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Old 06-13-2007, 07:14 AM   #1
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2005 34' Classic
Richmond , Virginia
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Cool Clear coat Damage

Hey Folks!
I just bought a 2005 Classic 34. Had to travel to Saint Louis to get it. It was very dirty when I picked it up but got even dirtier coming through storms in West Va. How in the heck do you wash these things without scratching the clearcoat. I hosed it down heavily before washing it. I used an auto brush that I use on my truck and it has never scratched my truck. I now have very small scratches in the clearcoat. The trailer was so dirty that it might not have been me that scratched it, mabe the previouse owner. Hard to tell. Are the clear coats on the new AS so soft that I have to use a rag on the whole unit?
Any washing advise would be great! Thanks!
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Old 06-13-2007, 07:48 AM   #2
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I use Armor All Car Wash and either a very soft cloth or a car wash mit and/or wand.

No amount of washing will take the small scratches out of the coating. I have also had a few scuffs from trees and what I found that takes them out is Walbernize Super Seal. Easy on, easy off and most of the lines will be gone after done. This is what the factory was suggesting be used. It's like waxing your RV, but doesn't last as long. I typically do it 2x over the course of the season.

You can get some here or from the Airstream Factory Store:

RV Recreational Vehicle Car Auto Boat Bus Truck Wax Polish Cleaner Sealer Degreaser Tire Dressing
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Old 06-13-2007, 07:57 AM   #3
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Meguiar's for us

As recommended by others on this forum, I found Meguiar's car wash, at Wallmart even, and was really impressed with the results. I used NXT Generation in a bucket and applied gently with a sheepskin mitt and a microfiber mop on a wand. A lot of grime, from our 4500 mile trip, lifted off. This stuff worked especially well on the stainless rockguards.

Try some before you resort to trying to polish out scratches.
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Old 06-13-2007, 08:19 AM   #4
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hi resorts and welcome to the forums...

the modern clear coat is somewhat less durable than most auto clearcoats now in use.

but harder than the original plasticoat.

i too use a really soft brush for cleaning but apply very little pressure and use 2 buckets....

occasionally i still create small marks but they are mostly in the wax/polysealant that is OVER the clearcoat...

a/s currently recommends using ANY high quality auto wax on these new units NOT walbernize....

it is likely some of the scratches were already present and masked by detailing at bt camper/sales...

they DO walbernize'em there and that product does mask imprefections until washed again.

under NO circumstances would i use armor all car wash on an aluminum trailer...

read the msds/ingredients....

Household Products Database


like BDandTTs suggested meg's has good wax, wash and scractch removal products available...

as do other car speciality vendors...

i too especially like the nxt wash product because is greatly reduces water spots and drying efforts...

but it is very hard to find, when wally does stock it.

got a brand/product that makes the truck/car happy?

it likely will work on the trailer too...

cheers
2air'
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Old 06-13-2007, 08:29 AM   #5
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Thanks for the info. I am scared to death to screw anything up cosidering the cost. I jumped into this investment with both feet and no scuba tank!
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Old 06-13-2007, 08:50 AM   #6
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Just an observation from up-close on a 35 year old trailer...

Do not submit to temptation and vigorously pressure wash - yes, maybe if you are disciplined and never get the wand close to the skins and use rinse only, so no siphoned caustic cleanser gets injected under clear-coat....

On my '73 I can see very clearly where some good-intentioned joe pressure washed it and every stroke and turn of it is plain to see after X years from pitting and grey oxide... Open the pores up even at a quarter car wash and weathering will amplify clear coat defects no end...
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Old 06-13-2007, 09:43 AM   #7
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Folks need to take a breath and relax. There is NOTHING and I repeat NOTHING wrong with Armor All Car Wash. Additionally, the factory DID suggest using Walbernize. It's not a polish per se, it's a wax. If they are now suggesting other products, great, but they did endorse Walbernize Super Seal and I've found it easy to put on and take off...far, far more easy than regualr car wax.

I've used both as have many on this forum that don't have an ax to grind and the results have been just fine. To be honest, most waxes, soaps, etc are caustic to some point, so to single out Armor All Car Wash is just unreasonable IMHO as it has ZERO and has had ZERO ill effects on my outer shell on both my 2003 and my 2004. Next thing you know, folks will be all up in arms about using Windex to clean the windows or Tide to wash clothes:

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About the only things I can agree on is that the clear coat on these units is softer than that of cars and that you use several buckets and soft cloths or mitts, and to try to wash it out if you can, but my guess is that Walbernize or whatever the factory is now suggesting would take the light abrasions out fairly quickly and painlessly.
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Old 06-13-2007, 11:53 AM   #8
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per a recent classic owner's manual...

section d, page 1...

as i recall.

EXTERIOR

Cleaning

As a general rule of thumb we recommend the trailer be washed about every four weeks and waxed in the
spring and fall. In industrial areas cleaning and waxing should be done on a more frequent schedule.

CAUTION: ABRASIVE POLISHES OR CLEANING SOLVENTS SUCH AS AUTOMATIC
DISHWASHER DETERGENTS OR ACID ETCH CLEANERS. ARE TOO STRONG AND
SHOULD NEVER BE USED. RINSE ALL GRIT FROM SURFACE PRIOR TO WASHING. DO
NOT USE WIRE BRUSHES, STEEL WOOL, ABRASIVES OR OTHER SIMILAR CLEANING
TOOLS THAT WILL MECHANICALLY ABRADE THE COATING SURFACE. ALWAYS TEST
A SMALL INCONSPICUOUS AREA FIRST.
ALWAYS CLEAN YOUR TRAILER IN THE SHADE OR ON A CLOUDY DAY WHEN THE
ALUMINUM SKIN IS COOL.

Use soft rags or wash mitts always moving lengthwise with the grain of the
trailer. NEVER rub hard on the coating. Oil, grease, dust and dirt may be removed by washing with a 5%
solution in water of commonly used commercial and industrial detergents.

Cleaning should be followed by
a thorough clean water rinse. Drying the unit with a chamois or a soft cloth may prevent spots and streaks.

WHEN WASHING OR WAXING YOUR TRAILER, ALWAYS WIPE "WITH" THE GRAIN OF THE
METAL.

After cleaning and drying, a good grade of nonabrasive automotive paste or liquid wax will increase the life
of the finish
, especially in coastal areas where the finish is exposed to salt air or in polluted industrial areas.

It will also protect the shell from minor scratches and make subsequent cleaning easier.

It is important to remove sap, gum, resin, asphalt, etc. as soon as possible after they appear by washing and
waxing. Sunlight and time will bake-harden these materials making them almost impossible to remove
without heavy buffing.
If a substance is found on the coating that cannot be removed by normal washing
procedures, Airstream recommends using DX 330 Acryli-Clean made by PPG Industries. Follow all
directions and warnings on the product container. Acryli-Clean should be used by trained personnel only,
using the proper equipment under controlled conditions. Use the Acryli-Clean as sparingly as possible to
remove glue, tar, and other similar substance. Rinse with cool water immediately after use.
To keep your trailer looking new, paint the “A’ frame, LPG tanks, and rear frame periodically.
The Limited option includes gold plated medallions. Use mild soap and water on a soft cotton cloth to
clean. Gold is a soft metal and will scratch, If that doesn’t not work, use a mild metal polish such as PEAK
METAL POLISH applying lightly with a clean soft cotton cloth.
It is recommended that the caulking and sealant used in external seams and joints such as end shell
segments and around window frames, light bezels, beltline and rub rail molding, etc. be checked regularly.
If this material has dried out and become cracked or checked, or if a portion has fallen out, it should be
replaced with fresh material to prevent possible rain leaks. Caulking and sealing material is available from
your Airstream dealer.
Precautions should be taken to prevent excessive sealant from getting on the coated surfaces. Remove
excessive sealant before it cures using DX 330 Acryli-Clean made by PPG Industries as explained above.


no doubt people IN jc may still suggest walbernize, but the modern owners manuals DO NOT...

walbern...not-so-super-seal IS a cleaner/polish/wax as per the description from the maker of this pink stuff...

and combo products are rarely good at any of the solo tasks (cleaning, polishing or wax/sealing)

so borrow some and try it

i've got a quart u can have!

there is no axe grinding involved in suggesting wash/wax products...

just personal preferences and some rational is all.

mr clean wash/dry is another example of a product i would NOT use on a trailer or any auto for that matter....

it contains some bad things....

like armor all wash, that are not got for paint.

and since it's been mentioned DON'T use windex on windows with tinted film...

the ammonia WILL fade/decolor the film/tint....

etoh based window cleaners don't do that...

so how about now we explore foundation/base and pancake make up!

cheers
2air'
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Old 06-13-2007, 01:09 PM   #9
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Dont forget....

Dont forget to wash "with the grain" on the newer rigs. It really helps with the "micro scratches".
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