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Old 06-19-2003, 11:52 AM   #1
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How should I clean & maintain the exterior

The roof of my 1988 Classic 345 has probably never been cleaned. It looks dirty and dull but still sound with no leaks. What can I do for now to clean it and give it some protection. I do not have the time and it is way too hot in Houston to start a polishing project. The sides are in good condition. How should I maintain the exterior without spending a lot of time doing so?
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Old 06-19-2003, 03:29 PM   #2
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walbernize

I am pondering the same problem with my 1984 310 motorhome but things got dicier when I cleaned the roof and found that the finish has disapperared in areas too large to ignore. Hope you don't have this problem.

Since the finish is satin, pure polishing doesn't seem to be the answer, talked to Walbernize manufacturer and they recommended the RV sealant, but only after new finish has been applied. There is silicone in it and it can not be painted over.

Problem is how to get the satin finish to a uniform finish before recoating thats got me stumped.

If you only need to clean and seal, Walbernize products can be ordered direct or at most Airstream dealers.
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Old 06-19-2003, 03:55 PM   #3
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I don't know if I can tell if a finish still exists. What does it look like when there is no "finish". I am a total rookie regarding this aluminum skin and what to do with it.
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Old 06-19-2003, 07:34 PM   #4
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best described
the top looked like the sides when it was built. im giving some thought to a white top paint. im told it is much cooler . i keep my fantastic fan going all the time to keep the temp down to what is outside. and i sure you have the same problem with heat. to much work to polish , plus i dont need to fall off a ladder. lol
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Old 06-19-2003, 07:45 PM   #5
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the 84 310 top can be polished . but you will have a lot of time in the polish job. the ruths in ohio polished my end caps two years ago and would have polished the entire roof . but recommended i dont because of the cost for labor. $55per hour got my attention. they stripped the old plasticote off and applied new but it is dull and dull adsorbs heat. that is why i might paint mine. and that is also another bag of worms. where you are going to apply paint has to be stripped and eched before applying paint. cant win lots of work and money to maintain these beast. lol
al
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Old 06-19-2003, 11:02 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info...guess i will just strip and clearcoat and experiment on "brushing" the top...jem
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Old 11-14-2005, 09:08 AM   #7
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I have a 1954 airstream my very first one and it has about 40 years of oxidation on it i have tryed everything i am at a loss on what to do can anyone help me
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Old 11-14-2005, 09:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackie54
I have a 1954 airstream my very first one and it has about 40 years of oxidation on it i have tryed everything i am at a loss on what to do can anyone help me
Welcome to the forums! Depending on how bad your oxidation is, the first thing I would do is give it a good, deep cleaning with soap and water, to see how deep the oxidation goes.
After the cleaning, you will have a tough decision to make, as you will probably have to do some manner of polishing to get rid of the oxidation. The question then would become whether you can live with the age stains and oxidation, or if you want to go through the labor-intensive process of polishing.
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Old 11-14-2005, 09:42 AM   #9
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I would do as said above, and try cleaning a small area with a good cleaner/wax if you choose not to go for a high polish, which as we all know is a lot of work and maintenance afterward.
If it cleans up to a point you are happy with then seal it with a good coat of the product of your choice. Wax, polymer sealant, etc. I like Liquid Glass but it is only one choice of many out there.
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Old 11-14-2005, 02:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackie54
I have a 1954 airstream my very first one and it has about 40 years of oxidation on it I have tryed everything i am at a loss on what to do can anyone help me
Jackie,
Welcome to the forums and congratulations on your "new" Airstream. It is very satisfying to bring back to life a finish that has been worn and oxidized over the years. You will find many good threads on the forum and one very helpful vendor who has an excellent printed sheet that I had picked up at a polishing seminar. You might give Steve a call and see if he has any more of his instruction sheets available. The web sight is:
http://www.vintagetrailersupply.com/Articles.asp?ID=114
He is also an advertiser on this forum and has all the supplies you would possibly need to bring your Airstream to a beautiful shine.
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Old 11-14-2005, 03:23 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by AccessMaster
The roof of my 1988 Classic 345 has probably never been cleaned. It looks dirty and dull but still sound with no leaks. What can I do for now to clean it and give it some protection.
I used Aircraft paint stripper from Wal-Mart, and a couple of aerosol spray cans of Airstream clearcote. $50 and three hours work would fix it. You won't get a professional looking gloss on the roof, but that won't notice. Using a step ladder and my longest arms, I could do the entire roof. Using the search facility will find many threads on working on the roof, if you are unable to reach it from a stepladder. Standing on the roof is in order, although I prefer to stand on the transverse lines of rivets into the ribs. A couple of lengths of 8 by 2 timber can be used to bridge between transverse ribs if you are feeling nervous. Have fun!
Nick
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Old 11-14-2005, 07:20 PM   #12
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Smile You might try some of these

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackie54
I have a 1954 airstream my very first one and it has about 40 years of oxidation on it i have tryed everything i am at a loss on what to do can anyone help me
Hi, you might look at the followng sites:
http://www.sjdiscounttools.com/manuf...ean-strip.html
http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalo...umprepaint.php
http://www.pilotmarket.com/category/...d_Recovery/67/

The guys at Blue Sky Aviation are very helpful.

Good Luck, Ernie
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