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Old 07-16-2014, 10:11 PM   #1
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1978 31' Sovereign
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Front & side panel damage

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ID:	216514My 1978 AS Int. Sovereign has been damaged by tree falling on roof. Result: Several dents & creases. Damage in front & adjacent panels.Seeking advice on how to proceed with repair (if possible) Most serious is a separation between two panels. See pic.

Any advice are welcome
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:13 PM   #2
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No pictures. Hard to help.
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:18 PM   #3
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Not sure why pic didnīt get posted? How do I attach pic?
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:57 PM   #4
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My thought is that the left panel would need replacing, maybe both. The right one is not as bad? I have not worked on panels, just had one replaced. Perhaps others will chime in.
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Old 07-17-2014, 10:15 AM   #5
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Looks like two curved panels that I can see from the photo. I think the panels are about $500 each. They will be a different alloy so they may not match.

Perry
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Old 07-17-2014, 11:00 AM   #6
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The damage is probably not a do it yourself project, unless you are willing to learn a lot about Airstream metal work, riveting, etc. prior to starting it. This is a rather specialized trade. I would suggest taking it to a dealer to have an estimate. You may find that the cost of repair is greater than the value of the trailer.

Sorry to be a bad news bear here, but just trying to be realistic.
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Old 07-17-2014, 11:13 AM   #7
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Anything can be fixed if you're willing to spend the time and money.

Basic Steps:
1) buy new panels
2) drill out rivets and remove old panels
3) fit new panels - this is the hard part because the trailer will have stretched and flexed over the years and the tree damage will have only mad things worse. remember these are hand built trailers
4) rivet in the new panel.

Its a big job but not impossible for a DIY'er.

If it were my trailer I'd start by evaluating the cost and effort of repair vs buying another trailer and using the damaged one for parts.
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Old 07-17-2014, 07:07 PM   #8
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Thanks for all your inputs. We have talked to the AS-dealer in NJ and are awaiting their response (while hoping for the best). Already know the two skins have to be replaced - good news is - have all the time in the world (retired) and fairly handy with most tools, got a Rivit tool from wifey On the other side - we might have a lot of spare parts for sale .... .... .... But I'm optimistic, so until response from dealer, the AS will be fixed.
Thanks again folks
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Old 07-17-2014, 07:28 PM   #9
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Would have helped a bit if you had posted the pix in the right orientation but still able to see. You may also have some damage on the rib in-between those panels. keep that in mind since that would have to be straightened out as well. Looks like the awning took a hit as well, factor that in too.
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Old 07-17-2014, 07:41 PM   #10
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Thanks Aquinob. The rib in front of window had a tear/bend in it. Spliced in 2 pieces of steel to straighten it. Looks good as far as I can tell. Hoping the skin is not leaking anymore. Someone recommended I should get some Cleeco tools to pull the skin opening together. Anybody with some experience here?
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Old 07-17-2014, 07:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RuneM46 View Post
Thanks for all your inputs. We have talked to the AS-dealer in NJ and are awaiting their response (while hoping for the best). Already know the two skins have to be replaced - good news is - have all the time in the world (retired) and fairly handy with most tools, got a Rivit tool from wifey On the other side - we might have a lot of spare parts for sale .... .... .... But I'm optimistic, so until response from dealer, the AS will be fixed.
Thanks again folks
You can do it!
Looks to me like the two curved panels to the left of the front window. Hopefully the structural beam under the awning seam is intact.
Make sure you get yourself a bunch of Clecos to "set" the panels before you ever apply any vulkem or set any rivets. You also need to pull the front window and remove the awning arm for easier access.
Again, can't do it without Clecos
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:04 PM   #12
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PeterH-Airstreamer - question: what size clecos and how many do I need?
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:24 PM   #13
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PeterH-Airstreamer - question: what size clecos and how many do I need?
5/32 same as rivet size and drill bits
5/32 (#21) CLECO FASTENER-AVERY TOOLS , L.P.
need the cleco pliers too.
I would get at least 50, if you get 100 you have more than enough.

Since you have access to the inside, you should consider using Buck rivets instead of Olympic rivets, but I will let others chime in on that subject.
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:24 PM   #14
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I know Colin Hyde in Plattsburg NY has an English wheel. You should give him a call. He might be able to straighten those panels out and you could rivet it back on. At the very least he could advise the best course of action.

https://sites.google.com/a/colinhyde...ions.com/home/
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