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Kistler 11-19-2002 01:24 PM

Washing/waxing "new" clearcoat
I have been advised that the service manager (Airstream dealer shall remain nameless :) ) that they DO NOT suggest using Walbernize on my 2002 Classic.....

Having gone to a local parts store and buying what I hope is a very mild soap that protects clearcoat finish, I am wondering if that is ok...

What shall I wax with?

What shall I wax/polish with?

All I can say this "new" clearcoat is a real problem apparently.


53flyingcloud 11-19-2002 01:48 PM

Since your unit is so new, I'd really stay away from any soap, however mild..Plse take a look at this product..
Here's the link.
I've not heard of ANYONE who has used this company's product to have had any problems with it. Not sure why your contact was against using this but..Maybe there was a slight miscommincation as to what was your requirements??

Pahaska 11-19-2002 02:35 PM

I mistakenly erased your message, but I remembered your name, so I'll answer here.

I haven't chosen a wax yet. The unit is coming up to the 6 month mark and it is getting cool enough here to wax it without having shade,so I'll have to make a decicsion soon.

I expect that I will just use the RV wash I have been using so far and look for an easy to apply wax. Probably a soft wax since it is such a big expanse to apply.

Pahaska 11-19-2002 02:41 PM

Clear coat? No.
Just reread your inquiry. The current models do not use a clear coat. The aluminum comes from Alcoa with a painted finish that is essentially the same as a finish on a car.

My manual says to just treat it like a car finish and that's what I intend to do. I have washed it every 2 months with sthe same RV wash I used on my previous trailers.

john hd 11-19-2002 03:17 PM


i think he said he has a classic, don't they have "regular" aluminum skin?


Pahaska 11-19-2002 03:24 PM

It is my impression that all of the A/S trailers for the last few years have had the precoated Alcoa aluminum. It should be spelled out in his manual. Clearcoat went out some time ago.

Unfortunately, my manual is in the trailer at the storage yard and I can't quote directly from it at the moment. The manual simply says to treat it like a car finish, though.

53flyingcloud 11-19-2002 03:30 PM

He says she said
this is what I understood...

Kistler said


All I can say this "new" clearcoat is a real problem apparently
ciao:confused: :confused: :confused:

Pahaska 11-19-2002 03:45 PM

There is no "new" clearcoat.

Clearcoat, in the A/S world was a clear acrylic finish applied over bare aluminum after the trailer was built. When it peeled off, usually in patches, the unprotected aluminum oxidized. Clearcoat hasn't been used for several years. At the rally this last weekend, I saw quite a few peeling, clearcoated trailers.

The current trailers are prepainted. According to the manual, the finish is the same as is applied to autos, except that it is applied to the aluminum at Alcoa instead of being applied on the trailer.

I don't know of anyone who has had finish problems with the recent trailers. I intend to follow the instructions in the manual and treat my trailer just like I treat my car and truck.

Kistler should have the same pages in his/her manual that I have in mine.

Pahaska 11-19-2002 03:52 PM

And I might add ...
The dealer was probably right to recommend that Walbernize not be used. Walbernize is probably loaded with plasticizers to keep the old acrylic clearcoat from deteriorating. Plasticizers are probably the wrong thing to put on the finish on the current trailers.

Kistler 11-19-2002 06:03 PM

I know you wrote something to me about clearcoat BUT how do I access your reply?


Kistler 11-19-2002 06:06 PM

OK you guys....found your replies....thank you for the clarification.
I really don't know what I would do without you. :)


thenewkid64 11-19-2002 07:50 PM

From the Source.....
This was part of an article on upkeep from the Blue Beret, June 2002. The article was called Schu's News. Here is a Link to the full article.

“This and That “

Plasticote- is a clear acrylic coating used to protect the aluminum skin from oxidizing.

This was used prior to 1999 models or on units that are stripped and recoated.

This can be maintained by washing trailer and then using Walbernize Super Seal and Glaze.

Starting in 1999 trailers were built with metal that was coated with PF8A0-1 Flourocarbon 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.

Hope this helps :cool:

JPAIRSTREAM 11-19-2002 07:58 PM

And that is the aluminum you are seeing covered by the PF8A0-1 Flourocarbon Clear. Not a painted gray surface

This quote was taken from the Airstream web page.

"How do I clean the aluminum exterior of my Airstream?

For units with clear-coated aluminum we recommend washing the exterior about very 4 weeks or as needed. Wax with a non-abrasive mild wax in the spring and fall. Use a clean, soft cloth and always rub lightly with the grain of the aluminum. "

jcanavera 11-21-2002 10:27 AM

Walbernize Super-Seal is the product to use. There is another Walbernize product for use with the older clear coat units. Perhaps the person at the dealership was thinking of this.

During the factory tour at Jackson Center we were told that Super-Seal is the product to use and my dealer supports that statement.

As far as washing your trailer, we have a large thread here about that topic. It started off with my original question and goes and goes.

Bottom line I recommend Armor-All car wash liquid. It contains nothing that hurts the finish on your new trailer.



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