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Old 06-30-2010, 05:41 PM   #1
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Montana hailstorm killed my Bambi!

Today had a major hailstorm in Montana. It damaged all of the top panels and many of the side panels. Not sure if it will be considered totaled. There are a couple of airstream dealers in Montana and it looks like they only repair a handful of them every year. They say they are certified by airstream but I am not sure if it means they can actually do a good job. Anyone has recommendations for fixing such an extensive damage around Montana? Should I trust a "certified" dealer where they only do a handful them a year?

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Old 06-30-2010, 06:14 PM   #2
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Soooo sorry for your problem....

I am sure it would be worth a trip.....maybe Ohio? do it right.

"If it can't be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled or composted
then it should be restricted, redesigned or removed from production."
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Old 07-01-2010, 08:29 AM   #3
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I'm so sorry to hear this - my stomach turns a bit anytime I hear about extensive hail damage to someone's baby! Maybe get in touch with Airstream of Spokane and see what they think. It'd be a few hours' drive for you but they have a great reputation. Good luck.
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:12 AM   #4
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marchesi, so sorry to hear about the damage. We had the same storm pass through too. It was past midnight, and we just stood there watching the hail hit the Airstream, feeling sick, and wondering where we would get it repaired. We have a dealer in our city, but we don't want to be their "practice" trailer, since they've never done hail repair. Anyway, the next morning, we were surprised to see no damage. The biggest, most damaging hail hit on the other side of our city.

Anyway, we decided that if there was significant damage, we would ship the trailer out to Can-Am RV, the only other Canadian dealer. In your case, maybe send it to the west coast. Go somewhere with experience.

Best wishes. We feel for you.
Lisa and Paul

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Old 07-01-2010, 10:38 AM   #5
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having nice stuff

the hail damage has never happened to me, nor have I been pregnant. But neither condition keeps me from having opinions. Nice stuff is so hard to keep that way, seems like everyone including mother nature has different ideas. Just to throw out to everyone: 1) how worrisome is hail to you? Is there a fool proof way of protecting a travel trailer? 2) okay it's got "freckles"-is it no longer good enough for you? Once it's freckled, no more worries, mate. 3) Can such damage ever be repaired "correctly" or "sufficiently" or is it really worth going through the pain of actually repairing?

I dunno, I had a refrigerator ice maker line let go in my stick house, and it flooded my hardwood floor(Kand I were gone 1 hour-looking at an AIRSTREAM-just now remembered why we were gone!!! IT WAS YOUR FAULT, WALLY!). After all the BS the remediation folks, the insurors, the repair guys, the piano "destroyers" (aka movers) made us go through, I think next time it won't get fixed.

Oh, and please, I mean no disrespect to the water Gods.

ol' Bill (still wonderin' how there are now TWO a/s in my drive?!)
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Old 07-01-2010, 11:50 AM   #6
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Hail is a worry of mine too. Can you post a picture? When you say it is totalled perhaps is that an exaggeration? The factory would be the place to go imo definitely. They repair the skins often and though it is a trip to get there it will be a pleasant one when you can make it there. I wish the Airstreams had impact air bags on the roof to deploy at the first signs of hail. I think yours is too new to be content to live with the damage. Your insurance should be helpful towards fixing your Airstream.

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Old 07-01-2010, 11:56 AM   #7
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Wink hail away

We have had three Airstreams. The first came with some dimples...did not bother me at all, still was beautiful. Second one was a later year, I was fanatical, any little bit of filaform got taken care of, did lots of nice remodeling and updating, it was beautiful. It got totalled. The one we have now is also beautiful. We have had it for 4 months. It got hit by hail. It now has "beauty marks". The insurance co. gave us lots of money to repair it. You can hardly see the dimples unless you look hard. I am not getting it repaired. No point. It is still beautiful!! Enjoy and quit obsessing. It is just not worth it. Enjoy your beautiful Airsteam, with the beauty marks (dimples).
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:04 PM   #8
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Nebraska Hail got my TV. Broken windshield and dents large enough to crack the paint in places. Baseball size, lasted about 20 minutes. I was sooo p$#%%(ed off. My dog was in the truck at the time, I couldn't believe how calm he was when I came out of the store. This happened 4 weeks ago. We just returned from our first trip in the Argosy last week, about a thousand miles and just missed another huge storm about 30 miles from home. The wind was blowing 80 mph, so I ducked behind the Wal Mart store until it passed. The last 30 miles went smoothly. The trailer pulled like a dream even through the curved roads of the Colorado Rockies. I kept looking in the mirrors to make sure it was still back there.
If you are near Pueblo, CO. Take the Colorado City exit and go west to San Isabel. It's worth the trip to see Bishops Castle. There is a nice campground "Aspen Acres" just 3 miles up the road from San Isabel.
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:45 PM   #9
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Sorry about your hail experience! The job you describe could be huge. Would you really re-skin each end cap & a side or two? Could more than a handful of shops in the country handle a job this big?

Put your question in medical terms...
Should I trust a "certified" surgeon where they only do a handful of bypasses a year?
I've heard good things about the Spokane dealer. You'll need some valid estimate based on experience. Give their service dept a call and see if they'd even tackle it. I'm closer than you but would think about Jackson Center or nothing. The potential for problems afterward is significant. Go with a repair shop that has a real track record of standing behind their work -- and is a reasonable distance to return there with any potential post-repair issues. Totaling your baby could be a close call.

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Old 07-02-2010, 09:15 AM   #10
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Is now a good time to mention that... less than gaping crater or bullet gouge dimples will gradually lessen over time? The sun heating - cool cycles will pull them flatter and flatter over time; not back to perfect but something to consider if certain sections only have a few or glancing strikes..

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Old 07-02-2010, 11:10 AM   #11
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to echo what wabbiteer said - find a hot, dry place [think AZ in the summer - 115 deg, 5% humity] and let your AS sit for a while.

we bought our AS from folks in MA about a year ago. it had a fair sized dent in the back side panel - a 'poke' mark plus a X-shaped crease [not across a seam].

we have kept it stored outside, but covered, at a nearby RV place [double drat those HOA regs that won't let us keep our AS at our home].

over the past year the changes in temp and humidity seem to have reduced the overall effect of the dent by about half.

so yeah - that might be a first attempt to lessen the overall effect of the hail damage.

good luck

Jon & Deb
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Old 07-02-2010, 11:22 AM   #12
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Here are some photos.

THanks for all the good answers. I am trying to get some estimates. I am thinking that the damage might put my Bambi in the "Totaled" realm and I don't want that to happen. I put way too much love and time into it to give it away. I am thinking about keeping the dimples but then we own airstreams because we love looking at them... Here is a photo to see what it looks like...
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Old 07-02-2010, 11:33 AM   #13
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Can you fill it and paint the end cap? or how about giving the cap a brim? Seriously can you think of a graphic or attachment such as a custom emblem or contoured patch that would enhance the look of your Bambi and cover some of the damage? You know those short rock deflectors for the hoods of trucks how about one for the top of the AS? We might all buy hail deflectors for our Airstreams in that case. or a really cool mounting or extra lights up there...

Sorry you have damage. Maybe some can be pulled out a bit.

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Old 07-02-2010, 01:00 PM   #14
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Maybe this solution could work for a Airstream dimples as well?
Check out a dent and hail repairshop. Make sure to get a quailified shop and a good body man to work on it.
Here's my story:
I recently had someone open a car door into my car that is a limited edition car and needless to say special to me. Anyway, I ended up with a dent in the quarter panel.
I searched for someone who could fix the dent without patching and repainting.
I found a guy not far from where I live that specializes in repairing dents from hail and dings like my car received.
All the guy needed was a small space to slide his wire like tools behind the spot and tapping it lightly he completely removed the dent. I was and still am, amazed at the skill the guy had to do this repair. ,
I was told that he served a 5 year apprenticeship to learn the trade and now makes a 6 figure salary every year since. He was not the owner of the shop, just a worker.
When my trailer gets hail damage I'll seek out this guy to do the work on it first without removing panels from the outside. If he can't do it, I'll probably try JC for new panels or not bother doing anything.
My point being that there may be someone in your area that does this work as well.
I checked out car and truck forums for recommendations and all pointed to the one shop I went to for the work.

PS They only charged me $60 to fix the ding in the car.

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