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Old 07-21-2009, 05:20 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by dmac View Post
I also have an appointment tomorrow for an estimate with Timeless Travel Trailers, a vintage Airstream restoration shop located about 1 mile from here. They seem to do a lot of panel replacements.
They do FABULOUS work...not "cheap" but I would feel confident they would do a good job.


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Old 07-21-2009, 11:21 PM   #16
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When we heard about the hail storm in your area we held our breath for all the Airstreamers up there. We feel for you... It's one of our fears when traveling, but what can you do? There's not much youi can do if you're out and a hail storm hits. I guess that's what insurance is for...but it's a bummer any of us have to "test" our insurance. Hope it works our OK.

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Old 07-23-2009, 07:10 AM   #17
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Definitely go to the folks at Timeless Trailers or to the folks at Intermountain Coach in Colorado Springs. Both facilites do excellent work and are professional to work with.

Sorry to learn about the damage to your trailer....
Steve "Centennial Man"
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Old 07-23-2009, 07:40 AM   #18
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Hi Dan...sorry to hear about the hail damage...but congrats on the new job. Tom R in Two Harbors (and Eden Prairie)
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Old 07-23-2009, 09:32 AM   #19
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DMAC< sorry here about the hail damage.
We live 3 miles west of Maxwell and 2 miles from your location, and the twister flew right over our heads. We were pummeled by marble hail, winds whipped up branches, took down a 100+ yr old spruce which when falling snapped a power pole the house wiring was attach. The house wiring from the pole to breaker box was yanked out of the breaker box, bending the mast. The fallen tree, today, still remains laying on What is NOW live wire and Excell still hasn't shown up for even a quick look. We're using Hondas to power the coffe pot and Direct TV, You know the importan stuff. All airstream were under cover.
"62 ATW Overlander, '51 Flying Cloud
'67 GT, '90 Squarestream 29ft, 06 Bambi, Bigfoot slide in/GMC Denali K2500, Marathon Coach, Class A.
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Old 07-23-2009, 09:34 AM   #20
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Thanks for the good pics.
Real glad you found a job. 3:1000 applications is amazing. This old country is in dire trouble.

As for the dents, I am surprised at the ones so far down. How large was the hail? It must have been incoming at damm near horizontal?
Did you happen to pick one of the hailstones up? Was it hard solid or somewhat crushable?

I am fantasizing a canvas curtain (maybe padded a bit) that would hang over the domes, but that would be mainly for when its in storage. After seeing your photos I would design it to hang lower.
Puzzle will be how to quickly attach it securely and quickly. And how to design it to somewhat fit the famous contours. Probably a job for ZipDee or some such outfit.

Also wonder why Inland Andy is recommending the JaxCtr factory instead of a dealer for repair? Does he know something about dealer skin replacements that he is not telling us? I thought Inland would be able to do such work. Has something changed?
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Old 07-23-2009, 10:07 AM   #21
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We had many problems with Windish and would never go there for anything. That dealer has a bad reputation among Airstream owners.

Timeless seems to have a good reputation though I have no personal experience. Ask to see what they have repaired.

We talked to a salesman at Intermountain and he was a jerk so we walked out, but I understand the shop is better than the salesman.

Sorry to hear about your trailer. We used to live in the area and know from personal experience what hail can do. The only area worse than the Front Range is Florida. I hope this works out well for you.

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Old 07-23-2009, 10:49 AM   #22
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Another one


My turn. We have an 06 Bambi 16 that is stored in a yard near Alemeda and Garrison. Severe damage to the left rear upper corner panel, at least 4 other panels and the road side wall damaged plus the A/C is done for. We are retired and could take it to JC but I am wondering if that won't be more expensive then Windish? How about letting Andy submit a bid? Are there any local expert shade tree mechanics willing to have a look?

CrawfordGene, would you be willing to call me? 303-905-8078.

DMAC, would you please call, I also have an appointment with Windish in August and would like to compare notes.

What does a panel replacement usually cost?

Any other input is greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-23-2009, 05:15 PM   #23
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The pricing for the replacement of skin segments and panels is dictated by the insurance companies who rely on the Airstream warranty times and rates. This system is based on "flat rate" work which pays a given amount for a specific project regardless of how much time the project actually takes. Therefore, the pricing between repair facilities will vary only slightly. Here at Timeless, our factory trained technicians have been doing body repair work for some dealers and occasionally for the factory rather than returning the unit to Jackson Center. The cost of transportation is not cheap.

Most insurance companies will total a vehicle if the claim amount exceeds 70% of the current market value of the unit. Some companies will go as high as 85%. If the insurance company totals the unit they will write you a check for the value of the vehicle prior to the loss and take title to it. Most will give you the option to purchase it back at salvage value. If you decide to purchase it back you will be given a salvage title and, unlike automobiles, the VIN will be blacklisted and you will not be able to insure it again. This practice varies from state to state. It rarely pans out to repurchase the trailer and have it re-skinned from a cost standpoint. We have had many people over the years find a wreck damaged Airstream at an online auction and want to have it repaired. The cost usually exceeds the value of a comparable used trailer on the open market. There is an economic reason the insurance company totaled the unit in the first place. Some people with the skills to rebuild a wrecked Airstream have purchased these units and bought the repair parts from a dealer at retail prices and had reasonable success in making repairs. However, if they were to count the value of their time, they would find that they are earning much less than minimum wage for their efforts. Unfortunately, there is little market for "fix-n-flip" in the trailer world.
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Old 07-23-2009, 05:49 PM   #24
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Oh, man the hail is my biggest nightmare

We live south of Denver and the rain came down like a curtain - could not see the street for all of it. We don't know (but are very hopeful) if our "Moonunit" was damaged as we have not been able to get out to her until this weekend. She is parked south of Chatfield reservoir and I didn't hear of hail out there - all seemed to be West and or North of Denver. I did hear on the news that they reported anywhere from ping pong ball to tangerine size, yikes!!!

I, unfortunately, have to agree w/GeneCrawford about Windish. We have been in contact or visited them several times on various problems and have never felt happy w/customer service. Don't know about other 2, but sounds like some people have had good results.

I wish you the best of luck with all (I sure am keeping my fingers crossed)
Leigh (IB Aluminated)

"When a great ship is in harbour and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for." by Clarissa Pinkola-Estes, author of ‘Women Who Run With the Wolves’
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Old 07-23-2009, 06:56 PM   #25
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Just for the HAIL of it......I checked with my insurance co. today to check on my coverage.
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Old 07-23-2009, 08:19 PM   #26
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My trailer took a field trip to Timeless Travel Trailers yesterday for an estimate, and Brett (see his post above) took time to show me around. In summary, if you live in the west there is no reason to drag a trailer half way across the country to the factory for repair work. I saw a brand new trailer that the factory was having repaired at TTT, the sheet metal work had been completed and looked excellent. They showed me some of the high end work that was in-process, and it was amazing. Worthy of the heavy investment made by wealthy Airstreamers. They will work with my insurance company to complete the repairs, to start in 2-3 weeks. The repairs will take a couple weeks, when I will need to stay in a motel. I'm sure they will do a fine job. I will post progress here.
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Old 07-23-2009, 11:09 PM   #27
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I agree they sound like they know their business. Brett's explanation of the insurance was very interesting.
In my mind totaling an item for damage that is simply cosmetic, makes no sense though.
Hail damage is usually only cosmetic.
Dan's 2003 is gonna value out way above total territory. But for vintage owners a passing hail storm like Dan encounterd could almost always spell total loss.

I have no idea of Dan's repair estimate, but basing it on the pics he posted my uneducated wild guess is going to be $6500 dollars for the skin replacement. Not counting on the roof being replaced.
Am I even close. Over or under?
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Old 07-24-2009, 02:25 AM   #28
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About the cost of skin repairs:

Airstream shops charge about the same rates as auto repair shops... just north or south of $100 per hour. The rate is based on the cost of doing business: employees; building; property taxes; insurance; energy costs; etc and of course some profit.

Unlike auto repair shops Airstream repair centers have only one place to purchase body components...Airstream. Compared to auto or truck body panels the cost is pretty realistic. The compound curved segments for the end caps are pretty fragile unitl they are installed so extra care is taken in Jackson Center to bubble wrap them and place them in large cardboard boxes. One box can suitably handle up to 5 segments. Side and roof sheets are rolled with a strip of tape covering the cut ends and a layer of paper to protect the finish from being scratched. The rolls are then placed in a two part box. Even with these precautions and only one truck line shipping the parts, damage in transit can still take place. We never start work on a body repair until the aluminum arrives in good condition. We also try to stock materials for at least one entire end and one entire 34' side sheet for faster turnaround times on repairs. Warehousing and protection consumes valuable space and time. The cost of shipping has been on a roller coaster ride with the price of fuel but it is not unusual for the cost of shipping one box to be $300 or more.

Depending on the segment or sheet being replaced the time alotted is between 6 and 15 hours per piece. If two panels are being replaced and they share a common rivet line there is a time and cost savings. There are special techniques which must be employed to maintain the structural integrity of the coach and to prevent damage to adjacent panels. Removing the original segment, or most of it anyway may take 1/2 the allotted time. There are also incidental and related costs as well: Belt and rub rail and their fillers need to be removed and re-installed; Olympic rivets and SikaFlex; electrical repairs to running lights; badges, stickers and labels need to be removed and replaced as they are not generally reusable (we do remove and reuse the RVIA label as it has a unique serial number that is associated with the Vehicle Identification Number); and pressure/leak testing after the repairs are made.

The single largest difference in cost between building a new body and repairing a damaged body is that the repair work must be taken apart first. If damaged vehicles could be inexpensively repaired, we would all be driving 55 Tbirds and 57 Chevy's.

Because of the nature of the storm which hit our area (heavy rain, wind speeds topping 70 mph, and .5" to 1.25" hard hail which was driven nearly horizontal to the ground) we are seeing coaches with damage to both the upper and lower side sheets on one side and damage to all seven segments on each end. We have also seen A/C units which have received no damage, some with broken covers and some rendered completly inoperable. There are broken skylights, Fantastic Vents, range hood vents, refrigerator access and vent doors, refer roof vents destroyed, Alumigaurd awning covers damaged, propane tank covers dented, and a few broken windows. The direction the trailer was parked in relation to the wind direction during the storm has a great deal to do with how much surface area is damaged. Trailers of all brands in the storage yard near our location were damaged in an unpredictable pattern. We have a 1962 Airstream 40' which was custom built for the Western Pacific Railroad. Fortunately it received little damage. Within 25 feet there is a new Flying
Cloud which is so badly damaged that it will probably be totaled. We have a 1978 International in our lot which was ready for delivery and was parked with the nose facing directly north, into the storm. All four sides have damage. Since the trailer had just received a new custom interior and all new systems for approximately $100,000, the $40,000 cost to reskin the entire unit will be covered by the owner's insurance. Most of the trailers we have been writing up have damage to at least one side and both ends. The costs, taken from the manufacture's warranty pricing book have been running from $16,000 to over $35,000.

The truly sad situation in our lot is the 1953 Spartan Mansion. This unit has only the milage from Tulsa to Granby and back to Denver. I think the owners stopped using it about 1960. It was an all-original, perfect condition time capsule. It now has a street side side sheet which needs to be replaced. The compound curve segments,front and rear, cannot be replaced and will need to be repaired using auto body filler techiques and the area painted because it is no longer a candidate for polishing.

The other sad case is the little DWR Airstream which was delivered 12 hours before the storm for a single segment replacement now has nearly $30,000 in damage and may be totaled.

Brett Hall
Wheat Ridge (Denver) Colorado
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