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Old 08-16-2004, 05:59 PM   #1
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Interior Panels

Are the interior panels of a 1971 Overlander strippable? If so, would they turn out to be shiny aluminum? Could they then be powder coated? If anyone has tried this would you please give me the pros and cons. The interior of mine is quite unattractive, and I would like to give it a more up to date look.
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Old 08-17-2004, 08:41 AM   #2
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Lots of heat involved in poweder coating. To powdercoat the inside you would litteraly have to make it an oven and not sure thats a great idea with the wire in the walls.

The inside of most of the newer coaches is a combination. Interior end caps tend to be fiberglass of Vacuum formed ABS type material. Some of the interior will be aluminum.

Best jobs I have seen is there are pictures in somebodys photo album where they painted the interrior with a silver paint and got the CCD look and it does look quite nice in the pictures.

There is a VERY detailed post on painting the exterior of one coach that was circulating in the last couple days. It came out great but it's all in the prep and planning so remember that when you read the post. It's not a weekend project.

One of the forum members (tin Can Luv) used aluminum coil and cut and fitted all the peices in and did a wonderfull job as well but as with anything it is labor intensive. Pictures are in the photo albums as well.

The last alternative is going back to the roots. The older coaches were painted with a product names Zolotone. The company and the product are still avialable. It's a spatter paint and leaves a flat finish that is rather pleasent. Does require some special equipment in the form of a paint gun and the material is expensive but it lasts a long time.

Big thing to remember is working with aluminum is there are certain processes you have to follow to get a good bond with not only paint but glue as well. The prep is key and you must folow the manufactures instruction to a T and if it does not expressly adress aplication on aluminum you might want to call the manufacture.

West Marine caries a lot of product made for aluminum so their or any boat repair suply place would be good to check with.
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Old 08-17-2004, 08:53 AM   #3
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Vinyl clad

The 71 overlander is constructed of ALuminum with a vinyl covering. It is very durable stuff. It will come clean with the use of a typical degreaser like "Purple stuff" or "Simple Green". If you were committed to stripping the material, it is possible but extremely labor intensive.

I think that the Vinyl clad interior walls was one of the best innovations ever in an Airstream. That stuff takes a lot of abuse and still looks good many years after. If you spray a little purple stuff on there, you will literally see the crud and possbly cigearette smoke run off the walls. You will find that the color of the coating is pretty light colored and certainly contemporary.

If you opt for stripping the vinyl, painting it would almost be a shame. If you strip, go with natural or polished aluminum.

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Old 08-17-2004, 09:07 AM   #4
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I think it was "TinCanLuv" that stripped the vinyl off the entrance door, and then polished it to a mirror finish. I also believe he commented that it wasn't that hard to get off, as people had said...using paint remover, or something with methaline chloride.

I found that "simple green" didn't do the trick for cleaning up the vinyl. I also think it pitted the finish on my oven. But I did try the "castrol super clean" (purple stuff), and boy, did that do a job! great stuff.
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Old 08-17-2004, 01:45 PM   #5
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Painting the vinyl is one option...

There have been a number of people in the forums that have painted over the vinyl skins with great results. I think that is the approach that I am going to take depending on what color the vinyl actually ends up being when I get it completely clean. I took all the interior skins out so I intend to clean them on the driveway before I put them back in. Getting paint to stick properly to the vinyl is probably easier than getting it to stick to aluminum too. I believe the method that was mentioned the most in the forums was to use a top quality primer and then most any good grade of latex paint. Some have mentioned using the type of Krylon spray paint that is advertised especially for plastic with good results. Andy at Inland says that one of the best ways to treat the vinyl after cleaning it thoroughly is to us Fantastik floor finish. He says it shines up the vinyl very nicely. That is what I will do to mine if I decide not to paint. I might also use it if I do paint depending on my choice of paint finish.

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Old 08-17-2004, 02:15 PM   #6
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Andy at Inland says that one of the best ways to treat the vinyl after cleaning it thoroughly is to us Fantastik floor finish.
I believe it's FUTURE Floor Wax....although we have the original Zolatone in our trailer & haven't tried this ourselves. There's the link ~

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Old 08-17-2004, 02:53 PM   #7
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interior panels

I have access to a powder coating business (family) that's why I suggested powder coating the panels after they are removed and stripped. You can't powder coat them while still attached to the inside because you have to run them through the batch oven. Also, there are many finish options available - even metallic.
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Old 08-17-2004, 03:25 PM   #8
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Wouldn't you need to powder coat them in the curved shape that they will assume upon install? I always assumed that the power coat was a hard finish once baked.
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Old 08-17-2004, 03:39 PM   #9
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interior panels

The batch oven used can handle large pieces, they just need to be able to be suspended in the track that runs through the oven (will already have holes from rivets). It shouldn't change the shape of the panels.
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Old 08-17-2004, 07:50 PM   #10
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Powder coat flexing?

I think what Brett is asking is will the baked on paint have problems when you flex the panels to install them. I know my inner panels are out and they pretty much flatten out when they are not attached to the trailer frame. They would have to be flexed back to their original installed curve when they are put back in. Would that crack the power coat? Otherwise this sounds like an interesting approach. Would it be expensive if one does not have a family connection for such work?

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Old 08-17-2004, 07:52 PM   #11
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Future floor wax it is...

My apology for not looking up the correct product name. I think I was thinking about cleaning products at the same time. Isn't there a cleaning product called something like Fantastik?

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Old 08-17-2004, 08:08 PM   #12
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interior panels

According to my source, you can have the interior panels ( example used is a overlander) powder coated for about $1500.00 (basic powder) if they are ready to paint (pre-stripped). He thought the stripper might charge an additional $500.00. The paint will flex without cracking and is available in many colors and textures.
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Old 08-17-2004, 08:31 PM   #13
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Durable but expensive...

Happier,

That does seem fairly reasonable for the durability of powder coating on such a large amount of area. It does, however, still seem pretty expensive compared to a top grade latex semi-gloss enamel paint job - or even a good grade of automotive enamel. I had in mind painting mine after I had it all clean and re-installed. That way all the rivit heads would get painted too. I could also patch any un-wanted holes or scratches that might occur during the install. I would guess that it might be hard to install the powder coated panels without some scratching. I would also guess it would be hard to get a nice metalic finish without something like powder coating though. Are you really wanting a finish that is completely smooth - in other words without the texture that the vinyl skin has? I have thought that some texture would be a good idea since otherwise any surface imperfections would show more. Are your interior end caps metal or plastic (mine are plastic)?

I will be interested to hear about your experience if you do decide to powder coat.

Malcolm
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Old 08-17-2004, 08:41 PM   #14
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You can get many differant textures with powdercoat. You can get black with yellow spiderweb if you want to. I did a suzuki weels and bumpers with silver and black spiderwebing . It looked awsome. I did the inside of an elavator car with dark Maroon and gold. with polished brass fixtures and white Oak paneling.
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