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Old 03-15-2007, 07:36 AM   #1
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Shine on?

I posted this before, but never really got an answer, can anyone help?

If you strip and polish, does this lead to polishing every 6 months (whew! A full time job!)?

If you strip and re-clearcoat, I gather you can expect 10 years at most?

If you paint, the cost is similiar to re-clearcoat but may last twice as long?

We are balding on top, and will need to do something soon, not really sure which way to go...

Thanx, Bill
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Old 03-15-2007, 08:07 AM   #2
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I'm in the strip & polish category. I have to repolish once a year but its a much easier job on subsequent tune-ups. The hard part is removing the 40/50 years worth of oxidation.
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Old 03-15-2007, 08:22 AM   #3
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With a '89 AS unit, I would opt for the stripping, polishing and recoating. Several professional shops offer the service and you should be good for another 12+ years. I don't quite understand why you would want to paint your AS. AS for stripping it down yourself and polishing yourself, there are many of us who do that. As for yearly upkeep, if you wash and wax your polished AS as you do now (we wash and wax once a month) you could expect to do a soft machine polish each spring.
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Old 03-15-2007, 09:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickandsandi
With a '89 AS unit, I would opt for the stripping, polishing and recoating. Several professional shops offer the service and you should be good for another 12+ years. I don't quite understand why you would want to paint your AS. AS for stripping it down yourself and polishing yourself, there are many of us who do that. As for yearly upkeep, if you wash and wax your polished AS as you do now (we wash and wax once a month) you could expect to do a soft machine polish each spring.
I do wash/wax during the "season" it is not practical during winter months though...(I am keeping it under a canopy all winter).
I guess my confusion lies in;
  • Several folks who stripped and recoated report a very short life span of the clear coat after spending good $. I don't recall who they had do the work, but I would probably go to GSM in New York, they are closest to us and seems to have a good rep.
  • There are several posts related to "painting" and most of the folks seem pleased with the results, reporting longer life than clearcoat. Others have commented that you cannot tell the difference unless very closely inspected. If the cost of clearcoat vs paint is similiar, and you cannot really tell the difference (think "silver paint") then it might make more sense in the long run to paint.
Can anyone verify that their re-clearcoated AS has lasted more than a couple of years?
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Old 03-15-2007, 11:17 AM   #5
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Paint? Oh NO!

Airstreams are built to be polished. They are unique and people check them out when they see them - please don't paint your AS.
I bit the bullet and had P&S Trailer Service strip, polish and clearcoat mine a couple of months ago. I just finished waxing/polishing it for the first time. It is an '83 but I figure I'm good to go for quite a while yet as long as I pull a wax and polish every six months max.
It is your trailer but there is nothing like a polished airstream, no matter what age it is.
Good luck with your decision.
See you down the road.
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Old 04-18-2007, 07:14 AM   #6
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We know at some point wer will re clearcoat, our AS is bald on top but sides etc are fine.
Got a quote from our local dealer last weekend (toured the new units, will get our free book soon!) and it wasn't too bad $

But it is not in the budget this year.

So the question is, at what point do you HAVE to do it?

Right now I would consider it cosmetic, no leaks, etc.
But at some point losing the clear coat can lead to damage/corrosion?
How can you determine when the party is over and you MUST do something?

Thanx, Bill
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Old 04-18-2007, 07:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillTex
But at some point losing the clear coat can lead to damage/corrosion?
How can you determine when the party is over and you MUST do something?
I'm not sure there is damage/corrosion. My Bambi II sat for at least 15 years with nothing on it. The only thing that happened was the aluminum oxidized.
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Old 04-18-2007, 08:20 AM   #8
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I know it's not, but if the center top panel is the only one that has lost its clearcoat, you will enjoy good results in painting that panel only gloss white. It will be cooler on the inside in Summer, and easier to air condition.
Even if you wind up painting the whole trailer, it would be worth looking into painting that panel white, most newer large coaches have a white center panel.
I know of one trailer, and have seen it in person, that came from the factory painted silver. It was a 1972 Overlander, and after all these years still looks pretty good, although after all these decades it is getting a bit dull. Kind of like oxidized aluminum. A wax job every year would probably keep this from happening. If you decide to paint, make sure you use a good single stage paint, like Dupont Imron.
If you want to look at this trailer, you can search forum user sneakinup.
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Old 04-18-2007, 04:58 PM   #9
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There is a Por 15 product called Glisten PC. From what I am told it will ad hear to aluminum nicely. However I have not seen it applied yet.

Glisten PC

If you do polish and coat, the clear will show every sin in the finish, just something to think about
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Old 04-18-2007, 08:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balrgn
There is a Por 15 product called Glisten PC. From what I am told it will ad hear to aluminum nicely. However I have not seen it applied yet.

Glisten PC

If you do polish and coat, the clear will show every sin in the finish, just something to think about
Hi balrgn, are you differentiating between coating and polishing plus coating?
please explain...

THANX, Bill
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Old 04-18-2007, 08:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillTex
Hi balrgn, are you differentiating between coating and polishing plus coating?
please explain...

THANX, Bill
Polishing plus coating, if you clear, the clear will enhance any imperfections, like minor scratches.
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Old 04-18-2007, 08:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balrgn
Polishing plus coating, if you clear, the clear will enhance any imperfections, like minor scratches.
So you can clear without polishing or you can clear after polishing?
Correct?

Bill
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Old 04-18-2007, 10:09 PM   #13
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One other ?; any point in Walbernizing if we are bald on top?
Should I just do the (still good) sides or do the whole thing?

Bill
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Old 04-19-2007, 04:47 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillTex
So you can clear without polishing or you can clear after polishing?
Correct?

Bill
Sure can, propper prep of the metal either way.

I'm thinking of doing my top in white. It's a bugger to polish up there, and it will reduce the heat sinc properties
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