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Old 05-04-2007, 08:42 AM   #1
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Warning! Washing a New Airstream

Yesterday I washed our new Bambi in preparation for a waxing.

Unfortunately I make the mistake of washing the roof and didn't realize that I was picking up bits and pieces of aluminum shavings left over from the factory build. Before I noticed, I put several fine scratches in the aluminum panels!!

By the time I noticed what was happening, my rag was full of bits and pieces of sharp aluminum.

I also found a few spare rivets and screws up there.

So for anybody with a new unit, be sure to wash all that crap off up top and don't use the same wash rag/cloth on your aluminum sides.

My wife laughed because I had already put a small dent in the hub cap. I was checking the lug nuts, and dented the hub cap trying to push it back on... uuughhh

It was also a challenge cleaning off all the reside glue left over from the protective plastic that they ship the units with on the front stone guards.
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Old 05-04-2007, 09:18 AM   #2
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Ooh, I feel the pain Dave. I also see aluminum cuttings adhered to the surface of window caulk. Eyes wide open.

Go to search, select advanced search. Enter meguiars as the keyword and 2airishuman as the User Name. He has mentioned their products several times but you'll be wanting to look for his posts on care for minor scratches. The posts I recall probably aren't in the long corrosion thread.

Best to you!
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Old 05-04-2007, 09:37 AM   #3
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Cleaning Airstream cleaning

Hi, Dave:
I feel your pain. We were pulling our 19' Bambi (2007, like yours) down a narrow campground dirt road, and a manzanita bush put a couple of long (but fine) scratches along the driver's side of the trailer - ouch! They aren't that noticeable, and I'm reluctant to try to buff them out; I don't even know if they extend beyond the clearcoat. What product or process worked on your stoneguards to get rid of the glue residue? Also, can any member recommend what, if anything, I should try to GENTLY buff out the scratches to my Bambi?
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Old 05-04-2007, 09:45 AM   #4
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Oh, that's awful to here. Maybe hearing this story will help a little. My wife tells this story about a friend of hers back in school days. A girl friend of hers deciced to wash a brand new 1966 Chevy Impala that belonged to her boy friend. She wanted to do something special for him. She made one mistake. She used cleanser!
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Old 05-04-2007, 09:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ESCAPE POD
Also, can any member recommend what, if anything, I should try to GENTLY buff out the scratches to my Bambi?
2airishuman has written on this subject. So do the research I recommend above. He'll use a little Scratch X while understanding the clearcoat has a finite thinness. I'd believe rounding the edge of the scratch is his aim.

Stone guards (segment protectors) are stainless steel and have no clearcoat. The trim around the guards is plastic but you could use a solvent to clean the stainless. To remove adhesive I'd try rubbing along the grain with a vegetable oil first. Mineral spirits is somewhat benign as a solvent, though I'd try to minimize getting it on the silvery plastic trim and clearcoat!
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Old 05-04-2007, 10:40 AM   #6
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Just to wash your trailer I recommend Meguire's Wash/Wax. It comes in a 64 ounce jug, concentrated, that jug will last you about 6 years, washing monthly. A soft bristle brush on a long handle is also a great idea, the one I use I got from Napa for $20. If any shavings/sticks/debris gets in the brush, it comes out next time you dip it in the bucket.
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Old 05-04-2007, 05:09 PM   #7
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The same thing happened to me after the first wash. I use a mirofibre mop on an extendable pole to wash the top. When I finished the job, I noticed dozens of pieces of aluminum. Didn't think there were any since we had already driven several thousand miles and in some rain before washing the top. I haven't seen any scratches, but was not too happy with the discovery. The mop does a great job, BTW. Available at Home Depot, with inexpensive replacemet heads.
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Old 05-04-2007, 06:40 PM   #8
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Removing glue

We had the same problem when I replaced one of our stone guards and taking off the protection wrapping. Try Goo Gone sray gel available at Home Depot and some supermarkets. Just keep away from rubber!! Magic American and Goo Gone - Household Cleaning Magic.
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Old 05-04-2007, 07:02 PM   #9
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Would Barkeepers Friend work on the stainless? Works great on a stainless steel sink. I have the same problem from the protective wrapping and now after some miles have small brown spots all over the guards.
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Old 05-04-2007, 07:03 PM   #10
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This is exactly why new things freak me out. I'd rather buy something that someone else has already scratched up, sat in, used, and lived in. Anyhow, don't worry about the scratches. Now your new Bambi has "character."

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Old 05-04-2007, 07:21 PM   #11
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Barkeepers

Barkeepers is a great product.I use it on my muffler tips and stainless cover on my Touareg and it even gets the brown stains out.It is nonabrasive from what I know.I have never used it on the Airstream yet because I have it in the powder form.I planned on getting the liquid though.
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Old 05-04-2007, 07:59 PM   #12
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I have to report that the best (so far) stainless steel cleaner/polish is made by WEIMAN. You can find it in the grocery stores. I have tried just about every other stainless product, and found that they ALL left residue and streaks!

The Weiman's leaves a very nice clean and clear surface with NO STREAKS!!!

As far as the scratches in your clearcoat, I 'christened ' my '06 CCD last summer when I was in sand and backed into a very large mesquite bush (tree) in New Mexico. Needless to say, I was horrified. There were a number of fairly deep scratches in the right rear end panel, and I had to look at them every day until I reached Hood River, OR.

The first thing I did was wash the beast and then get out the random orbital with Griot's Garage polish #1. It is their most abrasive, but doesn't really scratch like rubbing compound does. I followed it up with their #2, then #3 (finest) and the marks are all but gone from the clearcoat. A coat of their polymer seal and it looks great!

Just had to share!
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Old 05-04-2007, 08:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ESCAPE POD
Hi, Dave:
I feel your pain. We were pulling our 19' Bambi (2007, like yours) down a narrow campground dirt road, and a manzanita bush put a couple of long (but fine) scratches along the driver's side of the trailer - ouch! They aren't that noticeable, and I'm reluctant to try to buff them out; I don't even know if they extend beyond the clearcoat. What product or process worked on your stoneguards to get rid of the glue residue? Also, can any member recommend what, if anything, I should try to GENTLY buff out the scratches to my Bambi?
Twice I scraped against overhanging trees or bushes with the 2005 Classic with long thin scratches the length. Walbernize and buffing along the length with the grain made them invisible to near. I was surprised. However my front side window guard wore my notches from the narrow street with the overhanging branches.

Campadk thanks for the reminder. I had forgotten about all the crud on top.
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Old 05-04-2007, 08:36 PM   #14
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Just Go to the Meguiars Web Site

Dave,
It's easy to mess up a car wash and even easier to do other damage when trying to buff or wax. Meguiars has a great web site and instructions on how to care for a car finish. I spent about a $150 on meguiars car wash, wax, cloths and a brush. I use their procedures when I wash and wax. There are other good companies, but Meguairs works.

By the way, we enjoy your web site. Great info about camping in the Daks. I am from originally from lake George. We live in Washington, DC now, but we will be up this Summer.

V/r Gene
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