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Old 03-02-2016, 09:30 AM   #1
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1971 23' Safari
Denver , Colorado
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External and Inner Skins have all kinds of corrosion....

I've already gone about getting the ac off the roof, gutting the furniture/heater, etc.. and removing the interior skins.

BUT now I see that the Exterior Skins may be compromised which is making utterly depressed...

Posted below is all the 'aluminum' corrosion issues in the three major areas:

I) The first shows a external panel from the inside that spans the entire trailer length encasing both windows which I'm assuming was replaced at one point since there are the pop rivets instead of the buck rivets seen everywhere else in the trailer. I see no evidence of the pop rivets having been sealed with vulkem and I'm guessing constant water leakage over time has done this? The color as can be seen is reddish orange as well as whitish, which I'm wondering is a different breed of corrosion than filliform? I don't know what to do about this, if it can be saved or not. I have just bought a buck rivet gun kit from Vintage AS and air compressor and am hoping there is any hope in salvaging it?

II) More pictures that follow are the excessive filliform on the external skins that pretty much surrounds the complete outside of the trailer, except very minimally on the door side skins. I'm not sure if there is clear coat still on the trailer? and again, not sure how to proceed? Wondering if polishing it out w/ Nuvite F7 and F9 after possibly using air craft stripper for the clear coat if needed is the way to go about this?

III) This is the rear external skin where the bathroom sat. I'm guessing that this is gone for good and needs replaced? C Channel compromised too?


I'm pretty depressed right now....

Internal of external
Panel PopRivet Corrosion:

External EXCESSIVE Filliform Corrosion:


Rear external panel corrosion:
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Old 03-02-2016, 09:33 AM   #2
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More pics:

Internal of external
Panel PopRivet Corrosion:


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Old 03-02-2016, 09:39 AM   #3
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Rear external panel corrosion:




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Old 03-02-2016, 09:41 AM   #4
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External EXCESSIVE Filliform Corrosion:


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Old 03-02-2016, 10:08 AM   #5
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It's 45 years old. Look at any other rv trailer that old and they are gone. The tin can tourist group is full of trailers that were taken down to a new frame and body. Structures were completely gone.
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Old 03-02-2016, 10:59 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by avionstream View Post
It's 45 years old. Look at any other rv trailer that old and they are gone. The tin can tourist group is full of trailers that were taken down to a new frame and body. Structures were completely gone.
Do you think the external skins are salvageable then? And if so, could you suggest the best method of removing the corrosion?
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Old 03-02-2016, 11:08 AM   #7
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I have never restored a trailer but would throw this idea around. After making certain that there are no leaks, I would consider painting the outside aluminum color and ceiling with clear coat. This may be taboo but since I have never restored a trailer I thought it might be something to consider.
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Old 03-02-2016, 11:24 AM   #8
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According to this rebuild thread by Aerowood, he replaced the rear panel that had such corrosion and in another thread, recommended someone else replace theirs as well. Mine seems worse than Aerowood's, so I am guessing I need to do this as well. What is a little confusing is that Aerowood replaced the two rear curved corner panels as well for reasons that I'm also guessing were due to some small amount of corrosion that had spread to these from the main rear. But maybe this was unnecessary since as the thread proceeds, Aerowood goes about re-skinning almost the entire trailer.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f416...e-26902-4.html
Do you think that all the skins I've posted are compromised and need to be replaced? I'm pretty sure the one in the back is gone (maybe I'm wrong?), but I'm hoping I can at least salvage the elongated exterior panel that needs to be buck riveted. That piece of skin is huge and looks like a huge job to fab a new one. Just not sure how to proceed.
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Old 03-02-2016, 11:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tater View Post
I have never restored a trailer but would throw this idea around. After making certain that there are no leaks, I would consider painting the outside aluminum color and ceiling with clear coat. This may be taboo but since I have never restored a trailer I thought it might be something to consider.
I've never restored a trailer myself either and am a newbie to this in all ways.
I've heard that idea of painting the aluminum and sealing it w/ clear coat in another thread while doing extensive searches for corrosion info in the search engine, but thought someone or other thought in the end it was not such a good idea since the filliform corrosion, once formed would never completely go away and would eventually grow again under the paint, later flaking it off in a few years.

The outside, if it really can be polished out with something like Nuvite, I think as long as I maybe winterize and routine yearly polishing, that may do the trick? The internal corrosion inside the trailer on the external panels though is disturbing since it looks pretty severe and once I put new insulation and the inner skins on, I can not later give maintenance to these cancerous growths since everything will be sealed up...
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Old 03-02-2016, 12:32 PM   #10
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There's stuff called Corrosion-X that will STOP filaform in it's tracks. That should suffice for the inside. And you can use it prior to polishing on the outside just to keep it from getting worse.

Replacing the Olympic rivets (pop rivets) with bucked rivets and sealing around them should do the trick there. the rust colored corrosion may actually be dirt - leaves that have sat on the roof and partly decomposed, high iron content in water used to clean the exterior, and tobacco fumes that condensed (Yuck). Try washing a small area.

Use the "google" search that's internal to the forum - check " paint airstream" - yes it can be done, but some folks say it ruins the resale - however if you're planning on keeping it another 10+ years - screw that and do what you want to do.

Happy trails. Paula
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Old 03-02-2016, 12:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
There's stuff called Corrosion-X that will STOP filaform in it's tracks. That should suffice for the inside. And you can use it prior to polishing on the outside just to keep it from getting worse.

Replacing the Olympic rivets (pop rivets) with bucked rivets and sealing around them should do the trick there. the rust colored corrosion may actually be dirt - leaves that have sat on the roof and partly decomposed, high iron content in water used to clean the exterior, and tobacco fumes that condensed (Yuck). Try washing a small area.

Use the "google" search that's internal to the forum - check " paint airstream" - yes it can be done, but some folks say it ruins the resale - however if you're planning on keeping it another 10+ years - screw that and do what you want to do.

Happy trails. Paula
Thanks Paula for the info. I'll mark Corrosion X on my shopping list. I've been pretty worried about it all, especially concerning the long panel with the rust colored corrosion. When I get home tonight, I'll give the area a good clean.
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Old 03-02-2016, 01:19 PM   #12
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Question Bones, skin, and stuff

Super......
How did you get pictures of our trailer?
Talk about on the spot, ours is in the same condition. Gutted, floor needs a few areas replaced, some electric done, some insulation done. Had some 60 degree weather a few days ago and started on the skin.
Here's what I've learned:
I got some PPG PR 5044 from VTS (5 gallon is smallest they have $218.99 including shipping). Wear a pair of long protective rubber gloves. I started with the cheap black disposable type but they tend to split at the base of the thumb and this stuff will burn your skin. Also use a full plastic face shield and long sleeve shirt/tyvec suit.
Paint brush (3" wide) it on, 7' vertical x 2' wide sections. Wait about 20-25 minutes, 2" wide plastic scraper, wash off with straight stream garden hose/sprayer (supposed to not kill the grass). Dawn dishwashing liquid immediately after. Go to the other end while the water dries in this section and work your way around.
Bought a new 7" buffer, a 1 lb can of Nushine IIF7 and 1/2 lb of Nushine II C from VTS. Results = too much filiform to be buffed out. I even took some 600 grit automotive wet sand paper to a small section and the filiform is too deep to get out so I'm going to paint the old girl.
Went to a auto paint distributor just this morning. I've used them before while painting some hotrods that I've built these last 10 years. He made a phone call and here's the plan (when it warms up enough in about 8 weeks)....
This is for raw aluminum.
Using a Carbo Fibratex RED scuff pad, scratch up the skin using a cross-hatch pattern as can. The pad is easy to use around all the rivets (tried it about an hour ago).
POR 15 cleaner degreaser
POR 15 Prep and Ready
UPOL Expert DTM Primer
Expert Std Hardener (primer)
Valspar Z-Base paint
Finish Pro Urethane Reducer
VT141 Clearcoat
CT5 Hardener Total = $600.00
NOTE: I HAVE NOT CROSS-CHECKED THIS YET WITH ANYONE...FEED BACK IS APPRECIATED.
Anyway ..... this is what I've learned. If you investigate another procedure, please let us know.
Have fun!
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Old 03-02-2016, 02:41 PM   #13
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Twinkie, Thanks for the invaluable information.
I'm going to definitely pick up that PPG PR 5044 from VTS and follow your instructions to get it stripped along with the Corrosion X and power tools/supplies to accomplish the polishing task at hand.
Also, good to know that painting the AS, if I were to decide to go that route, is not necessarily a poor choice of reason. Definitely makes sense to me at the sudden moment when I think of how many aircraft are rather painted than leaving the aluminum exposed.
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Old 03-02-2016, 05:34 PM   #14
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If you are considering paint,
Imron Industrial Strength polyurethane by Dupont


Is the world's best automotive finish when properly applied. Other finishes may outperform certain qualities but for durability, finish, vibration, and corrosion Imron is head and shoulders above the rest.


Commercial trucks have gotten 30 years service out of this paint. The US Navy uses this on some top deck areas on board ship. This maybe overkill but do it once and it is done. Check it out.....



Happy Streaming

GRA

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Old 03-02-2016, 06:19 PM   #15
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Hey Supergrafx, keep your head up! That doesn't really look too serious. My '68 has some spots that look a little etched and old. But think about it, it is old! My advice is to try washing it out on the inside, either by hand with a brillow pad, or spray it down with solvent and carefully use a pressure washer. A lot of that on the replaced panel looks more like Mold and mineral deposits from your photos! Water and grime seeped in there through the Olympic rivets and then soaked your insulation. It just sat there. Try cleaning it off and even hit it with some sand paper. Not too hard, but it's going to be inside your walls, so you will never see scratches or swirls on it ever again after you put it back together. I would definitely replace the Olympic rivets. Also, on your rear of the trailer, your frame is most likely rotting out from the rear panel leaks and probably tail lights leaking. I would pull that one off and rerivet it new and tight with good sealer. Or it will just ruin your floor again when the vulcum fails in a few years. You might need to have a new cross brace fabricated and welded in to secure the tail section. Are you doing a frame on or off restoration? You will be even more disheartened when you pull up that rear floor board and see a rusty frame. Just keep your head up. One step at a time. I think your exterior looks like clear coat wearing out. Strip a panel and see what it does. There are plenty of threads on stripping and polishing on here. I have read a lot of these forums, and some of them take YEARS from start to finish.

It's a fun learning process and everyone on here has lots of opinions and pointers. Good luck! Let us know how it turns out for you.
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Old 03-02-2016, 06:49 PM   #16
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Nothing to be depressed about. Most of your problems with the trailer you would fix them anyway. Almost all rear ends need fixed and are shot. You are going to replace all the Olympic rivets already. The interior exterior skins will be a easy fix. Most frames and floors are replaced anyway. Panels are fun to replace. Keep your head up, focus on each little step. Plus you have a great trailer and when your done it will be awesome!
Btw, one of the coolest airstream trailers is painted- my opinion of course. But done worry your trailer will shine like a mirror😎
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Old 03-05-2016, 04:07 PM   #17
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OK I'm not a restorer - I paid to have my Avion done (too many years with "that old house" to want to ever do it again). But I have read a lot of renovation threads, so here is what my semi-senile brain remembers.

Do NOT use brillo - use aluminum wool. Some of the RUST corrosion is caused by dissimilar metals - iron or steel and Aluminum. You don't want to leave little brillo shavings all over your Airstream. Of course you CAN use the 3M pads which are non-metalic. If you do have bracing that is steel and you want to reuse it, then you might consider having it powder coated, or coated with the material that is used for spray in bed liner to protect the aluminum it abuts.

Most people replace their rusty old screws with stainless steel ones - and dab them in vulkem or sikaflex before screwing them tight - just to eliminate both initial and rust related leaks later.

Do seal everything on the outside, then set the Airstream out in a howling storm and watch for leaks. In addition to the seams a loose rivet (or 20) can let in a surprising amount of water. Capt. Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure is great for leaky rivets (but you'll go insane doing the whole roof. Be sure to use some blue painters tape to mark every rivet that lets the two drops of the Cure slip through. Let it dry, then hit those again - almost none will leak on the second application.

Don't be TOO disgusted when you find a vent hole or something else that looks like it was cut by beavers - even occasionally finding a glob of sealant that covers a hole that the flange of the fan, etc. didn't cover. If it's not in a highly visible place, make a patch to cover the void. If it is in a visible place - consider a decorative patch - like a star or a shield or I even saw one Canadian who'd put a large Maple Leaf shaped patch over a boo-boo on the rear lower center panel. Looked like decor, not like "oops".
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Old 03-05-2016, 05:11 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supergrafx77 View Post
According to this rebuild thread by Aerowood, he replaced the rear panel that had such corrosion and in another thread, recommended someone else replace theirs as well. Mine seems worse than Aerowood's, so I am guessing I need to do this as well. What is a little confusing is that Aerowood replaced the two rear curved corner panels as well for reasons that I'm also guessing were due to some small amount of corrosion that had spread to these from the main rear. But maybe this was unnecessary since as the thread proceeds, Aerowood goes about re-skinning almost the entire trailer.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f416...e-26902-4.html

Do you think that all the skins I've posted are compromised and need to be replaced? I'm pretty sure the one in the back is gone (maybe I'm wrong?), but I'm hoping I can at least salvage the elongated exterior panel that needs to be buck riveted. That piece of skin is huge and looks like a huge job to fab a new one. Just not sure how to proceed.

I replaced the rear panel due to corrosion, the corner panels due to dents, the curbside panel because it had been previously replaced with annealed aluminum and the street side because it had been spliced with an incorrect alloy.

I would suggest you replace the rear panel and then remove the blind rivets on the picture, clean up the corrosion and re-seal and solid rivet back together. Your trailer looks about normal.
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Old 03-05-2016, 09:25 PM   #19
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Oh man, I think it's a total loss. Now, if you roll up your tambour and leave it on your doorstep, I'll have someone take care of it for you .

Just kidding about the total loss, my trailer looks just like that. I'm serious about the tambour, I just need your address....
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Old 03-06-2016, 08:25 AM   #20
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@foiledagain... Good call on the Brillo pad! I actually used a 3M pad myself.
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