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Old 01-12-2015, 03:24 PM   #1
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2005 25' Classic
Drummond , Wisconsin
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Hail repair

Hello
This is an attempt at my first post.
We recently purchased a 2004, 25 ft. Classic. It has some hail damage on both end caps. I am wondering about the best way to repair the hail dents.


Thank you, Reg
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Old 01-12-2015, 03:33 PM   #2
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Can you post some photos of the damaged areas?

Worse case scenario is panel replacement. Not sure if a paintless dent removal service can help.

Kelvin
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:40 PM   #3
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Time will soften the dents - heaving & shrinking from sunlight & weather will reduce them....
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:46 PM   #4
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If you're Catholic, just name your unit "Hail Mary"
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Old 01-14-2015, 01:19 PM   #5
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you could remove the interior skins, then try to slowly roll them out with some body hammers, or some people have taken toilet bolts, hot glued them to the dent, then added a coupler, another threaded rod, a small pipe larger than the coupler, then a nut, fenderwasher, and another nut. In essence, a very cheap slide hammer. You then let the hot glue cool, then without twisting or bending, slide the pipe to the end hammering from the outside. When you think you're there, you can heat the glue with a heat gun, or possibly peel it off by bending the "hammer".

Haven't done it myself. One thing to consider is that golf balls are dimpled to give better airflow. You might save some mpg by keeping it that way!

Rob.
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Old 01-14-2015, 02:57 PM   #6
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Aluminum doesn't "work" like sheet metal. I had a paintless dent guy come out and try to work a crease out of my old Trade Wind when I had the bathroom inside endcap out. He is very good and has does several jobs for me on my cars with amazing results. No luck on the aluminum, it is just too tough and hard and won't move. Save your money. I would say, just live with it unless it is really bad. If you can't live it then replace the panels. I say that because in order to get to the back side of the dents you have to remove all the interior. If you go to that much trouble, and it is a lot of trouble, why not just make the fix 100% with new metal. Just my thoughts. I have grown to not notice the little hail dents on the front cap of my 68.
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Old 01-15-2015, 12:44 PM   #7
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The shell flat tempered sheets don't like to self-erase dents, the softer end cap aluminum over time will try to level back out. Hurry up and wait unless the dents are severe enough it's stretched a pocket so deep it is on its way to being perforated...
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Old 01-15-2015, 01:17 PM   #8
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I guess the cheapest solution for panel replacement is to remove and rivet the new panels from the outside only. This is not how the factory does it. While it will look nice I'm not sure the long term reliability.

Kelvin
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:13 PM   #9
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I have a 66 and a 86. Both are Minnesota trailers and both have been hailed on. The 86 dented worse than the 66. I have tried paintless dent repair with "professional" glue tabs and slide hammer to very little benefit. The 86 end caps are the worse. They are dead soft 3003 alloy. The 66 has 2042 T3 Alclad. The 66 shows less damage from the hail. The roof vents are quite dimpled, but the roof sheet and end caps really don't show dents at all.

After the hail storm that also dented my tow vehicle, the insurance company wanted an estimate to repair the 86 Airstream. Unbelievably the dealer prepared a $50,000 estimate to replace all the aluminum from the windows up. The dealer know full well trailer is worth much less than that. Stupid dealer...

Hail damage on Airstreams is heart breaking. Many trailers have it. I am getting use to it on the 86. I polished the 86 before the hail damage. The dents show much worse on a polished surface. I feel like my many polishing hours were somewhat wasted. I think may folks just live with it.

David
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Old 01-16-2015, 03:04 PM   #10
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I read about hail damage here on the forum but have never experienced it. At least not YET. They say that time seems to lessen the severity of the damage apparently with the warming / cooling effect of daily temperature changes. I was wondering if we could simulate and accelerate this using dry ice and hot / warm water. I'm just thinking with my fingers here and would be interested if anyone has tried anything like this.
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Old 01-16-2015, 04:42 PM   #11
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Back in the late '60s I bought a used AS the had been a hail storm on the dealer's lot. I got it for quite a bit less money because of the hail damage.

The dealer told me that over time the dents would "shrink" up and kind of heal themselves. I didn't believe him at the time, but over the 10 years that I had that unit they did just that. When I sold it, you had to look really hard to see any of them.
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Old 01-16-2015, 08:26 PM   #12
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I tried dry ice and a hot iron to no avail. The summer sun has had little, if any effect so far. I suppose my dents are just too deep.

David
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