Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bit o' Polish

Most of my time thus far has been spent on restoring the inside of the Sunrader, making it livable and workable for five of us at this year's Tour of California. Just made it.

This weekend, I got back to work on the exterior. I had gone over the whole coach with a restorer-polish and took the opportunity to completely wash it down again before starting on wax. Rather than try and wash the rig again in the driveway under the relentless California summer sun, I took it up to a local self-serve/coin-op car wash. The rig just fits in a bay, and the pressure washer and long brush make scrubbing things down quite a bit easier.

Those pressure washers are also great for cleaning out underneath, in the wheel wells, etc. Much better than my wimpy garden hose and not as paint-peeling powerful as a real pressure washer.

As I washed it down, I was worried about water getting in around the front windows, but the seal work by RV Doctor George was watertight. I think they have the technique right for those front windows, pulling the center strip out of the rubber gasket and injecting sealant between both the fiberglass and the gasket and the window and the gasket. So far, so good.

And after a pocket full of tokens, we drove away down the freeway for a 65mph air-dry.

Ok, I'll admit it. That isn't the whole story.

There were two trips to the car wash. On the first trip, I underestimated the cash required to completely clean the Sunrader and I ran out of time with foamy soap still covering a good part of the coach. So yeah, I was that guy... driving down the freeway in a Sunrader that looked like it had a bad case of rabies. It happens.

Second wash completed and back at home, I got out the buffer/polisher and some new foam pads from Meguiars. It takes a good long while to go over the whole rig (I still have the roof to do) but the sponge cutting and polishing pads are supple enough to handle most of the curves and corners. Much better than the wool/synthetic pads that came in the box with the polisher.

Now with a complete coat of wax the gelcoat has a nice shine to it. Not quite new, but pretty darn close. Next thing on my cosmetic list is the aluminum window frames. The years have worn away some of the black paint and they're looking pretty dull. But it will be a big project to remove, repaint and reseal them.

New shocks might go on first. KYB Monomax are the current favorite, with more research to do.

Either way it is good to have a long list.

1 comment:

  1. Funny, I was just thinking it was time to wash the Sunrader and had decided to take it to a self serve car wash too. Will double what I had planned to take in coins, ha! We, however, have not been having "relentless California summer sun" but a summer of rain, sun, rain, sun and more rain. Been a challenge trying to get the front and back decks, stripped, cleaned and stained when the weather report says 10% chance of rain and it turns out to be 100%!! Thanks for the tips!