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Old 10-17-2015, 07:01 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1993 30' Excella
1976 25' Tradewind
Flushing , Michigan
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 26
OK, now I am just plain confused...

I have our 1976 25' TradeWind all gutted and the shell off the frame. Currently I am working on some tasks related to the shell. I have removed all of the cast aluminum Airstream letters from the front and back as well as all of the emblems and they are refinished awaiting reinstallation. Here is where my confusion begins.

First, let me say that I have read many threads dealing with sealants and the "sealant summary" is very concise and helpful, however I have not found specifics for the situation I describe below. I have a few questions regarding specific sealants and techniques and I only want to do this once, and correctly, the first time.

What is the sealant that was originally used on the inside of the skin--the white stuff that never hardens which is found on panel seams, ribs, around windows...? What is the equivalent product to use today? I am looking for the specific product as the terms "Vulkem", "Trempro", etc do not provide enough information to obtain the appropriate product or variation. As an example, I have some new Vulkem 116, in aluminum color, however it says not approved for interior use, so I do not think I want it between the walls of the Airstream, although to use it over the exterior window eyebrows seems like it may be the right product. So, what is the correct, safe, product to use with confidence--one of the Trempro variations: 626, 635, 636? Or is it something else? What about the Loctite product, PS 40, I believe?

What is the appropriate sealant to use around the studs of these cast aluminum pieces before refastening through the exterior skin? Also, where can one obtain the nuts used to fasten these letters and emblems--the small nuts with the rubber washers built into the nut? I also need to reattach the "hanging strip/hinge" for the front window shade/protector, and install the running/clearance lights--would you use the same sealant when reattaching these with pop rivets and screws respectively?

Thanks in advance for any guidance that can be offered!

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Old 10-17-2015, 07:54 AM   #2
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Belegedhel's Avatar
1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,902
I used Trempro 635 extensively inside and outside the trailer. It dries to a rubber-like consistency. This is what I used to seal the posts of my letters as well. I hunted high and low to find the nuts with the little rubber "seal" on them, but ended up using some flat "push nuts" from the local hardware store as many of my posts had gotten twisted off during disassembly leaving a much shorter stub. I gooped up the whole assembly with so much Trempro 635 that the rubber in the nut could not possibly make any difference.

I usually order the Trempro from Vintage Trailer Supply or when I am ordering any of the many things that are needed during a rennovation. It seems like I checked Fastenal as well, but I would have had to have a commercial account or order the sealant by the case, so I went with the retail places.

I have also used a butyl "gutter sealant" also available at my local hardware store this stuff looks just like vulkem, but is more like the original stuff you find on the inside of your trailer that never really dries and always is sort of gooey. Not a fan.

good luck!

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Old 10-17-2015, 06:08 PM   #3
2 Rivet Member
1993 30' Excella
1976 25' Tradewind
Flushing , Michigan
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 26
Thanks for that input and for your experience. As I said, I hope to do this operation only once!
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