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Old 06-11-2017, 06:12 PM   #121
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Bondo works on aluminum, but it's got to be stripped clean down to the metal and sanded or it won't stick.
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Old 06-11-2017, 06:37 PM   #122
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My thought was they are making all sorts of seam sealers and epoxies for aluminum body repairs on the f-150's etc and I could build it up from behind. Other than the two holes (big one is not quite the size of a quarter) the panel is solid and not pitted enough to need filler.
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Old 06-11-2017, 06:38 PM   #123
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But your right beyond the right product surface prep surface prep surface prep
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Old 06-12-2017, 07:30 AM   #124
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I'm going to visit the paint store this morning to pick some brains on what products might be appropriate for this (if any).

I'm excited that I've tracked down through awesome forums members the cooling unit for the refrigerator, the table base, and the stove but I am starting to panic that I haven't found the refrigerator I need. I've come across a dozen Marvel refrigerators but can't find the Kreft model. Wally debuted this refrigerator in our trailer and I feel it's a really important piece to find. If anyone has one or knows someone who does, I'll gladly buy it and pay to ship it freight to us working or not. I've had ads on the classifieds, facebook vintage trailer parts sites, the VAC facebook, and craigslist in major cities. Please spread the word as I really hope to find one before this winter when cabinet work hopefully starts.
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Old 06-12-2017, 08:32 AM   #125
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Hi Scott, Being a painted trailer, I think the epoxy idea is very reasonable. Some might prefer it because it retains more originality than replacement panels. Either solution seems viable to me.
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Old 06-12-2017, 06:01 PM   #126
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I did some aircraft stripper today and had some good results. You can see the dark areas where the alclad layer is gone. I spoke to the paint supply guys and they feel with good prep they have a panel adhesive and mesh to reinforce from the back that bonds to aluminum very well and doesn't harden like bondo or fiberglass.
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Old 06-12-2017, 06:06 PM   #127
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I did some more careful paint removal/exploration on the country list panel. The trailer just have 10-15 coats of paint, the last few with a roller. In some areas the paint was so thick it has cracked and fallen off to bare aluminum. I did find part of the "R" most of the "O" and part of the "P" from "Europe". Click image for larger version

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And traces of the Wally Byam Caravan sticker.
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Old 06-13-2017, 05:39 PM   #128
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Another afternoon of stripping paint. I've realized the end caps clearly leaked and were painted with cool seal or something similar. The sides aren't which is great. BUT 3 or more afternoons and I hopefully will have a clean front cap. As you can see inside leaked. I removed the patches to try to id original plumbing and gas holes. Not much of a help! I also removed the nasty patches around the rear marker lights. Thankfully they don't serve much of a purpose and I can reuse both rear corners with just a few extra rivets to fill holes.

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Old 06-13-2017, 06:10 PM   #129
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Mysteries being solved

Joe found a picture of a young lady in the doorway that showed a hint of a wall furnace behind her. We have a contact with a forums member in the LA area with an interior we plan to pick up this fall from a 55 and it has the same type of heater in great shape (as pictured). The holes in the ceiling make sense, an oval hole for the furnace vent, and a round hole for the exhaust on the refrigerator and signs of the wall dividers on the wall for a narrow bulkhead to hide it. I also removed the patches up front as mentioned in the previous post and found where the gas lines came up.

Blue is where the refrigerator gas line came up through the floor, and red is where the heater gas line came up. Once the stripping is done up front I'm going to remove the inside skins, and front inside end cap for repairs and panel replacement (4 of the 9, yes 9 upper interior segments are completely rotted away but they are flat material. While it's out I can repair the rotted outer metal and seal it all up, rebuild the front window and install a front hold down plate that wasn't there at all. I know it's not original and I intend to keep it original but I don't want the front pulling apart like it did a very long time ago. This trailer has a lot of butt behind the axles.
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Old 06-13-2017, 10:19 PM   #130
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When you come down for the parts we've discussed, bring the dimensions, specs for that heater, I may have some of the mechanical parts for it. I'm updating to a suburban furnace that is hidden under the frig, but keeping the heater grill to hide all the updated electrical controls/monitors.

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Old 06-14-2017, 08:00 AM   #131
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Thanks Harold! I'm planning on heading that way towards the end of next week. I'll see what I can find out about the heater before then!
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Old 06-14-2017, 06:26 PM   #132
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More stripping this afternoon. It's getting better every day. Still a lot to do on the front cap. While removing the added roof vent for a fridge that someone added I realized that the front kitchen had bulkheads on both sides with lights under. On the curb side they added a vent where the electrical box was. Click image for larger version

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Old 06-24-2017, 11:38 AM   #133
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Getting there! A couple more hours tomorrow morning and the front end cap segments will be stripped. Then in mornings I will continue to work my way around the lower front and at least back to the wheel well. Tomorrow afternoon I'm going to pull the front inner sheet metal and prep the upper outer cap for repair.
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Old 06-24-2017, 11:39 AM   #134
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Old 06-24-2017, 04:32 PM   #135
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That's looking much better!
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Old 06-24-2017, 06:39 PM   #136
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Thanks! It's slow for sure, 1 1/2 segments cleaned up in 3+ hours. The layers as best I can tell

1. green etching primer
2. gray sealer
3. original paint color (tough paint too, I wonder if it wasn't aircraft paint)
4,5,6?? various similar shades
almost top coat seems to be the cool seal rv roof sealer, put on with a brush I think
top coat is silver spray paint.

I've used almost a gallon of Aircraft stripper on just the upper front end cap segments. The good news is the sides don't seem to have as many layers, I'm guessing the front leaked a lot or was beat up going down the road a lot and kept getting new paint.

The 4" round hole was from a vent they added for the refrigerator at some point. It's going to get patched. I'm thinking I'll do a round patch slightly larger then just fill the old screw holes with rivets, unless people think it will look better with a bigger patch using the old holes...
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Old 06-24-2017, 08:34 PM   #137
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If you want to plug an old hole, look into flush rivets. They can disappear when painted.
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Old 06-25-2017, 01:11 PM   #138
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I did more paint stripping today. Most of the time was detail work on the end cap segments do no great pictures. I did try a garbage bag over the chemical to let it soak in longer without evaporating. Helped some. The door is going to take some work!

I was successful in removing the salvageable half of the inner cap, and the half that is going to be used for patterns. The damage to the cap was from water, the area was packed full of insulation and it was all wet.

I cleaned a lot on the inside surface with sand paper, wire wheel and the like and treated it with baking soda just in case something is eating at it.

Tomorrow I'll do a final cleaning, install the adhesive mesh and put on a coat of the epoxy panel adhesive.
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Old 06-25-2017, 01:12 PM   #139
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Old 06-25-2017, 01:46 PM   #140
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Or, make a flush patch

Quote:
Originally Posted by HiHoAgRV View Post
If you want to plug an old hole, look into flush rivets. They can disappear when painted.
You might consider a flush patch--round piece of aluminum the exact size of the hole with a larger backing piece inside, all secured with flush rivets. That will disappear with a tiny bit of filler and then paint.
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