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Old 10-16-2006, 08:31 AM   #1
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1994 30' Excella
alexandria , Kentucky
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Aluminum panel cost

I was looking at this trailer over the weekend as a possible purchase. It has two very big dents. Can you still purchase these panels? From whom and a general idea of what they may cost. This will be a DIY project.

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Old 10-16-2006, 08:54 AM   #2
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No they are only avail in plastic, if you search you will find pic's of someone taking two pieces of wood cust to the curve of those parts and tapping them out.

Cost= $0
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Old 10-16-2006, 09:00 AM   #3
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that would be me, here

othes have chimned in and said that using lead shot bags or some such autobody tool would allow for even smoother results. I was in a hurry and justified my shoddy work on the fact that the banana skins are doomed to be dinged now and then.

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Old 10-16-2006, 09:12 AM   #4
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1997 34' Limited
1963 22' Safari
Troy , Michigan
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You are asking more than one question, The panals are available, formed panals with compound curves must be ordered thru a dealer and cost approx $500 each, flat panals on the sides can be ordered from an aluminum supplier. The panals on the bottom rolled into the bottom plate and covering the frame may only be available in plastic for the corners but straight sections are plain aluminum. Look in the ribs and skins section of the forum some repairs are very extensive and list the tools and methods used by DIY.
Good Luck!
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Old 10-16-2006, 09:23 AM   #5
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1972 29' Ambassador
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On the street side rear dent, I've been told only the upper panel is compound formed, the lower one is a simple bend in Alclad .032 sheet stock. RV salvage yards may be able to supply you with one compound panel but the the hassles of re-fitting the used panel would probably be costlier than outright purchase of the formed panel...
The days are short and the night is long and the stars go tumbling by.. . ~Airstream~
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Old 10-16-2006, 09:32 AM   #6
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The lower banana wrap dent isn't too bad in the first place. It could be gently hammered to a more regular contour if you end up disassembling. I did that on my Argosy and the result is quite good. I suspect rivet holes may need to be re-done. The belly skin may be corroded thin anyway, but doing a small belly skin patch will be out of sight if necessary.

The roadside rear corner is more severe. I've seen repair manuals for some years that have diagram of each component and panel number. Availability? If available it is very expensive -- any Airstream dealer could get that info for you. Might be tough for a DIY-er. Even worse is that this is a major disassembly and requires a fairly high level of experience -- but I think many would be able to manage this if they're handy in the first place. Aluminum stretches when it gets dented, so hammering this out is not an option.

A novel but workable approach is bondo bodywork and repainting the whole trailer. Can't lay my fingers on it but there have been some member photos -- a silver/aluminum painted Airstream is darned hard to distinguish from the original. I have seen member BigAl's Airstream that was painted due to some metal issues. He doesn't maintain anything in the photo section here but it looks good.

5 meter Langford Nahanni

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Old 10-16-2006, 10:39 AM   #7
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thank you for the quick replies.
As you can see from the finish on the trailer it is in poor condition. I figured that I would probably paint the trailer anyway. This thing needs a lot of work like axles (easily done), tires, a/c shroud, new cushions, curtains, shades, screens.... but it has good points of being close to home, good floorplan, no rear end seperation and kind of what I'm looking for. It is located at an Airstream dealer but I still think their price is way out of line. They have given me a line of bull that cleaned up it would be worth 10,000 to 12,000 dollars. I was ready to give up at that point. They would sell for $4000 - I walked away.
I have been studying the posts on this board for quite awhile - thanks everyone for you information.
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