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Old 12-04-2021, 08:24 AM   #1
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Nolensville , Tennessee
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Advice - 2005 Safari Strip and Polish

Hello all! My husband and I purchased a 2005 Airstream Safari this past year. I'm trying to figure out the best way to deal with a lot of filiform corrosion on the exterior. It spent a majority of its former life outdoors on the Florida coast. There's a lot of corrosion around the belt lines and then random small patches all over and she's got a few decent scratches on her sides as well...she looks great from a distance, but if you're up close it's very noticeable. I've read conflicting reports about stripping and polishing newer airstreams. I personally like the polished look and understand it likely won't shine up like the older models...but it would have to look better than it currently does. If it's possible to get her polished we'll likely also do ceramic coating shortly thereafter as well to protect it. Does anyone have any advice or recommendations or know anyone who has polished a 2005 or newer model? Thank you!
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Old 12-04-2021, 06:01 PM   #2
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I believe in about year 2000 Airstream switched to the Alcoa applied coating to the exterior aluminum sheets. It is much, much more durable than the old automotive sprayed on clear coat. I'm told there isn't a stripper that will cut the stuff.

I have stripped and polished two trailers. But they are old vintage models.

I have no experience with this new coating. I hope others more knowledgeable than I will chime in and give further advice.

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Old 12-04-2021, 07:48 PM   #3
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I had a 2004 Safari with bad filiform along the belt line. This was my solution.
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Old 12-04-2021, 08:23 PM   #4
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I have been wondering the same. We have a 2005 with Filiform corrosion as well. It does not sound like ours is quite as bad as yours, but it is very noticeable in certain lighting conditions. i have been wondering about having the clear coat stripped and then have the corrosion filled with some kind of body filler (not sure what would be best for aluminum), and then get it painted (!) silver to closely match the aluminum color, then get it clear coated.

Not sure which would be best polishing or painting. I think the issue with polishing is that the corrosion is not just on the surface, but it penetrates the aluminum slightly which would require quite aggressive polishing to get to a smooth polished surface.

I too am interested in what others say. I love my trailer, but am sometimes disappointed in the amount of corrosion.

Here's ours on the Oregon Coast in the Fall...
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Old 12-05-2021, 08:37 PM   #5
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I have seen polished late model trailers at Airstream Service in Jackson Center. I asked and the techs said they can be stripped. I did not ask what the agent they use. Call Airstream service and ask Kevin or Chris.
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Old 12-06-2021, 10:54 AM   #6
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Thank you for the information.
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Old 12-06-2021, 11:04 AM   #7
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2nd 1/2 of 1999 Airstream moved the the Alcoa finish due to EPA regulations and such.

The Alcoa coating on post 2nd half 1999 and newer can be sanded and stripped off and I have also seen them painted as well.

P & S is also a service provider for this (and more):

https://pandstrailerservice.com/
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Old 12-06-2021, 01:01 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone for the replies! I really appreciate it!
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Old 12-06-2021, 02:05 PM   #9
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Not sure this is useful, but there are 2 other options.

A vehicle wrap. Want a pearl pink Airstream with seams and rivets leak proofed? And yes, of course you can find chrome look wrap.

Spray on chrome. This might be great for the Argosy steel endcaps, but painting an Airstream means sanding the surface and you can never go back from that. Still many people did it up through 2005.
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Old 12-06-2021, 06:56 PM   #10
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Foiled Again...A wrap is a brilliant idea! Especially if I can find one that somewhat matches the current finish. Many thanks!
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