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Old 09-23-2003, 12:54 PM   #1
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Question Clearcoat choice?

There does not seem to be any clearcut choice of which clearcoat to use on a restoration after this old stuff is removed and polished with the SS. Does anyone have the real answer? What is the best clearcoat to use on an AS. What kind of prep does the polished aluminun need before clearcoat application. Is there a best system? After so much work, polishing this trailer, it would be very nice to be able to retain it the best way! Any help here most appreciated. TomD32

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Old 09-23-2003, 02:15 PM   #2
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The clear coat on my 1995 Excella 1000 is flaking off on the upper four corners panels and on the upper curb side panel, five panels total. The rest of the panels are all ok.

As you know, the later model trailers, like our's, have a satin finish. I have been researching various clear coat restoration procedures and following the threads on this forum.

Those that have gone though the process of shining their trailers might not like what I have found as far as applying a new clear coat.

PPG has a Clear Acrylic Urethane product called Delclear DAU75. This clear coat is recommended for bare aluminum. However, after talking to their Technical Service Department, 440 572-6111, the aluminum must be lightly scuffed and lightly etched. They say that the clear coat needs something to adhere to. The preperation steps are as follows:

1. Remove the clear coat in what ever manner suits you.

2. Mix PPG DX579 Cleaner, one part DX579 to ten parts cold water. Warm or hot water tends to yellow. Wash by scrubbing the aluminum with either White Scotch Brite Pads, lightly abrasive, or Gray Scotch Brite Pads, medium abrasive. Then rince throughly with cold water.

3. Mix PPG DX501 Etching, one part DX501 to one part cold water. Warm or hot water tends to yellow. Leave on one to three minutes, rince with cold water, then throughly dry.

4. Then spray with clear coat Delclear DAU75. Two coats minimum.

Other details on the Delcear DAU75 can be found PPG Product Information Form P-110 (9/91)

I have not tried this procedure but for the newer satin finishes, it may be possibe to retain the satin finish with proper scuffing with the Scotch Brite Pads. I don't know how strong the etching process is but one to three minutes of etching doesnot sound like a deep etch.

Now if someone would like me to try it on their trailer, I will let you know how it works. Failing that I will see if I can find a scrap of satin finished skin I can test.

Has anyone tried this? I know Andy from InlandRV doesnot like etching.

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Old 09-23-2003, 02:33 PM   #3
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Not only do I not like "etching," the metal on the trailers or motorhomes, they don't like it either.

They react by showing corrosion around the backside and edges of the rivets, UNLESS, every trace of the acid has been removed, which is not likely.

Typically etching the trailer metal, will turn it into a streaky white color.

But, to each his own.

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Old 09-23-2003, 03:56 PM   #4
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Ok , Andy, you seem to Rule the roost , on this Forum.....what do you recommend as a Clearcoat...and how do you recommend it to be instaled. Simple, how do you get this stuff to adhere ..on top of polished aluminum? Please , no disrespect here. I have admired you comments and advise and I know they are right; but I need to clearcoat my AS. What is the best thing to use ..and is metal treatmet out before application?...even if the paint system reccomends it? You can clear this all up with the correct way to do it. You know the factory sure got it wrong on this year model.. and we are stuck with to get out of this mess the best way........TomD32
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Old 09-23-2003, 04:16 PM   #5
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The replasticoate procedure is somewhat basic.

Remove all the plastic parts. Strip the coach with an Aircraft stripper, or equal. You must use caution, as some strippers will discolor the metal.

Clean, clean and clean again, the entire coach with a "high" grade lacquer thinner. Use soft cotton wrags, like T shirts.

When thoroughly cleaned, reseal all the exterior seams with Parbond and Vulkem sealer.

Immediately apply the new plasticoat. A heavy double wet coat works fine. You will not be able to put on a second coat.

The new plasticoat material is now a 2 part mixture.


That process cannot be done in the field, or at the Airstream factory.

This is a very brief overview.

Refinishing the underbelly wrap, any decals or plates, must also be worked into the job.

Finally, reinstall the plastic components, and seal them with Parbond.

Depending on the climate, apply Walbernize to the new finish after about 30 good warm days.

Total time for a 31 foot trailer? About 50-60 hours.

No acid etch, you will take the risk of staining the trailer. No sanding either.

You can apply the plasticoat to a polished trailer, but again, the metal must be chemically clean. The haze from the lacquer thinner does not matter.

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