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Old 09-09-2007, 11:12 AM   #1
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Hail Damage ?

Has anyone had hail damage to their AS? I see many photos of AS, vintage and newer and havent seen any kind of skin damage like hail can cause. Is the AS skin stronger than the conventional type alum. sidiing on trailers used to be?
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Old 09-09-2007, 11:56 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KANEHILL
Has anyone had hail damage to their AS? I see many photos of AS, vintage and newer and havent seen any kind of skin damage like hail can cause. Is the AS skin stronger than the conventional type alum. sidiing on trailers used to be?
Airstream has always used tougher and thicker aluminum than the staple up or wood frame constuction.

The principal method of construction of most travel trailers, is not far removed from that of a house.

The principal method of construction on an Airstream or Argosy travel trailers is called semi-monocouqe, which means the shell itself, "is load bearing."

Most other brands of trailers depend on a frame for strength. Not so with Airstream. The strength is in the shell, which itself, holds the frame up.

The other brand trailers use an aluminum that is very soft, therefore dents easily, and stays that way.

The metal that Airstream uses, can also be dented by hail. However, because of the type aluminum, simply leaving the trailer out in the sun for a few months during the summer, will cause most of the hail dents to disappear.

Many years ago, I was the sole field representative of the insurance division of Airstream. Part of my duties was to teach dealer service departments how to write estimates and how to properly repair an Airstream, investigate loss of control accidents involving Airstream trailers and proving as best possible, the cause of that loss of control, determine and prove what rating hitch should be used with a given trailer and tow vehicle combination, revise as necessary the "crash book" that I authored for Airstream, and to fly all over the country writing an estimate for trailers that were severely damaged, and taking care of as many hail losses that I could possibly get to, taking the information as to how much damage by each panel, the degree of damage to each panel, take photo's of the damage, review with the owner what to expect in time with respect to many of the hail dents simply disappearing, reviewing with some owners the previous years damage, showing them photo's of their trailer then and comparing those photo's with the present appearance, which proved to them, that indeed, most hail dents do disappear.

I probably have written more estimates on hail damage to Airstream's than anyone to date. I estimated well over 1000 of them.

This is a lengthy answer, but necessary to state the "facts" and not an opinion related to "hail damage."

Andy
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Old 09-09-2007, 12:01 PM   #3
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Hail

Very informative. I don't know how it could have ben explained any better.
Thank you so much!
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Old 09-09-2007, 01:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KANEHILL
I see many photos of AS, vintage and newer and havent seen any kind of skin damage like hail can cause.
Preview from upcoming Winter 2007 eBay Watch column of Airstream Life magazine. Note in particular the panels just above the tail lights. Enlarge to full size for best view.
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Old 09-09-2007, 01:24 PM   #5
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Rivet Hail Damage

I believe my Excella is about as hail damaged as any I have seen. Check out the photo at Home - Photo Gallery - 1983 34’ Excella Front. It doesn’t leak, so I try not to look up when I pass by. I have considered a huge ball cap, though. Would cover the severe forehead acne and provide an awning too.
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Old 09-09-2007, 03:10 PM   #6
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Hee hee, a ball cap! That would be great, Vaughan! Practical and cute! I'd love to see that!

Susan
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Old 09-09-2007, 05:46 PM   #7
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Our 74 31' Excella survived a hail storm in Dallas a few years ago. The worst of the damage was blowing out all three vent covers on top. There was minor hail damage to the skin but I think most of it has disappeared.

I like the thought of our Airstream being self healing......

Brad
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Old 09-09-2007, 06:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alumatube
Hee hee, a ball cap! That would be great, Vaughan! Practical and cute! I'd love to see that!

Susan
Hi Susan and Brad,

Right now, I’m leaning towards a Vintage Trailer Supply cap. I was thinking John Deere for a while there. The extensive hail damage was attributed to towing through a hailstorm. Yes, it is not pretty, but I paid $8,900 vs. $14,900 for a comparable (identical except for the hail damage) trailer 500 miles further from home. I’ll live with it, and smile. The interior is immaculate. I ordered a new Carrier V 15,000 Btu heat pump yesterday. Following installation and subsequent cleanup, I’ll have you two over for dinner.

Sorry about your experience at Sup****r Spr**g in North Little Rock.
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Old 09-09-2007, 07:40 PM   #9
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Hey Vaughan!

Yay! Congrats on the A/C!! And we're looking forward to dinner... If you need help with the A/C, please let us know. I'm sure it won't be a fun one-person job unless you have help already lined up.

And good job on the savings on the trailer! I knew a girl who had her car extremely damaged from a bad hail storm in Fort Worth several years ago. The insurance company totalled the car, she bought it back for almost nothing, had the windows replaced, called it "Dimples" and drove it all through the rest of her college years. Smart girl!

Susan
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Old 09-09-2007, 09:19 PM   #10
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I have not personally had any hail damage. but the aft end cap of my 71 looks like it got it at least once. It also has a few bullet holes. Gives is western character. There was a storm in Socorro a few years ago which got hundreds of cars. Blew out all the windows and looked like someone took a baseball bat to the bodies.
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Old 09-09-2007, 09:38 PM   #11
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Airstream acne. I love it. I don't think any amound of sun is going to fix that excella, though...

I've got little dings in the tops of all 3 of my trailers, and it hasn't hailed here in a LONG time. I guess those are there to stay. I call em "Character curves"...

jp
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Old 09-09-2007, 11:05 PM   #12
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Hail damage

I failed to mention that all segments are softer aluminum material than the shell.

From 1969 up, the complete end shells are made with soft aluminum, except for the panel below the front and rear windows. From 1968 and back, only the top front and rear segments are soft aluminum.

Soft metal segments that receive hail damage, will stay that way. Rarely will a hail dent disappear from the soft metal segments.

Andy
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Old 09-16-2007, 05:03 PM   #13
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Rivet Hail Damage Revisited

Got my new awning to cover the forehead acne. Who else needs one?
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Old 09-16-2007, 05:44 PM   #14
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Nice job Vaughan...I for one appreciate the extra effort with the shadow!

Shari
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