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Old 01-06-2020, 12:44 PM   #1
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Talk Me Out Of This?

Yesterday I had a close encounter (read contact) with the electrical box at our campsite. I was trying to avoid an object on the curb side and missed seeing the 4x4 with a conventional breaker box on the road side. It scratched the lower panel on my slide in several places and punched a 1/4” three-corner tear before I saw it. Repair estimates run from $2500 to $6500.
The panel is a rectangular shape with a slight curve on the horizontal axis. It is overlapped at the top by the upper panel and a trim strip and on the bottom with a trip strip. The sides are bent around the slide frame to form about a 1/8” flange. There are maybe 45 rivets.

I am reasonably handy and have some Olympic rivets and a shaver. I can get a set of 50 clecos and the plier for around $50. If a dealer would sell me the part I could save the labor which one dealer has estimated at around $1200-$1700. That seems like a lot for a simple shape panel with 45 or so rivets.

Drill out the rivets, pull the panel, use it as a drill template, cleco it in place with Trempro in all the right places and rivet it in. What am I missing?

On the other hand, I have insurance and if not this, what is it for?

Thanks,

Al
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Old 01-06-2020, 01:05 PM   #2
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How would an aluminum patch over the tear look instead of replacing the panel?
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Old 01-06-2020, 01:12 PM   #3
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Guess the bottom line is this, how good are you, what's your time worth and what's the wife going to say if you screw it up

Just remember one thing:



Enjoy,
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Old 01-06-2020, 01:42 PM   #4
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I like your patch idea, Al.

You could make a claim on your insurance, tho they will likely log it as an accident and up your rates, and then there’s the deductible.

Or, you can have a self made patch...leaving something of a scar, which is a tattoo with a better story behind it.

Oh, the questions you will have, and the story you can tell.

Maggie
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Old 01-06-2020, 02:02 PM   #5
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Talk Me Out Of This?

Al - I’ve completed a side panel replacement and it’s a big, but not impossible, job.

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I’d suggest if you are leaning towards full panel replacement you remove the lower inside panel and use solid shank rivets given the side panels are a critical component of the semi-monocoque design of our trailers. Of course, Jackson Center will do this for you if you can get the insurance company to cover it.

If it were not load bearing, like a patch, I’d personally be ok with Olympic rivets, but know these leak considerably more than solid shank rivets. Patches can be sufficiently sealed with a bead of Trempro 635 and yearly application of a wicking sealant (e.g Dr. Tolley’s creeping crack cure).
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Old 01-06-2020, 02:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lily&Me View Post
. . .
You could make a claim on your insurance, tho they will likely log it as an accident and up your rates, and then there’s the deductible . . .
. . .
That was my first reaction. Al, do you have any other self-created accident claims on your insurance? They keep track of your "record" . . .

Good points here too IMO:

Quote:
Originally Posted by rideair View Post
Guess the bottom line is this, how good are you, what's your time worth and what's the wife going to say if you screw it up . . .
. . .
Finding the right answer is a personal process . . . only you can find the comfortable place of repose IMO.

Good luck,

Peter
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Old 01-06-2020, 03:27 PM   #7
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I'd go with just the patch ...
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Old 01-06-2020, 09:39 PM   #8
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Thanks all. In the interest of full disclosure, I'll provide some more information.

The panel is on my slideout, not the main body of the trailer, so I feel like it is not a part of the monocoque construction that holds the trailer together.

I have Progressive via USAA with vanishing deductible which is now $0.

I'm not crazy about a patch.

The panel is 90" x 33" which would seem to be a manageable size.

4 years ago I had another self-inflicted wound under similar circumstances. I jackknifed the trailer and dented the roadside lower front segment while trying to get out of a tight spot in a filling station. So this incident would be the second in 6 years.

I have been quoted $350 for the panel as a part from Airstream.

I don't know what I don't know. That concerns me about doing the panel replacement. I think I can do the riveting and shaving if Olympics are suitable for the slideout skin. I don't know how hard it would be to get the old panel off.

I'm retired so by definition I have more time than money.

Al
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Old 01-06-2020, 10:18 PM   #9
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Since you're only about 1:45 hour/minutes from Frostproof, FL you could contact "Shacksman" here on the forums. He's escaping the winter in Canada down there. He once told me, "I can replace a panel faster than polishing one"

Enjoy,
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Old 01-06-2020, 10:35 PM   #10
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Why don’t you just swing by my house, I have all my tools home now, shouldn’t take long to replace.
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Old 01-07-2020, 05:10 AM   #11
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Thanks for the added details Al.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
. . .
4 years ago I had another self-inflicted wound under similar circumstances. I jackknifed the trailer and dented the roadside lower front segment while trying to get out of a tight spot in a filling station. So this incident would be the second in 6 years.
. . .
Did Progressive raise your premium after this incident? I would let this drive your decision IMO. Also the simplicity/complexity of the logistics of leaving the trailer for repairs, and then picking it up again.

"Fix it once, and fix it right?"

Cheers,

Peter

PS -- Good news that the panel is on the slide-out, in some respects, however I am guessing that it will be important to support the S/O very carefully before you remove the damaged panel, so that you don't wrack/jimmy/tweak its structure "out-of-square" during repairs. A rectangular solid like that depends on the skin to maintain its shape as it moves in and out, including the integrity of the "rivet field" holding the panel on.

An out-of-square S/O could very easily jam up the works IMO. This is crucial to avoid, whether you go the DIY path or take it to a shop. Jackson Center might be the most trustworthy place for this?

Food for thought on the DIY route IMO.

PS2 -- Has the S/O worked OK since the accident? [i. e. no structural damage to its frame -- "measure twice, cut once!"]
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Old 01-07-2020, 07:40 AM   #12
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Peter,
Looking at it I think the upper panel and window frames will provide the necessary rigidity. The slide has worked the same since the incident.

Progressive did raise my rates for three years but the total increase was less than the cost of the repairs.

I heard back from JC. They said they would do it with Olympic rivets. I had them quote my previous repair and they gave me the option of bucking it at twice the price but didn’t mention it here. Oddly their price to replace this panel is substantially more than they estimated for the curved lower corner segment on my 25.

While I would like to do this myself and think I could do it well, I’m leaning towards having it done for lack of a place to shelter the trailer during the process. I have several options of dealers and JC given our travel plans in the spring.

Thanks to you and all the others for input. Love this forum!

Al
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Old 01-07-2020, 07:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Why don’t you just swing by my house, I have all my tools home now, shouldn’t take long to replace.
Thanks Aerowood, a tempting offer. If we were coming to International in Loveland I would take you up on it, but we are not so you are safe. I visited NOAA in Boulder once in my professional life and Colorado Springs for an interview. Love the scenery out there.

Al
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Old 01-07-2020, 10:12 AM   #14
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Patch it!

Some of the patches I’ve seen here are interesting and full of character. Even stylish.
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Old 01-07-2020, 08:32 PM   #15
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Patch now, think about replacement sometime a few years from now. Camp and enjoy now
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Old 01-07-2020, 09:23 PM   #16
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I have done the same repair on my trailer with Olympic rivets and I would have to show you where the repair was for you to locate it. Before the days of automatic panel cutting and shaping you would have to cut around the places where Vulcrum was used and then overlay the new sheet. Today they just R & R that panel with a new one to match your serial number. The factory uses seal tape, sheet metal screws for Clicoes, and then replaces them with Olympic rivets.
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Old 01-08-2020, 04:31 AM   #17
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Make the patch look like soemthing real..make it look like an access panel.
There are a 1000 things you could make the patch look like so that it was camoflaged.
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Old 01-08-2020, 05:15 AM   #18
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Aluminum Patches

Quote:
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Make the patch look like soemthing real..make it look like an access panel.
There are a 1000 things you could make the patch look like so that it was camoflaged.
Airstream Aluminum Patches
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