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Old 02-17-2020, 05:06 AM   #1
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Frame/Hitch Painting - Best Recommended Paint Practices

As recommended by AS, repainting of the frame members and towing/hitch arms is commonly performed by owners. Being a "AS newbie", I'm curious to learn from the far more experienced owners as I prepare to repaint/touch-up some areas....

What prep-work other than washing & cleaning is needed, i.e. what's your procedure and practice?,


1. Apply ospho or some other product to remove or kill rust (re-wash after)?
2. Sanding, scraping and priming (machine or by hand?)
3. Paint Application

Recommendations:
1. What do you use to remove rust?
2. What type/brand of paint do you use and how is it applied, i.e. aerosol cans or brush-on?
3. Does AS offer a particular paint or will any common brand work, i.e. Duplicolor

Same questions apply for the lower section side panels which are painted satin black.

nb: I pretty much know what and how to do all of the above, just wondering if there are any "trade secrets" that produce the best results.
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Old 02-17-2020, 06:52 AM   #2
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I use phosphoric acid for prep to remove rust. You can get it at Home depot. Don't use it on parts that are zinc or tin coated, like the jack post or coated bolts and nuts unless you plan to paint them. If the coating is thin it will remove it and the part will start to corrode soon. It is superior at removing rust and preparing steel for painting but it does require some attention to not get it on stuff you aren't planning to paint.
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:09 AM   #3
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I first use a brush and sandpaper to remove loose debris and rust.
I then use a rust reformer coating (Rustoleum in a spray can) and sand lightly after it is dry. Recoat if needed.
Then I apply a top coat with either black or Airstream dark gray, depending on the part I'm painting.

Not professional, but works for me.
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Old 02-17-2020, 08:18 AM   #4
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The best product I have used for frame, tongue and bumpers is a product called POR-15! POR stands for (Paint Over Rust). It forms a molecular bond with the rust and prohibits further growth. Do not sand or remove the rusted parts! Read the instructions.
Be for-warned, wear gloves, long sleeves, old cloths, etc. POR-15 is super runny liquid and easily gets on you and will not come off...It has to wear off your skin if you get it on you (literally days).

POR-15 has to be painted over because it is not UV stabilized. A good oil based enamel (color of your choosing) to top coat. You will be good for many years.

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Old 02-17-2020, 09:07 AM   #5
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We must be lucky...

...never had to paint, just keep it covered in Winter.👍

Bob
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Old 02-17-2020, 10:40 AM   #6
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With a 16 year old AS I have use "Rust-Oleum/Tremclad paint" in spray. Inside the rear bumper storage and battery box "Flex Seal" as these are wet enviroments.
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Old 02-17-2020, 02:34 PM   #7
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Phosphoric acid is a bit aggressive and probably overkill but it does have the advantage of prepping bare metal for paint. Phosphates are commonly used for the adhesion preparation before painting metal, but you could probably just rinse the sanded cleaned area with a solution of TSP that you get from the hardware store (used for cleaning and mold prevention). I also like the idea of POR 15 as it doesn't just bond to rust, but converts it and locks the rust up. It comes in spray or brush-on. Rustoleum is a good paint but it does tend to chalk after weathering. If you prep well you can get a long lasting urethane paint in a spray can.
I just wire brushed the tongue on my '89 and sprayed it with a metal enamel spray paint. Not perfect but it lasted longer than I owned that trailer.
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Old 02-17-2020, 02:49 PM   #8
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Have restored a few cars in my day, POR-15 is the product to use.

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Enjoy,
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Old 02-17-2020, 02:52 PM   #9
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I have used POR-15 for other projects. Amazing stuff but, yes, read the directions. I recall reading that it was originally developed for the US Navy.
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Old 02-23-2020, 02:50 PM   #10
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Along the line of color does anybody know what color Airstream gray is? Is it a standard mix? Does anyone know the formula?
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Old 02-23-2020, 03:11 PM   #11
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I found that the airstream provided can of spray paint (at over $25) is the same color as rustoleum "pewter".
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Old 03-18-2020, 12:11 PM   #12
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Just finished repainting of my ProPride 3P-1400 which was heavily peppered up following a trip to/from Alaska the POs' took. In hindsight, I feel I'd been better off to have removed the 3P completely, disassembled it and had it stripped and re-powder coated but this [my job] will have to do for now. I did use POR-15 and it was far more work than I anticipated. Also as shown, installed 3M reflective tape (with primer 94) on the face of the hitch receiver to aid solo hitching.

nb: apologies, tried multiple times to upload the selected photos with correct viewing orientation, not sure why they are posting as show.
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Old 03-18-2020, 05:19 PM   #13
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Really nice job.
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Old 03-19-2020, 09:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Froglips View Post
Really nice job.
Thank you,

As you can see, I added some 1/8th rubber on the lower bearing cases to prevent the OCL latches bumping against them and fracturing the paint, also sleeved the chains.
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Old 03-19-2020, 12:46 PM   #15
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Very nice indeed.

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Old 03-21-2020, 04:30 PM   #16
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Finished.

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