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Old 10-27-2009, 09:02 PM   #1
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Question To polish or not

To polish or not to polish, that is the question. I have searched and I am confused. Is an 89 345LE a candidate for polishing, and if so what is the procedure?

If not what makes it look goooooooooood?

Do you have to strip (the coach), then polish, then what?

Is there a procedure to follow for this?

Would love to have step by step instructions including products to use.

I have read stuff here and sure I am missing a bunch of threads on this topic, but it is hard to find a definitive answer.

Chuck
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:53 PM   #2
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Since the question is: "To polish or not?" my canned response when folks ask about /suggest my polishing the Airstream is: "That will be a great project for the next owner"
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Old 10-28-2009, 03:11 AM   #3
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I would have to agree...it's ALUMINUM underneath...cosmetically 'damaged' has nothing to do with integrity, and that should be the main concern...the rest is personal preference, and relevant only to the current owner...some folks shine them up, some folks re-clear-coat them, some have the whole paint job done...your choice, obviously, but it is aluminum under all that cover...it's gonna last longer than you...mike
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Old 10-29-2009, 04:39 AM   #4
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34.5 feet is a lot of aluminum to poilish. I did the door on mine, it looks great but dammed if im doing the rest and then keeping it up every year or so. I've thought lots about painting it though as some of the clear coat is looking a bit shabby.
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:38 AM   #5
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Still aluminum under the shabby...ours is quite 'weathered', cosmetically challenged is the term I use, but it gets down the road, and we call it home for 9 months of the year...our home without wheels has a rusty-looking roof, but it doesn't leak...m
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:47 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by ccetex View Post
To polish or not to polish, that is the question. I have searched and I am confused. Is an 89 345LE a candidate for polishing, and if so what is the procedure?


Do you have to strip (the coach), then polish, then what?

Is there a procedure to follow for this?


Chuck
Chuck.

1. Yes, you must strip the coach.

2. Then polish.

3. "Then what ?" Be prepared for a ton of work, keeping the coach looking nice, after the polishing.

Raw aluminum oxidizes. You must establish a routine to
keep the shiney look.

That means a wash and polish job, every 30 to 60 days.

And that's ok, if you have nothing better to do with your time.

For openers, you should make sure the coach is water tight.

20 year old gaskets take a beating in that west Texas climate. Window, door, access door, and sewer vent pipe gaskets, all give out over time, especially sewer vent pipe gaskets which only last 2 to 3 years.

Andy
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:58 AM   #7
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Great points everyone, gives me some things to think about.

Andy, thanks for your input. These are things I have not thought of. The points about the gaskets really have me thinking. I get the coach tomorrow and that is the first thing I will check out.
Chuck
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Old 10-29-2009, 09:46 AM   #8
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clean up

havnt touched my trailes exterior skin yet but was thinking of just semi polishing it, remove 50 yrs of oxidation but stop when it looks clean and still has that "look" of a new airstream and not go so far as to turn it into a mirror finish. that way I wont have to be re polishing all the time, maybe just spring and fall hand buff it a bit and call it good.
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:49 AM   #9
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3.Raw aluminum oxidizes....

That means a wash and polish job, every 30 to 60 days.
No one polishes every 60 days, and I can't imagine the circumstances that would require such a routine.

Yes, it's true that aluminun oxidizes and it starts as soon as it's exposed to air. But the oxidation actually protects the finish too.

Take some time to go through some of the threads in the polish sub-forum for much more specific answers to your questions.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f441/

Carol
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:18 PM   #10
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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"Cosmetical Challenge" is good enough for us...IT"S ALUMINUM...cloudy or shiny...IT"S ALUMINUM...leaks are another issue, but so far we've had leaks at the TV antennae and the rear AC...not bad for a 20 year old...and the leaks aren't bad, so far...wish I could say the same for myself, and I'm over 60...freezing weather compromises seals, so we're headed for AZ, but it was 11 this am, although our neighbor's gauge was 1...maybe the time to leave is yesterday!!!m
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Old 10-31-2009, 09:14 AM   #11
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Has anyone used Olive Oil ??? to clean and polish the aluminum skin ???

I use it some on anodized aluminum on our Houseboat and it does an amazing job of cleaning, removing oxidation !!! and it is a natural product !
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Old 10-31-2009, 09:39 AM   #12
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Has anyone used Olive Oil ??? to clean and polish the aluminum skin ???

I use it some on anodized aluminum on our Houseboat and it does an amazing job of cleaning, removing oxidation !!! and it is a natural product !
Never heard of this but I found this on the web "An emulsion of equal parts of rum and olive oil can be used for cleaning aluminum."

Two parts rum for me...
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Old 10-31-2009, 10:30 AM   #13
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I prefer Kentucky Bourbon Myself Silverleeper !

I was quite surprised at the acid and cleaning abilities found in Olive oil alone, But along with the alcohol blended in ???? I will give that a try !!! Thank You
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Old 10-31-2009, 10:52 AM   #14
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I'm a paint fan myself. The original two tone paint job on most of the AS Moho's was very nice indeed. Back in 1984 mine was done with Dupont materials and has weathered well.

You can paint with new technology chrome paint if you really want shine, it's not cheap but in the long run would be cheaper than a strip, polish, maintain routine.
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