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Old 07-08-2002, 08:20 AM   #1
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1964 19' Globetrotter
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Polishing Hazard

Yikes! Just got back from a two week road trip. Finished the 'pre-polish' with nuvite "C" before I left. Looking polished but not highly polished yet.

So there I was driving down a mountain road, when a deer jumped out and ran in front of us. I slowed down, no problem - but then another deer comes out of the woods, slows down and then goes for it....right into the side of my trailer!! I figure he saw green with the reflection and all. He sort of floundered on the road for a bit, then jumped up and ran away. I was thinking huge dent, but it turned out to be a few small dents and a grove. At least *I* know where this dent came from and I have a story for it! Maybe I should rethink the mirror polished look!
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Old 07-16-2002, 09:56 PM   #2
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Polishing Hazards

As I begin to think about polishing, I can't help wondering if I am being true to the Wally school.

If Airstreams were not produced with a mirror finish, Is it right
to subject or trailers to this?

A true restoration typically includes returning the subject to it's original condition.

Maybe not aluminum on steriods?

Sounds like a good subject for a poll or its own thread.

What your vote? Polish or Not? Restore Luster? or the Mirrored Deer buster?
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Old 07-16-2002, 11:48 PM   #3
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When new I believe the 60's trailers were very shiny. On RJ Dial's website click here
he sums it up as "Update: OK, I was wrong. You can't have a shiny enough polish, as it will fade over the years, so even if you don't like mirror finish Airstreams, you will get more mileage out of your polish by getting as shiny as possible "

Here is an brochure photo of a "new" 64 that is very shiny.
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Old 07-16-2002, 11:53 PM   #4
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Image for prevoius post

Shiny 64 brochure
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Old 07-17-2002, 11:39 AM   #5
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Airstream motorhome polishing

There were a very few years that Airstream built motorhomes using alclad aluminum skins. I have heard that anything built after 1982 1/2 had an inferior grade of aluminum, dictated by cost savings, that could not be polished well.

When we located a 1981 that had a reasonably sound exterior we decided to have it polished, even though Airstream shipped them with a satin finish. We had seen pictures of one other polished Airstream motorhome, a 1979 24' model, done by the same firm in Oklahoma that is working on ours, and we were hooked.

Stripping and preparation for polishing revealed hidden horrors that were not apparent during our visual inspection. Three different kinds of "clearcoat" had been applied over the years which required, of course, three different stripping chemicals. In an attempt to keep the decals (trim stripes) from peeling off adhesives had been used. Some were removable using solvents, others had to be sanded off. And finally there was the filiform corrosion aggravated by the application of new “clearcoat” over old “clearcoat”. We are glad that we hired a professional with the proper solvents, equipment and experience to do this.

We are scheduled to fly back and pick it up the end of this month and, although we have been e-mailed progress photos, the anticipation is excruciating.
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Old 07-23-2002, 08:14 AM   #6
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Once you start polishing, it becomes almost addictive. I'm not sure if there's an actual end point! I really like the look of a polished trailer - so I guess you know what camp I'm in!
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Old 09-05-2006, 10:50 AM   #7
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I've just bought a 1990 32 footer A/S motorhome that has facotry stips of paint all around the motorhome. I'd like to strip it and have it polished. I can do the stipping part of it (assuming its only a gallon or two of chem stricppers will do the job) and then have Airstream authorized folks do the mirror finish on it. Any adivse. I'm new to Airstreams. Thansk
Ed
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Old 09-05-2006, 03:27 PM   #8
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I have a new Airstream that has more of a satin finish. And I have to admit I prefer the softness of the satin finish - more of a glow rather than a harsh (to me) mirror finish.

Am I the only one??

Cheers!
Michelle
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Old 09-05-2006, 04:12 PM   #9
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It is a personal preference thing for each of us who owns one. I like to see them in any mode but my personal goal is to emulate a mirror, at least for a while. Whether or not I'll actually get it to that level is a whole other question. Right now I'm on the path but have a very long ways to go.
Barry
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Old 09-05-2006, 04:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
I've just bought a 1990 32 footer A/S motorhome that has facotry stips of paint all around the motorhome. I'd like to strip it and have it polished. I can do the stipping part of it (assuming its only a gallon or two of chem stricppers will do the job) and then have Airstream authorized folks do the mirror finish on it. Any adivse. I'm new to Airstreams. Thansk
Ed
Ed, you should consider contacting one of the proven polishing companies in your area (CA). Many of the Airstream dealers will not do this kind of work or if they do it's on a hourly rate rather than a per foot rate

Below is a link to one who has done work on late model trailers and motorhomes and has been recommened by other forum members. Most of these polishing companies charge by the foot. Certainly stipping ahead of time might save you expense but I'm not sure how much.

http://www.thepolishingguru.com/

For those who don't think later model motorhome (or trailers) can be polished - here is a page with nicely polished later than 1981 model 345:

http://www.thepolishingguru.com/streamline_designs.html
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Old 09-05-2006, 06:14 PM   #11
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Walldernize

Our dealer in Boise said we shuld use Walldernize and we just finished
putting a coat on our Quicksilver she is not the mirror look but very
pretty and ready for Canada. What do y'all use? Cheers, John & Betty
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:44 PM   #12
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Smile Polishing a 1990 A/S Motorhome

Thanks Steve, your suggesstion sure saved me a lotta headache. I sure am gonna call the "polishing guru" tomorrow morning. God bless...Ed


Quote:
Originally Posted by swebster
Ed, you should consider contacting one of the proven polishing companies in your area (CA). Many of the Airstream dealers will not do this kind of work or if they do it's on a hourly rate rather than a per foot rate

Below is a link to one who has done work on late model trailers and motorhomes and has been recommened by other forum members. Most of these polishing companies charge by the foot. Certainly stipping ahead of time might save you expense but I'm not sure how much.

http://www.thepolishingguru.com/

For those who don't think later model motorhome (or trailers) can be polished - here is a page with nicely polished later than 1981 model 345:

http://www.thepolishingguru.com/streamline_designs.html
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:45 PM   #13
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Steve you are a life saver. Thanks a million for your tip. It sure saved me a hell of lotta headaches and mysteries of not knowing the pitfalls of "do-it-yourslef" agonies. God bless.
Ed
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:55 PM   #14
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I just changed out the furnace on my 63 which had never been clear coated. The area that was protected under the furnace flange had almost a mirror finish on it as it came from the factory. Some early 60's company ads show a woman putting on lipstick while using the side of the Airstream as a mirror.
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