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Old 02-09-2015, 07:59 PM   #15
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2006 25' Safari
St. Augustine , Florida
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 2,438
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Congratulations it's yours, dents and all!

Hey, now you have a project. As Panama Red said, the main concern is to avoid water around the wood- get it water tight.

The dents are a tough one as they devalue the trailer overall. I know as I had a mid rear panel replaced(above the beltline) and it is $1800 per panel. As others note, it is probably two panels for you as the top panel may form up to the new panel ok. Only certain Airstream dealers can do metalwork. I was going to go to the factory to have my panel replaced and called them for the appointment and was referred to a dealer in Florida with over 30 years metalwork experience instead. They were highly recommend by Jackson Center so I drove less and saved some dough.

At this point, it is irrelevant to be concerned on what you paid. Enjoy it and leave your mark on it as your pocketbook permits! Welcome to Airstreaming.

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Old 02-09-2015, 08:18 PM   #16
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
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The trailer looks pretty clean and the fact it was kept inside is a plus. The bad is you need to repair that area on the back corner where the skin is pushed in and there is a big gap there (read rain funnel). Temporary fix is to caulk it but I would remove the inner skins back there and try to push it back out. You might be able to also remove much of the dent back there and make it look pretty good until you decide if you want to replace that panel with a new one or not. Is it a rear bedroom model? Those are much easier to gain access to the rear corners.


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Old 02-10-2015, 08:38 AM   #17
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1991 25' Excella
Pine Bluff , Arkansas
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 29
Yes, it is rear twin beds and I guess a project is coming up sooner than expected. I like the idea of maybe smoothing out some of the dents from the inside. How hard is it to open up the inside panel after the bed is removed? As far as pushing the bottom, just push it back out and recaulk from the inside and outside?
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Old 02-10-2015, 08:59 AM   #18
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2008 25' Classic
Wichita Falls , Texas
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I'd say spend as much as you can afford to get the repairs done correctly. Even if you spend $5k you still have a great AS for under $20k.

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Old 02-10-2015, 09:21 AM   #19
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1972 31' Sovereign
1975 31' Excella 500
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Benton , Arkansas
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If I were you I would just smooth the dents out.

It will be some work to strip out the interior for access to do the job, but with careful work that corner can be made to look better, with the damage near invisible from 20'.

I am right up the road from you in Little Rock, my "out of town schedule aside, I will be happy to help you out some if you need.

That is a nice looking trailer!

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The fact that I am opinionated does not presuppose that I am wrong......

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Old 02-10-2015, 09:28 AM   #20
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1994 30' Excella
alexandria , Kentucky
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Overall that is a nice trailer since it was kept inside.
I would first worry about keeping moisture out. I don't know if pushing the dents out will work very well but is probably worth a shot. If the interior bedroom skins were removed - well at that point I would just replace the panels. Removing the interior can be time consuming.
Second I think the trailer is worth repairing, expensive as it may be. That is a very popular sized trailer that can be pulled by a variety of tow vehicles.
Third - how handy are you? I have replaced panels myself. It was one of the tougher jobs that I did since I had never worked with metal before. Overall I made one mistake removing a panel due to a blind rivet and my temper got the best of me that day.......
Steve, Christy, Anna and Phoebe (Border Collie)
1994 Classic 30'11" Excella - rear twin
2009 Dodge 2500, 6 Speed Auto, CTD, Quad Cab, Short Bed
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Old 02-10-2015, 10:34 AM   #21
2 Rivet Member
San Diego , California
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 46
Never trust a restaurant with a skinny chef.

Never trust a guy who owns an Airstream with no dings in it.
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Old 02-10-2015, 10:37 AM   #22
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2014 27' FB Eddie Bauer
Chelsea , Michigan
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One last thought on trailer valuations. I know people who have bought an older trailer for a couple thousand dollars, gutted it and spent $30,000 to $40,000 or more to get it back to original condition. If your trailer is as clean as it looks in the pictures, even with the dents, you got a good deal.
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Old 02-10-2015, 10:40 AM   #23
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Hampton , Virginia
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Originally Posted by photomikey View Post
Never trust a restaurant with a skinny chef.

Never trust a guy who owns an Airstream with no dings in it.

Never trust a woman wearing more than 3" heels.

Sorry to get off topic!
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Old 02-10-2015, 10:52 AM   #24
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1988 25' Excella
1987 32' Excella
Knoxville , Tennessee
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I do not think you paid too much. The 25' is a very desirable size and the center bath twin bed combination is a good one. We love our 1988, 25' and would glady pay that price or a little more for another like it if we need it. I actually think you got a very good deal for a very desirable model Airstream. Kept covered and not used much for a number of years probably a big plus. I think ours had been to Alaska and back a couple of times before we took it again.
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Old 02-10-2015, 01:48 PM   #25
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2013 30' Classic
Greenwood , Mississippi
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Originally Posted by Panama Red View Post
Seal up the cracks with some Vulkem, and go camp the stew out of that thing, and completely forget and never worry again about what you paid for her... Beautiful trailer, and as someone else said, if you want to fix the dents later, a trip to the mothership would be a cool vacation. I'd love to drag mine up there just to take her back home after 41 years...

-Red, pro-camping, anti-worrying...
I second the motion to get repairs done at Jackson Center. That is the best service center ever. We took our trailer to the Mother Ship in September for warranty repairs and thoroughly enjoyed the trip as a vacation. We arrived in the Terraport Monday evening. Tuesady morning we put the trailer in for service. We toured the American Bicycle museum in New Bremen, OH Tuesday morning and did an Airstream factory tour Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday, we toured the Air Force Museum in Dayton. Thursday, we hung around the service center lounge and waited for our trailer. Friday, we traveled back to Mississippi.
I will only take my trailer to Jackson Center for service.
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Old 02-10-2015, 03:10 PM   #26
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1978 31' Sovereign
Hot Springs , Arkansas
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Nice rig. If it didn't have a dent when you got it, guess what? Piano on the roof.jpg Have fun with it! WhoooHooo!
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Old 02-10-2015, 05:00 PM   #27
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2002 30' Classic S/O
Melbourne Beach , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 2,758
First, the bad news: That gap looks too big to seal with caulk. That's just my opinion, but I'd look at trying to pull out the aluminum before caulking, or fitting a patch somehow. Is that the wood floor showing through the crack? If so, that is a really bad place to have a leak because it could lead to floor rot. I'd tape some plastic up over the hole until I could get it fixed.

Now, some good news: I just put some dents and a serious crease in the same area on my trailer. Harbor Freight sells a vacuum dent puller for about $70. If you have, or have access to an air compressor, you may be able to make a significant improvement in your dents, particularly the large, round dent. I was able to pull out some dents, but couldn't make much progress on the crease. The bigger the dent. the better. As long as it is more than 4" or so in diameter, this puller would probably help. It is a long bar with a slide hammer, and two different sizes of suction cups. When hooked up to an air compressor it creates a vacuum that sticks the tool to the skin and you use the slide hammer to pull it out. I couldn't believe how well it stuck to the skin.

Another member on here posted about high quality body work done by Out-of-Doors Mart in NC. I'm thinking of having them replace my rear segment. You can get quotes from the factory and OoDM by sending them a picture of the damaged areas.

Don't stress over whether you paid too much. It won't change anything, and it will rob you of the enjoyment you deserve. Personally, I think the price is reasonable given your description of the storage and condition. We have had our 2001 Safari about a year now. The person I bought it from had only had it 9 months and bought it from the original owner. He told me the original owner stored it inside (for 12 years) and I believe it. There is virtually no filiform corrosion or clearcoat clouding. People have asked me if my trailer is new. Your exterior looks similar to mine.

Get it dry, check out all the systems, check the age of the tires and replace them if over 5-7 years old, re-pack the wheel bearings and go camping!


"You cannot reason someone out of a position they have not been reasoned into"

Al, K5TAN and Missy, N4RGO
2002 Classic 30 Slideout
S/OS #004
2013 Dodge 2500 Laramie 4x4 Megacab Cummins
2001 Safari 25 RB Twin (Gone, but not forgotten)
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Old 02-10-2015, 06:46 PM   #28
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1991 25' Excella
Pine Bluff , Arkansas
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 29
Everyone has really helped to ease my mind. We have a air compressor so the puller is definitely a possibility and we all know the dents are over 4" so maybe there's hope yet. Luckily the hubby is pretty handy working on whatever he sets his mind to. He'll be building a storage shed for the Airstream in the next couple of weeks. I'll post some inside pictures and looking down into the bottom gap tomorrow.

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