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Old 03-26-2002, 05:24 PM   #1
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What to wash your new trailer with.

To this day I still haven't been able to get what I feel is a good answer to this question. My dealer and a lot of other folks say use a dish detergent (Dawn seems to be the most named). I have also read other posts which say don't use anything which has ammonia in it. Now if you look closely at Dawn and other dish washing products you will see a chemical which seems to have ammonia as part of the name.

I have also been told don't use any automobile products because they have petrolium additives.

In both cases I've been told ammonia and petrolium are enemies of the plasticoat used on the new trailers. Short of using plain water, I'm still uneasy when washing the trailer. Currently I'm using Dawn but only because the vote for it outweighs the negative comments about products containing ammonia.

Unfortunately my emails to Airstream customer service regarding clarification have gone unanswered. Maybe they don't know either!

Jack
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Old 03-26-2002, 08:24 PM   #2
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Jack,
I recently read not to use dish detergent because of an ingredient also and darn if I cant remember what they said to use instead. I will have to think and search through some stuff and see if I can find it but I know I saw it.

John
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Old 03-27-2002, 09:17 PM   #3
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To Jack

Do not use Dawn. The ingredients are too strong . Dawn is a great soap to use to remove wax from any surface.
From my experience and research, any car wash soap in fine for the finish on your Airstream.
Cliff in Indiana
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Old 03-28-2002, 11:18 AM   #4
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I have used an Armorall car wash, mixed mild, and then hand waxed with liquid non - abrasive turtle wax. The plasticoat for the most part on my 20 year old unit looks really good.
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Old 03-28-2002, 12:24 PM   #5
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I used Armorall car wash on my trailer last year with good results and then put a coat of Walbernize on it, looked so brand new when I was done I had to take pictures of it. I need to look at the ingredients of Armorall though. I can't find the info I read about dawn and what to use but still looking.

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Old 04-01-2002, 03:54 AM   #6
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Exterior Cleaning Agent

Was it Peter or Jack?
I just read where one of you was looking for a good exterior cleaning agent. Did you ever get a good suggestion? I have found that DAWN (blue) liquid diswashing soap (NOT electric dishwashing liquid)

Use the blue liquid 'dawn'....in TEPID water...with a VERY soft brush (I got one from the hardware store with a long handle (extending) and a place to hook a hose at the end of the handle. It's blue in colour and when you run your hand over the brush....it's so soft, the bristles feel like feathers.

I work on an area about 3 feet square at a time to prevent any soap from drying on the 'skin'.

DAWN also gets the algae out of the cracks of the trim too. It's a good cleaner and it's VERY gentle and will not harm the finish of the aluminum, OR the screening......OR the awning.
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Old 04-01-2002, 03:58 AM   #7
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Soap

I just read the post of this thread from someone with a 1983 Excella...who was wondering about the ingredients of Armoral...
& I had to comment!
My son was a detailer of 'exotic' cars for several years....and plus he's a perfectionist to begin with---and he says NEVER use Armoral on anything you care about. It causes vinyl and leather to CRACK eventually.. I can't say what it would do to Aluminum, but if it's a problem in one way, there must be an ingredient not good.
IF whoever has the 83 Excella ever found out what teh ingredients are...please share it here.
Thanx...
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Old 04-01-2002, 04:06 AM   #8
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Ok...now I've read 'em all...
Do NOT use DAWN you say Jack...???? Liquid HAND dishwashing soap..? Ok.. well, I did on recommendations from Airstreamers and it was very gentle.

I'm going to ask my son about this...because he uses nothing but the best (on Porsches, Mercedes, BMWs, Lamborgini s, etc. ?? & he uses Mother's products almost exclusively. But, to WASH the car, he uses something gentle...and I'll ask.

Just don't use Armoral 'leather/vinyl conditioner' (the one that creates a SHINE on them)....That's the one that causes cracking in time (never EVER use on TIRES). My son uses something to make the tires look like BRAND NEW too.

So......watch for a post from me tomorrow or the next day...when I've gotten his feed-back on this.

& I WILL not use "DAWN" again, until after you write back telling me why...
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Old 04-01-2002, 09:02 AM   #9
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Cat,
I wasn't saying positively don't use Dawn. I was just trying to get clarified what is proper since I have heard conflicting recommendations. As noted in an earlier post I heard don't use products which have a petroleum products in them, (many car wash liquids do, as a tar and grease remover), others say don't use products with an ammonia product (check Dawn and other dishwashing products and you will see an ammonia derivative as an additive).

As far as the tires go, its the petroleum base products that can cause tire cracking. At a tire seminar I went to last spring I was told to use "303" as a tire dressing. It has no petrolium in its makeup. I found this product at Camping World and use it on my tires.

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Old 04-01-2002, 01:50 PM   #10
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Hello All,
Looking at the Armor All bottle the only ingredient listed is sodium aryl sulfonate, I have no idea what it is.

John
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Old 04-01-2002, 02:01 PM   #11
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I have used Armor All or similiar product on rubber trim for many years, to no ill effect, never seen any cracking. I do prefer using "Hide Food" by Connally leather for the interior vinyl/ or leather as it really preserves it. I also have found the Lexol products also to be terrific for vinyl, and leather.
I have owned an older Porsche for many years and the trim, vinyl,dash etc. on it is like new. I should say though,I don't spray any Armorall or similiar stuff near the aluminum on the Airstream.
I have used non- silicon spray, applied to a cloth and wiped on the exterior vinyl/ rubber trim.
I use tire dressing on the tires. There are also sun block tire dressings available from Camping World, and similiar outlets.
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Old 04-01-2002, 02:14 PM   #12
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John,
I just sent an email off to Armor All regarding their car wash product and their original protection liquid. I'll post their response.

Jack
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Old 04-01-2002, 02:18 PM   #13
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good idea- I have been using their car wash.
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Old 04-01-2002, 02:28 PM   #14
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Alan,
I just bought some over the weekend with plans to use it on the trailer. I normally use Turtle Wax Zip car wash liquid for my car and tow vehicle. I buy a big bottle when I'm at Sam's. I know it has a petroleum base since it will remove fresh tar quite easily.

Jack
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