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Old 06-14-2018, 04:51 PM   #1
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2018 23' Flying Cloud
Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 37
Help…indoor dust bowl coming soon!

We have dust issues coming to our indoor warehouse storage space. They are sand blasting the floor below us and due to various issues, which we won’t go into here, our unit cannot be moved off the floor. They have sealed what they can to prevent dust from coating everyone’s toys but knowing dust there will be a layer that makes it through. We are unable to remove the unit for lack of anywhere else to put it and due to work/personal reasons cannot take off on a trip (though we really would like to).

Does anyone have suggestions? We know that it is not recommended to cover your Airstream outside, however, would this be a problem indoors for a few weeks to a month? Would you cover with something or just try to tape all the vents etc.?

We really appreciate any input.

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Old 06-14-2018, 05:06 PM   #2
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Sand blasting puts dust into suspension in the air. The stuff that falls on the outside of the trailer is not a big deal. It will (mostly) blow off when you *do* take the trailer out the next time. That's the stuff that tossing a tarp over the trailer would "fix". The same design features that keep falling rain out of the trailer also work for this sort of dust. That *assumes* that the trailer is fully shut ( = all vents and windows closed ).

Tarp over it or not, you will get dust into odd places. Wheels / brakes are one area. The inside of the hitch is another. Some sort of full wrap would be the only way to take care of that ( = wrap top/bottom/ sides ....).

The best approach for a full wrap would be a plastic shrink warp process. They started doing it on things like helicopters going into long term storage. They now do it as a routine process on boats. It seems unlikely you could get the trailer out of storage, get it wrapped and back into storage.

Given your time constraints, about the only solution seems to be to make sure it's shut up and then plan on a bunch of cleaning after the sand blast. Also keep in mind - the dust will still be all over the storage area for a long time....


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Old 06-14-2018, 05:11 PM   #3
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Taping off all the openings with blue painters tape and plastic is the best bet. Outdoor storage under a cover is a problem because wind blows the fabric, and the motion scuffs the aluminum. Of you are fully indoors, plastic and blue tape will work.

Your main issue is dust getting into openings, so sealing up would stop most of it. Be sure to do all openings, especially the entire Air Conditioner shroud, the roof vents, and any other openings for wire, fill and fridge access doors, stove hood, and the like. I'd also cover over everything on the tongue--because dust will get in there as well.

I live in the high desert in Southern California--fine dust is everywhere, and gets into everything, so I feel your pain...
Rich, KE4GNK/AE, Overkill Engineering Dept.
'The Silver HamShack' ('07 International 22FB CCD 75th Anniversary)
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Old 06-14-2018, 06:01 PM   #4
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Living in the desert SW, dust is a daily occurrence for us. Just plan to spend some time washing before your next trip. Trailers do get dirty...
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2015 Airstream International Serenity 27FB
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Old 06-15-2018, 10:22 AM   #5
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Take a look at Rockler or Woodcraft and check out their air filtration section. Usually, in a wood shop, two units are suspended from the ceiling on opposite sides of the space. In doing so, a pattern is formed where the air is moving in a circular path and the dust is collected.
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Old 06-15-2018, 10:59 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by mojo View Post
Living in the desert SW, dust is a daily occurrence for us. Just plan to spend some time washing before your next trip. Trailers do get dirty...
Ya, It also sounds like camping at Jalama beach, Ca.
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
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Old 06-15-2018, 11:12 AM   #7
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Thanks all for your replies and suggestions. At the same time I posted my husband turned on a toy tube video of RVing at White Sands - so yeah dust is inevitable as we do plan future trips across the nation. But we will at very least try to block some from entering in through our AC and other vents.

Reminds me of being in WA state months after the Mt St Helen’s eruption and yes ash was literally everywhere indoors and outdoors.
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Old 06-15-2018, 04:33 PM   #8
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Hardness on Mohs Scale... to consider

Sand Blasting... is more likely Gypsum Blasting. It is softer and less abrasive to concrete.

Aluminum has a hardness that varies from alloys, of 2.0 to 2.9 (2.75 most likely on our Airstreams). Any material that has an equal or higher Mohs hardness will SCRATCH your Airstream. Your FINGERNAIL has a hardness of 2.5 and can scratch aluminum. A cent coin has a hardness of 3.0. Stainless steel is 5.0 to 6.5 in comparison depending of the alloy.

Gypsum has a Mohs hardness of 1.6-2.0

Quartz sand has a Mohs hardness of 7.0.

Diamond... Mohs hardness of 10, the hardest natural substance.

IF you tend to wipe the dust off your Airstream, anything harder than Aluminum will leave scratches. Permanent. Gypsum at 2.0 is right at the minimum for pure Aluminum and may not leave scratches, microscopic or visual.

Wikipedia- Hardness of the Elements (Data Page)

Visit website:

All of the common elements are covered. Then you can go from there to understand polishing aluminum and cleaning glass without scratching by searching on further Internet searches.

A dry branch on a tree will leave a permanent scratch. Even though it is softer than Aluminum. That might be 'burnishing' or some term like that.

A small grain of Quartz (hardness 7) stuck in the buffing pad while polishing an Airstream, will leave permanent swirls and scratches. So be sure to use clean microfiber cloth and water.

WHEN you are ready to use your Airstream, go to a Truck Wash and pay them to wash all of the dust off your trailer. That will get 95%. Some runs from under trim will run out that will contain fine materials that you need to be careful in washing off by hand.

When I clean light dust off windows and finger prints, insects. Use a micro fiber cloth and a window cleaner or soapy water, then rinse.
Human Bean
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Old 06-16-2018, 06:52 AM   #9
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Sand storm a coming,

All good information above.

When we had sand blasting done, our contractor was successful at forcing sand into every surface and crevasses everywhere on our buildings. What a mess.

However, we learned that plastic covering vehicles, including travel trailers and motor homes, was very effective in protecting surfaces and interiors from the sand material.

The most cost effective method was a roll of construction plastic sheeting available at most any hardware store.

The plastic sheet comes in a roll that when rolled out and unfolded would draped over the vehicle covering the entire extent. Then with a little care, was folded around the ends and taped to itself with duct tape. (Not taped to the vehicle.)

At the end of the exercise the entire vehicle was covered and protected as the sanding dust is heavy and sinks to the floor. Unless there is a breeze in the area inside the vehicle storage unit, sand did not get into the interior.

After the sand blasting was done, carefully removeing the plastic, you are good to go.

If you take your time you can fold the plastic sheeting up into a square and stuff into a large garbage bag and recycle.

Wear a breathing mask while you are removing the covering, go slow as to not disturb the sand that is stuck to the sheeting.

I think this process will work well for you and protect you Airstream better than trying to seal up all the holes and openings. Also you don't have to contend with trying to remove a coating of sand from the skin of the trailer and all the covers and attachments.

Hope this helps. Our clients were successful at protecting their vehicles relatively well.

Safe travels.
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Old 06-16-2018, 07:45 AM   #10
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Maybe just wash it off when they're done blasting?
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Old 06-16-2018, 09:10 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by AtomicNo13 View Post
Maybe just wash it off when they're done blasting?
That works for me. Atomic Number 13... is Aluminum, for those not into rocks and elements.

After a week or three Boondocking... having high pressure soft water wash and rinse at a truck stop. Any Airstream deserves a 'beauty salon wash treatment' from time to time.

Many do not understand that even water under high pressure can cut through concrete.

Almost everyone does not realize that a high pressure car wash spray can actually cut into your tire's sidewalls, damaging them.

Be an observer of idiots. Not a participant... is all want to impress upon everyone.
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Old 06-16-2018, 09:21 AM   #12
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If you cover the trailer I would not remove the cover until the floor in your area is vacuumed. The dust that will enter your area from the sand blasting will settle on any surface, trailer covering and floor. That dust will be kicked, if not vacuumed up, and cause more problems than the original sand blasting on the lower floor.

If your storage area is enclosed, not open sided, there will be minimal air movement that would cause the dust to enter the trailer.

I would consider wrapping the trailer is such a way that you can tow it outside before removing the covering.

It has been 17 years since we were in Alaska an I can still find Alaskan dust inside my trailer. It got every where including my wife's sealed jewellery box stored in a drawer.

Good Luck

2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

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