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Old 04-16-2009, 10:03 PM   #15
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Not sure this would be a good solution

Just found this pic to describe the look. All depends how far you would want to go with the repair.
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"Old fashioned service on your late model Airstream"
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Old 04-17-2009, 05:50 AM   #16
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I had a bad feeling when I saw the tape over that dent. The bottom line is that you have two options at this point. You could push or pull out the dent as best you can and then put a real patch over the hole. The second option would be to replace the panel.

I would go with the second option.



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Old 04-17-2009, 06:26 AM   #17
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Holy Airstream

This trailer has a lot of dings. So replacing that panel is still going to leave some scars. I was surprised how rigid that aluminum dent was, as I was able to stick my hand in there aways and was not able to budge that dent. I am going out to the FCU restoration rally next weekend in New Mexico. Will decide afterwards if I have enough skills to replace the panel. My A&P buddy brought me a chest of tools yesterday and my used tool buddy brought me a bosch 400 buck nipper and a lead on a roll of 30 thousandths aluminum 108 inches wide by 30 feet. milled finish, for a overlander belly pan. Both are lending me the tools until I am finished with these projects. I have a lot of work to do on the interior of the excella for my wife. And like any older trailer, will be doing a lot more than I know now, as I get into it. Already see a leak around the door forward. The Previous owner was an older man and from Europe, not really sure he understood my question about the dent and he had discounted the trailer 1k for the "dent". I think the price was fair even with the hole so I am not going to try to make him feel bad about the miscommunication. He is in poor health and has enough on his plate right now. Another thing I have found is I really dont get an attachment to things that I dont fix. Several years ago I had a mint, absolutely mint, 1995 BMW Motorcycle gspd. Went to Key West to get it. Rode it and just never did like it and finally sold it. A few months back found the very same model bike, exactly. It was a insurance total and bought it for a very good price. It had been retitled and was rideable. Lots of warts, but I took care of the mechanicals and some of the warts and absolutely love the bike. (Go Figure). I love the elephant ear idea, never thought of symetrical patches, but not afraid of the work involved in the panel either if I can climb the learning curve quick enough to make it look good. I sure appreciate all your excellent advice. There is a fellow about 40 miles from me and recently I looked at a trailer he had for sale. His hobby is fixing AS and reselling them. He has done the same repair on his 85 28 foot trailer on a front curved panel. He also told me I could do it with a couple of days work and 350 bucks. I have a couple of dents in both front curved panels also but minor. Sure hope this aluminitus doesnt break out too bad and find me replacing 4 curved panels on my LED ZEPPELLIN user. I hope this summer I finally get to go camping some before this aluminitus confines me to the work camp.
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Old 04-17-2009, 07:55 AM   #18
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Put the aluminum tape back on and go camping. You can always fix it later.
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Old 04-17-2009, 07:56 AM   #19
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Rear sag

Originally Posted by navyeod View Post
I would appreciate some advice on fixing this dent in a 91 29 excella that I just purchased.

Aside from the way it looks, water getting into the inside and rotting the wood is a real concern. When that wood gives way you will have rear-end sag. I don't think that any repair other than replacing the panel is going to allow you to seal it so water will not get in.
And if you do decide to replace the panel you ought to put some type of reinforcement in there to prevent rear end sag.

Also, we do rent the rivet shaver if you decide to do the work yourself. That will save a bunch on the repair.

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Old 04-17-2009, 08:24 AM   #20
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One of the biggest surprises is when I discovered the hole and put my hand inside it was dry as a bone. We have had a ton of rain here lately and was sure I would find rotten wood. Of course the fat lady hasn't stopped singing yet, I haven't seen the wood.
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:18 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by navyeod View Post
I talked to the PO and there was no tear. He just put some aluminum tape over it. Dont really understand the reasoning. My guess I will have to heat it up when I get a chance and see if I can get it off.
well, PO didn't lie...that's no tear, that's a HOLE!!! good grief! Seems like we don't really look too closely at our AS until we pay the money, get them home, and then really start going over them. Me, I've decided to simply live with some of the slight dings on my '87 Excella. I rationalize that they give it character, sort of like scars on the hands and age wrinkles on a 61-year old man!
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Old 04-17-2009, 01:28 PM   #22
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Aside from taping the whole trailer, a fix seems needed. I doubt the tape was a perfect seal at the bottom. Water may have been running inward and pooling somewhere you can't feel. That's where rot may occur. Did the PO have it garaged? How long was the dent there? I hear it rains a lot in Alabama and I'd be nervous about where water went after it got under the tape.

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Old 04-17-2009, 02:14 PM   #23
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Gene it was not garaged and dont know how long the dent was there. He had replaced the carpet recently and said he had seen evidence of floor repair around the door but no other problems elsewhere. Looks like I will be doing some tearout to fix the rear so should turn up something there if I have any rot.
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Old 04-17-2009, 03:24 PM   #24
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You could always do a plastic repair, you know the one I'm talking about don't you? Visa, Mastercard, etc


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