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Old 01-25-2015, 09:45 AM   #15
2 Rivet Member
1974 27' Overlander
Twisp , Washington
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 73
Very kind indeed, and I will definitely be in touch, Aerowood. My focus right now is getting the shell off the frame, frame issues and leaks are the primary reason for starting the project. Once I have a flat, level frame with a good deck, I'll be ready to start in on the shell repairs.

David, I haven't seen the video you mentioned, but I'm NOT talking about replacing end caps, I'd be replacing the entire top half of the straight section of my AS. Add in the fact that I'm working by myself, and you should start to get an idea of the size of the job. So some sort of patch will have to be the answer.

Perry, I can't speak to this things history before we bought it, but based on things like bumper stickers and an old newspaper stuffed under the bath slider lower track, it's seen some miles, and been to the opposite corner of the country and back at least once. We bought it in Tacoma, WA, and it had been lived in full time by the PO, although we don't know how long. We DO know he/they were heavy smokers. We thought the interior walls were brown, a couple of gallons of Pro 409 later and the true off-white color was revealed .

It hasn't had an easy life since we got it, either, it spent the first 5 or 6 years parked on a mountain, left to fend for itself over the winter. Come to think of it, that could be the cause of this corrosion, we used to get a lot more snow back then, it probably spent most of the winter pretty much buried in snow. It's spent the last 3 years mostly in my shop, I've either been working on it, or planning to. Before that, although no longer spending winters buried in a snow bank, it was still outside, fluctuating from cold and snowy to hot and dry. Needless to say, after all the work I'm doing/planning on doing, unless we're on the road with it, it will live in my shop from now on .

Thanks again, Aerowood, and I WILL be in touch soon. Later.


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Old 01-25-2015, 06:19 PM   #16
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,280
I like Aerowood's fix better.


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Old 01-25-2015, 06:23 PM   #17
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1986 34' Limited
1966 24' Tradewind
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2,503
Very nice you have a shop for your Airstream and a warm, dry place to work on it. I was guessing it was an end cap panel judging by the curve in the rivet line. Straight sections are easier to work on.

Some of our Airstreams, like people, have had a pretty hard life. My 66 and 86 are both outdoor Minnesota trailers. It isn't the greatest climate in the country.

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Old 01-26-2015, 09:10 AM   #18
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,280
Is that a lap joint overlap region? It looks like that area was out in the open. It does look like an area like an unsealed lap seem or where water has gotten under caulk and stayed there.


Originally Posted by Aerowood View Post
What you are seeing is called exfoliation. I have seen way to much of this in my aviation career. It is caused by the lack of sealing in the lap seams with moisture continuing to invade the seams and water acting like an electrolyte. If you are unable to replace the panels they will require patching. You will first need to level and support the trailer before opening up the seams to prevent the trailer from bowing with the amount of rivets you will need to remove. Open the entire seam where the corrosion is evident. Clean the areas that will clean up without repair. I like bead blasting as it removes all corrosion. Once the areas that will clean up are acceptable, prime the mating surfaces and shoot the seams back together wet with sealant, leaving the areas that need repair open and free of sealant. Repairs can be of two different types, flush or external, with flush being more visual appealing. Which ever method you choose, I would be willing to walk you through it with the different repair technicals. PM me if you want or need additional information

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