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Old 06-04-2007, 05:24 PM   #1
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1970 27' Overlander
Marion , Indiana
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70 Overlander vs Tree

Hello out there!

We've had our 1970 Overlander for just over a year now. It was in great condition when we bought it, with some minor dings in the banana wrap. We've updated the AC, gas tanks, and recently built bunk beds. It's been a blast for us as a family. We enforce the "no screens" rule (no TV's, no Gameboys, no computers, etc...anything with a screen is banned) and haven't heard any complaints from the kids!

When we went to take it out for the first camping trip of the season, there was a detour...and a missed turn...and a turning around of the Airstream where there also happened to be a tree. We didn't even feel it, but when we got to the campsite, there was a nice tree trunk impression across three of the rear right end cap panels. Talk about an Airstream nightmare...we were planning on starting the polishing job this summer, too.

No sharp edges, but it does go across two lines of rivets. No visible damage in the bathroom, so it's not deep. My question is: Does the fact that it goes over rivet lines mean that we've lost any chance of being able to pull it out?

I've already called an auto-body guy we know who's going to come look at it. If we could just pull it out enough so I don't cringe every time I see it, I could be happy for now. I have to admit I was actually nauseated when I first laid eyes on it. A major repair just isn't in the finances for this summer.

Any input is much appreciated!


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Old 06-04-2007, 05:27 PM   #2
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2004 25' International CCD
Salem , Massachusetts
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sorry to hear about your tree encounter...

maybe you can post some pics. This would help all the experts and amateurs here give you the best advice

good luck

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Old 06-04-2007, 05:43 PM   #3
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
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Hello Dawn -- and welcome to the Forums! It is hard to enter under these circumstances. We certainly wish you the best. Pictures might help us. This recent thread might be of assistance:

5 meter Langford Nahanni

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Old 06-04-2007, 06:20 PM   #4
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1962 16' Bambi
Newtown Square , Pennsylvania
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Hi Dawn,
Sorry to hear about your run in with the tree. I hope it is easily fixed and welcome to the air forums. This is a great site! I have a similar problem on my 62 Bambi (just got it home). I am going to post a photo or two here and hopefully someone can answer both our questions. I am fairly new to the forums, so if I'm not supposed to do this to your thread - someone please let me know. It loooks like a p.o. turned too sharply and dented the curbside front of the trailer against his tv. It looks like it would pull out with a plunger except that the lower trim band (probably at the frame) is also banged in which may be too ridgid to pop out. Any thoughts? Thanks Dawn for letting me glom onto your thread.
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Old 06-04-2007, 06:21 PM   #5
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Wow, I wish I could get my husband to abide by the 'no screens' rule!

Welcome to the forum, what a crummy start! I'm sure someone here can help advise you. If nothing else, if it isn't causing any leaks, just live with it until you can afford to fix it up. Just think of it as a 'beauty mark' Show us some pictures and we'll see what folks say.

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Old 06-04-2007, 07:21 PM   #6
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'Possum Holler , Georgia
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Dawn, I was able to push one of those out from the inside, but I have the interior walls out of mine. I had a basket-ball sized dent across one of the seams in front on my '73. So I took a basketball, deflated it quite a bit and rolled it around the dent from the inside. Believe it or not, it poped right out and has never leaked.

Hang in there, I'll bet it can be fixed.


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Old 06-04-2007, 07:28 PM   #7
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1993 21' Sovereign
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Originally Posted by dudebb
It looks like it would pull out with a plunger except that the lower trim band (probably at the frame) is also banged in which may be too ridgid to pop out. Any thoughts? Thanks Dawn for letting me glom onto your thread.
Drill out the rivets on the trim band, and remove it from the damaged area. Then try your plunger on the dent. If it comes out, bend the trim piece out as good as you can, and reinstall it.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
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Old 06-05-2007, 10:58 AM   #8
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1970 27' Overlander
Marion , Indiana
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70 Overlander Vs Tree--Pic

Thanks for all your replies---now that it's stopped raining and the sun's out, my husband shot a couple of pics of the tree aftermath.
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Old 06-05-2007, 11:29 AM   #9
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That's major. My heart goes out to you. I'm not an expert on this, but use the search tool - there are ways to minimize it if not remove it entirely.

I believe most folks have had success with a plain old plunger or vacuum cups like those used to handle plate glass. Start from the edges and pull gently - some recommend that you use a hairdryer to add a moderate amount of heat to the aluminum while pulling it, then put ice on it once it's popped out - supposedly setting it in place. As I understand it where there are hard folds or the aluminum has stretched it won't go back in place, but if it's just dented it will pop back out with some encouragement.

Good Luck in repairing it. (PS. Replacing panels is expensive and you have the older curve shapes so the new ones don't match - plus nothing guarantees you won't have another boo-boo right after you spend the major bucks. I have a Lexus that I religiously repainted the bumpers on when it got a scuff... and every time a week later someone dinged the bumper again. Last time I said "screw it" and left the ding alone for over a year then broke down and had the bumpers redone, and sure enough a week later I noticed another ding on the rear bumper, then walked around to the front and Shazam! had one there too. REPAIR=good, replace is BIGGUS BUCKS and tempting fate.)

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