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Old 06-16-2011, 10:14 AM   #1
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Power washer

Exterior of Old dirty airstream and in need of a good cleaning. Should I use my power washer on it?

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Old 06-16-2011, 11:05 AM   #2
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Generally, use of a power washer on a "old dirty Airstream" is frowned upon. The seams are caulked to prevent leaks and the caulk tends to dry out over time. The pressure of a power washer forces water between the seams & compromises the caulking even more which in turn causes leaks - the nemisis of all Airstream trailers!

IF you are recaulking all the seams or doing a major restoration & taking the interior panels off - where you can inspect for leaks, then it would probably be okay. But I wouldn't do it as a means of just washing it.

We had the entire interior out of our '56 while restoring it and power washed the interior panels while stripping the many layers of paint. While the interior panels were out, we were able to check for leaks in the exterior skins at the same time. We also re-caulked the entire exterior during the process...


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Old 06-16-2011, 11:17 AM   #3
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My '73 came with very definite power washer spray patterns that changed the uniform appearance at close and near distances. Okay, fine, it was ancient clear coat residues getting scoured off like innercity graffiti artist scribbles but there is no matching the 'patina' without polishing.

If you think appearance afterward might be important skip the intense power washer pressures.... catch the trailer after its soaked in rain for some hours or days and use a good car wash soap & bucket with a RV mop style washer and do sections to keep it from drying ..

If you're good with a low pressure nozzle on the PW you should have no problems using it for rinsing but there will be a film that takes at least token manual brushing to remove...

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Old 06-17-2011, 06:01 AM   #4

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This is our "power washer"....Griot's Garage
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AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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