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Old 01-03-2005, 01:35 AM   #1
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Warping Skin

We had 17' of skin replaced. While travelling to California, at a rest stop we saw the skin had warped as in the pictures in my photo gallery. A couple of hours later it had smoothed out. It has happened one more time. Any helpful comments?
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Old 01-03-2005, 06:37 AM   #2
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I'd take it back to the shop and, let whoever did the repair check it over..
This very well could be an indication of a bigger issue that needs to address`
Good Luck to you~
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Old 01-03-2005, 08:06 AM   #3
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Yeesh... yeah. Doesn't even seem like something that could only be skin deep, does it? I'd imagine there's a loose or mis-aligned rib causing the trouble, or something.
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Old 01-03-2005, 08:26 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kajendo
...Any helpful comments?
A while back, Inland Andy was kind enough to outline necessary steps for replacing a section of skin. The one that stuck in my mind was how critical it was to to adequately support the frame before removing the old panel.

The moncoque construction of an Airstream means the shell & the frame work together to support each other. The panels are under stress even as your American Classic sits in the driveway. If your repair shop did not support the frame in several places before removing the old panel, your Airstream would have settled after the old panel was removed. If the new panel was installed after the settling had occurred, then it would be unloaded stress wise.

After a few trips down the road, I can see the buckling occuring as the stresses seek to adapt to the new panel.

As far as it straightening itself out, I have heard that the sun's heat has a tendency to do that.

Unfortunately, if my above scenario is accurate, I do not know of an easy fix.

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Old 01-03-2005, 11:40 AM   #5
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Thank you everyone. I think the improper support during replacement may be the problem. I think my first call will be the insurance company who shelled out the biiig bucks.
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Old 01-03-2005, 11:41 AM   #6
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Separation support

On my 29', I've got the dreaded separation at the rear that has resulted in ripples in the skin near the wheel wells. I noticed that when I jack up the rear bumper, the ripples in the skin go away. My question would be if the replacement of the damaged section of rear floor and attachement to the frame will straighten the frame and eliminate the ripples or if the skin will need to be adjusted / replaced due to the structure being comprimised in the first place.
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Old 01-03-2005, 01:57 PM   #7
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Hello 69Ambassador; It was not the floor it was the side. Or did you have the floor replaced?
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Old 01-03-2005, 03:00 PM   #8
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The floor in back dry-rotted and caused the rear end separation. Due to this, the side skins along the bottom at the forward opening of the wheel well have a buckle as well as some buckling along the rub rail. When I jack up the rear bumper, the buckle / ripple seems to disappear.
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Old 01-03-2005, 04:45 PM   #9
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Kajendo.

I will try to answer your question here, instead of a PM. Others may find the information useful.

The metal on your trailer, is "oil canning."

I will have to fill in some blanks, since I did not see photo's of the original damage.

The oil canning can be caused by not leveling the trailer, or by over leveling, when the metal was riveted. It can also be caused by improper repair, or lack thereof, to a main bow or other structural component.

Generally speaking, holes in the new metal are duplicated from the original sheet, as best you can. Therefore there is no excuse for "any" oil canning. If it wasn't there before, it should not be there after.

Another reason especially at a metal seam, should oil canning show, but only at times, would be leaving out or not properly attaching a horizontal stringer.

Additionally, you said you replaced 17 feet of metal. If you have a 27 foot trailer, that's great. If your trailer is longer than that, an unnecessary splice has been added to your trailer, indicating something less than ideal repairs.

Good luck with your insurance company. Usually, if you pick the shop and sign off, improper repairs becomes solely your problem. On the other hand, if your insurance company has routine dealings with that dealer, they might decide to help you.

In any case, a small degree of oil canning is not unusual. However, in your case, there is a major problem, of some kind.

Andy
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Old 01-04-2005, 12:26 AM   #10
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Rear End Sag???

Quote:
Originally Posted by 69Ambassador
On my 29', I've got the dreaded separation at the rear that has resulted in ripples in the skin near the wheel wells. I noticed that when I jack up the rear bumper, the ripples in the skin go away. My question would be if the replacement of the damaged section of rear floor and attachement to the frame will straighten the frame and eliminate the ripples or if the skin will need to be adjusted / replaced due to the structure being comprimised in the first place.
69Ambassador,
I hate to be the bearer of potentially bad news, but based upon the ripples in the skin that go away when you jack up the rear of the trailer, I suspect that you may have a "rear end sag" issue with your trailer. You can read up on this condition in the archives, but basically it describes a condition where the frame has developed a downward bend rear of the axles, due to a number of possible causes. This is often accompanied by rear end separation, which is a separate condition that sometimes occurs without rear end sag. I am not an expert, but I am guessing that just reparing the rear floor section and bolting the body back to the frame will not solve your "ripple" issue. I am guessing that to repair this properly, the belly pan will need to be removed and frame reinforcements added to strengthen the frame. The parts to do this reinforcement are available and though I haven't done this repair myself, I hear it can be a do it yourself project for someone with the right skills and equipment.
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Old 01-04-2005, 01:02 PM   #11
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Thanks Joe,
I had read about the Sag in Fun Lovin's thread http://www.airforums.com/forum...ead.php?t=6474

I had inspected the frame and running gear around the axles and hadn't found any evidence of the cracks that he had shown. I may at this point reinforce the frame similar to how he did to make sure that It doesn't get worse. Since the trailer went 30+ years to this point, I just hope to help it make it another 30.
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