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Old 10-10-2013, 08:33 AM   #1
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riveted patches?

I am looking at a trailer that has what appear to be small riveted patches on the curbside and driver side back corners. (I've tried to attach a picture.) I think that I've read that this kind of repair may indicate skin or structural problems. Or are they not really patches? Can anyone shed some light on this?
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Old 10-10-2013, 08:38 AM   #2
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In a perfect world we all have unlimited funds to make perfect repairs to our trailers. The cost difference between that patch and an entire new panel can be $$$$.
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Old 10-10-2013, 08:42 AM   #3
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Could just be a patch due to a hole, tear or dent in the aluminum. Not to say there are no other problems but I wouldnt say that one or two patches are unusual. Just look to see that they sealed it well or evidence that water may be getting around it.
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Old 10-10-2013, 08:47 AM   #4
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Those are probably elephant ears to patch over a repair site to correct tail droop. Correcting the problem requires access to the area where frame meets tail at the rear. Accessing the area can be done either by removing all rivets from the area of that rear panel and moving it out of the way, or by cutting a hole into that panel and patching it afterwards. It's cheaper to cut the hole, but less aesthetically pleasing, obviously.


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Old 10-10-2013, 08:48 AM   #5
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You mention 2 patches on the rear corners... could it be one patch to cover a small blemish in the location pictured, and another mirror-image patch to make the first look like it belonged there?

My current project is going to require several little patches to correct for a previous owner's unhealthy obsession with sheet-metal screws...
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Old 10-10-2013, 09:00 AM   #6
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How cool is that! You've got zero excuses to open/inspect/maintain that area now!
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Old 10-10-2013, 09:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eubank View Post
Those are probably elephant ears to patch over a repair site to correct tail droop. Correcting the problem requires access to the area where frame meets tail at the rear. Accessing the area can be done either by removing all rivets from the area of that rear panel and moving it out of the way, or by cutting a hole into that panel and patching it afterwards. It's cheaper to cut the hole, but less aesthetically pleasing, obviously.


Lynn
This was part of a factory fix for tail droop in the early70's. There were also reinforcing plates that were put on in the axle area. Your picture looks like a trailer older than that but it looks like some one was reattaching the body to the frame.
When Airstream did it they opened up a larger area so I would guess this was done by a previous owner.
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Old 10-10-2013, 09:54 AM   #8
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Ask the owner if it is ok first; then have someone stand on the bumper and bounce up and down, this is a test to see if the repair is still holding. If the bumper moves separate from the body it is not (this is rear end separation) If it moves up and down as one unit, the repair is still good. You will need someone with you to watch for the movement because the person bouncing may not be able to notice the differential movement.
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Old 10-10-2013, 07:47 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone for your insight and advise. Tail droop was what I was vaguely remembering. I will do the bounce test if I look at this trailer again.
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Old 10-13-2013, 06:40 PM   #10
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Open the rear hatch and look at the inside. If there is a plate, wood or metal on the floor that was an attempt to fix the separation problem. They needed to bolt through the U channel-plate-floor-frame between the int/ext skins. That patch was the easy way to access. Short term half azzed fix. Not a big issue if the rest is reasonable condition and you intend a rebuild anyway.
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