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Old 05-25-2006, 11:47 AM   #1
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1970 31' Sovereign
Willmar , Minnesota
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 7
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We've got us a "silver twinkie!"

Hello to all! Not real sure what to say here, but I'll just wing it. My husband and I inherited a 1970 Sovereign International from his parents; they purchased a Wildwood and so we got the silver twinkie! Unfortunately, we also got a slew of problems along with it. It's in relatively good shape, but the outside is just, oh, it's so sad. It's been parked outside underneath trees *cringes* and has many scratches, dings and dents all over. Just in the past month, we had an incident while pulling the camper up the driveway where we now have a big gash on the side.. *cries* We are in the process now of ordering some aluminum and we're going to try and fix her up again. It's nice to know there is a wealth of knowledge out here that we can tap into to try and shine our Bessie up! I also have some pictures posted in the Members photo section of the damage done.

Here's a big THANK YOU! to Canoestream for all his advice so far!

Cheers to all!
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Old 05-25-2006, 05:54 PM   #2
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1963 30' Sovereign
Des Ruisseaux , Quebec
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Hi and welcome! You'll find lots of friendly help and advice here. Good luck with your project!
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Old 05-25-2006, 11:10 PM   #3
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
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Welcome aboard!

Congrats on making your first post Mari. And Coop. A commemorative image is posted here!

Are your Picture 1 and Picture 2 of two different corners? I would guess Picture 1 is curbside rear and Picture 2 is roadside front? Anyway ... the photo below is of the first two roadside front outriggers on our Argosy (before coating with Por-15); the front outrigger seems to be what your banana wrap in Picture 2 is pushed onto. Your Picture 2 seems to suggest the lower edge of the banana wrap was pulled from the rivets at the belly skin. It may involve removing the banana wrap to work on the dents but I'd certainly re-use them (a small bridge piece of aluminum sheet might be necessary between the banana wrap and belly skin).

It is something the way corrosion thins belly skin -- at least it did on my Argosy. You do want to use the proper aluminum stock as we have discussed in PM's -- cheap aluminum flashing from the hardware store won't be around as long as your current undertaking!

It is good to see from your Picture 3 that we were understanding each other correctly about replacement of torn metal on your side wrap.

I'd like to stimulate discussion helpful to you, so will post my PM-ed replies to your questions. I would believe you are already using the 'search' function with great interest! Welcome aboard the Forums!!
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Old 05-25-2006, 11:13 PM   #4
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
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What Coop and Mari have already heard from me:

Okay -- you asked for it. I have done a lot of belly repair and replacement on my Argosy.

A generic name for the curved skin below the trimline is banana wrap. The flat underside is called belly skin. The straight sides with a curve in 1 dimension are easiest to handle yourself. 0.025" aluminum is what was original for both banana and belly and easiest to handle. I ended up using 0.032" -- not impossible but not easy either. Save all pieces and you may use them as a pattern to lay out on your new aluminum sheet with a felt marker. Where my help will have to stop is the curved banana corner pieces -- I know a metal shop with a hammer mill or something like that is needed.

To get access to the banana wrap you will have to remove the trimline extrusion at the junction of the lower sidewalls and the belly wrap. The blue plastic inserts in the extrusion are probably punky, fragile and will break all apart. You have to remove the blue plastic any way. You have to remove rivets under the blue plastic to get this extrusion off. New plastic insert is available when you put it back together -- cheapest and great service over the phone (only. no internet ordering.) is via Tucson's http://www.oasisrv.com parts department. Very helpful folks! The banana wrap should wrap around the outside of the side skin [NOT a good design!], but have a sealant between the two (a double sided foam tape on my '76 Argosy) -- You'll have to clean that up. My favorite caulk is Sikaflex 221 (grey mimics aluminum very nicely) -- search the forums -- I think Austin Hardware is the good source. Just don't use silicone against aluminum; the seal will fail unpredictably but most assuredly -- and what doesn't fail will stick like the royal dickens!

Metal sources:
http://www.airforums.com/forum...ighlight=metal
http://www.airforums.com/forum...kin-16902.html
http://www.airforums.com/forum...e-12883-3.html
http://www.airforums.com/forum...s-13329-2.html
http://www.airforums.com/forum...nt-9362-2.html
http://www.metalsupermarkets.com/MSC...=USA&region=MN -- This is down in Roseville about a block or two north of REI near Rosedale. They won't have either 0.025" or 0.032" 4'x8' aluminum sheet in stock, so call first if you want to talk it over with them. I've heard of cheaper per square foot but this is pretty good for non-wholesale quantities. Get the 5052 H32 if I recall...

Tools:
Good twist drills. http://www.inlandrv.com/parts/ and scroll down to part 79015. This is highly valuable because they are short twist drills and you do use 'em up. Short is good when you are drilling outer skin and the drill sometimes pops thru quicker than expected; you won't go all the way thru the 2" insulation space and ding the inner skin. The #30 drill is what you'd use for 1/8" rivets, the #21 for 5/32" rivets.

You will want to get a 12" clearance strap duplicator. This will let you accurately drill a rivet hole in new belly skin or banana wrap, so that the hole is located over the underlying hole in frame or skin that you want to rivet together. Go to http://www.aircraft-tool.com/ecatalog.htm and see .... darn, there's no page number. It's and Adobe Acrobat document. Click the binocular 'search' icon and enter: 62-12 -- You do want the strap duplicator for #30 twist drills since this is what you'll use most often (just ream out afterward with a #21 drill if setting a 5/32" rivet). This is the handiest tool ever and you can thank Forums member markdoane from Minnetonka for the idea.

Snipping metal shears (you won't want scissor type metal shears from the hardware store!). In the http://www.aircraft-tool.com/ecatalog.htm catalog again, search on: Jilson Supersnip -- I haven't needed a 2nd blade by any means -- the original is enough. I also don't know enough to recommend the cheaper one on the same page. These shears are time consuming but reasonable unless you have air tools already. I would use a hand tool like this for such a small job (ie, a single trailer). You won't be asking "why not" on tin snips after you see the undistorted smooth edge these produce! Good tools make good trailers/aircraft!!

Rivets: Just make sure to use the all-aluminum rivets. Do not get the steel core rivets. You'll use 1/8" mediums & longs the most, but will also encounter some larger holes for 5/32" -- again, medium and longs. Short rivets are almost too short -- even if joining just 2 sheets of aluminum for some darned reason. These are available at Mills Fleet or Home Depot. Arrow is a common brand. The hand-pull riveter does wear out after a while. I'm on my 3rd, but have done an awful lot of riveting. This same riveter will work for Olympic rivets too -- these are the much larger diameter rivets that simulate bucked rivets used on the outside upper shell. You use almost no Olympics when working on belly wrap. Side cutters and a Dremel can be handy when the rivet post sticks out after it breaks off ... !

If the damaged part of your belly wrap is on the side you do not have to remove an entire long piece. You can cut out the offending section and piece in a segment. Belly pieces need to overlap like shingles. Too much damage might require making a template out of some stiff material (posterboard? cardboard?). Pictures would help... got digital?

In transferring a template to aluminum stock, do not attempt to locate or pre-drill rivet holes. That just does not seem to work. That's what your strap duplicator is for. Trust me -- you want one of those! Ask if you need further pointers once you have it.

I haven't done the polish route. I would suggest the Forums 'search' function on keywords like: remove clearcoat. Or: removal clearcoat. Seems like 95% of people use Nuvite (more search!). I do know you cannot use any blasting medium (sand, pulverized walnut shells, or baking soda) -- It burnishes the metal surface and warps it terribly.
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Old 05-26-2006, 07:13 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forums. I think you actually got the better end of the deal. Your Airstream will be on the road longer and worth a lot more money than the Wildwood in years to come.
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