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Old 03-27-2012, 06:40 PM   #1
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2004 28' Safari
Danville , Virginia
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Deteriorating roof paint

I have a 2004 Safari; the roof paint is oxidizing so badly that runoff from dew leaves white streaks on the aluminum. What to do short of major refinishing?
Are there products out there that would adhere after a buffing, and hopefully provide extra reflectivity?

Bruce Robillard
Danville, Va.
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:01 PM   #2
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1957 30' Sovereign of the Road
1959 28' Ambassador
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Originally Posted by rbr View Post
I have a 2004 Safari; the roof paint is oxidizing so badly that runoff from dew leaves white streaks on the aluminum. What to do short of major refinishing?
Are there products out there that would adhere after a buffing, and hopefully provide extra reflectivity?
Hi Bruce,
I have a client with the same problem. Two years ago I noticed the white streaks coming down the side of the trailer while doing a leak test with the Sealtech 430R. I went up on the roof to spray all the joints/rivets with soapy water. The chalky paint started to run again, right in front of me, with the soapy water flowing. After the test was completed, I scrubbed the roof with car wash soap & a scrub brush. The surface started out feeling kinda like wet & dry sand paper, but ended up smooth after the scrubbing. Thinking that this would be fine, considering the trailer was a 2000 model that had never been scrubbed, I figured it would last several years before requiring the treatment again. The client returned last summer for some other work & the streaks were back again. I scrubbed the roof again, however this time I applied a thick coat of carnuba car wax, however I didn't polish it. I'll be seeing them again this summer & will be curious if the wax sealed the chalky paint enough to keep it from falling off. This issue was mentioned on Hunters List a few months ago & a Tech from Airstream said the paint was fine, but the white streaks were due to polutants. All of the other trailers at my shop don't have white streaks & none of them have a white roof. Anyway, the only white polutant that I know of is bird dodo & it wouldn't cause the streaks of that size, plus the other vintage trailers would have it as well.
Hopefully this helps you out.

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Old 03-27-2012, 07:14 PM   #3
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My 05 has done the chalky paint thing for years. When I wash the roof it leaves a trail of white water in the gutter. I can still polish white paint to a nice shine if I wanted to. But all I do is scrub with with a long handle brush.

Its my opinion the white streaks are the lesser evil vs. going on the roof a few times a year and polishing/waxing. My streaks are usually concentrated to a few areas, I just go over streaks with Quick Detailer. Even at worst I can usually do it in less than half hour. I do that every couple months in the rainy season (or when they look bad).
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:03 PM   #4
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I wash my white painted roof once a year with a long handled car wash mop. The oxidation runs off with the water like diluted skimmed milk. After I'm done, the roof is relatively smooth. I get no white runoff with rain due to the annual "scrub".

However, I wonder when I'll start seeing aluminum showing through. It is not is oxidized question.

"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Red Green
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:42 PM   #5
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While my experience is not exactly what you're asking about, oxidation is cruel. I washed my Argosy last weekend, which has both a modern reflective-white RV roof coating AND the original 37-year-old paint job, and the wash-bucket water was always white. *sigh* I knew when I bought it I'd have to paint it because I want to keep it forever, but SEEING evidence of it sucks.

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