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Old 04-26-2011, 11:31 AM   #1
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Living with peeling clear coat?

I have searched a bit, but haven't found anyone that asked the same question.

I am looking at purchasing a late 90's model that has a decent amount of clear coat peeling on the top 2 feet. I don't mind it too much. Its patina and character.

My questions are; What can I do to stop further peeling? What are my options for waxing or protecting the area that has already peeled?

Thanks
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Old 04-26-2011, 12:16 PM   #2
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Well, I don't have answers for you questions but have one observation.....

Someone (obviously, can't remember who) removed the failed top coat from only the top portion of their trailer. Just taped off a nice line where the peeling ended and removed the failed portion from that point up. Looked pretty good.

Now back to someone who can help with what you asked....

Laura
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Old 04-26-2011, 12:43 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by timmaah View Post
I have searched a bit, but haven't found anyone that asked the same question.

I am looking at purchasing a late 90's model that has a decent amount of clear coat peeling on the top 2 feet. I don't mind it too much. Its patina and character.

My questions are; What can I do to stop further peeling? What are my options for waxing or protecting the area that has already peeled?

Thanks
The clear coat is peeling because it's aged out, or dead if you wish.

The clear coat only lasts 5 to 6 years.

There is nothing you can do to save the part that is still there.

The UV from the sun, does the job, because the clear coat does not have a UV component in the paint.

What your seeing, has been happening to Airstreams since 1964.

Andy
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Old 04-26-2011, 12:47 PM   #4
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You do have a few options but none are cheap or easy.
1st - have it stripped and re-clearcoated very expensive.
2nd - stripe it all off and polish - a huge amount of work. Also very expensive if done by a pro.
3rd - just keep it clean and use a product like Walbernize to wax it. I had a 66 Overlander 20 years ago and it looked like yours. I washed it often and used Walbernize and that was enough to keep it looking a bit better than ok.
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Old 04-26-2011, 12:51 PM   #5
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Thanks for posting this- we have a failing clearcoat, although its from the 60s and I've been putting it off til last for stripping and polishing. We tried Walbernize and it did make it look a little better, even on the ancient finish. I had wondered about something that would help fill in the gaps, the cracking, in the finish, maybe even it out a bit.
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Old 04-26-2011, 12:51 PM   #6
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Post a pic if you can, I have WAAAAY too much experience with peeling.
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Old 04-26-2011, 12:58 PM   #7
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Post a pic if you can, I have WAAAAY too much experience with peeling.


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Old 04-26-2011, 01:09 PM   #8
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I use this method, and a lot of old towels and elbow grease! It won't be perfect in any sense of the word, but it will "feather" the peeling.
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Old 04-26-2011, 06:18 PM   #9
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Oh awesome, its worth a try.
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:46 PM   #10
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Oh awesome, its worth a try.
Considering the "option" is about 5k to remove the awnings, roof air, all vents and markers, strip the old clearcoat, re-do and re-install everything. "Geez, Aunt Edna, I thought I was your favorite nephew!"
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:03 PM   #11
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I think 5 years ago I would have posted about early-90s Airstreams which had failing clearcoat. I guess your experience brings that up to what we'd expect for mid- and later-90s 'streams by now. Outside storage & natural ultraviolet will bring about penetration right through to the bonding layer and ultimate separation. Given the age, I'm not sure that inside storage and regular usage would provide any measure of preserving clearcoat. The milled aluminum finish underneath can be polished some say -- though not as easily as 60s & 70s coaches. The high cost of reapplying is inevitably shorter lasting than the OEM clearcoat. It might be time to think about how you will handle life with aluminum -- and without plastic. Something about stripping down to the beltline appeals...
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:20 PM   #12
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The high cost of reapplying is inevitably shorter lasting than the OEM clearcoat.
Yup, true that! Here's a pic of the clearcoat done by a AS outlet after the front deer-damaged skin was replaced. The clearcoat is five years old and getting worse by the minute.
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:48 PM   #13
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I'd rather polish ours, but I'm curious about having an uncoated shell >1 mile from the Pacific. We don't have a lot of problems with salt at our home, compared to homes at closer to the water, but we do have more moisture than we did living in the Bay Area. I don't want the thing to simply dissolve.
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:07 PM   #14
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The clear coat on our '83 was redone some years ago by the PO, and is coming off the top like many others. When I removed the PO WBCCI numbers, I tried to clean some of the goo off with lacquer thinner. Sll went well until I used too much thinner and pressure.

Well guess what? The clear started coming off the center panel, where it had already started pealing. I used more thinner and removed all of the clear from that panel, leaving the factory satin finish.

That was two years ago, and that center panel still looks great.
Next job, remove the clear from other panels where it has started to come off due to age.

No clear coat, no polish.
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