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Old 08-09-2014, 08:27 PM   #1
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merrypaws's Avatar
1976 25' Tradewind
xxxx , Delaware
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 34
Fix for skin cracks?

My 76 tradewind has a crack on each front corner. Almost looks like someone jack knifed each side because they are in the same location. A PO put silver alum tape oveR them on the outside . I have the walls removed on the inside and I can see the cracks. Is there anything I can do to the inside to seal it? Is there a less ugly solution for the outside since replacing the panels is definitely not a financial option right now.
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Old 08-09-2014, 08:35 PM   #2
Rivet Master
1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,758
I would rivet a new panel that looks like a guard to cover the whole area. An ear shaped thing. It would give it symmetry. You could also just put some of those stainless guards over the corners to cover up the patch.

I am wondering what caused this crack. Any other structural damage? It looks like a fatigue crack but if that were the case it would run from an edge. There is no load in that area that would cause that. Was there a dent associated with the crack?


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Old 08-09-2014, 08:38 PM   #3
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arktos55343's Avatar
1972 25' Tradewind
Hopkins , Minnesota
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 457
Probably best to replace the panels. I think they are just plain old aluminum, not shaped like the end caps ? would be relatively cheap to do it. Or make some decorative patches and rivet them in place.
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Old 08-09-2014, 10:14 PM   #4
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2002 19' Bambi
Lafayette , California
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 819
A prior owner drilled the ends of the cracks to stop them from cracking further. That seems to have worked and suggests that whatever caused the cracks has not continued.

I don't think you can cheaply replace the panels because they look to have compound curves. Patching with small matching (on the two sides of the trailer) aluminum patches riveted in place might look best. You might consider a patch both inside and outside with caulk/sealant in between.

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