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Old 11-02-2006, 03:00 PM   #1
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1987 29' Sovereign
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Dent repair options

Hello all - I am going to post about something that a thread down the list talks about but I only have one dent and I am looking to get the best possible outcome.

We use our Airstream, an 87 Sovereign 29, as a mobile office and sleeper option for when we are out at tracks. Clients often use it as well, so appearance matters.

I was quoted $4,233.86 to fix the dent by the local Airstream service provider (in Az.) and I just about fainted. As it breaks down, the panels (#21 and #11) are only about $700 but the labor is $2,650. Ouch.

I am fairly new to this, and would love some advise. Do I have other options for fixing this? Someone mentioned removing the panels myself and pressing out the dent (however I think the skin has been stretched), how tough is this? How about scrap yard parts? Is it worth trying to find someone who does freelance to do the work at a lesser cost?

Any info is helpful and appreciated.
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Old 11-02-2006, 03:08 PM   #2
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Ouch! The dent has been creased and the metal stretched making it impossible to take out and have it looking good. It would be possible to remove the interior panels and try and push the dent out but remember the creases will always be there and it will be wavy.
We have a dent, not as bad as yours, but it too is creased; I named it after the campground where we got it and say hello to it as I walk around Chummy.
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Old 11-02-2006, 03:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by automatik
I was quoted $4,233.86 to fix the dent by the local Airstream service provider (in Az.) and I just about fainted. As it breaks down, the panels (#21 and #11) are only about $700 but the labor is $2,650.
Any info is helpful and appreciated.
To be honest, I think you were given a very fair quote for the repair. With your insurance covering the bulk of the cost minus your deductable, it is well worth having the repair done by the pros! I have replaced skin panels before and what you have is nothing to try as a first time project. First you have to consider the awning must be removed. The panels removed and then the window removed. What you do not show is the interior damage. Looks like a deep "dent". You are looking at a lot of man hours. Driling out all the rivits, repacking insulation, inspeting wiring, and the list goes on. Putting it all back together without it leaking is another trick. Save yourself problems and more money later and let the dealer repair your unit.

Good luck and let us all know how you make out!
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Old 11-02-2006, 03:34 PM   #4
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You would sleep comfortably if you got no further replies. The above answers speak truth at the highest level.

Would it be worth a 2nd guesstimate from Oasis RV down in Tucson? Since you know the segment numbers I'll bet they could give you a ballpark figure over the phone. Email them the picture too. The variable will be what the inside looks like.
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Old 11-02-2006, 05:14 PM   #5
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Thanks all...I'll try the second option from Tucson, but it sounds like I better not mess with this one and to get on the phone with the Insurance folk.

Much appreciated.
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Old 11-02-2006, 05:15 PM   #6
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Comparison

Automatik,
You have a very good picture, and the factory will give estimates via internet IF you call first, speak with.....I think his name is Chris, and tell him you would like to have an estimate. You then can email the pic to him, and he will send you one. That would be a good comparison. If you are going east anytime in the next year, you might even let them do it. They do a pretty good job. By the way, if you want to have a real shock, ask for an estimate using BUCKED rivets instead of the Olympic rivets. By the way, they will not remove the inside panels if done at the factory. I speak from experience.
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Old 11-02-2006, 06:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by automatik
Hello all - I am going to post about something that a thread down the list talks about but I only have one dent and I am looking to get the best possible outcome.

We use our Airstream, an 87 Sovereign 29, as a mobile office and sleeper option for when we are out at tracks. Clients often use it as well, so appearance matters.

I was quoted $4,233.86 to fix the dent by the local Airstream service provider (in Az.) and I just about fainted. As it breaks down, the panels (#21 and #11) are only about $700 but the labor is $2,650. Ouch.

I am fairly new to this, and would love some advise. Do I have other options for fixing this? Someone mentioned removing the panels myself and pressing out the dent (however I think the skin has been stretched), how tough is this? How about scrap yard parts? Is it worth trying to find someone who does freelance to do the work at a lesser cost?

Any info is helpful and appreciated.
Each segments cost about $425.00 plus rivets, sealer etc. Total maybe $1100.00.

Labor for the two segments is 12 to 13 hours.

Added to the above is the window problem. That window has not been available for months. If the metal frame can be moved back into position, then your looking at another 4 hours or so, since the window would have to be removed.

If the glass breaks, that wrap window goes for over $700.00 plus the rivets.

Airstream has not had that window in stock since this June, and they don't expect any until maybe January.

I would be extremely careful as to who you allow to repair the coach.

If the glass doesn't break, then the total repair is about $2500.00, certainly not $4000.00.

How about the inside? Is the headliner damaged or cracked?

Andy
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Old 11-02-2006, 07:15 PM   #8
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I also think you got a fair quote. I'd ask for references to see what kind of work they do as this is major thing.

Also, looking at the top of the window, it looks as if the inner rail supporting it might have also taken one for the team in addition. If you look at the rivet line upper right of the window, the support behind it also looks damaged (bent). It looks deformed (bent), and you might find that once the panel is off that a cross member might need to be replaced which might add to the cost. I could be wrong, I don't have a whole lot of exp with major skin/body work.
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Old 11-02-2006, 07:37 PM   #9
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I would check with Oasis RV in Tucson. I saw a repair job that they did on a trailer that backed into a garage. The damage was extensive and cost $8,000 to repair. You can not tell that the trailer was damaged. It never hurts to get a second opinion.
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Old 11-02-2006, 11:32 PM   #10
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I for one would like more than a couple replies myself as these folks are indeed asking for help .secondly Inland Rv has posted a cost about half including possibly the front window so thats sounds very fair also and they
do indeed know airstream trailers .you can also ask any repair facility for
references of previouse work they have done if desired .And Inland has posted the segment price of about 400 dollars on many other repair threads on this forum for these airstream curved panels.In any event, the highest price ,nor the cheapest price mean the best job ,the best referral is the key.

Scott of scottanlily
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Old 11-03-2006, 01:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Is the headliner damaged or cracked?
Non that I can tell Andy. Interesting what you say about the cost. Since I am getting a range of prices I wil lget a second and third quote.

Sounds like everyone is saying to go the pro route, now the only question is who?

Thanks for the info everyone.
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Old 11-03-2006, 04:23 PM   #12
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Corona, CA is a nice town to spend some time in. I think that I would drive to Inland RV. That is what I plan to do when I get a big dent.
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