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Old 10-31-2012, 08:09 PM   #1
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1989 29' Excella
Cumming , Georgia
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Sticky vinyl walls

So I've convinced my wife to journey with me to find an Airstream.
We've recently viewed two eras of coaches.
The first was a 2003 25 foot Safarie and one was a mid 80's 29 foot. I don't remember the exact model.
Both coaches had a vinal covering on the walls.
Interestingly I noticed that both coaches walls were sticky or had a tack to their touch.
I didn't have the heart to ask the owners why but I wondered what could be the cause. Could it be grease from cooking?

I called on a coach for sale by someone who gave me the impression that they knew what they were doing and mentioned in their add about the cleaning of their walls.

When I brought up the topic rhe owner told me that it most likely wasn't grease but that these vinal coatings leech a tacky substance over time and you have to either live with it or clean it off.

My question is,...is this a common attribute for coaches with a vinal cover on the walls and this I something I'm always going to encounter?

Could it be thats why the newer Airstreams no longer have them and the walls are clean metal?
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:25 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davcarv
So I've convinced my wife to journey with me to find an Airstream.
We've recently viewed two eras of coaches.
The first was a 2003 25 foot Safarie and one was a mid 80's 29 foot. I don't remember the exact model.
Both coaches had a vinal covering on the walls.
Interestingly I noticed that both coaches walls were sticky or had a tack to their touch.
I didn't have the heart to ask the owners why but I wondered what could be the cause. Could it be grease from cooking?

I called on a coach for sale by someone who gave me the impression that they knew what they were doing and mentioned in their add about the cleaning of their walls.

When I brought up the topic rhe owner told me that it most likely wasn't grease but that these vinal coatings leech a tacky substance over time and you have to either live with it or clean it off.

My question is,...is this a common attribute for coaches with a vinal cover on the walls and this I something I'm always going to encounter?

Could it be thats why the newer Airstreams no longer have them and the walls are clean metal?
Yes it is common on most trailers with a little age on them. You just have to scrub it down with goo be gone or something similar. When you get through you can go back and coat it with mop and glow. It gives it a shine plus seals it were the tacky stuff doesn't come back through! Good luck hunting.
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:31 PM   #3
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Tacky

We own a 75 Sovereign. Just attended our first Rally last weekend and everyone who visited asked why our original vinyl was not "sticky". We did not know what they were referring to, and they told us that the original vinyl always does this. Apparently not ours. Could be the dry climate here in our part of Texas. Specifically, ours has lived its entire life within Texas and more specifically, within 150 miles of where we live.
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:41 PM   #4
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You can repair your Zolatone finish by going to the Zolatone website and following their instruction on how to use Zolatone. Their website Welcome to the Frontpage offers you advice and techniques for achieving the look you are wanting.

http://www.zolatone.com/stories/the-zolatone-story/

If the only problem with your zolatone finish is just dirt and grime you can clean this up using a citrus based cleaner such as Orange Super Strength Multi Purpose Cleaner and Degreaser. This will also work to remove nasty cigarette smoke off the walls and other surfaces.
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:51 PM   #5
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Missoula , Montana
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Krud Kutter

You can do a search and several threads will turn up that are informative - but on my 36 year old Overlander the vinyl walls (not the product mentioned above) had NEVER been cleaned - and the tacky feel you mention was really pretty bad. We tried Krud Kutter - found a spray and then a 64 oz refill at Wally's - and found it not too bad when used with good ventilation (we probably used 2/3rds of that amount). We sprayed on full strength and left it for about a minute, then rubbed off with an old terrycloth towel. We mostly had to do two, sometimes three applications. And multiple old towels! We then wiped the surface with clean water. In a few spots, we had to do it again. It was a huge chore - but the vinyl is smooth to the touch - and MUCH lighter in color!
We have heard about some sort of wax - paste wax as I recall (as opposed to a liquid). But our search showed several posts that indicated the tacky feel was both a combination of some sort of "off-gasing" or similar break-down of the vinyl itself, plus things like cooking fumes, dust, etc. The bottom line? A little elbow grease and deep-cleaning made our AS vinyl look - and feel (to-the-touch) - GREAT!
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Old 10-31-2012, 10:32 PM   #6
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Greased Lightening Works Great

Not sure what causes it, but Greased Lightening works great removing that tacky feel.
Use it once a year either at the end of your camping season when you winterize, or in the Spring when you are getting ready for the first adventure.
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Old 10-31-2012, 10:34 PM   #7
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My, 75 Trade Wind has never been sticky, maybe it is a heat thing...
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:26 PM   #8
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tacky

The zolatone has glues that leach thru and over time they get tacky. We have a 1978 Argosy and a 1989 Excella. Both had the problem. Once you scrub with a good cleaner, you can seal the walls and ceilings with wax. Future Floor Wax is the one that I use. It will last for a good long while. It looks and feels great. Good luck with your search.
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Old 11-01-2012, 06:42 PM   #9
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Zolotone is not what gets sticky. What gets sticky is the vinyl coating which probably started in the 70's. Zolotone is a speckled paint. I have used spray bleach cleaner to get the sticky stuff off. It is plasticizers coming out of the vinyl coating. I have not tried the mopinglow but I hear it works.

Perry
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:26 PM   #10
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I was a vinyl compound developer for years. The sticky stuff is the degraded plasticizer and the secondary stabilizing plasticizer. Moisture and heat will help it spew. Clean the walls and use acrylic sealer, like Future, to seal in future spew. It does make the walls have a little higher gloss.
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:45 PM   #11
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I have a 76 28' Argosy MH. It was sticky and dirty. It came from Sacramento/Oregon so I doubt it was a heat issue.

I used Simple Green Industrial. It's purple in color. Got at home depot.

I sprayed the walls and let sit for 30 sec. Took a hard nyloy brush and scrubbed very hard. Tons of rags to remove the residue. It took 2 strong applications in each area to remove the sticky residue..

It sucked. 3 days later it looks nice..
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:49 PM   #12
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I have cleaned 2 trailers from the mid 80's with Krud Cutter. It works. I spray the Krud Cutter on, let it soak a short while, and scrub it off with an old towel. Follow with a wash with Simple Green and finally a rinse with clear water. It takes a while, but it gets the sticky off and the sticky does not come back for several years. I think the sticky is from the adhesive for the vinyl migrating to the surface. I think most of the trailers from that era is going to have the sticky.
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:44 PM   #13
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Mine was a bit sticky from the season. Just used a cup of vinegar to a gallon of water solution and wiped it down...worked fine.
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:26 PM   #14
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Ok, I have something that works too! It's from the dollar store and it's called 'AWESOME'.
I'm not joking. My husband found it. It's in a clear spray bottle and it's a yellow solution. Use it in a ventilated area. I used it today while cleaning behind the fridge that is out for repair. Wow, it was a bit grimmy back there. Any way, it was tacky back there too and the 'Awesome' cleaned it well.
I guess the name says it all. AWESOME!
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