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Old 03-05-2008, 03:55 PM   #1
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Back corner skin repair?

Hello,

My name is Dave and I just bought a 1973 25 airstream landyacht. The back upper, driverside corner was damaged and the skin need to be replaced. I priced the repair at the dealership and tey wanted $4500 to fix it. That's CRAZY! I can do it myself if I can find out where I can get that piece of skin. The dealership said that I can order it from them but again it was CRAZY, $500 for the skin, $40 for the crate, and $100 shipping. Caqn anyone help me? Does anyone know a company that makes these? It is a tricky piece, it curves both ways, side to side and back to front. It needs to be made, I thought I would buy a piece of aluminum sheetand do it but it did not work. It needs to have the shape allready in it. If you can help please let me know, Thanks, Dave
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Old 03-05-2008, 04:06 PM   #2
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Skin repair

Others are more knowledgeable than me - but I've been involved in a similar process myself recently. I have learned that a basic panel is about $1000 to repair/install and if it's a compound curve - which yours might be - it can run upwards of $3000. There are a number of posts on skin repairs on this site if you either use the Search function or go to the sub-forum on exterior repair - skins. Basically, I think this would be a difficult repair to attempt on your own - and getting several professional bids/references would be the best option (in my opinion).
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Old 03-05-2008, 04:31 PM   #3
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pictures would be nice...

Welcome to the forums and welcome to the world of aluminum-itis!!
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Old 03-05-2008, 04:46 PM   #4
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I believe Inland RV carries segments for 1964-68 trailers..you may want to check with them about 1973 segments. Either that or the Airstream factory may still stock them or be able to get them...

I would imagine the only one that "makes them" is Airstream ~ they are kinda unique.

Shari
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Old 03-05-2008, 04:55 PM   #5
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-put us up a picture (upload a small jpeg from your computer, then use the 'paperclip' to 'manage attachments') to show the extent of the damage. mine has two dents that I'm going to address with a Ding King since everything else I own has 'love bumps' of one kind or another.... but if yours are punctured or really toast you may want to buy a segment and replace. your search will produce many threads on panel replacement..
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Old 03-05-2008, 04:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gochisox2005
Hello,

My name is Dave and I just bought a 1973 25 airstream landyacht. The back upper, driverside corner was damaged and the skin need to be replaced. I priced the repair at the dealership and tey wanted $4500 to fix it. That's CRAZY! I can do it myself if I can find out where I can get that piece of skin. The dealership said that I can order it from them but again it was CRAZY, $500 for the skin, $40 for the crate, and $100 shipping. Caqn anyone help me? Does anyone know a company that makes these? It is a tricky piece, it curves both ways, side to side and back to front. It needs to be made, I thought I would buy a piece of aluminum sheetand do it but it did not work. It needs to have the shape allready in it. If you can help please let me know, Thanks, Dave
Assuming only one "segment" is damaged, depending on exactly which one, they indeed cost from $400, to a little over $500.00 each, plus crating, plus shipping.

The segments are "NOT" made from the same aluminum as the side sheets.

All the segments are made at the Airstream factory.

Again, depending on which segment needs replacing, the labor is 7 to 9 man hours.

Unless you are very familiar with the construction of an Airstream, you will never get the old segment off, which must be done, as there are several blind rivets that hold it in place.

Also, new segments are oversized. You must also know how and where to cut it, to make it fit correctly. If you make a mistake, you will buy another segment.

I understand, after 42 years with Airstream, that the job looks easy, and it is easy, but only if you can tell someone "EXACTLY" how to remove the original segment.

Then there is the matter of knowing how to "EXACTLY" seal the replacement segment, so that it doesn't leak.

You must also use "Olympics rivets", along with the correct drill sizes, as you must use two different size drill bits.

Not something for the "do it yourseler" to undertake.

Andy
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Old 03-05-2008, 05:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideOut
I believe Inland RV carries segments for 1964-68 trailers..you may want to check with them about 1973 segments. Either that or the Airstream factory may still stock them or be able to get them...

I would imagine the only one that "makes them" is Airstream ~ they are kinda unique.

Shari
Shari.

The Airstream factory will not sell parts over the phone, except some store items.

For that fellow to purchase a segment from Airstream, he would have to be in Jackson Center.

That policy was established over 30 years ago, which makes them non competitive with their dealers. They also even today, require dealers to stock many thousands of dollars of repair parts, that were purchased from them.

Segments are made at the factory, but seeing how, is not a part of the factory tour.

Once a segment has been creased, there is no way the stretched aluminum can ever be returned to it's original appearance.

Oil can type dents, usually can be removed by properly pounding on the segment with your fist. A small ring might still appear, since the segments look like they are made with the same aluminum as the sides, but in fact are not.

Segments are stretch formed. You cannot stretch the side sheets, without tearing them, because it is an entirely different composition of aluminum.

Andy
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Old 03-05-2008, 05:29 PM   #8
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I have a dent in the rear cap of my 78 Argosy, If I remove the bathroom ceiling perhaps I could push it out.
Maybe I could use a suction device and put it on the outter cap or just leave it alone? Any thoughts regarding Argosy dents?

JB
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Old 03-05-2008, 05:32 PM   #9
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Technicality ~

Maybe not over the phone...but I believe he could buy them from Airstream through a dealer....if he wanted to risk an installation on his own.

Shari
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Old 03-05-2008, 05:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideOut
Maybe not over the phone...but I believe he could buy them from Airstream through a dealer....if he wanted to risk an installation on his own.

Shari
Absolutely correct.

Andy
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Old 03-06-2008, 01:54 PM   #11
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Back corner skin repair

Andy wrote:

"Oil can type dents, usually can be removed by properly pounding on the segment with your fist. A small ring might still appear, since the segments look like they are made with the same aluminum as the sides, but in fact are not."


I have a dent in the same place that looks like I could pound it out with my fist. I've looked at the inside of the trailer and have no idea how to remove the zolatone (?) so that I could get to the inside of the panel. Do I have to destroy the zolatone like wallboard in a house to expose the al skin?
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Old 03-06-2008, 02:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bibinstruct
Andy wrote:

"Oil can type dents, usually can be removed by properly pounding on the segment with your fist. A small ring might still appear, since the segments look like they are made with the same aluminum as the sides, but in fact are not."


I have a dent in the same place that looks like I could pound it out with my fist. I've looked at the inside of the trailer and have no idea how to remove the zolatone (?) so that I could get to the inside of the panel. Do I have to destroy the zolatone like wallboard in a house to expose the al skin?
The "fist" method of dent removal, is done from the outside.

Andy
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Old 03-06-2008, 03:24 PM   #13
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pictures?

Some owners have had success from the outside using auto body suction cups. I have had good results with using a "Ding King" or "Pops a Dent". You can do the same thing with some 2x2 scrap wood with the ends attached to the skin with a hot glue gun, then pull. Others remove the inner skin and use a roller. The critical thing is if there is a distinct crease you may not be able to remove it completely.
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Old 03-06-2008, 03:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnbaker
I have a dent in the rear cap of my 78 Argosy, If I remove the bathroom ceiling perhaps I could push it out.
Maybe I could use a suction device and put it on the outter cap or just leave it alone? Any thoughts regarding Argosy dents?

JB
I removed a dent in my Argosy by getting inside, through the plug beside the upper medicine cabinet and cutting a hole that was covered up latter with the cabinet. I pushed out most of the dent then as the rear cap is steel I filled the rest of the dent with body filler, then repainted. Looks good as new. I also cut down the tree that jumped out at the trailer.
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