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Old 06-04-2014, 05:53 AM   #1
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Aluminum siding, how difficult

I had an accident last week and looking to do the repair myself..wondering how difficult, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated..
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Old 06-04-2014, 05:59 AM   #2
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Pics, or more specific info, might draw some useful comments.
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Old 06-04-2014, 06:25 AM   #3
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10-4 on that ! What happened ? I have had the corner off,but thats as far as i have gone.

Jim
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Old 06-04-2014, 05:28 PM   #4
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Picture

Here is a picture of my damage..
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Old 06-04-2014, 05:31 PM   #5
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Picture

Here is a picture of my damage
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Old 06-04-2014, 05:45 PM   #6
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Can't see if it's all the way thru the alum. skin ? Even if it is, i don't think i would try to remove the panels to try to replace it, as opposed to a fix/patch. Can you use body putty on alum. ??????

Jim
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:30 PM   #7
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That's an easy one, especially if you can get a replacement panel with that stripe pre-installed from the manf - and that's not as hard as you might think. An experienced tech could take care of this entire job in about 2 hours, start to finish. His bill though, will likely be several times that.

The corner mldg. needs to be removed, starting at the bottom, to a height maybe 18" or so above the damaged panel. Remove the vinyl tape covering the screws holding the mldg in place, then remove the screws, but no more than you need to. Screws removed, carefully pull the mldg. back out of your way, exposing the edges of the metal as you go. Carefully, because you can re-use this mldg even though you'll likely bend it a little as it's removed. Next to come off is the refer vent assembly. That will leave both ends of the damaged panel exposed.

Pull the top of the damaged panel from the grove in the bottom of the panel above it. There's no locks or anything. It'll pop right out pretty easily (30 seconds). Do the same to the undamaged panel below the area of the damaged panel. That will expose the staples holding the bottom of the damaged panel in place. Remove those staples carefully, and the damaged panel will be in your hand.

New panel is cut to fit using aircraft type tin snips. Is fastened in place using screws if you don't have a staple gun. Tuck the bottom metal into the new piece, then the new piece into the piece above it.

Remove the putty tape from the refer vent, install new putty tape, and reinstall the vent. Same process on the rear corner mldg. Install new putty tape on that, and starting at the top of the area you've pulled, work your way down one screw at a time, fastening as you go.

Worst case is you won't be able to match that stripe. Don't let anyone tell you that the crimp in the metal (the pattern) can't be matched. It can, by anyone with any experience getting parts for repairs like this. Bigger RV dealers almost always have staff experienced in repairs like this one. They can get you the right metal. I would not settle for something "close". It'll stick out like a sore thumb.

Note this metal often has very small burs around the edges that can turn inexperienced hands into hamburger in a heartbeat. Never, ever, slide your hands along a cut edge of alum.

I would not attempt to use any type of body filler on this alum. Results will look terrible, AND, this alum is so flexible I can't imagine any filler I've ever worked with staying in place.

However, if there were NO chance of getting a replacement panel with matching stripes, I might be tempted to pull this panel, and see what I could do about "massaging" what dents I could out of it, then reinstall? Do not even consider letting a hammer touch this stuff. It's so soft, every time you hit it with a hammer it will leave another dent. You just kinda "push" the dents out of this stuff?

Hope some of this might help! Best of luck. -Al
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Old 06-05-2014, 08:59 AM   #8
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Thanks for this post and your insight.
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Old 06-05-2014, 08:01 PM   #9
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You're quite welcome! It sounds like a lot of work, but as mentioned, it should go pretty quickly. This is really not a bad DIY job at all.

The part that will require the most patience might be finding a dealer willing to call the parts dept. of the trailer manf. that built it, and communicating what's needed well enough to get the correct part, with the right color stripe on it.

If it were not for that stripe, this job would be REALLY easy, as matching metal is available from numerous vendors pretty reasonably! -Al
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