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Old 12-19-2013, 05:09 PM   #1
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Is he trying to paint my AS?

I found an awesome RV repair man/group. The specialty is GMC motor coaches but he will take in the random AS. He has already impressed me with the collective skill Re: floor repair and overall quest for quality reconstruction. The question I have is should I let him 'have his way' with my outer skin. He says that polishing a 31' is something he will just not do, that is fine with me cause I will not do it either and can't afford to have it done. He suggested a stripping and something he called a metal flaking to match the original finish. Should I consider this? Should I just live with the Weather Worn look and leave it up to the next owner?
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Old 12-19-2013, 05:33 PM   #2
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I think you should strip it and just let it get a natural patina. Good paint jobs would approximate the cost of polishing, and a bad paint job will peel, and look worse than what you have now!
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Old 12-19-2013, 05:42 PM   #3
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If I recall correctly, Andy of Inland RV used to recommend painting Airstreams as an alternative to polishing. Perhaps he will post a reply here.

Tim
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Old 12-19-2013, 05:49 PM   #4
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Sell it and buy an Argosy if you want a painted trailer.
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Old 12-19-2013, 05:57 PM   #5
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The only metalflake paint I know of, is the sparkly stuff they use on fibreglass speed boats and on hot rods from the sixties.

Maybe he meant a metallic paint in a silver shade.

Painting would be at least as laborious and costly as polishing. You have to strip the clearcoat with aircraft paint stripper and repaint as you would an airplane building up coats of primer, paint and clearcoat to the final finish. It would look as good as a new car but unless you wax it regularly would not last more than 10 years.

Just stripping the clearcoat would leave it with a uniform aluminum appearance. Judging from pictures I have seen on this board, it would look pretty good that way. Not as nice as a polished trailer but better than peeling clearcoat. This would be a lot cheaper than painting or polishing and would not prevent polishing in the future.

I am against painting unless you are trying to salvage a wreck without replacing panels. It depreciates the trailer, it is not permanent, and makes it A LOT harder to strip and polish in the future.
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Old 12-19-2013, 06:09 PM   #6
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I know the guy that runs Coop, he is very good at what he does. If you want to see what they can do with paint, run up to his shop and take a look at the motor homes he has there, that he has painted.
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Old 12-19-2013, 06:12 PM   #7
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Sell it and buy an Argosy if you want a painted trailer.
Saw some AWESOME Argosy TT on our trip out west but we are keeping the AS. I think I will ask to have the remaining clear-cote striped and just go with cleaning and washing the Al beauty.
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Old 12-19-2013, 06:31 PM   #8
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I know the guy that runs Coop, he is very good at what he does. If you want to see what they can do with paint, run up to his shop and take a look at the motor homes he has there, that he has painted.
If you are talking about the Co-op in Orlando, I have been there and after a half hour felt comfortable leaving our baby in Jim's capable hands (look at "Daily Pose"). I wonder about the the 'future' owner of our A.S.'s opinion. I know the co-op can make my trailer 'pop' but what will the person looking to buy it in ten years think. If it was an Argosy there would not even be a hesitation!
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Old 12-19-2013, 06:46 PM   #9
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If I recall correctly, Andy of Inland RV used to recommend painting Airstreams as an alternative to polishing. Perhaps he will post a reply here.

Tim
We painted many Airstream and a few Argosy trailers and motorhomes, a "metallic silver".

It was all Dupont paint materials, but the silver was something Dupont never made up as a formula.

The advantage of a first class paint job, is waxing it once a year or so, and it will last 25 to 30 years.

That far beats polishing and/or using the Plasticote.

We quit the painting about 4 years ago or so, basically because of California laws.

We have a door from a motorhome that we painted, that is severely mangled, yet the paint is not cracked or chipped. We keep it to show our customers how a top notch preparation and paint job holds up.

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Old 12-19-2013, 07:47 PM   #10
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If you are talking about the Co-op in Orlando, I have been there and after a half hour felt comfortable leaving our baby in Jim's capable hands (look at "Daily Pose"). I wonder about the the 'future' owner of our A.S.'s opinion. I know the co-op can make my trailer 'pop' but what will the person looking to buy it in ten years think. If it was an Argosy there would not even be a hesitation!
Yes, I was talking about Jim. He's done interesting things with the old GMC motor homes.
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Old 12-20-2013, 12:54 AM   #11
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How much does it cost to paint an Airstream and do it properly? Last I looked it cost $5000 to paint a car and an Airstream must be twice as much. Polishing costs $120 a foot or about $3600.
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Old 12-20-2013, 07:30 AM   #12
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How much does it cost to paint an Airstream and do it properly? Last I looked it cost $5000 to paint a car and an Airstream must be twice as much. Polishing costs $120 a foot or about $3600.
Actually, the painting costs about the same including labor and materials, as it does to properly prep the shell.

To properly prep and paint a 31 foot Airstream, today costs about $5000.00 to $6500.00.

Since the prep is the magic to the proper job, the shell must be sanded, not scuffed, but sanded with 120 to 150 grit wet or dry sandpaper.

Whatever seam sealing needs to be done is next.

Then 2 double wet coats of flexible primer should be used.

Let that age 24 hours or so, then spray 2 double wet coats of the metallic silver, followed immediately with 2 to 3 double wet coats of clear.

The moldings and/or belt line painting should be done before the silver.

Let the complete paint job age a month or two, and then give it a good wax job.

If someone wants the special silver metallic paint formula that we used, please ask and I will be glad to post it.

Andy
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Old 12-20-2013, 08:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
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How much does it cost to paint an Airstream and do it properly? Last I looked it cost $5000 to paint a car and an Airstream must be twice as much. Polishing costs $120 a foot or about $3600.
It is much more than that! Try upwards of $300-$400 for a reputable place with great referrals. Yeah you could hire some contract labor, but I would hate to ruin a true classic with someone who doesn't know what they are doing.
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Old 12-20-2013, 08:42 PM   #14
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This guy charges $180 a foot

airstreamguy.com - Polishing Information step by step here**

120 or 150 sandpaper seems pretty harsh, I would think you would use 400 or 360. 120 is for smoothing plastic filler or cutting down primer.

I could see painting an Airstream but only if it was not feasible to polish it or leave it alone, for example if you did some repair work and used filler to get it smooth. Then you would have to paint.

If I did paint I think I would find a better color than silver. Paint to match the tow car, or some original color scheme.
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