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Old 08-11-2017, 08:45 PM   #1
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1968 17' Caravel
Marblehead , Hasslechusetts
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Dent Puller? Replace Panel?

Well, Gang, I finally did it! I whacked my 1968 Caravel into something that left a big dent in one of my front upper side panels. Fortunately the damage was confined to one panel and although it looks terrible I am hoping that the dent can be pulled out and it won't leave you bad a scar.

I am assuming that replacement panels are unobtanium but perhaps I am wrong. I have attached a photo that shows the damage. Any help, advice or information will be greatly appreciated.

Kinda bummed out right about now.......

Cheers!

Michael
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Old 08-11-2017, 09:11 PM   #2
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1977 31' Sovereign
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Sunset Valley , Texas
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Oof Michael, what a bummer.

No matter what you do, that's going to show unless you have it replaced.
It can be replaced, but I'm sure it'll be mighty spendy.
Next best option is to remove whatever is behind that on the inside and judiciously bang, roll, pound it out with some sort of sand filled backing.
Pulling it out will only get you so far I'm afraid. Best bet is to hit something on the other side to match it, so it looks, you know, like it was supposed to be there.

All kidding aside, I'm sorry this happened to you. Live and learn right?

Ian
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Old 08-11-2017, 09:43 PM   #3
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1981 31' Excella II
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Yes you can get a new panel from Airstream but it will be a different alloy. Slight chance you might find one used. There maybe different bends for different years. I think most of the 70's to present use the same panels but I am not 100% certain. I know they changed a lot of things in the 60's.

I would replace it. No way to get the creases out of that one.

Perry
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Old 08-12-2017, 09:16 AM   #4
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1986 25' Sovereign
2008 F350, 6.4L diesel , Oak Harbor, WA
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Look for threads about English wheel on this forum. In using the English wheel method the panel would be removed, heat treated and then reinstalled. The English wheel method does remove crease without changing the size of the skin.

There is also a thread where a user pulled a vacuum on the dented panel and used that force to pull it out. With so many crease you would likely not be happy with this method or pounding out from the inside method.

There is no reason you couldn't do all three types of repairs if your were not satisfied with the previous method. The cost of the two I am suggesting would be much lower.
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:47 AM   #5
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First check and see if your area has a guy doing "paintless dent repair". It's intended for smaller dents, but I've seen beautiful results. He has the tools to massage the metal from inside and outside, sometimes using heat.
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Old 08-12-2017, 12:43 PM   #6
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Dent repair using load jacks

Dent repair using load jacks

Go down the page to the repair blog

http://www.airforums.com/forums/blog...ad-jacks-1457/
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Old 08-12-2017, 12:55 PM   #7
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Houston , Texas
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Check out "aluminum paintless dent repair" on YouTube. Miracles do occur.
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Old 08-12-2017, 02:07 PM   #8
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1977 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
1973 21' Globetrotter
1975 26' Argosy 26
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Ouch! Every A.S. Owners nightmare! I think you should plan on replacement. If you can keep it indoors you could remove it, and try to salvage it first. Bad as that looks I don't think it would, could be worth it.
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Old 08-12-2017, 03:06 PM   #9
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
Livingston , Texas
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Can Am has an excellent contact for dent repairs - we were very satisfied. Yours looks pretty serious but it wouldn't hurt to check it out.
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Old 08-12-2017, 03:24 PM   #10
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I HAVE this one!!

I did that too! Mine was a bit more crater shaped but hey, what a doozy.

You CAN get some of it out with a dent puller and that hot glue stuff but Aluminum is not like Steel. It has no memory per se so it will not pop back. A single dented panel in the back is $1800 or so. You can get it done at a dealership if Airstream recommends them. I found a metal work specialist at a dealer in FL. Call them and ask for your area. You do not have to drive to Jackson Center.
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Old 08-12-2017, 07:35 PM   #11
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2000 34' Limited
1985 25' Sovereign
LaGrange Highlands , Illinois
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mistermike View Post
Well, Gang, I finally did it! I whacked my 1968 Caravel into something that left a big dent in one of my front upper side panels. Fortunately the damage was confined to one panel and although it looks terrible I am hoping that the dent can be pulled out and it won't leave you bad a scar.

I am assuming that replacement panels are unobtanium but perhaps I am wrong. I have attached a photo that shows the damage. Any help, advice or information will be greatly appreciated.

Kinda bummed out right about now.......

Cheers!

Michael
As a guy that has had dents done on my 2000 34' U will never pull that dent out and not see that it was not dented. If U want to save some cash take it to a good body shop and they can pull it out and then use body filler to trick it out like a dent in a car fender. Then have them paint it with a silver base coat close to UR aluminum and tell them to put a clear coat with the same sheen as the center panel and wala. If U dont tell, no one will know.
Trust me no one knows my trailer has the four panels in the rear painted until I tell them.
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Old 08-13-2017, 07:42 AM   #12
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1969 23' Safari
East Ryegate , Vermont
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P & S Trailer Service, Helena, Ohio

I'd call Steve or Kevin Ruth at P & S Trailer Service . They have donor Airstreams.. they replaced my three rear top panels
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Old 08-13-2017, 03:24 PM   #13
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1975 27' Overlander
Galena , Illinois
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Dents

There is no way this can be fixed without replacing the panel. $450 from Airstream but you have to go to Ohio to pick it up. Or $495 from Vintage Airstream plus shipping. $325 for installation. You also need a curved rivit setter to get the rivit holes to line up. $60 more. Hopefully you have a low deductible.
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Old 08-13-2017, 04:03 PM   #14
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1972 25' Tradewind
Calgary , Alberta
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Those prices sure make replacing the panel seem pretty reasonable IMO.

Good luck with the fix, that sucks for sure.
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Old 08-14-2017, 03:49 PM   #15
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1975 27' Overlander
Galena , Illinois
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Dents

I'm telling you guys, I had a 3 foot long 3 inches deep crease along the top 3 panels that a previous owner did. As I couldn't claim it on my insurance because I bought it up that way, I was looking for the cheapest way to get it done correctly. Airstream in Ohio refused to ship it to me. But they only wanted $400 for each one. I had to pay in advance on a credit card and in 4 weeks they e-mailed like could come and get them. Camping World installed them at $325 each panel. They made me pay $60 extra for the curved rivit hole liner upper that they had over nighted from AS. It looks great. However you can tell how much thinner the aluminum is on the new panels just by knocking on them. The old panels on this 1975 are more like hardened plates than panels. Any way the trip to Ohio was fun too. One panel is not that bad. Do it right, you'll have no regrets.
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Old 08-14-2017, 08:36 PM   #16
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1986 25' Sovereign
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I remember correctly (which I am likely off a little) the per panel cost is 6-8 hours depending on the panel. It doesn't show in the pictures but I think you have a window involved too, a bit more tricky.
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