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Old 01-07-2006, 03:06 PM   #1
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first big dents- help

Hi..everyone...I am a first time airstreamer...wow...I can't believe it...but I the first time out my tight driveway I banged up the corner panels on the left side on the safarii 25 footer..ouch...my driveway is tight, and I plan to put a hook up on the front of the truck so I can just back it down..but thats another matter...I want to get the panels replaced ...what kind of money is it for replacing a corner panel at the dealership?...thanks...I am gonna keep driving this trailer untill I get good at backing it, and the whole works...so I have lots of questions..need help...thanks so much...
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Old 01-07-2006, 03:30 PM   #2
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Inland RV in Corona. Less than 100 mles from you.
http://www.inlandrv.com/ ... (turn your volume down if you click that link!) Good luck with your repairs. Take some pictures of the damage. Andy may be able to give you an estimate through the internet.
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Old 01-07-2006, 03:48 PM   #3
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hi strayhorse and welcome to the forums

hate to read a first post that includes the words "banged corner panels" but we've all been there and likely will be there again......

it will help the experts here if you can post a photo or 2 of the carnage....posting photos is easy just make sure to resize them to under 200kb and 640x or so....

first off, not every dealer has experience with body work and on a newer trailer i would not want to be their first effort.

depending on the extent of the damage....panels on newer trailers aren't usually replaced but rather reskined 'over' the blemished section......the formed end sections might be handled differently, i don't really know for sure.... the formed end sections are the most difficult sections to fit, trim and make look right, so again i'd want an experienced crew to do this work.

expect to spend 1000$ upwards to 5000$ depending on how many sections are involved. i watched the factory boys reskin the entire lower side of a brand new trailer 34 with slide....right over the top of the damage....the repair was virtually invisible except for the gloss of new clearcoat....which would be lost in a few washings anyway. this repair took the factory 2 days or so to complete.

while there are a couple of dealer with body shop facilities and extensive experience......still i'd opt for jc ohio......also the factory gives a discount for work done during the off season....till march?......that may make it worth the trip.

well now, i see that you are on the left coast.......and there are a couple of great repair options closer than the factory.....but i would want some before/after photos of similar repairs. also i'd want some sort of satisfaction guarantee in writing.

lets see some photos your trailer.

cheers
2air'
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Old 01-07-2006, 03:52 PM   #4
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if your area is not creased hard you may be able to pull it out with a suction cup body tool. I had a boo boo with a basketball backboard and was able to heat it up a bit with a hair dryer, and pop it out with the cup. They are sold at auto parts stores, only 3-4 dollars.
A hard creased panel though will have to be replaced.
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Old 01-07-2006, 03:57 PM   #5
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Airstreams aren't like cars. They can't simply go to an body shop nearby usually. If the panel is replaced, you loose some of the inside caulking and some of the more preferred rivets that hold the panel on since Airstream rivets the coach from the inside and outside at the same time at the time of construction which isn't always possible once the interior is installed without additional labor and cost. If they add a panel over the old one, you keep the seals, but you then have 2 pieces on the same area which may or may not be noticable. One person I know on this forum had the factory put another skin over the old and was not happy with it. I also saw a panel replaced by Jackson Center after a wreck that looked like the Safari came off the floor just minutes ago.

Depending on how bad the damage is, I'd be inclined to let it be, unless it's a fair crease. I'm sure Inland can fix it for you properly any way you go.
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Old 01-07-2006, 06:05 PM   #6
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thanks for the welcome- and wood floors?

I posted the problem about being a new owner and banging it abit with dents on the panels...wow..had great response on suction cups that did in fact fix 2 panels, and great advice on where to get the other one fixed (inland-corona)
I bought my airstream here in San diego and just don't seem comfortable with my repair advice options down here...so thank you all so very much....now what about putting wood floors in? will that work, make it heavier, drive any different? or is that a good idea? thanks again folks
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Old 01-07-2006, 06:13 PM   #7
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I personally installed a balsa cored oak wood floor in my '85 for its light weight. (see my photo gallery) Realize that wood shouldn't get wet and will dent. Others have installed Pergo that adds quite a bit of weight, although takes punishment well.

You can find previous discussions and even photos for any and all of the repair experiences and installations of others, by using the 'search' tools at the top right of each page. Within the 'drop down box' the advanced search may serve you best, by allowing you to choose specific forums to search within.

Once you access the ‘Advanced Search’ try typing in a Key Word on the left side.
Then choose one or more of the most specific Forums e.g. = ‘Electrical / Window / Air Conditioners / interior etc., etc.’ in the area on the right called Search in Forum(s)

For a more general beginning just click the FORUMS tab at the top left of each page and wander around.

Good luck ... & welcome to the Forums!
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Old 01-07-2006, 09:52 PM   #8
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you can also view some panel replacement photos, quite extensive panels...PeterH did them to his hail damaged Motorhome...which this past year got hail damage again!
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Old 01-07-2006, 10:09 PM   #9
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Safari-Rick here. Ditto with Excella 3287.

I also recommend C & G Trailer Service in Bellflower, CA. They ARE the best in SOCAL (IMHO). I've had work done there as well as others from as far away as Arizona on the day I went to pick up my Safari 25.

Anyway, Take care and happy new year!

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Old 01-08-2006, 08:22 AM   #10
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I got a nice email from Strayhorse-- they used the suction cup method and got out much of the dents. Glad to hear that it also worked for them.
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Old 01-08-2006, 01:10 PM   #11
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The extent of your damage might change the urgency of a solution. Are the panels compromised from a water perspective in any way?

Obviously, a crease that is severe enough to break and create a water penetrationpoint creates a greater emergency than something that can be popped out with a suction cup.
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Old 01-08-2006, 06:03 PM   #12
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I hope insurance would take of it take. Anyhoo take it to C & G Trailer Service in Bellflower, CA.... It should cost about $2,000.00 if it's only one panel. Remember, C & G Trailer. They are the best and you won't get any B.S., just professional Airstream quality work.
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