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Old 10-04-2015, 08:38 AM   #57
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I plan to polish my vintage airstream to the affect of nickel playing and parking it in front of your house. Hahahahaha
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Old 10-04-2015, 08:53 PM   #58
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I am weird... But I hear ya'll.

As far as my AS goes, I was not planning to polish, but it answered my needs... to strip and seal the darn colander first.

This is how it started, dull as an old frying pan...



Maybe you would disagree, Punch, but I think this looks better...



However...
This is one of my daily Drivers...
Satin Black, Rustoleum K10...

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Old 10-04-2015, 08:56 PM   #59
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Old 10-18-2015, 08:27 AM   #60
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Maybe you would disagree, Punch, but I think this looks better...

Sorry.... I missed this one. It does look better. But only because a PO had already stripped off the finish and either not polished it or not re-polished it, or not re-polished it, or not re-polished it..............

Yours will look better until you or the next owner cannot be bothered to ....... re-polish it. Clearcoat it now (if you haven't already) and it will continue to look good. Otherwise, be ready to have it as a reproach to you if you don't keep the polishing up!
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Old 10-18-2015, 08:34 PM   #61
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This has been kind of odd from day one…... A "negative" thread????

It seems like you've chosen to start this discussion just to talk about something that you personally don't like; and share your unsolicited opinion with everyone that never asked for it??

I don't understand why you have so much to say about what other people choose to do with their own time and their own money????

Why does it matter to you????

Has someone made a suggestion that everyone has to polish their motorhome; or else????
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Old 10-18-2015, 09:29 PM   #62
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Chill folks... these are opinions... not personal challenges.
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Old 10-18-2015, 09:42 PM   #63
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I had my teeth polished the last time I went to the dentist and I'm keeping my 454 too!!! Just say'n!
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Old 10-19-2015, 08:55 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by streamquest View Post
This has been kind of odd from day one…... A "negative" thread????

It seems like you've chosen to start this discussion just to talk about something that you personally don't like; and share your unsolicited opinion with everyone that never asked for it??

I don't understand why you have so much to say about what other people choose to do with their own time and their own money????

Why does it matter to you????

Has someone made a suggestion that everyone has to polish their motorhome; or else????
Hmm. I'll tell you exactly why I started it. Although I think I put this in right at the start.

There has been a long termtrend to present polishing as a great thing to do, with a lot of nice and shiny pictures and never a word to point out that there may be a downside. I think that this downside needs to be addressed.
1. When you take off the factory clearcoat (which may well need doing, there are some badly deteriorated ones out there), and replace it with nothing but maybe wax, then you have made the decision to make a lot of work until someone takes the time to put a durable and weatherproof coat on it.
2. If you get bored with this, or the next person cannot be bothered to continue with all that work, the MH is going to look bad really quickly. We see them for sale on the "for sale" thread here all the time.
3. Those Airstreams that have been stripped and then neglected, or worse still, abandoned half way through the job, then tend to get into the parts category very quickly, simply because the next owner does not value them so much. This is my opinion, but I'll stick to it.
4. A fundamental philosophical difference between you and me: just because you have paid money to buy something that is beautiful and classic, does not give you the right to destroy it, or allow it to deteriorate. Would you buy a Rembrandt oil painting and then draw mustaches on the people, or cut out the bits of it you didn't like, or decide it would look better half the size, so here come the scissors? I doubt it, but if you did I would say something negative about what you have chosen to do with your own time and money (your words).
5. A Classic AS is .....a classic. You are just the present caretaker. You will have to carry the bad karma if you are the one who starts the process that leads to it destruction, legal right of ownership or not. I doubt very much that you will agree with me. But that's OK.
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Old 10-19-2015, 03:39 PM   #65
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Stop Press: I have changed my mind and decided that I was completely wrong.

Having read this thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f311...nt-142560.html

I now think the more polished Classic motorhomes the better.
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Old 10-20-2015, 03:37 AM   #66
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Eternal damnation?

OK Punch,

Now that you've played the "bad karma" card, the gloves come off.

Since I probably enjoy the back and forth as much as you do, I'll keep the ball in play a while longer, but only in good fun.

Almost universally, the effects of the sun are to blame for the deterioration of that protective clear coat finish, which occurred while these antiques were in the custody of previous generations of owners. We have subsequently acquired them in various stages of disrepair.

I truly doubt that there are many instances of people stripping off a perfectly good clear coat, just to polish their whatever. I'm not saying that someone hasn't done it, but cite enough examples to support your belief that this is the Devil's own hand work. Admittedly, I've only had a case of the "Airstream bug" for several years, but I honestly can't recall seeing or hearing about anyone doing this. Generally speaking, anyone that has shelled out the cash for a really pristine, high dollar Classic Motorhome that wears an unblemished clear coat, is probably going to continue to keep it "as is".

And just for the sake of discussion, I would imagine that whatever the process that is utilized to "refurbish/restore to mill finish" (as you would advocate) a severely or partially oxidized surface, could also be employed to return a polished unit back to "mill finish" as well. You're basically using a course abrasive of some sort to remove the oxidation and scratch up the surface, then reapplying clear coat. Back to the "factory finish"; all is not lost.

You suggest that the "for sale" section features numerous examples of "Airstreams that have been stripped and neglected, or worse still, abandoned half way through the job, then tend to get into the parts category very quickly…. all the time". YOUR WORDS. Feel free to stick to your opinion, but again, what is the basis of it? Please cite the examples that you're referring to? I spend half of my spare time looking at Airstream stuff for sale, and rarely if ever do I see it. I do wish I could find one though, because some of us are having a heck of a time looking for windows. Please point one out so I can get in contact with them. It should be easy because they're everywhere, right?

In truth, the vast majority of "for sale for parts" motorhomes are the units that have truly been neglected by their owners for years, for any number of reasons. These are the "if you get bored" or "can't be bothered" stories, NOT the polished units that have had a ton of sweat or dollars lovingly pumped into them. Polishing one of these things is undertaken by a person that has made a fairly significant commitment to ownership, and has invested in their Airstream in ways that extend far beyond the shiny cosmetics that you don't like.

As far as the next buyer goes, who knows? If I was to consider purchasing one of two identical units that differed only by the condition of their finish, I would buy the polished one, carry the torch, and lovingly maintain it. You would go for the factory finish. I get it.

The "Rembrandt" thing??? "Painting mustaches"?? You're really reaching. Face it, Airstream motorhomes came off an assembly line in Ohio in fairly significant numbers, and were built on mass produced Chevy truck platforms. Not exactly 17th century original art; which is why we can afford them. We could talk about Modernism, Futurism, and Machine Age esthetics, but really, we love them because they're quirky, and we can use them, and mess around with them.

I happen to own a couple of really rare trailers ('35 Bowlus, and the second oldest known '36 Airstream Clipper), so I get the thing about historical relevance. But tell me, other than those of us neer do wells who you have chastised for polishing, do you really believe that anyone who has altered an Airstream Motorhome (time capsule as you see it) in any other way, is also doomed to carry the burden of "bad karma" for having started "the process that leads to its destruction, legal right of ownership or not"??? YOUR WORDS!
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Old 10-20-2015, 05:26 AM   #67
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Off the wall

Being a new-to-us AS couple, we have defied ALL logic and sanded/painted the roof section of our 1989 Excella with White roof paint!! Figured no one really sees the "top" of the roof anyway, may keep it a bit cooler, its flexible and seals all the nooks and crannies that the roof section has, easily applied with a brush and we saw that the new AS models are now the same way. The upper part of our unit's clear coating is peeling so we're thinking of polishing that section while leaving the lower part alone as its in decent shape. May change our mind on the polishing part as we want surface protection the most, but would like the unit to appear well cared for and are willing to work at it. However, still want her to be a daily "driver" so the dings/dents will stay... We love our AS any way we can get it!!
James and Rebecca
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Old 10-20-2015, 06:55 AM   #68
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James and Rebecca: it sounds like you are doing wonderful stuff, really caring for your Excella.

Streamquest: I would suggest a Flair. Have a good day.

Carry on polishing, people. I may need those windows one day
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Old 10-20-2015, 11:56 PM   #69
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Punch,

Thanks for the suggestion, but after I abandon and scrap my Airstream, my next coach will be a Prevost. I promise to send you a window.

Gotta love that polished stainless.
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Old 10-21-2015, 08:11 AM   #70
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Being a new-to-us AS couple, we have defied ALL logic and sanded/painted the roof section of our 1989 Excella with White roof paint!! Figured no one really sees the "top" of the roof anyway, may keep it a bit cooler, its flexible and seals all the nooks and crannies that the roof section has, easily applied with a brush and we saw that the new AS models are now the same way. The upper part of our unit's clear coating is peeling so we're thinking of polishing that section while leaving the lower part alone as its in decent shape. May change our mind on the polishing part as we want surface protection the most, but would like the unit to appear well cared for and are willing to work at it. However, still want her to be a daily "driver" so the dings/dents will stay... We love our AS any way we can get it!!
James and Rebecca
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Easyrider06,
When we had P&S strip off our sunburned '90 Excella 29' three or four years ago they asked us if we wanted to do the roof white and we declined. If we had it to do over again I might reconsider. One issue is that our older AS trailers are narrower and you can see more of the roof than on the newer wider models. I wouldn't want to be able to see the white, so on 8' wide models that might limit how wide your roof white job would be. Motorhomes are wider and taller so probably not a problem.

We also only had degradation on the upper section above the blue beltline, but there is a danger that doing only the upper section might result in two sections looking mismatched. Or not. It was a risk we didn't want to take so we redid it all, and love the look. We tried to polish our AS ourselves, but taking all advice offered we were up on scaffolding running excellent power tools, and just weren't making much progress and we couldn't get the ghost of two previous Wally numbers off of the front no matter what we tried. I looked down from the scaffolding and realized that for people of our age, standing on a platform board five to six feet above hard blacktop, one fall and the hospital bill would pay for the P&S refinish several times over. Keeping it washed and waxed is enough exercise for me.

Good luck on whatever you decide.
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