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Old 11-02-2017, 07:27 AM   #1
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Londonderry , New Hampshire
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Dented my AS: stupid, stupid, stupid!

In the North East we had a big storm on Monday. I figured that I would
move my AS away from the trees where is is normally parked. In doing
so I backed into a balcony. This is the result:

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Now I am trying to come up with a strategy to fix it;

Is is reasonable to remove the inside panels to get at the dent?

Or is it best to try to pull it from the outside with suction cups or glue
tabs?

Thanks,
Pete.
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Old 11-02-2017, 07:30 AM   #2
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Pete, I'm afraid that is a panel replacement job. Sorry. Been there, done that. That's a 6k job.
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Old 11-02-2017, 07:37 AM   #3
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At least it is not a rear bathroom version, which would be more of a pain for repairs.
Did the interior get cracked?
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Old 11-02-2017, 07:48 AM   #4
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The interior looks OK. The rear shell has no cracks.

I was wondering how difficult it is to remove the rear interior shell.

Pete.
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Old 11-02-2017, 09:28 AM   #5
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[QUOTE=Air345Fly;2029369 In doing so I backed into a balcony.
Pete.[/QUOTE]

I feel your pain Pete. Couple months back I managed to back my AS into the concrete ledge of my front porch. Took out the passenger side rear curved panel. $4000.00 later and I’m good tp go. Live and learn. I’m never again backing up without someone spotting.

Hans
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Old 11-02-2017, 09:28 AM   #6
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pneumatic dent puller

If you own an airstream long enough you will experience dents. I repaired dents on a quarter panel and other surfaces using a pneumatic dent puller I bought at Northern Tool. I have also used glue gun type dent pullers with pretty good results. You will have a hard time eliminating all evidence of the dent but it will look 95% better. It depends on your tolerance for imperfection. For $6,000 I could probably overlook some imperfections that may only be visible in certain lighting conditions. I never had the courage to remove panels and install new ones.
Try the pneumatic dent puller with a glue type dent remover and see what you can do before taking more drastic measures. Even if it doesn't work to your satisfaction you can use the tools later.
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Old 11-02-2017, 09:30 AM   #7
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Oh! So sorry.
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Old 11-02-2017, 10:13 AM   #8
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bummer on the dent

I say try and push it out just go easy work it slow. Take your time.
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Old 11-02-2017, 10:22 AM   #9
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Ouch! So sorry. Assuming you have insurance, wouldn't that be covered?
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Old 11-02-2017, 10:35 AM   #10
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I would try a combination of both suction cups from the outside and massaging from the inside. Pulling the interior end cap is not that hard to do. I would expend some of my labor before replacing.
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Old 11-02-2017, 10:37 AM   #11
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🙀😿

😾😹 Been here too!! It’s too painful when you do it to yourself!! I just bit the bullet and paid to have it properly repaired. It cost a lot, but was flawless. My intention was to NOT have to haggle at anytime it’s sold/traded. You’ll lose on the the deal. Additionally, EVERY dang time you look at the damage, you’ll be reminded that YOU alone were the culprit. It’ll get to you!!
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Old 11-02-2017, 10:44 AM   #12
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Dents

I just completed a repair on my 23 FC covering several rear dents. The total expense was $11K!

The insurance covered all the repairs plus $600 from my pocket.

These incidents are not cheap!

I now have a backup camera for future backups- $600 more for it and installation

These units are like fragil eggs and dent by just looking at them.

We all learn the hard way and the only way to solve these problems is by using our hard earn money and time.

Good luck with the repairs

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Old 11-02-2017, 10:45 AM   #13
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Because it is on the seams of compound panels I would expect it will not be good.
There will be serious wrinkles, leaks etc.
If you have insurance take it to a pro.
I hate when that stuff happens...been there....sorry but **** happens.
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Old 11-02-2017, 12:10 PM   #14
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Agree that this must be repaired the right way, if you want to maintain the value of your AS motorhome. An unfortunate lesson — which we all learn the hard way once in a while IMO — that “haste makes waste.”

Hopefully your insurance will cover the damage.

This Oops thread is a good read:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...tory-6732.html

We are all in good “been there done that” company!

Peter
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Old 11-02-2017, 12:20 PM   #15
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Use your insurance. That's what it's for...if you don't use it, why have it? A potential increase in premiums will be less expensive than to repair out of pocket. Ask me how I know this.
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Old 11-02-2017, 01:09 PM   #16
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My 2 cents

That hurts. If u have insurance, I would schedule it to b repaired at the mother ship.
I always have to fight off the urge to back up without a spotter but so far I have not given in.
Good luck. I am sure the schedule for the factory is January now.
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Old 11-02-2017, 01:12 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delrossa View Post
That hurts. If u have insurance, I would schedule it to b repaired at the mother ship.
I always have to fight off the urge to back up without a spotter but so far I have not given in.
Good luck. I am sure the schedule for the factory is January now.
I made an appointment for my damage about a week ago and first available was 12/20, So I am sure it is early January now. I am dropping off next week, before snow flies and will pick up as winter wanes.
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Old 11-02-2017, 01:33 PM   #18
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Stupid, stupid, stupid! Been there, done that, and it does make you feel stupid+!
I called my insurance company and said I just did a stupid thing and the claims person said " don't worry, we insure for stupidity as well as causality." That did make me feel some what better. And this is a large nationally known insurance co. I'll be with them for life. You can't beat that for customer service attitude.
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Old 11-02-2017, 01:43 PM   #19
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The photo is of a bird strike at 60 mph to our 23 FB.. Cost to replace the panel was $4,000. Insurance covered all but deductible.

The above was bad luck, not stupidity. My stupid move was jacknifing while practicing backing up on the 2nd day I owned my Airstream. That was $10k. The fragility of AS was illustrated by the fact that the tow vehicle sustained absolutely no damage whatsoever, even though it occurred at the edge of the tail light lens. No cracks or scratches to the TV.

I kearned good lessons, and am glad I had it repaired professionaly by AS.
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Old 11-02-2017, 01:50 PM   #20
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Dent Force and hammer puller

I didn't move the Silver Olive and a tree did fall on her! The damage wasn't as severe as your balcony hit but a guy from Dent Force was able to pull most of mine out using a hammer puller (and glue on tabs). I think he charged me around $100 - and was excited for the challenge. I replaced the rivets and never looked back.

Progressive was very responsive though - and was ready to cut me a check for panel replacement.

You can see my before pics in post #11 and after in #30.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f381...hit-59265.html

Cheers
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