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Old 08-26-2005, 07:17 PM   #1
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1978 31' Sovereign
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Unhappy Rear corner body panel woes

Hi,

I own a 1978 31' Land Yacht. I pulled it out of my yard today and caught the rear awning arm on the corner of the gate. It pulled the arm completely out of the trailer, pushed in and creased the rear lower body panel right where it attaches to the straight segment of the trailer. I was actually pulling it out to take it over for an estimate to get the trailer fixed from a separated tire this past weekend. That said, I am also having an estimate written up for this damage as well. The gentleman that inspected the damage stated that the entire rear lower corner of the trailer will have to be replaced along with piecing in a small portion on the side of the trailer between ribs. He stated that the aluminum would not match due to the newer aluminum that Airstream is currently using. My questions to the forum are as follows
A. Is it possible for me to make this repair myself if I am pretty handy?

B. Is the panel made of a flat piece of aluminum or is the aluminum actually curved (specially fit for that part of the trailer)?

C. What is the scoop with the aluminum? I was planning on polishing my trailer this fall (bad clearcoat). Is there any aluminum available out there that will polish to a finish that is close to original?

D. Where may I find a new cap for a zip dee awning (the arm is in-tact, but the cap the attaches to the awning broke.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Slade Weaver
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Old 08-26-2005, 07:23 PM   #2
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Bad news

The end cap is a 3-D curve.

Call or email Zip-Dee for parts to replace your broken awning parts. They have great customer service.

You are probably out of luck on an exact match of the aluminum. There have been several changes over the years.
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Old 08-26-2005, 07:29 PM   #3
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Thanks John, Forgive my ignorance, but what do you mean by a 3-D curve?

Thanks, Slade
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Old 08-26-2005, 07:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sladew
Thanks John, Forgive my ignorance, but what do you mean by a 3-D curve?

Thanks, Slade
It is a compound curved piece, not a flat piece. Sorry to say, but you will have to procure it from the factory or from another source.
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Old 08-26-2005, 07:37 PM   #5
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3-D would be 3 dimensional.
But from what you have described you did not damage the end cap, and the piece you speak of would be flat and You can get 2024 T-3 aluminum to match easy just like any vintage trailer as 78 was still full polishable aluminum.
Do a lot of reading and if you get the tools you can do this yourself.
Best of luck
Post some pictures for a for sure answer.
RichardT
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Old 08-26-2005, 07:41 PM   #6
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If you get the segment from the factory it will be the same aluminum as original.The flat peice does not have to come from factory(use 2024-t3 aircraft aluminum).All will match after polishing.
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Old 08-26-2005, 07:44 PM   #7
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I'm looking at a photo of a '78 Sovereign and that piece looks flat (no compound curve).
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Old 08-26-2005, 08:02 PM   #8
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3-D would be 3 dimensional.
But from what you have described you did not damage the end cap,
RichardT
Read again.. He said that the end cap was damaged in addition to the flat side piece.
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Old 08-26-2005, 08:11 PM   #9
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For the Compound curve piece you could try Coclaw (sp) Salvage for a panel off a wrecked trailer of the same or near same year.
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Old 08-26-2005, 08:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pahaska
Read again.. He said that the end cap was damaged in addition to the flat side piece.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sladew
It pulled the arm completely out of the trailer, pushed in and creased the rear lower body panel right where it attaches to the straight segment of the trailer.
I read it, and I see nothing to lead me to belive he is speaking of the end cap.
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Old 08-26-2005, 08:25 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by RichardT
I read it, and I see nothing to lead me to belive he is speaking of the end cap.
The gentleman that inspected the damage stated that the entire rear lower corner of the trailer will have to be replaced along with piecing in a small portion on the side of the trailer between ribs.

If that isn't the end cap, I don't know what is.
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Old 08-26-2005, 08:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pahaska
The gentleman that inspected the damage stated that the entire rear lower corner of the trailer will have to be replaced along with piecing in a small portion on the side of the trailer between ribs.

If that isn't the end cap, I don't know what is.
Please correct me if I am wrong.
The lower sections of the ends of the trailer are not compound curves. The upper "End Cap" is made up of compound curves as well as a non compound piece in the center. The interior "End Caps are behind these exterior "End Caps"
Mabye you are reffering to the Banana wrap? That is a compound curveand is made of a different grade aluminum.
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Old 08-26-2005, 08:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pahaska
The gentleman that inspected the damage stated that the entire rear lower corner of the trailer will have to be replaced along with piecing in a small portion on the side of the trailer between ribs.

If that isn't the end cap, I don't know what is.
John, the end cap is on top, and those segments are compound curves. The panels on the bottom consist of one flat piece, one curved corner piece, and the banana wrap sections on the bottom. If the corner banana wrap is damaged, that piece is a compund curve, but is fairly easy to replace. Everything else is pretty easy to do.
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Old 08-26-2005, 09:16 PM   #14
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Thanks a lot for the information. The corner panel that I damaged is the piece of aluminum that wraps around below the taillights and connects to the piece of aluminum where the rear hatch is located. I will take some pictures and include them in my next posting on this thread.

Slade
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