I have a '69 Trailblazer (canned ham style) camper, and I have a couple small (dinner plate size) dents on all sides of my camper. I can't justify replacing the skin for such small dents, so I'd like to flatten/repair them if possible. My question is, how do you flatten it out? It does have the horizontal creases by design that I need to keep, so I see this being difficult. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
I would try making a curved piece of wood to match the outside curve of the good skin, and use a rounded block to tap the inside of the aluminum with, to force it back into the outside curve. You'd have to find a way to support the outer piece to provide a stable "anvil" to push the aluminum into (second person could hold it, it wouldn't take much force on that thin aluminum). It probably wouldn't come out perfect, but I bet it would get you close enough to Bondo what's left.
'76 Shasta 2250 kept in a perpetual state of restoration. That way I don't have to buy any more campers
Thank you for your suggestion. I really don't have the extra cash to go replacing skins if I don't have to. I'll give that a shot and see how it turns out. Also, what kind of paint would you recommend going back with? Polyurethane, enamel,?
I would always recommend using urethane clear/basecoat system for a vintage trailer because: - it is durable, tough and weather resistant - the clear has UV protectant to preserve the basecoat - great gloss without having to buff out - if you are putting the effort into restoring your trailer, why not use the best topcoating system available?
Invest in precious metals: Brass, Lead and Primers
For most people paint choice comes down to dollars and cents or lack there of. Base coat clear coat is the best finish but also the most expensive. If you don't wish or can't spend that much then read the different finishes talked about on these pages everything from spray cans to a brush or roller has been done with results that suited that person. As for the dents the size of dinner plates you might be able to pop them out with a suction cup puller available from Harbor Freight for less than ten dollars if the alum isn't kinked. Keep us informed on your progress and we love pictures.
Some dents will pop out with a heat gun. They are usually round when this works. Go round and round the dent pushing outside the heated area from time to time. Of course too much heat can be troublesome, so take it slow. We got a roof dent near the rear window to pop out this way. By accident, of course...