thanks for your quick response.
well, my poor tradewind has a myriad of physical problems. and, yes, she suffers from airstream pattern baldness. that is a problem to be tackled another time. i'm more concerned with the oxidation of the little pieces; like the electrical cover is so corroded that it sticks closed. and ditto all the knobs on and around the propane cylinders.
i have muriatic acid - i use it to clean shells - and i put a tiny bit on a rag and wiped it on the electrical outlet cover and nothing happened. i was thinking of trying it on the propane knobs. i also thought about products like CLR of which i don't think i can get here.
i will take photos. i think that would help with my lack of adequate words because i think i'm possibly describing different problems. but i think i'll go have a margarita first and save the picture-taking for manana