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Old 06-17-2015, 08:35 AM   #1
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1970 27' Overlander
Houston , Texas
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Repairing large crease dent

Hi guys!

I have been restoring a 1970 Overlander for the past few months. It is in great condition other than a couple of large crease dents on the rear end cap. Obviously they're not ideal, but I didn't really pay it much attention until I realized that RV parks in Austin would turn me away. In my book, out of sight is out of mind.

Has anyone had any luck with a slide hammer and some glue tabs on these larger crease dents? If not, have you tried anything that worked better? I'm not looking to replace the panel, and certainly won't be entering this one in any restoration contests. I also don't have time to take off any inner skins. I'm just hoping to reduce the shadowline a bit and start fulltiming!

Thanks for any and all advice.

Andre
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Old 06-17-2015, 08:40 AM   #2
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2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
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Curious, were you actually turned away by any parks?
Only so much can be done by pulling out panel damage. Sad to say but the only way that is going to disappear is by replacing the panels or applying a large patch of some sort over the area.
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:08 AM   #3
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1973 21' Globetrotter
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There are several threads on dent repair (minimization). Try doing a google search from outside of the forums with "Air forums" in the search terms, and you should find several. To sum up some of those I have read, people have had fairly good luck making dents such as yours less ugly by pulling them out with glue tabs and/or suction cups. Be careful with a slide hammer, it doesn't take much to create new problems.

good luck!
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Old 06-17-2015, 10:27 AM   #4
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That kind of dent can be nearly taken out with an air powered "Body Buddy" slide hammer, dent puller as seen in these pictures.
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Old 06-17-2015, 12:06 PM   #5
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1982 27' Excella
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Dent repair

The dent removal looks really good. Wish the made a micro version for hail repair!
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Old 06-17-2015, 12:29 PM   #6
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I used the sticky tabs and a dent puller to fix mine. Not perfect but certainly better than it was. If you are not specifically looking for it you won't notice it now.

-Alden
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Old 06-17-2015, 02:33 PM   #7
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1976 27' Overlander
Astoria , Oregon
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I had almost an identical dent in my 76 27' airstream. Used a grinder with a mental cutting wheel to make a slice in the wood paneling just above the curtain rail on the inside where it would not be observable. Drilled out the rivets and toke down the curtain rail. Pulled out the panel from the side window to the dent and pushed out the dent than hammered from both inside and out to decrease the affect of the crease. Re- riveted the panel in the same holes Turned out beautifully. Because of the double curve the panel needed no suport where the slice was made. 2 guys about 2 hours.
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Old 06-17-2015, 03:37 PM   #8
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They wouldn't let you in to camp ground? Really? Mine will never be allowed then!
I need one of those Body Buddys! The 3"-4" suction cup from Harbor Freight didn't work, surface too concave. On flatter area it let go before area crease was released.
BTW, if your dent flops back in or "oil cans", I've heard others have permanently installed hard foam between inner and outer panels. Of course, inside access is required.
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Old 06-17-2015, 07:20 PM   #9
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1970 27' Overlander
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Hi Shacksman,

That "Body Buddy" looks like it worked pretty well! What sort of air compressor do you need for it? I've looked online but all I've found is the suction cup piece for sale. If you have a model you recommend, let me know!

Thanks
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Old 06-17-2015, 07:24 PM   #10
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1970 27' Overlander
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
Curious, were you actually turned away by any parks?
Only so much can be done by pulling out panel damage. Sad to say but the only way that is going to disappear is by replacing the panels or applying a large patch of some sort over the area.

Hi AW Chief,

I haven't been rejected yet, but I've had a few park owners push me back on the waiting list because of the appearance. Apparently they're getting picky in Austin these days...quite frustrating since these Airstreams look better than your typical RV with or without dents.
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Old 06-17-2015, 07:26 PM   #11
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1970 27' Overlander
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alden Miller View Post
I used the sticky tabs and a dent puller to fix mine. Not perfect but certainly better than it was. If you are not specifically looking for it you won't notice it now.

-Alden

Hi Alden,

Great to hear! Do you remember where you purchased your dent puller? I'm not looking for perfection, just improvement!

Thanks,

Andre
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Old 06-18-2015, 09:10 AM   #12
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too many people from California have moved to Austin. Not the Austin of old. What happened to the days of the Armadillo and onward thru the fog days.
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Old 06-18-2015, 10:29 AM   #13
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1971 31' Sovereign
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Quote:
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too many people from California have moved to Austin. Not the Austin of old. What happened to the days of the Armadillo and onward thru the fog days.
Nowhere is the (fill in the blank) of old. My family has been in California for over 125 years. What happened to rush hour without traffic? Don't just point the finger at Californians.

Anyway, I used the small suction cups from Harbor Freight to pull the smaller dents out or where the aluminum was curved. It worked ok. I had a large one in the front corner and was able to remove the stereo cabinet and push it out from the inside. I can't do that in the back unless I remove the bathroom end cap.
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Old 06-22-2015, 06:29 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by aboudre1 View Post
Hi Alden,

Great to hear! Do you remember where you purchased your dent puller? I'm not looking for perfection, just improvement!

Thanks,

Andre
I picked them up off of Amazon.

-Alden
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