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Old 12-25-2005, 05:43 PM   #15
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Galvanic corrosion

Special precautions should be used when disimilar metals are used in a sea coast or salted road enviroment.

Pure aluminum forms as good protective coating (as stated in the above posting) Unfortunately, our trailers are not made of pure aluminum. Pure aluminum is fairly soft and has poor yield strength. The early airplanes were made from a heat treated alloy called 2024 for strength. Unfortunately, the copper contained made it form poor (non-protective) coating and the planes corroded badly. That is why they invented Alclad. Alclad is two sheets of pure aluminum sandwiching a core of heat treatable alloy. Our trailers are not made from Alclad, but the alloy Airstream uses has better corrosion resistance than 2024.

Zinc is higher on the galvanic scale than aluminum or steel and will protect them from corrosion by sacaficing itself. The zinc gets destroyed in the process. That is why galvanized fasteners have a shorter than normal useful life when in contact with the skin of the aluminum trailers. Keep an eye on them and replace them at the first signs of rust because when the steel is exposed and the aluminum trailer will start to corrode to protect the fasteners. Put a plastic gasket or washer between any disimialar metals when ever you can. Use stainless steel fasteners (with insulation) where ever you can on the trailer.
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Old 12-25-2005, 06:01 PM   #16
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[quote=ABRACADABRA]Vince Brach,

. . . There is such a thing as impressed current cathodic protection, but here again you require the medium to allow continuous continuity for the flow of electrons. This system can be applied if the metal to be protected is coupled to the negative pole of a direct current (DC) source, while the positive pole is coupled to an auxiliary anode. . . .

This is exactly what the people at the rustproofing site are offering. Given that mornings on the coast are often dripping wet and salt is everywhere, I think that impressed current cathodic protection should work--especially if a sacrificial anode of zinc is used. The sales rep mentioned that a current of only 38 mA at 12V is all it takes. He also said that you can SEE the effectiveness as the sacrificial anode corrodes!

What I am surprised about is that almost no one on this Airstream site seems to have experience with having tried this form of corrosion protection. I'll say this--it worked great on the aluminum-body Land Rover I had in Miami for six years!
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Old 12-26-2005, 04:29 PM   #17
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Thumbs down I don't thnk so!

Vincie Baby,

Your impressed current cathodic protection needs an electrolyte to work. You do not have enough ion concentration in your Ďwet airí to conduct electricity.

Your sacrificial anode of zinc will deteriorate (corrode) by itself, without the impressed current. You do not even have to pay $$ in order for that to happen.

I guess my aluminum bodied 1987 Aston Martin Volante, always kept on Palm Beach Island, was protected by the impressed current of ZZ TOP being blasted through the material ... thus keeping the body panels in constant vibration and shaking off any corrosion.
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Old 01-21-2006, 11:56 PM   #18
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Thanks for all of the fantastic input. I bought a Tradewind that I have parked, undercover, across the street from the beach in Oregon. I needed all of this information and more. Much of the clearcoat is gone from the top and I understand that the Walbernize will be of little use on the metal in the absence of the clearcoat. That being the case, are there any waxes I can use to keep that bare aluminum protected??

Regarding the frame, I was considering as a stopgap measure, keeping it coated with a nice film of LPS-3.

John
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Old 01-22-2006, 07:55 AM   #19
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Coating systems

When I was the materials engineer for Johnson/Evinrude (OMC) I tested LPS-3 at our Florida salt spray rack for resistance to enviroment and corrosion protection. It turned out to be one of the best products on the market for protecting steel and zinc plated steel. Gave a fairly heavy fairly hard coating that did not wash off easily.

Also tested alot of waxes. All the competitors were about the same at that time, but that was along time ago. You might check consumers report for car waxes.

Tested many galvanic protection systems for imersion applications but never on the salt spray rack. For imersion, both sacrificial anode and electronic systems worked well.
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Old 01-30-2006, 12:39 AM   #20
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Can the Walbernize be used on a new AS? I looked at their website and it stated:

WALBERNIZE glaze finish is long lasting and detergent resistant. It can be used on chrome and glass.
Not recommended for clear coat finishes.

Doesn't a new AS have a clear coat of some type on the metal? Do owners use this product on the newer AS?
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Old 01-30-2006, 12:52 AM   #21
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hi razorback and welcome to the forums

alcoa paints the clear on before it leaves their factory. arrives at airstream in prepainted sheets, stacked to gether and with a thin film applied to the surface that is removed during construction.

yes walbernize can be used on the new clearcoat.....buy the version formulated for new finishes....the dealer knows the difference.

did you buy from the shop is searcy? great folks and prices....sometimes the tech with apply a coat before delivery......or gene will give you a free bottle during the purchase.

i tried a section and didn't like it, so i tried several auto waxes that i use on my cars/trucks....these worked great....plain wax, not cleaner/polish/wax...as the can abrade. settled on meguire's ploy sealant wax....easy on and off. good for 6 months to a year depending on trailer conditions....for rough deposits on the finish i use a detailers clay. for small scratches i use meguires scratch-x. microfiber sponges for application and microfiber towels for buffy wax off.

your owners manual should say it is safe to use any quality auto wax....


but many here worship the wallbernize....

cheers
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Old 01-30-2006, 01:28 AM   #22
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Thanks, 2airs

I will probably take your recommendation and use what you do. Mequires makes a good product.

I got the Classic as we were going through Texas. I know the Searcy dealer moves a lot of them, but we just happened across one in Texas at a good price. We weren't really looking for a new one as our 76 Caravanner was serving us just fine, but we had been traveling for 4 months and the 25' one was closing in on us. We are in hog heaven with the new one!

Thanks for the wax info.
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Old 01-30-2006, 01:37 AM   #23
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hey razor back, that's a great unit. sometimes the trailer finds you.....

and you live in a wonderful state for outdoor living.

i'm coming down next month for some mtn bike riding and hiking...love arkansas.

cheers
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Old 01-30-2006, 01:49 AM   #24
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There are a lot of good things to see in Arkansas. You can fill up a vacation and still not see everything. If you like bluegrass and acoustical music, try Mountain View in the Spring and Summer. Musicians come from everywhere to sit and jam on the square every night of the week, but particularly on weekends. We spend several weeks a year there because its so laid back. If you ever get to check it out, Fiddlers Valley RV park is just a couple of blocks off of the square and great rates ($18 per night). If you like this type of music and getting away from the fast paced places, you'll make more than one trip.
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Old 01-30-2006, 09:43 AM   #25
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Walbernize makes different formulas. For the new Alcoa finishes, use the Walbernize Super Seal Product. It will not harm that surface. I'm sure you looked at one of the other products.

http://www.walbernize.com/rvsuperseal.html

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Old 01-30-2006, 05:25 PM   #26
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Thanks, Jack

I may do some more research on it. It sounds like what everyone else is using, but the clear coat warning on the section I looked at scared me.
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Old 01-31-2006, 08:40 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by razorback
Thanks, Jack

I may do some more research on it. It sounds like what everyone else is using, but the clear coat warning on the section I looked at scared me.
It is perfectly safe on your new trailer as long as you use the Super-Seal product. I've used it on both my Airstreams and my dealer Walbernizes every trailer he sells prior to delivery. The only thing it is not good on is the stainless steel rock guards. It streaks the finish so don't use it there.

Jack
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