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Old 03-23-2013, 03:57 AM   #1
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Where to Wash an Airstream?

We are going to purchase a 2008 25FB Classic in about a week. I've arranged for covered storage with electricity. My home doesn't have enough driveway space off the alley to park it for washing. I suppose I could park it on the street for a few hours to do a quick wash but the street is narrow and my neighbors across from my house park their cars on the street. I've had a neighbor complain to the city police and HOA when I've parked my Casita out in the front for a few hours.

The coin operated car washes may be a solution. Are their soaps AS friendly?

Maybe a truck wash?

My storage facility is also an RV park but I don't believe they allow RV washing.

Is there a way to wash the AS from its full fresh water tank other than filling a bunch of buckets from the sink. I could then wash it in my covered storage site.

Thanks for any advice

Kelvin
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Old 03-23-2013, 04:48 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
We are going to purchase a 2008 25FB Classic in about a week. I've arranged for covered storage with electricity. My home doesn't have enough driveway space off the alley to park it for washing. I suppose I could park it on the street for a few hours to do a quick wash but the street is narrow and my neighbors across from my house park their cars on the street. I've had a neighbor complain to the city police and HOA when I've parked my Casita out in the front for a few hours.

The coin operated car washes may be a solution. Are their soaps AS friendly?

Maybe a truck wash?

My storage facility is also an RV park but I don't believe they allow RV washing.

Is there a way to wash the AS from its full fresh water tank other than filling a bunch of buckets from the sink. I could then wash it in my covered storage site.

Thanks for any advice

Kelvin
Does it have an outside shower? Washing my Interstate from its on-board freshwater tank, filling buckets from the outside shower, is one way I use up my freshwater supply before the onset of winter. It would be a shame to just drain the water and not put the water to good use when winterizing.

If you don't have an outside shower, then how about using a "water thief" on your galley faucet and running a hose directly from the faucet to outside? I haven't tried it myself (I do have the outside shower, after all) so I can't say whether the water thief will slip off the faucet or stay put like it's supposed to.

As for where, I take mine to a coin-op car wash that has high bays. I bring enough quarters for a good rinse afterwards from the car wash wand; it would be rude to wash it with my own water at their facility and not use their water at all.
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:15 AM   #3
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Our trailer is only 16' but this is what we do.
While on the road we look for manual car washes with enough height and just pull in for a quick wash. Car washes don't do the best job but they certainly help remove the worst of the salt and grime. Once I get someplace were I can spend some time I use the "no Wet" wash I bought from Airstream while at Alumapalooza. Works very nicely!

I think the trick will be finding a car wash that will accommodate the trailers length. A truck wash will be easier for your length trailer. If there is any salt residue on the trailer it is important that you get it off before you use the No Wet , as I would be afraid of trapping it into the seams with predictable results. No Wet is an interesting product that has surfactants to disperse dirt, clay to help scrub the surface and caranuba wax to protect the surface when done. It works very nicely....
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:22 AM   #4
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Kelvin, If your trailer has an outside faucet close to the water inlet, and it think it does, you can attach a hose to that faucet, turn on the inside pump, and use the water from the tank.
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:52 AM   #5
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While on the road, we have used coin operated car washes. The soap has never been a problem. Check their brush carefully before using it -- imagine how much damage a small rock caught in the brush can do.

We carry a 5 gallon bucket, a boat brush on a long handle and some Joy. That is our preferred method. I'm surprised that so many commercial campgrounds will let you wash your rig.
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Old 03-23-2013, 07:14 AM   #6
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While on the road, we have used coin operated car washes. The soap has never been a problem. Check their brush carefully before using it -- imagine how much damage a small rock caught in the brush can do.

We carry a 5 gallon bucket, a boat brush on a long handle and some Joy. That is our preferred method. I'm surprised that so many commercial campgrounds will let you wash your rig.
I understand that many people use dishwashing soap to wash cars and trailers but the prevailing logic is that this is not a wise practice.

Having spent my working life in the automotive world, I am surrounded by auto finish specialists and to a person they would say "...don't do it!".

Here is a link to a Consumers Reports article on the subject. Do's and Dont's of Washing Your Car | Car Wash - Consumer Reports

I never use household products on the exterior of any vehicle so I have no experience with them personally but the warnings make sense to me...

Bruce
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:04 AM   #7
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The covered storage facilty I use has a power outlet for each unit. There is a dump station and a trailer/rv high washing facitlity with it's own RO water system to prevent spotting from the local HARD water. One blows through several rolls of quarters...
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:11 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
We are going to purchase a 2008 25FB Classic in about a week. I've arranged for covered storage with electricity. My home doesn't have enough driveway space off the alley to park it for washing. I suppose I could park it on the street for a few hours to do a quick wash but the street is narrow and my neighbors across from my house park their cars on the street. I've had a neighbor complain to the city police and HOA when I've parked my Casita out in the front for a few hours.
I have problems, in general, with complaints from neighbors.

But I have been able to do a little washing in the street. Mainly I just clear the mud off the front, and let the rain do the rest. I also clean problem areas like the space between the inner and outer curved windws.

Quote:
The coin operated car washes may be a solution. Are their soaps AS friendly?

Maybe a truck wash?
Both work. Be careful of vertical clearance in car washes.

Quote:
My storage facility is also an RV park but I don't believe they allow RV washing.
It's worth asking, many do not but some will make exceptions if you do it during non-peak times and don't make a mess.

Quote:
Is there a way to wash the AS from its full fresh water tank other than filling a bunch of buckets from the sink. I could then wash it in my covered storage site.
Your trailer will have an outdoor faucet with a hose bib in the small compartment that also contains the city water connection. There's an indoor shutoff for it next to the water heater that you may need to open. The flow rate is not as good as a household faucet but it is workable.
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:16 AM   #9
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I'd check your HOA rules first. We have an HOA and its a newer neighborhood and so,e neighbors don't like the Airstream in our driveway but were allowed to have it here for 48 hours to pack, unpack and wash. Check with the city also, you may be able to have it on the street for a short period of time.
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:18 AM   #10
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washing Airstream

I use a product called "the solution" by super seal. It is a dry wash.
You can check it out at: Super Seal Specialty Co. [MANUFACTURER OF UNSURPASSED BREAKTHROUGH PRODUCTS FOR OUR VALUED CUSTOMERS THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES AND THE WORLD!].

Gunny
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:27 AM   #11
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Kelvin, If your trailer has an outside faucet close to the water inlet, and it think it does, you can attach a hose to that faucet, turn on the inside pump, and use the water from the tank.
The Classic we are purchasing has a water hose output connection (not the city water input connection) in the service compartment and it also has an external shower compartment. I wasn't sure if the the water hose output connection could be used with the trailer's water pump. I wonder how much pressure the pump supplies. This may be a great solution for cleaning off the bugs from the front when the rest of the trailer is fairly clean.

There is a coin operated car wash about 10 miles from the storage facility that is also has truck bays. I'm hoping it has a platform in the truck bays that can be used to wash the top of the trailer. If it doesn't then I'll bring a ladder. Rather than use their soap I could bring two 5 gallon paint buckets and fill them with water and use an Airstream wash soap (thats a subject of more research). I have a car wash extendable pole with a large cleaning mitt on the end. Then use more quarters to rinse off the soap. I'll have to check out this place this weekend.

Kelvin
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:43 AM   #12
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I've washed the Argosy in the street in front of our house. I have a long-handled soft brush and a bucket. My main concern (paranoia?) is not washing off too much 38-year-old paint, not an issue you'll have with that lovely Classic. I have an electric power washer, but I've never used that on the Argosy. If you go to the truck bay at the local coin-op wash, do pay attention to how the spray is hitting seams and joints.

I am so, so happy that we don't have an HOA, and if we move I'll make an effort to find another home that's not subject to the constraints and caprices of one. Read your covenants, you'll likely find a specific amount of time you're allowed to have the trailer there, share that information with your less-enlightened neighbors.
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Old 03-23-2013, 09:59 AM   #13
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While in the drought states of New Mexico, Arizona, & Texas, I've wondered about the quality of the water in the self service car washes. I used them on my first trailer, but have not on my current trailer. I knew I'd be in Oregon & Washington soon, where there would be enough rain to clean my trailer. This has proved to be the case.
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:40 AM   #14
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Really helpful advice, everyone. Why we didn't think of using the on-board water supply and shower hose is beyond me. We'd been lugging buckets down our steep driveway, as our only feasible parking place is near the road, not the house.

Oh, well. "Too soon old, too late smart."

Something else to consider is what happens to the waste water from AS washing. Our home parking spot for the Bambi is near a small swale. This time of year it is running, and it flows into a nearby creek. This may be an argument for biodegradable, organic cleaning products for home AS washing. Urban storm drains similarly may flow into a nearby creek. It maybe underground, but "everything must go somewhere."
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