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Old 11-21-2017, 09:45 PM   #1
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Gainesville , Florida
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Interstate Exterior Plastic Parts Paint Issue

Has anyone experienced a problem with the clear coat on the plastic exterior parts (bumpers, side moldings, wheel wells, etc) added by Airstream to the Interstate line? I have a 2014 silver that the clear coat is failing and if you have had an issue how did you proceed with Airstream warranty?

Thanks!
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Old 11-22-2017, 09:47 AM   #2
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2006 22' Interstate
Sebastopol , California
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The clear coat on the exterior plastic parts of my 2007 has failed on the top of the wheel well arches. I am way beyond warranty so I have no recourse there. I am going to spray them with plasticdip in the spring.
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Old 11-24-2017, 08:54 AM   #3
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2006 22' Interstate
Anacortes , Washington
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We have had similar clear coat issues with our 2007 Interstate Rear Dinette model which we have had for 6 years. The clear coat on parts of the running boards Airstream added has started to wear off and now the black painted strip immediately above the windshield is losing big pieces af a very thick clear coat - every month or so one can climb up there and peal off more loose pieces. I am aware of another forum member with the same kind of TIN Interstate who has experienced the exact same problem and he had a body shop redo this area at great expense. I guess that is next for us. Any experience fixing the running board areas would be appreciated.
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbo61 View Post
Has anyone experienced a problem with the clear coat on the plastic exterior parts (bumpers, side moldings, wheel wells, etc) added by Airstream to the Interstate line? I have a 2014 silver that the clear coat is failing and if you have had an issue how did you proceed with Airstream warranty?

Thanks!
Let me guess-small spider web or scratch mark appearance?

My 2011 Interstate's paint on the plastic trim started failing after about two years. When I was in JC to fix other issues in 2015, they were told by the manufacturer it could be buffed out, so they tried that, and buffed it right down to the black plastic underneath before they gave up. As a compromise, since I had already been there a week, they agreed and did provide all the trim pieces, except for the bumpers, and I've been replacing them one at a time. It's a chore to remove them and clean off the adhesive and clean them and then reinstall.

But they are well aware of it. If yours is in warranty I would advise you to make a claim and have them replaced. Of course, the new ones will likely fail, too, eventually, because it does not appear they have made any changes. You'd probably would be better off having someone actually repaint them.

If you park it outside, in the UV, that's the likely cause.
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Old 11-24-2017, 06:55 PM   #5
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2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Boca Raton , Florida
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We have a white 2014 and all our exterior plastic pieces have started to discolor and seem to yellow a bit. Definitely not as white as the body paint is.

And the body paint isnít much better either.

I actually had our rear bumper repainted the same factory color after a small pole got in a little fight with it and you can really see the difference.
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Old 09-19-2019, 04:23 PM   #6
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2016 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
escondido , California
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Click image for larger version

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ID:	352531My damage looks like this. This is a 2016 GT Ext
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Old 09-24-2019, 08:17 PM   #7
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Tc , Michigan
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Ours had the spiderweb/scratched look when we purchased it from the original owner who stored it outdoors. Used the trim condition as leverage for a better deal. It cost $2k to have everything redone at the local body shop...looks like a million bucks ever since
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Old 11-09-2019, 08:12 AM   #8
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2017 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Atlanta , Georgia
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Yes, just noticed this problem on our last trip with your 2017 Interstate. Anyone know of a wax product that has helped?
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Old 11-09-2019, 09:49 PM   #9
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2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Cedar Rapids , Iowa
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That looks like sand scratches under the base coat. There's a couple of things that can cause a problem like that. Could be incompatible products, primer/sealers and what they call shrinkage. Wrong activators can do that too.

If those are plastic panels, body shops can have a hard time identifying the correct plastic prep and if they use the wrong one, which was easy to do, it can cause the paint not to adhere properly to plastic and cause all kinds of nasty problems. Basically the base coat (color) will delaminate from the plastic under it. The paint and clear will blow off, sometimes in a small area that will grow as it chips off. You'll see it sometimes with plastic bumpers if they are not prepped right.

If it's not plastic, that's a pretty clear indication of the wrong primer/sealer, thickness, temp at the time of drying, or some problem that's under the base coat (color) and causing major, major shrinking. Sometimes activators don't dry at the right temp and totally flash off, they can get trapped under the base and clear coat. As they eventually do make their way out, it can cause shrinkage. It can take a short time or long time for that to show up, too.

Make sure you document that well because it might take a paint company to identify the problem if you want to go back to Airstream with your guns blazing.
Sometimes body shops don't know what problems like that are caused from even. I've had to identify a few from being a paint distributor. Most times painters blame the products but it usually ends up being a procedural issue. Like 99 percent of the time if not more.

We lost almost all the paint off one our plastic doors and I just looked at the AC unit and notice it's delaminating. Another plastic door is starting to chip off the edge. Makes me think they might have not used a plastic prep or the wrong one.

Our coach must have been babied and we heard it only took a few longer trips, so it barely had a scratch or a rock chip. My driver (i.e. fiance') likes to tailgate a bit, so I've noticed a few rock chips since we've owned it now. I can say the base/clear seems pretty thin compared to most auto finishes and seems to push up more than most cars. That basically means it's not adhered as well as it could be nor that flexible, which indicates to me an effort to use as little paint product or bad technique by the applicator/painter. It can also be caused by not that great of adhesion between the primer/surfacer and base clear. It's all a chemical reaction that binds the layers of primer, color, and clear (shine). One part doesn't bind well, it can cause issues with the layers above.

A fix for the wrong plastic adhesive would be to get to bare plastic, prep, identify the kind of plastic used, prep with plastic prep and go from there, so sounds like that's what happened when they had to get to the black plastic at the factory.

Don't want to tell you what to do but that's clearly some sort of paint/prep/adhesion problem that was not caused by anything but someone painting that panel in the wrong way or with the wrong products/temp. I do not think any polish/wax or product will help the appearance of it is it's probably under the layer of color (basecoat). Hope they'd make it right at Airstream but after so much time, they might try to blame it on something else. Wish you luck. Hope our 2014 doesn't end up with the same issue too!
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:02 PM   #10
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2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Cedar Rapids , Iowa
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If you'd like to read about it this is better worded coming from an expert.

https://www.bodyshopbusiness.com/painting-plastic/
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Old 11-10-2019, 09:25 AM   #11
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2016 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
escondido , California
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I have not found that any wax or sealant will improve this condition. I did try 3M vinyl film and it does reduce the appearance somewhat and it should reduce the exposure to UV. It is not clear that UV is the cause or that it accelerates the defect but it may be a contributor. The bottom line is that the parts were not painted properly and Airstream will not stand by these parts. I purchased one new panel from the dealer and the paint is showing the same problem after only 15 months in service. Beware that the warranty on replacement panels is ONLY 3 MONTHS. If this condition existed on any new vehicle from GM, Ford, BMW or Mercedes there would be a recall or a class action lawsuit. Paint failures after 2-3 years is just not acceptable to me. I am having the panels repainted by a reputable auto body shop who is providing a LIFETIME warranty on the paint. The product they use is Glasurit and they are removing all the paint down to bare plastic.
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