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Old 10-30-2008, 01:47 PM   #211
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1973 25' Tradewind
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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?
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Old 10-30-2008, 04:56 PM   #212
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No..but, it sure looks SUPERA NICE~!
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Old 11-16-2008, 01:44 PM   #213
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1978 31' Sovereign
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Polished Airstream - Documented Fire Hazard

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

Backround:

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.
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Old 11-18-2008, 09:42 AM   #214
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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!
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Old 11-22-2008, 09:15 PM   #215
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Lombard , Illinois
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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?
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Old 11-23-2008, 05:46 PM   #216
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Sharkhide clear coat

Quote:
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.
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Old 01-05-2009, 06:58 PM   #217
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1976 25' Tradewind
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stripping

can you do this step in the winter? or should i wait until spring? i didnt know if the cold weather affects the reaction.
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:19 PM   #218
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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.
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Old 02-07-2009, 10:41 AM   #219
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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.
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Old 02-07-2009, 11:19 AM   #220
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1956 22' Flying Cloud
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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.
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:55 AM   #221
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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.
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:04 AM   #222
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What Becky said..
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Old 02-13-2009, 04:48 PM   #223
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1968 20' Globetrotter
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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.

E
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Old 03-16-2009, 05:48 AM   #224
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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
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