One drawback of purchasing a Used Airstream – as opposed to New or Vintage – is the fabric wall covering that came standard in Airstreams for many years – endearingly referred to as “mouse-fur” .
I believe the actual name/brand of the fabric is Ozite. It’s known for its mold/mildew resistant properties – which seemingly makes a lot of sense for an RV.
However – it can quickly become the bane of an Airdreamer’s existence.
Airstream used a light cream colored fabric over aluminum. The result being that the aluminum starts to bleed through the fabric over time – making it look dingy and dirty with black stains.
People have had mixed success cleaning the fabric – but who really wants to spend time shampooing and vacuuming the walls of their RV?
The mouse-fur on our model was in decent shape in some places, but stained and discolored in others.
We decided early on that we were going to remove it – even after reading mixed reviews on the process.
Here is one of the many great posts on Airforums about mouse-fur removal: Mouse Fur Removal with Photos.
As many folks will note – the aluminum under the mouse-fur isn’t going to be all nice and shiny like what you find in newer models. Airstream didn’t intend for this aluminum to be visible – so you may find marks, scratches, holes, seam-tape – and most importantly, a nice layer of super-adhesive.
The adhesive layer was not as bad as I thought it would be. It’s relatively thin and the aluminum didn’t look all that bad even with the adhesive. It was still better than stained carpet.
We read a lot of posts about people using extremely caustic and abrasive strippers to remove the adhesive. I really wanted to avoid that if possible. We would likely be living in the trailer while we worked on this part of the renovation, so I didn’t want to fill our new home with toxic fumes that might linger.
We purchased a small sample to test out on our Airstream.
While Greenrvlife let the stripper sit for a few hours – I only had about an hour to test it out. I sprayed about a one inch dot on the adhesive and let it sit while I cleaned out the fridge.
The result was fantastic! After an hour the adhesive stripped right off with little to no effort.
While this is a very small success, this particular part of the renovation project just got a lot less intimidating.
Our trailer is currently with professionals getting some more complicated upgrades done (e.g. electric), but when we finally pick it up, we will continue the mouse-fur removal process and post more pictures.
UPDATE: More pictures….
Here is a picture of the bedroom – the top photo is the wall with the mouse-fur still on it and the bottom shows the wall with the mouse-fur removed. You can see that Airstream used a tan seam-tape that we will remove as we remove the adhesive.
Here is a photo of the mouse-fur removed from the wall where the dinette used to be.
Lots of work and demo ahead of us but getting more and more excited as we go.