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Old 05-02-2016, 09:00 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
De Soto , Wisconsin
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Importance of exterior maintenance

I am new to these airstreams, and I was wondering, other than keeping things caulked around A/C and Fans on the roof, what type of maintenance is necessary to maintain the integrity of an airstream. I was told it runs $100 a foot to replace clear coat and that polishing one every two years after the clear coat is removed is a mountain of a job. Structurally, is there anything wrong with letting them have the discolor and not do those things? Interested in some info on that. Thanks in advance.

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Old 05-02-2016, 09:27 AM   #2
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2004 28' Safari S/O
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As long you maintain water tight integrity at seams and gaskets there is NO downside to letting the exterior age naturally other than aesthetics and reduced resale value.

"Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment."

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Old 05-02-2016, 09:47 AM   #3
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1995 25' Excella
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I enjoy the look of a decades old naturally aged Airstream.
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Old 05-06-2016, 02:52 PM   #4
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1976 25' Caravanner
Overland Park , Kansas
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I agree that a nice uniform patina can look really nice. What year Airstream do you have? You might not even have clear coat to worry about.

In addition to keeping up with leaks it is also good to take a good hard look below the belt line and minimize any gaps or openings. Water will obviously lead to advanced frame and floor rot but rodents and other critters can cause additional problems!

Maybe rub some silicone lubricant on the window and door seals once a year?
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Old 05-07-2016, 11:16 AM   #5
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De Soto , Wisconsin
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Thanks for the feedback. There is visible wearing away of the clear coat, mostly on the roof of the 1998 safari we plan to purchase. Other than that it appears to be in pristine shape. If this is purely a cosmetic issue, I guess that does not matter to us, at this point anyway.
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Old 05-08-2016, 07:54 AM   #6
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1976 25' Caravanner
Overland Park , Kansas
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Good deal. So that trailer should have a sort of matte or mill finish, right? If it were my trailer I'd just go ahead and strip the clear coat so that there is a nice even finish that will age evenly over time. The bare aluminum will be just fine if you wash it now and then. Would be a quick weekend job. Also prevents filiform corrosion from developing between clear coat and aluminum.
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Old 05-08-2016, 04:40 PM   #7

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Zanadude Nebula , WNY
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Thumbs up Nothing rong at all....

....18 Seasons and it looked fine, (to us), when we sold it.....

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AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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