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Old 07-25-2010, 07:49 AM   #1
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submariner's Avatar
1948 22' Liner
1989 34' Limited
long beach , Mississippi
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 464
34' Limited with bad clearcoat

i been looking to buy me a 34ft airstream. found a 1988 limited, but the clear is peeling off very badly.
i have seen older trailers with the clear faded , but not a newer one like that..
what would be the recommendation on it ? strip it and re-clear it ? or just strip it and leave it.. im not sure , im ready to polish a 34.. just got done on a 24 and that was enough to do.

any advice is appreciated

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Old 07-25-2010, 08:42 AM   #2
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
boca raton , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 286
I wish all my clear coat would flake of as it has in spots. The orig alluminium has more of a shine and seems to hold it!

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Old 07-25-2010, 08:48 AM   #3
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2008 16' Safari
Destrehan , Louisiana
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It will need to be stripped and clear coated. There are a couple of companies that specialize in this type of work. This can get expensive. Just the stripping and polishing will run about $200.00 a foot.
Or you can get the aircraft grade stripper and strip it yourself. Once it's stripped, you will need to polish the body out. An 88 will not polish up like the older trailers. You will have a dull silver body. Then it will need to be clear coated to leave a nice original looking finish. This will last 10-15 years before it needs to be done again.
The good thing about the clear coat finish is that the trailer only needs to be washed and waxed twice a year. The older bright aluminum trailers were supposed to be washed and waxed every month or more often in bad climates. (read that as seaside)
If you like the trailer and everything else is in good shape; go for it.
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:05 AM   #4
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1988 34' Limited
1960 24' Tradewind
Mt. Pleasant , South Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 379
They will polish

I would respectfully disagree that you will be left with a dull silver finish after stripping and polishing an '88. It is true that you won't be able to achieve the depth of shine of an earlier trailer but it will polish nicely and is well worth the effort.
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:09 AM   #5
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Corona , California
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Regardless of the type aluminum metal used by Airstream over the years, they will all polish out to a mirror finish, when properly done.

Underbelly not included.

Clearcoat or plasticoat, is good for an average of 5 to 6 years, regardless of the amount of polishing or not, and then only if the metal is properly cleaned.

Clearcoat today, exclusive of any polishing, runs about $125.00 per running foot.

Many shops, such as ourselves, have stopped complete refinishes, due to local rules and laws.

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Old 07-25-2010, 09:26 AM   #6
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1948 22' Liner
1989 34' Limited
long beach , Mississippi
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 464
does anybody has some photos, of how the later model airstreams turn out, if you just strip them ? i remember my 65 looked pretty decent, even without pollishing

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