VIDEO: Liv’s Sad Trim

Posted In: Airstream, Blog, Maintenance, Video

One of the great upsides of Airstream ownership, in my opinion, is the product’s longevity. Airstreams are not disposable. Over 70% of all Airstream travel trailers ever built (going back to the 1930s) are still in use today. So if you are a “buy and hold” type like myself, it’s a natural fit.

In all probability, we’ll keep ours (which we occasionally, and for no apparent reason, call “Liv”) for a long time. Perhaps all of our lives. Naturally, we do our best to keep it in good cosmetic and working condition. Over 40,000 miles of travel have taken their toll, but she still looks quite nice to my eyes. Sure, there are a few gravel dents on her rock guards, but they just remind me of a certain road in a remote corner of British Columbia.

The cosmetics of an Airstream exterior are fairly simple, thanks to that blessed coat of aluminum. Although some Airstreams may suffer from “filiform corrosion” (a separate issue), aluminum never rusts. If it fades, you can polish it. Modern Airstreams are equipped with a clear coat finish, so even fading is muted. But as you’ll see in our video, occasionally there are a few issues that need addressing. Like metal trim pieces falling off.

Repairing the metal trim piece was as simple as thoroughly cleaning the area and finding the right adhesive. As always, a ready supply of the necessary tools always helps. In this case, 3M Super Weatherstrip and Gasket Adhesive was the secret sauce. And, of course, a little duct tape never hurt anyone.

Occasionally I’ll see ragged out old Airstreams (and cars and motorhomes) and wonder to myself, “How on earth did they let the poor thing get in that condition?” But the truth is that proper maintenance, mechanical and cosmetic, demands ongoing vigilance. When something breaks, you’ve got to repair it THE RIGHT WAY. All too often, owners allow their property to deteriorate a little bit at a time. It’s much better to “fix what needs fixin'” immediately, rather than to let a lot of small jobs become one overwhelming overhaul.

Special thanks to Kristy’s father Harry for once again coming to our rescue.

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