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Old 06-29-2007, 10:50 AM   #1
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Angry RV mechanic damaged my Airstream!!! What to do?

A week ago I dropped off our Airstream at our local RV place (Heritage RV) for a repair: the front Fan-tastic Fan was not working.

Yesterday I picked up the Airstream to pack for our Monday trip to Yellowstone. I noticed nothing unusual about the work performed.

I got the Airstream home. We parked it in the driveway, which sits below my wife's parents' house. Suddenly we noticed a HUGE DENT in the roof -- right next to the Fan-tastic Fan.

I mean, it's a BIG dent -- approximately 12 inches across. This is not a slight ding. Rather, it looks as though someone put their knee or FULL body weight on the roof. The rooftop is severely compressed. I have no idea if it's even fixable without replacing aluminum panels.

What would you do in this situation? What would you expect the dealer to do?
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Old 06-29-2007, 10:58 AM   #2
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ouch...

take photos NOW

but use a free standing ladder.

do NOT get on the roof.

then haul arse right back to the service center.

don't call, don't tell 'em you are coming.

at arrival, request to see the service manager about the work just completed.

his/her reaction AT the moment of discovery will be very revealing.

so too the reaction of the person who DID the work.

take your cues for what to do and how to proceed from their reactions and responses.

be very very cool, make no threats.

keep us informed.

if there are no seal/leaks obvious,

enjoy yellowstone and work out the details on your return.

cheers
2air'

might be useful to post the pics here too, for the best advice or 'correcting' this
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Old 06-29-2007, 11:01 AM   #3
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Go to Harbor Freight...

And purchase a suction lifter for $7.99.
Place it on the dent. Lift up. Voila!
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Old 06-29-2007, 11:38 AM   #4
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Thanks for your good advice. I will try to stay calm about it, though I must admit that I was VERY angry upon discovering the damage this morning. I understand that accidents/mistakes happen -- but it's how a business handles them that is important. I can't believe they didn't disclose this damage to me, and offer to repair it.

I didn't have my photo camera this morning, but I shot HD video. Here's a frame grab of the damaged area. This rooftop dent was NOT present when we entrusted our Airstream to the RV center.
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Old 06-29-2007, 11:40 AM   #5
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DO NOT try to repair the dent yourself! Once you try all hope of any restitution from that service center have been ruined. Chances are the suction cup method will be their attempt to repair it. Then it will be their continued responsibility to make it new.

Neil and Lynn.
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Old 06-29-2007, 11:42 AM   #6
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Bad Dent, Difficult Panel

Thanks for the picture. I was visualizing a dent in a roof panel, not the end cap. Don't touch it yourself. Follow 2Air's advice. Demand compensation for a professional repair.
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Old 06-29-2007, 11:59 AM   #7
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sean

oh man really really ouch!

IF you want it to look undamaged again...

well that's gonna take panel/segment replacement

at least 2 endcap pieces and the work needs to be done by an experienced a/s body shop.

so this is gonna cost thousands to fix correctly.

3k$ at least; as a low guess.

the local shop should have insurance for these issues.

your task is to "help" them acknowledge responsibility.

and you need to start that process now, before the great summer trip.

while they may deny involvement, that position is stronger IF you wait till after the travels planned.

your own comprehensive insurance will also cover this...

and the shop KNOWS that too.

again remain cool, document things now and enjoy your vacation.

don't let this cosmetic issue ruin a great trip to yellowstone.

you could always stop by the factory for repairs on the return route.

this is a routine fix for them.

or a/s of arkansas...they do great panel replacements too.

cheers
2air'
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Old 06-29-2007, 12:58 PM   #8
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Simply shameful.
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Old 06-29-2007, 03:30 PM   #9
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Oh the flashbacks...the flashbacks!
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Old 06-29-2007, 03:46 PM   #10
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Roof dent

I did a similar dent myelf while installing a Fan. My roof frame was undamaged and the dent, the size of a volleyball popped right out with a suction puller. I got mine at Pep Boys.
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Old 06-29-2007, 04:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markparker22
I did a similar dent myelf while installing a Fan. My roof frame was undamaged and the dent, the size of a volleyball popped right out with a suction puller. I got mine at Pep Boys.
Mark
Sounds like a great fix solution, but I am with what was said earlier, I wouldn't touch it until the dealer has time to respond. If it's touched, who knows what the dealer would say....clearly, they didn't seem too honorable to start with when they didn't even take ownership of the issue......
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Old 06-29-2007, 04:48 PM   #12
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It's quite possible that the mechanic never told anyone of the damage - hoping that it would not be discovered until much later (when he couldn't be implemented). Then again maybe he did and management tried to pull a quick one too. Either way, I'd go back NOW not after the trip! Get it on the record ASAP.
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Old 06-29-2007, 05:34 PM   #13
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They knew of the damage ( at least someone did)when they let you drive out of there with your Airstream, and that's what would make me really mad.
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Old 06-29-2007, 05:47 PM   #14
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I wonder how many times Inland Andy has posted the warning that you can work on top the roof but .... never ever ever ever put weight on the end cap.

If they give you a big hassle over it the best thing to do, for your blood pressure, is to turn it into your insurance carrier and let them subrogate against the dealer.
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