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Old 11-13-2004, 08:24 AM   #1
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Unhappy Dent Removal/Hurricane damage

Still searching for the obvious......need insights on repair of large dent in front top corner of 25 CCD caused by large limb falling. 15 inch diameter....how best to remove. No rivet damage evident, and no leaks so far. Deepest indent is about 3 inches.....looks bad, but no evident damage inside.

How to remove
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Old 11-13-2004, 09:01 AM   #2
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I used a plumbers helper and a little vegetible oil. Start at the very edges and work your way around the dent untill it is gone. Very low tech...but works well.
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any help would be....ah.....most helpful!
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Old 11-13-2004, 09:31 PM   #3
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Try a hair dryer and ice. Heat the area then apply the ice to shrink the aluminum. I took several nice size dents out using this method.
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Old 11-13-2004, 09:36 PM   #4
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Ding King

I've used a Ding King Dent puller, and it works quite well. just use it on the center and pull straight up and out.

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Old 11-13-2004, 09:52 PM   #5
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I have one and it works good if the dent isn't too deep. Mine were more than the dent puller could handle that's why I went for the shrinkage method.
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Old 11-14-2004, 10:25 AM   #6
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No more than the professional dent pullers charge, I'd have it professionally removed. A paintless dent puller removed a large shallow dent from one of my curved panels last year after a technician at a "camper repair" place crawled up on the roof and put his weight on the curved section where there is no support. The charge was only $150 verses over $1500 to have the panel replaced. I can't tell a dent was ever there and the panels still match whereas replacements would not have matched.
If the dent is deep or creased then dentless repair might not be the way to go, but it sure worked in my case. Most any automobile dealership can put you in touch with a professional paintless dent repairman.
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Old 11-15-2004, 08:35 PM   #7
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thanks......is it safe to assume a panel replacement is about $1500 on a top corner? We might be able to claim insurance.....and thus if it can be done it might be better than a $200 dent man with our 250 deductable.
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Old 11-17-2004, 09:35 AM   #8
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Segment and quarter panel replacements, cost an average of about $1000.00 to replace, not $1500.00.

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Old 11-17-2004, 01:38 PM   #9
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Guess everyone doesn't tow the line and give customers as good a value as you do Andy. Though I don't think youintended it that way, your response could be interpreted as insinuating that I made up the damage estimate of $1500.
.

The truth is that I received the estimate of $1,583.10 from Mack's Camper Sales of Waco, Texas. Mack's is the facility who put the dent in my trailer in the first place. One of their workers got up on my trailer (in my presence). He accessed the roof from a ladder placed at the corner of the trailer. Oops! and the trailer was dented. Mack's admitted their error and made the estimate for the own insurance company to cover their mistake. Perhaps they might have been trying to take advantage of their own insurance carrier. I don't know. Given the fact that they were the ones who put the dent in the trailer in the first place, I wasn't going to let them do the work, but I did accept a check from their insurance company for $1,583.10

I fully intended to have the panel replaced, but as I began researching panel replacement and talking with Airstream dealers, I became concerned that a replacement panel would not match up. I was told that replacement panels produced today have a different finish to what was used on my 1982 Limited. Further, the plasticoat formulations used now are considerably different formulations than what was used in the past. I'd already accepted a settlement without provision for having the trailer replasticoated all over. I therefore elected to try pulling the dent. Fortunately, it worked extremely well for me. It has now been almost a year and the dent has not returned. I cannot tell it was ever there. If someday it does pop back in, then I'll replace the panel.
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Old 11-17-2004, 06:16 PM   #10
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GStevens.

A non Airstream dealer will almost always have a higher estimate, for a couple of reasons.

Since they must buy the parts from an Airstream dealer, not the Airstream factory, they must accordingly charge more for the parts.

Secondly, usually a non Airstream dealer has never replaced segment, therefore inflates the time factor to cover themselves.

Generally speaking, it is not wise to have any dealer replace sheet metal on an Airstream, unless they have at least been to the factory and learned how to do it, correctly, with the right rivets, sealers and procedure.

Correctly, and with quality, is the key.

It is very difficult to see "any" difference between the appearance of the new metal and yours.

You will see a difference because your trailer is clearcoated with plasticoat and the new material has a very different type of coating, that cannot be done in the field, or even at Airstream. However in time, it will blend in very well.

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Old 11-17-2004, 07:58 PM   #11
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As always Andy, you're the best. I really mean that. Thanks for the explanation.

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Old 11-18-2004, 07:19 AM   #12
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as for the paintless dent repair guys- I thought they were reluctant to work on Aluminum?
I have not yet tried them but have a golf ball like dent in the front of my motorhome which is on the crease of the hood area. It has come out some with me working it from behind with my limited tools, heat, and pressure, but a dent wizard type repair might be just the thing to get it out the rest of the way.
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