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Old 01-02-2015, 12:13 PM   #1
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2005 28' International CCD
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Tree limb and other scratches on AS

I have acquired several scratches from various tree limbs and other objects during the past 5 years with my AS. They are not deep scratches, but some of them are long and obvious. I've tried buffing them with a buffer, it seems to do no good. I wash my AS after each excursion, short or long, and they just seem to stay. Does anyone know what I could do to make these scratches disappear or at least diminish? Please let me know. Like I said they are not deep but I seem to notice them more and more. Thanks.

Art
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Old 01-02-2015, 12:56 PM   #2
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Tree limb and other scratches on AS

I'm in the same boat. I've been meaning to try one of these scratch "pens" you may have seen on TV. I picked up one at a local auto parts store, but I don't expect a miracle, just waiting on a nice day to try it. Like yours, these are just surface scratches, but they are visible and once you see them on your trailer they likely pop into focus more so than for someone else. I too would be eager to hear of any successful scratch cures for these later model Airstreams where the aluminum finish is different from the vintage models.
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Old 01-02-2015, 01:41 PM   #3
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Old 01-02-2015, 01:47 PM   #4
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Checkout Walbernize on utube. I'm always hitting stuff and it seems to work a little bit. If you google Walbernize, you will see some Airforum links that may be useful. Jim


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Old 01-03-2015, 11:58 AM   #5
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Waiting on an answer myself...but am amused in the meantime how a recent question re soft drink preferences elicited all kinds of responses... but a universal question like scratch removal that affects us all has only 4 responses...including this especially worthless one. Have a good weekend. jon
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Old 01-03-2015, 12:20 PM   #6
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I've had pretty good luck using a clay bar rubbing out light scratches. This came in a kit by Mothers which has a lubricant and polish included. It removed the light scratches entirely and made the heavier ones a lot less noticeable.

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Old 01-03-2015, 12:29 PM   #7
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My best results for removing superficial scratches from brushing against pine needles and flexible branches is using a Carbonated Soft Drink. Coke or Pepsi have been the best for my Rockdocking overhanging "low branches".

Of course this is not true. I was just working up Boomerang's mention of the Soda Thread.

I lightly buff it with a mild clear coat polishing compound, Turtlewax Polishing Compound and Scratch Remover. I use a polishing cloth on a hand buffer and just mild pressure. Apply over a wider width than your "abrasion". Otherwise you could have a perpetual area that attracts dust and remains obvious forever.

I try to avoid car waxes. Dust will adhere to the aluminum finish and would have to be washed to be removed after driving over a dusty road. Take your finger and lightly rub across the aluminum. Even then, the dust will adhere to the area you touched.

I do not know the hardness of the clear chemical finish over the aluminum and you do not want to use any abrasive harder than that. Otherwise you can wear through it and the aluminum beneath the chemical finish will look brighter and worse than the light scuffing of the surface.

Some 1950's Seeburg Jukeboxes had aluminum hardware and acid treated for a finish that has lasted 50 years and more. Airstream does not use this process as to do an entire surface would probably exceed what most people would want to pay. I use to buff them out but had to be careful, as the aluminum is brighter than the treated surfaces.

I treat any light abrasions as a clear coat over a current car paint job. If the aluminum is not creased, you can work on it over time and eliminate MOST, but not all.
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Old 01-03-2015, 12:35 PM   #8
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Airstream Acrylic touch-up pen plus "glaze" products

I got an acrylic clear-coat touch-up "pen" at the Airstream store in Jackson Center. It is a felt-pen type marker. It does a good job hiding linear scratches. One warning: Make sure you apply it in a single, smooth motion. If you slip and lift off part way, and then immediately re-start with an overlap, you will create a smudge where the overlap is.

For swirls and other small wide-area scratches, you can use glaze-type products, which are made by some big-name car wax companies. Griot's "Paint Glaze" worked well on my 2013 after a close encounter with bush. Meguiars has a similar product that some Airstreamers have recommended.

After my bush incident, I first used the touch-up pen on the main scratches, then used Griot's Paint Glaze on the whole area. The finish looks much better now, though not perfect.
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Old 01-03-2015, 01:43 PM   #9
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As a foot note.

When you have brush lightly brushing against your aluminum, you will notice that the "dust" is attracted to those contacts between leaves or twigs that gently slide over the aluminum skin.

The road dust will STICK onto those light abrasions. So much you will think you have destroyed the finish. I know, have been off the grid for 8 years and counting. The car wash will "erase" 90%+ of these. Some are easily removed by the process in post #7. This "sealant" on the aluminum is durable, but thin. So take it easy. The minor aluminum skin blemishes only concern those who would pick on a discolored piece of fabric until there is a hole. Over the lifetime of any Airstream... if you have not put a couple of blemishes upon the exterior, you are spending too much time at home.

When you sell your trailer, nobody will give it any thought or notice. Used... is exactly that. I look in the mirror after a long camping trip and only notice the smile of my face in the mirror... the rest... get over it.
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Old 01-03-2015, 03:59 PM   #10
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Since I made the first inquiry on this subject, I feel that I should make a suggestion on the matter. I heard (don't from where or whom) that light scratches could be diminished by rubbing the scratches with a mixture of WD40 and Windex window cleaner. I tried it last night and it seemed to work. The lighter scratches have seemed to have disappeared. The deeper ones improved slightly. I don't understand why or how, but I don't argue with even small success. I sprayed on the WD40 and then the glass cleaner and rubbed them with a cloth and then buffed with a buffer. It really seemed to work and this morning they still seemed to be gone or diminished. Why this works, I don't know. Does anyone have an idea. Try it. It may work for you.
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