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Old 12-07-2018, 10:42 AM   #1
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Is the Clearcoat the same on Airstreams and autos/trucks?

I had a 2003 Ford Explorer for 14 years that I bought with a clear coat finish. I never waxed it, not once, and it looked beautiful until the day I sold it. It made me a believer in clear coat. So, my question is: Because my AS has a clear coat finish, will it stay beautiful and shiny without waxing or walbernizing it?
Thanks!
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Old 12-07-2018, 11:12 AM   #2
CLOUDSPLITTER "Tahawus"
 
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No...it's applied during manufacturing by Alcoa.
Cut & sized by AS, which does compromise the coating somewhat. 🙃

The auto industry coats after assembly & painting, very few exposed un-coated areas.


I use Griots Paint Sealer once a year...still looks pretty good. 👍 Been using Griot's on everything for a long time...The 'mop on a stick' is perfect for the AS.

The wash soap is sooper slippery and won't hold dirt & scratch.

They also have the best microfiber I've found.


Bob
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Old 12-08-2018, 06:32 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
No...it's applied during manufacturing by Alcoa.
Cut & sized by AS, which does compromise the coating somewhat. 🙃

The auto industry coats after assembly & painting, very few exposed un-coated areas.


I use Griots Paint Sealer once a year...still looks pretty good. 👍 Been using Griot's on everything for a long time...The 'mop on a stick' is perfect for the AS.

The wash soap is sooper slippery and won't hold dirt & scratch.

They also have the best microfiber I've found.


Bob
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Man that looks fantastic Bob! Do you do it by hand or use a buffer?
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Old 12-08-2018, 07:53 AM   #4
CLOUDSPLITTER "Tahawus"
 
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Porter Cable,..... 6.5" foam applicator, ,..... Remove with these......
One Step... once a year.
Now...don't laugh, but this for quick touch-up's, started using on the boat after every outing and it transferred great to the AS.

I'm a confirmed believer, I use Griot's on everything.

FWIW...'Bertha' the Ford, is the DW's Gramma's first new car and is untouched original. We have been the caretakers since 1976. 👍

Bob
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Old 12-08-2018, 11:31 AM   #5
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Can you tell me exactly which Griots product you use? I checked their website and found several different sealers.
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Old 12-08-2018, 12:11 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info Bob. I usually do all my stuff by hand but the arms don't work like they used to so maybe I'll give it a go. BTW, everything looks fantastic!
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Old 12-08-2018, 12:13 PM   #7
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I don't think the brand of wax makes much difference. I get the same results on my Airstream by spraying on Walburnize and wiping/rubbing off with micro fiber towels. The key to long PPG clear coat life is to make sure you get is on all the cut and drilled areas around all the edges and rivets. That seals out moisture and will eliminate filiform corrosion. My trailer just finished it's 14th season and the finish still looks new.
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Old 12-08-2018, 12:29 PM   #8
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Yes the clear coat is the same as the automotive clearcoat.... however, as others said Airstream does not apply it after the trailer is made... it is put on at the factory that makes the alu sheeting....

Applying a second coating to the clear after its dry'd.. doesn't work.. it won't blend in to the existing coat... so one is stuck... however,

If you rough up the existing clear coating so it has a 'tooth' so to speak... then it will stick.. but where ever its feathered into the existing... you will always see a cut line... the only way to get it fully covered is to strip the old off and then coat the whole thing with new... sorry...

It would be nice if AS waited and clear coated the whole outside.. sealing the edges etc.. but knowing how cheap the management is... it becomes a wonder after several years...

Strip and re coating is not that expensive but, if I were going to do it.. I would first strip and then do a conversion coating.. i.e alodine conversion... that then gives the alu a harder more less corrosive surface.. then I would coat it with clear coating...

This is what they do to aircraft... to prevent corrosion in years to come... as well as it can then give it color...

Again... A/S is still stuck in the dark ages as their are new ways to maintain that look... I know that avion and silver streak... both alu trailers.. went to it years before they quit making them... and they got that satin finish as well as great all weather protection.

If you polish them out you have taken away everything except the alclad... which protects the other metals like mag in the alu... it is the mag that starts to corrode first...

waxing the existing clear coat protects it from the UV... like autos... it becomes something like cancer... on cars.. and then the water color paint goes away.. and leaves the primer with is also water based... to start to rust the under metal...

So waxing does help through the years.. but, it is the sheet edges and rivets that start the corrosion process first... because of the lack of protection.
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Old 12-08-2018, 12:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guskmg View Post
I don't think the brand of wax makes much difference. I get the same results on my Airstream by spraying on Walburnize and wiping/rubbing off with micro fiber towels. The key to long PPG clear coat life is to make sure you get is on all the cut and drilled areas around all the edges and rivets. That seals out moisture and will eliminate filiform corrosion. My trailer just finished it's 14th season and the finish still looks new.
guskmg
PPG...over the Alcoa finish? How has it held up, was it easy to apply?

Bob
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Old 12-09-2018, 07:15 AM   #10
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To guskmg - thanks for the specific advice i.e. applying a good wax to cut edges and drilled areas. Given all the helpful info provided in this thread, that makes sense.
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Old 12-09-2018, 09:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatLee View Post
I had a 2003 Ford Explorer for 14 years that I bought with a clear coat finish. I never waxed it, not once, and it looked beautiful until the day I sold it. It made me a believer in clear coat. So, my question is: Because my AS has a clear coat finish, will it stay beautiful and shiny without waxing or walbernizing it?
Thanks!
I just purchased a 2019 Sport 22 FB in Oct. It was coated and according to the dealer I would not have to wax for 7-years. I will find out as it ages.
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Old 12-10-2018, 12:26 PM   #12
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The clearcoat on our airstream does not feel or act like the clearcoat on our vehicles (when scratched). It seems to be softer than our vehicles clearcoat.
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Old 12-10-2018, 12:38 PM   #13
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All - if the nano-coat or the clear coat is scratched it needs to be sealed. Since it is not easy to find all scratches, it is good practice to clean and wax or reseal on an annual basis. The dealer who told you not to wax, did you as bad a dis-service as the folks who think nano-seal is a waste of money. Maintain your coach and it will smile on you. Pat
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Old 12-10-2018, 02:24 PM   #14
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All - if the nano-coat or the clear coat is scratched it needs to be sealed. Since it is not easy to find all scratches, it is good practice to clean and wax or reseal on an annual basis. The dealer who told you not to wax, did you as bad a dis-service as the folks who think nano-seal is a waste of money. Maintain your coach and it will smile on you. Pat
^
X2

Ignore surface protection at your peril.
I believe if you do the research you will find much better options than what the Walberoffers.
But, it's not really what your using, it's that your using it...when needed. 😎

Bob
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