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Old 04-02-2002, 11:05 PM   #21
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YEY!!!!!!!!! BEAR's picture is now my Avatar!!! [SIZE=3][FONT=arial][B][COLOR=royalblue]
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Old 04-03-2002, 12:57 PM   #22
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OK,
Here is the story. The folks from Armor All got back to me about their products. They danced around answering my question regarding the standard Armor spray on product in regards to its base product and using it on tires. So the question still stands on its suitablity on tires.

Their answer as follows:

"ARMOR ALL Protectant is a water based silicone emulsion specifically designed to protect and beautify polymeric materials such as rubber, plastics, vinyl and automotive-grade finished leather. Our product actually bonds to the surface to help protect elasticity and fight surface deterioration."

Now the next question regarding petroleum products in the Armor All car wash liquid. This they gave a clear answer to.

"Also, our ARMOR ALL Car Washes do not contain petroleum. "

Ok so now we get to my call to Airstream which I concluded a few minutes ago. The person answering the call really didn't know whether we should avoid products containing ammonia or petroleum bases. She went out to the store in the Service Center and noted that they sell a washing product call RV Wash made by a company named RVelv. There were no ingredients on the product label.

She then went out to the service bays and asked the guys there. The answer came back use Dawn or Joy.

So there you go. Personally I think I'm going to try the Armor All car wash since it is supposed to not remove wax. Since I Walbernize twice a year, I assume this product will help keep that finish in better shape. I would tend to believe the Joy and Dawn might not be as gentle on that surface.

Who knows.....the search for the official word is still on. I guess the only definitive answer would be to get ahold of the folks at Alcoa who produce the prefinished aluminum panels for Airstream.

Jack
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Old 04-03-2002, 01:24 PM   #23
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Jack,
I'm surprised the factory does not have a real answer for this, seems to me they would during their years of research and testing/evaluating etc.
Jack I'm curious to what your ownersmanual says about washing/cleaning the exterior. Mine says "CAUTION abrasive polishers or cleaning solvents such as automatic dishwasher detergents or acid etch cleaners are too strong and should never be used." and it goes on to say "oil, grease, dust and dirt may be removed by washing with any mild nonabrasive soap or detergent". Lastly, "after cleaning and drying, a good grade of nonabrasive automotive paste or liquid wax will increse the life of the finish...wax should normally be applied every 3-6 months.
Also, about the plasticoat it says "this flexibility results in a surface coat which is of necessity somewhat softer than automtive acrylic laquer finishes". Keep in mind all this was written in 1982.
While this doesnt answer specifically what to or not to use maybe there is no right answer as long as it is nonabrasive.

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Old 04-03-2002, 01:51 PM   #24
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I have used Westleys car wash for many years on all 3 A/S trailers I have owned. Don't know what might be in there car wash but it is non-abrasive and is good for any finish. On my current '96 model trailer I had the clear coat come off the center front panel above the window when the trailer was only 4 months old. It was repaired by A/S under warranty and still is in good condition. My '81 A/S still had all the clear coat when I sold it in '96, of course the new trailer is a different coating. For my tires I use Westleys bleach white which is a white wall tire cleaner and has been around for many (40) years. It cleans the side wall but does not make the tire real shinny, but still looks good.
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Old 04-03-2002, 02:17 PM   #25
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John,
I'm pulling the Safari back from inside storage this weekend so I'll take another look at my documentation. From what you quoted, I think I remember seeing similar wording. Not much seems to have changed in 19 years or so, although Airstream did move to prefinished panels after some disasterous failures of the clear coat materials that were applied at Jackson Center on some of the 90's vintage trailers.

Obviously abrasiveness can include anything that has a "grit", or is chemical in nature. I feel pretty good about the Armor All car wash product at this point and will probably give it a shot since the ammonia side of Dawn in my mind, still is in question.

Maybe the real issue is not as much as what we use than how often we wash the trailer (getting rid of the chemical polution) and keeping it waxed or Walbernized.

Jack
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Old 04-03-2002, 04:05 PM   #26
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For the tires I use 'No-Touch' tire care spray with good results. (I guess I'll have to look at the ingredients on that too).

John
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Old 05-19-2002, 11:20 PM   #27
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Soap

Ok...what is Walbernizing..I'm 'new'...
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Old 05-19-2002, 11:50 PM   #28
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Ok...the Porsche 'cleaner-guy' has spoken... Here's his word...(he also says he'd love to talk anytime to the one who wrote the post about having the older Porsche... (he's looking for a '75 or '77 911)
THat said,,,back to the post...>>>


Make sure your soap is luke warm...never hot.

I asked my son about the car wash ... and his favourite lately is is called "KIT"...by Northern Labs Inc. of Manitowoc, Wisconsin... It has a 'carnuba' wax shine...protects, deep-cleans, shines, and more importantly it doesn't strip waxes on it. He says it smells clean...kind of like a raspberry/banana/citrus smell.

He says stick with a carwash...that specifically CLAIMS to be designed to NOT strip away wax and clear-coats. He would stay away completely from any dishwashing-type soap like Dawn. & he adds....

if you're getting road grease on anything...use a 'degreaser' on tounge, the undercarriage, etc...but not on the 'skin'. & he says, if you see a concentrated spot of road tar...use a old cotton, warm wet towel (from your soap bucket) to cover it and 'heat it up'; maybe use your degreaser first; and if it's thick---use some paper towels to pinch of the excess n (after you've 'warmed it' with the wet towel) pinch it off as gentle as possible...and then use your other method once you've removed the excess... He says "a build-up of roaddirt is a build up of lots of damaging polution"...and needs to be removed !

LASTLY his advice...remove 'bird-droppings' ASAP . ..with heavy squirting of plain ole H2O..(Aqua-Vite)...(WATER). ..until it's gone...If a little hangs on, use your fingertip (NOT the NAIL)...gently to rotate around it as the water is hitting it...until it's gone.

When you wash, you try to do it in late afternoon or shade....Never try to fight the sun...working against you in the mid-day.

Ok.......NOW FROM ME...>>>>> I need to wash the algae off Bear.........so I guess I should use this "Kit" ...or WHAT.? (It's pretty pricey?).... So, I need to know ASAP...

WHAT's the concensus of opinion?
........Cat
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Old 05-20-2002, 08:01 AM   #29
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cleaners

I use armorall car wash for the vehicles, a soft brush extension pole for the motorhome, and a wash mitt for the car. This stuff is available at Walmart and is not too expensive. I wax the motorhome with liquid turtle wax, and it held up quite well for 5 months or so. I use Granitize on the Porsche which is very hard stuff. This older car has no clear coat. The trick for me has always to chamois the water off after the wash so you don't get too many spots or streaks.
I am presently using turtle wax tire wax a new product with UV protection in it, on my tires, it seems to work quite well.
I also use "Mothers Aluminum" polish which is ok, buit does not work as well as some of the more expensive polishes. I would love to try Rolite but have not yet, as I don't have a polishing machine. The Porsche is a 78.
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Old 05-20-2002, 08:08 AM   #30
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Re: Soap

Quote:
Originally posted by Cat
Ok...what is Walbernizing..I'm 'new'...
Cat,
Walbernize is a product recommended by Airstream to help retain the shine and clear coat. You can find it at Walbernize.com or other Airstream venues. It very easy to apply and wipe off. It leaves your trailer very slick. Newer trailers use the Super Seal product.

Jack
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Old 05-20-2002, 09:23 AM   #31
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Thumbs up

Alan,

NICE Porsche.

John
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Old 05-21-2002, 02:33 AM   #32
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Cleaning

Alan,

more on cleaning later...i'm just signing off.. ....but THAT's a "930".isn't it.(affectionately known as..)..?

BTW..my son says, "No OLDER than a 77 Mum"...wait till he sees yours...am I correct? is it a '930'..?
.....Cat

(sorry to be 'off the mark' here Webbie...just couldn't help myself. I'll try not to do it again.)
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Old 05-21-2002, 03:07 AM   #33
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Cleaning Agents

ok...i just went to AirstreamDreams.com, and got the 'skinny' on the care of our (affectionately known as "aka" ) "TinCans"... Here it is in its entirety:

Plasticoat can lose its protective capabilities due to aging or bleaching by the sunís ray and begin to wear thin causing chipping or peeling. Plasticoat is not a permanent finish and its life expectancy depends upon several factors such as the environment, weather, atmospheric conditions, salt air, road salt, industrial fall-out, and how well the trailer or motorhome is washed and waxed. It is extremely important that the plasticoat is reapplied to an area that has chipped or peeled to prevent oxidation from occurring. Oxidation is permanent and is impossible to remove. [Actually, oxidation is possible to remove from older units, but it is virtually impossible to remove from newer coaches with a textured and thinner skin.]

Cleaning the exterior of your trailer or motorhome should be done in the shade or on a cloudy day when the aluminum skin is cool. Oil, grease, dust and dirt may be removed by washing with any mild non-abrasive soap or detergent. Cleaning should be followed by a thorough clean water rinse. Spots and streaks may be prevented by drying the unit with a chamois or soft cloth. When washing or polishing always wipe with the grain of the metal. [The aluminum on older units does not have a grain.] After cleaning and drying, use a high grade, non-abrasive automotive past or liquid wax. This will increase the life of the finish, especially in coastal areas where the finish is exposed to salt air, or in polluted industrial areas. It will also protect the shell from minor scratches and make subsequent cleaning easier. Wax should normally be applied every three to six months.

It is important to remove sap, seeds, gum, resin and asphalt as soon as possible. [Donít forget bird droppings!] Sunlight and time will harden these materials making them almost impossible to remove without heavy buffing. If asphalt remains on the trailer or motorhome after washing, use a small amount of kerosene on a rag and wipe the spots individually, being careful not to scratch the finish. Bugs should also be removed as soon as possible because their acids will eat into the coating.

For small areas of damage to the plasticoat finish or where oxidation is beginning to occur, remove all traces of the coating with a high grade lacquer solvent then thoroughly clean the aluminum with an aluminum cleaner. Then respray the area with clear plasticoat. [Spray-on plasticoat is a clear acrylic spray and does not match the factory-applied plasticoat. It is a different color and does not go on as smoothly.] All items needed for these minor repairs to the exterior shell are available at your authorized Airstream dealer. For extensive refinishing we recommend that you contact an authorized Airstream Service Center or the Factory Service Center.

NOTE: The cleaner recommended by Airstream is Walbernize Super Seal and Glaze for 1984 and newer models which have been plasticoated, plus units that have been replasticoated. [The accurate name of this product is Walbernize RV Super Seal.] For units built prior to 1984, Airstream recommends Walbernize Cleaner and Glaze. [The accurate name of this product is Walbernize Cleaner, Polish and Glaze.] These products are available at your authorized Airstream dealer. [Or from us... Shop for Walbernize ]

That's the end of it... I do recommend the AirstreamDreams.com site to anyone who owns an Aluminum rig.

...peace..........Cat
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Old 05-21-2002, 07:06 AM   #34
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No- its a 911SC, model built from 78-83. The first year for the 3.0 liter engine, and wider rear fender style. Mine is upgraded to 16" wheels, and has optional front and rear spoilers, and stone guards on the side. This paricular model is known to be quite "bullet proof" and although has a few documented mechanical glitches, they almost never break. Can go 300,000 or more miles with minor maintenance. I should say 300,000 or more quite fun miles.
Sorry Airstreamers- my other passion has been porsches, since I first rode in a 356 back in the late 60's.
As for the above info, has anyone had any luck with re spraying or applying small spots of plasticoat? I have a few spots on the roof that could use that- while most of my coach has a nice coat on it.
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Old 05-21-2002, 05:45 PM   #35
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ALGAE...Help

Alan...
I don't have time right now to read and look for what I wanted to refer you to for the roof of your Rig...
but I think it's with AirstreamDreams.com... Or ..call 1-800-877-7911 and ask for Andy...tell him you're calling from the Forum...and ask your question...if you don't get the info off the AirstreamDreams site.

I'll check it over later...
Still haven't had anyone respond to my previous 'post' about what I should use to b est remove the ALGAE from the Exterior skin...??????????????????
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Old 05-23-2002, 07:27 AM   #36
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Walbernize

I use Walbernize super seal on my Excella and the trailer looks new when I am done, I highly recommend using it to any Airstream owner. However, DO NOT use it on the blue stripes or any older decals it will cause it to shrink and crack (learned from experience).

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Old 05-24-2002, 01:54 AM   #37
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Walbernizing

Hi Jack. so THAT's what happened to my decals... The big ones that encircle the whole rig around the middle? Yup...they have shrunk...and they sure have CRACKED... I have that on a "round-to-it" list to replace. So, when you Walbernize the fuselage, you just skip the decals...and then what do you use to protect the decals.??
& BTW...Does anyone know where can you get new decals?

............Cat
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Old 05-24-2002, 07:03 AM   #38
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Hi Cat. John made the comment about the decals not me.

This is the first I have heard something regarding the Walbernize product having a bad effect on the A/S decals. I do know that any decal will weather over the years although I have never had any deteriorate on any brand of trailer to the point of either looking badly or needing replacement.

John, is it possible that A/S had some problems with decals at one point? Most of us are aware of the clear coat problems that struck the mid 90's units. That only got resolved when they switched to precoated panels from Alcoa.

Maybe the problem with the Walbernize product and decals only covers a certain period of time? Or could it be environmental based on where you store your trailer. Lots of nasty things in the air in some locals.

Jack
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Old 05-24-2002, 03:11 PM   #39
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The blue stripe decal that goes around my Excella is old and weather'd, probably the original and the ingredient(s) in the Walbernize caused it to shrink and crack, I havent tried it on a newer decal to see the results but Cat & I have learned the hard way not to put it on decals.

fyi, there are no ingredients listed on my bottle of RV Super Seal, it does say it is combustible, use with ventilation, causes drying of the skin, etc... I wonder if there are any petroleum ingredients since it dries your skin, is flammable, removes traffic film, road oil or tar??? I will have to email them and ask.

John
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Old 06-11-2002, 05:24 PM   #40
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The answer you have been looking for????

I just got my Blue Beret from the mailbox and it contains the answer to the burning question, what do I wash the trailer with?

This is quoted from the article in the June 2002 Blue Beret by David Schumann, Director Service, Parts, and Warranty Administration at Airstream. Page 45.

Plasticote- This clear acrylic coating was used to protect the aluminum skin from oxidizing. This was used prior to 1999 models or on units that have been stripped and clear coated.
This can be maintained by washing the trailer and then using Walbernize Super Seal and Glaze.

Starting in 1999 trailers were built with metal that was coated with PF8A0-1 Fluorocarbon Clear Paint. This finish is applied by Alcoa before Airstream receives the metal used to build the trailers.
This finish is durable and can be easily maintained by washing with a 5% solution of any common detergent and then waxing. Walbernize products work well for this. Never use harsh solvents on either of these finishes.


Jack, I guess your persistence paid off. Someone felt there was enough interest in the issue to write an article.
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