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gdanderson 10-17-2014 01:26 PM

Anatomy of a Dent Removal
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Recently purchased a 1967 22-ft. Safari. Our 47 year old trailer had no dents or scratches of any substance.....Until I backed into something hanging down from my shop ceiling. I put a 1-ft dia. by 2" deep dent in a left upper panel. The dent was in a single panel. The dent haveing what I would call "creases" in three areas. First off I beat myself up for being so foolish to hit something I new was there. Secondly I had to decide how I was going to go about fixing it. This trailer is my new baby, it had to be put right. My first inclination was to go grab the toilet plunger and give it a mighty pull. I thought, slow down here and think about this. From what I have read a new/used panel could be found. However, that would push my skill to the max. Next I called a dent removal specialist. Called the national franchise and explained what I had and they didn't want any thing to do with it. It was my perception that they didn't want anything out of there comfort zone. I found a independent dent removal business called Zing-A Ding. (Paintless Dent Repair) Matt was willing to take the project on. He came by a few days later with all his specialized tools ready to go to work. I had setup two ladders with planks between to work off of. Matt attached his 4" dia. suction cup device and gave the dent the old heave ho. It popped right out. Located on the edge of the dent was one of the three running light. Removed the running light to see if it afforded access to the dent area through a hole in the aluminum skin. There was just the two rivet holes along with a hole the same size as the power wire. So I drilled a 5/8" dia. hole in the skin located under the running light. This allowed Matt access to the dent from the inside. He worked the creases out through the 5/8" hole. Now, the repair is not perfect, but it is something I can live with. A 1.5" dent remains at the actual impact site. The aluminum has be stretched at that location and will never go back into place using the tools available to Matt. My conclusion is it is very possible to remove dents in you airstream by a skilled dent removal person/company. However, I would think it would be quite difficult to remove dents that have been severely creased.

Greg Anderson

thumbelinadj 12-14-2014 11:26 PM


StevieB 12-15-2014 05:04 AM

The Dent removal expert should have been using personal fall protection while working at that height. Did he inspect his tools prior to commencing work? Did he utilize a GFI at the plug? PPE should have consisted of a hardhat and safety glasses. This would have all been realized if you would have preformed a Pre-Task Plan.
Actually, if you would have preformed a Pre-Task Plan prior to workshop entry, all of this could have been avoided as this is the true root cause.
Greg, fantastic!!! I tried to get my local dent repair person out here to attempt this, but it was out of his comfort zone too.
Enjoy your day!

kevin242 12-15-2014 07:52 AM

We had a similar experience!

Your repair turned out not too bad!

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