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Old 06-16-2020, 11:26 PM   #1
Jochen & Christina
 
1965 24' Tradewind
Longmont , Colorado
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1965 Tradewind - what products to use on the interior?

Hi friends, we are getting to the part of our new Airstream project when we have to clean the inside... I mean, CLEAN THE INSIDE!! She is in great shape, but has been sitting for the better part of 30 years.



The wood is original and the original vinyl wall paper / wall siding is still up and in good shape but quite dirty. I think in 1965 it was mahogany, and the vinyl stuff was volatone. We really don't want to hurt either one - does anybody have any suggestions for products we can safely use to clean them??


Also, after we have cleaned the wood, do people re-stain or seal it? We're trying to preserve the original look as much as we can.



Thanks so much! J & C
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Old 06-17-2020, 07:16 AM   #2
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2005 25' Safari
1968 17' Caravel
Leawood , Kansas
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Your walls would be Zolotone most likely. Whether they are the sticky feeling vinyl or Zolotone over aluminum skins, you can't go wrong with hot water and soap. I cleaned my first airstream interior with my wife's clothes steamer and simple green. Worked great but took some time. I've got my skins out currently on my restoration and can't say enough good things about Crud Cutter, followed by a good rinse. Magic Eraser's are safe as well.
You'll have to do a little research on whether you have shellac or lacquer on your wood. I think based on the year it's probably lacquer. Lacquer would be safe to clean with isopropyl or ethyl alcohol. I'm not sure that would be wise on shellac, since I think alcohol is the solvent that dissolves it, but never any "hot" solvent like acetone or MEK or toluene. 6-0 steel wool after just a damp wipe down on your wood might be worth a try. Try whatever you're going to use someplace it doesn't show and see how it goes. BubbaL has had beautiful results with shellac on his restoration. If you've got all the silicone off the wood from products like Pledge, you could try a light scuff with 320 sandpaper and put shellac over old shellac and I think over old lacquer. If you have a woodworker's store in your area, there's always a knowledgeable person that works there that knows a lot about finishes. You might even go with a topcoat of catalyzed tung oil over your clean and lightly scuffed wood parts. I like the products from Sunderland-Wells. You order directly from them, they wipe on, build well, have a slight amber and can go over different bases and are very fixable over time. They are knowledgeable over the phone as well. Good luck.
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Old 06-17-2020, 07:38 AM   #3
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1966 22' Safari
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J, donít remember what year in the 60s Airstream switched from Zolatone to a wall covering. In our 66, first year for frameless windows, we had the stranded looking vinyl wall covering which I believe was installed on the aluminum prior to being sent to the factory. We did strip all of it off and went with Zolatone for durability and brightness. As far as your woodwork, if itís original, there are ways like docflyboy said to refurbish. I sure would if itís mahogany and original. You have me interested in your wall covering and possibly Zolatone in a 65. Would love to see some interior pictures of what you have questions on. I know they had vinyl covering in the shower covering the wooden bulkheads, but donít remember where else. Also, can you post a picture of the metal ID tag on the outside adjacent to the door? Lastly, I PMd you my phone number to discuss if needed. I find it interesting. Take care
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Old 06-17-2020, 08:50 AM   #4
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Be careful!!! Simple Green will corrode Aluminum! I use a mild solution of water and dish soap.
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Old 06-18-2020, 08:24 AM   #5
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I agree on simple green. Joy dish soap is a great soap. When I used simple green I was only on the vinyl clad skins and never let it get sloppy and steamed it right off. If you get it all off with a complete rinse, which might include a final wipe down with isopropyl alcohol, I don't think you'll have a problem. It's when chemicals are left as a residue that things happen.
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Old 06-18-2020, 09:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prairieschooner View Post
Be careful!!! Simple Green will corrode Aluminum! I use a mild solution of water and dish soap.
It is my understanding that we should avoid the regular, green Simple Green but that the HD purple stuff is safe for aluminum. Just read up on this on an aircraft restoration forum after stumbling across a mention of it on a mt bike forum.

I switched to the purple stuff years ago because I just couldnít stand the smell of the green stuff. The nose knows I guess...

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Old 06-23-2020, 10:35 AM   #7
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1965 20' Globetrotter
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65 tradewind interior

Hello,
I have a 65 globetrotter and a 65 overlander.
The globetrotter has the mahogany wood and zolatone walls. The overlander has Walnut wood and the vinyl wallls. We cleaned the vinyl with dawn and water and did a good job of rinsing. The wood on the airstreams at that time was finished with Watco danish oil. This was the heyday of mid century modern and they were doing a low luster look. I believe most of the higher end coaches such as the tradewind has the Walnut and were finished with Watco. 1965 was the first year of trying to make the trailers the same for manufacturing with less special orders. Saying that my globetrotter did have a few special orders.
Our vinyl still looks good after all these years.
Good luck on the finishing.
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