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Old 04-29-2012, 01:00 PM   #1
EZG
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1992 32' Excella
Bellevue , Washington
Join Date: Apr 2012
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Trailer skin Repair

I have owned a 1992 32' Airstream Excella for 10 wonderful years. I travel to the southwest from Washington once a year and am regionally active with the trailer the rest of the year. I have put my share of miles on this trailer.

Recently while trying to track down a leak in the front portion of my trailer I unfastened the protective rock covers over the front quarter panels on the trailer. What I found was not good. The leak was coming from a significant opening where the skin of the trailer (on both sides) has separated. This separation is now leaving a significant opening just above the bottom belt line on the trailer. This opening could have likely been this way for some time.

A couple years ago I encountered this same problem in the same general area between the two battery compartments in the front of the trailer. Ultimately I had it repaired it with a heavy metal plate that was bolted to a new piece of angle iron fastened to the frame and then riveted into the skin. This "patch" has seemed to work. But now with this newly exposed problem I am wondering whether I should try to patch it or replace the skin panels on the front of the trailer. Because the damaged area is hidden, I don't feel the look of the trailer will be compromised but not sure patching is the best way to go. Looking for some advice.

Skin replacement sounds really expensive. I am interested in guidance re what this type of repair "should" generally cost me.
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Old 04-29-2012, 01:45 PM   #2
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1981 31' Excella II
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Send us some photos. A picture is worth 1000 words. I think what your saying is the skins are rotted off at the bottom and it sounds like from battery issues.

Perry
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Old 04-29-2012, 02:02 PM   #3
EZG
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1992 32' Excella
Bellevue , Washington
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Thanks for the reply. The batteries are not the issue, they and their respective compartments are in tact and fine. The issue is the aluminum skin has detached and is ripped behind the rock guards just above the molding/belt line at the bottom of the trailer exterior.
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Old 04-29-2012, 02:19 PM   #4
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Trailer skin Repair

Greetings EZG!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Airstreaming!

Quote:
Originally Posted by EZG View Post
Thanks for the reply. The batteries are not the issue, they and their respective compartments are in tact and fine. The issue is the aluminum skin has detached and is ripped behind the rock guards just above the molding/belt line at the bottom of the trailer exterior.
Without photos, this is just a guess, but what you describe could be front end separation. Front end separation is much less common than rear end separation, but has been reported periodically, particularly with coaches have front mounted battery compartments or storage hatches. The problem has be said to be the result of a combination of issues . . . leakage through poorly maintained seals, a tow vheicle with springs that are too heavy for the job that transfer too much road vibration to the coach, and/or a hitch with weight distribution bars that are too heavy. I believe that there are at least a couple of threads here on the Forum describing front end separation and repair methods employed.

Good luck with your investigation! I hope that you find that it isn't front end separation and something less costly to repair!

Kevin
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:55 PM   #5
EZG
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1992 32' Excella
Bellevue , Washington
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Slide Outs

Any comments on slide outs? Pros & cons
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