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Atlantica 01-24-2007 03:10 PM

New Clearcoat Durability?
We currently have a 1998 Classic Excella & have had problems with the clearcoat. In 2000 the entire unit was stripped & refinished at the Airstream factory; however the clearcoat started to peel off again within 2 years. We have faithfully waxed the trailer at least twice a year.

I understand that commencing in 2000 the aluminum panels were clearcoated by Alcoa prior to shipment to the Airstream factory for assembly. We are debating whether to have our 98 trailer refinished at a specialist shop or to trade it in on a newer unit. Would appreciate receiving feedback on how the clearcoat finish is holding up on 2000 to 2006 Classic trailers.

Kistler 01-24-2007 04:50 PM

Hi Atlantica, I hope you get more replies.....I would also like to know about problems after the "new" processed aluminium was used.

Mine is an AZ trailer (Tucson) except for its trip from Jackeson Center to Dillons in Apache Junction it has basically been in covered storage. We do a few weeks a year in our north....WA, CO, MT

The only thing I have noticed is on the front near the AIRSTREAM letters...near the M in Airstream there is a small blemish. It came that way and has not enlarged.... about the size of a thumb print.

I use Ultra Joy on my trailer...treat it like my Jeep and Expedition....its clearcoat, right?

TomW 01-24-2007 05:21 PM

Appears to be a timeless issue

Originally Posted by Kistler
... The only thing I have noticed is on the front ... about the size of a thumb print...

Vintage trailers with sprayed clearcoat had problems too.


SafariSS 01-24-2007 05:22 PM

Well, I have an 05 that looks great! No, seriously I have talked to a dealer that has sold them for 25 years and he says that the only problems they are having with the newer clearcoat is in extreme cold climates where a rig is left outdoors. What happens is a slight "hazing" w/ some crazing. (micro cracks).

I guess time will tell,

jcanavera 01-24-2007 05:22 PM

I had one small clearcoat pop smaller than the size of a dime that is up high on the streetside middle of my 2004 Classic. I put some automotive clear coat over that spot and 2 years later, the clear coat has held and I've seen no further deterioriation.

Your story regarding the Airstream refinish failing is not new and in many cases dealt with a clear coat product that was being seriously compromised by EPA regulations. Hence why Airstream gave up on the process.

P & S does a great job in refinishing failed clear coat. Here is the link to their site. All About P&S Travel Trailer Service

The 34' unit on this page belongs to a fellow in south east Missouri. It's a '97 which had a severe case of clear coat peel. There is a picture on the same page of the streetside rear corner of that trailer prior to refinishing. The folks at P & S not only refinished it but they polished it and redid it in 2005 graphics. It would fool most people unless you saw the dated wheels. I saw it close up and it's a beautiful job. Unfortunately the owner went through a hail storm so it has some dings, but the clear coat is still doing great. I would recommend these guys over having it done by Airstream since P & S will spend a lot more time on the prep phase.


Rick Gillis 01-24-2007 06:58 PM

I had a 1999 Safari that had lost much of its original clearcoat when we purchased the unit in 2001. I took it to P&S trailer service in Ohio and they did a great job. When I sold the trailer this past fall, it looked fantastic with the coating still holding up well. Their web site is


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