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Old 04-16-2003, 11:29 AM   #15
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Question Plastic ABS or Fiberglass

I and apparently most of us seem to think the end liners, domes, end caps or whatever we call them are made of plastic. ABS I have presumed.

Well according to a marketing note by Airstream in 1965, referring to the 1966 Caravel 17ft. the interior end caps were fiberglass. Go to link and look down at interior features paragraph:
http://www.airstreamclassics.com/Det...66Caravel.html

Maybe they changed to ABS? When? I wonder why?
But anyway it makes a difference for repair and painting I suppose.

Here's hoping we can solve this mystery at least in part!
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Old 04-16-2003, 12:34 PM   #16
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Headliners or domes were all originally made from fiberglass, until 1972.

Making large ABS molds took some time to develop.

Formed ABS parts cost less to manufacture than fiberglass components. They can also be made much faster, and with far less labor, and far less grief from the Air Quality people. During the manufacturing process, fiberglass is somewhat of a fire hazard, simply because of the fumes.

The fiberglass headliners all had a gel coat surface, which can easily be painted, if, the surface has been properly prepared.

ABS can also easily be painted, if again, it's surface has been properly prepared.

Granted, fiberglass can be repaired easier than ABS, but by the same token, it will not crack from reasonable heat or vibration.
ABS can become brittle and discolored from long term exposure to high ambient heat, such as the California desert, as well as crack from vibration.

Interior wheel well covers, and some exterior wheel well covers are a good example of vibration cracking, Metal wheel well covers, cracked both inside and outside.


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Old 04-16-2003, 03:20 PM   #17
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what about the Argosy Minuet?

I too am interested in repair of the "walls" of airstreams. Our Argosy Minuet has a small "stress" crack on the front dome area, but even more concerning is several crack areas within the shower area wall in the back of our trailer. Looks like the PO tried to do a repair on all and then repainted over, but they have all re-opened. I guess if I am reading Inland Andy right our trailer's walls would be plastic, right? So hopefully someone has or will have a solution. We don't feel comfortable using the shower until this is repaired. Leigh
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Old 04-16-2003, 04:27 PM   #18
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More Dome Data Needed

Leigh do a Google search for ABS plastic repair and you will get thousands of links. Many have to do with motorcycle repair,and many are not germane at all, but let us know please.

Andy: thanks for good report.
*Were the bath fixtures also fiberglass prior to 1972?

*Were some 72 mods still using up the on hand fiberglass caps?

*Will a pre 72 fiberglass dome liner fit to replace a later ABS?

*Are dome liners (fore & aft) still available?
and are most years interchangeable?

*Other than climate control is there any surefire way to prevent ABS brittleness? such as a rub in/on moisterizer? i.e. Armor-all or silicon etc?
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Old 04-16-2003, 06:30 PM   #19
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Bath fixtures from 69 up are ABS. I am not sure about the 68's.

Some fiberglass headliners may have been used after 71, especially on smaller models.

68 on back shell shapes are differnt from the 69 to 82 1/2 shells. Headliners will not interchange.

Some headliners are still available for older (pre-wide body) trailers. But they will be very limited.

Most years are not interchangeable because of the rooflocker arrangements and the center/rear bath models.

Best way to keep ABS soft, is keep it out of extreme heat.
With a desert temperature pushing better than 130 degrees an internal temperature could easily get to perhaps 180 degrees, especially with a sealed coach. Leaving vents open, helps. But that also allows dust, dirt and rain to enter.

Life is never simple, or so it seems.


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Old 04-27-2003, 01:01 AM   #20
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“SEM Problem Plastic Repair System” is a two part product used by every shop repairing automobile bumpers. It is inexpensive, easy to apply, provides ideal set time sands and is ready to paint in less than an hour. SEM also makes products to compliment this one. So sealing and painting repair without color bleeding or fade is ideal. They also make other plastic repair products for the two types material used in automobile bumpers. However the “Problem” product does everything. You should be able to find it at an automobile paint supply company. These places will also match paint colors for you. Don’t be intimidated by not having a paint sprayer. Use a “previa” sprayer, they are five or six bucks. The paint can be stored and reused and the sprayer cleans in a heart beat. Both these manufactures have us in mind, they make good stuff, cheap, that is easy to use.

In a Colorado ghost town polishing a tradewind at 9000’
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Old 04-27-2003, 06:07 PM   #21
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I'll check out some auto supply houses. Thanks.
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Old 04-28-2003, 11:37 AM   #22
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confused??

I called AS and the tech there said the dome "liners" were still available (we're talking plastic). Part would have to be ordered thru AS dealers, he suggested PARKVIEW in Delaware. Part # he gave was #109136. Has anyone else checked on this - it sounded like that might be misleading info if what Andy says is right. Did I ask for the wrong thing? Wondering, Leigh
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Old 04-28-2003, 12:48 PM   #23
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Stock number 109136 is a front end liner for 77-79 and rear for 83 to 93 center bath trailer and motorhome.

If you have those models, great. If you don't then stay away from this headliner.


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Old 04-28-2003, 12:52 PM   #24
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Andy, please have some consideration. My wife sees these forums, and now she will expect me to replace the end domes. Everything was fine as long as I could tell her they were no longer made.

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Old 04-28-2003, 12:54 PM   #25
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Argosy walls

Leigh,
In our Argosy, the walls are white vinyl covered alumumin (sp?). In fact, they were used for carrying the negative side of the 12v system - as in the lights are "wired" to the walls! I just wired in some new 12v lights, and drilled into the ceiling, so I'm speaking from recent, successful(!), experience. Yup, my back and front domes are yellowed as well, but no cracks. I think I'll try the Krylon paint soon, I'll post results later.
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Old 04-28-2003, 03:06 PM   #26
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Mark.

Does she know that if you attack the headliner problem, she may never get to see you again, except on Friday night for bowling.

Headliner replacements, to be safe, takes 3 people. Two to hold, and one to put in a few rivets.

Maybe you could talk your wife into being a "holder upper," or maybe she might want to be a "Rosy the riveter"?

Look out if she chooses to be the riveter. People have been known to be riveted to a section of Airstream, only to be never seen or heard from again.

And then there is a question of crating and motor freight charges.


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Old 04-28-2003, 05:27 PM   #27
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Yes, I do realize how difficult it would be - that is why I would have preferred to leave it as one of those things which "cannot be done, sorry."

Three people sounds about right. Two for the actual work, and one to stand by with tranquilizers.

Mark
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Old 04-28-2003, 06:34 PM   #28
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Mark.

It's not that bad.

The third person could be holding the "cold beer."

But then,....................



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