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Old 07-15-2004, 10:56 PM   #1
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1958 26' Overlander
Mesa , Arizona
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Opinion Needed on these dents

Hi All,
Airstream newbie, here.

I need some advice quick. Check out these dents. Any idea how much to repair professionally? Can I do it myself and still look good? I'm buying this trailer this weekend for $3,000 so let me know if it's worth it.

Thanks in advance.

1958 Overlander
2011 Wolf Creek 850N TC
2011 Ford F-250 Crewcab (6.2L), 3.73RE

WBCCI #5661/AIR #5661/TAC # AZ-6
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Old 07-15-2004, 10:58 PM   #2
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Here's a closeup.

Here's a closeup of the Left Rear dent.

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Old 07-16-2004, 12:07 AM   #3
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1959 24' Tradewind
Phoenix , Arizona
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mello mike,
Do you have access to the backside of the dented panels? This is the only way I see of doing it yourself. Neither of these appear structural and are more than likely only cosmetic blemishes.

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Old 07-16-2004, 03:28 AM   #4
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Hey mello mike...
The skin on the TT can easily be manipulated from the exterior with a dent remover, or from the inside just using you hand. (Wear gloves for there will be some sharp edges on the inside). You should be able to gain access to the lower part of the dented area through the tail light assemblies, however, there appears to be more than one panel involved. An upper panel, lower panel, the exterior wrap and possibly a piece of chanel, making this area much stronger and harder to straighten. You will notice the horizontal rivit line that runs the perimeter of the TT..this is where there probably is a chanel tying the panels together giving sidewall strength to the shell.

I had similar dents on my Safari but they were confined to the lower panels only. Good luck!

You never know what you can do
until you try to undo what you did.
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Old 07-16-2004, 06:45 AM   #5
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Unless you are intending to do it yourself, the cost to repair these dents will likely be more than you are paying for the trailer, perhaps much more. I had a shallow dent in one of the upper curved corner panels above the dented panels on your trailer. I was able to get that dent removed by a paintless dent repairman for $100 and you simply cannot tell it was ever there. He used a glue-on dent puller. However, if he had not been able to pull the dent (which again was shallow and didn't involve any of the support channel such as with your situation), replacement of the one panel with labor was estimated at $1586.00. In your case you have multiple panels.

One option is always to just purchase the trailer and plan on using it with the dents as they are. I know you'd like to have them repaired, but in thruth they don't seem to detract all that much from this trailer and unless leaking, wouldn't be something that just has to be done. Another consideration, is the fact that anytime you replace or otherwise disturb the body panels on an Airstream, one always has the possibility that a leak may begin which sometimes can be difficult to rectify.
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Old 07-16-2004, 10:37 AM   #6
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I think that dent may be a little tough to fix unless you get behind it. Then you need to SLOWLY work the dent out - a little at a time working from the outside in - aluminum stretches easily, so you want to be careful not to stretch it anymore if possible. It is very doable if you work slowly. The other alternative is to remove that sheet and replace.

If everything else is in great condition $3,000 is a steal - gives you plenty of room to deal with the dent

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Old 07-16-2004, 11:32 AM   #7
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Looks to me like a big job. Segment replacement time, if you want it right.
You can try and take out your entire bath or bedroom, then the inner cap, to access the rear of this and end up with crinkled, although less dented panels.
It all depends on how nice you want it. Plus you will need finishing parts, like rubrail etc.
If you do this yourself, it's about 2-3 days solid work, plus new metal segments, plus all the stuff that breaks, plus the stuff you discover while taking stuff apart.
If you want a nice camper for $3k, and don't care about the dents, great.
If you want this fixed, than I'd pass on this one.
It also largely depends on the condition of the rest of the trailer.
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Old 07-16-2004, 10:34 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone for your thoughts on the matter. I really appreciate it. I'm going to go for it. I plan on gutting the interior which is in decent shape. I think I'll try to get these dents out myself.
1958 Overlander
2011 Wolf Creek 850N TC
2011 Ford F-250 Crewcab (6.2L), 3.73RE

WBCCI #5661/AIR #5661/TAC # AZ-6
4CU 1st VP

My '58 Overlander Restoration and Travel Blog:
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Old 07-17-2004, 01:04 AM   #9
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I really can't tell if it might be possible from the photo, but you might try removing the light assembly and try pulling it out that way.
Just adding my 2¢ worth

John G
1975 31ft Sovereign International
........Rear Bath Double Bed Model
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