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Old 07-15-2010, 08:42 PM   #15
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I would: 1. Visit the two nearest authorized Airstream repair outlets, 2. tell each how much you have to spend (what the insurance will cover), 3. choose the one you are most comfortable with and/or you get the most bang for your buck at, 4. fix what you can with the money you have and 5. leave the smaller, less noticeable dents as is.
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Old 07-15-2010, 10:26 PM   #16
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Agree

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I would: 1. Visit the two nearest authorized Airstream repair outlets, 2. tell each how much you have to spend (what the insurance will cover), 3. choose the one you are most comfortable with and/or you get the most bang for your buck at, 4. fix what you can with the money you have and 5. leave the smaller, less noticeable dents as is.
Money is tight now now so business are cutting rates big time.I just was sold 3 tanks I was going to buy at retail last week at wholesale this week.Someone who repairs Airstream will work with your budget rather than turning away 19k in this climate.Just be clear no short cuts are taken up front.Or look at it as battle scars and take 6 months in Europe on the money.
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
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I would: 1. Visit the two nearest authorized Airstream repair outlets, 2. tell each how much you have to spend (what the insurance will cover), 3. choose the one you are most comfortable with and/or you get the most bang for your buck at, 4. fix what you can with the money you have and 5. leave the smaller, less noticeable dents as is.
A well experienced shop, can establish a good ACV, and sell it to the insurance company, coupled with an appropriate proper estimate.

Insurance companies have very little experience with Airstream ACV's as well as Airstream estimates.

That same shop, can do amazing things with an insurance company, all for the benefit of the insured.

Andy
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Old 07-16-2010, 03:19 PM   #18
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Thanks for the replies you guys. I am surprised almost everyone suggests to keep it the way it is and deal with the bumps. Don't we own airstreams because we love looking at them? Maybe is just me but that's why I own one, to look at it and be proud of it when light shines on it just right... and of course camp in it. If it was just an utilitarian camping vehicle there are millions of travel trailer for a 1/4 of the price that function just fine... In truth the damage is 19,000 but the insurance will probably only give me 9,000 as they called it a complete loss and if I want to keep it they will deduct the salvage value of the vehicle from the $19,000. The salvage value of the vehicle is about $10,000 in the state it is now. So, is not looking good. To go back to my original question. If I really can't live with it the way it is now and I will not have enough cash to have someone fix it what is my best option of the ones I listed? BTW, I was told that the dry ice will really damage the surface and you really want to stay away from it.
Thanks again!
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Old 07-16-2010, 03:54 PM   #19
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Sell me your Bambi for $8,000. Add your $9,000 settlement. Buy the 2003 Bambi listed in the classifieds today.

Your Happy, I'm Happy.
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Old 07-16-2010, 09:20 PM   #20
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Option 1. Drill the rivets and pull the panels out. Once once the panels are removed straightening the bumps by pushing from the inside. Replace the panels to original position.
You will find that you can't fix the worst of these, and you might make them look worse. That's after completely disassembling your Airstream.

Option 2. Not sure this can be done but it would be my favorite. Remove cabinetry from the inside. Drill rivets of inside panels, remove the panel and push from the inside to straighten the bumps (don't know if insulation will prevent me from doing this but I would feel more comfortable as I wouldn't have to worry with sealing the outside panels and cutting the sealant which seems a good way to scratch the panels).
Same problem as option 1, with less work before you find that it won't be satisfactory. The worst of those panels will never look really good again. some smaller dents could be made almost to disappear, but the worst ones would require panel replacement.

Option 3. Buy new panels and replace them. I am not sure I want to spend that money and then worry for the next hail storm or tree branch.
If you are ready to bite off a project of this size and difficulty you will probably be best served by doing a combination of option 2 and option 3. Strip out the interior, fix everything you can to your satisfaction, then pull the panels you decide are not keepers. Replace them with new ones, and put it back together. What would be a big job for a professional restorer will be a labor of love for you, so it will seem easy, and time will fly by. You will know as much about your Airstream as a lot of us vintage enthusiasts do about ours. I don't know if that's good or bad, but you'll be able to decide when you are done!
Don't waste your time with option 4. Once you can get to the back of these panels you will be able to really get something done. If you post your progress as it comes, you can and will get help with things you might not even imagine now, such as how to make a dent roller to roll the minor ones out with.

Option 4. Pull panels with hot glue car suction method. I pulled one big bump in the front but the drawback is that I couldn't clean the hot glue spot were it attached to the panel.

Still, you might come out ahead by selling or trading it.

Keep an open mind. The answer will come to you, grasshopper.

Rich the Viking
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Old 07-18-2010, 11:47 AM   #21
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Thanks Rich! That's very helpful. Will the interior panels be sealed or will they come apart once I drill the rivets out? What will I find behind the panels? Soft insulation or is it foam spray insulation? Will for sure post my progress if I decide to take up the task...
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Old 07-18-2010, 12:42 PM   #22
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Thanks Rich! That's very helpful. Will the interior panels be sealed or will they come apart once I drill the rivets out? What will I find behind the panels? Soft insulation or is it foam spray insulation? Will for sure post my progress if I decide to take up the task...
Segments "cannot" be removed from the exterior, in one piece.

The bottom of each segment is riveted to a frame that you cannot see, because it's covered up be the window frame.

The top part of each segment, is riveted to a main bow, that's is covered up by the roof sheet, window sheets.

Those rivets are "blind" or flush rivets.

They can however, be sheared off, once you can get under neath each segment.

Then you only have to contend with the vulkem sealer, that's also an obstacle. However, it too, can be sheared, as long as you use a "long" putty knife.

Andy
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Old 07-18-2010, 02:54 PM   #23
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Thanks Rich! That's very helpful. Will the interior panels be sealed or will they come apart once I drill the rivets out? What will I find behind the panels? Soft insulation or is it foam spray insulation? Will for sure post my progress if I decide to take up the task...
My interior panels were just riveted on without adhesive. My Safari is a little older than your rig and things may have changed, though. Same with insulation. I found pink and yellow fiberglass batts in my shell. They fell out when I removed the interior panels. You may have something different, but I doubt it. You definitely do not have spray-in foam insulation.
The part of this that would concern me most is getting the panel replacement done really well. If you are going to go through with this you should approach it with the idea that it will be undetectable when done. Otherwise, in my opinion, it isn't worth it. You might want to contact someone on the forums who is near by to you, who has experience with panel replacement. The knowledge gained by a someone elses' experience can be invaluable. There are a lot of threads on here that deal with panel replacement also, and they are well worth reading. One that comes to mind is by Insideout, about replacing a side panel on an old rig of theirs with the help of 47weewind, Fred Coldwell.

Best to you,
Rich the Viking
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Old 07-24-2010, 11:12 AM   #24
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Finally met with the adjuster and the insurance will pay for all the damage and will not salvage my title. I am quite trilled! Since I am broke these days and need the money more than a prefect Airstream I will try to "fix" it myself by minimizing the damage on the back three top panels (the ones that got hit the hardest) by removing the inside opposite panels and cabinet (see photos) and using roller to push out. It should only be three inside panels. If I understand correctly I should only find insulation on the inside and should be able to access to outside panels fairly easily. I will not try to fix anything else. Does it still seem like a huge undertake?
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:55 PM   #25
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Not nearly as much work as before. If you can live with some minor beauty marks you will be able to spend a week in Hawaii recovering from the work. Not bad!

Best to you,
Rich the Viking
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Old 07-24-2010, 02:13 PM   #26
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If I were in your situation I would wait at least a month or two before making any decisions to repair any cosmetic defects.

If you can live with it that long, you can live with it forever as it is.

In the mean time I would put the insurance money in my 3G fund (Grub, grog and Gas)

Another advantage to having an Airstream that isn't perfect is that it isn't such a big deal if you should have another boo-boo while you are on the road enjoying life and travel while you can.
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