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Old 04-10-2015, 08:21 AM   #1
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1967 17' Caravel
, Oklahoma
Join Date: Jul 2014
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Overlay or replace the fiberglass endcap?

I have a 1967 Caravel that has fiberglass end caps at both ends. The front cap has a formed opening for where the upper cabinet used to be, but it is badly sprung - warped and pushed down from the weight of the cabinet. I would like to cut out the warped portion and put a birch skin overlay to cover the entire endcap. That fiberglass endcap is pretty heavy - and I assume a necessary structural piece. Will it be too thick to rivet with the fiberglass and the birch veneer? Can I just use the birch veneer without the fiberglass endcap? I worry that the wood alone wouldn't be enough structural support and wouldn't wear well without something more solid beneath it. I've also thought about having the fiberglass repaired into a smooth endcap without the cabinet opening and just painting it. Your thoughts? Thanks!
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Old 04-10-2015, 08:46 AM   #2
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1972 27' Overlander
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The good news is the end cap is not a structural element. Modify your trailer any way you want, that's the beauty of Airstream! However be careful how much weight you attach to it.


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Old 04-10-2015, 01:57 PM   #3
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i just noticed that there are no supports under the end cap - it only was rivited at the front edge and bottom and around the window -so, I will need to install something to attach the wood to if I don't reinstall the fiberglass piece. Any recommendations for that? I'm glad to know it isn't structural - since I have the interior skins off I've been afraid to pull it even to get estimates for work!
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Old 04-10-2015, 03:47 PM   #4
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1957 22' Caravanner
Port Hadlock , Washington
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I used 1/8" Baltic Birch on my fiberglass endcap. There are pics in my thread linked below.

Cheers,
steve
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:01 PM   #5
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steve - I don't see a link and I would love to see your pictures!
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Old 04-10-2015, 11:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmeans View Post
steve - I don't see a link and I would love to see your pictures!
Starts about post 170 in the forum thread at the bottom of this post.
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Old 04-11-2015, 12:50 PM   #7
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Wow, compound curves are always a favorite subject of mine! I was able to keep the end caps on mine, but have thought about what I would have done, at idle moments...

First off, cutting the sections requires long curves, but I guess you have realized that. I would think about cutting out the majority of the endcap, leaving just a frame around the edge. With the frame mounted on the trailer, rough cut every other section. Attach these with Clecos, and use a big flexible ruler to lay out the lines. Take these down and cut them out. Repeat the process with the others, and use the sections that you cut out to mark the next batch.

I would use butt joints, and then put on a narrow trim strip between the sections. Your choice as to materials, as you can use a thin (1/8") bendy ply, and veneer on something very nice. I would be tempted to do some wild, but then that's me. I saw a pic of a Timeless trailer that used a hickory veneer, very patterned, that looked awesome!

Or go with hammered copper, or Lagoon Alabaster veneer like I did, for my table and end shelves... with wenge and aspen strips on the edges.
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Old 04-11-2015, 03:03 PM   #8
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Beautiful - I especially like your table. Thanks for the suggestions - I'm feeling a little overwhelmed at the moment. So many decisions!
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