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Old 08-15-2016, 06:38 PM   #1
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Random Orbital Polisher on newer AS?

I see a lot of threads for older AS utilizing power tools to polish, but I can not find much if anything pertaining to polishing newer AS with Random Orbital polishers.

Only by hand rcommended or success shining up (I know its not going to me mirror like) newer AS with random orbitals?
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Old 08-16-2016, 01:14 AM   #2
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If you'd like to really really REALLY make your life miserable.... then use a polisher on your newer model Airstream.
It will burn and melt the plasticizer-clearcoat on your aluminum turning it into a smeared, burned, blackened mess. Then you will have to chemically STRIP the entire trailer to bare aluminum... and THEN you'll HAVE to polish it regularly for the rest of it's life.

Do NOT attempt to polish a newer, clear-coated Airstream.
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Old 08-16-2016, 09:22 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, time to get the elbow grease out.
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Old 08-16-2016, 10:53 AM   #4
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It is my understanding that the clearcoat put on the newer Airstreams is very much like the clearcoat put on cars. Is that is the case, using a dual action polisher like a Porter Cable 7424XP should not be an issue. They will not burn the clearcoat like a high powered orbital polisher.
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Old 08-16-2016, 11:03 AM   #5
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I've used the Porter-Cable random orbit polisher on our 2013 Flying Cloud with good results. I use it on our clear coated cars also. No problems and makes the job easier.
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Old 08-16-2016, 12:20 PM   #6
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I agree with #4 and 5. A 9" or 10" random orbital polisher (not a polisher like the vintage AS folk use for that mirror finish on bare aluminum) with foam (for wax application) and terry or microfiber (for buffing) bonnets can speed and ease the process of waxing without any damage to the finish on modern Airstreams.

Do not use polishes or cleaning compounds (per Airstream recommendations) which are abrasives. Just plain wax.
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Old 08-16-2016, 02:52 PM   #7
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I have a 2001 Safari I bought new. I use Meguairs Gold liquid wax and I apply it with a 10" Craftsman random orbiting polisher with the thin blue applicator pad made specifically for applying wax. Do not use the cotton fleece pad to apply or buff the wax. It will damage the clear coat. Wipe the dried wax off manually with an old soft towel. I wax once a year. I've done this for 15 years now and my AS still looks new. It's not the mirror finish of a highly polished vintage AS. It's the shiny clear coat finish of the newer Airstreams. I treat it like I treat my cars and truck which also have clear coat finishes. I get "it looks like new" comments every time we take our AS out.
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Old 08-16-2016, 11:10 PM   #8
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Much appreciated all. I will most likely try Griots One Step under the rock guards (most white blotches) with my Griots Random Orbital to test.
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Old 08-17-2016, 11:14 AM   #9
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if you want shiny- go vintage
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Old 08-17-2016, 11:50 AM   #10
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Walkerize and a soft rag. Little elbow grease required.
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Old 08-17-2016, 01:21 PM   #11
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It may be that a definition-of-terms be in order.

When I read "orbital polisher" ... I thought of a device to apply "polish" at high speed ...which will burn the clearcoat (a plasticizer type of synthetic covering used to fight oxidation on our modern Airstreams.)

If you only mean to "BUFF" using WAX... and don't "bear-down" and burn theclearcoating ... it should work fine.

But DON"T USE POLISH which has fine abrasive or defect-remover in it. You will ruin the clearcoat and injure it's purpose.
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