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Old 12-11-2012, 09:02 AM   #1
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Backed into a tree

Remember my last post? I made the 30 hour round trip to Jackson Center, stayed a full week at the terraport, got all my issues resolved. Finally, after a year, everything is back to "new".

I arrived at a campground too late on Sunday night. Just me and my flashlight. Very wooded. Never been there before. I noticed most of the trees, but missed one... well, not exactly "missed". Rear curb side corner is now dented. This is where the shower is located on the 2008 Safari Sport 22. The picture is from my cell phone. It looks deeper than the space between inner/outer skins.

Suggestions for repair? Was thinking of removing the tail light to see if I can access the area. Maybe pop it out? There are five rivets in the center of the dent. Any idea what they hold?

Could have been worse. Could have had a rabid skunk on the site or something.

thanks,

Norm
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:07 AM   #2
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I think a rib has been deflected. IMO, shower must come out. Then MAYBE you can "pound out" the rib and work the dent. I was able to do it on the front with a similar dent at a rib. Not perfect, but 95% better. I was lucky, nothing to remove to get to the inside. But it took me 2 years to get the nerve to take a block and 5 lb sledge to it.

OR....insurance....I've done that too.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:13 AM   #3
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If the rib wasn't bent (as it appears to be), that would pop out with suction.
But with the rib bent, it appears the shower must come out.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:29 AM   #4
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It's too new to leave that dent

I modified the image a bit to see it better, and I have to concur, the five rivets are attaching the skins to a rib.

If you take it back to JC, or to a good dealer, I think that you will see this is a costly repair if they decide that the skin needs replacing.

If your trailer was the age of mine, and if nothing leaks (hard to tell without removing the shower, of course) I would be tempted to re-seal the seam and call it an addition to the "character" of the trailer. But your TT is only 4 years old.

Seems to me it's worth having a look into what your insurance company says, at the least...
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:30 AM   #5
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While it's always late to shut the barn door after the horse has escaped . . . I bought a wireless camera from Camping World Wireless Rear View Hitch Camera - Intersource Enterprises D05-172 - Backup Systems - Camping World that I can attache (magnetic) to the bumper frame and it will allow me to see what I'm backing into. I have used it to hitch up, and it works really well.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:55 AM   #6
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X2 on the camera. After I wrinkled mine up, I installed a bu camera as well.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:06 AM   #7
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If the rivets were drilled out the holes could be used to pull the rib and dent back out. The skin does not look crimped so once the rib is pulled back out it maybe fine. I expect you would have to put olympic rivets back in.

Perry
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:48 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
If the rivets were drilled out the holes could be used to pull the rib and dent back out. The skin does not look crimped so once the rib is pulled back out it maybe fine. I expect you would have to put olympic rivets back in.

Perry
Interesting thought. I was really surprised at how tough the rib was to straighten with a sledge though. I'm not sure you could pull with the rivet holes w/o damaging the rib holes.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:17 PM   #9
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The best way would be to put a stiffener on the back side to bolt to and do it that way. Or push from the back side. If you take the rivets out the dent might pop right out. You will no longer be attached to the rib though.

Perry
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:39 PM   #10
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Thank you all for the replies and suggestions. Have to think about it and discuss with my wife. Right now, I am guessing it will be an insurance claim and another trip to Jackson Center or Colonial in NJ.

No idea regarding the cost of this type of repair. I assume if it's done completely (shower out, inner skin removed, rib replaced/repaired, etc), it will be expen$ive. I have insurance and have never had to use it. Guess it's time to try.

Norm
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nesvt View Post
Thank you all for the replies and suggestions. Have to think about it and discuss with my wife. Right now, I am guessing it will be an insurance claim and another trip to Jackson Center or Colonial in NJ.

No idea regarding the cost of this type of repair. I assume if it's done completely (shower out, inner skin removed, rib replaced/repaired, etc), it will be expen$ive. I have insurance and have never had to use it. Guess it's time to try.

Norm
Norm,
I would try drilling out the rivets to release the rib from the back of the skin, then suction cup the dent out. Then fill the holes with olympics to make it look pretty. If you take it to the dealer or Factory, they will replace the whole panel using olympic rivets, reducing your original structural integrity. When replacing panels, I will only do it if we can take the interior out in that area, allowing us to buck solid rivets back in place, thus maintaining the original structural integrity. Yeah, I know, I've heard everyone say that complete panel replacement is fine using olympics, but keep in mind that olympic rivets have nowhere near the shear strength or clamping force of an original "bucked" rivet. I also know that they meet the "Insurance Boards" criteria for repairs. What they don't tell you is that the Insurance Board requires that repairs last as long as the warranty given for that repair, & my guess would be a year or two. Presumably you want the repair to last much longer than that. So, either get it repaired completely, as it was built, or do the best you can to minimize the damage by leaving the bent rib behind & get the skin to look the best you can. Keep in mind that this rib is just there to stiffen the corner & doesn't connect to the "C" channel at the floor, or anything above.
Good luck,
Colin
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:41 PM   #12
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Take it to Colin. It sounds like he knows what he is doing.

Perry
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:51 PM   #13
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I feel for you, I remember my first "oops" years ago. (It was all downhill after the first one) I would agree with the previous posts, it's been bent at the rib, and you may be able to suck the dent out, but the rib will never be able to be fixed correctly other than replacement, which mean interior gutting. The only draw-back in having an Airstream is no bondo works. Good luck, let us know what you're going to do.
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:13 PM   #14
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Thanks Colin. You know some of the issues I've had over the past year. For some reason, I was still fixated on having to bring it to a place that is authorized for warranty service. Well, this isn't warranty service. Still need to discuss with my wife. I like your suggestion. Need to decide between a long trip, gutting, insurance, deductible, etc... or a trip across the lake for an easier fix (if/when I could make an appointment).

Thanks again.

Norm
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