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Old 12-21-2012, 10:51 AM   #1
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Hail *Prevention*??

This is a topic that didn't come up when I searched "hail" on these forums:

I have a 1961 Bambi with a skin in pretty good condition, and I'd like to keep it that way. I'm trying to figure out what to do if I were to get caught out in a hailstorm somewhere. I thought about rigging up some kind of canopy, but the wind would likely tear it away. Covering it with something is a better option, but I don't want to carry a bunch of carpeting around with me. Anyone have some good ideas? I'm assuming that I'll be out somewhere with the kids and won't have time to find shelter.
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:00 AM   #2
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I've thought about this same subject, and I came up with only two practical solutions. 1. Keep the trailer under cover. 2. Pay the price for good insurance to repair it when/if it happens.

Wish there were a better solution.
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:25 AM   #3
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We've been hit before...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
I've thought about this same subject, and I came up with only two practical solutions. 1. Keep the trailer under cover. 2. Pay the price for good insurance to repair it when/if it happens.

Wish there were a better solution.
We were in a hail storm that pounded our trailer with quarter sized hail, both straight down and sideways. It caused $4,000 damage to our Honda Accord and looked to have damaged the trailer. There were dents everywhere. A square trailer next to us lost three windows and also had machine gun dents everywhere. Within three days of sunshine, I cannot find one dent on our trailer. The square trailer next to us still had the machine gun dents everywhere. I was surprised and relieved but I still don't want to be in another storm like that.
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:39 AM   #4
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Hail storms come up pretty fast. Hardly time to prepare. Forcasts of hail are not generally precise enough to try to take precautions every time it is forecasted.

If you are parked you could try covering the Bambi with a loose tarp tied securely to the tongue and bumper and side to side underneath. The tarp would provide only a little cushion and any wind may help as it might keep the tarp a few inches off of the skin.

If you are moving seek shelter. Gas station canopies, drive through car wash bays, highway over passes (not safe in really high winds, ) tunnels etc. The leeward side of a taller building provides some protection as hail usually is not falling straight down but coming with the prevailing wind.
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:56 AM   #5
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Covering the trailer with a tarp could possibly result in a lot of scratches in the skin as the tarp slides across the skin from wind forces.
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Old 12-21-2012, 01:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBob View Post
This is a topic that didn't come up when I searched "hail" on these forums:

I have a 1961 Bambi with a skin in pretty good condition, and I'd like to keep it that way. I'm trying to figure out what to do if I were to get caught out in a hailstorm somewhere. I thought about rigging up some kind of canopy, but the wind would likely tear it away. Covering it with something is a better option, but I don't want to carry a bunch of carpeting around with me. Anyone have some good ideas? I'm assuming that I'll be out somewhere with the kids and won't have time to find shelter.
There are two ways to protect the trailer from hail damage.

1. Have the trailer under cover, like a roof. Tarps will provide zero protection.

2. Avoid the storm.

Andy
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Old 12-21-2012, 01:24 PM   #7
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I've considered several king size bed quits with some bungee cords or other means to secure them but storing all this would be an issue.
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Old 12-21-2012, 01:56 PM   #8
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Self inflating raft(s).

Brainstorm, but why not?

Turn upside down, throw at roof, pull air release, secure with tie downs. Most are made of heavy duty materials, some pricey ones of Kevlar. There's a pretty durable air cushion against a hit by a hailstorm. I suppose you might even find an inflatable quonset hut.

Problem is, you get 10 seconds warning if you're lucky. Last time there was hail in our area I was at the grocery store. The grocery store got pummeled, my campground 3 miles away Nothing!

Paula
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Old 12-21-2012, 02:36 PM   #9
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I can't imagine a workable solution for anything but the lightest hail that probably wouldn't damage your trailer anyway. I saw the results of a baseball-sized piece of hail through a windshield one time - if that hit on a non-rib area of the roof, I'm sure it'd go through at least the outer skin.

Side note - during the early 90s, WBCCI had their international rally in Bismarck, ND, and a major hail storm came through. Every Airstream received several thousand dollars worth of damage. Jackson Center was backed up for months. They took to calling them "Bismarcks." (This being before the internet, I actually found out about this from a friend that lived in Bismarck, who let me know via a BBS message network, well before we heard from the club via the Blue Beret or anyone that was there.)
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Old 12-21-2012, 02:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
There are two ways to protect the trailer from hail damage.

1. Have the trailer under cover, like a roof. Tarps will provide zero protection.

2. Avoid the storm.

Andy
That's it.

In our part of Minnesota the hail usually comes from the northwest, so parking southeast of large trees can help a great deal. Except for the time the tree fell on my car.

It easier today when traveling with weather radar/forecasts at your cell phones. We have avoided a number of bad-looking thunderstorms with some rerouting as we move along.

doug k
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Old 12-21-2012, 03:22 PM   #11
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If you are driving along the road and it is going to hail, stop under a bridge. I realize this is easier said than done. Just thought I would throw it out there.
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Old 12-21-2012, 04:18 PM   #12
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If you have advance warning that hail is coming, you can put up hail netting. Orchard's use it to protect their tree's.
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Old 12-21-2012, 04:48 PM   #13
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If you stop under a bridge, don't run over the Harleys


My trailer came out of FL when it was new, and it's got quite a bit of hail dents in the end caps. Looks like somebody worked on it with a ballpeen hammer. Well, what are you going to do? It's "character"

It doesn't leak, and there's no real practical way to fix it short of replacing the panels. So I just live with it. Be nice if it wasn't there, but cest la vie...
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:59 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by mopariac View Post
Within three days of sunshine, I cannot find one dent on our trailer.
My dear departed dad told me once that a quick fix for hail damage is this: (1) park in bright sun on a hot day; (2) gently set an ice cube in each dent; (3) wait for the contraction from sudden cooling of the hot metal to pop the dent right back out. Won't work perfectly on every dent, but it should take care of a significant number of them so there's less to fix the hard way. He said it worked on the wings of a B-52 back when he was a crew chief, so it ought to work on an Airstream, I would think.

I thought the idea was elegant in its simplicity; if ice caused the dent, use ice to fix the dent.
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