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Old 03-22-2011, 07:20 PM   #1
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1992 34' Excella
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Need new wall panel ideas?

Hello Everyone,

I have a confession to make, I really really dislike my plastic wall panels. Bordering on hate.

I want to replace them with anything else, but preferably I want to put up plain aluminum, like a new international trailer. I am sure we could take the panels down, but I am worried we would need get new ones back up. Do we just send the old one out to get matched? I saw some people recommending places that work with aluminum, is that the kind of company I need to work with?

Any help would be appreciated?

Thanks
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Old 03-22-2011, 08:08 PM   #2
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Don't feel bad. I hate plastic.
Doctor joke.. "Are you allergic to anything?" "Yes, Plastic".

That is a huge job that you are talking about doing. You might be able to put new panels over the existing ones.

Offhand this seems like a combination of skills... the aesthetic sensibilities of a good interior trim carpenter type, and skill working with sheet metal.
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Old 03-23-2011, 12:09 AM   #3
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When I do my own trailer I am planning on using thin hardwood plywood and giving it a nice stain and adding aluminum accents to make it have a really nice air streamy feel.
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Old 03-23-2011, 03:35 AM   #4
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They're already aluminum, just covered. There are many threads about removing the vinyl from the aluminum interior walls.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f39/...alls-2625.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f39/...70s-69281.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f39/...ion-37005.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f39/...ing-16313.html

And others. Using the Google Search option under the Search function at the top of the page should find plenty of information.
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Old 04-09-2011, 06:11 PM   #5
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Are you sure? They are cracked on the end caps in the corners? They look and sound like plastic when you tap on them. I mean my trailer is a 1992.
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Old 04-09-2011, 06:17 PM   #6
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Earlier you said panels, now you are saying end caps. Panels would be the walls. End caps would be the end caps. The end caps are probably plastic. The walls are probably aluminum coated on the inside with plastic.

Stripping the plastic off of the wall panels, I imagine, would be a nasty job.
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Old 04-10-2011, 06:49 PM   #7
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I mean all of it wall panels and end caps. Obviously if I just changed one or the other it would look mismatched and silly since it is all in the same greyish yellowish pattern, and I am assuming made out of the same stuff. I was hoping to get a definitive answer about the material that makes up the wall panels/ end caps for a early 90's 34'excella.

If I just want to flat out replace them, I want to know what my options are beside ordering brand new panels through some sort of airstream part service center or dealership.
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Old 04-10-2011, 07:02 PM   #8
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"Brand new panels" to replace your existing ones would be just plain sheet aluminum. You can buy that from Airparts or Aircraft Spruce, places like that for MUCH cheaper than if buying through Airstream. It comes in sheets as long as you want and you would replace those just as with exterior panels. It's a lot of work - but not hard we have replaced several panels on both the inside & out between our two trailers.

But the end caps are another thing completely...if you have plastic, that's what they were that year - it's unlikely end caps for current trailers would fit and if they were plastic to begin with, replacements that fit would also be plastic. Also, the end caps are compound curves in late model (since the 50's) trailers - not something that can be custom made easily. I know some pros can work with the new end caps and sometimes cut out pieces that work for replacing exterior caps, They might be able to work the same magic and create interior panels, but it wouldn't be easy or cheap.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do...my guess is if you want to change the look, paint is going to be your best option...or a newer (or much older!) trailer with the exposed aluminum panels.

Shari
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Old 04-11-2011, 07:01 PM   #9
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OK Good to know.

Thank you Shari, you have confirmed what I believed to be true--replacing the endcaps could prove to be exceedingly difficult.

When I pull down the wall panels, I will be able to look at and access all the wiring, is that correct?

Can you tell me more about your experience replacing the wall panels? Rivet guns and matching everything back up etc?

I am surprised there is not a company that specializes in making end caps for different model years. My Uncle had an idea about making a mold from the old end caps and using some kind of special explosive to "press" an aluminum sheet into the mold. I have to admit I have not tried it.

Any thoughts about it? I saw the beautiful one that the artist from Iowa made out of birch. I thought that was amazing!
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Old 04-11-2011, 07:34 PM   #10
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Minamyna...we disliked the vinyl walls as well. Ours had tented over the years and had to come off. We opted for a woven wall covering we found at Sherwin Williams. Removed the vinyl, rough sanded, and wallpaper glue worked great. There were many different types of wall coverings to choose from.
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Old 04-11-2011, 07:57 PM   #11
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This may give you some inspiration.

Picasa Web Albums - Craig Dorsey - The Adirondac...
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:37 PM   #12
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31' of polished interior aluminum...

Stripping and polishing, as others have said, is a lot of work. But like you I wasn't a big fan of the wall paper. The wall paper comes off with VERY strong paint stripper. Keep in mind that polishing the interior means holding the buffer over your head for hours and hours) to do the ceiling. The panels can be stripped and polished in place. That's how I did it and would recommend. The plastic-like end caps I will paint a medium-gray to complement the aluminum using a high grade automotive paint.
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:48 AM   #13
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Sorry I didn't reply sooner...we were on the road, yeah!
Quote:
Originally Posted by minamyna View Post
I pull down the wall panels, I will be able to look at and access all the wiring, is that correct?
Yep, all the wiring is exposed when a panel is removed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by minamyna View Post
Can you tell me more about your experience replacing the wall panels? Rivet guns and matching everything back up etc?
Here's a link to our '56 Safari restoration thread...check out posts starting around #209 for some panel replacement info ~

Even though the year of our trailer is different from yours, the task of replacing panels is pretty much the same.

Shari
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Old 04-21-2011, 05:08 PM   #14
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hi i like the look of the woven wall covering! is that sold by the yard or sq foot? how much was it?
thx
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