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Old 04-14-2010, 09:37 PM   #1
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A/S Roof

Why is the roof on newer A/S painted white? Is it paint or some other substance? When did this practice start?
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:07 PM   #2
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White reflects the sun. Cooler inside.
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:19 PM   #3
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And I think it's fairly recent, jfowler218. By recent, I mean the '90s.

it's a very special paint, apparently, but Mike is right, it's supposed to make a big difference in the internal temperature of your trailer.
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:57 PM   #4
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Not to mention, scratches and blemishes on the aluminum skin can be covered up with white paint, but not with clear coat.
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Old 04-15-2010, 06:22 AM   #5
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Our '97 Excella has the white roof.
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:37 AM   #6
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I believe its actually white anodized aluminum
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:01 AM   #7
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It's not anodized, it's painted. Depending on binder formulation paint with titanium dioxide pigment can reflect up to 97% compared to about 80% for bare aluminum.
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Old 04-15-2010, 01:10 PM   #8
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OK, Thats not what Airstream told me, but they could be wrong
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Old 04-15-2010, 05:07 PM   #9
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I painted my 77 roof white. It helped in the sun at Rapid City. We did not have 30 amp service in those days and we had to rough it. The Airstreams after 1995 when they went wide body bought a prepainted aluminum from Alcoa. I think it is acrylic based. At the same time they started buying preclearcoated aluminum for the endcaps and sides. The coating did not work out so well and they had to recall and repaint quite a few under warren-tee when they started to fail within the two years. I think the underlying material is just straight aluminum rather than the Alclad laminate of the pre1964 trailers.
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:01 PM   #10
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The current white roof began in 1994 when the shape changed to a slightly more square profile. The roof panels are prepainted by the supplier before shipping them to Airstream (they definitely are not annodized - I know, because I've scratched mine on the '94 Excella while removing and redoing caulk around the roof vents).

1993 models with the older slightly more rounded profile still had silver roofs.

As a historic note, in the late 1950's through the early 1960's, Airstream offered an option for a white painted roof (Egyptian White?) to help keep the interior a little cooler by reflecting more light. You can see several such trailers in photos of the 1963-64 Around the World Caravan.

P.S. The switch to the wide body profile started on some 1995 34-footers and then on all trailers 25-foot and longer for 1996.
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:38 PM   #11
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Is that paint available for purchase? If it is available for purchase, where? Would there be any reason for discouraging someone from purchasing it and painting the roof of a 1988 Excella? Bad idea? Or ok idea?
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Old 04-16-2010, 01:53 AM   #12
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Mike, on the older (and much prettier, IMHO) shape, parts of the white roof can be seen from the ground, whereas it is much less obtrusive on the post 1995/6 "flat tops". That's why I won't paint white the roof on our trailer.
Nick.
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