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Old 11-29-2021, 11:33 PM   #1
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2017 25' Flying Cloud
Fayetteville , Arkansas
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Wheel well repair

We had a tire blowout this weekend returning from our family Thanksgiving. There is some minor damage and some trim that needs a bit of straightening. I believe I can navigate most of the repair but have one item I need some guidance. When I reach up into the wheel well above the tires, I can feel where a section of the wheel well housing is not set into the aluminum trim. There is about 18 length where the well is pulled away from the trim. How is the well supposed to be held in place?
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Old 11-30-2021, 09:57 AM   #2
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Photos would help. Have you compared it to the other side?

Just a guess, but it sounds like the wheel well has moved up away from the trim. Can you see any damage to the inner wheel well from inside the trailer?
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Old 11-30-2021, 11:09 AM   #3
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Tire age and brand?
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Old 11-30-2021, 11:24 AM   #4
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These photos may help somewhat. The edge flange of the inner plastic wheel well is riveted to the trim as well as the edge of the aluminum on the trailer. Many of the rivets barely capture the edge flange of the plastic, which isn't very substantial...much like those plastic battery boxes in the front. Your blowout likely tore the plastic away from the rivets/body/trim. If you push on it from above the tires you'll see that it is now free. It may be repairable, but depends on the extent of the damage. This is an '87 and I'm assuming that your outer well is plastic/abs. If not please disregard.
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Old 11-30-2021, 10:30 PM   #5
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I have compared the other wheel well and how it is seated. Im not seeing any rivets or screws that would be holding the well in place. The location that the well is dislodged is in the middle of the wheel well between the tires. Sorry no pics. Cant really see but more a feel along the edge.

I agree the wheel well could be pushed up. This is on the curb side so our kitchen cabinets are over the wheel well. Im going to do some investigation by pulling drawers and opening cabinets. The issue looks to be about an eighth of an inch so a little bracing maybe all it is needed. Was hoping some pone knew how the wheel well is secured and clips into the trim.

I was trying not to turn this into a tire discussion. Our tires just turned 5 years. It was our last trip for the season and new tires were in the plans for next spring. These were originals Marathons. Replaced them with GY Endurance while staying over in Ft Worth. Checked with 7 Discount Tires before finding a set of four tires.
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Old 12-01-2021, 04:42 AM   #6
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You'll find that there's a plastic inner wheel well under your cabinets, then insultation, then the outer well that you are referring to. Something attaches the well ABS edge to the side of your trailer and trim, and on mine it was rivets that are hidden under the trim piece on the edge of the wheel opening, or perhaps it was the trim piece itself, I cannot recall. (My shell recently went back on after a year of refit so these bits are still off the trailer). Otherwise the side wall of the trailer would be open and flapping in this area. Perhaps the newer trailers use that super velcro or glue? Does your owner's manual contain any info on how to do a wheel well repair? My '80s era manual does. Good luck with the repair. Cheers.
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Old 12-01-2021, 07:22 AM   #7
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....this from the repair manual. Unfortunately no photos/diagram but you'll note the reference to rivets for the 80's era trailers.
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Old 12-02-2021, 10:19 PM   #8
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Thanks to everyone that responded. Yall helped me find the answers I was searching for. I removed the outside trim material and uncovered the rivets that hold the aluminum skin to the plastic wheel well.

There was one rivet that had broken loose. Im going to replace this river and add a few additional. I will replace the sealant in the track and along the perimeter. Lastly, Im ordering a new outside track as it had several screws that had pulled loose and was bent considerably.

Last question for yall? The existing sealant is black. What is this sealant?
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Old 12-05-2021, 12:14 PM   #9
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1. What is the black sealant used at the wheel wells?

One more question to add in hopes someone has a good source.

2. I found the part number for the pre-bent outside trim for the wheel well. Since Airstream parts have to be purchased through a dealer, I have found a few dealers that can get the part for me. The part ranges in cost with the average being less than $75. Shipping cost is more than $300. This is ludicrous. It is oversized but not heavy. Im also not in a rush. We have been doing a renovation on our house. I have ordered larger (6 plus) and heavier items (80 lbs) and those shipping costs never exceeded $50. Any guidance how I can get this trim piece at a reasonable cost?
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