumpers, always look bad and out of place. Mud and rocks will spatter the area and it will deteriorate quickly in appearance, even if you can actually get it looking good in the first place, which I have never seen done.
Finally and overwhelmingly, polishing your Classic seems to me to be like pushing a six foot diameter bowling ball up a steep smooth hill. You roll and roll it up either with great personal effort or by paying beaucoup bucks to someone else, and finally get to the small pointy hilltop of mirror polish, and then ........ the only way from there is downhill, and that downhill will happen so-o-o much more quickly than the uphill slog of polishing. And even if you can manage to keep it shiny in your ownership, is the next owner going to be as fastidious? Do you help preserve the finish with wax or clearcoat? Then what will happen to the wax or clearcoat after a few years?
If you look at a factory-finish Classic that has been neglected, it still looks impressive, but I have now seen a number of polished Classics that have either been abandoned part way or finished and then neglected, and believe me they look like ...... well, not very good.
I realise this will not be a popular view, but I really think that polishing your Classic is actually a first step towards dramatically reduced value and the wrecking yard.
Quote:
Originally Posted by amaier7771 View Post
Bob(PUNCH),

Your post has made my day!! I have read the endless posts, and looked at the photographs of Airstreams that with the hours of polishing, blind you with the sunlight reflections, and I am certain their owners stand back and revel in the comments they receive. Yet I continue to totally enjoy our AS with its dull and grimy exterior. Yes, I do wash it occasionally, I do apply a coat of wax so that the rain beads up(not often), but there are long periods when that is not the case because I am having too much enjoyment enjoying other things.

I have "privately" held my head in shame that I am not out there endlessly polishing and waxing my Airstream, but instead being just happy to get the dead bug guts off, and the majority of the road tar removed before our next excursion. I am shamelessly comfortable puling into a campground in an Airstream that does not shine, that has only a modest amount of dirt and road grime, and setting up amongst SOB's with fading decals, hail dents, and black streaks.

So to read your post, it gives me great comfort that I am not the only one that does not have stress over not having our Airstream polished and waxed to the point of blinding those who are caught in the glare of the sun anywhere around us.

Thanks!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Punch View Post
The accepted term now is of course patina...... I am happy to have a heavily patinated Airstream. My waxing and washing routine sounds pretty much like yours, and I like the worn-but-cared-for look.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dingo Girl View Post
My love for all things shiny knows no bounds.
But I know that if I polished my trailer it would consume me.
A little O C D goes a long way!
Quote:
Originally Posted by mayco View Post
Punch, this is a great thread and thought provoking. Glad you started it.

I wonder if there is a difference in the intended use of the rig, type of travel and where and how often, between those who choose to polish and those who choose not to. I originally thought that at some point we would bite the bullet and polish our 310. I dont plan to anymore. As we have moved from working on the rig for 2+ years to actually using it on a regular basis, I dont think a mirror finish polish job is a wise use of time or money. FOR US mind you. Mine was refinished at some point in its lifetime so the exterior is in pretty good shape anyway.

I would bet that those who mainly use their AS for weekends and rallies might have more tendency to polish than those who subject their rigs to the abuse of cross country travel. Just a guess. A few days of use then tucked away. A strong resemblance to the classic car enthusiast.

I just think it would be too hard to try and maintain a polished AS properly if one is traveling in it for long periods of time during the year, or live in it for months at a time. As far as looks go.......thats a personal choice thang and Im ok with the dings and road wear on our 310.

I think that the question of "to polish or not to polish?" might have a good deal to do with its intended use.

Great thread and good insights.

Mike
Where we stand......

Patina......



"Time will bring to light whatever is hidden; it will cover up and conceal what is now shining in splendor."
Horace

Bob
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Old 09-27-2015, 08:24 AM   #40
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This is why I chose the Argosy. I couldn't bear the thought of trying to keep the shine on it, plus with the Argosy, I can always change the paint color.
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Old 09-27-2015, 08:47 AM   #41
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Some of my absolute favorite Airstream exteriors are Argosys. Unlimited choices in color and finish.
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Old 09-27-2015, 09:35 AM   #42
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Where we stand......

Patina......



"Time will bring to light whatever is hidden; it will cover up and conceal what is now shining in splendor."
Horace

Bob
Bob, that's how they should look! Very nice.
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