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Old 07-29-2012, 11:03 AM   #1
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1974 31' Sovereign
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Airstream Exterior factory paint?

Hello,
We have a 1974 Airstream 31' Sovereign International, according to the serial number made in California.
It appears to be painted? And that paint appears to be original, is this possible?
I haven't found anything on these forums that talks about exterior paint for Airstreams, only Argosy? Maybe I should keep digging.
I've had two other Airstream owner come by to look at it and they agree it looks painted but painted very well as if it is original? Did the California plant ever paint these. The colour is silver, grey.
Any input would be greatly appreciated.
cheers,
Ryan
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:07 AM   #2
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Here is a photo of it.
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:09 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by checkerdown View Post
Hello,
We have a 1974 Airstream 31' Sovereign International, according to the serial number made in California.
It appears to be painted? And that paint appears to be original, is this possible?
I haven't found anything on these forums that talks about exterior paint for Airstreams, only Argosy? Maybe I should keep digging.
I've had two other Airstream owner come by to look at it and they agree it looks painted but painted very well as if it is original? Did the California plant ever paint these. The colour is silver, grey.
Any input would be greatly appreciated.
cheers,
Ryan
Airstream has only used one color of paint, ever, which is absolutely clear, at least when it's new. In time it tirns opaque.

The silver is an after market paint job.

Andy
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:23 AM   #4
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Po

Quote:
Originally Posted by checkerdown View Post
Hello,
We have a 1974 Airstream 31' Sovereign International, according to the serial number made in California.
It appears to be painted? And that paint appears to be original, is this possible?
I haven't found anything on these forums that talks about exterior paint for Airstreams, only Argosy? Maybe I should keep digging.
I've had two other Airstream owner come by to look at it and they agree it looks painted but painted very well as if it is original? Did the California plant ever paint these. The colour is silver, grey.
Any input would be greatly appreciated.
cheers,
Ryan
Have you scratched the paint to see if it is aluminum? I bet the PO painted it instead of stripping and clear coating. Airstream's paint code chart only goes back to 75
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:33 AM   #5
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1974 31' Sovereign
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Thanks Dan,
Do you mean is it aluminum underneath? Yes.
I've had some paint experts look at it and they think it's original, because there are zero drips or imperfections that would indicate repainting unless it was super expensive pro job? So there are paint codes for the exterior silver later on in Airstream history? How can I get ahold of these codes? And where can I find a paint code for the blue paint on the trim aluminum?
thanks!!!
Ryan
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Old 07-29-2012, 12:20 PM   #6
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In the California sun, the clearcoat that was applied at the factory has a tendency to breakdown. Some high sun area owners have decided to paint their unit instead of spending the time to remove the failing clearcoat/polish/reclearcoat. It makes economic sense. I have seen some that were very well done and lasted a long time.
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Old 07-29-2012, 12:51 PM   #7
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Just wondering why clear coat would be lifting on both front and rear end caps on our '74 31' International and the rest of the clear coat is good??
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Old 07-29-2012, 01:08 PM   #8
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From the photo it looks like it was clear coated at some time... can you take a close up of a seam with some rivets and shadows? The contrast might make it easier to determine the finish. Looks great from the photo though.
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Old 07-29-2012, 01:59 PM   #9
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I recall that Inland RV used to, and perhaps still does, offer painting for Airstreams with peeling clearcoat. In fact, I think that Andy recommended it particularly for units that had body damage which would have been very expensive to fix if the underlying repairs could not be concealed beneath paint.

Tim
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Old 07-29-2012, 02:24 PM   #10
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Just wondering why clear coat would be lifting on both front and rear end caps on our '74 31' International and the rest of the clear coat is good??
The original clearcoat lasts from 5 to 6 years.

If it's original, be glad that any of it is left.

Andy
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:20 AM   #11
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1974 31' Sovereign
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Thanks for your knowledge everyone, we realize now that our Airstream was painted, probably in the seventies or eighties.
Damn good job though! we are going to leave it this way.
cheers.
Ryan
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:50 PM   #12
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Lodi , California
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Painted airstream

Hi we are new to the airstream living and this forum. Found
Your post interesting we have a 65 safari that was painted after the
Clear coat failed. My husband and I have stripped off all the paint (long long process) Now its being buffed out. The next step would be to re caulk all the grooves and possible clear coat to prevent oxidation? Can anyone recommend
Specific caulking and how to prevent oxidation after having it bufffed out. Thank you for all the help!
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:30 PM   #13
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Hi we are new to the airstream living and this forum. Found
Your post interesting we have a 65 safari that was painted after the
Clear coat failed. My husband and I have stripped off all the paint (long long process) Now its being buffed out. The next step would be to re caulk all the grooves and possible clear coat to prevent oxidation? Can anyone recommend
Specific caulking and how to prevent oxidation after having it bufffed out. Thank you for all the help!
Large seams are filled with Vulkem (slow curing) or Sikaflex(fast curing) sealers.

Small seams are sealed with Parr-bond.

Living within 50 miles or so of salt water, requires very frequent washing and waxing, like every month, is about mandatory.

The vulkem cures out in 2 to 3 days. The Sikaflex cures out in about one hour.

Andy
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