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Old 08-03-2012, 08:27 AM   #1
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2008 25' Safari FB SE
Medina , Ohio
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Living With Hail Damage

Hello Experts!

I haven't posted for a while.....I have sold my 92 Excella 29' to some lovely people in VA - they are very happy with it.

Now I'm searching for my 'Dream Airstream'. What I really want is a '05-'08 Safari 25' LS SE FB queen.

I have found a 2007 in TX. It is in a price range that I can afford BECAUSE.....It had been hail damaged (2010) and purchased by present owner with a Salvage Title. The present owner had all issues fixed on the roof and now has a 'Repaired Salvage Title'. The only thing not fixed was the skin......

My question: Does this effect the trailer? What are the feelings about the hail damage dents? My take on it is this: You live on the inside (which is perfect!). So the trailer has cellulite.....so do I!

I've seen this model cost anywhere from $38,000 - $42,000. This owner has started the price at $28,000.....I have about $24-25,000 to work with so this might be mine!

Any opinions here?
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Old 08-03-2012, 08:47 AM   #2
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Skin problems

Hail--- I'd be all over this one ! Go for it and good luck.
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Old 08-03-2012, 08:55 AM   #3
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Looks in great shape other than the hail. But then this might be to your advantage. Don't golf balls fly further because of the dimples? You may get better gas mileage because of the dimples in the AS .
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Old 08-03-2012, 08:59 AM   #4
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I can identify with you in terms of looking for "the deal."

Unless the hail damage is so extreme that it deformed the skin to the point that seams open up and create new leaks, then I would classify your hail damage as simply aesthetic.

My opinion about airstreams: they are 90% aesthetics. If you are primarily concerned with the way the trailer is on the inside, then you can get a lot more white-box trailer for your money. I'll share two stories with you from my recent experiences:

1) I recently bought a used car for my mother in law. She tends to "feel her way" into parking spots, so any car she drives quickly shows bumps and dings, and scraped hubcaps (therefore it doesn't matter if the car starts out pristine). I got a great deal on the car--around $2000 off of what the blue book should be. HOWEVER--it isn't perfect. It has a ripple in the bumper, a ding in the driver's door, and a shallow dent in a rear quarter panel. Everytime I look at this car, my eye goes immediately to the defects. Sooner or later, I will forget what a great deal I got, but those dents and dings will still be there grinning at me. I would imagine that at some point, you will get tired of explaining to random passers-by that the hail damage happened prior to your owning the trailer, but that it meant you got a bargain price.

2) I bought a vintage Airstream over a year ago with the intention of doing relatively superficial fix-up tasks. Somehow that has turned into a shell-off refurb. The trailer came with a large dent in the lower front corner panel, which I managed to pop out mostly with a big suction cup. Now that the shell is just a shell, I am seriously considering replacing the panel, just because I can. To your point, you don't notice the dent from inside the trailer, but it draws the eye like a magnet when you approach the front door.

Having just gone through the used car buying experience, and having been offered a lot of used cars with salvage titles, that are priced as if their title was clean, I would say that your prospective trailer is over-priced. These "totaled" vehicles/trailers get dumped at auction for practically nothing. In the case of a car, at least there is a bunch of body work to do to get it fixed up for resale, in the case of this trailer, I am wondering what "issues" were fixed on the roof. I'm guessing we're talking about a broken AC cover or the like.

Good luck on your decision--for me, the deal just isn't good enough.
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Old 08-03-2012, 08:59 AM   #5
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Do check with your insurance company verify that they will cover a repaired vehicle with a salvage title, we had a negitive experience with a car that was totaled and repurchased after hail damage. Otherwise it looks like a cherry inside.
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Old 08-03-2012, 09:04 AM   #6
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You should check with your insurance company to see what coverage you can get for the trailer. Different states have different rules.
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:06 AM   #7
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Hail happens, sometimes I wish it would and just get it over with. Would sleep better on stormy nights.

As for buying one that way, I would be cautious about secondary damage, paying more than it's worth, and insurability. You should buy it cheap considering the pitfalls.

A few years ago the MN Airstream dealer had a storm come through and nailed a bunch of their trailers. I suppose they collected insurance, then sold them at a discount, but not that much off. Now they keep them in the showroom in spring/summer.

doug k
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:11 AM   #8
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Your not the one in Old Katy with the Scaffold over the body off driveway restoration are you!? Saw one the other day over there....extensive.
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:04 AM   #9
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I have a 83 classic motorhome that had massive hail dammage. They replaced the center roof panels. The end caps both are dimpled therefore name is Dimple Darling. It has a salvage title and so far it has not been a problem. They all leak somewhere in time. You just have to be aware and fix as needed.

Nothing is perfect, you wont need to worry about the next ding. Scars and wrinkles happen but do not effect our ability to be productive and enjoy life.

If the dimples dont make you upset, go for it. Relax and get her on the road.

KAY
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:26 AM   #10
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I sold my mint 2009 25FB Classic for my current 2011 30 Classic - I love this trailer but after one year (it lived at the beach last summer)...

1. Dissimilar metal corrosion (my 25FB was corrosion free as it spent most of its short life in Cali...
2. Minor, but still, small dings on back of trailer from "Hail Damage" - bothers me a little bit a first, (and it is very, very minor) but cosmetic and does add character.

I'm keeping this trailer for a long time, and thus will replace panels as necessary as for the corrosion, need to figure out a way to get rid of it permantly (around the marker lights)...


But my point is... - Buy, Buy, Buy - you will ding a brand new one thanks to Mother Nature or another human - the salvage title doesn't matter if you don't plan on reselling....

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Old 08-03-2012, 11:30 AM   #11
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i would say if it don't bother you it don't bother me.. Belegedhel has a good point thou, it will always be looking at you every time you go to the door.

that being said i read a post where the guy just painted it silver, just the right color of silver. he said you couldn't hardly see the difference between painted and polished. a lot less maintenance. just wash and wax. there is a long post about it.

just something to think about..

t
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:40 AM   #12
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It will save you the heartache of that 'first ding' which all Airstream owners cry over... which is followed by the 2nd and 3rd...

It's really, really hard to keep a pristine Airstream while actually using it...
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txtoad View Post
i read a post where the guy just painted it silver, just the right color of silver. he said you couldn't hardly see the difference between painted and polished. a lot less maintenance. just wash and wax. there is a long post about it.
I too have to agree - this will always be my backup...
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:25 PM   #14
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I'm with you John, silver paint is the backup plan if ever needed and a few hails dings are not the end of the world. Right now she's pristine but we use it six months a year so I know that won't last. We'll be visiting the CA coast this winter.

John, if your marker (clearance) lights are like mine there is no gasket between the light frame and the shell. Big trouble I have been able to avoid with CorrosionX, but looking to get gaskets as in the latest trailers, or a better light design. I'm going through JC next month and we'll see what they can do.

doug k
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