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Old 11-02-2013, 05:54 PM   #1
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1978 31' Sovereign
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A test to determine if my trailer's clearcoat has been removed?

How can I determine if the clearcoat has already been stripped off of my 1967 caravel? Is it easiest just to buy some chemical stripper and try it? What stripper is ideal for airstreams?

Sorry, I know this is a dumbass question, but I don't want to waste time polishing clear coated aluminum.

Stream on!
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Old 11-02-2013, 05:57 PM   #2
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take a rag with a little toothpaste on it & rub the skin. if the rag shows up black, it has no clearcoat (or most of it's gone) Do it on the roof if you can reach it, or an inconspicuous spot.
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Old 11-02-2013, 05:58 PM   #3
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Take a little bit of polish, or even toothpaste and rub in different areas, if it comes up black the clearcoat is gone. Post a picture, usually you can see the failed areas.
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Old 11-02-2013, 05:59 PM   #4
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Lol, Becky beat me to it!
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Old 11-02-2013, 06:09 PM   #5
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Thanks a bunch! If I'm stripping clearcoat, what should I be using?
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Old 11-02-2013, 06:58 PM   #6
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Try Citrastrip on a test patch, many people claim it doesn't work but you need patience, give it some time and keep it wet. Powerwash it off.

If that fails VTS has this,
Eldorado PR-5044 Paint Remover

Search for other threads, there are quite a few on this subject!
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Old 11-02-2013, 07:07 PM   #7
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There are many options for stripping the clear coat if it's still on the trailer, if you're lucky you'll discover it's worn off. I just finished stripping mine, and i used 3 different products in the process, all worked well to varying degrees.
One was: PPG Aerospace Eldorado PR-5044 Peroxide-Activated Stripper, got it from vintagetrailersupply.com, i used just under a gallon of it to do my 23 footer, overall it worked pretty well. There were some stubborn spots and it was still warm out and may have dried a little while working which may have been the cause. I put it on late one night, giving the trailer a generous coat, and then let it sit over night. In the morning i pressure washed the trailer, and most of the clear coat came right off, did some touch up on the tough spots that morning. It basically neutralizes itself as it works so when you wash it off there's nothing really hazardous about it after it worked. I worked outside so i didn't use a respirator, but wore tyvek coveralls, face dust/medical mask, and goggles(wish i'd had a full face shield since it would have breathed better and covered whole face), if you get the eldorado on your skin it bleaches it white very quickly, but didn't burn or irritate the skin like airctraft stripper will.
Another was citristrip, it worked well as well in the spots that i used it, think it would have been more expensive than using the eldorado to do the whole trailer with. Easy to work with, safe, no need for heavy duty safety equipment.
I've also used some aircraft stripper and KleanStrip in spray cans, these work VERY well, but are VERY nasty to work with, so i wouldn't recommend them for the whole trailer.
For small touch up spots i used some elbow grease and some Klean-Strip Paint Stripper After Wash with a rag. I'd soak a rag, and rub it on the spot for a while and it would slowly disolve it off. Also useful for removing adhesive residue, and old sealant residue. It's a mix of Xylol/Acetone/Alcohol.
Since it's getting cold i'm not sure how that will affect the effectiveness of any of these.
Any high quality paint stripper should work though.
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