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Old 01-21-2015, 11:21 AM   #1
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1970 Globetrotter Cleaning

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So we just bought a 1970 AS Globetrotter. It needs to be washed but was wondering about buffing it or polishing it without having to strip it. Does it bring back a little shine? I don't need to mirror look on it like I have seen on stripped AS. I just want it to look nicer and not so oxidized. Any product someone recommends ?

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Old 01-21-2015, 12:32 PM   #2
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
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The problem you likely have with a 70's vintage trailer is that the clear coat has worn/weathered away on the upper curves, where the aluminum is becoming horizontal, and is mostly intact on the lower, vertical surfaces. You can tell where it is intact and where it isn't by putting a little plain white toothpaste on your fingertip and rubbing a small circle on your shell. If it turns black, then you are rubbing on uncoated aluminum. If it does not change color, then you are rubbing on clear coat. So, assuming you have one of these half-clearcoated trailers, it is going to be tough to get a uniform "shiny" appearance.

If the trailer spent its life in a museum, and it still uniformly clear coated, then you might try washing it up and then using a conventional automotive wax to give it a bit of "shine."

If the trailer is missing half of its clear coat, and the non-clear coated areas are becoming oxidized, you might try using any one of the "tool box" polishes available at most auto parts stores. This stuff will knock the grey oxidation off of raw aluminum with a little bit of elbow grease, but won't get you anything near a mirror polish.

Good luck!

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Old 01-22-2015, 05:08 AM   #3
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Hi howarda25! Welcome to all things Airstream. It appears you found a nice 70 Globetrotter. It looks like the "international" model judging by the emblem on the side of the trailer. These models have more amenities than the base model. The exterior looks to be in good shape from what I can see. And it has a "vista view" window above, a nice feature that sometimes leak.

You're right to spend some time cleaning your new Airstream as it helps you learn all about it. Look it over carefully and begin testing the various appliances to learn what it may or may not need. Usually old Airstreams have lots of needs. Experienced old Airstream enthusiasts usually say cosmetic improvements are the last on the list. Tires, brakes, bearings, axles, frame, subfloor, exterior lights, propane, electrical, plumbing, etc. are important for safe traveling.

That said, I did strip the old clear coat off my 66 Trade Wind. Both of our trailers are built with the Alclad 2032 T3 aluminum. This stuff is strong, and has a nice exterior layer of soft aluminum that polishes to a highly reflective surface. Just stripping off the old clear coat makes a big difference in how the trailer looks. Here is a photo of mine after the clear coat was stripped. Mine is the older body style. The new body came out in 1969. You're is the second year of the new body, and the first year of the round corner front wing windows. That's good as 69 front wing windows are hard to come by if a repair is needed.

Your trailer looks a lot better than mine did. My son has a 69 Globetrotter and it doesn't look as nice as yours. For now, I might suggest you just wash it thoroughly and enjoy.

Again, welcome to Air Forums.

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Old 01-25-2015, 06:13 PM   #4
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1970 27' Overlander
1970 21' Globetrotter
Hamilton , Montana
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Are your front windows curved at the bottom? My 1970 GT has one curved and one not. The aluminium at the curved lower outside corner looks to have been patched making me think my 1970 had 1969 windows. I just want to put the originals in.
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