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Old 04-01-2002, 02:36 PM   #15
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So is the petroleum harmful to the aluminum?
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Old 04-01-2002, 04:27 PM   #16
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No. From what I have heard, petroleum and ammonia based products dry out the Plastik Coat and cause cracking.

Jack
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Old 04-02-2002, 09:43 AM   #17
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Well that nixes the armor all wash stuff- guess I will go with Ivory liquid? Or what else do you suggest?
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Old 04-02-2002, 10:51 AM   #18
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Alan,
The jury is still out on the Armor All car wash product. We will see once they contact me. As far as the dishwashing liquid goes, I haven't found one yet that is free of ammonia. But I'm not the expert here which was why I started this thread to begin with. I would feel much better if A/S responded to my multiple email requests for further information. I guess I can pick up the phone and call them and get the answer.

Jack
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Old 04-02-2002, 11:46 AM   #19
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Jack,

Here is a toll free number I found for Airstream

(877) 596-6505 it rings as the airstream tech support line.

Good luck

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Old 04-02-2002, 11:56 PM   #20
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I was at an RV Parts department today, saw a 42 foot motorhome -- late model --- HUGE Puppy...! Black rubber window seals, and the BLACK runs down the sides of the WHITE exterior ALL THE TIME (they told me). They said it's a big problem with all MH owners. It never happens to me with the A/S...(another perk apparently).

I was very interested in that toll-free number you gave for A/S...It will be a 'first' for me---because up until now, I have been told there is no toll-free number for them.

I have an A/S guy who I think gives out the best A/S advise, and I would ask him....his dealership is in California and has a toll-free number too. 1-800-877-7311, ask for Andy (not the Andy of this website).

Those black 'runs' down the sides of that big MH sure make me glad I have an Airstream...but aren't there a lot of A/Ss that don't have the Aluminum skin now?

The jury is still out on 'Dawn'....I'm waiting and will report what I find out. What I'm most interested in is what those ingredients will do to the "finish' of the Aluminum (is it Acrylic?). The CLEAR finish. The deterioration of that coating could be so slow that you wouldn't notice it until it was all GONE...right?

........Cat
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Old 04-03-2002, 12:05 AM   #21
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YEY!!!!!!!!! BEAR's picture is now my Avatar!!! [SIZE=3][FONT=arial][B][COLOR=royalblue]
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Old 04-03-2002, 01:57 PM   #22
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OK,
Here is the story. The folks from Armor All got back to me about their products. They danced around answering my question regarding the standard Armor spray on product in regards to its base product and using it on tires. So the question still stands on its suitablity on tires.

Their answer as follows:

"ARMOR ALL Protectant is a water based silicone emulsion specifically designed to protect and beautify polymeric materials such as rubber, plastics, vinyl and automotive-grade finished leather. Our product actually bonds to the surface to help protect elasticity and fight surface deterioration."

Now the next question regarding petroleum products in the Armor All car wash liquid. This they gave a clear answer to.

"Also, our ARMOR ALL Car Washes do not contain petroleum. "

Ok so now we get to my call to Airstream which I concluded a few minutes ago. The person answering the call really didn't know whether we should avoid products containing ammonia or petroleum bases. She went out to the store in the Service Center and noted that they sell a washing product call RV Wash made by a company named RVelv. There were no ingredients on the product label.

She then went out to the service bays and asked the guys there. The answer came back use Dawn or Joy.

So there you go. Personally I think I'm going to try the Armor All car wash since it is supposed to not remove wax. Since I Walbernize twice a year, I assume this product will help keep that finish in better shape. I would tend to believe the Joy and Dawn might not be as gentle on that surface.

Who knows.....the search for the official word is still on. I guess the only definitive answer would be to get ahold of the folks at Alcoa who produce the prefinished aluminum panels for Airstream.

Jack
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Old 04-03-2002, 02:24 PM   #23
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Jack,
I'm surprised the factory does not have a real answer for this, seems to me they would during their years of research and testing/evaluating etc.
Jack I'm curious to what your ownersmanual says about washing/cleaning the exterior. Mine says "CAUTION abrasive polishers or cleaning solvents such as automatic dishwasher detergents or acid etch cleaners are too strong and should never be used." and it goes on to say "oil, grease, dust and dirt may be removed by washing with any mild nonabrasive soap or detergent". Lastly, "after cleaning and drying, a good grade of nonabrasive automotive paste or liquid wax will increse the life of the finish...wax should normally be applied every 3-6 months.
Also, about the plasticoat it says "this flexibility results in a surface coat which is of necessity somewhat softer than automtive acrylic laquer finishes". Keep in mind all this was written in 1982.
While this doesnt answer specifically what to or not to use maybe there is no right answer as long as it is nonabrasive.

John
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Old 04-03-2002, 02:51 PM   #24
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I have used Westleys car wash for many years on all 3 A/S trailers I have owned. Don't know what might be in there car wash but it is non-abrasive and is good for any finish. On my current '96 model trailer I had the clear coat come off the center front panel above the window when the trailer was only 4 months old. It was repaired by A/S under warranty and still is in good condition. My '81 A/S still had all the clear coat when I sold it in '96, of course the new trailer is a different coating. For my tires I use Westleys bleach white which is a white wall tire cleaner and has been around for many (40) years. It cleans the side wall but does not make the tire real shinny, but still looks good.
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Old 04-03-2002, 03:17 PM   #25
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John,
I'm pulling the Safari back from inside storage this weekend so I'll take another look at my documentation. From what you quoted, I think I remember seeing similar wording. Not much seems to have changed in 19 years or so, although Airstream did move to prefinished panels after some disasterous failures of the clear coat materials that were applied at Jackson Center on some of the 90's vintage trailers.

Obviously abrasiveness can include anything that has a "grit", or is chemical in nature. I feel pretty good about the Armor All car wash product at this point and will probably give it a shot since the ammonia side of Dawn in my mind, still is in question.

Maybe the real issue is not as much as what we use than how often we wash the trailer (getting rid of the chemical polution) and keeping it waxed or Walbernized.

Jack
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Old 04-03-2002, 05:05 PM   #26
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For the tires I use 'No-Touch' tire care spray with good results. (I guess I'll have to look at the ingredients on that too).

John
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Old 05-20-2002, 12:20 AM   #27
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Soap

Ok...what is Walbernizing..I'm 'new'...
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Old 05-20-2002, 12:50 AM   #28
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Ok...the Porsche 'cleaner-guy' has spoken... Here's his word...(he also says he'd love to talk anytime to the one who wrote the post about having the older Porsche... (he's looking for a '75 or '77 911)
THat said,,,back to the post...>>>


Make sure your soap is luke warm...never hot.

I asked my son about the car wash ... and his favourite lately is is called "KIT"...by Northern Labs Inc. of Manitowoc, Wisconsin... It has a 'carnuba' wax shine...protects, deep-cleans, shines, and more importantly it doesn't strip waxes on it. He says it smells clean...kind of like a raspberry/banana/citrus smell.

He says stick with a carwash...that specifically CLAIMS to be designed to NOT strip away wax and clear-coats. He would stay away completely from any dishwashing-type soap like Dawn. & he adds....

if you're getting road grease on anything...use a 'degreaser' on tounge, the undercarriage, etc...but not on the 'skin'. & he says, if you see a concentrated spot of road tar...use a old cotton, warm wet towel (from your soap bucket) to cover it and 'heat it up'; maybe use your degreaser first; and if it's thick---use some paper towels to pinch of the excess n (after you've 'warmed it' with the wet towel) pinch it off as gentle as possible...and then use your other method once you've removed the excess... He says "a build-up of roaddirt is a build up of lots of damaging polution"...and needs to be removed !

LASTLY his advice...remove 'bird-droppings' ASAP . ..with heavy squirting of plain ole H2O..(Aqua-Vite)...(WATER). ..until it's gone...If a little hangs on, use your fingertip (NOT the NAIL)...gently to rotate around it as the water is hitting it...until it's gone.

When you wash, you try to do it in late afternoon or shade....Never try to fight the sun...working against you in the mid-day.

Ok.......NOW FROM ME...>>>>> I need to wash the algae off Bear.........so I guess I should use this "Kit" ...or WHAT.? (It's pretty pricey?).... So, I need to know ASAP...

WHAT's the concensus of opinion?
........Cat
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