Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-14-2013, 01:09 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
2000 23' Safari
meridian , Idaho
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 6
Changing panels and who can do it best

I have a big dent (from a tree limp falling on my Airstream ) at the top rear and I always wanted fixed but feel nervous about who to trust to do it right.
I am in AZ right now close to Sierra vista on the Canello hills.
I will be heading back to Idaho in a week or so where I live.
I also got some damage at front where the clear is peeling on a few panels.
Can they be repainted and look and last as original?
Is that something that any pro painter can do with the plastic clear the factory sells?
I was told by the factory they farm this out and the new panels now come with the clear already on.
Could that be a good match for a 2000 model if installing new panels?
The cost quoted by some seems to be astronomical!
Thanks.

Mario
__________________

__________________
drycamplvr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2013, 02:08 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
Foiled Again's Avatar
 
2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 5,883
Quote:
Originally Posted by drycamplvr View Post
I have a big dent (from a tree limp falling on my Airstream ) at the top rear and I always wanted fixed but feel nervous about who to trust to do it right.
I am in AZ right now close to Sierra vista on the Canello hills.
I will be heading back to Idaho in a week or so where I live.
I also got some damage at front where the clear is peeling on a few panels.
Can they be repainted and look and last as original?
Is that something that any pro painter can do with the plastic clear the factory sells?
I was told by the factory they farm this out and the new panels now come with the clear already on.
Could that be a good match for a 2000 model if installing new panels?
The cost quoted by some seems to be astronomical!
Thanks.

Mario
Dear Mario, the curved panels on the ends of the Airstream are formed from aluminum with the clearcoat already on it. Vintage Airstreams with either 13 or 7 curved panels are simply flat aluminum bent into a curve. Our newer 5 panel ones have compound curves - the panel is stretched in two directions to form a curve. Stretch plastic wrap over an orange to get the idea of how the mold works. What any competent repairer will do is order new matching panels from the factory and install them over the existing ones, or if the underlying panels are really distorted, will remove them and put in new ones. Unless the inside skins are removed to do the repair, they will use "Olympic Rivets" instead of buck rivets. Olympics are like heavy duty pop rivets, and the tops have to be "shaved" after they are installed so that they look more like the originals. Once you know what an Olympic looks like you'll be able to identify it IF you look hard enough.

One of the reasons that panel replacement is so expensive is that the original rivets are drilled and installed freehand. A new panel comes without holes, and installing it involves fitting each hole. (That's why using a salvaged panel can be problems - the inside can have double holes or elongaged holes due to poor matchups - and you get leaks and/or weak seams.)

Cost of repair - each curved panel can cost about $1400 - $1500 to replace at the factory or at most good RV places. Maybe that will make your estimate seem more reasonable - or even more outrageous.

I know you're in the West - and I'm sure users will chime in with good experiences at some Airstream dealers, so stay in touch. Also posting pictures is an excellent idea. You may not be aware that if you have a dent WITHOUT a deep crease, puncture or scrape mark, it can often be popped out leaving minimal evidence of it's existance. Aluminum is much softer than automobile steel, so you don't want to get the hammer and start whacking away. Many people have successfully used vacuum pullers (including the duty toilet plunger) but even here, go easy. You don't want to replace a dent with a bump. There are a number of people who have rolled out the dings from the inside using (a) an under-inflated basketball (b) a soft rubber ball, (c) bare hands (d) a specially designed roller with curved edges that won't leave a line (e) whatever else pops into their minds.

Use your SEARCH and look for threads on dent repairs, you might be able to do some of it yourself.

Clearcoating peeling sections - I've heard great things about P & S Trailers in Ohio. It's out of your way, but they have a good reputation and can do just the affected segments. It ain't cheap!

Good luck and happy trails. Paula
__________________

__________________
Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
Foiled Again is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2013, 07:38 AM   #3
Rivet Master
 
Ahab's Avatar
 
2008 22' Safari
Oracle , Arizona
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,174
We have a dealer here in Tucson by the name of Oasis who can do the repair. I had limb damage and they replaced two large panels on top at the rear of the coach, you can't tell it was damaged.
__________________
Ahab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2013, 12:26 PM   #4
1 Rivet Member
 
2000 23' Safari
meridian , Idaho
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 6
Thank you Paula!
I learned so much from your response I did not know....very detailed and useful in order to have the repairs done properly keeping the Airstream original and looking good.

The new panels come with plastic clear on them already so I was wondering if there is any differences in tone or color new versus over a decade ago.

I had a friend park next to me a few weeks ago in the country and we would all agree his 2005 Airstream had more of a black tint to the clear and mine blue.

Another point I am wondering about is why are the sides so much smoother and shinier than the front panels that seem to have a brushed look to them so they do not shine as much as the sides.
I doubt is for resistance to gravel since mine got blasted quite hard.

My damage at front and the peeling is from buckets of rocks falling on the trailer from a truck going the other way as I was cruising on 93 going south.
There is a cattle guard on the freeway and the speed limit is high way speeds.
The truck crossed the cattle guard a split second before me so I got the extra spray just on time to get the damage.

As I learned even though a nice drive 93 from jackpot Nevada to Vegas is the worst road to take in the winter if you do not want to get sprayed by rocks.
Besides the Airstream my towing vehicle got chipped to death on one pass which is amazing as the road was dry but the edges are full of salt and sand and they always add a ton of that stuff on the road when they anticipate another snow storm coming through.
It was amazing to me the salt gets deposited on everything as a fine white mist even with the road totally dry on a sunny day!
It took lots of work to get that salt of and realize as great looking our Airstreams are dents do not look that good on them.....

Thank you all

Mario
__________________
drycamplvr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2013, 05:12 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
BradS's Avatar
 
2006 22' International CCD
1957 26' Overlander
Plymouth , Minnesota
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 526
Images: 14
Someone with greater knowledge please correct me if Im wrong, but I do believe that only the 13 segment endcaps are made with flat panels. Even the 7 panel endcaps are made with stretch formed segments.


I know from experience that 13 segment endcaps are flat metal but I cannot see how it would be possible with anything less
__________________
My 57 Overlander thread ( Holly is her name)
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f97/...eak-62257.html

"Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale"
(Hans Christian Andersen)

WBCCI 10289
TAC MN-69
AIR 11240
BradS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2013, 06:28 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
Foiled Again's Avatar
 
2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 5,883
Drycamper - the difference in tone between flat and curved segments is caused by the stretching process on the clearcoat. You can see it on units still on the line at Jackson Center. Even the center panel is slightly different than the two side ones on the end. And did you know there are no ribs in the end caps?

I've often wondered why they didn't change the ribs from aluminum to some more flexible and less conductive material.... some kind of plastic or synthetic rubber compound that wouldn't transfer heat or cold into the interior.

As for getting rock scratches and dings - the newer units have rock guards - but gravel happens. Most damage comes from your own tow vehicle's rear drive wheels, and many Airstreamers use a set of big flaps that mount on the hitch assembly to stop the rock spray. Someone post a nice link for these please!

As for color change in the clear coat - time and exposure to sunlight is probably responsible for 90% of that. You'll notice a slight amount of difference between new segments and existing ones, but a year or less in the sun will take care of that. Most folks won't see it if they're not looking for it.

It's possible the 7 segment ones DO have multiple curves but it's not easy to see. I think those have an additional problem of being made of an aluminum alloy that is no longer in production. New segments are made of current alloys (Unless you find a "parts" unit of the same vintage that has a big area of undamaged flat aluminum and get A/S to agree to use that material to form new panels at the factory...use your own English Wheel and form it yourself)

Good luck pursuing your repairs.

Paula
__________________
Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
Foiled Again is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2013, 06:00 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
Jim Clark's Avatar
 
2012 28' International
Currently Looking...
New Orleans , Louisiana
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,077
Images: 6
I had a panel replace by Foley Rv in Gulfport and they did a great job, the panel matched perfectly. They did have to order the panel, and it takes a little time to do it correctly. I ended up purchasing a new unit from them and would not have done so if I had felt the work was sub standard.
__________________
Jim N5TJZ Air# 174
2012 International Serenity 28
2005 Safari 25 SS Traded
1968 Globetrotter Sold
2011 F150 Ecoboost
Jim Clark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2013, 11:31 PM   #8
1 Rivet Member
 
2000 23' Safari
meridian , Idaho
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 6
I am so glad I joined this board ....you guys are first class just like our RVs.

As I found out recently the finish on pre 2000 models is very different than 2000 on.

The newer ones are baked on at 400 degrees with a different compound of clear with polyurethane in it.

Painting new clear on these is not recommended.

I have the tall stainless rock guards(trailer came with the same but shorter ones)

I am waiting to hear from the factory if my Airstream has the poly or the old plastic coat......that will determine which way to do the repair since it falls on the year when they made the change.
Thanks

Mario
__________________

__________________
drycamplvr is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:33 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.