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Old 06-15-2005, 08:20 AM   #1
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2005 19' International CCD
Roswell , Georgia
Join Date: May 2005
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Washing a new Airstream

Washing a new Airstream

We just returned from a long weekend trip from GA to IL to see family and we took the Bambi along (it's first long trip with us) and it's FILTHY. There's road grime and mud on the rock guards and plenty of smooshed bugs on along the front.

I'm worried about washing it since it's so fragile (Aluminum), but we know that it needs it. I just want to make sure we use the right stuff when we do wash it to keep it in great shape...

What to wash it with?
I've been investigating posts and it seems as though the Mr. Clean system has gotten mixed reviews. We're planning to try hand washing it first to see how painful that is -- it's only a 19' Bambi, so it should be bearable (?). I believe someone recommended the Amor All Car wash as a good alternative?

What's with the Walbernizer stuff? Is that just a wax or do they have wash stuff too?

I think we just need a wash since it's only 1 month off of the lot -- comments on this?

What should we use in terms of rags/washcloths? I was thinking of the new microfiber cloths or a nice terry cloth rag or even some of those nice fluffy car wash mitts. Any recommendations on that?

What do we use to get the road grime and bugs off? I don't want to scratch the aluminum, but I think it will take something stronger than a cloth to get the road grime & bugs to come off.

What can we do to prevent oxidation? Will washing & waxing take care of this for us?

Lastly, polishing? We like the 'dull' finish of the new airstreams and aren't interested in a mirror-like polished finish -- how do we maintain this?

Sorry for the barrage of questions. We just want to make sure we're being 'responsible' care takers of our little silver 'POD'.

Thanks -

2005 19' Bambi CCD
2005 Toyota Tundra Double Cab
AIR # 8298
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Old 06-15-2005, 08:39 AM   #2
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1973 23' Safari
North of Boston , Massachusetts
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I'm sure any automotive type car wash soap would be just fine. The main idea of the Mr. Clean thing is that you don't have to hand-dry the car/trailer with a towel to prevent spots. It seems to work well for me, but as you noted, others have had mixed results. they do offer a money-back guarantee, though. Anyway, I bet the reason for these varied results has to do with the quality of the water going in. it can only treat it so much; if your water is really bad to start with, it may not be able to make enough of a difference to prevent spotting. All I can tell you for sure is that if I wash a car at my house, and don't towel-dry it, it'll have spots. If I wash it w/ the mr. clean thing, no spots.

The clear-coat on your trailer will prevent the alluminum from oxidizing. Alluminum only oxidizes if it is exposed to air; the clear-coat seals the alluminum surface, so no air gets to it. Wax protects the clear-coat finish. There have been alot of problems with late model airstreams with the clear coat sticking to the alluminum. The only thing they say you can do to protect it is to keep it waxed with "walbernize". But people have reported that they've had peeling clear-coat even though they've walbernized religiously.
"Walbernize" is a liquid wax that airstream recommends. its very easy to apply and remove; not like a paste car wax. just wipe it on, let it haze over, then a light buffing w/ a soft cloth. very little elbow-grease required. couple times a year...maybe more, since you're down south.

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Old 06-15-2005, 09:10 AM   #3
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2004 30' Classic Slideout
Fenton , Missouri
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This is an old thread that is probably one of the most viewed on the forum. Read it through, it will give you lots of thoughts.

What do I wash it with?

As it ends up I still use what I found back in 2002 which is Armour-All car wash liquid, Walbernize Super-Seal to shine it up, and 303 for the tires.


Jack Canavera
AIR #56
'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
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