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Open Roads Forum  >  Fifth-Wheels

 > cleaning the outside of the 5'er

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Veebyes

Bermuda & Maryland Eastern Shore

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Posted: 10/30/20 06:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As a saltwater kept boat owner since 1981 I have learned a thing or two about gelcoat & the maintenance of it.

First of all, there is no such thing as EASY. The more oxidation, the tougher the job to restore & the tougher it is to keep it looking good.

Lots of products will make it look better, not good, for the short term. You get what you pay for. Your labour will be the same so you might as well pay for the quality product that will last first time around.

Keep that pressure washer far far away. It will do more damage than good.

Start with a good wash to remove long sitting road grime & bugs on the front cap. Easy step.

Next is the tough one which depends on the deterioration of the gelcoat. For relatively minor chalking of gelcoat either 3M Marine cleaner wax or Maguires Marine cleaner wax does the job. The work is in working the stuff in to remove the chalking. You will need a proper polisher to remove the product. One of those two handed cheap automotive buffer won't do the job. I carry a Makita polisher around. One of those buy it for life tools.

By now you are at the end of day two, maybe into day three, & looking pretty good but not finished yet.

The last step is the Meguires Flagship POLISH. This goes on easy but does absolutely nothing to remove chalking or stains, hence the importance of doing a proper job with the cleaner wax. The Flagship produces a visibly better shine & gives the protection for longevity of the shine.

My Alpenlite spent it's first 2 years of life in a storage lot in CO. I got it before the chalking set in. Eleven years later, it is looking almost new after many thousands of miles use.

The method here is frontcap cleanerwax & Flagship twice a year, mainly because of bugs. The rest of the trailer Flagship once a year. Every 3 years or so cleaner wax then Flagship.

Two weeks ago it got the full cleaner wax treatment then was put into indoor storage. Next spring it gets a wash off then the full Flagship treatment before it goes travelling.

Regarding ghosting, the original frontcap decal took a beating so I replaced it with a custom photo. The difference is in the quality of the material. Over three years & thousands of bugs beaten into it & it is looking like new. You have to look really really hard to see any evidence of the originl

[image]
[image]Click For Full-Size Image.


Boat: 32' 1996 Albin 32+2, single Cummins 315hp
40+ night per year overnighter

2007 Alpenlite 34RLR
2006 Chevy 3500 LT, CC,LB 6.6L Diesel

Ham Radio: VP9KL, IRLP node 7995

NamMedevac 70

Reno

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Posted: 07/29/21 11:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

On my partially faded trailer and decals I just used a wash and wax cleaning solution with long handle sponge mop and after good drying and removing any streaks with terry cloth towels I then applied a generous coat of liquid white 303 protectant all over with long handle sponge mop and then did extra waxing/buffing of certain areas by hand as needed. Made the trailer look nice and clean and white and shiny in some places but of course I still had a few faded decals that I lived with. They weren't too bad. Did this several times a year just for fun.

* This post was last edited 08/01/21 09:06pm by NamMedevac 70 *   View edit history

RAS43

Littleton,CO

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Posted: 07/30/21 05:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Veebyes,
Would you explain your reason for using Maguiars POLISH in the final step instead of their wax/protectant. Just curious as they recommend a polish ahead of a wax which seals the surface.

Fisher Bill

Tigard

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Posted: 07/30/21 02:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thinking back to my boating days I had an old bayliner that had probably a half inch gel coat that used to be robin egg blue, I used a product called Penitrol and scotch brite to remove the oxidation then a buff with the 3M polishing compound and then a buff of McGuire's boat polish. Sold well...


2006 Chevy 3500 Dually 6.6 Duramax Diesel & Allison Transmission
2010 Northshore 28RK by Dutchmen
Our first fifth wheel!!!


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