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Old 10-19-2018, 11:10 AM   #1
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Panel on Panel Repair

I received a PM from one of our members regarding some panel damage to his 2018 25FB. I am looking for input from the group as to this type of repair.

The Airstream in question was left at an authorized Airstream Dealer in July for some minor warranty repairs and adjustment. This was the dealer from whom the Aiirstream was purchased new.

While this Airstream was at the dealer, it was side-swiped by another vehicle causing a crease and dent on one of the Airstream's side panels.

The dealer fixed the dent by putting a new aluminum panel on top of the original dented panel and attaching it with Olympic rivets. The dealer took three months to complete this repair.

Needless to say, the owner was not satisfied with the dealers repair of the damage that they had caused to this brand new Airstream. The owner had made only one camping trip with his new Airstream before dropping it off for some minor adjustments. The owners lost their whole first summer of camping with their brand new Airstream.

When the owner complained about the repair, the dealer basically told him that it was done and if he didn't like that was just tough.

Brian
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:52 AM   #2
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Was the owner notified by the dealer that their trailer had been damaged while in their possession and if so, did they authorize the repair that was made?

The factory needs to step in here and make things right.
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Old 10-19-2018, 12:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster View Post
Was the owner notified by the dealer that their trailer had been damaged while in their possession and if so, did they authorize the repair that was made?

The factory needs to step in here and make things right.

Yes, the dealer did notify the owner that his Airstream had been accidentally damaged in their shop. He was also told that they would repair it. The owner assumed that the dealer would replace the panel and not just cover it with another side panel.

I did advise the owner to speak to the Factory about this situation. I agree that the Factory needs to get in front of this thing and insure that the dealer does the right thing.

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Old 10-19-2018, 01:04 PM   #4
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Scabbing a brand new panel over a damaged one with Olympic Rivets holding it together is a standard method for repairing "minor" damage. When done correctly, its every bit as good as original.
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Old 10-19-2018, 01:23 PM   #5
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It's the same panel that would be used if they removed the damaged one; but putting it on top requires less pulling apart of adjoining panels...depending on which one. He wouldn't tell the difference between how it was done, and a replaced panel, if the dealer hadn't told him how the repair was done.
Having said all that, to 'restore' a brand new trailer to factory condition would require removing the interior furnishings and skin, then installing the new panel with buck rivets, then putting it all back together again. I would only trust the factory to do that, but even then, is it worth having so much taken apart and reassembled, with potential further issues from that?
It's a bummer to have damage like that so soon, but I'd accept the repair and move on. I'm not sure what the dealer 'doing the right thing' means to this owner, you didn't indicate what they want? A new trailer? The aforementioned taking apart of the interior to buck rivet? Or just a new panel with Olympic rivets without the old one underneath (not sure I see the advantage of that).

Hope it all turns out with them being satisfied in the end.
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Old 10-19-2018, 09:32 PM   #6
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:Pictures

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reference the picture of the left side raised panel. The exposed ridge line from a panel over a panel vs the other side of oe smooth.The flat panel picture, Observe the caulk lines and then zoom in on the Olympic Rivets. You can see imperfections ground to far down. Repair looks great from 10 feet back.

Owner was under the assumption from service the entire panel would be removed and a factory smooth appearance. Owner wanted it taken to the factory was told dealership is factory trained.

Now it is a brand new devalued rig. A call to Airstream Service said with a new trailer one year old or less the proper way is remove the interior and a new panel with buck rivets. Panel on Panel is a repair but not a new factory look on a brand new trailer with 500 miles on it max.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pcskier View Post
It's the same panel that would be used if they removed the damaged one; but putting it on top requires less pulling apart of adjoining panels...depending on which one. He wouldn't tell the difference between how it was done, and a replaced panel, if the dealer hadn't told him how the repair was done.
Having said all that, to 'restore' a brand new trailer to factory condition would require removing the interior furnishings and skin, then installing the new panel with buck rivets, then putting it all back together again. I would only trust the factory to do that, but even then, is it worth having so much taken apart and reassembled, with potential further issues from that?
It's a bummer to have damage like that so soon, but I'd accept the repair and move on. I'm not sure what the dealer 'doing the right thing' means to this owner, you didn't indicate what they want? A new trailer? The aforementioned taking apart of the interior to buck rivet? Or just a new panel with Olympic rivets without the old one underneath (not sure I see the advantage of that).

Hope it all turns out with them being satisfied in the end.
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Old 10-20-2018, 08:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmkrum View Post
Scabbing a brand new panel over a damaged one with Olympic Rivets holding it together is a standard method for repairing "minor" damage. When done correctly, its every bit as good as original.
"When done correctly" is the operative phrase. This dealer did a less than adequate job, and expected the owner to just grin and bear it. I do not think that this is right or fair considering that we are talking about a brand new Airstream that was damaged by the dealer. There is absolutely no culpability on the part of the owner. The dealer should do a proper repair to the satisfaction of the owner.

To add insult to injury, this dealer's lack of consideration has deprived the owner of the use of his Airstream for the entire camping season. One would think that a repair like this would not take three months to complete.

Brian
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Old 10-20-2018, 09:28 AM   #8
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In my opinion this is a crappy repair, it is very hard to tell olympics from bucked unless you no that their is a very tiny dot in middle of head. Olympics ground as pics. tool not adjusted properly or shaver not used but some mickey mouse way to shave such as dremal etc. [Shavers are expensive], also over lap panel should not be dif. levels. I have seen many repairs with olympics & over lays never this bad. IMO don't settle for this repair, hold their feet to the fire for repair to you satisfaction..............
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Old 10-20-2018, 10:29 AM   #9
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Unfortunately, I don't see this ending well. Attorneys will need to be involved, and that never works out. The dealer should have fixed this properly. If it the dealer I think it is, their body work people are not very meticulous. Ask me how I know. The trailer will never have the same value it had before the damage was done. It is the responsibility of the dealer to make it right. They should have insurance for things like this. I don't think the factory has any responsibility except to make sure their dealers are reputable. Obviously, the factory can fix it, but I doubt they will make any contributions on behalf of the dealer to fix it. That is my opinion, Mike
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Old 10-20-2018, 03:26 PM   #10
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Angry Dent repair

I had the same kind of experience with a bad repair on a dent in my AS. There seemed to be nothing I could do about it. I think that the only help would be to "blog" on the AD forum about the shop that did the repair and maybe some other owners would avoid this shop. I did this, but of course I never found out if anything changed or if anyone avoided this repair shop. The repair shop I dealt with was in Oxford, AL. It was a Dixie RV but had changed to Camper World. When it was Dixie RV I had received good service on my AS, but when it changed to Camper World the attitudes and service went downhill. The basic problem is that there are so few places who work and repair AS campers. This one is about 120 miles from my home and is the closest I could find. So sometimes you just to swallow your outrage and move on to try to find someone closer. I fortunately thing I have found another shop just a few miles further. Good luck finding the best shop and if you do find a marvelous service and repair shop, report it on AS forum.
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Old 10-20-2018, 11:11 PM   #11
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On earlier model Airstreams the skins were sealed on the inside with Vulcum, which makes it next to impossible to remove and separate the original skins. Hence, overlay. However, a few years ago assembly was changed to using seal tape underneath the edge seems. Also, Adseal ia now used on all the roof sealing. On recent models, if you need a replacement skin it is run on the factories computerized cutting and drilling table for an exact duplicate, by your serial number. The factory normally uses Olympic rivets for replacement. If at some point they do re-buck them I am not aware of their criteria.
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Old 10-21-2018, 12:31 AM   #12
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Say, "Thanks for the repair and the check." The dealer should pay the difference in non-damaged/non-repaired trailer and its value after damage and repair. He can't make it undamaged but he can compensate for the damage. This requires a professional appraisal. Good luck!
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Old 10-22-2018, 11:18 AM   #13
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I assume you will share the name of the dealer once this is all sorted out so others can avoid this issue in the future? If I paid north of $100k for an Airstream and then had it damaged by a certified dealer and THEN had them do shoddy repair work AND THEN lost my Airstremam for three months... in the SUMMER... let's just say it wouldn't be pretty. Airstream should be involved, and the dealership should be reprimanded/penalized, not to mention compensation to the owner. I hate "litigious America," but this a situation where someone lost out majorly on a very large purchase because of someone not doing their job. Perhaps prorate the purchase price of the airstream and have the dealer pay back the three months they "stole" from the owner for a repair that should have taken two weeks max?
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Old 03-14-2019, 04:42 PM   #14
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Hope they got an attorney. I would have had one from the time it was not repaired in a timely manner.
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