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Old 02-12-2016, 08:08 PM   #1
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Dings, Scratches and Dents... Therapy Repairs

When you purchase a new or used Airstream every ding, scratch or blemish is glaring at you. So much, it is embarrassing for some.

I know. Put lipstick on a pig, philosophy. But do not take it so hard. This can be fixed.

Just ignore it or them. They are like the wrinkles on my face... a distraction from my expired truck and trailer plates.

Some dents come from "nowhere". Because you do not recall "no where" it could have come from. I see them after every trip. Some wipe off... others do not.

The right side of your trailer is most vulnerable for abuse. Then the rock panel guards and front.

There are several kinds of brush and tree scratches.
- Leaf and "soft wood"
- Dry branch and dead brush

I tell the difference when I see one by licking my index finger and crossing across the "scratch" lightly. If the scratch is a soft scratch... you will not see anything into the aluminum.

The dry branch and woody scratches will leave a permanent mark. You must be careful buffing, as that might be more obvious than the barely noticed scratch. I heard using tooth paste, but still you had better think twice about fixing what is not a serious issue.

Rock dings and dents are just that. Dings. Dents and dings are only a distraction for you. Just renew your plates, you will feel better. Otherwise, No body really gives it one thought that you are out abusing your trailer in the wilderness and gravel grave pits for trailers in the Rocky Mountains or downtown Dallas/Fort Worth.

With a very light buffing pad and wheel, some clear coat polish... you can try to minimize a light scratch... but why? Next year you will repeat the injury. Your right side of the trailer falls victim first... as you see it every time you enter your trailer.

When I get a new ding, dent or scratch... it is no ones fault... but my wife's. She could have warned me of this Texas Sage Bush crowding the narrow gravel road. Well, that is just an example of something "NOT" to do. But it might have crossed your coconut skull once or twice. Hey, I am a guy too. It is never our fault.

IF you have a serious DENT, a smack or something large... be inventive. It is less expensive to put a "Broncos 2017" sticker over it. Or an engraved name plate large enough to cover the injury and leave space so who ever buys the trailer in the distant future... can add their name to the list. See... genius. You are now thinking, which can be dangerous in the hands of a creative person.

So fellow Airstream owners. You want to see some dings, dents and scratches... check in with me a few years from now. I will also show you my trailer, if you want. At least your dings, dents and scratches will heal. Your Airstream may look like a wreck on the outside... buy ooooh wee... it is a beautiful beast of a trailer inside.

Think like this and you will have had your "Airstream Therapy" at no cost to you. Thanking me by posting your recovery post from these unexplained minor details would be appreciated. Eventually connect the ding dots and maybe become an abstract artist... now THAT is a good idea. There is always an ice breaker to be seen on the door entry side for new friends... this could be it.
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Old 02-12-2016, 09:08 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post

When I get a new ding, dent or scratch... it is no ones fault... but my wife's. She could have warned me of this Texas Sage Bush crowding the narrow gravel road. Well, that is just an example of something "NOT" to do. But it might have crossed your coconut skull once or twice. Hey, I am a guy too. It is never our fault.

IF you have a serious DENT, a smack or something large... be inventive. It is less expensive to put a "Broncos 2017" sticker over it. Or an engraved name plate large enough to cover the injury and leave space so who ever buys the trailer in the distant future... can add their name to the list. See... genius. You are now thinking, which can be dangerous in the hands of a creative person.

I don't know if you noticed my post elsewhere, but I will take heed of your therapeutic suggestions. Actually, my trailer should be fixed good as new from my recent confrontation with a fence, but in so doing I suspect I have used up my "get out of jail free" card with my insurance company. If I had just chosen to live with it, I would have needed the Gettysburg Address on a poster to cover one dent, and at least the Declaration of Independence, if not the Constitution, to cover the other.

But I'm glad you mentioned blame. Having broad shoulders, I have accepted all the blame. However.... Lupe was seated in the passenger seat, and one sharp bark was all it would have taken to avoid this. Lupe? Pay more attention next time!


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Old 02-12-2016, 09:37 PM   #3
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I get upset when I see perfect Airstreams, mine at 10 has seen two P O , and now with me, 22k of travel for work a season. She has dings, and is scratched, but you are right, my inside is just wonderful, small, just enough space with bedding better than home. I kinda wear my dings and scratchs as a badge of hard work and use, he k a few weeks of the year we travel with four grandkids in that 19'!
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Old 02-12-2016, 09:41 PM   #4
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Scars only grow on those who survive...
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Old 02-12-2016, 10:41 PM   #5
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I'm from the school of "Let me smack the other side and make it even"
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Old 02-12-2016, 10:49 PM   #6
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Thank you Dr. Eklund, I feel much better now.
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Old 02-13-2016, 11:57 AM   #7
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I brushed the side of our newly re-coated '89 turning too tight on a pine tree sapling. I couldn't believe the clear-coat was marked; my first mark...like the first dent on a new car! I considered polishing it out, and eventually forgot about it. Many years later it disappeared when the trailer needed to be re-coated again. This time I had some minor corrosion marks left under the coating, that we did not pay to have polished out. Bothered me for about a week then other things came along to take my attention off it.
My current '96 has a small dent on the back upper corner that I didn't see until I had the unit for a few days. two years later it doesn't bother me anymore.
You're absolutely right Ray!
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Old 02-13-2016, 01:11 PM   #8
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Ted S, that's good.
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Old 02-13-2016, 01:19 PM   #9
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A lesson learned...the easy way. The 25 foot rule.

As you gather dings, dents and scratches over the years... park further away from other campers. Most will not notice, and the rest cannot see that far to notice you are there.
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Old 02-13-2016, 02:32 PM   #10
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When I bought my 345 motorhome about a year ago it was rough, very rough!
Dents and scratches everywhere.
I tried pulling one dent out with no success, I have since spent all my time on the engine, transmission, furnaces, front end parts, plumbing etc
My favorite part of camping, especially when joining another Airstream group.
Usually you have to drive by all the MUCH nicer units. You know the ones who only have 6 to 8 small dings and scratches.
I always feel like they're watching me with open gate mouths and amazement. (Frankly I'm usually amazed me made it to)
I look at this as a community social service. I figure "you all" got to feel better after seeing my rig!
I back into my spot looking like that scene in the movie Christine where the wrecked burnt hull of the car pulls into the garage and backs into its spot still smoldering (not much of an exaggeration here, I did actually pull into a spot with a heater hose leak and steam escaping from behind the grill)
I shut it off (only when I'm absolutly sure I won't have to restart it in the next few hours) and get out to meet my wife in what I call the chase vehicle (Honda car-v) and commence camping!
I'm not sure I'd want a cosmetically perfect shinny dent free skin, I might be afaraid of EVERY potential threat.
I'd like to think I'm "cool" and the 345 is "different"
But... I think it's really the other way around
Yes the dents, scratches, and the fact it's missing a third of its clear coat does bother me a little, but as the song says I absolutely love "looking at the world through the windshield, watching it fly by me on the right"
And yes I know that crack in said windshield is only gong to get bigger
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Old 02-13-2016, 02:57 PM   #11
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Nice Post

I bought one with some travel scars. Not bad ones but nonetheless scars. Apparently the original owner drove away at some point not locking down the awning and, at some point ran over something under the trailer that caught the rear bumper and bent it and scratched the bottom area.

My first boo-boo was putting it into storage in the shared warehouse. While gone, someone else had taken a plywood panel and stuck it on top of the shelf unit on the side. I did not see it and the corner of the plywood dug right into the corner panel when I backed in- CRATER DENT!

I had the panel replaced but it is certainly easy to have "spots" that you wish weren't there. Recently in storage I noticed my rock guard with a scrape across the side edge- not me! Who knows where it came from.

One lesson for me was last year at a rally I met the nicest young couple with an older Sovereign model. It was rough but they were so happy to have it and gave me a tour. I could not help but be moved by their enthusiasm and plans. I walked away realizing what it would become rather than what it was presently. Just a thought.
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Old 02-13-2016, 04:03 PM   #12
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Dings, scratches and dents on our Airstream come with travel and age. Like her and I. We don't sweat it, but still care for it likes its new hoping it will last a long time. Like her and I.
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Old 02-13-2016, 04:29 PM   #13
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Grosspoluter... welcome. Have you ever noticed when someone has a nice shiny new trailer or vehicle, people park right next to your for safety. Safety for THEIRS, not yours.

You obviously have all of the room you need without asking anyone!

Reminds me the the Desi and Lucy movie inheriting a trailer "home" and towing it for the first time. I am reminded because I and Lucy are fascinated with rocks... although I can manage much smaller ones in the oven and overhead storage areas.

I ask Nancy if she wants to bake me a cake... and get "that look".

This is enough to give those spending hours keeping our friend on wheels in the best condition as possible... yet things happen and you are not present.

Remember the days of bumper stickers? If you were in the Black Hills of South Dakota... you return to your vehicle and someone attaches "bumper stickers" to your bumper. I guess today you have to buy them.

A friend of mine had a flyer tucked under his windshield wiper of his car. In the process the wiper unit detached from his car in the process... I did not stick around to catch that conversation, as I was running over to protect my vehicle from flyer and bumper stickers.
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