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Old 02-12-2013, 01:09 PM   #29
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If you want to make it last another forty years do the coating before the paint. If it's good enough in your considered opinion, paint it and keep on marching

The marine clean is a very good detergent that lifts oil films - the metal ready is a metal treatment that leaves a grainy surface on bare metal that paint gets a good grip to anchor to ie: "surface profile".

There are other phosphate treatments, though I saw the derusto type get undercut and nearly perforate my F-150's differential cover because it also has a clear plasticy film in it - looked gorgeous black while MN road salt was eating through the metal behind it. Not again for this camper.

if there is a auto body/speed shop nearby you they may have POR Metal-Ready or something equivalent in stock. The warmer is it when applied the faster the reactions. If I was doing again I think a wet sponge - scotchbrite pad scrub of the old paint with the Metal-Ready, hose rinse and allow to dry then paint away with puff-can paint
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:24 PM   #30
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Napa Auto parts handles a similar product at a similar price. I also went to Sherwin Williams and the had a similar product. I have the Por 15 in the cart at VTS along with some other things like elevator bolts and a Fantastic Fan. I am going to get a beer and sit in the trailer for a while and try to come to a decision on which of my plans I am going to pursue with it.

Thanks Wabbiteer

Tony
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:13 AM   #31
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Re-reading my response seems I omitted that Metal-Ready was a rust converter too, as well as a paint prep magic ingredient that makes POR-15 grip like a cat above a pool of water.
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:23 AM   #32
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Also consider a product called Zero Rust. It is a high solids coating used on industrial equipment. A good alternative when you don't want to mess with POR products.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:25 PM   #33
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I have tried just about every product on the market. I somehow want to find something cheaper, but nothing works like POR15. I would honestly like this to not be true. Unfortunately POR15 it the best there is. It is worth every single penny.
A hint for making the most of your product; Use black for the first coat and grey for the second one. This allows you be sure you cover everything.
Another hint; SPRAY IT. It goes on great and very efficiently.
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:57 PM   #34
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I ended up ordering Por 15 the cleaner, the etching stuff, and a can of top coat from VTS. It is on the way.

I also picked up a couple can Rustolem spray primer, qt of primer and qt top coat from Lowes. It should get me started on the various rust situation I have found on the frame. I am so pleased no rot out.

Tony
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:31 PM   #35
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The frame is not the problem so much as it is poorly attached to the shell. So you can do one of two things, you can make a beefy frame that is capable of supporting itself without the shell or add more outriggers and connect the ends of the outriggers with something like angle iron or other types of structural steel. Then you need to put fasteners every few inches (not feet like they are now) between the C-channel at the bottom of the shell skin and the steel between the outriggers.

As someone said above, the back end rots off the newer trailers because of the plate in front of the bumper that funnels water under the rear of the trailer. The main frame attachement to the shell is at the back and when this rots out the frame is supported by the outriggers and they are not made to hold much of anything. Now add the weight of the bathroom and the holding tanks you have a problem. If you add a gray water tank, I would move it in front of the axel.

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Old 02-16-2013, 10:46 PM   #36
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I think that Airstream relys to heavily on the structural support of the shell. I can't recall any of the other aluminum aircraft style travel trailers using as light of a frame as Airstream does. None of those others are regularly doing shell off restorations either. I think that Airstream added too much weight to the later model trailers without making the frames stronger. It is just an observation from someone who has built a lot of equipment trailers over the years.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:04 AM   #37
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Yes they rely on the shell but the connection to the shell is not adequate. There are only two areas where there is anything like a structural attachment point and those are at the front and the back. Once the weak connections break down, and they do, the frame is supporting itself. There in lies the reason for tail sag. To get strength the shell and frame don't need to move relative to each other. Once they start moving relative to each other, all bets are off. The shell does very little at that point.

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Old 02-17-2013, 09:44 AM   #38
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I am going to say this one more time for all the arm chair engineers determined to re engineer things....
Airstreams are ENGINEERED TO FLEX, TWIST, AND CURVE AS THEY GO DOWN THE ROAD. They are not like a white box trailer. They are not like a flat bed trailer, they are not like your house at home. They are designed the way they are for a very specific reason. Beefing up, changing, altering is not a good idea. Over and over I read people saying how they think they need to beef it up, make it stronger, make it thicker. It is your trailer and you can do to it what you want, but I strongly suggest you rebuild it exactly how it was originally.

The biggest issue you guys with the 1970's trailers have is that the quality of the steel used is inferior and very low quality. It tends to melt away with exposure to moisture. Some batches of steel were good, but many were not very good at all.
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:22 PM   #39
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Well Frank I am a real engineer with real degrees and I don't sit at a desk all day. I am in the lab doing things and designing things and building things. I have studied structures and built structures. Yes you are correct all real structures flex and twist even bridges. In the 60's these trailers were built better with better materials and better workmanship. They also were not as heavy. They changed a bunch of stuff in the 70's and did not update the design. Wet fiberglass rusts the frames on these things. If you put wet fiberglass against any type of steel for 40 yrs IT WILL RUST. If you are going to accuse someone of being incompetent you better be able to back it up with something other than arm chair commentary.

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Old 02-17-2013, 12:35 PM   #40
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You are right! I sit in my arm chair and comment on fixing rusted frames all day. I also sit in my arm chair and comment on lifting shells. I advise on axles from my arm chair also. I never actually touch a thing I comment on, I do it all from my arm chair. Thank you for straightening me out. The truth is, I do it from my couch. I don't own an arm chair.

Folks, please disregard anything I said previously. Box those frames in and make them as rigid as possible. They are weak weak weak...
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:28 AM   #41
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Several folks have claimed that a stronger frame under an Airstream body will create all sorts of issues. I'm not saying that it won't but I am saying that so many other manufacturers did it successfully with no obvious issues. Avion and Silver Streak are examples. I have asked the experts (on this forum) on what Avion (and the others) did that Airstream can't seem to do that made them last much longer. So far I haven't seen anyone explain why it won't work on an Airstream. I also would like to know why some Airstream trailers have frames that break in just a few years and why a heavier frame would be detrimental to the trailer. If I had a new condition Airstream body, I wouldn't hesitate for a minute to build a new, heavier frame for it. It would take me a couple of weeks to have it ready to put a floor on and then the body. After seeing the Airstream frames, it would be easier for me to start with an entirely new frame and not even try to "beef" up the Airstream frame. I figure that a 22' trailer would weigh about 400# more and that would include the heavier frame, heavier axles and heavier tires and wheels. It would also have a GVW about 1,500# more than the original. Therefore, it could hold approx. 1,000# more in capacity.
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:40 PM   #42
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Airstreams are semi monocoque structures. Silver Streaks Avions are not. The shell is carried by the frame and the floor is independent.
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