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Old 02-19-2003, 09:06 AM   #1
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Question Exterior Challange

Our 1973 Safari is in fairly good shape except for the rear. The large square panel in the rear is the biggest concern. There is one shinny spot in the upper right corner of the square where I tried an automotive polishing compound but it started to make it too shinny and didn't match the rest of the trailer. Can this panel be restored? This trailer is a matt finish, not like the older shinny A/S's, and the original matt is the way we want to keep it. Any thoughts on how to retore this panel???

thnxs
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Old 02-19-2003, 09:21 AM   #2
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OEM panel

You will probably have to order a panel from Airstream and overlay it.

I dont think you will be able to emulate the original skin.

good luck,
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Old 02-19-2003, 10:24 AM   #3
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I have started the same thing on my Overlander. The front dome was in rough shape due to filiform corrosion from small chips and those gaudy WBCCI stickers. ( Sorry, but had to speak the truth, I have joined but am not exactly sure what to do with the numbers I got ) After I polished it all out it has a definite different appearance so I guess I will end up doing the whole trailer at some point. The sides and rear are in pretty decent shape but they do have the original matte aluminum finish on them. I will either polish the roof or paint it like the newer ones if it don't look too strange. I probably wouldn't mind keeping up the sides but the roof could be a different story!!

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Old 02-19-2003, 01:11 PM   #4
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White roof

Many folks paint the roof of their rigs, white.

I believe that Airstream may have even sold some trailers with painted roof'

I think I have seen reference to a specila kind of paint for this application.


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Old 02-19-2003, 01:24 PM   #5
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White roof

Quote:
I believe that Airstream may have even sold some trailers with painted roof'
I think all the current Airstream trailers have white roofs. Mine sure does. A/S claims it reduces the summer interior temperatures quite a bit.
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Old 02-19-2003, 02:20 PM   #6
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I don't think I would replace the panel..... probably the best thing is to let it oxidize - it will then blend in.

From what I can see of the picture is that panel is darker than the rest of the trailer,,, you may want to just polish the whole panel and not put any sealer on it, over time it will dull
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Old 02-22-2003, 06:34 PM   #7
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Thanks for the ideas folks..

I have been thinking about this and have an idea. I think I will polish the oxidation out of the aluminum. It will then be too shinny. Since I have experiance and the equipment to paint vehicles I will mix up the clear coat ( whatever that may be and add an extra colour of say maybe light grey ( very small amount) This I believe will matte the shinny aluminum. I will keep applying thin coats until the desired look is achieved. I will try it on a piece of scrap aluminum first as a test.

Has anyone tried this process? Any thoughts?
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Old 02-22-2003, 08:39 PM   #8
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i think i would wait a year and the problem will take care of its self. in fact if your are near the ocean wont take that long. lol
al
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Old 02-22-2003, 09:48 PM   #9
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metal pattern

Wayne, is the rest of the trailer matte finished from a horizontal pattern in the metal? One idea I had was to use fine finish polish compound, that won't be as abrasive as the auto polish compound, and apply it by hand (or maybe a finish sander - not an orbital sander). That should take out the dull and add just a tad of shine. I also know that dishwasher detergent and simple green will dull up the alunimum in a hurry. Maybe just shine it up and then apply a light coat of simple green on the metal to get the right dullness.
Good luck!
Marc
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Old 02-22-2003, 10:20 PM   #10
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I had a friend that polished a small are on the top of his trailer. It came out very shiny. Then he had two choices, paint the trailer silver or polish the whole trailer. It was a small 17 ft. Caravelle and he decided to polish it. What a messy job. It seems like he was held hostage to that project forever.
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