We’re closing in on 2 full years traveling and living in our “classic” 2002 Airstream diesel pusher motorhome .. and we love it.
We bought her as a pre-owned motorhome from an older couple in W. Virginia who had posted the ad on Craigslist. We’ve driven her from what was our home base in Ohio out to San Diego to visit Kathy’s cousin and then back to Ohio, then to Vermont for an RV rally and back to Ohio, then to Arizona to Workamp for 6 months and back to Ohio, then to Michigan to Workamp for 4 months, and back down to Ohio (through Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana) and after Ohio visiting the kids on down to Texas to Workamp for 3 months, then to Florida (for a vacation!), then back to Texas for a couple weeks volunteering and on up to Ohio to visit friends and family, and now we’re back up in Michigan Workamping again for the summer of ’18 .
And yes – we’ve had our troubles .. mostly during the first trip out west and I’ve chronicled those debacles in earlier posts. We’ve had problems with; tires, water pump, tow bar, water on the floor, water through the roof … and lots more.
We’ve also done some remodeling inside and new awnings and roof a/c covers outside – not because we NEEDED to but because we wanted to. We’ve installed a new solar controller and (4) new deep cycle batteries. We’ve installed a TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) and a new living room slide topper along with new suspension components — all of which are talked about elsewhere in this blog.
This coach has FOUR different colors in the paint scheme; 3 shades of green and a thin gold stripe. This meant buying (4) 1/2 pint cans of custom mix Sherwin-Williams Auto Color touch-up paint. There’s always a new small chip SOMEWHERE after a trip of a few hundred miles!
Even with all these “issues” (and I really don’t see them as “problems”) there is ONE THING THAT REALLY BUGS ME … THIS !!!
Look closely and you’ll see what looks like dirt on the front of the coach, specifically on the generator drawer and the side-view mirrors.
The maker of our coach (Airstream) just as so many other manufacturers of Class A motorhomes, installed a special plastic paint protection film .. a sort of heavy plastic whose job it is to protect the paint from getting chips from attacking road debris / stones / bugs / birds, etc.
Problem is that this film, after a number of years (somewhere ‘tween 5 and 10) starts to degrade and get very fine cracks that let dirt and water in and mold begins to form. That’s the dark brown “cracks” you see in the photo to the right.
From what I’ve gathered, there are two popular brands of film that were (and very likely still are) used on these motorhomes. One is a product called Diamond Shield and the other is a 3M film. I’m not sure, but I believe our coach has the 3M product installed.
I’ve read RV blogs and user forum posts about the inherent problems with these films and how to remove this ugly “shield” from our home on wheels.
I’ve learned that Diamond Shield requires a liquid solvent and a plastic scraper, while the 3M product requires a heat gun and plastic scraper. Either way, it’s a tiring and tedious task. It takes a lot of time and a lot of patience as you’ll see in the video below. I actually found that the my film (I think it’s the 3M product) comes off easiest when it’s warm outside (70 – 90 degrees) but without using the heat gun.
But the video shows what I learned and ultimately what products I used and how I got my film off. Even though I’ve only started the task by removing the film off the two mirrors, I’m looking forward to getting the rest of the film off the generator door. Good thing I’m retired and have the time to do this … if I was still working I know I wouldn’t have the patience for this job!
Here are the links for the products I used in this project. You can purchase these items using these links: