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Old 07-07-2018, 10:24 AM   #1
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1968 24' Tradewind
Los Angeles , California
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Polish or Leave it Original?

Howdy,

I have a 1968 Tradewind in great original shape which has never been polished.
I like the original finish because it is almost no maintenance but I also like the polished look.
My questions are: In my case, does polishing hurt the value and what is involved in maintaining a professionally polished trailer? Thanks!
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Old 07-08-2018, 07:32 AM   #2
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Generally polished trailers sell for higher prices than non-polished ones. There is even a "polished turd" phenomenon where people will buy a trailer, do a quickie polish job on it, and flip it for a much higher price.

Maintaining a polish requires touching up with a cyclo once or twice a year. If you let the finish go, it will eventually revert to a dull gray patina.
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Old 07-08-2018, 08:54 AM   #3
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nph1127,

The 1968 Airstream had a clear-coat applied at the factory. I would say, if the original clear-coat is still in good shape, you are one of the very few since they often start to have a hazing look on the end caps/top, though the side tend to look OK with age at best. Some will polish the clear-coat with http://www.walbernize.com/ to protect it and give it a little life.

If you really want an original look, the thing to do would be to send it over to P&S Trailers in Ohio this winter, get them to strip, polish and reapply the clear-coat. Last I checked (a few years ago), it was running about $215.00 a foot. If you've ever seen an old trailer that has had that done, it's one of the best looks out there for the mid-late 1960's trailers, far better than polished IMHO. It will also last for a very long time if stored out of the sun either inside or under an open building.

Enjoy,
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Old 07-08-2018, 10:53 AM   #4
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Original

I would pay more for a trailer with good original finish than I would a polished trailer.
Personally I would only polish a trailer if the skin was in less than good condition, such as our 91 that the PO had sanded in an area trying to "restore"
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Old 09-24-2019, 03:29 PM   #5
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1967 24' Tradewind
Berlin , Berlin
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Hello guys.
I found this thread and we in the same situation.
We bought a 1967 Trade Wind Ė it's very nice outside. Some scratches etc.
We decided not to polish our Airstream but what do you think?
All the best to the states!
severin
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Old 09-24-2019, 03:54 PM   #6
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1965 26' Overlander
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Looks nice! Polishing is a yearly commitment,ask me how I know!!
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Old 09-24-2019, 05:05 PM   #7
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Not sure if this is the case with P&S, but with Colin Hyde, an AS restoration professional located in upstate New York, polishing per foot is just that, not the length of the trailer. I think there was approximately 70' polishing feet to do our 31' Excella. Needless to say, we didn't go that route, lol... Good Luck!! Jim & Gretchen
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Old 09-24-2019, 05:46 PM   #8
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have a '68 Ovelander International in great original condition......I may polish someday, but I am in no hurry.....
I have found that the spray on wax from turtle wax, is terrific to use, and adds lots of lustre.....


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Old 09-24-2019, 05:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by severin View Post
Hello guys.
I found this thread and we in the same situation.
We bought a 1967 Trade Wind – it's very nice outside. Some scratches etc.
We decided not to polish our Airstream but what do you think?
All the best to the states!
severin

That 67 Tradewind needs only one thing.....To be on the highway !

NICE !
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Old 09-24-2019, 06:19 PM   #10
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To polish or not is a classic debate on these Forums. I have polished two trailers with a third waiting. I like the end result as the trailers look sharp in my view. After polishing, I find water spots, bug splats, leaf stains and certainly highway deicer stains mar the polish job. The polish maintenance is never ending. Airstream has not sold a shiny Airstream since the 50s as far as I know.

Polishing my Trade Wind took me maybe 200 hours. Polishing our Limited took maybe 300 hours. It is just standing there pushing the polisher for hours on end. I'm going to do my Overlander someday. Blah.

David
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Link to my 1975 Overlander Improvement Journal:
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Old 10-23-2019, 02:56 PM   #11
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1967 24' Tradewind
Berlin , Berlin
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Thank you guys for all your lovely answers.
I totally forgot to send a anser myself.
We decided to keep it as it is. ;-)
And we'll try to get her on the road as quick as possible ( even if it goes rather slowly at the moment...)
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Old 10-23-2019, 04:39 PM   #12
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Just keeping and maintaining a vintage Airstream in working order takes enough time and money by itself, assuming it is used often.

If it is not often used, ether the owner has little time and/or money, which would also preclude polishing it.

If the owner has time and money, why not spend it using the vintage AS rather than polishing it. (Unless he/she is trying to win some silly award, which is not likely to be worth more that it cost to polish said trailer)

If you did polish it, wouldn't you then hate Hate HATE to back in in somewhere and SCRATCH it? What about the birds? Rock dings? Annoying camper neighbors? Bad drivers? Mud! Finger prints? Germs! (You see where this is going?)

Do you want to look at your camper or the view from your camper? (Ok, wise guy, you want to see the refection of nature in your camper, yes, that is clever)

But, mirror-finished AS trailers do look nice, yes.

Remember, if you have OCD, that's ok.
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Old 10-23-2019, 04:50 PM   #13
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There are some RV parks that have a thing against tts older than 10 years. A polished 68 might get you past the gate.

Another option is just stripping what is left, if anything of the clearcut.

You could also paint the trailer silver and never have to worry about polishing a mirror finish again.
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Old 05-24-2020, 06:24 AM   #14
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1963 26' Overlander
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Cleaning/Polishing without Removing Patina/Oxidation

I came across this thread in my search for learning and understanding what options I have for cleaning/doing a "minimal" polish to the exterior of my 1963 Overlander.

I think the polished look is a great one, but for me I actually prefer the old patina and the dull/matte grey look.

I'd like to keep it that way, or as close to it as possible but give it a good cleaning/light polish (if that is even a thing!?) to remove some of the grime, black corrosion specs, while also ideally buffing/blending/hiding out some of the scratches etc.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!

Best,

Peter
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Old 05-24-2020, 07:21 AM   #15
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Would not recommend it. Your options are:

1. Leave it original
2. Paint it
3. Polish it

There is no half way or 20% or any way to touch it up or buff out scratches. As soon as you touch it with a polisher you'll need to finish it. You might be able to stop at 70% and leave it polished but less than "mirror" polished.

The oxidation coat is tough to work through. If you stop halfway it will look worse than anything, it will look cloudy and blotchy.

Just one guy's opinion.
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Old 05-26-2020, 11:38 AM   #16
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I wonder if there is a polish/cleaner that would only remove the oxidation, and then you could clearcoat it, and boom, your done....?
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Old 05-26-2020, 02:20 PM   #17
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I, too, like the oxidation patina. I would use a relatively soft scrub brush with a quality detergent to remove the grime and loose oxidation and let it age gracefully.
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Old 05-27-2020, 08:21 PM   #18
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1968 26' Overlander
Orlando , Florida
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We are about to pull the trigger on a polished unit. The polish was a turn off for me bc we won’t keep it up. I know us. We are just too busy and we store it out in the open at home. Does anyone know of a place I can take it in the southeast to get a clear coat?
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Old 05-31-2020, 07:46 AM   #19
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1993 21' Sovereign
Red deer , Alberta
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I started polishing a few weeks back, got the Nushine IIG6 and IIS, but to me it does not shine like most trailers I've seen and I have watched many videos on how to do this.
Removing the clearcoat was the easiest part of it all.
Our AS is a "93 so not sure if it is the aluminum grade that they used in those days but there is not much shine like the mirror finish.

At times I keep thinking "what have I done"
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Old 05-31-2020, 08:06 AM   #20
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1987, Our first AS...'63 Safari.

I was all stoked to polish...18 Seasons, never got around to it.🥴

Bob
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Just before we sold it...I think it still looks pretty good.👍
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