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Old 10-24-2014, 05:08 PM   #1
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1961 26' Overlander
DeWitt , Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 44
Cleaning help...

Hello! New to the forum (and new to Airstreams) but love all the information and help!

We have a 61 Overlander in need of TLC inside and out. But we are working on the outside before winter hits in Michigan! She has been in a back yard tree line for 15 years?! or more. A whole lot of gunk on the outside!!

Can/should we power wash it (our first thought) but then we saw that many of you DO NOT recommend it! Any other ideas? We did do the sides but not the top yet....

We know we have to get a good luck at the vents - and plan on replacing some or all....

Thanks!
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Old 10-25-2014, 05:55 AM   #2
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1986 34' Limited
1966 24' Tradewind
Conifer , Colorado
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Hi V Pline, Power washing blows water into every nook and cranny of your trailer. It is not recommend for Airstreams that are in use.

Our project trailers are not useable yet. It kinda sounded like you plan on doing some major renovations, like the electrical system. If so, likely on our list of tasks will be "re-sealing" your Airstream to stop leaks. Leaks rot out the plywood subfloor.

I just pressure washed my 66 Trade Wind as it was sitting under a tree all summer. The pressure washer blasted all the gunk off the roof and sides. It was much faster and more effective than soap and a brush. I probably blasted out some old sealant between the seams on the exterior skins.

Interesting enough, after blasting the trailer, I want inside with towels to clean up water puddles. I had two below the roof vents, and one on the vanity counter below the rear window. Much less than I expected. However, I can't see between the walls and I'm sure I had water running down the inside of the exterior skins. I let the trailer dry out in the sun with the windows and door open for an afternoon. Now it is in my rented winter storage garage.

I plan on re-sealing every exterior seam this winter. I'll painstakingly pick out old stuff from every seam, and apply Acyrl R to them. I also have to reseal the roof vents. I plan on doing a pressure test on the trailer to check for soap bubbles identifying leak spots.

So I believe power washing an old trailer is an effective time saver. I can see how the power washing can blow water pressure into seams disturbing the old sealant that might be there. So I probably wouldn't power wash my 86 that seems to be pretty leak free at the moment.

David
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Old 10-25-2014, 07:02 AM   #3
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1964 17' Bambi II
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Schererville , Indiana
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I've used "Amazing Orange" from the dollar store with great success on really dirty trailer tops. Spray it on, use a brush, rinse it off. Sometimes the black sap takes more than one application--if so, make sure you use really HOT water & a rag and it will melt off the sap. That's one of the most rewarding jobs when you first get your trailer! It'll look a thousand times better once it's clean :-)
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Becky B. View Post
I've used "Amazing Orange" from the dollar store with great success on really dirty trailer tops. Spray it on, use a brush, rinse it off. Sometimes the black sap takes more than one application--if so, make sure you use really HOT water & a rag and it will melt off the sap. That's one of the most rewarding jobs when you first get your trailer! It'll look a thousand times better once it's clean :-)

Becky after u washed it did you try to polish it? Does polishing work just to make it look a little better if you have not stripped it? I have a 70 Globetrotter and the outside is a little oxidized and it has not been washed in over 4 years
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Old 01-21-2015, 02:09 PM   #5
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2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
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Thumbs up Power washers....(2400psi Honda)

Have used power washers on both our 63 Safari and 06 Classic, wide angle nozzle at 3'.....used along with common sense, never been a problem.



Bob
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:58 PM   #6
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1986 34' Limited
1966 24' Tradewind
Conifer , Colorado
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You used the magic words "common sense". Power tools make work easier. You just have to understand what's going on.

David
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Old 01-21-2015, 09:37 PM   #7
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1974 31' Sovereign
Ottawa , ON
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I wash Henri (the '74 Sov) at least once a month in the warmer months with a bucket of lukewarm or a bit warmer water with a standard mix of auto wash that has a built-in wax.

I have a long-handled 8' wide brush meant for car washing. Then I rinse with plain water and the same brush.

Gets rid of the bird insults, grease, dirt, et cetera and is easy to do.

Makes a fair difference in the lustre, but it doesn't hide the "pattern baldness".
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Old 01-22-2015, 06:34 AM   #8
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Have used power washers on both our 63 Safari and 06 Classic, wide angle nozzle at 3'.....used along with common sense, never been a problem.



Bob

ooop's.....03 Classic.. 06 Burb...

Bob
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