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Old 01-23-2012, 04:06 PM   #1
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1972 27' Overlander
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Airstream pattern Baldness..

Hi Folks,

I have a 72 Overlander which I love. It was re-coated a while back probably ten years ago, and like me is developing....pattern baldness on top. Sides look great. My questions is this, is there any way to repair this? I read somewhere that you could clean up the edges and respray the plasticoat. Anyone have any experience with this?

Thanks!
Dave
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:20 PM   #2
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I used to smoke some of that same stuff . . amazing what correlations come up.

Seriously, there are quite a few threads on clearcoat, etc, that a title search will reveal, from pro work to DIY.
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:28 PM   #3
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Maybe they make some of this for Airtstreams?
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:49 PM   #4
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P&S in Ohio are the pros at doing it (I hope to have them do my trailer in the future). I have had conversations with several people who have had just the top touched up.
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:20 AM   #5
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Pattern Baldness

HAY! I can't believe you guys are making fun of the FNUGY!! (dang, I am thinking this Airstream stuff might be fun!)

P&S did the work on mine as well, thanks for the response!! I'll look in the other clear coat threads
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:38 AM   #6
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faded clearcoat on crown of shell

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Originally Posted by mccrosti View Post
Hi Folks,

I have a 72 Overlander which I love. It was re-coated a while back probably ten years ago, and like me is developing....pattern baldness on top. Sides look great. My questions is this, is there any way to repair this? I read somewhere that you could clean up the edges and respray the plasticoat. Anyone have any experience with this?

Thanks!
Dave
I just picked up a Florida airstream and it had the typical faded clearcoat with the PO using a palm sander to remove it GAHHH , luckily he stopped before he ruined all the aluminum by scaring it. I cleaned it well and wiped it down with alcohol then sprayed with an acrylic lacquer (would be better with a compressor and gravity spray gun.
I call it a 20 foot touchup, from 20 feet it looks pretty good for it's age.
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mccrosti View Post
Hi Folks,

I have a 72 Overlander which I love. It was re-coated a while back probably ten years ago, and like me is developing....pattern baldness on top. Sides look great. My questions is this, is there any way to repair this? I read somewhere that you could clean up the edges and respray the plasticoat. Anyone have any experience with this?

Thanks!
Dave
The Airstream clear coat, only lasts 5 to 6 years.

As it ages, it takes on a dull appearance.

Of course, the roof gets most of the sun, so it shows up being very faded, first.

The fix, is to remove the paint and do it over again.

You cannot fix dead paint.

Andy
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:35 PM   #8
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Andy...

Andy, forgive my impudence sir, but I beg to differ ... I am sure I read it somewhere and eventually I remembered where! In my 1972 Airstream Manual, according to it. All I have to do is using lacquer thinner, remove the patchy stuff and using nothing less than the original clear coating stuff (direct from Airstream) I could repair it myself in mere minutes
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Old 01-24-2012, 05:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by mccrosti View Post
Andy, forgive my impudence sir, but I beg to differ ... I am sure I read it somewhere and eventually I remembered where! In my 1972 Airstream Manual, according to it. All I have to do is using lacquer thinner, remove the patchy stuff and using nothing less than the original clear coating stuff (direct from Airstream) I could repair it myself in mere minutes
Try it, and then let us know how it turned out.

Also, please be advised that "Airstream" DID NOT write the service manuals. A publishing company did.

There are a number of mistakes in those early books.

A dead paint, is a dead paint. It cannot be reactivated for any useful purpose.

Ask any painting professional about exterior metal finishing paints.

The UV breaks down the clearcoat, and that's why it becomes opaque.

When it's opaque, it's done since it also has become crystalized and has lost it's ability to bond to the metal.

Andy
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Old 01-26-2012, 12:51 PM   #10
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Pattern Baldness

Hey Andy, I get that. I have lots of friends that are painters and body people by trade. I also know something written in 1972 *probably* wouldn't be relevant today - this same manual sings the praises of the "Thermasan".... But! (isn't there always a "but) I also know that what is on the AS is not true clear coat like used on cars, And the rest of the stuff is in outstanding shape. What have I got to lose by trying it, other than enduring the laughter of other AS er's? That and moving the polish job up a few years!
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Old 01-26-2012, 01:47 PM   #11
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Hey Andy, I get that. I have lots of friends that are painters and body people by trade. I also know something written in 1972 *probably* wouldn't be relevant today - this same manual sings the praises of the "Thermasan".... But! (isn't there always a "but) I also know that what is on the AS is not true clear coat like used on cars, And the rest of the stuff is in outstanding shape. What have I got to lose by trying it, other than enduring the laughter of other AS er's? That and moving the polish job up a few years!
Airstream's clearcoat, is not an automotive paint.

Automotive clearcoat, will not adhere tp raw aluminum, and is designed to adhere to a paint.

Your free to do whatever you wish to do with your Airstream, but I promise you, that your time will be wasted fooling around with a clearcoat that's 40 years old.

The Thermosan was a black water wasted disposal system designed by Thetford, that just didn't work out. A connection was made from the trailer to the tow vehicle to carry the black water to the tow vehicles exhaust system. It was supposed to pump into the exhaust system, as I recall after 25 mph and faster. That, indeed, did work.

BUT, the system also worked at a stop light, which needless to say, plugged up the exhaust system and made a mess on the street.

Needless to say, that created a health hazard, and the system was quickly abandoned.

Imagine taking a car to an auto dealer to have the exhaust system cleaned out because of the black water deposits.

I'm sure you get the idea, loud and clear.

Andy
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:26 AM   #12
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Andy,
The AS was redone about 10 years ago by P&S in Ohio.
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:44 AM   #13
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Inovations of the past

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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Airstream's clearcoat, is not an automotive paint.

Automotive clearcoat, will not adhere tp raw aluminum, and is designed to adhere to a paint.

Your free to do whatever you wish to do with your Airstream, but I promise you, that your time will be wasted fooling around with a clearcoat that's 40 years old.

The Thermosan was a black water wasted disposal system designed by Thetford, that just didn't work out. A connection was made from the trailer to the tow vehicle to carry the black water to the tow vehicles exhaust system. It was supposed to pump into the exhaust system, as I recall after 25 mph and faster. That, indeed, did work.

BUT, the system also worked at a stop light, which needless to say, plugged up the exhaust system and made a mess on the street.

Needless to say, that created a health hazard, and the system was quickly abandoned.

Imagine taking a car to an auto dealer to have the exhaust system cleaned out because of the black water deposits.

I'm sure you get the idea, loud and clear.

Andy
This was just a quick fix. As you can see what I bought was really worn looking. Since I'm fulltiming it for now in Florida and campgrounds don't want anything over 10 years old in their places the Mickey Mouse (pun intended ) fix works for now. Everyone thinks it's a newer airstream, it looks good from ten feet for less than $20. Later when I can strip the entire unit and reclear it right, I'll do that (dern sanding the guy did though is gonna be a pain to deal with, tried to buff it grrrrr ).

I've been camping since 1970 and remember the Thermosan (EWWWW) device, and at that time thought what idiot thought that one up.
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:48 AM   #14
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Arch...

We live about 200ft from a lake.... we'd say "It looks great from the lake"... I'm probably gonna call P&S to see what their take is.

Good luck with those sanding marks. What kinda yackbone would do this to soft metal??
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