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Old 07-17-2018, 03:48 PM   #1
4 Rivet Member
1995 30' Excella
Harper Woods , Michigan
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 316
Partial lower Interior Skin removal for floor repair


In the course of replacing the floor in the rear of my 95 Excella, I was unable to find and remove all of the rivets holding the streetside curved interior skin in place. So I cut the panel at 15" above the floor to expose the channel. After replacing the floor, I repaired the panel. Here's how it was done

Before cutting the panel, I made a reinforcement batten from a 4ft length of 1-1/2" x 1/16" aluminum (bought at Lowes), and pressed it in place against the curved panel at 15" off the floor. Then I traced lines on either side of the batten with a marker, and then cut the panel approximately between the lines with a jigsaw (I could have a little straighter!). Unfortunately I lost the picture, but you can see the lines in the final picture.

After the floor was done, I placed the batten behind the in-situ portion of the panel and ribs, and clamped it in place with a small needlenose visegrip so as to drill and rivet it in place. After it was fully attached, then I repositioned the removed panel section and drilled and riveted it in place. After replacing the mouse fur, the cut line is not visible. If it were visible, it would be hidden by the bed or a strategically placed strip of trim.
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Old 08-25-2018, 10:27 AM   #2
4 Rivet Member
1995 30' Excella
Harper Woods , Michigan
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 316
more explanation

Hello, when I removed the front couch and carpet, I found substantial floor rot. After the likely site of the leak was determined, I opened the floor and placed the blue paper towels to further localize the leak. Since complete removal of the interior skins in the front seemed extensive and complicated, I decided to remove only the lower 16" of interior skin in that corner.

Materials & Tools:

1.5" x 8' x 1/8" Aluminum strip (a batten)
tape measure
utility knife
Drill w 1/8" bit & screws
1/2" wood chisel & mallet
Fein Multi-Master oscillating tool with a Bosch fine-tooth wood/metal 270 degree blade.
small longnose Visegrips
rivets & riveter.


1. Start by forming and screwing the aluminum batten strip to the wall curvature, and then following the top edge, cut the mouse fur with the utility knife and peel it away.

2. Trace a Sharpie line 3/4" below the mouse fur cut line

3. Chop off the rivet heads with chisel & mallet, and/or drill them out.

4. Use the Fein oscillating tool to cut the aluminum skin, starting between the wall ribs. The best technique is to angle the body of the tool close to the wall such that the fingers are almost touching and then steadily push the tool forward. The tool should be controlled so the depth of cut is only 1/8"-1/4". With the other gloved hand, draw the freed skin away to give clearance to the blade and to avoid cutting the fiberglass insulation and structural ribs. You should end up with a thin cut line that is not much wider than the blade's thickness.

After the floor repair is done, as shown above, the aluminum batten strip will be fitted and riveted behind the in situ skin and ribs, and then the excised skin section replaced and riveted to the batten, ribs, and lower channel. A molding or chair rail will disguise the cut in the mouse fur.
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Old 09-23-2018, 02:13 PM   #3
4 Rivet Member
1995 30' Excella
Harper Woods , Michigan
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 316
In the previous posting, I fitted the aluminum batten to the wall and cut the opening to access the channel and locate the approximate place of the water leak. Well, it turned out there were several, from a 'professional' repair job using Olympic rivets. Now that the leaks are stopped, I placed a borate-treated plywood patch using Teks coated self-tapping bolt-screws through the channel & plywood. Now I'm replacing the skin.

1. I cut the aluminum batten to length to fit around the curve up to the ribs, and then I clamped it place with locking pliers and then riveted it to the intact skin.

2. Then I replaced the cutout section of the skin (~6' long), aligned it to the original position, and then riveted it. You can see that the edges are aligned and there is no buckling of the skin.

3. Now I'm ready to glue the mouse fur back on after cleaning it. Pleasebnote that the cutline of the mouse fur is above the cutline of the skin so that it overlaps. This helps to disguise the repair.
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