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Old 07-09-2011, 06:09 PM   #1
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Skin & Corrosion Updates

Hello: I'm new to the Airstream Forum and have read many posts ad nauseum regarding everyone's experiences with filiform corrosion plus all of the other 'skin' issues....or skin cancer, as I call it. Some of the post were from 2007 or earlier.

My question is: have any of the tricks from 2007 helped?

My 2005 19' Bambi has all of the corrosion problems described in those posts. I Walbernize at least once a year and try to keep it as clean as possible. My head is spinning wondering if I should buy ACF-50, zinc chromate primer, change from steel screws to something else, sand and use clear nail polish, or just live with it and hope and pray that when it is paid off, it will still look decent.

Hoping for a miracle!! Thx.
Laurie-
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:03 PM   #2
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Hi Laurie... Welcome to AirForums!

Our 2007 Safari still looks decent... Here's what I do:

1. Once a year I do a thorough wash and wax job using quality materials: Meguiar's Deep Crystal Car Wash and Meguiar's Mirror Glaze Professional Polymer Sealant #20.

2. I spray on Boeshield T-9 Rust & Corrosion Protection to areas of filiform corrosion, which has stopped the growth of the filiform except for the tail light mounting fixtures.

3. Upon returning from the beach, the trailer gets thoroughly hosed down to remove the salt deposits.

4. Periodically, especially just before trips, I hose off dirt and use a chamois with a mild water and vinegar solution to remove hard water marks.

See more info with images on my AirForums post "Annual wash, wax and treat".
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Old 07-10-2011, 01:28 PM   #3
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Thank you for the tips! I will be sure to try those measures. We, too, go to C&G Trailer in Bellflower. They have been very helpful.
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Old 07-10-2011, 01:37 PM   #4
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Boeshield T9

Hi Again:

When you apply Boeshield T-9, do you just treat the particular areas that have the filiform corrosion? Do you have to try to remove the corrosion with an abrasive sponge before you apply T9 ...or is this just a way to prevent the corrosion from spreading. Thanks for your help!!

Laurie-
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Old 07-10-2011, 01:56 PM   #5
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Our 2006 isn't perfect but it still looks great, probably because we live in a dry climate and it's garaged when not in use. We've had it professionally waxed once.
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Old 07-10-2011, 04:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverhound
Hi Again:

When you apply Boeshield T-9, do you just treat the particular areas that have the filiform corrosion? Do you have to try to remove the corrosion with an abrasive sponge before you apply T9 ...or is this just a way to prevent the corrosion from spreading. Thanks for your help!!

Laurie-
Just put it on the affected areas. It's a pain to get it off so less us more. I've got a few areas with fill form but not bad. The tail lights are the worst.
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Old 07-10-2011, 09:56 PM   #7
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I have used Boeshield T-9 and Corrosion X, both seem effective. No advance of any filiform. I use a Q-tip to apply it. It takes very little, just coat the exposed edges of the cut panels around the mid-line, or where there is a scratch, or the fittings that may be affected. If you spray it on you will have a mess to clean up.

I would take the above advice to wash any ocean (salt) spray off the trailer, frame, and wheel wells as soon as possible.

It also seems to me the greatest advantage of washing regularly and occasional waxing is it helps the rain water and morning dew to drain off the trailer quickly, allowing less chance of corrosion.

doug k
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Old 07-11-2011, 09:46 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by silverhound View Post
Hi Again:

When you apply Boeshield T-9, do you just treat the particular areas that have the filiform corrosion? Do you have to try to remove the corrosion with an abrasive sponge before you apply T9 ...or is this just a way to prevent the corrosion from spreading. Thanks for your help!!

Laurie-
Hi Laurie,

The newer Airstream trailers (of the past 10 years or so) are made with aluminum panels that come from a manufacturing company with a clear coat finish that resists corrosion until there is a break in the surface such as on the cut ends, scratches, or rivet holes.

Filaments of filiform begin growing where the coating is no longer continuous and where water and air enter. The growth continues under the coating.

The coating should not be disturbed (as in sanding), but the break in the coating needs to be sealed to arrest further filiform growth. That's where products such as Boeshield T-9 come in useful. I spray T-9 directly out of the can onto areas of filiform, such as along the belt line, and I wipe off the excess with a soft cloth. I let it rest for a day and the following day I wax the trailer. (I do this once a year.) I like T-9 because as 2air' says here, "boeshield t-9 DOES leave a waxy residue, which IS the principle long term corrosion/water protection..."

The bottom line is that keeping the trailer clean and waxed with quality products is the best way to keep the trailer looking and feeling decent!

-- Bill
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:38 AM   #9
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Thumbs up My procedure....

I use WD40 to help clean the filiform. I've found the smallest ball grinder in my Dremmel tool kit works very well for cleaning the filiform tracks, BY HAND!! Digs thru very well without damaging surrounding areas.

For the larger areas, same method using larger ball grinder, BY HAND. Tape around corrosion, progressively sand 600-1500 wet sandpaper, clean well with mineral spirits and paint with Thomas' Liquid Stainless Paint and Clearcoat.

Tried the Bioshield but IMO the WD works and is readily available.

Nothing's perfect but you can slow the progression dramatically.

POI... to seal the smaller areas without painting Iv'e found a quality clear nail polish seems to be harder and lasts longer. But any good auto touch-up brush on clear will work.

I know it doesn't look nice but sealing is very important to keep the filiform from spreading.
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Old 07-16-2011, 05:46 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
I use WD40 to help clean the filiform. I've found the smallest ball grinder in my Dremmel tool kit works very well for cleaning the filiform tracks, BY HAND!!

Hi Robert

I have a small amount of filiform on my trailer haven't tried doing anything with it yet, but obviously I should.

Think I'll try the WD-40.

Just one thing about your post I wanted to clarify - you stressed using the dremel BY HAND - isn't that the way you always use a dremel, or did you atually mean using the dremel bit without the dremel tool itself and just using it as a tiny hand held scraper to give more control of the process?

I have one or two small areas of corrosion coming out from under the belt trim that are clearly filform in nature.

By far the worst corrosion on our trailer however is not on the trailer skin, but on the the heavy aluminum parts such as the battery box door frames, entrance door hinges and to a lesser degree the tail light housings - they have a lot of blistered looking white corrosion. I'm thinking that may not be filiform as I don't imagine these parts are clear coated - apparently necessary to get filiform - and also, they don't have the same threadlike or worm track look to them, just big patches of corrosion.

For those components, I am thinking about just carefully sanding them smooth again and then painting them with an and aluminum paint - either applied by hand or with an airbrush. What do you think? Do you also have corrosion in those areas, and have you addressed it?

Brian M.
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Old 07-16-2011, 07:56 PM   #11
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Brian,

By hand I meant, hold that little sucker in your hand like a toothpick, work gently with the 40 stuff to loosen the filiform. Wipe thoroughly with mineral spirits, 'ya gotta get it clean before applying the clear.
On the smaller spots I would just clean it out well with the ball grinder bit and cover with a brush-on clearcoat. You can get the auto clear at any NAPA store, but Iv'e found a premium clear nail polish seems to be harder and lasts a bit longer.
On the larger spots Iv'e used Thomas' Stainless paint, not a perfect match, but the best I've found.

Here is how I delt with the entrance door hinges,(post #489) and battery door surrounds,(post #493)
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f142...s-31743-5.html

It's quite a bit of work but IMO worth it.
Whenever I wash the trailer I wipe the frames down with WD40. Haven't the polished the frames since doing the work two years ago, just apply Griot's paint sealer once a Season when sealing the trailer, they still look great.
BTW it also works great for cleaning the front stainless segment protectors.

Hope this helps....

Bob
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:16 PM   #12
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Brian,

By hand I meant, hold that little sucker in your hand
Bob

Bob,

Thanks, I thought that was possibly what you meant, just wanted to be sure - looks like it worked quite well for you so I'll probably go the same route. I have lots of very small little carbide and also diamond bits that should work well.

I presume that the mineral spirit or paint thinner is needed to remove all remaining traces of WD40, otherwise the clearcoat patch or nail polish wouldn't adhere well.

I recall reading about that Stainless paint once before and thinking it sounded a notch up on Aluminum Tremclad, but I couldn't find a source here in Canada.

Maybe I'll try and find some next winter when we make our annual snowbird trip south - or maybe find some in Buffalo - we are only an hour from the border! (Arizona last year, so we are due to head back to Florida this year!)


Thanks again ......... Brian.
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Old 08-21-2011, 04:22 PM   #13
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Well we've got it now too, on our 2010 27'FB...I'm going the Corrosion X/T-9 then Meguire's #20 route. Have taken photos and will keep tabs on whether I'm able to prevent more/spreading (and try not to totally obsess on it, other than keeping it sealed and clean).

Sadly, the battle has apparently begun - Riveted
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Old 08-21-2011, 05:07 PM   #14
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Well we've got it now too, on our 2010 27'FB...I'm going the Corrosion X/T-9 then Meguire's #20 route. Have taken photos and will keep tabs on whether I'm able to prevent more/spreading (and try not to totally obsess on it, other than keeping it sealed and clean).

Sadly, the battle has apparently begun - Riveted

Idomela,

It's always a bummer when those ugly little white worms first show up.

Your on the right track with the strategy you outline. The smaller areas and ones that aren't too visible can be controlled pretty well by just cleaning out well and sealing.

I have quite a few spots that I treated several years ago that haven't progressed much at all.

But it has been necessary to inspect often, re-clear as needed and seal and wax often.

Good Luck...no consolation but your not alone.

Bob
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