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Old 04-20-2006, 03:40 PM   #1
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1964 17' Bambi II
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Schererville , Indiana
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Lots of questions

Well, my son and I have bit the bullet (no pun intended) and started the exterior polishing process. We have stripped the clearcoat already. My question (one of many) is - should I re-caulk before the polishing process, between the two steps of polishing, or after polishing? I need to re-caulk the top airconditioner & vents - already did the vent pipes - and also the stripping around the outside (it's falling off in places). I don't plan on doing the windows since Andy said not to fix what ain't broke.

Also, are the letters that are riveted on a big deal to take off & put back on? I have stripping underneath them & want to replace it, as it too is falling apart in places. Where do I get new stripping (about 8-10 inches wide?)

I'll wait to see the replies before I go on. Thanks & cudos to all of you airstreamers - I'm a newbie & am having a great time so far!

Becky
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Old 04-20-2006, 06:39 PM   #2
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We re-caulked before polishing. Two reasons:
1) we didn't want old loose caulk getting in the buffing pads which would cause scratches during polishing

2) the compounding "goo" would get in all the seams and have to be cleaned out before caulking if we waited until after. If not totally removed, the caulk wouldn't stick and leaks could develop.
You don't mention what year your trailer/MH is, it may be helpful to others with regards to your other "letters & stripping" questions.

Shari
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Old 04-20-2006, 07:43 PM   #3
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Becky, I just took a look at one of your old posts that says you bought a 1976 Excella. Is that the camper you are talking about?

If the lettering you are talking about looks like pic #1 on the outside, then the inside looks like pic #2 (probably).And yes, they are a pain to get off and put back. You'll probably need start taking stuff apart inside the trailer (like walls).

If you are talking about the lettering down the side of the trailer, It's probably fastened to the trailer the same way. I'll have to see if I've got a picture of that area, too.

Jim
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Old 04-20-2006, 07:52 PM   #4
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Well, I can't find a good picture of the inside of the side banner, but if you're talking about something like the banner below and between the two windows, it is attached just like the "Airstream" lettering on the front in my camper. There are threaded studs on the backside of the letters and the banners that a nut is fastened to, on the inside, to hold it to the side of the camper (you can see one in pic number 2 above, all cleaned up and ready to be sealed). Then Vulkem is applied on the inside to seal it all up.

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Old 04-20-2006, 07:59 PM   #5
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Yes, Jim, it is a 1976 Excella. Strangely enough, it's a 27 footer. I know certain things actually make them Excellas (besides the name), but I'm not sure what. Anyhow, the blue striping is beneath the "Airstream" name on the trunk section. I want to replace the stripe (if I can find new), but am a little afraid of taking all the letters off. Do you just drill them out like a regular rivet? Do you put them back in like a regular rivet? I don't want to take apart the inside bathroom to do this. The inside of the trailer is finished, so I'm not going to tear it apart. There must be an easier way!
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Old 04-20-2006, 08:10 PM   #6
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No, mine don't "drill out". Take a look at picture number two in my first post. You are looking at the backside of the "A-I-R-S-T-R-E-A-M" lettering in the front of the trailer (pictuer number 1).

What you are looking at is the studs that are welded to the back of each letter. SOme of these I've already cleaned up and resealed (the white stuff is new Vulkem). Some I haven't touched yet, they are still covered in the old grey Vulkem. There is one stud all cleaned of the old Vulkem, but not resealed. See what I mean about the a stud and a nut used as a fastener?

If yours are like mine, you gotta take interior wall panels apart to get to the nuts to remove the letters. BTW, the back letters above the trunk are exactly like the front.

Sorry, I can't help with the striping. I have seen others mention here before. Do a search for it, something will turn up. Good luck.

Jim
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Old 04-20-2006, 08:14 PM   #7
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Becky,
I think Inland rv has the blue strip you are looking for check with Andy. Lets all see pictures when you are done.



The other Becky
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Old 04-20-2006, 08:19 PM   #8
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That's bad news....I don't quite know what to do. I really don't think I'm capable (or want to) take the bathroom apart just for those letters. Jim, I'm sure mine are the same as yours & I see what you mean. I'll have to come up with some kind of an alternative to the striping. Some of it is peeling, etc and I hate to go through the trouble of polishing the camper and have a tacky looking pinstripe! Thanks, Jim & Shari too for your help.
Becky
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Old 04-20-2006, 08:22 PM   #9
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Hey, the other Becky!

I'll post some pictures if I can ever figure that out! I can't even find the place to put what kind of trailer I have, let alone post pictures. I have taken a few so far & will try to post them later.
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Old 04-20-2006, 08:34 PM   #10
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Becky click in the "Quick Links" button in the blue band along the top then select "Edit Profile" that will take you to where you can input things like what trailer and tow vechile you have.
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Old 04-20-2006, 09:02 PM   #11
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Well, you could try to paint it. That's what I intend to do with mine. There are portions of the blue on mine that are painted and other areas appear to have been "taped" as well. The tape is long gone. Rustoleum sells a "royal blue" that is pretty close to the original Airstream blue. I haven't gotten that far yet. The outside will be about the last of the project. I'm doing a "Full Monty", so there's a lot to do.

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Old 04-20-2006, 09:51 PM   #12
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I was thinking maybe I could put the striping the rest of the way around and maybe just paint a lighter blue rectangle around the letters. That could work. That's the only place with letters in the way of the striping. My trailer has rhino liner sprayed on the front of it by the previous owner. I think it must be an after market job, but it was done quite well. I don't know if that detracts from the value of the unit, but I don't mind the look of it. I need to repaint that & the banana wrap so it all matches well. The fiberglass cover to the air conditioner also needs to be painted. It was painted black/grey to match the rhino liner & also has the blue stripe (the plastic one) that is on the sides. If somebody has the inside info on what was ordered as a custom order from the factory, let me know. I've never seen another trailer like mine & am curious about it. I couldn't find the right length in the profile (thanks Cory, I followed your directions & changed mine)
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Old 04-21-2006, 12:49 AM   #13
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Not to the polishing step yet.....the PO admitted to the top being painted white on my 58 but he forgot to mention that the rest had been painted silver. So AFTER I get all that paint stripped I want to get around to polishing. I know I cant use silicone to seal....dont know why I cant, just cant. So what sealer should I use?

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Old 04-21-2006, 08:00 PM   #14
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I used Tremco that I received from Vintage trailer supply in the place of Vulkem (I am assuming they are the same thing). I also used some Vulkem #116 that I got at Menards. That kind seemed to match the stuff that was already on my trailer. I can't find the grey color there anymore, so I bought the Tremco online.
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