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Old 08-25-2009, 04:26 PM   #1
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Black Spots on Ceiling Fabric

We've got an 02 Bambi with the white ceiling fabric.

Over the past couple of years it is developed a number of charcoal spots the size of a rivet-head that are scattered around the ceiling. Marg has tried cleaning them with all of her typical products - but no go - they got worse - anyone else have these? - solutions for cleaning them?

We're both assuming they may be the aluminum dust from loose rivets (there are about 1/2 dozen) - and that attempts to clean then simply wick in more dust ....

Thanks,



Jay (and Marg)
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Old 08-25-2009, 05:47 PM   #2
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Jay- Welcome to the rubbing rivit ruin my wall rag club. We have them in our Safari too and we tried a few things but so far nothing. We have one that is right where the bedroom divier is that is spreading like lava down a mountain. I am going to go at it with the monster shop vac then use this rug clear that took out BBQ grill stains from the carpet of the Tahoe. I'll keep you posted.

Rick
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Old 08-25-2009, 06:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerJay View Post

,,, a number of charcoal spots the size of a rivet-head that are scattered around the ceiling. Marg has tried cleaning them with all of her typical products - but no go - they got worse - anyone else have these? - solutions for cleaning them?

We're both assuming they may be the aluminum dust from loose rivets (there are about 1/2 dozen) - and that attempts to clean then simply wick in more dust ....

Thanks,
Jay (and Marg)
Ranger,
Same thing happened to our 2005 Bambi, except the spots were much larger, and in several locations. I contacted the AS factory while it was still under warranty, and they confirmed that it was aluminum dust from rivets and flexing of the panels while traveling. They would have repaired it but I would have had to go to Jackson Center for the work. It just wasn't possible at the time.

Prior to offering to repair it, AS recommended trying to clean it with upholstery cleaner, followed by powerful vacuum. I DO NOT recommend this. It only made it worse. We've learned to live with it by covering the spots with little (and big) glow in the dark stars Velcroed to the fabric. We now have a virtual universe to stare at when the lights go off.



I'm considering some kind of beige fabric dye later on, but am not optimistic that it will be a permanent solution.
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Old 08-25-2009, 07:39 PM   #4
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It's great to be in good company - even if none of us has found a way to deal with the problem!

We both had a great chuckle at glow in the dark velcroe stars - about as creative and "out-of-the-box" thinking as either one of us could ever imagine! - but I sure hope we can find a solution before we have to move in that direction - I don't think I can imagine staring at luminous stars at 3AM ...

Would it work to cut the fabric and replace the offending rivet?

Thanks,


Jay
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Old 08-25-2009, 08:57 PM   #5
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Take a look at this thread: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f46/...tml#post671830 .

I will repeat what I wrote there:

"We had dark stains on our fuzzy walls from the aluminum dust where inside rivets have vibrated. If the walls did not have the fuzzy stuff, I am sure the rivets would have dropped out onto the floor. We hid the spots rather easily although the solution did not occur to us immediately.

What we did was mix up a small amount of artist's acrylic paint (usually comes in tubes) to match the color of the fuzz. That we applied to the stained area with a small, stiff artist's brush, working it thoroughly into the stained backing of the fuzz. We only put the paint on the stained area.

We let the paint dry almost completely and then rubbed the fuzz where the paint was with denatured alcohol which took the paint out of the fuzz, but left it on the backing.

Our touch-up has now lasted years and you really must know where to look to find the spots."
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Old 08-25-2009, 10:31 PM   #6
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Home Depot has a product called Folex that will remove anything from fabrics. Take a long look at how your wheels are balanced also, something is causing excess vibration.
Greg
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Old 08-26-2009, 05:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZoomZoom View Post
Home Depot has a product called Folex that will remove anything from fabrics. Take a long look at how your wheels are balanced also, something is causing excess vibration.
Greg
Greg- Good input but in our case I am a nut when it comes to running gear. I had the axles realigned at JC, replace tires constantly and spin balance to 90MPH, check psi every trip along with lugs. One of our AS friends have a 2007 without wall rag and have the same problem in some spot. Some of us like to trvel off the beaten path and that well may have something to do with it.
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Old 08-26-2009, 06:47 AM   #8
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Thanks - never heard of Folex but will see if we can get some and give it a try - and - failing that - will use Tim's technique and get some paint. I will also not give up on the thought of peeling back a slice of the fabric and replacing at least one rivet to see if it can be done discretely.

Our tires were changed out two years ago - they were balanced at the time - but - in thinking back - it's really been only the last two years that we have noticed these spots - (I counted them up - we have 5) - so - I'll get the balance checked out as well.

Thanks for all the advice - this has been great.


Jay
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Old 07-30-2010, 10:59 PM   #9
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WOW!! Thanks for the light speed response to our interior black spot problem. We will look at Home Depot's Folex. My wife's an artist so we might try the acrylic paint method. Sounds interesting. Also would be interested in how the loose rivet possibility pans out.

Thanks again, Billie Bob
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Old 07-07-2012, 02:54 PM   #10
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One other possibility, Mix up some Oxy-Clean, put it in a spray bottle and spray the dickens out of it. The Oxy-Clean will migrate to the low point, and when it starts to collect there, use a wet/dry Shop Vac to capture the dirty water. We've done our whole walls two times doing this and they come remarkably clean. Removes lots of dust, mildew, and other soils. Usually you can get most of the water off the walls with the Shop Vac, the rest drys within a couple hours with the breeze allowed to blow thru.
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:05 AM   #11
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Eureka! I have found it.

Folex worked better than anything else I tried. It took out the majority of the dark black but didn't get it all. The key is to soak the spot and then work the Folex in gently with your finger. I then used my finger like a squeegee over and over to remove most of the foam. Then I blotted the area with a dry towel.

The best solution to completely hide the spots is to have them dyed by a professional. You can find them by going to an auto dealership and contacting the used car manager. They have interior restoration pros that come aroung to their lots and dye auto interiors. Mouse fur is similar to the material used in auto headliners and the pros are very familiar to covering stains. They mix the dye to match the mouse fur and then spray it on. They will come to your house or wherever you keep your Airstream.
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:24 AM   #12
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Had the same problem in my 99 Bambi and didn't know what to do about it. We bought are AS used and it was pretty dirty. I rented a carpet cleaner at Home Depot in an atempt to make the rug look blue again... While working on the floor I looked up and thought: Why not? Did the ceiling too with the smaller hand wand and the spots finally disapeared. Good luck.
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Old 06-01-2013, 03:59 PM   #13
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That dreaded black spots on the ceiling

When I was in the process of purchasing (online) our 2005 Safari, the nice seller told me in advanced about this problem and email a thread on the dreaded black spots. I was convinced there is a solution after all the wealth of information being shared. It is all up to me to filter them.

He also told me that he tried to clean it with some chemicals but he stopped as it was getting worse. Not a big issue I assumed, I went ahead and drove down to Tucson. I guess it was the AS culture, Todd was one of the most pleasant private sellers I encountered in my life but that is a different story.

As soon as I hauled the AS from AZ to Las Vegas, I considered Oxyclean and carpet cleaner. My instinct led me to the paint touch up solution. Being an architect with kids who love to do art work, we have plenty of acrylic colors and brushes in the workshop.

I did pretty good .However, I need to glue the fabric to the backing since it lifted off a little in a small area. I guess it happened when the old owner tried cleaning it with some chemicals. My two cents: "If anyone is thinking of using commercial cleaning materials that would weaken the fabric's adhesion to the backing, better not do it".

With the lifting issue, I'd try injecting clear epoxy glue in few spots using syringe through the fabric and hold the spot with slim object 'til the glue holds.

By the way, I am very happy to be an AS hauler! People young & old literally give me "thumbs up" & verbal compliments, "I like your set-up". I never had anything like that when I had an MH few years back.
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:26 PM   #14
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Hey everyone! I finally purchased a bambi as well, and I am embracing the "mouse fur." As for now, there is one spot on the ceiling, where the previous owner tried to spray it and failed to clean it. Has anyone ever heard of completely removing the fur, and replacing it with aluminum? Or some other kind of material?
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