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Old 06-07-2013, 07:19 AM   #1
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'98 Excella clearcoat strip and polish

After the new floor install...it's time to move outside. With clearcoat issues on the upper half of the trailer, I decided it had to go. First the remaining clearcoat had to be removed. I used Smart Strip from Home Depot. Envro-friendly it was easy to use and did a great job. Brush on and power wash off after 3-4 hrs. I have ordered a polishing kit from Jestco Products Buffing Supply in SC, but in the meantime I bought a small polishing kit from Princess Auto to see what results I might get. So far I am very impressed. I did several test patches at areas of different oxidation etc. All seem to come out ok, although some areas will take more work to be sure. I have added some photos of my progress anad will update on the adventure as the summer goes on.
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:35 AM   #2
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Nice!
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:39 PM   #3
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That looks awesome.

Are you going to keep the pinstriping? ours is failing, and either needs to go or be replaced.

Can you show me what was included in both your polishing kits?

-Kevin

[edit:]
Just found it. I think this is the route I'm going to take. I'd like to know the drawbacks, because there has to be some. This method is cheaper and faster than the other methods I've read about. There has to be a catch?
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:33 PM   #4
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I am going to try and keep the pinstriping even though it is showing its age. Thats the kit..it arrived today..had to go through customs. The work so far was with the small kit and went very well, so i am expecting a much easier time with the larger polishing pads. I will spend some time on Wed and Thurs polishing as there is rain tomorrow. I will post my progress as i go along. The jestco site has a link to a video on how to do the polishing that is very detailed and informative.
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:41 PM   #5
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I just ordered the kit today too. USPS said it already is in the mail.

Take tons of pictures. Not only the skin of the TT, but also you. Seriously. I want to see how dirty you get. I'm curious about the ladders you choose to use. I'd like to know how many times you want to give up, or if it's just a walk in the park. How many hours you spend on it.... So many of these threads don't show all the mistakes people make, or the fights with the wife. All that stuff matters. Not just the details, but the side stuff too.

I watched that video about 3 times. And the guy who made it has more on youtube... I think. Your initial progress looks awesome! I'll probably start my own thread once my kit arrives, but let's compare notes. Your post was just the push I needed to order the kit and get after it.
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:52 PM   #6
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Will do...remember that my test area was with an inferior product and only the course compound...when done i think i will have issue sunglasses to approching cars in the sunshine...either that or rent space as a shaving mirror!
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:22 PM   #7
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There's a story somewhere on this forum of a Bison attacking a polished Airstream in Yellowstone or something, and causing about $26,000 in damage. Poor guy probably had never seen a mirror before.

Maybe leaving the pinstriping in place will be good for you.
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:53 AM   #8
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Have not had much of a chance to do much in the past week...but here is progress to date. The new compounds and products from Jestco work great. The heavily oxidized areas need more work but in the end I cant tell where those spots are. This is a messy job, and hot. The dust gets all over you....do not touch anything important until you clean up! The safety goggles and mask make things hot...and I'm working in the shade. At the end of a session my arms and shoulders are also getting sore from holding up the sidegrinder for so long...my hands seem to vibrate for a while as well. All part of the fun! Anyway things are looking good and you have instant gratification. More later.
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:36 AM   #9
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This Thread is exactly what I needed!

I'm starting my polishing project next week, I'll be using the Smart Strip from HD and the Jetsco polishing kit on my '77 Safari.

The past 3 weeks has been the most stressful of my career but after this week things slow down dramatically at work and I will have some time off to work on the trailer. Your pictures are just the inspiration I needed!

How much smart strip did it take for your trailer, mine's only 23' but I have no idea how much I will need and HD is about an hour round trip from home.
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:52 AM   #10
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I only did the top half for now as the bottom is in good shape....although now the bottom half looks bad with the top done...next year. I bought the large pail and only used a little over 1/4 of it...depends on how thick you put it on
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:42 PM   #11
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I stripped all the aluminum on my Harley's and polished by hand with Simicrome polish. Yes, it was sparkly and needed minimum upkeep with good coats of quality auto, marine or aviation protectant.
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Old 07-01-2013, 04:09 PM   #12
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Are you going to polish the awning wrap thingy? How about the arms on the awning?
Or the window frames?

Did the Smart Strip damage any of the light covers? or plastic parts? (I couldn't find the Smart Strip at my Home Depot).

-Kevin
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Old 07-04-2013, 08:28 AM   #13
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At this time I am not going to look at the awning cover (taping it off so as not to get polishing crud on it). I will not do the awning arms or window trim yet...perhaps later.

Was out for the Canadian long weekend and had a lot of interest in how I was getting the shine on the trailer...even with it only partly done...I guess the contrast stands out when old is next to new. We have had a week of rain...so no progress on the polishing and we are off to the park this coming weekend...Kejimikujik National Park in Nova Scotia.
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Old 07-22-2013, 06:40 AM   #14
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Been a while since I have posted...been busy...but have had some progress. Finished one side (remember I am only doing the top half this year) and will start on the front end cap today. Here are the before and after pictures..makes things look a lot better!!
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