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Old 03-18-2006, 10:21 AM   #1
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Fort McMurray , Canada
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Panic! Can we polish this??????

I am literally sick to my stomach right now......Did we just buy a trailer that we cannot polish to a shine, a mirror shine. It is a 1988 Excella...And in searching for kits, I have read on a site that later models cannot be polished. Does anyone have any advice or experience with this? The trailer will need to be polished. Here is the link to pics of the airstream....


http://www.airforums.com/class...ct/1562/cat/16
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Old 03-18-2006, 10:42 AM   #2
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Louisville , Kentucky
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a-wannabee,
Nice coach. No doubt you will enjoy it. Late model coaches have skins with "mill finish" aluminum. Somewhere in the late seventies/early eighties AS switched to this finish aluminum from Alcoa. This gives the skin a "brushed aluminum" appearance. They are typically clear coated and this clear coat usually fails at the roofline first, then moves down the coach, giving them a "splotchy" appearance.

Now relax, because you can get your trailer to polish. My 86 Motorhome has the same finish as your trailer and I've test polished the nose of mine to a near mirror finish last summer. I plan (hope) to finish the job this year.

There is a lot of conflicting information out there about how best to acheive this, especially on later model coaches, but this picture from "The Polishing Guru" should help prove that it can indeed be done.

This is a picture of a later model 34 limited that has been polished and for those who don't think a later model motorhome can be polished, here is a picture of a polished 345! (This has my inspiration to polish mine!)

Love that shine.

You can contact the folks that did these two projects here: http://www.thepolishingguru.com/
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Old 03-18-2006, 11:28 AM   #3
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Thanks so much for the reassurance....I just love this site!!!!
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Old 03-19-2006, 09:53 PM   #4
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Yes, it can be done. Expect to spend twice as much time on the end segments, though. I hope to have mine finished in time for July 4 weekend.
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Old 03-19-2006, 10:42 PM   #5
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Post some pics when you complete it, or progress along the way...It would be great to gain some experience in terms of methodology and materials used for later year polish jobs! Best of luck!
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Old 03-20-2006, 07:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a-wanabbee
Post some pics when you complete it, or progress along the way...It would be great to gain some experience in terms of methodology and materials used for later year polish jobs! Best of luck!
When you do start polishing, be sure and take your time doing it, as the later model Airstreams have a slightly thinner skin that may distort from the heat generated by polishing with the polisher too fast, or pushing too hard while polishing.
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Old 03-20-2006, 01:04 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by overlander63
When you do start polishing, be sure and take your time doing it, as the later model Airstreams have a slightly thinner skin that may distort from the heat generated by polishing with the polisher too fast, or pushing too hard while polishing.

That's true. It will be slow going initially until you find your groove, and then only slightly less slow after that. The urge will be strong to try and go fast, but that's where you can do more harm than good. First and foremost though, try and gather as much info on the subject as possible. Barry Gregory has a method that works for him, but is somewhat controversial. However, he does offer some good tips in addition to what you'll find here on the forum. I've experienced some success using a couple of different approaches, as have many others. Good luck!
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Old 03-20-2006, 03:08 PM   #8
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1978 31' Excella 500
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a-wanabbee
I am literally sick to my stomach right now......Did we just buy a trailer that we cannot polish to a shine, a mirror shine. It is a 1988 Excella...And in searching for kits, I have read on a site that later models cannot be polished. Does anyone have any advice or experience with this? The trailer will need to be polished. Here is the link to pics of the airstream....


http://www.airforums.com/class...ct/1562/cat/16
I cannot believe that no one has mentioned www.perfectpolish.com . That is the place to go to get all the information you need to polish an airstream trailer.

Be aware that once your start polishing, it is a lifetime commitment. You can have the finish clearcoated for $215/ft. It is guaranteed for two years and will fail early.

Do a find on this site for stripping and polishing to get most of the posts by me and others who have polished theirs.

Here is a picture of mine.
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