Cleaning the exterior of your Airstream travel trailer not only makes it look great – regular cleaning helps preserve and protect the aluminum so you can enjoy a beautiful trailer for generations.
Abrasive polishes or cleaning solvents such as automatic dishwasher or acid etch cleaners are too strong and should never be used. Rinse all grit from surface prior to washing. Use soft rags or wash mitts, always moving lengthwise with the grain of the trailer (washing or polishing). Never rub hard on the coating. Even the softest rag will damage the coating if excessive pressure is applied. Always clean your trailer in the shade or on a cloudy day when the aluminum skin is cool. Oil, grease, dust, and dirt may be removed by washing with any mild non-abrasive soap or detergent.
Cleaning should be followed by a thorough clean water rinse. Drying the unit with a chamois or a soft cloth may prevent spots and streaks. After cleaning and drying, a good grade of nonabrasive automotive paste or liquid wax will increase the life of the finish, especially in coastal areas where the finish is exposed to salt air or in polluted industrial areas. It will also protect the shell from minor scratches and make subsequent cleaning easier. It is important to remove substances such as sap, gum, resin, and asphalt as soon as possible by washing and waxing. Sunlight and time will bake-harden these materials, making them almost impossible to remove without heavy buffing.
If asphalt remains on the trailer after washing, use a small amount of kerosene on a rag and wipe the spots individually, being careful not to scratch the finish. If a substance is found on the coating that cannot be removed by normal washing procedures, Airstream recommends using DX 330 Acryli-Clean, made by PPG Industries. Follow all directions and warnings on the product container. Acryli-Clean should be used by trained personnel only, using the proper equipment under controlled conditions. Use the Acryli-Clean as sparingly as possible to remove glue, tar, and other similar substance.
To keep your trailer looking new, paint the A-frame, LPG tanks, and rear frame periodically. It is recommended that the caulking and sealant used in external seams and joints, such as end-shell segments and around window frames, light bezels, beltline and rub rail molding, etc., be checked once a year. If this material has dried out and become cracked or checked, or if a portion has fallen out, it should be replaced with fresh material to prevent possible rain leaks.
Caulking and sealing products are available from your Airstream dealer.