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Old 12-14-2011, 10:51 PM   #1
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2012 25' FB Flying Cloud
Gig Harbor , Washington
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Salt water corrosion.

I have been reading about living in an environment in close proximity to the ocean and it's impact on the Airstream finish. First I would like to point out I live 50' from tidal salt water frontage on the Puget Sound in WA STATE. I am a lifelong commercial fisherman and know a lot about saltwater corrosion, galvanic fatigue and anode protection.
First off the mist we frequently encounter is not a problem because the salt stays in the bay not in the air. Cars last forever here with little or no rust problems. I see no evidence of salt related damage.
Boats on the other hand require galvanic protection in the form of sacrificial anodes. This corrosion occurs not necessarily because of the salt but because of the current the water carries and the impact this currant has on dissimilar metals coming into contact with each other (ferrous, non-ferrous). We change our anodes frequently and these are specifically designed and place to take the abuse of this deterioration.
But I digress. Foggy or misty conditions do not normally carry any salt content so you are safe. Check out the NOAH site to verify this. We have a NOAH facility that has extensively collected data over the and has accumulated evidence to support these conclusions. My brother has a 72 Ford PU that sits right on the dock and has for many years and is faded and ugly but not rusted.
I guess my point is enjoy your coastal travels and don't worry about ruining your TT.

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Old 12-14-2011, 10:56 PM   #2
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Good to know. I bought my AS from a woman in VA Beach and was worried, but after opening up the floor it doesn't look all that bad... Love the salt water smell camping near the ocean!

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Old 12-14-2011, 11:05 PM   #3
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In my past life I was involved in an oceanfront house in Hawaii. Seawall holding up the pool and then the house set back 15'. Everything in the house--fans, refrigerators, tvs, lighting, etc. all rusted out and had to be replaced every two years. If you were several blocks from the ocean, then things lasted much longer. I sure wouldn't park an Airstream near that house.
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:22 AM   #4
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I have found if you are in a location where mist is wind blown from breaking salt water waves there will be corrosion. On the otherhand, wind blown mist in the form of fog does not contain salt, so it is no more corrosive than rain.
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Old 12-15-2011, 06:09 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
I have found if you are in a location where mist is wind blown from breaking salt water waves there will be corrosion. On the otherhand, wind blown mist in the form of fog does not contain salt, so it is no more corrosive than rain.
I think this is the correct statement. The salt, IMO, must be wind driven directly from the seawater by spray. It doesn't stay suspended any longer than the wind speed and direction can carry it before it falls out due to gravity. That being said, one week camping on the beachfront (literally), I had "fur" growing on EVERYTHING.

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Old 12-15-2011, 08:45 AM   #6
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My experience owning a house near the ocean (SoCal) and living on ships (with aircraft aboard) at sea was that metal left unpainted/unprotected and exposed to the air will corrode quite badly. The breaking surf puts salt into the air, the wind carries it ashore (possibly quite a distance) leaving it on surfaces, and the morning dew dissolves it creating a corrosive environment.

The exposed metal edges, rivets holes, exterior metal fittings of the Airstream will soon have filiform corrosion.

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Old 09-13-2016, 01:10 PM   #7
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Hello Old Thread.

I'm trying decide weather parking on the Texas coast is a good idea. I mean... on the beach. 20 yards from the salt spray. I build my trailer out of 2024t3 and now I'm thinking I should park it on the other side of the dunes. Which is a bummer cause I was hoping to see the surf.

If I'm there for a weekend or 4 days... would just washing off the trailer real good be ok?

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Old 09-13-2016, 02:22 PM   #8
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Yes, just washing will suffice. Just be careful with pressure washer so you don't cause more damage than the salt air! Good coat of wax wouldn't hurt either.

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Old 09-13-2016, 02:38 PM   #9
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I'd say you would be fine. Long term would be a different story but I've stayed on the beach without issue over the years.
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Old 09-13-2016, 07:02 PM   #10
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Thanks! OCD. It's not just for breakfast anymore.
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Old 09-13-2016, 07:56 PM   #11
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Last winter we parked right on the sea wall in the Keys. Naturally, a big storm blew in across the Gulf & my polished Bambi II got splashed relentlessly, even after moving her up about 20 ft. Our neighbors told us about a product that West Marine carries to wash off salt water called Salt Away. We ran out & bought some. Used it a couple times when we were there. I need to polish the trailer again, but it's not as bad as I thought it would be. Next time, we're backing off of the front line, but will still have a view


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