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Old 04-11-2016, 01:59 AM   #1
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2012 Interstate Coach
Middletown , Delaware
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2012 involved in a collision

First time poster, long time reader. So I have a 2012 Interstate that was hit by a train station. Before you go thinking"new guy is midnight drunk posting", that may be true, but so was my original statement. I was in New Jersey, near Teterboro airport on the edge of New York City, waiting at a stop light to go to a Qdoba because I was just too lazy to properly pack and make my own darn food. So there I was, sitting at a stoplight in the left lane, when I see a pickup truck with a pole hanging off the front to verify height clearance for his ominously displayed "OVERSIZED LOAD" he was so obviously escorting. He blows past, when the largest, Biggest, grumbliest, most multi-axledest oversized load came rounding the corner behind him. He was hauling (no joke) a temporary train station to Brooklyn. As he eased around the corner it became more and kore obvious, in sloooooooow motion, that he was going to hit me. All I could do is quietly panic and watch since I was completely blocked in by traffic. His truck's side hit me at about the right rear wheel fairing, and drug my hot water heater, rear tail light, and bumper cover off Leaving shrapnel in the street behind me.

So now for the big question: body work on the sprinter. My dealer should be able to take care of all the rv things involved ( trim, hot water heater, etc) but the body was creased between the hot water heater and tail light. From what I see, changing that panel would involve removing all the windows on the back third of the van, and changing the panel from where the sliding door would be, to the tail light.

I have watched all the videos of these vans being made, and it appears it is an outer panel that is secured by an epoxy to an inner frame. Anybody have any collision experience with theses vehicles?!? I am worried. I need this vehicle up and running.

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Old 04-11-2016, 04:23 AM   #2
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2016 23' Flying Cloud
Austin , Texas
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Wow, that's crazy. Sound like you are OK, just some vehicle work needing to be done. I do have to ask. Did they at least stop? (these types of accidents seem to be more and more common and folks aren't stopping).

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Old 04-11-2016, 04:49 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Troublemech View Post
First time poster, long time reader.
Welcome to the AirForums! Sorry it had to be under such trying circumstances.
I have watched all the videos of these vans being made, and it appears it is an outer panel that is secured by an epoxy to an inner frame. Anybody have any collision experience with theses vehicles?!? I am worried. I need this vehicle up and running.
No experience with Sprinter bodywork, but your local MB/Sprinter dealer should have a body shop associated with the dealership that can handle the panel replacement.

I can sympathize with your accident, too. I wasn't hit by an oversized load in my Interstate, but I was run off the road by one on US190 just east of Port Barr, Louisiana. It was being escorted by sheriff's deputies, and I guess the deputy had watched too many cop movies, because instead of pulling up alongside of me and telling me to pull over on his bullhorn, he just cut me off and deliberately forced me off the road. I just narrowly avoided going in a ditch. Then the oversized load came roaring by at ten miles over the limit. And all for nothing, because less than two miles later, the whole thing came to a grinding halt when the oversized load was blocked by overhanging liveoak tree limbs, leaving just barely enough room to squeak by if everyone drove on the shoulder of the road to get around.
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Old 04-11-2016, 05:28 AM   #4
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Wishing you a speedy and trouble free repair.

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Old 04-11-2016, 05:46 PM   #5
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I doubt they would replace an entire panel because of a crease below the Windows. I would expect them to just cut it out and buy weld in some new metal.
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Old 04-11-2016, 06:38 PM   #6
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Or, depending on the severity of the crease, they might pull it out, smooth it w/ dollies, and fill the minor imperfections. Guessing that any way they repair it will require access to the back side.
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Old 04-11-2016, 10:24 PM   #7
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Can't offer any advice but that is awful! Glad no one was hurt.
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Old 04-11-2016, 11:23 PM   #8
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At least it was just the hardware, not you or a loved one being hit. Glad you're safe.

Your story is "better" (?) than ours. Bambi I was hit by a falling utility pole.

Actually, a woman fell asleep at the wheel, ran off the road, flipped her car, and hit a utility pole, which snapped. The top portion of the pole was still attached to the live wires, and it started swinging-- scraping our truck and smacking our AS in the forehead.

We were shaken but unscratched, and the other driver miraculously was OK. But then our nightmare began with the insurance company, who after much to-ing-and fro-ing about repairs they would pay for and a second opinion from an actual AS mechanic, decided Bambi I was a write-off.

So what are your insurance appraiser and adjustor telling you about repairs? How well are you covered?
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Old 04-12-2016, 12:32 AM   #9
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I know nothing about sprinters but the mercedes sprinter dealership would be the best place to start.

I'm also very glad you weren't hurt even if a trip was spoiled. At least it's something that can be repaired.

You're post - I must say I admire the way you introduced the story - and then explained it. Goodness - you must have been totally horrified to see doom coming at you and no where to run.

Hope you are covered fully for the repairs, Paula
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Old 04-12-2016, 06:29 AM   #10
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Sorry for the OP's troubles. That truly sucks.

May I take this opportunity to interject this related comment, as I recall doing on at least one other previous thread:

If anyone ever writes off a T1N Interstate, please let the rest of us know so that we can either track the disposition of the salvage, or perhaps make an offer on some of the salvage.

There are numerous T1N components that are years past final production date, and we could never replace them except through salvage (custom refabrication is possible but would be tough to match), and right now we don't know of any totaled T1N Interstates. I've researched it to no avail (we don't need anything at the moment, but I wanted to have a bit of footwork done just in case).

Most notably, the window manufacturer went out of business - there's nothing comparable to Airstream-installed T1N windows on the market. If anyone ever busted out a window, it might be a nightmare to get a repair that looked seamless, as the maker would have to match glass radius of curvature, tint, frame, etc.

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Old 04-12-2016, 06:37 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Troublemech View Post
First time poster, long time reader. So I have a 2012 Interstate that was hit by a train station.
. . .
Got my attention with that second sentence!

Sorry for your troubles.
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Old 04-13-2016, 09:27 PM   #12
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Episode 2: the saga continues

It should seem strange to know what brand of duct tape most looks like an Airstream. I now know. After the accident I used gorilla tape (which is black) to tape the hot water heater cover, lower trim aft of the wheel well, and rear bumper cover in place. To be a meticulous and tedious snot, I needed a tape that looked less...trailer park-ey while I got the ole girl back home. I bought McWal-Mart brand something or another "silver" tape, which for the record is not a match at all, and the adhesive must have been made by the Post-it note people. Duck Tape brand tape professional strength is a near perfect match. When the insurance lady from Progressive showed up she said she couldn't even see the damage until she was standing on top of it. She was really impressed that I picked up enough of the rear tail light assembly to superglue it all back together and repair the plug so that the vehicle is street legal. I even took the time to clear RTV all the cracks from the jigsaw puzzle so no water could get in. Meh, at least she knows I'm picky so when the repair is complete, my standards will not be a surprise.

Progressive has been good so far. New Jersey has a really cool (read: SARCASM) no fault law so if you are sitting still at a stoplight and get crushed by a train station,'s your fault for being on the road. Super fortunately the Supreme Court of my state said New Jersey's laws are horse hockey and we can apply the conventional standard of "not my fault". So there's a loophole that will get my deductible out of my pocket for a couple months while they haggle.

My dealer, Colonial Airstream of Lakewood, NJ has been great. The GM, David Starin and my salesperson, Lauren Lenzo, calmed me down and ensured they were there to help. I guess I'm not the very first Interstate accident they had dealt with. Their service department manager, Tony Cursi, has been great so far too. I gave him a very demanding timeframe and expectation of quality, and he has taken it on and been a very straight shooter with me. I drop the vehicle off at the body shop on Monday for work. If all goes well, I will be spreading the good news far and wide about who can help you when a train station strikes.

Here's to hope, and I will keep you all abreast of the outcomes. I should be reporting back with good news by the end of the month.
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Old 04-14-2016, 08:08 AM   #13
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I might regret saying it but since a governmental agency and a private company are involved it might be worth it to get a lawyer. You shouldn't be out a dime for their negligence.

And think a happy thought. At least it wasn't Dorothy's house falling on you. But maybe you can be the house falling on the bozos. Ding dong the bozos are dead....
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Old 05-03-2016, 04:55 AM   #14
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Thanks for the excellent news, and kudos to Colonial and all other helpers! [Edit -- refers to next post -- somehow the time stamps got switched up]

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