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Old 08-27-2007, 04:09 PM   #1
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14,000 blunder

Hey guys
We just got back from a trip to Columbia , CA (Marble Quarry).
On our way there I hit something with the arm of my awning. The arm pulled off after it put a dent in the side of my AS (two spots the top arm holder AND bottom arm holder) The parts that hold the arm to the trailer broke off from the force of the hit. (we didn't feel a thing...noticed it when we stopped for a fill up ) The two back corner panels AND the whole side panel need to be replaced if we want her back to her original condition. The rough estimate from the Airstream dealer is $14,000.00!!!! 7,000 for the two back corner panels and 7,000 for the side panel.
Has anyone used Manteca Trailer & Camper for such a repair? (can I even ask this on this forum??) It'll take two weeks to order/get the panels from Airstream and another week to complete the work. Now I just wait to hear from the claims adjuster.
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Old 08-27-2007, 04:23 PM   #2
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This is terrible!

Really sorry on your loss here. You must have taken quite a wallop. I can't figure the hit though. An awning support is only 2 inches from the body side. Were you side swiped or do you press it that close? I hope insurance comes thru for you.
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Old 08-27-2007, 04:31 PM   #3
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It really made my stomach queezy to read your post. I am very sorry that you had such misfortune on your brand new baby. Do you have any idea how this came about? I would sure like to avoid such a fate.
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Old 08-27-2007, 04:33 PM   #4
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I have a friend that was very satisfied with some minor bodywork done by Toscano's in Los Banos, and others also speak well of Toscano's. I don't have any direct experience with the Manteca dealer but they own the dealer in Sacramento, which many on the forum and in the AS community do not like for various reasons, myself included. People also talk positively of an AS service center in, I believe, Carson.

Best wishes - we are starting a 3-month journey after Labor Day, and I'll be watching my awning arms! (and my receiver bolts, tire temperatures, tire pressures, flooding, lightening, mosquitos, holding tank overflows, etc.)
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Old 08-27-2007, 04:35 PM   #5
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bummer millva' !

got photos?

price for one full length side panel seems about right,

but just 2 formed end sections?

this part should be closer to 3k$...

most of the charge is labor rates (cali labor rates)

for side skin replacement (on new units) they often just overlay the new panel onto the old...

you really cannot tell afterward...

IF you aren't willing to travel eastward,

get estimates from every dealer service center on the left coast...

email them PHOTOS....

sure your insurance will cover most of the cost, but you still want it done right, right?

cheers
2air'
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Old 08-27-2007, 04:40 PM   #6
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I did something similar once. I bought the panels from AS (3 of them) and a couple of parts from ZipDee and replaced them myself. Not all that hard. You might consider buying the panels and having an aircraft shop install them. Fourteen grands's a lot of dough.
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Old 08-27-2007, 06:03 PM   #7
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$14k??!! Sounds like something Manteca would charge. I would NEVER take my baby to them. I have had poor service from their department and they are SLOW getting things done. When buying I also found them not good to work with. Toscano's in Los Banos would be my first choice and Manteca would be way down the list.

As stated earlier, can't you have some local aircraft people do your work for you and get the parts from AS? I know that Zip Dee is very good at getting parts out for repairs and the cost is very reasonable. Good luck.
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Old 08-27-2007, 06:08 PM   #8
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If you're going to USE it....

Stuff WILL happen. Now I get having a lovely dentless new Airstream, but sooner or later "doo-doo occurs". At some point you're going to have to decide whether you have an art object, a status symbol, or a trailer that you can actually TRAVEL in!

The "fixer uppers" here really need to look at pictures to give you the best advice, but if the damage is small and localized there may be options that don't include replacing whole panels. Honestly if the curved end pieces are stretched, holed or have damage across the seams, they've got to be replaced to look halfway decent, but I've seen a few less damaged that have been popped out so that YOU will know where the damage is, but casual observers won't.

I've seen some older units where the old style antenna has been removed and a small circular patch has been very neatly put onto the skin rather than replacing the whole panel. I recall a while back when one member "patched" the outside skin by the wheel well. He made a wheel well cover - one side had been damaged, so he smoothly cut the side panel out - in the shape of the top radius of the wheel, then built a beautiful piece (even made it bulge slightly outward in a beautiful curve and finished the bottom edge to match the side panel). The "patch" was buck riveted under the side panel's new wheel well. He did both sides, and you'd swear it was original if you didn't know better. The finished product looked a bit like the cars in the 30's and 40's that had streamlining, where the wheel well covers were removable.

It's an OW-EEEEH! when you get your first scratch, but sometimes a flag decal or an AIR Forums decal looks like it just belongs there - and yessir, been there, done that, got the decal.
(anger, denial, bargaining, mourning, integration and healing).

My pragmatic view is that the worst thing that could happen is you shell out HUGE bucks to make it "perfect" and then listen to a weather forecast that says "large hail and high winds". At this point a GREAT patch job might leave your Airstream pre-dented for carefree traveling.

Or of course you could have a custom sign that has your Airstream's name on it put over the afflicted area. .... I'm thinking of a picture of Zorro writing "Foiled Again" with the tip of his sword as an example.

Remember time and money heals all wounds. Best wishes, Paula
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Old 08-27-2007, 06:15 PM   #9
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MillValley... So sorry to hear about your mishap... $14,000...that's a chunck of change! I hope the insurance comes through for you for at least most of that... Still no idea what happened? Seems you would have noticed, heard or felt something...

I feel for you,
TB
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Old 08-27-2007, 06:20 PM   #10
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Several years ago bringing our 22' International back from North Dallas RV in Dallas to Tyler, Tx., the rear street side wheel & tire flew off damaging the wheel well & side of the A/S - several LARGE dents and a long gash (was getting a recall issue fixed w/ the frame and they forgot to tighten the wheel nuts upon completion, BTW, they took NO responsibility for it). Amazing thing was that we didn't notice the wheel had come off until we got home - was towing with an Equilizer hitch!

It was a sad day... poor thaing... banged up & bruised like that... there just happened to be an auto body shop fairly close by so on a lark and without any options at this point, I stopped in and asked if they could fix the damage. Told me they would need some parts (mainly trim, wheel, etc., which Airstream sent me gratis - thanks Dave Schumann!) but they thought they could handle it. Was very clear that if this began to look like something beyond their control/expertise, please don't continue.

Called me less than a week later and had the work done. Went out to see it fully expecting to have some issues and was totally amazed! Was like brand new - couldn not tell that there had been any damage whatsoever.

Point is that there is a good chance that an auto body shop can perform alot of the necessary repairs on the aluminum skin for far, far less than Mothership. Not to mention the travel expense. Nothing ventured, nothing gained...
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Old 08-27-2007, 08:39 PM   #11
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Thanks guys
This is what happened......
I park my AS in a narrow spot next to my garage. I took down a fence so I could park it there. I left a small portion of fencing to the left of the garage. (facing from the street)
While pulling out of the "car port" I turned left TOO SOON (usually I pull all the way out past the "garage") and the arm got caught on the left over fence!!!
When we got home the "parts" were on the ground. A section of the back corner panel also rubbed against the fence slightly indenting the aluminum siding.
I just talked to the adjuster and he'll be out tomorrow to take pictures. Any suggestions on dealing with insurance companies? He said after he takes the pics I can bring it to a dealer of my choice and they can work out the details. I have an appt with Manteca but if what I'm hearing is true..... Los Banos may be a better choice. (what a decision!!) The adjuster remembers dealing with both Los Banos and Manteca and thinks he had better results with LB.
Any idea what a claim does to your insurance premium?
My out of pocket will be the deductable.
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Old 08-27-2007, 09:33 PM   #12
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I feel your pain. My litle dent in the front of my trailer from UFO parts cost $3000 to fix. My accident damage was $13000.
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Old 08-28-2007, 12:28 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by millvalleyca
Thanks guys
This is what happened......
So sorry...we have a similar parking set for ours, but it's just a 19'...even so, it's so easy to turn too sharply...

Glad the insurance is kicking in for you.

I've read so much good stuff about Andy and Inland RV in Corona, CA (Inland RV, In on the forum)...is that too far for you to consider?

TB
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Old 08-28-2007, 07:46 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by millvalleyca
Hey guys
We just got back from a trip to Columbia , CA (Marble Quarry).
On our way there I hit something with the arm of my awning. The arm pulled off after it put a dent in the side of my AS (two spots the top arm holder AND bottom arm holder) The parts that hold the arm to the trailer broke off from the force of the hit. (we didn't feel a thing...noticed it when we stopped for a fill up ) The two back corner panels AND the whole side panel need to be replaced if we want her back to her original condition. The rough estimate from the Airstream dealer is $14,000.00!!!! 7,000 for the two back corner panels and 7,000 for the side panel.
Has anyone used Manteca Trailer & Camper for such a repair? (can I even ask this on this forum??) It'll take two weeks to order/get the panels from Airstream and another week to complete the work. Now I just wait to hear from the claims adjuster.
Segments cost $1000.00 to $1200.00 each, depending on which one, to replace.

The side sheet, at worst, cannot cost over $4000.00, to replace.

My credentials?

I wrote the flat rate manual for Airstream's insurance company back in 1970.

We wil be glad to help you if you have any problems with your insurance company.

Andy
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