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Old 04-22-2015, 03:11 PM   #1
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1971 25' Tradewind
Saginaw , Michigan
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Damaged Caravel-Your Advice Needed Please

Hello everyone out there. It has been quite some time since I have posted anything here but I am in need of some professional advice and/or referrals. I recently purchased this 1965 Caravel and it suffers from body damage caused by a large tree limb falling on it several years ago. I was apprehensive to purchase it but after looking it over I notice that neither end-cap was damaged or even touch by the falling tree limb. There are three panels affected on the street side which include the one under the window, the one surrounding the window, and the panel the rolls over the top in the center/middle section of the trailer.

I have recently moved and currently do not have a place to work on this other than my driveway (which has plenty of space), but I am smart enough to know that it isn't feasible. I am looking for someone in Michigan to carry out the panel replacement repairs to get this trailer water-tight so I can restore the interior at a later time. I understand that this is more than just an 8 hour project on a Saturday afternoon but I figured with the panels being flat it should be easier to achieve.

I look forward to hearing from anyone that has any referrals or might want to take on the job themselves. I am looking for someone with experience that can put the skin back to factory condition.

Attached are pictures of the damage.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 04-22-2015, 04:17 PM   #2
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
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Take it to Jackson Center, OH, the mothership.

Pull the interior cabinets, etc. (assuming they are still there) ahead of time to make the work go faster - and keep your costs from going totally crazy. Also have them omit working on the interior skins wherever possible - again to contain costs.

These old trailers have solid ribs that make them a little more resistant to total crushing, but you've got one or perhaps even two that will have to be nudged back into shape. Send them many pictures to get an estimate before you arrive there.

If this were a newer trailer I'd say "play taps over it". What you have is a small vintage unit - rare and highly sought after so restore it correctly or sell it to someone who is stupid rich!

Good luck. Paula
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Old 04-22-2015, 04:48 PM   #3
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I've heard good things about the Airstream dealer in Grand Rapids, MI
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Old 04-22-2015, 05:02 PM   #4
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It actually looks harder than it is to repair! If you have a bucking buddy and a source for aluminum you could do it and if you have time on your side take it and have some fun with the repair.
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Old 04-22-2015, 05:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreshAir71 View Post
Hello everyone out there. It has been quite some time since I have posted anything here but I am in need of some professional advice and/or referrals. I recently purchased this 1965 Caravel and it suffers from body damage caused by a large tree limb falling on it several years ago. I was apprehensive to purchase it but after looking it over I notice that neither end-cap was damaged or even touch by the falling tree limb. There are three panels affected on the street side which include the one under the window, the one surrounding the window, and the panel the rolls over the top in the center/middle section of the trailer.

I have recently moved and currently do not have a place to work on this other than my driveway (which has plenty of space), but I am smart enough to know that it isn't feasible. I am looking for someone in Michigan to carry out the panel replacement repairs to get this trailer water-tight so I can restore the interior at a later time. I understand that this is more than just an 8 hour project on a Saturday afternoon but I figured with the panels being flat it should be easier to achieve.

I look forward to hearing from anyone that has any referrals or might want to take on the job themselves. I am looking for someone with experience that can put the skin back to factory condition.

Attached are pictures of the damage.

Thanks for your help.
Don't take it to the Factory, or any Dealer as they will likely want to repair it with the current aluminum alloy (not as strong as what your trailer is made from) & Olympic rivets, which are also no where near as strong as the original buck rivets, plus they don't have the clamping strength of buck rivets. We have done repairs like this & you can save a bunch of $ if you remove the interior cabinetry & skin in this area first. It is not hard, but it is time consuming to do it right, & this is worth doing right on this trailer.
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Old 04-22-2015, 05:48 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Colin H View Post
Don't take it to the Factory, or any Dealer as they will likely want to repair it with the current aluminum alloy (not as strong as what your trailer is made from) & Olympic rivets, which are also no where near as strong as the original buck rivets, plus they don't have the clamping strength of buck rivets. We have done repairs like this & you can save a bunch of $ if you remove the interior cabinetry & skin in this area first. It is not hard, but it is time consuming to do it right, & this is worth doing right on this trailer.
Colin
This sounds like very good advice... (No, I'm not related to anyone there.)

I sure hope you get this fixed. Easy for me to say since it's your money, but if I had that trailer, I'd do it. That's a neat old trailer!
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Old 04-22-2015, 06:44 PM   #7
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Everyone we met at Urban Air last year in Mi spoke highly of Woodland Airstream in Grand Rapids. It can't hurt to get an estimate, and then work it down by doing more work yourself.
It looks like a nice trailer that would be worth the effort involved to repair it.
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:07 PM   #8
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1987 25' Sovereign
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P&S trailer service in Helena Ohio Just east of Bowling Green Ohio on S.R.6 has been doing this kind of work since the 1960's. They were one of the first to service Airstreams out side of the factory. There Phone number is 419-638-6261
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Old 04-23-2015, 05:29 PM   #9
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Damaged Caravel-Your Advice Needed Please

If you're going so far as to prep the work by removing interior panels, I'd also want to pull the window frame, vent scoops, awning rail and anything else that's in the way. They can go straight to panel removal, template, and install. Definitely a straight-forward and worthwhile repair.
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