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Old 09-29-2022, 03:09 PM   #1
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2013 25' FB Flying Cloud
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PDR and Patching

Greetings to all my fellow airstream enthusiast. I am a long-time reader and first time poster I would like to first start off by thanking everyone for their contributions that pave the way and make the road that much easier for those of us that follow. I hope that this post will be useful to someone as so many of your posts have been helpful to me.

While parking my 25 foot 2013 flying cloud there was a miscommunication between myself and my spotter. This resulted in an unintentional meeting of airstream and rain gutter. The result was not good in fact it was pretty bad. My first thought was wow that's a really strong rain gutter. As you can see in the picture this resulted in not only a huge dent but scratches and a 1.5 cm long puncture.

Now hopefully the part that can help others in or near the Los Angeles area. I called and sent pictures to more than a dozen PDR and body shops hoping to find find somebody to pull the dent. I also wanted somebody that would have experience working with aluminum trailers. That's when I happened on to Eric of SoCal Dent Works. He was the only one that had previous experience with Airstreams and was willing to attempt the repair. He showed up for his appointment assessed the damage and felt confident he could get dent out but of course remind me there was nothing he could do about the scratches and puncture. I agreed and he immediately went to work. A little over an hour later he was done. The result was amazing. The dent was gone. If it weren't for the scratches and puncture you would never know the altercation between airstream and gutter ever happened. Initially there was a brief moment where I thought I could tackle the dent pull myself. I'm glad that moment passed and I got a professional on it because he did a outstanding job.

My plan at the present is to live with the scratches and repair the puncture. The scratches don't bother me too much it's a good reminder not to do that again. Also they're like a battle scar without the cool backstory. I know if I wanted perfection I would take it to JC for panel replacement. I am just curious as to those who are reading this what you would do and what is your level of acceptance to imperfections on your airstream. Just curious.

Also how would you handle the small puncture. Currently I am trying to figure out what is the best approach to fixing the puncture. I've seen on the forums people using decorative patches to cover imperfections. Do any of you out there think I could get a patch with this compound curve to cover it and ensure that it's watertight. Or do you think this is another moment I should let pass and find a professional to do it- LOLClick image for larger version

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Old 09-29-2022, 10:48 PM   #2
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He did a great job on that dent. Perhaps a decal of some kind can cover the scratches and a decorative aluminum cutout for puncture?
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Old 09-29-2022, 11:17 PM   #3
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4RXLA That is a great idea. I found the thread titled "lets see your patches" They have some great ideas.
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Old 09-29-2022, 11:45 PM   #4
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Hi, maybe a little bit of Bondo to fill the hole and a nice decal to cover it up. I scraped the side of my trailer. Cleaned it up the best that I could, and covered it with an American flag decal.
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Old 09-30-2022, 12:37 AM   #5
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Outstanding metal work. All of our worst fears: hitting or hail dents on end caps ��
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Old 09-30-2022, 03:11 AM   #6
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Some folk do star patches on things like this

Eg
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Old 09-30-2022, 05:37 AM   #7
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Aluminum colored epoxy?

That looks small enough to make water tight without a patch. Any patch on a compound curve is going to take some fancy metal work. Someone skilled with epoxy could get it to take the shape of the panel, and I'd think it would just look like one more scratch in that area. If the color is spot on, you probably would see it less than the other scratches. Since you have the flap of metal under it there is something for the epoxy to bond to and not just fall through.
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Old 09-30-2022, 09:07 AM   #8
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Aluminum epoxy putty stick. If you don't like the result, you can still proceed with a patch.
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Old 09-30-2022, 12:06 PM   #9
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ROBERTSUNRUS Funny how great minds think alike I was web surfing for adhesive patches and stickers. As of yet no personality matches. Time will tell.
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Old 09-30-2022, 12:11 PM   #10
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TeddyK
I got really lucky finding Eric. Humm, I guess that makes up for the unwanted wrestling match with the rain gutter.
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Old 09-30-2022, 12:16 PM   #11
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Mullers
That's a awesome star. Did you already post that on the "show us your patches" thread? If not you should. Thanks for the idea. Do you have any before pic's of the boo boo behind it?
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Old 09-30-2022, 12:41 PM   #12
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I agree and I am going to give it a try. My initial thought was JB weld but then I looked into I more and found something called Lab Metal but that required baking to cure. That lead me to a product call Alum Bond. It has some very promising reviews by amazon users. Some have used it on transmission pans, rim repair, a guy claims he used it on a front cover of his diesel engine. The only thing is it hardens on the dark side. Can't have your cake and all that. Also, if the results are totally unsatisfactory. Refer to SYC2Vette --- patch it.
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Old 09-30-2022, 02:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishanpoi View Post
Mullers
That's a awesome star. Did you already post that on the "show us your patches" thread? If not you should. Thanks for the idea. Do you have any before pic's of the boo boo behind it?
It’s not my patch. But the place that has rebuilt our 1981 excella - pioneer vintage trailer in Ohio- had a few patches on another one they built. They looked great hence I went looking for an image.
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Old 09-30-2022, 09:27 PM   #14
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Parbond comes in aluminum color. It's kinda a metallic look. It would do a good job sealing that hole.

It looks out of stock in many places, though.
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Old 10-01-2022, 04:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRH View Post
Parbond comes in aluminum color. It's kinda a metallic look. It would do a good job sealing that hole.

It looks out of stock in many places, though.
I checked the website of the company making the Parbond, and it looks to be available only in the larger tubes for a caulking gun.

I've had luck with using a large syringe from a farm supply store to apply Parbond and other caulking before, and it's much easier for me to control than a large caulking gun. They make wide bore blunt tip needles for uses like this. I pull out the plunger and fill with the caulking gun, then reinsert the plunger.

Here's one from Amazon with a plastic tip which looks like it would be easy to use. Fill a couple of these and it could be easily carried in a tool box for use on the road.

https://www.amazon.com/LEOVIO-Syring...s%2C105&sr=8-5

These are cheap enough they could be considered disposable and would make that caulking gun tube go a long way.
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Old 10-05-2022, 12:35 PM   #16
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Scratches don't bother me! I just call them my East coast pin strips. I am from Oregon and hit a post on our trip to Florida. As you said, the spotters were not watching.
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Old 10-06-2022, 01:02 PM   #17
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I did some testing with the alum bond on old soda cans. I used a pocket knife and cut the can to simulated the puncture on my AS. The pictures attached show the different techniques I used to apply the epoxy. The first two times I just used a popsicle stick to slather it on. The last two I used saran wrap over the epoxy and worked it out smoothly. The results with the saran wrap were promising. After the epoxy set the next day I filled the cans with water and left them for a day. It did not leak. Also I torture tested it by wrinkling the cans and trying to break off the epoxy. The epoxy held tight.Click image for larger version

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