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Old 05-11-2009, 08:22 PM   #1
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Clearcoat and oxidation Repair '94 Limited

I'm tired of searching and collecting. Need my own thread I guess. My '94 Excell '34 has clearcoat and oxidation damage above the awning on both sides. The white part on top looks ok. Need to know if anyone has done this repair and what stuff and equipment they used. I priced it out with P&S and I can't pay the bucks. I would like to get it done before summer starts. Would appreciate help from any of you experts or experienced handy people. Best regards. Don Hetzler.
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Old 05-12-2009, 05:03 AM   #2
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I have used a polishing compound to remove oxidation. It can be done by hand or with power equipment. Don't use rubbing compound it is too coarse and will remove the clearcoat. I have heard that some have had good results with Nu Finish.
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Old 05-12-2009, 08:40 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emh142 View Post
I'm tired of searching and collecting. Need my own thread I guess. My '94 Excell '34 has clearcoat and oxidation damage above the awning on both sides. The white part on top looks ok. Need to know if anyone has done this repair and what stuff and equipment they used. I priced it out with P&S and I can't pay the bucks. I would like to get it done before summer starts. Would appreciate help from any of you experts or experienced handy people. Best regards. Don Hetzler.
Your describing clearcoat that has aged out.

The oly repair or fix, is to reclearcoat.

Not cheap, but it's the only answer.

Using a polish will make matters worse, as it will remove more of the clearcoat.

You can ignore the problem, you can wear very dark sunglasses so you can't see the problem, you know out of sight out of mind, or you can have it redone.

Be advised that clearcoat lasts 5 to 6 years typically, depending on the exposure to the sun.

A reclearcoat therefore, will only last that same period of time.

Other options are to strip the clearcoat, polish the trailer, and then wash and wax it every month. If you don't want that labor, then don't do it.

Or, you can strip the trailer, sand into the metal and use the metallic silver process.

The cheapest way out, is to ignore it.

Next is the reclearcoat.

Next is the metallic silver.

The last and most expensive is the polishing.

Andy
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Old 05-12-2009, 10:29 AM   #4
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I have had enough experience with auto and aircraft finishes, in my 70 years, to know this fellow Andy is talking straight. Thanks Mr Rogozinski.
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Old 05-12-2009, 01:40 PM   #5
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Don, you could try my $50 fix. I drew a straight line just above window level, and stripped the clearcoating above that. I then bought a couple of Airstream clearcote aerosol spray cans, and resprayed the bare areas. Then I applied a thin (about a quarter of an inch wide) blue automobile self-adhesive strip along the joint between the old and new. It looks as if the strip was original, the result is good enough for me , and it's lasted several years so far. Details are at :

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f474...tml#post213475

Nick
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Old 05-14-2009, 08:28 PM   #6
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Thanks Nick and everyone. I think I'll go with re-clearcoating the strip above the windows up to the top panels. I'll check Nick's reference and get back to you if I need anything else. I don't want to polish up to a mirror like some I've seen. I like the way they look but have way too much to do to be able to keep it up.

TKS again. DH>
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Old 11-25-2013, 03:46 PM   #7
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Nick and EMH 142,
Would you comment on how your refinishing has held up. I have this same problem with my 99 Excella 34'. I have been contemplating doing this same method of refinishing you have described.
Thanks!
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Old 11-25-2013, 04:05 PM   #8
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Nick and EMH 142,
Would you comment on how your refinishing has held up.
Alan, perfect as of today, with no further treatment during the past eight years. I do store the trailer under a pole barn.
Nick.
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Old 11-25-2013, 06:08 PM   #9
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I appreciate your response. I will be near ODM tomorrow, so I think I will stop by and get a few spray cans. Looks like this will be my winter project!

How did you apply. I know Airstream published a document about refinishing older trailers using a pressure pot sprayer. It said after cleaning the surface with lacquer thinner to apply the clear coat in a three step application. First apply a tack coat very thin, then a second coat until it looked glossy, and a third finish coat. Did you do this method or just spray on one good coat? What the approximate coverage you got per can.
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Old 11-25-2013, 06:27 PM   #10
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Alan, I use one of Airstream's rattle cans for one end panel segment, so two cans for the area above the awning. I've found the Airstream product to be far easier to obtain a reasonable finish than all the alternative products I've tried. Wipe the nozzle after each coat, as drips tend to form and drop onto the surface.The car stripe I mention in the link is a good way to spray just part of the top panel.
After masking off the area I use aircraft paint stripper, and then wash the surface with white spirit. I then remove the masking, which is contaminated with stripper. Then I re-apply masking tape and newspaper, and spray horizontally about 9" from the surface, always starting and stopping the spraying while the can is in motion. Also maintain the 9" distance throughout, so you're not swinging the arm about the elbow. I use many (perhaps 6) light coats, leaving a few minutes between them. This avoids runs. The finish I obtain is not as smooth and shiny as a professional sprayer would achieve with a quality spraying rig, but it's acceptable on my 25 year old trailer.
Over the years I've tended to spray one panel each year as it becomes necessary, and after 14 years I've only the two lower main side panels left with the original clearcoat.
Good luck withy your project.
Nick.
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Old 11-25-2013, 07:29 PM   #11
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Nick,

I really appreciate this information.
I am not worried about a perfect finish either. For me it is more about making the trailer look better than it looks now, with peeling clear coat, and preventing further corrosion.
Based on your experience I should use about 12 rattle cans to do both end caps and both sides above the awnings.

I think I will use your suggestion for the blue tape to mask the start/stop lines that will be visible. On the end caps, after striping the clear coat and prepping the surface, I will tape exactly at the metal joints. Then I will reseal those joints with Acryl-R after the clear coat cures.

One more question: I have some oxidization that I have to deal with. Did you have to use any abrasive to remove corrosion or treat corrosion chemically in any way prior to refinishing? I think I will have to do some light sanding with wet/dry paper. Then maybe a pressure wash to get some of the corrosion out of the small dings and pits.

Anyone else have experiences to share? I appreciate all comments and advice!

THANK YOU!!!
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Old 11-25-2013, 08:04 PM   #12
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Alan,

I'm looking forward to following your progress! Please post pictures. I've got a few spots of peeling clear above the awning rails, too.

I love my '99 '34!
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Old 11-25-2013, 08:13 PM   #13
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Will do.
I'm just getting to know my 34'. I got it last month. We have only spent one week in it so far.
I'm 700 miles away from my trailer, visiting family for the holidays.
I hope to get started in a few weeks. I think I will start a different thread when I get started, so as not to hijack this one any more than I already have. I will post a link here.
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Old 11-26-2013, 05:12 AM   #14
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Nick, Did you have to use any abrasive to remove corrosion or treat corrosion chemically in any way prior to refinishing? I think I will have to do some light sanding with wet/dry paper.
Alan, some of my trailer's end caps were deeply pitted. I used very coarse wet and dry paper on the pitted areas at first, with plenty of water. I may have used some ugly 80 grit at first, gradually using finer paper. You have to judge the degree of shine as you use finer grades of abrasive paper. If you go too fine, the new part will be too mirror-like, and will stand out from the rest of the trailer. I only used water with a little dish soap to clean the areas after sanding, and then hosed them down. Then I washed the panels with alcohol before spraying.
Here's a section from my previous thread:
"The clearcote generally fails on the endcaps, and along the top quarter of the long side panels. I've previously posted details of spraying the endcaps with the Airstream aerosols of clearcote, but I've just used them to spray just the top quarters of the side panels, as the remainder of the clearcote on those panels should last a few more years. I stretched a tight string along the side of the trailer and taped it in place to act as a guide to put a good straight length of masking tape along the panel, 8 inches above the tops of the windows. I then taped a $2 poly drop sheet, 20 feet by 9 feet, to this tape. I used stripper to clean the old clearcote, wiped down with mineral spirits, and used 2 cans each side to spray the clearcote. I quickly removed the masking and drop sheet. This left an obvious dividing line between the new and old clearcote. I had previously purchase, for about $12, a 100 ft roll of blue automotive decorative stripe. The color matches beautifully the Airstream blue used in the 1980's. The stripe is Prostripe brand, Vivid Blue, #RS1242, and it is one quarter of an inch wide. It is applied by slowly removing a backing paper and pressing the tape in place. I'm very pleased with the result."
The below photo shows the resultant finish. I've re-sprayed all the panels you can see. Click on the photo to enlarge it.


Nick.
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