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Old 04-14-2015, 08:55 AM   #1
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2015 16' Sport
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Cleaning A New Airstream

I know this question has probably been answered somewhere in this forum - but as a newbie I'm getting lost in the variety of options. Here's my question. What is the best way to clean and / or polish my new 2015 Bambi Sport. Apparently there is a different technique ( or at least different materials used) if the trailer has a clear coat or not. How would I know if I have a clear coat finish? Is this something I would have paid extra for or do all new Airstreams have a clear coat finish? I guess once I know that, then I could look for what materials work best.
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Old 04-14-2015, 09:30 AM   #2
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Your 2015 Bambi has a clear coat finish as do all newer Airstreams. You'll get lots of input on personal preferences for cleaning and polishing. Here are my tips:

1. I use Meguiars Gold Class Car Wash to wash the exterior of the trailer. It's safe for clear coat finishes and unlike household dish soap, it won't strip the wax from the surface of your trailer.
2. I use Meguiars liquid Cleaner/Wax. It's also safe for clear coat finishes. It goes on easy and wipes off easy when dry.
3. I apply the wax with a Craftsman 10" orbital polisher/buffer using the replaceable blue pads made specifically for wax application. You can also apply the wax by hand, but it will take a lot more effort and you'll use more wax than needed when using a polisher/buffer.
4. I wipe the wax off by hand using a clean, old, soft terry cloth towel. Micro fiber fabric is also good for wiping off the wax.
5. Once I'm done, I pull up a chair, have a beer, and enjoy the new shine of my AS.

You'll get lots of recommendations for Walbernize too. It's a great product but Meguiars products are available at any big discount store or auto parts store at less cost. I've used Meguiars products on my AS for 14 years and it still looks like new.
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:42 AM   #3
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Thanks so much. That's exactly what I needed to know,
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Old 08-10-2015, 11:06 AM   #4
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Perfect. Same question, good info.
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Old 08-10-2015, 11:43 AM   #5
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Clearcoat?????

>>ron<<
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Old 08-10-2015, 11:49 AM   #6
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[QUOTE=Nomad518;1607314]Your 2015 Bambi has a clear coat finish as do all newer Airstreams.

This is the quote that I questioned

>>ron<<
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Old 08-14-2015, 02:50 PM   #7
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Aluminum Safe Soap

I use aircraft soap on my AS which is made especially for aircraft surfaces which are aluminum, painted aluminum, and light weight alloys. These soaps must not be corrosive to aluminum and are totally safe on all metals, all quality paint finishes, and do not remove wax. They also do not craze acrylic panels like the front of the AS uses to protect the windows from rocks.
I currently work with the Navy, and the F-18 jets use a product named Penair C5572 manufactured by Penetone Corporation. Penair C5572 is used to wash the exterior of the aircraft. It is also used on USAF and US Army, USMC, and USCG aircraft.
This product is near neutral in pH and is readily biodegradable. Minor eye sting when it blows in your face during spray application.

Do not use highly alkaline/caustic products such as the Purple Soap(known as heavy duty degreaser) as it could permanently damage clear coat, streak the aluminum surfaces, soften the gray frame paint, and begin a corrosive process on the rivets.
I work for Penetone and am the eastern US Tech Rep/Sales Engineer.
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Old 08-14-2015, 03:08 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=carver 1;1666526]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomad518 View Post
Your 2015 Bambi has a clear coat finish as do all newer Airstreams.

This is the quote that I questioned

>>ron<<
Yes - all newer Airstreams (I do not have a clue how far back) have a clear coat finish over the aluminum panels. Just like a car...which means you can take care of the finish just like you do with your cars/trucks. Meguiars products have always worked well for me but any high quality brand car wash and wax product will work just as well. Nomad has a good regimen that will work well (and as he has said) is time tested and proven by him.
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Old 08-23-2015, 04:54 PM   #9
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How or what do I use to clean a 90 excella. I'm afrsid to use a high powered spray at the carwash.
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Old 08-23-2015, 05:19 PM   #10
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Cleaning AS

I follow near the same method as Nomad but I use a polish called Glare.It is now being sold on AS web site or glage.com it is an aircraft polish and bonds with the clear coat they claim it will last a few yrs but I use it twice a year. My AS is nearing 12 yrs old and I still have people ask if its a new AS. The polish is not a wax so bonds to the finish where a wax just sits on top and washes or melts off.
Good camping Rand
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Old 08-23-2015, 05:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gogonow View Post
How or what do I use to clean a 90 excella. I'm afrsid to use a high powered spray at the carwash.

Just like your car, soap and water with a clean soft sponge and rags.
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Old 09-15-2015, 09:15 PM   #12
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Polishing my 1993 30' Excella 1000 clasic.

Hi Gang

Seems like all the polishing I see is done on older airstreams. Here is my situation:

I have just completed removing the clear coat (yesterday) from my '93 30' Excella and now ready to polish. There didn't seem to be much corrosion but the wear over the years has caused the (Airstream Cancer) clear coat to deteriorate pretty much on the top as usual. The top was also the scary part sitting there on top but I took it very slow mostly due to my age.(76 years and getting younger).
This morning I tested a square foot on the door and the same just to the left of the door. I spent about 4 hours on these two areas using a Dewalt 7" variable speed buffer with a wool bonnet set at 6500 rpm. Also using G6 polish and lots of rags and mineral sprits.
My Problem. For some reason I seem unable to get a clear shiny cut as shown in the many videos I've seen. (which are mostly of 70's and older a/s's.
In some of the videos they seem to be using the buffing pad flat on the surface and in others using the edge of the pad (which seems to give me a better cut. However in both cases I cannot get down to a mirror finish without going over the same area 8 or 9 times and at that rate I'll be 90 before I finish. I'm using the amount of polish (sparingly) according to the videos and other directions I've come across.
Could I be using too much pressure or possibly not enough or does the skin on the newer airstreams require a different approach. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Jerry

PS: Live in Colorado at approx. 48 hundred feet ASL. Temp 70 to 80 degrees and in the shade. Skin surface lukewarm.
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Old 09-23-2015, 07:20 AM   #13
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Newbie

Greetings from Michigan's Upper Peninsula! I've read this thread; thank you for addressing this matter, folks. I too, am not familiar with how to properly clean the new Airstream Trailer and appreciate collective sage advice.

So, it does have a clear coat finish - check. I also read (is this accurate) that an orbital device can be used to apply the wax. My question: will this remove the "grain" along the body of the camper?

I'm not interested in removing the grain and polishing the trailer to a mirror finish; not yet.

I was advised to use a product, such as Comet or Bon Ami, on the stainless steel "bumpers" - I have. Is this type of mild abrasive safe to use on the front of the trailer above the windows (where the bugs seem to splat the most)?

Thanks!
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Old 09-23-2015, 08:07 AM   #14
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I personally would not use Comet cleanser to clean bugs off the front of my airstream. I use RV wash soap and water. A good quality wax or wax with cleaner safe for clearcoat of your choosing. Many good ones on the market, it is a matter of preference use the one you like best.

Enjoy your new airstream.



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