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Old 03-13-2010, 11:16 AM   #1
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1969 31' Sovereign
Mount Vernon , Washington
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Removing paint

I believe we are - technically - the fourth owners of our AS. The most recent PO only had it 11 days. I don't think the guy before him ever really used it. He had set about to make some repairs and then got called away to Iraq. The original owner apparently loved the AS, as he kept all the paperwork. We even have the original build sheet! He did one thing, however, that makes me shake my head: He painted the entire trailer with silver-grey paint. He even painted the blue stripe - except he painted it brown with a tan stripe. The paint is peeling in many, many places !!!
I know we need to strip the paint. I've heard and read about a number of products, the names of which were almost always followed by "...I think..." or "...they have it at Home Depot..." The stripper is one thing.... but once it's off - how do I proceed?
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Old 03-13-2010, 10:27 PM   #2
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We stripped our 25' 69 tradewind's clearcoat and had good luck with Citrastrip. It cut through everything very quickly and isn't too hard on lawns or the environment. They make it in a gel that you brush on, and a spray can. We preferred the spray can, even though it was a little more per oz, it had less waste.

One thing to be very careful is that when stripping the trailer make sure you remove plastic items like your clearance light lenses because the stripper will ruin that. If the paint is already peeling chances are they didn't do the prep work right and that is good for you! Apply the stripper, let it bubble the paint, and if you have access to a good power washer use that to remove the paint, you don't want to use anything abbrasive. Once the paint is off, provided they didn't sand the heck out of it before painting, then you can polish the trailer if you want or let it go gray naturally. There are numerous threads about polishing, and you can read some at www.vintagetrailersupply.com about their polishing system, which is the one we used.
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Old 03-14-2010, 01:15 AM   #3
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1969 31' Sovereign
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Thank you!

Thanks so much for your reply. You've given me considerable hope! Since you've brought up the plastics caution, I need to ask this: The placard labeling the trailer as a Sovereign Land Yacht is, I suspect, plastic. I'll either have to remove it or mask it off, right? How about the AIRSTREAM letters? Are they plastic? Cast aluminum? Any others items I need to take care to protect?
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