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Old 04-24-2014, 02:19 PM   #1
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1965 22' Safari
Tucson , Arizona
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I wonder if I bought the worst out there??

Howdy. I recently purchased a '65 Safari...all original. Interior in great shape, major systems working other than a few minor details like a new water pump and new hot h2O heater.


The exterior skin is a bit of a mess, though. Reportedly, this trailer sat within shooting distance of a concrete plant (?). The exterior of the trailer (all across the top and partially down the sides) is covered with a hardened residue allegedly from the concrete plant. I first tried using my dewalt polisher with f7 Nuvite...didn't even begin to move the stuff. I then tried wet sanding it by hand and it seems to remove the heavy residue. I am pretty nervous that I either a). bought a trailer that has a ruined skin. or b). the skin is not yet ruined, but I am gonna ruin it by wet sanding it. I do know that as a final option I can paint the thing, but I would only do that after I have exhausted all other options.

There is a dent from someone hitting a tree or something, but that is less of an issue to me right now.

I am hoping to get some feedback from some of you pros out there. Should I keep going with the wet sanding process and just continue the polishing process once I've sanded off the concrete residue?

I am including some pics of the exterior, including one pic of a panel that I wet sanded and then ran the electric polisher over with Nuvite f7.

Thank you in advance for your feedback.
Paul Ohm
Tucson, AZ















And this is after wet sanding and going over it once with my electric polisher and Nuvite f7















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Old 04-24-2014, 03:05 PM   #2
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What you're looking for is something that will loosen the cement stuff but not harm the aluminum. I'm thinking a very dilute acid, like vinegar or coca cola, might be what you're looking for.

Caution: I don't know what the heck I am talking about or what will or won't dissolve aluminum.

Don't try this at home, your mileage may vary and your mother should have warned you about taking advice from strangers over the internet!
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Old 04-24-2014, 03:09 PM   #3
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What you're looking for is something that will loosen the cement stuff but not harm the aluminum. I'm thinking a very dilute acid, like vinegar or coca cola, might be what you're looking for.


My neighbor, who did some work on old aircraft at one time, mentioned coca cola also. Thx
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Old 04-24-2014, 03:36 PM   #4
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Various acids will remove concrete. I'd find an inconspicuous place and test varying concentrations of dilute pool acid to pick one that has a good balance of taking off the residue quickly without attacking the aluminum. I'd follow with a baking soda solution to neutralize the acid and then a good fresh water flush.

Al
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Old 04-24-2014, 03:42 PM   #5
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Muriatic acid will clean concrete residue, it's often used for etching concrete - but I have no idea what it will do to aluminum. You can buy it at Home Depot.

Klean-Strip 1-gal. Green Safer Muriatic Acid-GKGM75006 at The Home Depot

Here's a thread where somebody uses it to clean aluminum wheels: http://forums.viperclub.org/threads/...luminum-wheels
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Old 04-24-2014, 03:44 PM   #6
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Is that concrete or just the faded and dirty clear coat?
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Old 04-24-2014, 03:50 PM   #7
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Muriatic acid will clean concrete residue, it's often used for etching concrete - but I have no idea what it will do to aluminum. You can buy it at Home Depot.

Klean-Strip 1-gal. Green Safer Muriatic Acid-GKGM75006 at The Home Depot

Here's a thread where somebody uses it to clean aluminum wheels: Acid washing aluminum wheels


Quote:
Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
Various acids will remove concrete. I'd find an inconspicuous place and test varying concentrations of dilute pool acid to pick one that has a good balance of taking off the residue quickly without attacking the aluminum. I'd follow with a baking soda solution to neutralize the acid and then a good fresh water flush.

Al

I considered muriatic acid, but after reading some of the earlier posts on this site about why NOT to use it, I am very apprehensive. Several people say that m.a. will eat away the aluminum, cause corrosion, and cause leaking at all rivets. Wet sanding sounds safer after reading that.
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Old 04-24-2014, 03:51 PM   #8
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Is that concrete or just the faded and dirty clear coat?


I don't know. There is definitely a heavy layer of what feels like dried on sand. It doesn't wash off and paint stripper doesn't touch it. it takes some elbow grease to remove it by wet sanding.
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Old 04-24-2014, 04:25 PM   #9
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I did a little more research, and I've found recommendations for WD-40, laundry detergent, and some magic goo called "Back-Set", which appears to be a weak acid.

There's also this about vinegar or muriatic acid.

Good luck!!
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Old 04-24-2014, 04:29 PM   #10
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I did a little more research, and I've found recommendations for WD-40, laundry detergent, and some magic goo called "Back-Set", which appears to be a weak acid.

There's also this about vinegar or muriatic acid.

Good luck!!


Thank you! I will definitely give these a try. Gotta love WD-40.
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Old 04-24-2014, 05:12 PM   #11
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I'm not sure you bought the worst skin Airstream ever... but it's probably in the top ten.

Try the paint stripper again. I notice you're in Tucson - so paint stripper will tend to bake off/dry out before it can even start to work. If you can, get your unit inside and test the paint remover at low temp away from direct sunlight, or wait until after sunset and feel for cool skin before starting. Do a small spot on the shady side and really glop the stuff on, and just poke at it a bit starting at about 30 minutes, then checking every 5 to 10 minutes. You might get lucky.

I normally say "happy trails" for you it's "Happy Trials" Paula
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Old 04-24-2014, 05:33 PM   #12
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Aluminum brightener..available at paint stores, .which is a form of muriatic acid. Will not ruin the skin and is probably what you should use.
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Old 04-24-2014, 05:52 PM   #13
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Try a little Lime Away in an inconspicuous spot, ive used it to remove concrete, grout, and mortar of of everything including aluminum window frames, fiberglass, auto paint and tile.
Another product is CLR, don't know if it hurts AL though.
TomJ
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Old 04-24-2014, 05:57 PM   #14
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enosburg , Vermont
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Some things I learned on our '64. The remaining clear coat had a texture like shark skin, very grainy. Buffing with edge wheels or disc pads was hopeless even with very coarse bar compound. I learned here on the forums you have to remove the clear coat with stripper before you can do much of anything. I tried the most recommended stripper at that time, Removall 220. That made a serious difference, worked great and EASY, took off everything and did not harm the aluminum. 1 gal did the whole 22 ft. A similarity between yours and mine. I coated a section with removal and was called away for a day. When I returned the section had dried and was exactly as you describe yours and hard as concrete. A re app took care of it. Any chance someone started to strip yours?
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