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Old 03-24-2013, 07:11 PM   #1
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1988 32' Excella
29 palms , California
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 14
1988 Excella repair/revamp

Ok, so Im finally in a position to begin this re-building and I will do my best to post pictures and make sure my questions are intelligent. A few years back (unknown how many) my airstream was hit by a tree, the rear panels were smushed in and it leaked. I removed the rear interior panels and am ready to bang the dents out. I also need a new rear window (the glass is fine but the frame is very dented in some areas, mostly interior) and to fabricate a few new ribs. Questions:

Will airstream still stock windows for an 88?

For the horizontal ribs, should i replace the entire rib that goes around the whole rear portion?

Whats the best way to bang out the dents? Im planning on following a previously recommended method on the site, then spraying it with a hose to see if it leaks, then re-riveting what is needed.

Is there any point in re-wiring anything while I have it open? the stock parallel wiring to the plug sockets doesnt look safe at all so Im going to re-do that, but other than that Im assuming it should all be good.

The u-channel bolts are very rusted and bent closed, what is a good way to get these out to replace the flooring?

Is there a good write up for the best process for POR-15ing the frame? This is not shell-off, as I do not have room, it is going to be one piece of the trailer at a time.

Im also going to replace the plumbing with PEX, unless yall say otherwise.

Is there anything else that should be done while I have it opened up?
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:13 PM   #2
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1988 32' Excella
29 palms , California
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Old 03-24-2013, 08:55 PM   #3
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1986 31' Sovereign
Miami , Florida
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The problem with "banging out the dents" is that you are dealing with aluminum. No matter how skilled you are, those damaged segments will never look even remotely normal.

Might get them approximate and even water-tight but that is the best you can hope for. I would replace the ribs.

I cut off the channel bolts and replaced them.

Enjoy the refurb, it's a Zen thing.

Mike
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timbojr View Post
Ok, so Im finally in a position to begin this re-building and I will do my best to post pictures and make sure my questions are intelligent. A few years back (unknown how many) my airstream was hit by a tree, the rear panels were smushed in and it leaked. I removed the rear interior panels and am ready to bang the dents out. I also need a new rear window (the glass is fine but the frame is very dented in some areas, mostly interior) and to fabricate a few new ribs. Questions:

Will airstream still stock windows for an 88?

For the horizontal ribs, should i replace the entire rib that goes around the whole rear portion?

Whats the best way to bang out the dents? Im planning on following a previously recommended method on the site, then spraying it with a hose to see if it leaks, then re-riveting what is needed.

Is there any point in re-wiring anything while I have it open? the stock parallel wiring to the plug sockets doesnt look safe at all so Im going to re-do that, but other than that Im assuming it should all be good.

The u-channel bolts are very rusted and bent closed, what is a good way to get these out to replace the flooring?

Is there a good write up for the best process for POR-15ing the frame? This is not shell-off, as I do not have room, it is going to be one piece of the trailer at a time.

Im also going to replace the plumbing with PEX, unless yall say otherwise.

Is there anything else that should be done while I have it opened up?
The windows are still available.

There is "NO WAY" to properly bang out the dents. When the metal was hit, part of it stretched. As you "bang" on it, your making it stretch even moreso.

The 'very best" thing you can do, "while it's opened up", is to replace the metal segments.

Andy
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:33 PM   #5
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1988 32' Excella
29 palms , California
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haha feels the opposite of zen at the moment. What do you replace them with? just same thing from airstream or better option?
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:34 PM   #6
cwf
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1999 34' Excella
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Hillsboro , Texas
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Ahhh.. 29 Stumps.. Just lovely...desert...
Visited one of my sons, stationed there in 2004...routed back through Amboy.. that town is frozen in history on Rt66...

Anyway... you will do well to replace the panels. The POR stuff is great... just follow directions...then paint to protect...

Since you got whacked in the stern, you will want to check all the way to the trailer frame for loose stuff... reseal now...

Yeah.. it is a Zen thing... ever read "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"? very similar... our toys, like most things in life, do not wear out overnight... it's a wear and tear thing.. if you can keep up with it on your own, great.. if you can afford to have it done and are better at making the money to pay for it.. great... however, it is like this... "there are many rifles, but this one is MINE."...
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:31 PM   #7
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1988 32' Excella
29 palms , California
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Do you stock the window frames at inland rv? I'll whack em a bit and see where they end up, im not worried about the cosmetics so much as long as there are no structural issues with the panels looking kinda ugly.
And Amboy still looks the same, everywhere out here is frozen in time.
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:58 PM   #8
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Do you stock the window frames at inland rv? I'll whack em a bit and see where they end up, im not worried about the cosmetics so much as long as there are no structural issues with the panels looking kinda ugly.
And Amboy still looks the same, everywhere out here is frozen in time.
Which exact window frame.

Windows that open, come with a metal frame around them, called a "sash".

Andy
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Old 04-07-2013, 05:22 PM   #9
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1988 32' Excella
29 palms , California
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Its the rear "emergency exit" window, its an opening window, with I believe a sash, which was a frame on the inside of the trailer that I think typically has the screen mounted in it? I will try to call you guys this week sometime, or come in if I get time, Id like to pick up some things.
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Old 04-07-2013, 05:24 PM   #10
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1988 32' Excella
29 palms , California
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Also, whats the best way to remove this sealant that was liberal plastered all over the gaps near the tail light?
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