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Old 03-17-2012, 09:45 PM   #1
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Polished trailer near the ocean

I keep getting the question from my other half "when is our Airstream going to be all shiny like THAT one?". My answer is, I have other stuff to finish on it before tackling stripping and polishing. Now we're close to done with a lot of that stuff, I'm thinking more about the finish. The thing is, we live within sight of the ocean, and I'm concerned that if I strip the trailer of it's nearly totally failed 1964 clearcoat, we'll have issues with corrosion and pitting of the surface. It's not like we're right on the ocean, but it's damp here. Also, how often do you have to go over the whole rig to keep it shiny? And, can you polish it to give it a protective wax coating? Thanks
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:57 PM   #2
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I live less than 1/4 mile from the ocean on the south GA coast. Just polished my 34'. I ha ent noticed anything crazy yet. I am anticipating having to polish with the cyclo at least once a year.... e will see how it works out.
I believe there are some products that protect polished finishes. sharkhide was recommendedto me but I haven't tried it yet.
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Old 03-17-2012, 10:09 PM   #3
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Aluminum is aluminum.... (ie it's tough)
If you're that close to the ocean I would worry more about the frame!!!
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f421...ybe-85368.html
Strip it, polish it. And polish it again next year.
It will be well worth it.
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:23 AM   #4
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We keep ours inside, we can see the ocean. Salt air /moisture and Aluminum don't mix.
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Old 03-18-2012, 05:31 AM   #5
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A week on the beach at Padre Island did more pitting to the skin of my 61 than the previous 40 years. Any place a salt laden drop of water formed left a pit when it dried.
Admittedly this was being parked with in 30 feet of the water and probably salt spray was blowing directly on the trailer. There was obvious rust forming on steel parts also in this short period of time.. Bare aluminum and salt do not get along
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Old 03-18-2012, 06:33 AM   #6
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I will also add that I wash my AS often. That really helps to keep some of the bad stuff from accumulating on the skin.
I agree with Rick that being directly on the ocean is a lot worse the simply being near it.
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:34 AM   #7
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Thanks, that is sort of what I expected. We live far enough away that galvanized metal flashing on the house has lasted 44 years with no rust, but after 15 years on a blufftop home, the metal pieces are just gone. I think I'll experiment with the door, which looks awful anyway, and polish and rinse the trailer frequently. Ugh, polish this once a year? At least it's only 19' long.
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Old 03-18-2012, 03:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Globie64
Thanks, that is sort of what I expected. We live far enough away that galvanized metal flashing on the house has lasted 44 years with no rust, but after 15 years on a blufftop home, the metal pieces are just gone. I think I'll experiment with the door, which looks awful anyway, and polish and rinse the trailer frequently. Ugh, polish this once a year? At least it's only 19' long.
Well, the cyclo is the easier part of the polishing process...like waxing a car. the once a year is more like"brightening up"the finish.
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Old 03-18-2012, 03:37 PM   #9
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ah, okay. It's the initial polishing to a bright finish that is the time consuming part?
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Old 03-18-2012, 03:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Globie64
ah, okay. It's the initial polishing to a bright finish that is the time consuming part?
Exactly!
Not maintenance free, but it could be worse. ...and it looks really good!
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Old 03-18-2012, 04:06 PM   #11
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I've got a 1949 Spartan that spent its entire life (60 years) within a 1/4 mile of the ocean in Rhode Island. One side of it had been covered with an attached "porch", the other side had been left exposed. The exposed side and ends polished up very well even after all those years. The side that had been "protected" was very deeply oxidized, and deeply pitted to the point that I found myself sanding, rather than polishing it. I think that over time, rain and snow had kept most of it fairly well rinsed, except for the part had been covered. In the end, it came out pretty well except for that one side that I would rate no better than a shiny 3 on the 10 scale.
During the hours of work spent holding a buffer and getting splattered with Nuvite, I wished I'd started with a trailer that came from Arizona.
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Old 03-18-2012, 04:43 PM   #12
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Okay, well I may have a long summer project. Streamquest, where in RI did your trailer come from? We spend a lot of time there at a family beach house between Charlestown and Matunuck. Could your trailer have been in Matunuck at the trailer park?
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:36 PM   #13
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Globie

It was a few years ago and I can't recall the name of the town (if I ever knew it in the first place). I believe it was just off Route 1. I think there was a small hospital or institutional building nearby, and a Marina just across the highway. It was on an overgrown piece of property overlooking a small inlet, but not in a trailer park. I just looked at a map and I think it was close to the area you're describing. I guess that really pins it down!
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:23 PM   #14
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I know exactly where that is. RI is so small, everything is off route 1, and everything is on an inlet, but the hospital is probably the one in Wakefield and the marina is.. yeah, nearby. How cool for you!
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