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Old 11-11-2010, 10:54 AM   #1
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1973 31' Excella 500
Spring Green , Wisconsin
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 265
Stripping Betty

Our original plan was to strip and polish our AS, Betty, next spring. She was going to sit in the yard by our home all winter. Plans change.

We own a small business that requires about 500 square feet of storage space for portable equipment. At the end of October we found out we had to find a new space. So, we found a new, larger storage space that will allow Betty to spend the winter inside!! Her new axles and polish job should be finished early enough so we don't miss any of the camping season next year.

With cooler weather coming I had a very short time to strip off the clear coat. Ordered Removall from VTS and it arrived Tuesday at 3:30 pm. I power washed her on Monday, covered the top with Removall Tues. afternoon and coated the rest of the skin yesterday morning. At 3:30 yesterday afternoon I used the power washer to remove the stripper and underlying clear coat. Both days, the temps were in the 60's. The Removall sat for a minimum of about three hours.

We did tape and cover the blue stripe. I didn't remove or cover the lenses and the Removall had no effect on them. Eventually we'll remove the awning prior to polishing.

Here are pictures before, during and after. There are some places where the clear coat wasn't completely removed. I'll either spot remove them with Removall and a scraper after she's inside or maybe the compound polish will remove them. As can be seen in the fourth picture, stripping and polishing were the only cosmetic option. She had been parked in a campground under the pine trees for six year, thus the deterioration of the clear coat and resultant oxidation.
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Old 11-11-2010, 11:11 AM   #2
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Lew She looks better already. Does this mean you will be able to work on her indoors all winter?
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Old 11-11-2010, 12:28 PM   #3
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1973 31' Excella 500
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Thanks Chris, I'll be able to have her inside until the first of May. We sub leased a 24 by 54 warehouse space so there is plenty of room for our casino night equipment plus Betty.

The space has lots of electrical outlets and free electric. No water or bathroom but we'll figure some solution for that. And I bought a propane heater to warm it up while I'm working there. Big overhead door!! After she's in there I'll post a picture.

I'm really anxious to get started on her but we are swamped in December and plan to spend most of January in Tucson. So, I really won't be able to spend much time there until Feb.
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Old 11-11-2010, 12:38 PM   #4
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1973 31' Excella 500
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I should add that the Removall worked great and VTS was outstanding in customer service.
I brushed the Removall on and it removed about 99% of the clear coat in the first go around. I was probably a little thin in my application in the areas that didn't strip completely.
It took me about four hours to completely coat the AS one time. I spent about 1 1/2 hours with the power washer to get it all off.
I wasn't sure how far the clear coat went on the belly wraps and evidently it goes beneath the trailer. I still have quite a bit there to remove. Also, it appears the clear coat was applied over the trim and rail. The trim around the blue stripe will require some detailed clear coat removal.
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Old 11-11-2010, 04:14 PM   #5
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Looks nice.
Are photos # 2 and #3 before and after stripping?

How much stripper was used?

No effect top windows, seals and lenses?

Thanks, this helps motivate, don't want polished, but your #3 looks nice.
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Old 11-11-2010, 04:59 PM   #6
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1973 31' Excella 500
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walter1, top left photo is before power washing only. Top right is with stripper on just before removal. Photo 3 is after power washing to remove the stripper.

I can't really comment on the effect on window seals. The PO had applied a very liberal coating of silicone around all of the openings. I'll remove that and reseal the windows as I polish. No effect on the lenses or gaskets that I could see. I wore latex gloves and they didn't show any damage at all, just rinsed right off.

I used about 1 1/4 gallons of Removall which may have been a little light. Overall I was pretty happy with the outcome for the time allowed.
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