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Old 06-02-2014, 07:23 AM   #1
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jpons's Avatar
2008 20' Safari SE
Bangor , Maine
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 254
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Finally hit my tree

Well it was bound to happen. As I was backing up my AS into my pad, I have to maneuver it around a huge oak tree that is conveniently located in a blind spot.

The damage is not too bad. The rear awning support hit the tree and the bottom anchor point pulled out some and the skin was pushed in a bit at two locations, right where the bottom anchor is and at the belt line. The areas that are pushed in are very hard to see in the pictures below.

So I need a little help repairing this before I go way on a 5 week and 5k mile trip.

Can I get some advice on repairing the anchor point, it seems that one side of this anchor point uses rivet while the other side uses two screws. Of course the side that got pulled out was the rivet side. Do I need to drill out the rivet and replace with another one? If so this river looks big, can I replace with a screw instead? Any advice? Also what should I use to seal the area, Vulkem (which I saw on another thread was replaced by TemPro).

How about the areas of the skin that where pushed in? It would seem to me that if I was able to get to the inside of that section it would not be hard to push them out, but of course it's impossible to get to the inside of the outer skin. Would one of those suction cups used for repairing car body panels work? Any other suggestions?

Thanks a bunch!

BTW, this is a 2008 20" Safari SE
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Old 06-02-2014, 07:56 AM   #2
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2006 23' Safari SE
Lexington , Kentucky
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I've not had to do this (yet, knock on wood) but if it was me I'd take the rivet out and try to get a sheet metal puller into the hole and try to pull the skin back out. Then I'd put in an oversize rivet. The screws on the right work because there must be a rib behind that row of rivets, where the rivet on the left has no anchor point so it's just attached to the skin.

I'm sure there are plenty of rivet masters here who can offer better advice.


Rich & Yvonne
2006 Safari SE -Dora-
2004 4Runner SE

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Old 06-02-2014, 08:06 AM   #3
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Hi jpons, the reason there are two screws and one rivet is because the screws anchor to a rib, and the rivet to the skin alone, follow that when you repair. Use any good sealant mentioned on the Forums, and if you can't mend the skin to your likings, make a nice round aluminum patch large enough to cover said damage before reattaching the awning arm.
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:41 AM   #4
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1953 32' Liner
1955 22' Safari
Valley View , Texas
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I am a firm believer in "RIV-Nuts." In a case like this you might like to try them The dent is another thing....Looks like the side trim rail is bent too. That will support the dent. I guess it would be worth a try to take the rail off, drill a small access hole and use a dent puller. Replace the rail over the well sealed hole.
Remember what I always preach.....if your ever in a situation parking and you say to yourself.."I think I can make it." can't.
"If it can't be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled or composted
then it should be restricted, redesigned or removed from production."
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:47 AM   #5
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2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
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Pulling dents out with a suction cup may help lessen the depression, but it's my understanding that once alum is dented, the metal is actually stretched. How successful you are in making it look as it did pre-dent really all depends. Same holds true even if you could get at it from the inside.

As for replacing with a screw where a rivet ran through it (sorry couldn't resist) I would check with the factory. I am uncertain what is behind that mounting point. My guess is that if they riveted it, they did it for a reason. If you still want to replace it with a screw, make sure you use a similar metal/alum screw to avoid dissimilar metal galvanic corrosion.
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