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Old 07-19-2010, 12:15 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1967 26' Overlander
lafayette , California
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5
Unhappy Help! Black marks on exterior from plastic tarp

I just bought a 1967 airstream overlander last December. I found that it leaked a little so I put a blue plastic tarp over the entire trailer and held it in place with bungie cords at the bottom. When I took off the tarp this spring, there are these black 4" long to 6" long 2" to 3" marks on the trailer. I can't get the marks off with the RemovAll stripper or the coarse nuvite polish. The marks are not from the bungie cords as those are all at the bottom and the marks are on the top 1/3 of the trailer. All I can figure is that it must be marks made by the tarp flapping against the trailer. Has anyone else had this problem? And what can I do to get the marks off?

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Old 07-19-2010, 08:42 AM   #2
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1992 21' Sovereign
Albuquerque , New Mexico
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 98
I have that problem exactly....

The previous owner covered the Airstream with a tarp because the 2 roof vents leaked. The results are exactly as you describe, plus there are some brown marks that we can't figure out. ?Maybe tree sap/"acid" rain marks?. Both the brown and black marks are only where the clear coat had come off.

I attended the 4 Corner Unit Restoration Rally in June here in ABQ to learn how to fix these marks. Levon, the polishing expert, tried a few things. We found that using Nuvite S (non-cutting) worked pretty well on the marks. I have purchased Removall to strip the whole trailer, and have some S to work on the marks. Levon said the trailer would polish up beautifully, but I'm not ready to take that on yet.

I've attached some pictures to show the exterior state of my Airstream. Once it cools off in ABQ, I thought I'd work on the exterior. By the way, the Restoration Rally was great!
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Old 07-19-2010, 09:31 AM   #3
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1970 27' Overlander
Espanola , Full Timer
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I bet thats the last time you do that with one of those blue tarps...we did the same thing during an emergency Hail drill. And because of the wind, it made little blemishes like you have. Try some SUPER DUTY RUBBING COMPOUND made by 3M...comes in a large affordable quart (it is nicknamed 'Gravel in a Bottle') It has a kerosene base that allows it to stay wet while prepping the surface to be polished. About 14 15 dollars a quart and comes from R & E Paint supply. Good luck
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Old 07-19-2010, 12:16 PM   #4
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1967 26' Overlander
lafayette , California
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5
Thank you both for the great information. I'm new to this site and I wasn't even sure I had posted the question correctly. I'm learning that aluminum is is rather picky as to what can and cannot be used on it.
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Old 07-19-2010, 12:29 PM   #5
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1977 31' Sovereign
1963 26' Overlander
1989 34' Excella
Johnsburg , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,923
A 1967 was plasticoated at the factory but that formulation would not have lasted 33 years. Someone might have already stripped the finish and you simply have wear marks from the tarp moving around. Rubbing it out would be the best solution for now and do a real polish job on it later, if you want people to worship you work.
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