Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-30-2008, 12:47 PM   #211
2 Rivet Member
daanderson's Avatar
1973 25' Tradewind
New Smyrna Beach , Florida
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 51
Thanks Much! The wheel covers were cheap enough to get an extra set just in case I throw one. My original manual says the front window is stronger than the windshield of a car. Ever hear that before?

daanderson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2008, 03:56 PM   #212
Rivet Master
53flyingcloud's Avatar
1984 29' Sovereign
Savannah , Missouri
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 3,462
Images: 17
Blog Entries: 1
No..but, it sure looks SUPERA NICE~!

53flyingcloud is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2008, 12:44 PM   #213
Rivet Master
87MH's Avatar
1978 31' Sovereign
Texas Airstream Harbor , Zavalla, in the Deep East Texas Piney Woods on Lake Sam Rayburn
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,435
Images: 292
Polished Airstream - Documented Fire Hazard

This is one of those posts that should be predicated by "'re not gonna believe this shi..." - but I have the pics to prove it.


Polished (but dirty) Airstream - 10:00 Sunday morning - Beautiful fall day - November 16, 2008, in a Far West Houston Suburb - not a cloud in the azure sky.

Airstream was pulled about 2000 miles since last touch-up to polish job (one month ago) - and not washed since then...the point being that this was not concours polish job - lots of road grime and rain spots.

Outside temp 60 degrees F. The trailer was hooked up to it's Tow Vehicle (3/4 ton Dodge Shortie Conversion Van). Trailer parked North/South with the front facing south - and the front 6 feet under (northward) into a 15' high carport.

What happened - DW was cleaning and airing out vehicles (beautiful day for it) took the plastic floor mats from the Saturn Toad, laid them on the concrete in front of the trailer, and went to Wally World with a friend....

...a combination of reflections from the trailer focused a beam about 6" long and 1" wide strong enough to heat the floor mat to it's bubble point, and the mat was smoking all along the 6" beam of light...I strongly suspect it would have caught fire had I not saw the smoke rising from the floor mat.

I came around the corner the work on the interior of the trailer maybe a short half hour later....and saw smoke...the mat was just below the rear door mounted spare tire for the Dodge Van.

I moved the plastic floor mat from the reflection area while it was still smoking - but I wanted to get a few pics to document what happened.

The sun was being reflected from at least three areas - I followed the reflection up with my hand to:
  1. An area which appears to have a slight concave shape to it - just under the curb side of the front window.
  2. An area just below the collar on the curb side propane tank.
  3. The access door to where the battery was originally mounted on the curb side front of the trailer.
There may have been another area which was adding to the focused heat, but I only had "shadows" to follow with the reflection on my hand, so I am unable to verify other reflective sources.

The mat was on the concrete, about 3' South of the front of the trailer, and about 2' West of the centerline.

Glad it wasn't more serious - just wanted to give a heads up on a potential fire hazard.

Here's a pic of the driveway, the trailer, and the carport. Imagine the traler being moved back about 40' and that is where the could-have-been-catastrophy occured.

The primary reflective area can be seen in the picture above - between the rock guard and the battery access door, just to the curb side of the original Univolt vent in the center of the trailer. It appears (in the picture) to have a sort of a white area bordered by two red lines.

"Suck it up, spend the bucks, do it right the first time."

WBCCI # 1113
AirForums #1737

Trailer '78 31' Sovereign

Living Large at an Airstream Park on the Largest Lake Totally Contained in Texas
Texas Airstream Harbor, Inc.
87MH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2008, 08:42 AM   #214
Rivet Master
76sovereign's Avatar
1976 31' Sovereign
ozark , Missouri
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,032
Images: 28
Blog Entries: 3
I have heard stories about shiny aluminum trailers starting fires in the woods because of reflections from the trailer to the leaves and twigs on the ground.
This happened to a friend of ours. They had a new shiny aluminum living quarter horse trailer worth about $150,000. They saddled up left for a ride, a while later decided to go back for something and found the ground around the unit on fire. The shiny aluminum acts as a magnifying glass it reflected just at the right angle on the ground and set fire to it. Lucky for them they came back or it would have been a total loss not to mention the forest fire....Weird

Thats why we haven't polished out AS yet..Yah ..thats it!
76sovereign is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2008, 08:15 PM   #215
New Member
Lombard , Illinois
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 4
Im interested in restoring the skin on my 29' 1976 trailer. I would prefer to apply a clear coat to protect the open aluminum after. What is your take on this? Not to apply a clear Ive heard can lead to problems with spotting and oxidation, especially if the trailer is not stored under protection. Who can do the clear coating?
Gregory is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2008, 04:46 PM   #216
t_birder's Avatar
O'Fallon , Illinois
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 28
Sharkhide clear coat

Originally Posted by Gregory View Post
Im interested in restoring the skin on my 29' 1976 trailer. I would prefer to apply a clear coat to protect the open aluminum after. What is your take on this? Not to apply a clear Ive heard can lead to problems with spotting and oxidation, especially if the trailer is not stored under protection. Who can do the clear coating?
Hey there Gregory,
You're right about not protecting the aluminum with something. Without any protection, your trailer will turn back to ugly in no time. Your options are to wax on a pretty regular basis, or clear coat it. But that's the big question around this forum. Clear coat it with what? As you might guess, I'm pretty partial to Sharkhide Metal Protectant. I've used Sharkhide before to clear coat Air streams, but never bothered to take photo's. I wish now that I had, as well as had a way to keep in touch with the owners so people could see how well it's been holding up. There have been a few folks here on the forum that's applied Sharkhide them selves. You might want to check out their posts. But if you would prefer, I can certainly do the job for you. I'm here in O'Fallon Illinois, about twenty miles east of St.Louis.
If your interested, just let me know. I would be more than happy to help in any way.
t_birder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2009, 05:58 PM   #217
2 Rivet Member
1976 25' Tradewind
Erie , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 81

can you do this step in the winter? or should i wait until spring? i didnt know if the cold weather affects the reaction.
rollingbubel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2009, 06:19 PM   #218
Rivet Master
goransons's Avatar

1963 22' Safari
1955 26' Cruiser Overlander
Yakima Valley , Washington
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,301
Images: 10
Blog Entries: 1
Send a message via MSN to goransons
Most paint strippers have directions on the packaging that list recommended temperatures, some might be ok, though most do better when in the 50-70 degree temps, but you might get a couple warm days you could get some good results this winter in that range.
Scott & Megan
Restoring Wally Byam's 1955 26' European Caravan Trailer!
WBCCI 8671
1963 Safari from the 1963-64 Around the World Caravan
goransons is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2009, 09:41 AM   #219
Site Team
azflycaster's Avatar
2002 25' Safari
Dewey , Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 12,483
Images: 62
Blog Entries: 1
Re-Polish Question

I am polishing my Trade Wind, it has been several years since the PO did the initial polish and it has begun to show some areas where the aluminum has oxidized to the point of turning a brownish color. I am using a Cyclo and the plan is to clean it up with a pass or two of Nuvite "C" and then do a finish pass with "S". Some of the more oxidized areas are not clearing up as quickly as I had hoped and still show some color after a few passes. Should I switch to a more aggressive polish in these areas and then go the "C" and "S" route or just keep going with the "C"? After about 6 passes the color appears to be gone.


Wally Byam Airstream Club 7513
azflycaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2009, 10:19 AM   #220
Rivet Master
Ken J's Avatar
1956 22' Flying Cloud
Durango , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: 1975 25' Tradewind
Posts: 3,368
Images: 14
Its about time your getting around to polishing that trailer - the PO has been taking notes watching his many many many many hours of sweat and toil fade away

You may want to try F7 - I like it because it starts agressive and smooths out to a fine grit - a great all around polish. In fact there are some who are happy with the results of F7 only - after all you just want it to look good, not be a show model.

Your best 1975 Airstream Friend,
Ken J.
1956 Flying Cloud
Founder :
Four Corners Unit
Albuquerque National Balloon Fiesta
Vintage Trailer Academy - Formerly the original
restoration rally
Ken J is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2009, 06:55 AM   #221
Rivet Master
Becky B.'s Avatar

1964 17' Bambi II
Vintage Kin Owner
Schererville , Indiana
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,631
Images: 19
I think you'll get a faster result with a compound polisher (if you've got one) followed by the cyclo. I think you get a bit more bite with the compounder than the cyclo. If you don't have one, Harbor Freight has one for about $40 or less if it's on sale.

1964 Bambi II
1988 Avion 32S
Becky B. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2009, 07:04 AM   #222
Rivet Master
53flyingcloud's Avatar
1984 29' Sovereign
Savannah , Missouri
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 3,462
Images: 17
Blog Entries: 1
What Becky said..
WBCCI 5292 AIR 807
NEU #64
New England Unit
53flyingcloud is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2009, 03:48 PM   #223
2 Rivet Member
1968 20' Globetrotter
fair oaks , California
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 43
Baking Soda?

Im curious if anyone has tried to using baking powder as a medium to remove a heavy coat of oxidation from an AS. Please go to this link and check out the the inexpensive baking soda blaster. I would appreciate any comments or observation you might have.

dmcinfo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2009, 04:48 AM   #224
New Member
jackson , Michigan
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 2
62' tradewinds

I have just found an experienced 1962 trade winds and the exterior needs some TLC. Will this work on a later model? If so where could I purchase it, and after it's finished what's the next step? Thanks

65gto is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:34 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.