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Old 06-07-2017, 09:53 PM   #1
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Ceramic Coating An Airstream?

I have a 2015 and is still like new.
I like to keep a clean rig. Considering one of the new ceramic treatments for my truck. It's a Hydrophobic treatment that completely resists water (as in water never can stick to the surface but also ads a layer of scratch resistance and strength against rock dings, etc.

Wonder if anyone has had it done to their late model AS and if so, how did it work and how much was it to have done?

Thanks in advance for the feedback.

Here is a video (no affiliation with the company - just googled so you could see) -



Thoughts??

Thanks

D
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Old 06-08-2017, 06:05 AM   #2
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That's interesting....sure would be nice if it does work on Airstreams
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Old 06-08-2017, 03:32 PM   #3
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I think I can shed some light on it. I use ceramic coating in my polishing business. Mostly on wheels and fuel tanks for trucks. Yes you can have it done and it is excellent protection. It works well usually lasts between two and three years. I used BEEDS brand that was introduced to me by a detailer friend. On paint it is really amazing and it always has that deep glossy look. It's not cheap however because there is several steps. Paint correction polishing and buffing and so on. It works on pretty much anything I put it on bare aluminum all the time and haven't had any trouble. Hope that helps answer your question.
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Old 06-08-2017, 03:37 PM   #4
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Hi

You may need to strip off the clear coat to get it to stick ...

Bob
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Old 06-08-2017, 09:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

You may need to strip off the clear coat to get it to stick ...

Bob
My understanding from AS CS is that the clear coat is an automotive on late model ASs - Why would you need to strip it off?
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Old 06-09-2017, 07:15 AM   #6
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Ceramic coating forms a bond with whatever you put it on bare metal clear coat don't matter it sticks
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Old 06-09-2017, 12:37 PM   #7
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This guy spent $700 to have his car done! Imagine the cost for an AS. Plus it lasts 3 years or so it seems.
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Old 06-09-2017, 10:23 PM   #8
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700 is pretty good on price for ceramic coating. Older cars that need more paint correction will be even more. Considering the size of of an airstream I can easily see it being $2k or more.
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Old 06-10-2017, 06:59 AM   #9
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Thanks for the info . . .

I looked at some u-tubes on the subject and find that this process is a good solution to maintaining a newness to the look of most any vehicle. However, the down side is that it can be scratched and does not make something look new, only maintain its original 'look' when applied. If I were to strip out the '94' AS and want to further protect the new, shiny surface, the ceramic application would be fabulous! However, the cost is probably prohibitive.

There are waxes on the market that protect painted surfaces for years; and, a yearly application really keeps the vehicle looking new. My 1999 F-350 looks new, imperfections and all!

One video states that the down side of ceramic applications are that you need to strip them if they get scratched in order to apply a new coating, unlike wax. Stripping off the ceramic coating is very expensive.

Applying the ceramic coating to the wheels and maybe the windows sounds good to me. Thank you for opening my eyes to this process. I have painted the roof with ceramic based paint that helps keep the AS cool here in Texas.
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:26 AM   #10
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What makes a surface look new is the removal of all or most of the scratches. This can be done if there is enough clear coat to allow leveling without complete removal. That is why these coatings are usually applied when a vehicle is new and scratch free.

For most folks, wax is your friend. For folks who are unlikely to diligently wash with a two bucket system and wax regularly, then the coatings have value if the cost is not prohibitive for your budget.

Yes, you can scratch it. This is not armor plating. It is a system that slows the degradation of the clear coat. We got a seven year life certificate with the belief the coating will last longer. Time will tell if it gives that service.

What ever you do it is important to - keep it clean - remove surface contamination without scratching the clear coat (reference two bucket wash system) - understand polish removes clear coat (think micro sanding) - understand wax seals the clear coat, but boils away over time (think months not years) and must be reapplied - and understand polishing/protecting a coach without clear coat is a different animal.

Still trying to understand how these products work. Detailing seminars are a good way to grow your understanding. Most important is to do the trips, enjoy the trips and accept the patina of use as the best look ever. Pat
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Old 06-11-2017, 06:16 AM   #11
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Hi

Like it or not, the way to make any finish look "new" is to grind off the top of the finish. That gets rid of the oxidation, scratches, and embedded gunk. If you go back to the "good old days", the first thing you did on a wax job was to use a polishing (grinding) compound. The wax guys found that bothered people. They came up with mixes that have wax and polish all in one can. It still does the same thing. Ceramic coating is no different as far as a "polish" step being part of it.

Wax a car once a week forever and ever, you will take off the paint if you are doing it right (taking off the old coat each time). If you don't do it right, you are just building up a thick coat of gooey dirty wax. Unfortunately there is no "choice 3" ...

You *do* want something over the bare metal. Aluminum does not degrade as fast as steel, it still does degrade. Un coated steel looks really ugly really fast. Aluminum changes more gracefully. The steel gets re-painted pretty quick, the aluminum gets ignored.

Stripping paint off of steel, it's easy to see when the paint / primer is gone. Pulling clear coat off of aluminum, not so easy to see when it's off. Steel is quite hard and tough to grind through. Aluminum is pretty soft and easy to grind through. If some guy named Bob is running the buffer and he doesn't do aluminum very often ...watch out Don't ask how I know the edges and curves are the parts you need to pay attention to ....

Bob (the guy with the big buffer)
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Old 07-06-2019, 03:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeg5263 View Post
I think I can shed some light on it. I use ceramic coating in my polishing business. Mostly on wheels and fuel tanks for trucks. Yes you can have it done and it is excellent protection. It works well usually lasts between two and three years. I used BEEDS brand that was introduced to me by a detailer friend. On paint it is really amazing and it always has that deep glossy look. It's not cheap however because there is several steps. Paint correction polishing and buffing and so on. It works on pretty much anything I put it on bare aluminum all the time and haven't had any trouble. Hope that helps answer your question.
Reviving this string...we just met someone with a clear coating business here in Colorado. Do the exterior rivets pose any problem to the clear coating process? Thanks!
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Old 09-01-2020, 12:09 PM   #13
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Airstream newbee, experienced RVer. We just bought our first AS, a 16' Bambi which we will use mainly for boondocking. Because of scratch potential in boondocking and because the Bambi will often sit in the hot Southern Utah sun, we are considering a ceramic process to protect against minor scratches and UV degradation. Two questions: would a good quality ceramic process be superior to say a Walbernize waxing? Second question is admittedly stupid (yes there are stupid questions...this is one...)...but is the mirror-like coating gleaned from ceramic processes really a good Airstream look? I'm certainly asking for input here....it's SO shiny it almost looks....wrong? If that's just me please forgive the question.
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Old 09-01-2020, 12:33 PM   #14
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Anything you can do to protect your investment is not a bad thing, but one has to do a cost benefit analysis. If a sports car is $700, your AS is gonna be at least 3x or more....and it's only good for 3 years.

I have had mine out in the elements for 6 months at a time and the older one is about 15-16 years old. A good washing and a good coat of wax has kept mine in nearly pristine condition. The front pano window covers and the higher front rock guards will protect the front body and all those two items are replaceable. My guess is that you do this 3x and you will have spent upward of $6k or more the first 9 years of ownership? You can buy a lot of wax, rock guards, etc for that if insurance doesn't cover it.

You can also take that money and if you store it a good deal outdoors, get a car cocoon for it. They can cost upward of $3500 for a trailer your size.

I like the ceramic coating idea, but the cost is just killer IMHO. In my case, I'd have needed about 5 treatments for my '05 (every 3 years) and that might have cost upward of $12k for those 5 treatments? After the depreciation hit, this could protect it well, but add insult to injury...but hey, if you have $$ to burn.
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Old 09-01-2020, 12:48 PM   #15
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I'll let you know in a few daze...if SWMBO likes it on her new car that's GEFM. She's not happy 'til I'm not happy...just kidd'n Honey. 🥰
Found a local shop that has a good reputation, appointment tomorrow.
I'll ask about doing an AS.

Bob
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Old 09-02-2020, 04:11 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panamerican View Post
Anything you can do to protect your investment is not a bad thing, but one has to do a cost benefit analysis. If a sports car is $700, your AS is gonna be at least 3x or more....and it's only good for 3 years.

I have had mine out in the elements for 6 months at a time and the older one is about 15-16 years old. A good washing and a good coat of wax has kept mine in nearly pristine condition. The front pano window covers and the higher front rock guards will protect the front body and all those two items are replaceable. My guess is that you do this 3x and you will have spent upward of $6k or more the first 9 years of ownership? You can buy a lot of wax, rock guards, etc for that if insurance doesn't cover it.

You can also take that money and if you store it a good deal outdoors, get a car cocoon for it. They can cost upward of $3500 for a trailer your size.

I like the ceramic coating idea, but the cost is just killer IMHO. In my case, I'd have needed about 5 treatments for my '05 (every 3 years) and that might have cost upward of $12k for those 5 treatments? After the depreciation hit, this could protect it well, but add insult to injury...but hey, if you have $$ to burn.
What is a car cocoon? Just a normal car cover? Thought I read a thread recently that said don't use any cover on an airstream because of damage to the clear coat? I'm forced to keep my new Bambi outside and would definitely like to protect it especially (here in Utah) against blazing sun. Thanks.
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Old 09-05-2020, 07:26 AM   #17
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I'm a new believer.....

At least on the DW's car.😂👍

Shop noted the cost,(at least 3k on Cloudsplitter) and the added concern of consistent application over all the seams and rivet heads.
Might be worth a try with self application to confirm, but not here, I'm satisfied with our current routine.

Bob
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POI...Ceramic Pro is what the shop used.
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Old 09-05-2020, 08:19 AM   #18
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I recall LoLoHo discussing this with Vinnie from Vinnie's North Side Airstream repair.
But I can't find the episode. It's a lot of prep and quite expensive, $4K?
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Old 10-03-2020, 07:46 PM   #19
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Airstream Atlas Exterior Coating

Picking up a new Atlas Monday. Dealer has offered to gel coat exterior for $1500. Airstream says exterior, which is fiberglass, has a 15 coat process of paint and sealer. Any thoughts on the merits of purchasing dealer applied coating?
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Old 10-03-2020, 07:54 PM   #20
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Picking up a new Atlas Monday. Dealer has offered to gel coat exterior for $1500. Airstream says exterior, which is fiberglass, has a 15 coat process of paint and sealer. Any thoughts on the merits of purchasing dealer applied coating?
Unfortunately that sounds about right for a car. In the case of a car it is all about person doing work and the quality of the coating used. $1500 just sounds too cheap to me.
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