How to Keep Your Airstream Looking Like New

Clean AirstreamAirstream trailers are recognizable recreational vehicles (RVs) with an exterior that looks like an aluminum teardrop. The look is vintage because it has not changed all that much since the RV was first conceived, designed and built by Wally Byam. The first Airstream was built on a Model-T chassis. These durable, ever-popular trailers have been in production ever since 1932.

There is a reason the Airstream design has remained so similar–at least on the outside–to the original models. Byam’s philosophy of business was simple. He believed not in making changes, simply for the sake of making changes, but to keep improving that original good design. Of course, the original aluminum design of the Airstream trailers is what makes keeping it looking great a challenge.

While the exterior of the Airstream has a protective coat, natural factors, such as salt, and environmental pollutants play havoc on the aluminum panels. Here are tips and steps to take in order to keep the Airstream exterior looking polished and shiny.

* Water is Your Friend
With clear water, wash down the outside regularly from the top down on each side. Washing down the Airstream is especially true after having the trailor near the ocean or in the city with a high-pollutant quotient. When cleaning the Airstream, always start with a fresh water bath.

* Keep it Soapy and Soft
To protect the siding, only use a soft cloth or mitt when cleaning or polishing the Airstream. In a bucket, add soap or detergent and water. Use this to wash down the Airstream. Do not forget edges. Use a gentle but firm pressure when applying the cloth or mitt so as not to scratch, dent or otherwise harm the Airstream exterior.

* Choose Cleaner with Care
Add vinegar to the water when cleaning windows. However, be careful not use any cleaner that will etch the aluminum panels. Make sure any cleaner used is suitable for aluminum and recommended by Airstream. Many cleaners created for most RVs are not suitable for Airstreams.

* Rinse and Dry
The aluminum panels of the Airstream can look great for the life of the trailor if cleaned correctly. Once a trailor has been cleaned, keep it looking good by rinsing off the soap thoroughly. Make sure cleanser is removed from top, sides and all the edges, sills and nooks-and-crannies. After a good rinse, use a clean cloth or mitt to dry the surface. This also prevents streaks and unsightly water spots from forming.

* Polish
Chose a nonabrusaive, recommended wax on the Airstream to leave it sparkling and shiny. Follow directions for use and wipe off completely. Use clean clothes or mitts.

With a little time and effort, you can keep your Airstream looking as good as the day your purchased it.

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