that is typical aftermarket paint quality, that's happened to every trailer hitch I've ever bought, rusts far faster and far worse than the OEM parts do
Sandblast it and either repaint it yourself with good quality automotive primer and black topcoat, or have someone do it for you.
Powdercoat is treated by people like it is something magic (like it is some kind of awesome), but as you can see when the process is done poorly ( = usual aftermarket quality), it simply peels off in sheets.
I totally agree with Norm.
I've learned a little about coatings while working in aerospace and on my own plane, and it seems to me the key to rust prevention is the primer.
The bad news with powder coat is that there is typically
no primer. You are basically sticking little bits of plastic on the metal with a static charge, then melting it together. It isn't really adhering to the parent metal, and the smallest chip creates a great start point for the entire coating to fail.
I made the mistake of paying to have my rock rails powder coated. 9-10 years later and I can peel sheets off it too.
If you do redo it, look into either an etching primer
, or a 2-part epoxy primer
(both of which I would wear a respirator for, at a minimum, though you can find some etching primers in a rattle can). At that point, you aren't likely to see rust ever again (barring some really good abrasion down to the metal), and top coat is strictly for color. The green coating seen inside aircraft structures is now typically a 2 part epoxy primer that they use on both aluminum and steel components, and it's so good that they don't even apply anything over the primer for interior uses (and that saves weight too). They also make a white version for underneath yellow, and white top coats.
If you really really really want good adhesion, the metal should not be smooth and shiny, but abrasive blasted. Then for total overkill, you can have it zinc-phosphated
, but... it's just a ladder, and not truss type aircraft fuselage.
I absolutely hate rust and corrosion, so I really paid attention to how both small and large aircraft manufacturers combated it whenever I had the chance to ask some questions or learn something.
Why don't more people use this kind of thing on aftermarket parts?
Probably because anything so good it's marketed for aerospace applications is obscenely expensive, like this quart kit I had to buy for repairs on mine: EPIBOND EPOXY PRIMER KITS - W2248 WHITE from Aircraft Spruce Canada
That's private aircraft grade stuff. It only gets worse from there: Sherwin-Williams | Aerospace Coatings | Conventional Primers
I'm likely going to do my entire undercarriage soon (it's not bad after 10 years from the factory, but not great either). Not entirely sure how hardcore I am going to go, but I do have a bunch of left over 2-part primer...