Airstream Maintenance: Exterior Cleaning Tips
Among the many alluring qualities of an Airstream is its iconic design. Easily some of the most recognizable RVs on the road, Airstreams’ distinctive shape and aluminum bodies have remained popular since their inception in the 1930s. So, how can you keep the exterior of your Airstream looking as timeless as the brand itself? We’ve outlined some tips below to help you do just that.
Before you begin, it’s important to close all vents, doors, windows and the range exhaust flap. Once you’ve done so, rinse the entire exterior to remove any loose dirt and debris that could scratch the surface of your Airstream. Remember to rinse the roof and the underside. It’s best to begin with the roof and work your way down the vehicle. Don’t forget to practice proper ladder safety. This is a great time to check for any leaks or damage to the roof or underside. Washing your Airstream is similar to washing any other vehicle. However, there are a few vital steps to follow to ensure a thorough and damage-free wash. First and foremost, avoid harsh cleaners and tools. This includes abrasive cleaners, chlorine cleaners and brushes. Stick with mild, liquid vehicle soap, soft mitts and soft bristled brushes. Always wash with the grain of the metal, never against. If you chose to use a pressure washer, keep the sprayer at least 30” from the Airstream, use less than 2500 PSIG and at least a 40 degree fan tip. Avoid washing during hot, sunny weather as it leads to unsightly water and soap spots. Instead, wash during the morning or evening hours or under a canopy.
The final step involved in cleaning your Airstream’s exterior is going for the high gloss finish. There are some good products out there, such as Glare Professional Polish or Walbernize RV Super Seal. Glare Professional Polish is a non-stick, high gloss, all weather, temperature flexible sealant that actually bonds to your vehicle’s paint. Because of the chemical bonding process, Glare holds up to regular washing and only needs to be reapplied once per year after the initial application. This polish contains no waxes, polymers or resins. Walbernize RV Super Seal is a combination of cleaning, polishing and glazing agents and is safe for all types of finishes. This polish provides quick, easy cleaning and a water-proof glaze and finish. The long-lasting finish is detergent resistant and can also be used on chrome and glass. Beside the specific product you use, be sure to check out Airstream Direct’s own guide to polishing your Airstream.