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Old 12-06-2012, 09:37 AM   #1
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1965 17' Caravel
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Exterior restoration of 1965 Airstream Caravel

Well this is my first post. I have a 1965 Airstream carravel. Heavy oxidation issues. I want to restore this camper . I need some help on how to go about removing the oxidation/corrosion. All suggestion much appreciated. Would like to know what product is considered best for this task. Thank you very much
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:41 AM   #2
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Check out Vintage Trailer Supply Vintage Trailer Supply - parts and supplies for vintage travel trailers and campers!
and Perfect Polish Metal Polishing Equipment : Auto Detailing Supplies : Electric Car Polishers : Airplane Polish : Auto Polisher : Aluminum : Polishers and Buffers : PerfectPolish.com
Can be a very big job but well worth the effort.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:49 PM   #3
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I'm going to give this a try. New to the airstream world.
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autrey View Post
Well this is my first post. I have a 1965 Airstream carravel. Heavy oxidation issues. I want to restore this camper . I need some help on how to go about removing the oxidation/corrosion. All suggestion much appreciated. Would like to know what product is considered best for this task. Thank you very much
I am in the middle of polishing a 1964 Bambi II. It sat in the woods for 20 years and has very heavy pitting and oxidation. This is what I'm doing...it's working, but it's very labor-intensive:
1. Acid wash
2. Wet sand with 600 grit aluminum oxide sandpaper (very deep scratches I use 400 grit followed by 600 grit)
3. 3M Scotchbrite pad on a random orbit sander (the burgundy colored pad cut to size--bought at Home Depot)
4. Nuvite F9 on a Harbor Freight polisher
5. Nuvite F7 on a Harbor Freight polisher
6. Nuvite C on a Harbor Freight polisher
7. Nuvite S with a cyclo random orbit polisher
sooooo.....that's what I'm doing. I've used the wheels (and have used them a little on this project too), but I feel that the Nuvite method leaves a clearer finish. Just my OCD opinion. Click image for larger version

Name:	front streetside.jpg
Views:	240
Size:	291.2 KB
ID:	184612 This is after steps 1-4
Good luck!
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:01 PM   #5
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That is exactly where I will start. One crazy question. We're did you start. Do you build scaffolding to reach the top? Total rookie but am so fired up about doing it
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:23 PM   #6
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If you acid wash, use a spray bottle, not a stream bottle. I use two ladders with a 2" x 12" board as a plank ( here's hoping I don't fall & break a hip!!)
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:26 PM   #7
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If you acid wash, use a spray bottle, not a stream bottle. I use two ladders with a 2" x 12" board as a plank ( here's hoping I don't fall & break a hip!!)
I got the acid wash at NAPA
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:27 PM   #8
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I got the acid wash at NAPA
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:29 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Tartimisi View Post
That is exactly where I will start. One crazy question. We're did you start. Do you build scaffolding to reach the top? Total rookie but am so fired up about doing it
I would recommend starting at chest height standing on the ground until you get the hang of it. Once you get it mastered then move on to the difficult to reach spots. I used simple scaffolding created by saw horses, strong (and wide) plank and a step ladder.

I used real scaffolding for the top, but that was at the very end after I was a pro and could lick it fast.

It will take you forever but there is nothing like seeing that shine!
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:45 PM   #10
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Start on the top. If you don't you will be dragging your electric cords across polished surfaces and ruin the work done.
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:52 AM   #11
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I have what I'd consider EXTREMELY bad pitting and oxidation and I've been having great success shining it up by hand using this product Glare Knock Out that I first saw on Airstreams online store but also found a bit cheaper at Amazon. No electric buffer, but about 15-20 minutes per square foot of hand polishing.

The product mentioned is the only thing that has worked thus far for me, but at $25 / 12oz is extremely expensive. Would love to find it in a larger, cheaper quantity or a similar quality product.
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:54 AM   #12
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I have what I'd consider EXTREMELY bad pitting and oxidation and I've been having great success shining it up by hand using this product Glare Knock Out that I first saw on Airstreams online store but also found a bit cheaper at Amazon. No electric buffer, but about 15-20 minutes per square foot of hand polishing.

The product mentioned is the only thing that has worked thus far for me, but at $25 / 12oz is extremely expensive. Would love to find it in a larger, cheaper quantity or a similar quality product.
Can you post before and after pictures? I am curious how it works.
I currently using a 3M product call Marine Restorer and Polish. It is much faster than Nuvite and works better if you ask me. It is a one step polish and only costs about $27/lb.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beckybillrae View Post

i am in the middle of polishing a 1964 bambi ii. It sat in the woods for 20 years and has very heavy pitting and oxidation. This is what i'm doing...it's working, but it's very labor-intensive:
1. Acid wash
2. Wet sand with 600 grit aluminum oxide sandpaper (very deep scratches i use 400 grit followed by 600 grit)
3. 3m scotchbrite pad on a random orbit sander (the burgundy colored pad cut to size--bought at home depot)
4. Nuvite f9 on a harbor freight polisher
5. Nuvite f7 on a harbor freight polisher
6. Nuvite c on a harbor freight polisher
7. Nuvite s with a cyclo random orbit polisher
sooooo.....that's what i'm doing. I've used the wheels (and have used them a little on this project too), but i feel that the nuvite method leaves a clearer finish. Just my ocd opinion. This is after steps 1-4
good luck!
becky, do you recomend using the random orbital polisher or just a variable speed one? Is the cyclo necessary. I went and bout a makita random orbital, but it seems harder to use than the others. I may be wrong though.
Thanks
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:16 PM   #14
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In step 3, I use a Skil random orbit sander (it was $20 at a Sears outlet store).
In step 7, I use the random orbit cyclo. It takes out all the swirls that the variable speed polisher leaves behind. You should try your makita random orbit polisher to see if it takes out the swirls (if you've already used it & aren't thinking of returning it). I use my cyclo every year for the yearly polish job on my trailer(s) I've pared it down to just the Bambi II, so after this year, it should be a breeze!
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