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Old 03-24-2008, 09:12 PM   #1
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1999 25' Safari
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vinyl insert

I have a 25' 1976 Trade Wind. I notice that there is a channel running partially around the mid section of the exterior and another channel near the bottom on the trailer. I understand that originally this channel was filled with a blue rubber insert. Does anyone know where I can purchase this material?
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Old 03-24-2008, 10:11 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jfuller678
I have a 25' 1976 Trade Wind. I notice that there is a channel running partially around the mid section of the exterior and another channel near the bottom on the trailer. I understand that originally this channel was filled with a blue rubber insert. Does anyone know where I can purchase this material?
We sell thousands of feet of the rub rail and belt line insert every year.

Andy
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Old 03-24-2008, 10:17 PM   #3
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The original material that was selected by Airstream (which is EVA I think) has poor exterior durability and therefore you end up replacing it after 5 years or so depending on where you live in the country and whether you store the unit outdoors. That is why Andy sells so much. Many people gave up and simply left it out and painted the channel or installed vinyl decal material. You can buy replacement stripping directly from Airstream in 50 foot coils or sometimes you can pick up a partial roll at a Airstream swap meet.
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Old 03-24-2008, 11:36 PM   #4
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Thank you for your response. It is very helpful.
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Old 03-25-2008, 04:48 AM   #5
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The vinyl insert is inexpensive and very easy to install. I have put it on my Argosy and on the Sovereign. dwightdi is right, sometimes it doesn't last long, or the color doesn't hold true, in the sun. It also shrinks, so let it sit uncut in the channel for a "long" time before you rivet it down. I've had good luck with the large orange insert on the Argosy, while the thin insert is now yellow and not orange. Go figure. It looks better than painting, but I'd suggest putting it in and leaving it until the color fades and then paint the insert. Not easy, but it works. These are pictures of the redo on the Sovereign with the new vinyl insert just on the top and the repainted end piece and emblem.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:05 PM   #6
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I called your store and they said they only have one size. I appears that the two channels are approximately 1" and 5/8". Do you if you carry both sizes.
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Old 03-26-2008, 12:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jfuller678
I called your store and they said they only have one size. I appears that the two channels are approximately 1" and 5/8". Do you if you carry both sizes.
We do carry both sizes.

Our new girl is in error.

Andy
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Old 03-26-2008, 05:53 AM   #8
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Painting the EVA strip with UV exterior durable paint is better than nothing. You would need to corona or flame treat the strip before you paint it to get most conventional paints to stick. I wish they had someone at Airstream with some knowledge of plastics so they would not specifiy a grade of plastic that has such poor exterior durability. Maybe they want the continuing sales of stripping when the strips fail every 5 years?? Maybe VTS should contract to have a more durable strip made for them so we could stop having to buy new strips every 5 years.
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Old 03-27-2008, 07:17 PM   #9
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Amen to that dwightdi.
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Old 03-29-2008, 06:53 AM   #10
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Andy........was the vinyl insert used on all years of Airstreams?

On my '66 the channel doesn't look like it would "hold" an insert. It's painted (flaking and peeling) right now.

Thanks for your input!
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Old 03-29-2008, 09:32 AM   #11
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Andy........was the vinyl insert used on all years of Airstreams?

On my '66 the channel doesn't look like it would "hold" an insert. It's painted (flaking and peeling) right now.

Thanks for your input!
Vinyl inserts were first used in the 1974 models.

Some prior years had moldings that were either painted, or had blue "electrical tape" installed.

The painted portions of the moldings will not peel, "IF" painted properly.

Mask off the part of the moldings that you do not want to paint.

Properly sanding the insert part, not scuffing, but real sanding with 120 to 150 grit sandpaper, does the trick.

Then use a high quality epoxy, followed by a high quality spray paint.

If cheap paints are used, expect early failure, guaranteed.

Andy
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