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Old 11-05-2019, 10:42 AM   #1
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0.060 aluminum -- too thick for roof overlay?

The only in-stock, non-special order aluminum sheet I can get locally is 0.060" aluminum (bare). From what I understand, 0.032" would be a more common thickness to use.

The repair: The A/C unit was ripped off this AS, a 2019 Sport FB. It left the roof panel pushed down, and torn in a couple of areas. My plan is to cut back any 'bulging' or 'flared' edges, and overlay a large single piece (roughly 5' long x the full width (i.e. 4')) over the damaged panel. I'll carefully remove parts of the aluminum to fit around the skylight, vent, etc.

The point of that context is that I'll need to get a bit of a 'bow' into the new piece of roof paneling so that is sheds water (as well as matches the leading/trailing edges of the remaining roof panel). I imagine that thickness will allow for bending?

Also, this is bare aluminum, so I thinking to paint it white before I begin the installation. Not sure if I can realistically expect that white paint to bond well considering what it'll be up against (sun + rain). If so, any suggestions on good paint/primer would be appreciated.
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Old 11-05-2019, 11:20 AM   #2
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First question is what is the alloy you are using? Some are much more flexible than others, but it is hard to imagine a 4' wide panel not being flexible enough to match the curvature of your roof.

I would not be too concerned about the .06 thickness. I did my whole interior with .05, as I recall.

As for painting it, the key is having an agressive primer that will eat through the invisible oxidation on the raw metal and give the white paint something to hold onto. Similarly, using automotive two-part epoxy paints will last a lot longer than enything you can buy at the big-box store. All that being said, I would install it first, and paint it afterwards. Are you buck riveting it in place, or using Olympics?

good luck!
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Old 11-05-2019, 12:37 PM   #3
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Maybe you need it ASAP but if not I'd guess Airpartsinc would only be about $80 and maybe half that again for shipping of 2024 T3 .032" and you could skip the priming and painting part and keep the trailer factory stock.
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Old 11-05-2019, 01:32 PM   #4
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I do need it quite soon, though I will look into airpartsinc. I need a pretty big piece, probably 4 x 8 so that I can trim it down to what I need. I think shipping will be prohibitive.

I will be Olympic riveting it in place, as I do not have access to the underside. I think you are probably correct in assuming that .06 will be flexible enough. I looked at the roof a little more closely this morning and there is actually very little curvature to it anyway. The extra thickness might be wise considering there will be parts of it not secured to the ribs. I suppose that painting it white is really not even required, nobody will see it anyway, and it is already an extra layer, so heat gain will probably be pretty minimal anyway.
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Old 11-05-2019, 10:23 PM   #5
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Your trailer is probably made of plasticoated 3003 or 3004-H18 in .040 thickness, so even if you don't paint it, getting that alloy, or something similar would make sense/give a similar appearance. 2024 T3 Alclad is probably twice the price, and not original for that year of trailer. I wouldn't worry too much about how the roof of the trailer looks. Mine was made of 6061 T6, has had the clear coat stripped for years, and there is no dramatic chnge in patina observable.

good luck!
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Old 11-05-2019, 11:42 PM   #6
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Ended up picking up a piece of the .060 aluminum locally. 90$ for a 4x 8 sheet and had it in stock. Excited to get to work!
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Old 11-06-2019, 04:23 PM   #7
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newer airstreams use .040 gauge aluminum do to the extra width. You will want to use an etching primer to adhere to the aluminum and you shouldn't have any problems.
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:19 PM   #8
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Check out Hytech BUSKOTE. They have product for sealing edges and roof prep. Fully coate our 34’ about 6 years ago... still good
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:25 AM   #9
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Aircraft Spruce is a good source for paint products on aluminum. I'd use alodyne to clean and etch the aluminum before painting. That's a common aircraft practice.
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Old 11-07-2019, 02:08 PM   #10
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I primed bare aluminum sheet with oil based Kilz and painted it white and the paint has been sticking flawlessly for 12 years now.
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