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Old 02-21-2015, 02:55 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
2014 23' Flying Cloud
Longmont , Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 10
2014 Flying Cloud Salvage project

Hello everyone, I have been eagerly reading all your excellent information about AS and is time to tell you about my project and kindly ask you for any input you can offer me. I think I am very handy with tools, but completely new to this type of project. I recently purchased a salvage 2014 Flying Cloud 23FB that was involve in an accident and rolled over event. The front end is badly damaged and the curb side suffer some damage of which the most concerning is a bent axle on the the wheel closets to the rear end. Initially I figured I would just develop a plan of what needs to be done first, then search for resources (body shops,parts, etc.), suppliers, and information about how to proceed. I am a retired Engineer living in Longmont Colorado and would like to start getting know this beautiful land of ours. I will try and post pictures as soon as I figured it out how to. Once again thanks for all your help

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Old 02-21-2015, 03:00 PM   #2
Well Preserved

1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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Welcome to the forums.
You have your work cut out for you.

Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
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Old 02-21-2015, 04:01 PM   #3
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2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
2012 23' FB Flying Cloud
2005 25' Safari
Santa Rosa Beach , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2006
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us. Good luck in your project.
SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
2005 Suburban 2500 Quadrasteer (Olivia) & 2018 Silverado 2500 (Lillian)
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Old 02-21-2015, 04:45 PM   #4
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Welcome and good luck. Keep us posted on your progress.

"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do."

Eleanor Roosevelt

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Old 02-21-2015, 05:00 PM   #5
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1978 Argosy 24
MooreHaven , Florida
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 75
I would expect the bent axle will likely be the easiest part of the job,hard to judge without pictures.The axle change is simply 4 bolts and a couple of wires!
This is only temporary unless it works! Red Green
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Old 02-21-2015, 06:31 PM   #6
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2014 23' Flying Cloud
Longmont , Colorado
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Posts: 10
Thanks for the good news, any ideas about where to get a set or have it done in the Denver area?
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Old 02-21-2015, 06:49 PM   #7
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2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Currently Looking...
Boulder City , Nevada
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 2,486
My suggestion:

Find yourself an older shell of an Airstream for sale. Take the components from the 2014 and transfer them into it. You will have 2014 technology in a vintage shell. A win/win. Sell the aluminum as scrap. Sell or install the windows where possible. What ever is left, sell as scrap metal.

The title for the vintage restoration should do...?

Contact Dexter for a location for axles. I believer there is a place that sells them east of Castle Rock, CO. I remember inquiring about Dexter brakes several years ago...
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Old 02-21-2015, 06:57 PM   #8
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2017 25' Flying Cloud
Denville , New Jersey
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,029
Images: 2
I like that idea....good luck and welcome.
2006 Bambi CCD ("EireStream!!")
2010 Funfinder
2005 T@B
2001 Teardrop, Mountain Hardware Tent
For some perfection takes a little longer...
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Old 02-21-2015, 07:06 PM   #9
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1971 21' Globetrotter
Arvada , Colorado
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2014 Flying Cloud Salvage project

Welcome from Arvada. Pictures would be the way to start. The metal on the 2014's would all have to come from Airstream as the finish is proprietary to Airstream. There is a dexter axle dealer at Redneck trailer supply in Firestone but I would not worry to much about that until you determine if the shell is salvageable or not. Assess the shells condition before you make any decisions. This may require the removal of the complete interior including the interior skin
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Old 02-22-2015, 08:03 AM   #10
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 6,091
Welcome to the forums.

Everyone here wants to be very kind and offer real help. I rolled my 2006 Airstream in June of 2013 and another member bought it - as a PARTS Trailer. Any other use of a totaled Airstream is usually too expensive and too frustrating to make it a worthwhile project. In my case the new owner got lots of parts including five 16 inch wheels and 5 Michelin tires that were on a recall list - so he got brand spanking new replacements for 8 month old tires. Plus he got windows, appliances and a new door that he needed.

The truth, especially with a newer Airstream that has been totaled by the insurance company, is that normally it's hard to get anything but a "salvage" title. Owning something with a salvage title may be OK for you, but even after you sink $20K into fixing it, if you try to sell it... you'll get "salvage" value. A much older Airstream may be totalled for much less damage just because it's total value on the open market is only $7500. Fixing a vintage unit or converting it into a mountain cottage or urban coffee bar can make great sense.

Are you a hobby type of guy who loves puttering around all day in a garage building stuff? If so, this could be a fun project for the next 8 months to a year - if you need a lot of expensive parts OR you're going to pay to have most of the work done, I strongly recommend that you STOP and investigate and THINK! (I don't gamble, but I'd bet $100 that you'll be better off financially selling your wreck for half what you paid and buying a brand spanking new Airstream.)

I don't want to bore the forum with a detailed description of the damage that my Safari sustained, but I will use one word: TORQUE. When an Airstream contacts the pavement with it's side rather than with it's wheels, UGLY stuff happens - and some of it's on the opposite side of the unit. The paint (coating) on my fiberglass shower delaminated because the thing got twisted like a wrung washcloth... then it snapped back into shape... but will it ever hold water again? The obvious damage is probably only half of what you'll find over time.

OMG these things are expensive to have repaired. I have a new 2012 and last spring someone whacked my roadside rear segment and left the scene... that one segment cost $4K to have repaired at the factory ($1300 for the panel, about $500 for the bumper, the rest for the labor which did include rewiring the taillight and an extra "scare light" installed by the prior owner).

Again I don't want to burst your bubble, but please take the time to share your pictures here and/or send them to the factory for a repair estimate. Then use the search function to see what others have done before you in similar situations. I did see one unit that was in a rollover that was easily fixed - but in that case the tow vehicle was hit while stopped at an intersection - and the Airstream went over on it's size at Zero mph.

Feel sick at raining on your parade, but would feel worse if I let you fall into the "money pit" while on the huge adrenalin high of having your first Airstream.

Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 02-22-2015, 10:16 AM   #11
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Currently Looking...
jackson center , Ohio
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Posts: 158
Windish RV is the Airstream Dealer in Denver. They also have a location in Longmont
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Old 02-22-2015, 10:53 AM   #12
2 Rivet Member
2006 30' Safari
Divide , Colorado
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 35
Salvage Project Axles

Luke's RV Maintenance and Repair in Fort Collins does axle replacement and would be a good info source/sounding board for your project.


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Old 02-22-2015, 02:29 PM   #13
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1978 31' Sovereign
Hot Springs , Arkansas
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Posts: 572
Bueno Suerte and Bienvenido! Have fun with it.
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Old 02-22-2015, 06:44 PM   #14
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2012 27' Flying Cloud
Portland , Oregon
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 255
I recently retired from the recreational marine insurance biz - not an exact match, but close enough.

You bought a trailer as salvage, either from the insurance co. or from their agent. The trailer was what's called a "CTL" - a constructive total loss.

That means it is Not Economically Repairable. Using industry-accepted labor rates and a full parts estimate, the adjuster determined it would be more expensive to fix it than to replace it. So they totaled it.

Why didn't a professional trailer restorer buy this "bargain?" Because they knew they couldn't sell it for what it would take to fix it.

If you have plans to subcontract *any* of the repair work, you *will* spend waaaay more than you think you will. You say you're "handy with tools," but if you haven't done a bunch of rebuilds already, you will soon find yourself way in over your head. The project will not get finished. It will bleed you dry. You will NOT be having any fun.

Believe me when I speak this "tough love" to you. I have seen too many of these stories in the yacht business, with well-meaning hopeful boaters buying hurricane sinkers with hopes of fixing them up to use or to sell. Only the professionals, with access to all the salvage markets, will make any money on the few salvage jobs that are feasible. The rest of the stuff gets offloaded to hopefuls like you.

I'm not saying you should walk away from this project.

I'm saying you should RUN from it.

Do what's already been suggested here. Strip the thing of all usable, marketable equipment, systems, appliances, accessories. Sell the rest for scrap. Then you can decide if you want to do a restoration of an older vintage trailer using all the good systems from the donor. Or just sell everything and start over.

I won't apologize for raining on your parade. Better to get a bit wet while heading for higher ground, instead of drowning in a sea of troubles...

Like the tortoise, travelin' slow with the house on our back
2012 FC27FB "Ted Zeppelin"
2010 Tundra Crewmax Platinum "Silver Rhino"
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