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Old 04-13-2016, 11:20 AM   #1
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Ballpark cost to repair this body damage?

Hi, I'm looking at a used airstream and have included some pictures of the pretty major body/shell damage. Would anyone be able to ball park estimate how much this would cost to repair? It looks like they've repaired the inside completely, and everything else is totally functional (axle, windows, A/C, lights, etc).

Are we talking $5k, 10k? 20k?

Thank you!





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Old 04-13-2016, 11:51 AM   #2
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Would you be doing the work yourself or having and Airstream shop doing it?

Before you consider this rig too hard make sure you know about the title. Is it a salvage title? Do you care?
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Old 04-13-2016, 12:16 PM   #3
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If you are going to have it done I am guessing at least $20,000. I was quoted $2,000 for a small quarter panel. It looks as though you are looking at fixing four exterior and interior panels and maybe some frame damage as well. It could be as high as $25,000. Not sure it can be repaired cost effectively. If it is not yours, keep looking.
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Old 04-13-2016, 01:03 PM   #4
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Thank you for the input! They are asking $7900 (2003 16'), and say it doesn't leak, and is usable as is.. We're looking to get our first trailer, and the price is obviously tempting, but it doesn't sound like a very good investment in terms of resale value later on.
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Old 04-13-2016, 01:26 PM   #5
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That has a rather interesting pattern to it...kinda like a wrinkled space blanket.
Might be easier to dent the rest to match!
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Old 04-14-2016, 10:36 AM   #6
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If you do all the work yourself, the formed segments will run you about $500 each (part+shipping). Add in another $200 for buck riveting tools, and figure on it taking several months.

If you have a shop do it, the number I have heard repeatedly is about $2000 per segment, so $8000 for the job. The issue is that when a shop replaces a single segment, they are pretty likely to do it on "the cheap" by performing all the work from the outside and using Olympic rivets. To replace most of the front of the trailer, you would want these bucked in, which will require removal of the interior sections as well. This might drive the price up.

Definitely check on the status of the title. If the PO already has had the trailer totaled by an insurer and has pocketed all the pay-out, then they are just getting greedy asking what they are for this damaged trailer. It is kind of like the song about the thousand-dollar car, ie., you buy a thousand dollar car, then you put a thousand dollars into it to fix it up, and you end up with a two-thousand dollar thousand dollar car.

good luck!
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Old 04-14-2016, 11:19 AM   #7
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I would go with Mojo suggestion.
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Old 04-14-2016, 12:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stenuto View Post
Thank you for the input! They are asking $7900 (2003 16'), and say it doesn't leak, and is usable as is.. We're looking to get our first trailer, and the price is obviously tempting, but it doesn't sound like a very good investment in terms of resale value later on.
I wrote the Airstream "crash book" in 1970 when I worked for the insurance division of Airstream.

Then traveled the country and taught most of the Airstream dealers how to do body work.

Each segment costs ball park $ 500.00 each. You would need 380 Olympic rivets and 2 tubes of Vulkem sealer.

Labor wise, the first segment takes 6 hours and each additional adjoining segment takes 5 hours. Total time then is 21 hours. I only see 4 that are damaged. Bump it up to 25 hours if you wish.

Therefore total cost (round numbers) would be $ 2000.00 for segments, $ 200.00 for the rivets and sealer. No painting necessary.

Therefore $ 2200.00 for materials. Labor then, even at $ 150.00 per hour is only $ 3750.00, for a grand total of less than $ 6000.00 plus sales tax.

Obviously, the quotes way way beyond that, are nothing but guesses, that don't work when you deal with insurance companies.

Andy
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Old 04-14-2016, 12:31 PM   #9
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Run don't walk, Mojo and Belegedhel got it right. Don't buy no thousand dollar car, let alone a totaled AS!
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Old 04-14-2016, 12:54 PM   #10
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I have repaired a few damaged Airstreams, some as bad as that or worse. IMO, $7,900 is about $6,400 too much. There is always damage you can't see or haven't thought of. With all that said, it is interesting, but not at anything near that price. Best wishes to you, with whatever you buy.
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Old 04-14-2016, 01:08 PM   #11
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It looks like the OP is going to pass on this rig but I found the comment that the seller says it doesn't leak pretty funny. In eastern WA (and likely in other arid places) no trailer 'leaks'. Of course, it rarely rains either so how would you know...

Our Minuet never leaked until we camped on the OR coast
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Old 04-14-2016, 01:18 PM   #12
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Here's the lyric I was thinking of...poetic and on the mark:

"A thousand dollar car ain't even gonna roll
'til you throw at least another thousand in the hole,
sink your money in it, and there you are,
the owner of a two-thousand dollar thousand-dollar car."

Keep looking--for the $16-20k you would invest to buy this this beaten trailer and get it fixed up, you could buy plenty of other decent trailers with less hassles.
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Old 04-14-2016, 01:24 PM   #13
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That is some really strange damage, it would be interesting to know what actually happened.
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Old 04-14-2016, 02:41 PM   #14
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My 1st post. I believe the damage has been hammered out from the inside and it left the dimpled look.. really kind of neat. Run as is!!!
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