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Old 04-11-2024, 11:26 AM   #1
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2015 30' International
FREDERICK , Maryland
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 548
Paintless Dent Repair on units older than 5 years

Our trailer suffered hail damage again and Jackson Center is recommending for 8 panels to be replaced again. I would like to look into PDR (as many suggest). The service department at Jackson Center (and the Airstream website) recommend against "glue tab" PDR on any unit older than 5 years. This seems to be the most prevalent type of PDR performed. They state that there is a good chance that the clear coat on the Aluminum can be pulled up and/or damaged during this process, which is why they recommend panel replacement rather than PDR. Our trailer is a 2015, and therefore beyond that 5 year old age.

Has anyone heard of this caution / recommendation?

Is there any validity to this recommendation? I have not seen this recommendation for cars and trucks?

Has anyone had PDR performed on their trailer that is older than 5 years? I am not talking about the vintage trailers before clear coating.

We had 9 panels plus the roof just replaced at Airstream Service Center just 2 weeks prior to the hailstorm in Jackson Center and now it is more heavily damaged than before, as were just able to pick it up last week. They were great, addressing one small leak the next morning before we left and replaced the heavily dented refrigerator vent as well. We are just trying to avoid another large claim with State Farm insurance.

Thanks in advance for your experiences and thoughts with this matter.
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Old 04-11-2024, 12:15 PM   #2
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Simple ….. Test the method on a roof or upper panel in an out-of-view area…

Generally, I’m told aluminum does not respond to PDR as well as steel. The aluminum being softer and holding less “memory” for it’s usual shape.
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Old 04-11-2024, 09:11 PM   #3
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How are the panels more then 5 years old if they were just replaced?
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Old 04-12-2024, 06:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wazbro View Post
How are the panels more then 5 years old if they were just replaced?
They are not all the same panels that were damaged.
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Old 04-12-2024, 07:22 AM   #5
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I have experienced, both the limited success of glue pad pdr as well as the glue pulling up the clear coat. I had not heard of the five year recommendation before, but mine was older than that when I tried the process. I assumed that the pulling of the clear coat was due to the glue temp, but that was a guess.
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Old 04-12-2024, 10:54 AM   #6
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I would check with a body shop & get a quote for painting --- if needed for new " clear quote " .
Then the question would be - who is going to pay , you or insurance .
Then what is insurance willing to pay for ???
If your paying , which is cheaper / and or best quality for the money ?
Probubly other issues - but those would be up to you , if any ?
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Old 04-12-2024, 12:00 PM   #7
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If the factory recommends not doing it on a unit more than 5 years old, I would assume that there is a reason that they have encountered. Like the plastic coating pulling off. Believe me, you don't want that! Paint sticking to steel is not the same as plasticoat sticking to aluminum.
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Old 04-12-2024, 01:00 PM   #8
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Sacramento , California
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Check with Vinnie’s North Bay Airstream my understanding is they have developed a method to pull dents on most Airstreams. My 2014 is in the shop now for such repairs.
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Old 04-12-2024, 06:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmartinez View Post
Check with Vinnie’s North Bay Airstream my understanding is they have developed a method to pull dents on most Airstreams. My 2014 is in the shop now for such repairs.
I would love to go there, but I live in Maryland. I have tried reaching out to Vinnie's in Florida (https://www.masterappliedcoatings.com/) 3 times over the last week or so, but have yet to get a response. Let me know how it goes - before and after pics would be appreciated.
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Old 04-12-2024, 07:31 PM   #10
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Highland , California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Foster View Post
Our trailer suffered hail damage again and Jackson Center is recommending for 8 panels to be replaced again. I would like to look into PDR (as many suggest). The service department at Jackson Center (and the Airstream website) recommend against "glue tab" PDR on any unit older than 5 years. This seems to be the most prevalent type of PDR performed. They state that there is a good chance that the clear coat on the Aluminum can be pulled up and/or damaged during this process, which is why they recommend panel replacement rather than PDR. Our trailer is a 2015, and therefore beyond that 5 year old age.

Has anyone heard of this caution / recommendation?

Is there any validity to this recommendation? I have not seen this recommendation for cars and trucks?

Has anyone had PDR performed on their trailer that is older than 5 years? I am not talking about the vintage trailers before clear coating.

We had 9 panels plus the roof just replaced at Airstream Service Center just 2 weeks prior to the hailstorm in Jackson Center and now it is more heavily damaged than before, as were just able to pick it up last week. They were great, addressing one small leak the next morning before we left and replaced the heavily dented refrigerator vent as well. We are just trying to avoid another large claim with State Farm insurance.

Thanks in advance for your experiences and thoughts with this matter.
I had a dealer crease the crown with a ladder above the stove vent on a 2 year old FC coach. They used a heat dent removal tool. Don’t remember the name of the process. But was successful. Six years later you cannot see where it was repaired. So … some processes do work well.
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Old 04-17-2024, 09:14 AM   #11
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I've had PDR done on both my Airstream (careless worker leaned a ladder on two corners) and on my aluminum body Ford F250 (Ford dealer crashed the truck when it was in for service). It was very successful in both cases. I posted photos of the PDR on my Airstream on this forum previously.
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Old 04-17-2024, 02:36 PM   #12
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I've experienced excellent results with PDR. I had 2 large creases pulled out as well as smaller dings. All using the glue tabs. The guy told me that the glue tabs he uses are about $5-10 a piece depending on which one he used. He used quite a few of them to get the dents out. But it took him well over an hour. He came and did a test pull before he committed to it. I was elated with the results.
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Old 04-18-2024, 09:56 PM   #13
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Just infinity- I am also looking for a good pdr man. I have 3 dents in the rear corner of our 66 Airstream from a downed tree after a storm. I have heard that working on steel isn’t like working on aluminum. So the pdr person we need needs to be experienced with repairing dents in aluminum. Since Ford has the aluminum truck this may be the best option to find a good pdr person with aluminum experience.

Gator.bigfoot- Would you mind providing the name of the person that did your repair work? Driving to Ontario just might be the best option.

Thanks, Dan
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Old 04-19-2024, 01:17 AM   #14
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Just got my dent repaired on 10 year old Airstream trailer
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Old 04-19-2024, 07:19 AM   #15
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I had several dents in my 2016 Classic from walnuts dropping from a tree overhead. I watched several YouTube videos of people using the Eastwood Paintless Dent Removal Kit on Airstreams. I ordered one from the Eastwood web site and found it to be very easy to learn and use. The dents came out perfectly. You need for the surface to be very warm, so doing it in the sun is best. The kit comes with a hot glue gun and glue, a slide hammer, and a hand grip puller device which is preferable. If the dent is not pulled perfectly, then I found that after several weeks in the sun the original memory returned and I could not tell where the dents were. If you have a very large dent, don’t start in the middle, but rather work around the edges in small increments. If there is any crease, it can’t be removed by hot glue pulling. I had no damage whatsoever to the clear coat, even after a couple years of observation. Airstream dealers sell spray cans of clear coat. If you use it, spray from a distance and keep it moving; hesitation in one spot will result in a run. Multiple coats of light fine spray will prevent runs. Check out the Eastwood web site for the product descriptions and instructional videos. It’s easy and fun.
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