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Old 03-13-2019, 05:22 PM   #1
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Exterior cleaning

I have a '99 T-1950 that was pretty cruddy when I bought it last fall. With the approach of warmer weather, it's time to think about breaking out the hoses & brushes.

A couple of years ago, I cleaned the vinyl siding on my house with a product, I forget the name, that was fantastic--spray it on, let sit for a few minutes and then rinse off. It worked so well that I tried it out on my white E250 rustbucket cargo van (nothing to lose), and it was great on that as well.

I believe the main ingredients were bleach and hydrogen peroxide.

Is something like that likely to harm this camper any more than the elements have over the last 20 years?
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Old 03-16-2019, 06:38 PM   #2
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If it's super nasty try "Bartenders Friend" on the bad stains.
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:08 PM   #3
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Thanks; doubt I'll need to resort to that--except maybe to blend the areas where I removed all the decals yesterday. Kind of hated to do that, but every single one was curled and peeling.

Current challenge, just discovered today, is to find/fabricate a key for the battery cutoff switch.



Found a couple of possibles on Amazon; if they don't fit, I'll just have to make one. Previous owner has no clue where it might be. Ah, the joys of vintage.
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Old 03-17-2019, 09:05 AM   #4
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Here you go buy a switch for $12 and have two keys. Pretty much standard switch we use them on vintage race cars. JT&T (2699F) - Battery Isolator Switch with 2 Keys, 1 Pc.
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Old 03-17-2019, 10:32 AM   #5
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Thanks. That's an option if the pair of keys I ordered for $6 don't fit. Small gamble.

I'm trying to keep the necessary wrenching to a minimum so I can spend more time on elective wrenching.

Planning to add a solar setup similar to yours, among other things.
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Old 03-17-2019, 11:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinstaafl View Post
I believe the main ingredients were bleach and hydrogen peroxide.

Is something like that likely to harm this camper any more than the elements have over the last 20 years?
Strong bleach left on decals is not good. The prior owner of my T1950 told me how she faded the front decal to death.

hydrogen peroxide in the higher concentrations can do a lot of things, some which are not good.

If your old truck did not die from it, suggest you test a small area on the Sunline before going flat out with it.

A key to any of theses cleaners is to make sure you rinse well after use. The chemical baking on drying is what can cause the issues.

I use LA's Totally Awesome. You can find it at Dollar General and some of the other dollar stores. This one Awesome All Purpose Concentrated Cleaner (32oz) | LA's Totally Awesome

It comes in different sizes. It has been $1 a quart.

You can dilute it and wash with it. On tough black streaks etc. I wet the wall, use it full strength, use a Magic Eraser (by Mr Clean) and do it in small areas to keep a wet edge. Do not let it dry or you have to start over. Rinse real well.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:49 AM   #7
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If your old truck did not die from it, suggest you test a small area on the Sunline before going flat out with it.
I actually did that just yesterday. I couldn't stand looking at the green mold on the A frame any more. Cleaned that and the rock guard with no apparent ill effects.

The rest can wait until after I re-caulk and resurface the roof, as soon as the weather gets a bit warmer. That job should keep me busy for an hour or so.

I'll keep an eye out for that Totally Awesome; thanks.
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:27 PM   #8
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Old decals suck! I spent hours with a heat gun frankly if you want them off that's the only way. If they are somewhat in one piece you can peel a lot off until you get to a crack. Then I went after the left over glue! Primer, red paint, lots of newsprint and tape looks pretty good it ain't a restoration but it looks good for 29 year old camper!
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:31 PM   #9
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It actually wasn't as bad as I expected. Made a mess with the first decal I tried, but by the time I was done with that, I had pretty much learned how to strike a balance with the heat.

Slow and steady, with the gun just far enough away not to scorch my [leather callused] fingers, and very little adhesive was left behind. That cleaned up pretty easily with mineral spirits. But yeah, the cracks are annoying.

I haven't decided whether I want to get into making it pretty with a bunch of rattle cans, or just settle for a lack of raggedy edges. In the big picture, I tend to value function over form.
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Old 03-21-2019, 01:11 PM   #10
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Trailer cleaner

Try the black streak removed from the store. Works great and work in small areas at a time.
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Old 03-21-2019, 04:24 PM   #11
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Try automotive compound

I use car finish compound for streaks or anywhere the white isn't so white anymore. I apply with a damp cloth and I keep the siding wet. It's very effective. The compound rinses off easily.



Everyone is always looking for easy way with some magic cleaner you can spray on and let it do all the work and maybe you could wiggle a soft bush, rinse and get some amazing result. I wish it were true but I don't think you'll ever get better results than using compound. It's a matter of level of effort you want to put into it. If you choose one of the miracle methods it will leave the paint more vulnerable to even more dirt and possibly chalking. A good paint protectant/sealant/wax will resolve that. I always recommend protecting your work and paint regardless of how you clean it.


I have been using a retired product called Armorall Butter Wax. It does not haze dry. Just wipe-on and leave it. I wish I could find a replacement product. However, I experimented with ceramic coatings on my cars last year and the results are stunning after a North-Eastern winter. Dirt and salt shed right off in the car wash. I might have to try that on my Sunny this year.
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Old 03-21-2019, 08:14 PM   #12
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In one breath you espouse a cleaning solution, and in the next you castigate anyone wanting to use anything but elbow grease.

There's nothing wrong with taking advantage of any way we can come up with to minimize the manual effort involved (taking into account health and environmental concerns, of course).

I do fully agree that a post-cleaning treatment of the raw surface is a Good Thing. It helps keep new deposits from sticking so readily, and makes them easier to remove when they do.
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Old 03-22-2019, 10:51 AM   #13
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I have cementboard siding on my house, and we tried "Wet and Forget" on the north side, with good results. Don't know what's in it. Has anybody tried it on their Sunlines?
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Old 03-22-2019, 05:28 PM   #14
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Not exactly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinstaafl View Post
In one breath you espouse a cleaning solution, and in the next you castigate anyone wanting to use anything but elbow grease.
.

Not exactly what I was saying at all. Simply sharing that in my experience, if I want the black streaks completely gone and the white, white. Compound will do it well. When I mention everybody is looking for a magic cleaner, that includes me. Don't we all want the best results with the least amount of effort? I do not disagree with the use of cleaning solutions nor did I say anything like that. In fact I said that If you choose one of the miracle methods, use of a protectant regardless of how you clean (solution/compound) your paint will save your work.


I think it's nice that all these people took time out to answer your questions and share their experiences with different cleaners. Hopefully you'll find some of their answers useful.
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Old 03-22-2019, 10:49 PM   #15
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Then I misunderstood. Apologies for that.

I agree it's a good thing that folks have chimed in with their cleaner experience, though that wasn't really the thrust of my question. I was more concerned about any deleterious effect of the cleaner vs its efficacy.
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Old 03-23-2019, 10:11 AM   #16
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I guess if your driveway turns white, you'll know the cleaner wasn't very good for your camper LOL. Seriously though. I also used Oxy-Clean with reasonable results. In fact I also had a t-1950 at the time. We loved it. It's the best floor plan in my opinion for that size trailer. It's so easy to tow and maneuver. We traded it (Butler, PA) for a 195SR which basically is 1.5 feet longer and a deep slide out where the sofa bed is.
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Old 03-23-2019, 01:33 PM   #17
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I swear this thing handles better than my 6x10 construction trailer.

Small world. I grew up just outside of Slippery Rock.
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Old 03-23-2019, 09:39 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viking View Post
I have cementboard siding on my house, and we tried "Wet and Forget" on the north side, with good results. Don't know what's in it. Has anybody tried it on their Sunlines?

I have used "Wet and Forget" on my prior house concrete and vinyl siding for mold. I was shocked at how good it worked over time and it did last a good year in preventing mold from coming back. It is not instant, but it stops the mold from growing and allows it to curst up and be washed away by rain.

This product is what I used, at the recommended rates https://www.wetandforget.com/wet-and...ncentrate.html

It is rated for aluminum, rubber and vinyl. I have not yet tried it on the camper. I do know some folks who where going to try it on their camper vinyl awning to help stop the molding. I never heard back any good or bad from that.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 03-24-2019, 08:52 PM   #19
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I would definitely proceed with caution with any cleaners on the aluminum. These trailers aren't like cars- the materials all come from different sources with different types of finishes and paints. A strong cleaner may be fine on the A frame tongue that's powder coated, but that same cleaner may completely wash away all the paint on the aluminum as soon as you spray it on.

Decals and exterior plastics are another risk. The decals can easily be bled with strong cleaners, and some plastics could even be etched.

Definitely try something in a hidden area first, and better yet, wet the area really well first.
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Old 03-30-2019, 08:52 PM   #20
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Gorgeous day today, so I indulged my scrubbing itch with a batch of Scott's Outdoor Cleaner with hydrogen peroxide. No apparent ill effects.

But I had an eye-opener when I broke out the LA's Totally Awesome, using it full-strength on some particularly stubborn stains. It did work well, but there were a couple of runs I didn't notice for a bit too long. Ate the paint right down to bare aluminum. Use with caution!
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