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Old 05-04-2004, 09:55 PM   #1
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help on dented area

can anyone tell me more about these areas and how hard they'll be to fix?
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Old 05-04-2004, 11:36 PM   #2
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Those dents at the back don't look too bad and will be easy to burnish out when you have interior stripped out.The dent at the front are in the belly pan which you will remove if you replace the floor.It looks like formed aluminum in that area which is different from my '61.On the later models they called them banana wraps.
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Old 05-05-2004, 09:10 AM   #3
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There are some threads in the archives on dent removal. The ones in the shell should work out rather well. The key is to start from the outside and work around and around the dent, working towards the center, pressing gently with a tool that will leave no marks. I found that the head of a rubber mallet to be just right.

Never, ever, not ever strike the aluminum with a tool of any kind. Use only pressure and patience.

You may not get it perfect, but if you then polish the exterior it will be very hard to spot where they were.

Good luck,

Mark
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Old 05-05-2004, 09:20 AM   #4
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Pinkflamingoes.

Stretched aluminum cannot be made to shrink by any process.

The window sheet does not look that bad, but the only way it can be removed is either install a splice or replace the entire window sheet.

The banan wraps are no longer available in metal. We had some made from fiberglass, which is far more resistant to the small rock dings and dents.

It looks like your entrance door may be sprung.

It also looks like your axles have seen better days. You can easily check them out yourself. Go to inlandrv.com Click on articles and then click on the "Dura-torque axle."

Andy
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Old 05-05-2004, 10:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
Pinkflamingoes.

Stretched aluminum cannot be made to shrink by any process.

Andy
Not true. But this is not a DIY project, even for a competent do-it-yourselfer. Shrinking hardened aluminum sheet requires precise work with a torch, hammer and dollies. Not a job for the local bodyshop.
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Old 05-05-2004, 11:25 AM   #6
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The dents in the front by the hitch can be beat out with patience. You will have to remove the bellypan though. It is even easier if that section of the floor has to be removed. I have done it and you can't tell.

It is now ready for new dents.
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Old 05-05-2004, 11:37 AM   #7
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thanks all. Filing this all away.

I'm assuming the priority list on rehabbing a trailer is: wheels/tires/axles (to make it safe to tow to where it's going to be rehabbed), tear out all, fix structural, systems and wiring, and shell problems, then do the interior remodel. It'll be a long time before I can pick out curtains, but I can plan, right?

I'm not too worried about the dents, since they are cosmetic problems right now (right?). Just nice to have some links and posts saved for future reference, and to get an idea of what we're in for in the long run.

The floor is damaged in two visible places, by the entrance, and around the refrigerator. We may or may not have to replace the floor, maybe just cut out and replace parts. One can always hope!
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Old 05-05-2004, 11:37 AM   #8
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Andy, do "sprung" doors need replacing, or just fixing? My husband uses that term for our home refrigerator door. I have never understood what it really means.
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Old 05-05-2004, 07:30 PM   #9
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Ingrid.

A "sprung" door is almost the same as how some people get, sometimes.

That phrase I am sure you heard before, and it's "bent out of shape."

Your door has a cast metal frame, that has become "bent" probably by flying open when in transit, or flying out of someones hand when a gust of wind came by as they were opening the door, and then slammed against the side of the trailer. You can confirm that if you look for a dent in the side metal in the area that the door holdback is at.

Unfortunately, a cast frame cannot be "sprung back" into shape.

Assuming the frame is not cracked, it will have to be cut in the right place and rewelding to it's original shape. This means taking all the metal off before you start the process.

Usually not a job for a DIY.

The bent door frame will allow water to come in around the door. That may be the reason some of the floor is bad, at the door.

Andy

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Old 05-06-2004, 11:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
Ingrid.

A "sprung" door is almost the same as how some people get, sometimes.

That phrase I am sure you heard before, and it's "bent out of shape."


I see...so when my husband comes home late without calling, I get SPRUNG! I like that.

The door frame problem is probably fixable by a metal fab shop in our city, it sounds like. Here is another picture of the frame (I believe it's what you mean, you mean the frame on the trailer, not the edge around the actual door?) and it looks like part of the frame is missing anyway.

Thank you for all of your help. By the way the owner of my trailer says the axles seem OK and he's going to send me some pictures. We will, however, be stopping in for a visit at your place of business eventually...it's a bit of a tow south of us, (we're up in the SF Bay Area) but I'm dreaming of a Baja trip as a maiden voyage. We'll take a side trip.
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Old 05-06-2004, 07:09 PM   #11
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Although that piece requires attention it is not the sprung door.Andy meant the door itself and the frames inside the door itself that give it it's shape.
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Old 05-06-2004, 07:13 PM   #12
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OK. Still seems that the problems that are coming up about this trailer are small, shell-wise, and it's in OK shape overall.

thanks!
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Old 05-13-2004, 01:05 PM   #13
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In viewing your dent damages, I don't think my comments will apply to you. However, with that said, yesterday I had a shallow dent which was about the size of a man's head removed from one of the curved end panels on my trailer.

My airstream dealer happens to also own a new car dealership that uses paintless dent repair people on a frequent basis to remove dents from used car trade-ins on their lot prior to reselling them. I had taken the trailer in to have a few minor repairs made and asked them to give me an estimate on the cost of replacing the panel. They called me back and asked if I might be interested in allowing their paintless dent repairman to try his hand at removing this dent with his glue on suction cup technique. If successfull, they said the cost would be about 1/20th of what it would be to replace the panel. Also, if successful, removing the dent would allow use of the same panel therefore negating the fact that a replacement panel wouldn't match the other panels and the fact that a replacement panel might leak. I agreed to allow them to try this technique and they were successful. There is now simply no way that you can tell there was ever a dent in that panel. As I said earlier, my dent was shallow and there were no creases to the metal. This probably wouldn't work as well where the dents are deep or where the metal was significantly strethed as looks to be the case with your unit.

Andy, what do you think? Will the dent stay out? It sure looks good right now. By the way, Andy, this is a unit that you repaired many years ago for the previous owner following the Bismark hail disaster. You and your employees do outstanding work! I've seen pictures.
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Old 05-13-2004, 07:10 PM   #14
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Thank you...this is all getting stored away for when we finally tow our baby home.

...I can't help but wonder...was the man's head-sized dent made by a man's head? If so, is it an interesting story worth repeating?

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Old 05-14-2004, 10:12 AM   #15
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No, the head szed dent was made at a SOB repair facility back in February. One of the "repairmen" crawled up on my trailer off a ladder. To this day, I am not exactly sure why he felt he needed to get up on the unit. He initially was on his knees. As he attempted to get to his feet "oops", the pressure of his foot on the unsupported end piece caused a dent to appear where there was no dent before in one of the curved end pieces. I happened to be present when this occurred and just happened to have taken pictures of this formerly dent free area only days before taking it in to this facility. Otherwise, his denial that he had dented the trailer would have probably stood up. As it was, the faqcility's insurance covered the damage.
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Old 05-14-2004, 01:09 PM   #16
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I can't believe he denied it! Oh well I thought it might be an interesting story...but it was just a pain in the neck for you and I hope I never end up doing business with that shop.

I'm glad it got fixed.
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Old 05-18-2004, 09:07 AM   #17
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help making the biggest dent smaller

ok all, when i bought this A/S it has this dent the deal was good so i thought i could live with it. after the first year camping with it i am so tired of hearing, did that happen on take off or landing, or watching people grab there kids and go inside their SOB while i park because i must hit things while i backup. Last night we retrieved our A/S from my dad's house and this morning i decided to take on this dent. i know that it will not come out but i want to minimize it. at the point of these pictures i have already pushed 1/3 of it out this is where i have run into the snag. there is the plastic shell from the bathroom in my way. can i safely cut a large hole in this plastic to gain access to this dent? see attached pics
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Old 05-18-2004, 09:28 AM   #18
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Firefighter,

GStephens was successful because his dent had no creases. Yours has almost nothing but creases.

As Andy noted, you cannot (at least not without equipment and much, much experience) shrink aluminum once it is stretched - and boy is your's stretched. The only road to anything like success is to restore the original shape without any more stretching. This means hours and hours of patient work, pushing gently from behind around and around the outside of the dents (you have mulitiple dents in a single area - each has to be worked out individually), with a tool that will leave no marks. In your case I would estimate the time at something on the order of 30 - 50 hours. Somebody highly skilled and experience could cut that in 1/3.

Once this is done, you will have a pattern of marks from the creases. These can be rendered less noticable by polishing.

Cutting holes in irreplaceable plastic interior panels does not sound like the path to happiness. You can remove the panels, but I think in your case it will necessitate the removal of virtually the entire bathroom.

My first choice would be a new panel (panels? Are two involved?). So would my second and third choice. I think the '76 unit at Colaw's RV salvage is good on that side. Failing that, I think I'd start disassembling the bath.

Good luck,

Mark
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Old 05-18-2004, 09:33 AM   #19
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cutting hole

the plastic panel that is shown in the picture can not been seen, i removed the large cabinet that hides all of this before taking the pictures. i just wanted to make sure that structurally it shouldn't hurt anything. i know that this dent will never come out perfect without panel replacement, i just want to make it better like i said tired of the attention. PO said that a small tin shed blew into it in a wind storm. wonder how long it took him to come up with that one, looks like a tree to me.
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Old 05-18-2004, 09:34 AM   #20
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Ditto Mark's post, there is way too much damage to repair. The 1/3 you removed is easy, the creases will be nearly impossible. The lower panel looks like it will pop out once the top and trim is removed, but there is no sense in compounding the work by having to repair interior plastic.

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