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Old 01-15-2003, 02:12 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 11
Excella 25' Inquiry

If you please:
I was looking at a 97 Excella 25' this afternoon and the roof
extending over the front of the trailer appeared to be as if the finish were peeling off...I've never
seen this before in an AS...Many years ago..we had a
'79 AS and its top was always the same, never appeared
corroded. I got up, and with my fingernail, could scrape
off particles of this corrosion...or finish, if you will...

What is the cause of this? And, how is it repaired? Surely,
AS doesn't paint on its finish...however, it appears that that
is the case...Your comments please....Thanks...Francey

Francey, from East Tennessee
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Old 01-15-2003, 03:25 PM   #2
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Bigfork , Montana
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Airstream (or Alcoa) does apply a Clearcoat finish to the aluminum. It's sounds as though this finish is deteriorating from exposure to the sun. It is recommended a product called Walbernize be applied at least twice a year to protect from this. Many on this forum have far more experience with this than I, and you will no doubt get more, and better answers.

Rick Klein
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Old 01-16-2003, 10:21 PM   #3
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1986 25' Sovereign
Southern Middle , Tennessee
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The particulates are probably a combination of deteriorating plasticoat or clearcoat along with aluminum oxidation deposits. Your choice is to either have it recoated after cleanup, have the area polished and keep it waxed 3-4 times per year or have professionals paint it after it is cleaned up. Visit InlandRv's site to see a process they use to paint the aluminum silver which makes it last more than the 4-5 years that clearcoating/plastic coating does. Also do a search on the forum for discussions on the painting or coating that have taken place on the forum because Andy from Inland has been very informative.

By the way, removing every trace of the coating, polishing and then waxing is very time consuming and a professional will charge around $115 per foot of your trailer including the tongue. Ouch.

AIR #0078
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Old 02-13-2003, 04:33 PM   #4
Rick & Lynn Rorie
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2015 19' Flying Cloud
Mint Hill , North Carolina
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 19
Peeling Clearcoat

A little history on the Clearcoat is in order.

For a long time, the Airstream plant used a really good clearcoat that was not, shall we say, ecologically friendly. They changed formulas in the 90's, and for a few years were plagued with problems.

I have a 98 Excella, and it has been to the factory twice (under warranty) to have panels recoated. By now, all of the curved end/top panels and the upper roadside panel have been re-sprayed. I've been assured that the new spray will hold up better. Right.

These days, Alcoa provides the sheets of Aluminum already coated. They are applied to the trailer and that's that. No in-house whole-trailer spraying.

When this stuff starts coming off, it looks like crap. It's going to look like crap, too, until it's re-sprayed or stripped off completely and polished. (This means, of course, that you'll be polishing for the rest of your natural life). Airstream will sell you spray cans that you can use to coat the denuded areas to protect the aluminum from oxidizing. Don't let it oxidize, it'll cost more to refinish if they have to first buff off the oxidization. The spray can will protect the alum., but it will still look like protected crap.

Don't worry too much. It's aluminum, it's not gonna rust away, just be ugly. Clean it up, save up your nickles, and have it re-coated. Take it to the factory (a fun trip anyway) or be damn careful who you let near your trailer with a spray can. Check out issues of the Blue Beret for ads.

Good Luck
Rick Rorie
WBCCI 7231
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