Aye, there’s the rub rail

A rub rail covers the bottom edge of the exterior aluminum panels, along with the bottom line of rivets that attach the panels to our 2007 Safari trailer.  This rub rail area is susceptible to water in at least two places, especially in the rear of the trailer where much rain water and dew run down.  The trailer was only two years old when we found part of the chrome/vinyl rub rail insert hanging down during a trip.  Moisture can loosen the self-sticking adhesive backing of this vinyl insert.  We reattached this vinyl strip using 3M Plastic and Emblem Adhesive #08061 and details are posted here.

Click on the image above to enlarge it and you will see that the factory applied sealant along the top edge of the rub rail bracket.  The integrity of this seal is important, because if enough water gets behind the rub rail it could lead to floor rot.

Last summer, I found areas of cracked sealant along the top edge of our rub rail.  In one respect, we are fortunate to have a relatively dry climate in San Diego, but we do get plenty of dew.  So after I replaced our Marathon tires in September, I sealed the rub rail cracks with Acryl-R and applicator from the Airstream Store.

Actually, I put a bead of Acryl-R along the top edge of the rub rail around the trailer, and then the trailer got its annual big washing and waxing.  For the occasion, I got a new, sturdier stepladder and more of my favorite wax, Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze Professional Sealant #20.  This sealant, along with the nail polish that I applied last year, has prevented any further growth of filiform corrosion.

So now that the trailer is washed and waxed, and presented with new tires (and new AGM batteries last May) it seems happier and ready for our fall camping season. We celebrated by observing the Chinese Moon Festival, also called Mid-Autumn Festival.

Larry set up a display featuring the many symbols of this festival, including mooncakes with an egg yolk in the middle.

We gazed at the full moon as our Chinese paper lanterns seemed to dance, and the Tillandsia secunda (in the foreground) seemed to wave in the breeze, and we remembered the legend of Chang’e, the Chinese goddess who lives on the moon, a love story.


  1. Rich Luhr says

    The rub rail on our Safari recently gave up as well. I decided against reinstalling it, since it is badly deteriorated and cracked from weather & UV. I’ll put a fresh one on the next time we get to Jackson Center OH, although it would be a simple matter to order the rub rail through any Airstream dealer.

  2. insightout says


    I got a new, sturdier stepladder


    Which is scary, considering the photo of you on the death spiral step, adorned with traffic cone headware and a witches’ broom, two weeks shy of Halloween.

    Remember 90% of accidents occur at home.

    En espanol, ‘ten cuidado’.

  3. Bill D. says

    ¡No te preocupes!

    No worries, Dr.C… if you look closely at my photo, you will see that I am attached at the waist with the state of the art electric bungee cord that can immediately sense a potential fall and pull me at lightning speed to our neighbor’s hedge for full cushioning.

    Thank you for noticing my new head-ware, which is for sun protection.

    And thank you for your ongoing concerns and comments…

    Best to you and Lynn for a Happy Halloween!