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Old 05-18-2003, 02:21 PM   #1
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Talking Painting an Airstream?

At the risk of getting tarred and feathered for thinking unpure thoughts :-), I was wondering if it would be feasible to simply paint my airstream with silver paint (or whatever) as an alternative to possibly more work involved with compounding and polishing.

Has anyone tried it? Pros, cons, prep and painting pointers?

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Old 05-18-2003, 02:29 PM   #2
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Thumbs up check this out..

Not all that unreasonable

It's a matter that can be found on this website.
Andy can answer all of your concerns.

Seems like a decent paint job can last 20 yrs or more without any failure.

Sure beats the alternatives.

The one thing you have to remember is this. So I been told, is that once very costly to go back to where you're at now.

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Old 05-18-2003, 02:50 PM   #3
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Sure beats the alternatives
Other alternative:

" At the risk of getting tarred and feathered for......." doing "unpure" acts....... we have not done anything to the finish of our 3 AS

It's like washing the car: it's going to get dirty again anyway
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Old 05-18-2003, 04:17 PM   #4
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It just depends on your skills and what you expect when finished. I've done both, repainted an Argosy and am currently polishing an A/S. I would say for the average Joe who has an "AMPLE" amount of free time polishing would be the least expensive and produce the best results. Let's face it, it is impossible to duplicate the vintage polished mirror look with paint. if you want a so-so silver but more gray finish close to what the more current models have then paint would be a decent choice. To properly paint a original non-painted A/S the prep time alone would probably be close to the amount of time required to polish it. The other part which I have no experience with as of yet is the amount of maint. required to keep the polished, obviously more than a painted unit. Just some thoughts

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Old 05-18-2003, 04:28 PM   #5
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Old 05-18-2003, 04:29 PM   #6
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We were at a rally this weekend with a painted '76 Safari.

It looked nice from a distance, more obvious that it was painted up close. Of course, it's not nearly as shiny as a polished Airstream, but it wasn't as dull as an oxidized, un-clearcoated trailer either. The owner's of it love the result, especially as they are in their 70's and would rather not be bothered with the effort involved in maintaining a polished one.

Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures...I don't know if you could recognize the difference in a photo ,if I had.

BTW, we were compounding and cyclo-polishing two trailers in the vintage section of the rally.... Maxwell being one of them The comments ranged from "Whatcha doing that for?" to "Ya know, once you start that, you're committed to doing it for life!" and "Boy, that really shines!!! You're gonna blind people on the road" Needless to say, we were the "entertainment" for some of the folks at the rally

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Old 10-28-2007, 02:53 PM   #7
1970 31' Sovereign
Hillsboro , North Dakota
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painting an airstream

I recently bought a 1970 sovereign land yacht with rear bath and twin center beds. The airstream was painted in camoflage. I spent a considerable amount of money using airplane paint remover to take the paint off.
What made it possible for me to purchase this trailer was the paint job, they had to sell it cheap.
I have removed all the camoflage now I have to polish it. I think a paint job would decrease the value of the trailer. good luck...
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Old 10-28-2007, 06:25 PM   #8
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Yreka , California
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We originally considered painting... then decided we liked our vintage patina. However, I think if a trailer had significant hail damage, filling and painting would be one alternative to repair it.... I have seen some with a silvery shade of gray and looked nice. Not sure how much weight it would add to the trailer.... or if that would be a consideration. I know it is in aircraft.

Good luck and let us know what you decide to do!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis ~ from the Great State of Jefferson)
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Old 10-28-2007, 07:00 PM   #9
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I own a 94 Excella that was painted when brand new(by the dealer) and it still looks like new.
No clearcoat failure etc.
I bought it third hand.
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Old 10-28-2007, 07:13 PM   #10
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There's a painted motor home on eBay right now, so you can see what it might look like...


"Despite the cost of living, have you noticed how popular it remains?"

1984 310 Limited Motor Home "The Rockin' A"
1974 31' Excella (soon-to-be carhauler)
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