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wbcci big red numbers update

WBCCI Big Red Numbers Airstream tip


So, here’s what didn’t work. 


My effort to prevent devaluing my fabulous collectible Chris Deam DWR Airstream with the WBCCI Big Red Numbers resulted in a frightful defacement. 


“Take THAT,” snickered the ghost of Wally Byam.


My own displaced vanity and lack of ability to think a process through is really to blame, of course. Three years ago I went to great pains to devise removable numbers that I could slap on before a rally and peel off afterwards. Why? To avoid number ghosting, and preserve our anonymity, somehow. I guess. The reason is vague, and, in retrospect, clearly stupid. 


I ordered an expensive, fancy clear vinyl product (the kind used to prevent sponsor logos on stock cars from flying off at high speeds), affixed the red numbers, and carefully pressed the finished panel onto the Airstream. Then I never peeled it off. After several years, (two of them spent outdoors in the penetrating sun of Central Oregon), the temporary vinyl fused permanently to the Airstream’s clear coat, and left not only the ghosted numbers I was attempting to avoid, but a crusty brown rectangle of residue on the edge of the vinyl as well. 


I tried soaking it out, I tried scrubbing it out…nothing could be done short of replacing the whole aluminum panel, which is what will happen next, when I win the Powerball. 


In the meantime, I had to cover up the damage. A local sign maker said he could fabricate a strip of flexible aluminum to permanently tape over the damaged area which would nicely cover the crud and bear a new set of numbers (and, now, our five-year star).


More bother ensued: the cretin cut the aluminum to the wrong size, and the piece wasn’t as flexible as advertised either, as you can see.


What’s the moral of this cautionary tale? Peel and stick those Big Red Numbers directly to your Airstream as soon as that package arrives in the mail, and wear them with pride for the life of your trailer. Fly your freak flag. Be proud of your affiliation with the historic—and changing, you’ll see—Wally Byam Caravan Club International



7 Responses to “wbcci big red numbers update”

  • Ted Nolan:


    So sorry to hear about your CD’s misfortune. The good news is, you still have an awesome trailer! I hope someone, somewhere has a low cost solution to fix your problem.

    Best of luck, Ted

  • Rhonda:

    Thanks Ted! Someone just wrote to me with a great idea: find some caustic solution that will strip off the clearcoat, and then have the finish re-applied. Sounds plausible! That’s my spring project : ) Thanks for the comment—See you down the road!

  • Pink:

    ouch! this year we taped a bigish burning man design in green frog tape on my ccd. then when we parked it we removed all the green tape but forgot the man. months later it was a bit fused. we got it off with wax. had my trailer for years and this was its first wax job from me. looked amazing!
    next on my list is the filiform crawling out from under my THOR sticker!

  • Danny:

    Your challenging “Lesson Learned” is one of the advantages of being a WBCCI member. Older members have “been there, done that” and are a great resource for new Airstream Owners. Our Southern Illinois unit have 40+ year members who are a huge valuable resource to discuss all types of Airstream issues. We have many Rally discussions with newer members about these lessons. As I an older member told me when we joined; “There are those who have and those who will.” Rhonda, welcome to the “have” club! Enjoy Airstreaming!

    • rg coleman:

      Ha ha!! Good one. Thanks Danny. Every Airstream owner should be a member of their local WBCCI unit, for that exact reason…and more.

  • dennis simeone:

    I have just finished my restoration of my 66 globetrotter about to start on the outside clean and polish and seal (UGH) have ghost numbers that I would like to replace with the originals. How do I go about getting them and where to get it registered thanks to all!

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