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Old 08-19-2017, 06:44 AM   #1
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1989 29' Excella
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Propane Tank Cover

I have asked this before, without an answer:

Is the OEM propane tank cover aluminum or stainless? Magnets do not stick. And, is it gel coated form the factory?

Mine is a mess and I do not wish to spend big money on a new replacement.

Some PO removed the blue vinyl and adhesive, but must have tried to rub it all out with 80 grit sandpaper.

Need help here on attempting to make it presentable. Many thanks.
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Old 08-19-2017, 06:57 AM   #2
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Mine is aluminum
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Old 08-19-2017, 08:04 AM   #3
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Old 08-19-2017, 08:34 AM   #4
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Aluminum
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Old 08-19-2017, 11:02 AM   #5
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Gel Coat??

Picture shows a definite line across the front of the cover (and it goes all around), exactly where the vinyl stopped.

I am presuming (being aluminum) that this was gel coated after the vinyl was installed.

Thus, I likely need to strip the gel and then attempt to polish.

Correct?

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Old 08-19-2017, 12:30 PM   #6
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Rivet Sort of...

Quote:
Originally Posted by frjeff View Post
Picture shows a definite line across the front of the cover (and it goes all around), exactly where the vinyl stopped.

I am presuming (being aluminum) that this was gel coated after the vinyl was installed.

Thus, I likely need to strip the gel and then attempt to polish.

Correct?

Attachment 292684
Well, yes and no.

Gel coat is used with fiberglass or other laminates during the molding process. It is the first coat into the mold and is the glossy surface you see. It doesn't have to be clear, it can be the finished color. White is especially popular on boats, for example.

For Airstreams, a clear coat is used. It is simply a coat of clear paint, like many cars now have a clear coat over paint to enhance the glossy finish. This is actually good news for you. Lots easier to remove than a gel coat.

The process is to clear coat the aluminum, then put the stickers on. Normally.

Yes, you will want to remove it before polishing. On a nearly 30 year old piece of aluminum it is nearing the end of its life anyway.

Actually, looking at your photo, the part that was undertone vinyl looks better than the rest. That's how mine would be if I took the vinyl off. The vinyl actually protects the clear coat. The sun is what really eats finishes. You probably have more and "better" clear coat there. Regardless, go down to clean aluminum and polish. You should be good.

You can find plenty of threads on polishing. You will see photos of trailers that look like your cover all the way down the sides. Doing the cover looks like a good learning experience. Everything you need to learn in miniature.
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Old 08-19-2017, 12:33 PM   #7
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Propane Tank Cover

Vswingfield - My gratitude. I'll likely use Citri Strip as I understand it can be power washed off (not scraped).
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Old 08-19-2017, 12:41 PM   #8
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Thumbs up Sounds Good

I think you're on the right track. Aluminum is delicate and any scratch you don't put in is one you don't have to polish out.

There are plastic scrapers available that will reduce your chances of scratching the surface if you encounter really tough spots. I would try multiple applications of stripper first. Taking your time can actually save you time in the long run.

Keep us posted on your progress.
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Old 08-20-2017, 01:37 PM   #9
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Propane Cover for sale

Hello,

I have an extra propane cover that I will sell you. When I purchased my 2012 FC, 25' the previous owner went out and purchased a new one because the original had a small dent. I would be happy to snap a picture and send it you.
Its still in the box just sitting in my garage. There really is nothing wrong with this except a small dent. Let me know.

A.H. Stone
ahstonejr@gmail.com
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