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Old 03-15-2016, 08:01 AM   #1
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1988 34.5' Airstream 345
Lafayette , Louisiana
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Clear coat vs Polish?

I have a 1988 345 Airstream and was thinking about stripping the clear coat off and polishing the exterior. Does anyone have an opinion on whether or not that is a good idea or should I put a new clear coat back on?


Here are some photos of my Airstream.
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Old 03-15-2016, 08:47 AM   #2
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It's a lot of work but polishing a big Classic will look great..

Clear coating is possible but it can fail. sun will eventually destroy it.
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Old 03-15-2016, 08:51 AM   #3
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Like this...
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Old 03-15-2016, 08:51 AM   #4
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After removing and polishing why go backwards? why recoat after all of that work?

The longer it is supposed to last the harder it will be to remove when it is time.
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Old 03-15-2016, 11:40 AM   #5
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Clear coat as long as it is in good condition, and the polish after the clear coat starts coming off anyway-
Or can you have a new clear coat sprayed on?
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Old 03-15-2016, 12:49 PM   #6
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My 345 is Polished

As soon as I figure out how to post pictures, I will send you pictures of my 1988 345. It was a lot of work to get it where it is, and I've had to rent indoor storage to keep it looking like this, but in my opinion, there's nothing better than seeing that big silver pickle driving down the road.
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Old 03-15-2016, 12:51 PM   #7
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1967 26' Overlander
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Keaty View Post
I have a 1988 345 Airstream and was thinking about stripping the clear coat off and polishing the exterior. Does anyone have an opinion on whether or not that is a good idea or should I put a new clear coat back on?


Here are some photos of my Airstream.
A fellow with a beautifullly polished '55 trailer once told me that polishing an Airstream is a lifelong commitment. You can't just polish once. When I heard that I decided to recoat my '67 but changed my mind when I got the price. We just enjoy it like it is even though the sun has destroyed most of the coating topside. Now I'm too old to tackle it myself.
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Old 03-15-2016, 04:51 PM   #8
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My 84 345 has a lot of dings and scratshes some rather severe
And it is stored outside all the time
It was like that when I bought it
and it will be like that when I sell it
I have no intention of restoring it so I just rub her side and praise her like you would an old dog.
I would think if you polished it up, it would show every little imperfection
I've seen people accidently brush a tree while backing into a spot and spend the rest of the day worrying about it...
Me I back in and push that rear bed room back as far into the woods as possible
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Old 03-15-2016, 07:18 PM   #9
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1988 34.5' Airstream 345
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Thanks for all the comments! I sure would like to see pictures of your polished 345 when u find them.
Did you hire someone to polish it and how much did it cost?
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Old 03-16-2016, 07:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grosspoluter View Post
My 84 345 has a lot of dings and scratshes some rather severe
And it is stored outside all the time
I have no intention of restoring it so I just rub her side and praise her like you would an old dog.
I would think if you polished it up, it would show every little imperfection
I've seen people accidently brush a tree while backing into a spot and spend the rest of the day worrying about it...
Me I back in and push that rear bed room back as far into the woods as possible
Mine is stored in my driveway year round. I keep a good shine on it with yearly maintenance, this takes a few hours. It is not the mirror level shine all over, that only works when the rig is stored inside mostly. And it could make you crazy....I do like th look. My motor home was clear coat stripped and then shined only by hand with a car wax. It looked great too.
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Old 03-16-2016, 07:31 AM   #11
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Here's the motor home...1982. 280.
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Old 03-17-2016, 03:06 PM   #12
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after you polish one does any type of automotive wax, I am thinking of the once a year wax "nufinish", help keep the shinny longer or will that fade in time.



Quote:
Originally Posted by ALANSD View Post
Mine is stored in my driveway year round. I keep a good shine on it with yearly maintenance, this takes a few hours. It is not the mirror level shine all over, that only works when the rig is stored inside mostly. And it could make you crazy....I do like th look. My motor home was clear coat stripped and then shined only by hand with a car wax. It looked great too.
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Old 03-17-2016, 03:52 PM   #13
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I have had polished Airstreams for 10 years now,and I can tell you that I have to repolish every year! Aluminum oxidizes , and depending on the climate where you live, it can oxidize faster! After the initial 120+ hrs on the initial polish, you can look forward to about 20 hrs each year to keep it a mirror shine.
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Old 03-18-2016, 07:00 AM   #14
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Presently I don't wax the trailer. I have used automotive sealers that are hand applied on previous trailers, they seem to help some. I used toolbox polish for touch up and carry a spray bottle of auto windshield cleaner, non ammonia type. It helps with bird poop, and other environmental stuff that gets on the skins.
Any good car wax will help, but either way an annual touch up is necessary.
If you are lucky enough to have indoor storage life will be easier.
For me, it's driveway, under trees and all.
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