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Old 12-15-2004, 06:40 PM   #1
5 rivets, 1 loose screw
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1966 20' Globetrotter
Saginaw County , Michigan
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Which power washer?

I'm asking Santa for a power washer (pressure washer) this year but I don't know what model I want. I'll be using it mainly on my Jimmy and my AS, so I don't need a Tim Allen souped-up model. Something that would clean out rain gutters without knocking them off the house would be nice.
I saw a Black and Decker portable electric model in WallyMart for $89 but it looked a little er, ah, cheesy and was only 1,050 PSI.
Does anyone know the recommended PSI for cleaning an AS without blowing out the caulking and gaskets?
I'd prefer electric powered rather than gas. Any suggestions?


May you camp where wind won’t hit you, where snakes won’t bite and bears won’t git you.

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Old 12-15-2004, 06:53 PM   #2
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I got mine at the Home Depot.
Whatever brand you buy make sure you keep the box and the reciept.
They work great when they work, but dont seem to last long for me.
Also if you have any stickers or emblems, stay away from them as the pressure washer will blow them off quicker then you can say OOP"S.

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Old 12-15-2004, 07:25 PM   #3
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Careful what you ask for...

I wouldn't worry about truck, but I'd be real gentle and stand back with trailer, and 1100psi is probably more than enough.. Skin could be dented with 1500 or 1600psi up close, and it seems real likely to blow out sealant on seams or around rivets. We've used ours on Suburban, but stayed with "Truck Brush", sponge, bucket and hose on body of Airstream... Might also be OK for wheel wells and wheels, but bearing cleaning could be a problem...

It also seems like a risk that clearcoat could be knocked loose with aggressive pressure washer, and that is whole new can of worms. That is recommended step in "Super Shiny Polishing" but makes for lots of extra work if inadvertant...

John McG

In Theory, there's no difference between Theory and Practice, but in Practice, there is usually a difference...
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Old 12-15-2004, 08:38 PM   #4
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heed the advice!

i managed to knock off a nice chunk of my blue pinstripe!

bucket and brush from now on.

you call them ferrets, i call them weasels.
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Old 12-15-2004, 09:13 PM   #5
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my poor ringing ears

I bought a gas powered pressure washer this summer because I didn't want to have to lug a bunch of heavy gauge extension cord around if I needed to use it farther than 20 feet away from an electrical outlet. So I bought the gasoline one (B&S engine). Starts and runs like a champ, but it's unbelievably LOUD. That and if I have to use it somewhere in the yard where it would sit in the grass, the heat from the engine always left a dead patch there afterward. So now I tote it around in a small wagon. Even still, I wince a little when I fire it up - if I lived near a cemetery, it'd be Day of the Dead on a routine basis.

If I had it to do over again, I'd buy the nicest electric one I could find, and make sure that there were enough outlets available. If not, I'd go and see if John HD would make a special trip to install a few.

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Old 12-15-2004, 10:30 PM   #6
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pressure washer pressure

The output pressure of the washer is not as important as the volume of the washer in gallons per minute ralative to pressure. In other words, a 3000 psi pressure washer at 2 or 300 cc's per minute wouldn't do as much work/damage as a 1000 psi pressure washer at 1 or two gallons per minute. To illustrate, which would you rather get hit with, a 3/4 inch garden hose at 100 psi 20 gpm or a 2 1/2 inch fire hose at 50 psi 250 gallons per minute? HORSEPOWER is what is important! To get horsepower multiply flowrate in gpm times pressure per square inch and divide by (as I remember, I'm retired for a few years) 1719 or 1729, can't remember which. When comparing units, the one with the highest horsepower rating per dollar spent is probably the best buy. Also, you can do these calculations to see if the rated engine horseposer will power the claimed pressure/gpm ratios of the unit. If you do this, you will probably find that the pressure or gpm's advertised is probably way too high.

The previous posters are right, do not get too close to your work! The energy developed by the flow rate throught your nozzle oriface can do a lot of good, or a lot of damage.

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Old 12-16-2004, 10:42 AM   #7
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When cleaning my engine in my earlier years I shreaded the fan belt by being to close to it. Man was I suprised.
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Old 12-16-2004, 11:51 AM   #8
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I've tried a Ford and a John Deere branded electric pressure washer and both performed poorly and both requried dealer service in less than two years of light use.
Neither brands' dealers knew the first thing about fixing them - yet iI received sizable bills for unsatisfactory results.
My next one will be gas engine (Honda) powered.
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Old 12-16-2004, 12:04 PM   #9
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got mine at Ace Hardware, electric 1200 PSI cost 89 dollars on sale, and has worked hard for me for the past year or so.
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Old 12-16-2004, 06:30 PM   #10
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I just bought a Karcher 1600psi electric pressure washer at Costco today for $150. The pressure can be adjusted easily, it has a 1.6gpm water draw, and is 120v and 14amps. It comes with a 1 yr warranty, and Costco has really good customer service also.

I used it on my car this afternoon and was quite pleased. I'll be looking forward to using it on the Airstream come spring.

This model isn't too big and we'll probably throw it in the back of the truck to take with us on our longer trips next summer, along with the Honda generator, a couple bikes, my inflatable boat, fishing gear, etc. etc. etc. -- hope there's still room for the wife!!

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Old 12-16-2004, 07:39 PM   #11
5 rivets, 1 loose screw
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Thanks to all for the suggestions. I wound up with a Campbell Hausfeld electric model from Walmart.
1500 PSI, 1.8 GPM, $146. The money I'll save at the carwash should make it a good investment
It's also gonna be real handy next spring when I strip the camo paint off of Rambo.
Flyfisher, I think hauling it along on camping trips is a great idea. If not enough room in the TV, I'll toss it in the trailer.

May you camp where wind won’t hit you, where snakes won’t bite and bears won’t git you.

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Old 12-16-2004, 08:18 PM   #12
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Do not forget to winterize your pressure washer when the weather turns cold!
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Old 12-17-2004, 06:49 AM   #13
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Although not a pressurized washer, a friend recommended the Mr. Clean No Dry car wash system. I tried it and was very impressed. It really stops the water spots on the trailer.
"would you rather have a mansion full of money or a trailer full of love?"

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Old 12-17-2004, 09:14 AM   #14
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I also bought a Campbell-Hausfeld from Wally World last year and used it on the cars and Airstream. I found it worked really well applied lots and lots of soap to large areas of aluminum (34.5 motorhome) and blew out dirt and grime from the under carriage. I also could wash both cars in about half the time - very handy.

I also learned the hard way to open up the nozzel to "fan" out the spray pattern after blowing off some paint from the bottom of the coach in about a nano-second.

Forgot to winterize mine (I really need to start reading owner's manuals) so guess what I have to buy again this year - duh!

Steven Webster
1986 Airstream 345 Classic Motorhome
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