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Old 05-22-2022, 01:31 AM   #1
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1978 31' Sovereign
Nashvilleville , Tennessee
Join Date: Nov 2020
Posts: 21
How to repair this previous accident?

Not sure which sub threat to post because this repair pertains to the door, frame, skins... ha! Owned this trailer 2 years but this accident happened who knows how many years ago in its life. Obviously was a side swipe of some kind. Check the photos below. Ive already done a little effort to silicone up huge cracks and did a little patch on the underbelly where the old panel was just gone.

The easiest issues I can see if the exterior aluminum got dented but no puncture. I can live with those scratches and try to smooth it out. Shouldn't be a big issue. The lower belt trim was very bent and even cracked. Thats easy to get new trim parts. I do not believe any outriggers were damaged but thats also easy to replace. The frame looks fine. Nothing else on the trailer indicated a tweaked frame.

The hard issues I see are the interior rib in this zone was bent and I either have to try and form it back to shape or find a replacement part/fabricate a new one. I also see door itself was bent in a little at the bottom. I probably cannot fix this. Luckily the door closes but it just requires a little extra shove to latch. I cant find new doors around and I am not willing to pay thousands even if I did. Perhaps when I take the skin off I will find a way to straight it our or fab a new part.

The biggest issue I see is the door frame itself got pretty bent up. This is also a part that I can't find anywhere. I can find ones for trailers in the 2000's but not late 70s. As I was saying the door still closes and it will latch with some extra love. I am worried about this when I do the shell off that its going to cause issues making it even harder to latch closed. Im also worried about water intrusion since thats a tough place to seal up well with the damage. When trying to straighten this whole area out its going to be very awkward to get the aluminum to rivet back again behind this door frame. Its just going to be a very difficult spot to deal with and I don't know what to do about it besides try and shove everything back into place and hope nothing gets worse.

Anyone have ideas as to how I can go about repairing this section of my trailer? Does this raise any huge red flags as to a much bigger problem that will need a serious remedy?
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Old 05-22-2022, 07:11 AM   #2
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1994 30' Excella
1992 35' Airstream 350
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Originally Posted by bhel View Post
.... I am worried about this when I do the shell off that its going to cause issues making it even harder to latch closed. Im also worried about water intrusion since thats a tough place to seal up well with the damage. When trying to straighten this whole area out its going to be very awkward to get the aluminum to rivet back again behind this door frame. Its just going to be a very difficult spot to deal with and I don't know what to do about it besides try and shove everything back into place and hope nothing gets worse.

Anyone have ideas as to how I can go about repairing this section of my trailer? Does this raise any huge red flags as to a much bigger problem that will need a serious remedy?

Not a candidate for a shell off in my book. You will end up having to replace some ribs, the entire side panel and the door. The structural damage usually is worth than it appears. Enjoy it as is and save the $$ for something that is worth to do a full resto to. Just one mans humble opinion.
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Old 05-22-2022, 09:12 PM   #3
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We donít let silicone near an Airstream - looks like a fairly simple panel replacement to me - maybe reskin the door - hard to tell from pictures
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Old 05-23-2022, 12:19 AM   #4
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1978 31' Sovereign
Nashvilleville , Tennessee
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We donít let silicone near an Airstream - looks like a fairly simple panel replacement to me - maybe reskin the door - hard to tell from pictures
What about where the door frame is bent?
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Old 05-23-2022, 01:08 AM   #5
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1978 31' Sovereign
Nashvilleville , Tennessee
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Originally Posted by PeterH-350LE View Post
Not a candidate for a shell off in my book. You will end up having to replace some ribs, the entire side panel and the door. The structural damage usually is worth than it appears. Enjoy it as is and save the $$ for something that is worth to do a full resto to. Just one mans humble opinion.
Well thats a bummer to hear!

I myself feel very good the structural damage is limited to the door frame, C channel and one rib.

Ribs and C channel are easy. But that door frame can give me a lot of grief!
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Old 05-23-2022, 06:08 AM   #6
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Disassemble down to the individual parts and it should be pretty easy to straighten them up. The alloys that the frames are made out of is pretty soft and malleable and easy to form or reform. I had to deal with a few places on my Globetrotter that were pretty bent up.

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