1974 31' Sovereign
1979 23' Safari
, New York
Join Date: Jan 2012
If you want to try a small area with citristrip to see how well it works you should give that a try, pick a place that will be inconspicuous later, ie, back of a closet, behind cabinets. Put some drop cloth down and apply a heavy coat of citristrip on a foot square area, let it sit for a while and see how things come off, the vinyl wall paper can make things difficult, but it's been done, doing a whole 22 ft trailer this way will take a long time, lots of elbow grease, and lots of citristrip.
What you want to do with the skin when your done matters to, after stripping it's not going to look nice and shiny like the exterior or new interiors, so you'll probably want to paint I'm guessing though.
I decided to replace all mine because a PO had cut a bunch of holes in the skins, did horrible cover jobs, and the vinyl wall paper had a hard time coming clean, even with pressure washing them and using some serious cleaner/degreaser. Then I was still looking at having to paint it all, so I figured in for a penny in for a pound. But I knew that in the end I'd be able to have nice new clean beautiful interior skins. Although right now they're dark primer grey.
If you really want to look into it here's what I'd do. Seeing that you're in Denver, you should not have a hard time finding a place for the metal, google steel and sheet metal supply companies in Denver and call some. Tell them that you're looking for sheets of 5052-H32 aluminum in .032" thickness. See what size sheets they can get you. My "local" place, 75min drive, was able to get me 4'x10' sheets of the metal for about $55-60 each, there's a oversupply of aluminum nationally now, so it may be on the lower end, but who knows with local variation. A place in NJ by my brothers wanted $110/sheet, I just about laughed out loud at the guy. This way you'll get an idea of cost.
Also ask them if they have a shear that they can shear the pieces for you. If you can use this method you can get really nice clean straight edges for the majority of the pieces. For cuts you'll need to do I've used both hand electric shears I got at harbor freight for $40 and a jig saw with a high tooth count metal blade. I think the jig saw actually works better.
Bunch I wrote below, but look into it and see what you decide, I've got lots more to describe how to do it. If you've got some work space where you can set up a little cutting and painting operation, and you're simply replacing the skins as they were, but with new metal, you'd be surprised at how quickly you could accomplish this. I set up a few saw horses with a sheet of plywood on top for a work table. Then would lean pieces against the side and on top for priming.
Just to give you an idea, on the curved ends you have the 4 corner pieces (lower and middle each side) and the center piece that goes below the window. I cut those in about 4 hours. Hardest part was carrying them 200 feet one way from garage to trailer for fitting and back to trim any that needed to be done. After I have several pieces cut and fitted successfully, I lay them on the table and sand the side that will be inside with 60 grit sandpaper using an orbital sander, takes a few minutes each. Then I'll wipe them down with solvent a few times to get any oil and dirt off them from manufacturing and handling. Then I lay out some cheap plastic drop cloth and lean big pieces against the table, and smaller pieces on top and spray prime them with self etching primer, giving them 3 coats, with 2-3 minutes between coats, by the time you get them all one coat it's time to start on the next coat. Doesn't take long and I'm surprised at how good the coverage I get from the primer is. Then let them dry over night.
Keep in mind that taking the skins off may open up another can of worms, like, while I'm at it maybe I should replace the insulation, or rewire the trailer, or go around sealing everything I can now see. Mine started with this planned so it has been done in conjunction with extensive rewiring, reinsulating, extensive sealing, new bolts, and lots of other things.
If you look at the interior skins you'll see that there are basically 4 levels between the end curved sections and there are 2 levels in the end curves. For the middle portion of the trailer there is a center middle strip; back to the sides you'll see there is a lower, middle, and upper level of skins, based on your length the middle section total length is probably about 11.5 feet long but except for the upper sections in the middle the lower pieces are generally in shorter pieces. With strategic planning you'll be able to get the pieces sheered in about the exact height and length you'll need to start with and minimize waste.
Ok enough for now, I can provide more help if you decide to go this route.