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Old 03-16-2005, 04:15 PM   #1
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Unhappy Clear coat cleaning and protection

I recently sold my Land Yacht motorhome, because wife wants to pull a rig. I'm looking at an '87 that appears to have a "weathered" clear coat finish. I'd appreciate any suggestions on how to clean and preserve an older clear coat.
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Old 03-16-2005, 04:35 PM   #2
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ricksre

The original clear coat (plastic coat) is good for 3 to 4 years.

Unless your trailer has been refinished, that plastic coat has been shot for years.

As it ages, it does turn opaque, as well as starts peeling, usually at the roof area first.

Any attempt to make it "shine up" at this point, will more than likely cause more of it to come off.

Once you hit the bare metal, you will change the appearance of it as well.

Andy
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Old 03-16-2005, 05:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricksre
I recently sold my Land Yacht motorhome, because wife wants to pull a rig. I'm looking at an '87 that appears to have a "weathered" clear coat finish. I'd appreciate any suggestions on how to clean and preserve an older clear coat.
Rick,
Andy is dead on the money there is not much if anything that can be done with a weathered clear coat.
Mine is a 75 and the clear coat is SHOT! a least on the roof and just below it. I have priced it and you are looking at 3 choices...Strip and Polish(run a board search), Strip and recoat...good for 3-5 years @ $150 a foot or so or Paint it metallic silver...about the same price as a strip and clear coat. Mine is going to look like it does for at least the next couple of years until I decide which route to take....shabby chic has it's advantages

Aaron

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Old 03-16-2005, 05:31 PM   #4
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Talking

I'm with Aaron, mine is also a '75. The clear is, well not bad. At some point in a year or so I want to strip it and make it "shine". For now, I'll buff the coating that is there to make it ole rig presentable. (I say that now who knows what warm weather will bring)
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Old 03-16-2005, 07:49 PM   #5
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OK, balrgn how are you going to buff it without stripping the remaining clear coat? I appreciate the info given. I won't know what condition the rig is in until I look at it. The present owner says it is "dull from being stored outside".
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Old 03-16-2005, 07:56 PM   #6
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You can use a light compound with a 6" buffer. Just like you would a car. We'll be trying a test panel soon as the wether is above freezin. I'll be posting pics on my website.
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Old 03-16-2005, 07:58 PM   #7
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Oh yeah this is a pic of our Trade Wind that had been buffed about 4 or 5 months before this was taken
http://www.balrgn.com/Airstream/DSC02188.jpg
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Old 03-16-2005, 08:17 PM   #8
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Looks great! what kind of polish/compound did you use?
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Old 03-17-2005, 03:47 PM   #9
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Talking Test panel

Quote:
Originally Posted by ricksre
Looks great! what kind of polish/compound did you use?
I am not certain what the PO used for compound. I just went out and did a test panel with 3M touch up Finish Compound, hey it's 46 degrees here! Anyway the pics don't look as good as standing 20 or so feet away. My plasticoat is at the end of it's life. I want to get the interior completed before the stripping of the plasticoat starts.... I have noticed several areas where the coating has either worn through or just peeled off. This will be a problem compounding the finish as it makes it look dark grey in that area.

PS Pic # DSC02540 is before and Pic # DSC02541 is after
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Old 03-17-2005, 04:42 PM   #10
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Clearcoat can spray vs white top!

I have a '90 that has been under the shed for most of it's life, therefore the clearcoat is relatively good condition. I do have some roof areas that is needing recoating.

I'm at a cross roads. One easier solution is to just use the cans of clearcoat and 'patch' the areas needed.

The other more drastic action is to do what the new coaches have - and that is to have a white roof!

Since I keep it under a pole barn, it will keep pretty good with action one. But here in the 'sub-tropics' where the A-C works really hard to keep it below 90 deg., it might make sense to go ahead and paint it white reflective on top.

Who has done that to a previously clearcoated top? What actions are necessary to make the paint stick well? I plan to keep A/S for a # of years.

Suggestions - Opinions?

Thanks,

Sav'h Steve
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Old 03-17-2005, 07:43 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
The original clear coat (plastic coat) is good for 3 to 4 years...
That's kind of sad for modern day Airstreams. Although the clearcoat is gone from the roof of my 37 year old Overlander, the overall appearance of my American classic still looks great.

There are pictures of my Airstream in both the forum's photo gallery, and on my webpage (see link in my signature) so you can judge for yourself.

Tom
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Old 03-17-2005, 09:21 PM   #12
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ricksre
The original clear coat (plastic coat) is good for 3 to 4 years.
Andy
This may be more true with the change of coating in the mid nineties. Most seem to say that Clearcoat lasts much longer on older units. My 15 yo unit has just a few roof areas needing clearcoat. It was stored outside in the sun for 2-3 years of that 15 which helped.

Exposure is key! And maybe the recent processes are not as lasting. Many of 60's and 70's units owners claim clearcoat is mostly OK. This is 10X the length Andy is touting. Of course it is a gradual process.

Steve
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Old 03-18-2005, 08:46 AM   #13
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I also had renewed my clearcoat shine by polishing with a clear coat safe polish, then applying a couple of coats of Liquid Glass protectant. It also polishes...but if very weatehred you might want to strip all the old wax off with a wax remover ( meguirs or Mothers make good ones) then reseal with a very hard coat sealant like the one i mentioned. Mine had held up in the strong summer sun of the south now for almost two years since the intial app. I will reapply it in the Spring, a coat or two. Goes on by hand, no buffer necessary. I have had little or no weathering, and no peeling since using this stuff. Check the pictures of my MH it is very shiny without being mirror polished.
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Old 03-18-2005, 11:29 AM   #14
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The clearcoat on my 2004 CCD was applied by Alcoa. This is supposedly better than the application at Airstream. How long is it supposed to last if exposed to the elements 365? Will Walbernizer extend its life?
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