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Old 03-18-2005, 07:58 PM   #1
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What to do with this exterior

My dad and I are thinking of restoring the exterior (maybe polish) of our 1975 Airstream. Everything about it is great, but the exterior is starting to show its age.

So the loaded question is, of course, what do you experts recommend? I have read a lot of the forum, but there seems to be different approaches depending on the condition. I am probably going to be doing the bulk of the work, and am familiar with car & truck polishing.

I have attached a bunch of pictures of our trailer.
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Old 03-18-2005, 08:00 PM   #2
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There are also two spots were some odd polishing or buffing was done by the PO. We tried some Wally polish, but that didn't really do anything. See pics.
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Old 03-18-2005, 09:47 PM   #3
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Looks to me like you have about 3 choices: Strip and Polish, Strip and re-Clearcoat, or strip and Paint it Silver. Something I have observed but not quite sure of the reason why, is that the corner segements seem to have more problems with the clear coat than the rest of the shell. I have some that actually have hand prints in them. These segements on my unit were replaced and I can only assume that when they resprayed them (probably with a spray can from the looks of it) they did not clean them properly prior to the respray.

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Old 03-19-2005, 05:42 AM   #4
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My 75 is in a little better shape. I'm going to polish what is there to see how it comes out. But from my test panel I did Thursday it looks like I'll be stripping and going for the polished look sooner rather than later.
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Old 03-19-2005, 12:48 PM   #5
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My trailer was peeling the clear coat and very splochy in places. I had no intention on every polishing.

So I just stripped it with Bix stripper from home depot. It made the outside very even looking and cleaned it up nice.

Of course, after that was done it only took another 120 hours to polish so I thought.. why not.
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Old 03-21-2005, 01:40 PM   #6
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Well, we have decided to strip and polish.

A couple of questions.

1) What is the best stripper to use if you're going to it yourself, outside behind the house?

2) Is there a place where one can buy an entire polishing "kit", or do you buy the parts and polishes as you go?
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Old 03-21-2005, 07:43 PM   #7
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Polishing

I think the Nuvite and sweatshirt method produces the best results quicker than other methods. Check out:

http://perfectpolish.com/Quick%20Guide.htm and

http://www.airstreamdreams.com/Other...structions.pdf

for details on polishing using Nuvite.

Perfectpolish and Airstream Dreams sell most of what you need to polish.
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Old 03-21-2005, 08:03 PM   #8
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Look on ebay at the little 1966 Caravel for sale by the guy in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. He does restoration of classic planes and now Airstreams. That seems to be all he does. You may have luck emailing him with your polishing questions since it seems most of the questions asked were not about what he had for sale but what he suggested people use on their Airstreams. He seems to have a good sense of humor about all the questions.
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Old 03-21-2005, 08:26 PM   #9
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There have been lots of discussions on strippers. I chose Napier's RemoveAll 210 because it is safer (less toxic). I've only done a small section, but it worked great for me. I could not find it locally, so purchased online from www.dtep.com

Good luck with your project! LAS
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Old 03-21-2005, 11:48 PM   #10
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Old 03-22-2005, 12:16 AM   #11
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I have used the Nuvite before, (when I used to own an "unpainted Argosy").
It worked well.
It will take you LONG time but do not stop halfway through it. Nothing looks worse then that.
Good luck.
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Old 03-22-2005, 09:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferroequine
There are also two spots were some odd polishing or buffing was done by the PO. .
I think those spots are something else. My trailer has a spot like that--apparently (from what i can guess from old receipts dating back to the original owner) it was a repair in the skin. What do they call that stuff--Bondo? In my case, the awning was apparently ripped out of the skin at some point. Ouch. I'll attach a pic. I'm pretty sure it will never buff out, but please tell me if i'm wrong!
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Old 03-22-2005, 10:38 AM   #13
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Napier is great!

I really like the Napier. I bought mine from a local ICI Paints distributer. They call it Hydrostrip 502. I'm using it to strip paint from my Argosy. I think if it were even warmer (it calls for temps 70-90 degrees, it's only MAYBE 60 on a good day here in the NW). Spread it thick, and it just hoses off. Minimal smell, fairly "biodegradable" and won't cause you labortary rat cancer!
Marc
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Old 03-22-2005, 08:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChampionEM
I think those spots are something else. My trailer has a spot like that--apparently (from what i can guess from old receipts dating back to the original owner) it was a repair in the skin. What do they call that stuff--Bondo? In my case, the awning was apparently ripped out of the skin at some point. Ouch. I'll attach a pic. I'm pretty sure it will never buff out, but please tell me if i'm wrong!
Hmmm, is there a way to tell if it is bondo before starting a strip 'n polish? It would kinda suck having a shiny exterior and those "bald spots" on it.
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