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Old 01-03-2006, 09:52 PM   #1
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Holden , Louisiana
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New, Lost, and Confused

Hello, I am a proud new owner of a 1982 28' Airstream Excella motor home. She needs some work(inside and out). I sure could use some help finding a bodyshop, in Louisiana, to fix a couple of dings. This is my first RV and I know absolutely nothing. However, after reading about the PETN forum, I am cofident that someone out there can help me.


SherryEllen
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Old 01-03-2006, 10:14 PM   #2
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welcome

I own a new coach, but am getting ready to dabble in restoration.

First thing I've learned, DON'T throw anything out until you're absolutely sure you won't want it again. Old doesn't necessarily mean useless or out of date. Armstrong air conditioners from 30 years ago are worth fixing! Old stained curtains.... try to launder them gently. Many clean up beautifully and can be used again for years. (If they fall apart... well they were bad to begin with.) Old furnaces and water heaters are usually better off being replaced - carbon monoxide is deadly! Planning before leaping in is your best idea.

You've already done the best thing... asking for advice to find a supportive dealer in your area. Also find your local WBCCI chapter - fellow Airstream owners will give you tours, help, advice and lots of pros and cons.

Tin Lizzie
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Old 01-04-2006, 05:57 AM   #3
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Hi SherryEllen! I have no idea what the PETN forum is... other than PETN is an explosive???... but welcome to AirstreamForums! I think you'll find just about anything you need to know about restoring an Airstream here. Don't be intimidated... there's nothing you'll run into that someone here hasn't already found and fixed! Use the "Search" function liberally and you'll be amazed at what you find.

A bodyshop won't do for you. Dents in Airstream aluminum is very different from dents in automotive steel. You don't 'fix' Airstream dents like car dents. You'll either have to replace the entire aluminum panel, replace part of a panel, or put a patch panel over the damage depending on the location, size, and depth of the dents. I'd suggest again that you do some research here before either having someone do that or attempt to do it yourself.

Again, welcome to the Forums. We hope you'll spend a lot of time with us!

Roger
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Old 01-04-2006, 06:26 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forum.

85MH325 is trying to give you great advice; however, he likely isn't aware of some of the newer techniques and the fact that they occaisionally work on some types of dents. I had a large somewhat shallow dent removed from one of the rear curved upper roof panels by a technician who performs paintless dent repair for large auto dealerships. This dent was removed over two years ago and has not reappeared. It was caused by a careless repairman who placed his knee on one of the curved panels as he accessed the roof of my trailer for a repair. This panel is unsupported and easily dents under such weight. In any case, the estimate to replace the panel was almost $1600 and the new panel would not have ever matched the other remaining panels. It was removed for $45. This particular dent did not apparrently stretch the skin in such a way that it could not be removed through the dentless technique. Most of the time, I would imagine one would not have such good fortune, but it worked for me saving me a great deal of money.

I am also aware that many times hail dents on the roof of a unit will disappear on their own over a season or two as the aluminum contracts and expands with the changes in temperature.

Do a search on dent removal on this forum. There are many great discussions on what has worked and what doesn't work.

Again, welcome to the forum.

Gayland Stephens
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Old 01-04-2006, 10:12 AM   #5
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Welcome Sherry. You have purchased a beautiful motor home but of course I am slightly prejudiced.
Let us know more about your dents. Where are they? How deep? have they creased the aluminum? I think we have all dealt with dents of varying size and shapes along the way but a lot depends on where, depth, and how bad they are. I have a couple dents which I have assigned names to. Both of them would require too much expense to repair.
What other work do you need to do? We have experts here to help you with the mechanical issues and many of us have torn apart our interiors and put them back together. Post some pictures let us see that beauty you purchased.
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Old 01-24-2006, 07:16 PM   #6
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1982 28' Airstream 280
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Thanks to all of you. I have tried to upload some pictures, but have not been successful. Any tips? One dent was said to be from a blow-out of the front driver's tire. The other two are on the roofs curved panels, one on the front and one on the back. ( Said to be from limb damage from a hunter leaving it in the woods.) Awful huh? If I manage to post pictures, I'll show you how pretty she still is. Wish me luck.
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Old 01-24-2006, 07:31 PM   #7
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Lightbulb Here's a photo posting tip ~

Quote:
Originally Posted by SherryEllen
If I manage to post pictures, I'll show you how pretty she still is. Wish me luck.
Click on reply and scroll down to bottom of text box.
Click "go advanced" add text to message window and then scroll down.
Click "Manage attachments" A separate window will pop up.
Click "browse" Then select the file to be uploaded. Be sure that the photo is appropriately sized. 1024 x 1024 pixels (or smaller) and no more than 300 kilo bytes. If your photos are too big, you will need to reduce them using photo editing software (PhotoShop, Paint Shop Pro, etc)You may select several photos to upload at the same time by repeating the last step.
Click "Upload" After pics have loaded close the pop-up window
Click "submit reply" to mount the text of your message - photos will automatically appear in post.

Oh yeah, welcome aboard!

Shari
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Old 01-24-2006, 07:42 PM   #8
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1982 28' Airstream 280
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Thanks

Thanks to all of you. I have tried to upload some pictures, but have not been successful. Any tips? One dent was caused by a blow-out of the front driver's side tire. The other two are on the curved panel of the roof, one on the front and one on the back. None appear to be too deep, but the tire caused some rivets to pop. If I figure out how to post some pictures, you could see how pretty she still is. The man that I bought her from let her sit for 4 years under an oak tree. Needless to say, she was filthy. There was even evidence of mice (or rats) inside. But because she is a diesel, she cranked right up and I don't think that she is going to need engine repair, just the basic fluid changes and maintenance. I am planning to get a new fridge, carpet, and stereo/tv system. The propane generator needs an adjustment, the front AC needs a new fan motor, and the vacuum step is stuck out. Anyway, nothing money can't fix, right? Wish me luck, on trying to get some pictures on here.
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Old 01-24-2006, 07:54 PM   #9
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1982 28' Airstream 280
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Here She Is!

Hopefully, the pictures are here. Maybe, I should say BIPPITY-BOPPITY-BOO!
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Old 01-24-2006, 08:09 PM   #10
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Trying again.
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Old 01-24-2006, 08:21 PM   #11
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1982 28' Airstream 280
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Question Posting Pictures

I keep trying, but the pop-up window never indicates that it is finished uploading. It says "uploading file(s)-please wait". My pictures are less than 2kb each. Help! I must still be doing something wrong.
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Old 01-24-2006, 09:50 PM   #12
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Sorry you're having trouble. try PMing a moderator next time your on line - maybe we can talk you through it. or.. maybe you just had a really slow connection tonight.
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Old 01-24-2006, 10:05 PM   #13
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1982 28' Airstream 280
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I Think I Finally Got It!!!

CROSS YOUR FINGERS!
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Old 01-24-2006, 10:10 PM   #14
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Yeah! It worked - way to go!

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