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Old 07-14-2009, 11:00 PM   #1
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1972 25' Tradewind
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Have a look and tell me how to fix this dent

What is the best approach to fixing this dent (See attached photo)?

There is access from the rear, thanks to a removable speaker on the interior wall.

I'd appreciate any suggestions. Many thanks

md
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Old 07-14-2009, 11:05 PM   #2
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You'll never get rid of that entirely, it has stretched, you can make it much less noticable, but the corners look pretty sharp. You probably either need to replace the panel or have some one replace it. Inland RV, Outofdoorsmart and probably most dealers could get that segment for you.
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Old 07-14-2009, 11:26 PM   #3
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Hi, doctormark. I think you need to take it to the nearest Airstream Hospital and have surgery performed on that panel. [panel replacement] While there you might consider a new awning or just remove that one all together. You could use an, air powered suction cup slide hammer, on it or try to push it out from the inside, but it will never be the same.
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:48 AM   #4
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Thanks, Scott and Megan and Bob,

Sigh. I was afraid of that. I've heard that curved panels can cost up to $1200 each. If I can't find something cheaper, I may have to live with the results of trying to pull it out as well as I can.

And Bob, the awning is my #2 project! I've read elsewhere in this forum about replacing them and it sounds like a project I can handle, though it seems to be a bit of a challenge.

Many thanks for the experienced advice.

md
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Old 07-15-2009, 12:26 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by doctormark View Post
Thanks, Scott and Megan and Bob,

Sigh. I was afraid of that. I've heard that curved panels can cost up to $1200 each. If I can't find something cheaper, I may have to live with the results of trying to pull it out as well as I can.

And Bob, the awning is my #2 project! I've read elsewhere in this forum about replacing them and it sounds like a project I can handle, though it seems to be a bit of a challenge.

Many thanks for the experienced advice.

md
Please be advised that $1200 dollar price is an installed price.

Typical segments cost half that muchfor the part.

Andy
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Old 07-15-2009, 12:37 PM   #6
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use Search!!!!

There are other alternatives to "do it yourself"
  • use this forum's SEARCH function - possible headings "dent repair tools" "segment repairs" "dent removal" just for starters.
  • Get someone who repairs Aircraft bodies - they are very familiar with doing repairs to aluminum panels and can make the job almost invisible. You MIGHT get good results, but you'll be getting OTJ training... an experienced tech that knows what to do? Sometimes a much better deal!
  • Call someone from "Dent Wizard" or some other franchise that does automotive paintless dent removal - they'll have the suction cups and the proper auto body tools - AND they won't be doing the work for the first time.
  • Overlander 63 used an under inflated basketball to push one out from the inside. If you try to push it out from behind - start from the edges and move inward - and remember Less is More - gently does it! If you overstretch it in the other direction can't fix it. (think of it like a woman... you're ready to pop... it's just getting warmed up) {bet they moderate that out!}
  • Someone here - memory fails me - built a roller tool - that was very effective as a dent pusher... another good search candidate.
Once it's straightened out you could paint WWII Airplane "Nose Art" over it (a poster of Rosie the Riveter?) to disguise the damage or have vinyl lettering with your unit's nickname or your family's name and city of residence.

We call them beauty marks - "pre-dented for carefree towing".
And you're right about the $1200 cost per panel.

Good Luck, Paula

Quote:
Originally Posted by doctormark View Post
Thanks, Scott and Megan and Bob,

Sigh. I was afraid of that. I've heard that curved panels can cost up to $1200 each. If I can't find something cheaper, I may have to live with the results of trying to pull it out as well as I can.

And Bob, the awning is my #2 project! I've read elsewhere in this forum about replacing them and it sounds like a project I can handle, though it seems to be a bit of a challenge.

Many thanks for the experienced advice.

md
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Old 07-15-2009, 01:17 PM   #7
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md, you could put something over it either after pushing it out, or not. An outdoor speaker, a grill like the ones over the refrigerator, or a door like the one over the furnace or water heater. You'd have to bend a door or a grill around the curve, but the cost would be a lot less and sure would confuse people. Doing that bending on a metal door or grill would be a chore requiring cutting small little "v's" around the lip so it could bend.

We got our first scratch when the trailer was new—a 10 foot scratch. At least we got that over with! The dealer put a crease in the side last year and we have learned to live with that especially after they sent us money to cover the damage. But I'd have a hard time with a dent that big—I think Paula had some good suggestions how to push it out gently, but you've got to shrink the metal and even a specialist would find that tricky surgery.

Here's another thought—the rock guards for the panoramic windows go all the way around the curve on newer models. You don't appear to have any rock guards, so you could protect your windows and cover the dent. The guards are smoke colored, so it's hard to see through them. I'm sure the guards are expensive, but not as much as the panel and you get rock guards. There are some contemporary models that are 8' wide and have panoramic windows, so if your trailer is 8', they should fit.

Gene
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Old 07-15-2009, 03:33 PM   #8
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This might help

www.airforums.com/forums/f381/hail-damage-12970.html

http://www.vintageairstream.com/rr_topics_dents.html

the google search feature generally works best for me.

Paula
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Old 07-15-2009, 03:50 PM   #9
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That's a very nice looking trailer, put out the cash for a new panel.
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