Replacing Chrome Rub Rail

When we picked up our "new to us" 2008 Safari, we noticed that some of the rub rail was missing. I pointed that out to the dealership and in about two seconds they brought out this shiny new roll of chrome rub rail and replaced the missing sections. The new sections looked absolutely amazing. We had not even hit the highway after picking her up before I was Googling where to find enough for the rest of the trailer.

While there was still plenty of rub rail left on Annie, it was discolored and even cracked in a few places. Dirt and moisture can lead the chrome insert to come loose; UV rays and weather can also cause damage. It turns out I could buy replacement rail for under $3.00 a linear foot. I needed 32 feet to do the remaining sections; so it was less than $100 - well worth it in my opinion. I found it at Out-of-Doors-Mart on line. What we needed was "Airstream Molding 1 inch Chrome Rub Rail Insert 201763-100." www.odmrv.com

We used a small sharp chisel to work out the old rub rail and to remove any tape left behind. The previous owner had glued some spots that had probably lost their adhesive, so it took the chisel, a thumb nail, and a little mineral spirits in some areas. Once the tape residue was removed, we used wet rags to thoroughly clean out all of the dirt. We then used denatured alcohol for one final pass in order to remove any remaining grease or film. 

The product arrives tightly rolled and taped. We removed the tape once it arrived to allow it to unwind and relieve some of the pressure. We wanted it to lie as flat as possible in the rub rail. I read that when replacing the trim it is best if the temperature is around 70 degrees.

Like most things, prepping took the longest. Applying the insert was easy. We used the old pieces to mark the length of the new and cut them with very heavy duty scissors/shears. We then lined it up where we wanted it, slowly removed the 3M tape from the back and worked it into place.  We then took a small seam roller and rolled the full section to make sure it adhered well.  The last step was to remove the blue tape that protects the top. And, Voila! - a beautiful shiny new rub rail.