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Old 02-24-2016, 10:30 AM   #1
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Waxing: Dealer or Self?

Hi Everyone,

I just signed a contract for my 2016 25 EB. I'm going to pickup next week. I'm going to be living in it full-time, initially in southern California.

The dealer is offering an very overpriced-sounding waxing option (Trident, $80/sf). The pitch was, if we have to wax it ourselves, we'll have to reapply every 6 to 12 months. The Trident wax comes with a 7 year warranty.

I'm having trouble finding people who have had the dealer apply this. Trident's site talks about "nanotechnology" and claims that because the particles of their wax are so small.... blah blah blah.

Is this worth it or all profit?

How do you guys maintain your skin? Does Walbernize rub off quickly? Does grit get stuck in the wax? What damages the skin most often --- ozone, UV, dirt, salt water, etc?

I know people enjoy putting on wax because it's zen-like (wax on, wax off haha), they can inspect the trailer up close, etc. I'm not so concerned about this because I'll be living in it full-time and can inspect it without it taking half a day if there is a big upside to the dealer wax.

I expect to be near the ocean, desert, mountains, etc.

Thanks!

Matt
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Old 02-24-2016, 10:42 AM   #2
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The aluminum Airstream uses has a pretty tough clear coat. How often do you wax your car? Whats probably more important is to wash it often when near the ocean. I hate to admit this, but I've only waxed mine once in three years, though I keep meaning to get to it. It still looks brand new, no corrosion. I do wash it every time after camping, especially after camping near the coast where salt mist and fog can introduce problems.
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Old 02-24-2016, 10:47 AM   #3
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My opinion only: The coating on the aluminum used on Airstream needs no further protection and any time or money to do anything to it other than a good water bath is unnecessary. If anything is applied, some corrosion x product may help with cut edges where the corrosion can get between the factory coating and the metal. Otherwise, it is a waste of time and money.

Wax, of the old days, is more or less a thing from another era of coatings and how they need protection.

Again, I stress it is my opinion only. My 2014 FC 20 looks great with only a water bath and road tar removal. I have never used, nor have no opinion on Walbernize, but I think it is the factory recommended shine product.
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Old 02-24-2016, 10:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
My opinion only: The coating on the aluminum used on Airstream needs no further protection and any time or money to do anything to it other than a good water bath is unnecessary. If anything is applied, some corrosion x product may help with cut edges where the corrosion can get between the factory coating and the metal. Otherwise, it is a waste of time and money.

Wax, of the old days, is more or less a thing from another era of coatings and how they need protection.
Thanks! Yea, that makes sense.

Perhaps a better question is, what kind of maintenance do late-model shells require? Has anyone noticed the kinds of aluminum skin corrosion that the dealers warn against?

Matt
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Old 02-24-2016, 11:00 AM   #5
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Save your money for something good!
Buy a $10 bottle of NuFinish, go at it yearly.....
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Old 02-24-2016, 11:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spelunkus View Post
Thanks! Yea, that makes sense.

Perhaps a better question is, what kind of maintenance do late-model shells require? Has anyone noticed the kinds of aluminum skin corrosion that the dealers warn against?

Matt
Matt,

Your jesting of course......

Forget the dealer "solution".....put together your own consistent maintainance routine....and stick to it.

Bob
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Old 02-24-2016, 11:04 AM   #7
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BTW, I just called Airstream to get their "official" opinion. They said the factory baked on coating does provide some protection against grime, UV and ozone.

They did suggest waxing 1-2x a year with something as simple as Turtle Wax (Walbernize is obv fine, too). They said if you're near the coast, washing more often and waxing up to 4x a year is a good idea. They also said it is vulnerable to corrosion at the seams and the wax can help with that.
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Old 02-24-2016, 11:25 AM   #8
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I wash ours whenever it gets too dirty to stand. Wash when back from long trip. Wax in spring and then again in fall with Walbernize. Have done this on three AS, seems to work fine.
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Old 02-25-2016, 11:44 AM   #9
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$80/square foot?????

My trailer is stored outdoors. I wax my 2007 25' Safari twice a year with Walbernize One Step RV Super Seal and it looks as good as it did when I purchased it. I would think twice about dealing with any dealer who is trying to sell me a product at $80.00 per square foot.
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Old 02-25-2016, 11:54 AM   #10
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My 2007 spent most of its life with the PO near the Gulf Coast with no washing or waxing. I have washed it thoroughly and am about to put nu finish on to protect the seams where some very minor filiform has ocurred. So in other words the clear coat has been pretty effective. Major finish issues are battery box frame corrossion and the plastic "chrome" trim strips, so pay extra attention to those areas.
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Old 02-25-2016, 12:03 PM   #11
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Spelunkus,
I was pitched the trident treatment as well. The issue is that while it sounds good, the warranty won't cover filiform anyway. Since I live near the coast, I wash every 2 months wax 3 times / year, corrosion X 3 times /year so far. I passed on the trident and use Griot's paint sealer with their 9 inch orbital.
As Bob said, make a plan and "just do it".
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Old 02-25-2016, 12:12 PM   #12
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We wash before and after each trip. We also Walbernize in the spring and again in the fall. We have done this with our old 2007 Safari and now on our 2014 FC. Our finish looks like new. Check out the Walbernize process at:
https://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt...p&fr=yfp-t-301
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Old 02-25-2016, 04:39 PM   #13
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$80 a sf? No thanks. What does a warranty cover on a wax anyway? Who is to say it failed or is even gone?

Waxing an Airstream is a privilege in my mind.
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Old 02-25-2016, 04:56 PM   #14
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Like paiceman, I wash our Shiny Pete when it's too dirty to stand anymore, and I Walbernize it once a year. It stays under our pole barn when not traveling so it's mostly pollen and dust........ I am amazed at just how little exterior maintenance it requires and is still shiny.

Our 2000 DutchStar motorhome was SO much more work, and Newmar used top notch gelcoat, unlike so many fiberglass RVs. I don't miss that 3 day long process to wash/wax twice a year AND it was barn kept too.........
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