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Old 04-27-2020, 05:30 PM   #1
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1973 31' Sovereign
Hammond , Louisiana
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A/c caving in roof/ rib repair

I just purchased a 73 sovereign. A branch landed on the roof where the a/c was and i am trying to make it function and look okay. Has anyone encountered this problem? Also where the awning was, i need to fill in the holes where it was riveted to the skin. Has anyone tried durafix aluminum welding rods to just patch small holes that arent a rib support?
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Old 04-27-2020, 05:48 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum!


Do you want to patch it, or fix it ok? Ok means new panels. There are plenty of experienced forum members who will be by with their suggestions.
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Old 04-27-2020, 05:57 PM   #3
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Im just trying to patch it, atleast for now
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Old 04-28-2020, 11:03 AM   #4
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Im just trying to patch it, atleast for now

Pictures would help. I'm not sure why no one has responded yet. Plenty of knowledgeable folks here. Just not me since I own an AS class b and not a trailer.
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Old 04-28-2020, 11:23 AM   #5
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To fix it, unscrew the a/c mounting screws, or drill out the rivets. Peel/pry the old a/c unit off the roof, and work the metal into some semblance of being straight. You will need to drill out the screw holes so rivets will fit in them, and lay a sheet of aluminum over the 14" square hole in the roof. Run a bead of Vulkem or Sikaflex around the perimeter of the patch area, lay the sheet of aluminum over it, drill and rivet into place. It's a good idea to dab a little sealant onto the part of the rivet you are going to put in the hole. That should keep the weather out. Repairing properly is another matter entirely, but this will keep the rain out for now.
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Old 04-28-2020, 12:07 PM   #6
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photos would help
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Old 04-28-2020, 02:36 PM   #7
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Sorry I thought I posted the pictures. I guess it didnít work on my phone. But here it is. The worst rib in the one in between the wheel wells and does not look hard to take off and bend out. Being itís not so long. But will the exterior metal on top always be so brittle feeling or will rib repair and pushing it out and patching the roof give it the strength it needs?
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Old 04-28-2020, 07:10 PM   #8
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Hard to tell from the photos, need more details. Here is a semi educated guess. If there are no creases in the roof metal it cam be pushed back out. A crease permanently stretches the metal. The ribs probably need to be replaced or at least reinforced. for the rivet holes from the awning how about installing new rivets,

What is your intention with this Airstream and how fat is your wallet?
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Old 04-29-2020, 12:55 PM   #9
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Hard to tell from the photos, need more details. Here is a semi educated guess. If there are no creases in the roof metal it cam be pushed back out. A crease permanently stretches the metal. The ribs probably need to be replaced or at least reinforced. for the rivet holes from the awning how about installing new rivets,

What is your intention with this Airstream and how fat is your wallet?
Wallet isn't very fat. I just want to bend and reinforce the roof. Maybe one day change the whole top piece of skin. What do you think the best way to reinforce would be? Considering i have ribs that are pushed about 2 inches in. Im working on trying to bend them out with a floorjack and a 2x4. It took alot out but its hard to get them back flush, they wont have the strength theyre supposed to. Would shimming it out in between the rib and the exterior skin be okay, or cause me to maybe problems when doing the interior..
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Old 04-29-2020, 02:36 PM   #10
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IMHO as far as structure the ribs are more important than the skin. If you are on a budget I would fashion some metal patches and rivet or bolt them over the rib, but I have never done it.


Do you know that year and model is subject to "rear end separation" and unless they have been changed probably the axles are shot?
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Old 04-29-2020, 03:29 PM   #11
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1973 31' Sovereign
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I plan on changing axles before it leaves the house again. It will be a while. But i towed it just how it is, 55 mph, an hour and a half. It went very smooth. i want to take the shell off so i can see everything. But i will try that on the roof. Its coming out good
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