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Old 08-10-2011, 09:24 PM   #1
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Hit and run-Grab rail damage?

Someone hit my trailer in a parking lot today while I was inside a restaurant eating lunch, and they left without letting me know.

It looks like their mirror hit the door, the grab rail beside the door, and the awning support tube. The grab rail pulled right off.

Has anyone repaired and replaced damaged grab rail like this? I can fix the scratch on the door. The scratch on the awning support is ok as it is. I would like to know what kind of approximate cost I'm looking at for fixing the grab rail before making an insurance claim. Any ideas?
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:08 PM   #2
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Yours appear to mount differently than mine, but the PO either pulled mine off or something similar happened. I'm finding little evidences that he may have gotten too close to something.

I repaired mine with expansion nuts. I drilled out the holes so they were clean installed the rubber nuts with brass inserts and it worked well.

But your holes look much larger. My grab handle plates are secured with 3 smaller screws each, top and bottom.

You may end up having to remove inner panels and plating behind.....in which case, insurance may be in order.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
Yours appear to mount differently than mine, but the PO either pulled mine off or something similar happened. I'm finding little evidences that he may have gotten too close to something.

I repaired mine with expansion nuts. I drilled out the holes so they were clean installed the rubber nuts with brass inserts and it worked well.

But your holes look much larger. My grab handle plates are secured with 3 smaller screws each, top and bottom.

You may end up having to remove inner panels and plating behind.....in which case, insurance may be in order.
If your's is surface mounted with 3 screws in a trim ring top and bottom, maybe I could use one like you have to cover the holes where the studs ripped out. Is your's a stock grab rail or something that has been replaced?

On mine there were two nuts with washers on the inside of the exterior wall. These nuts were threaded onto studs in the hand rail that went through holes drilled in the aluminum skin only. There is no backing plate inside the wall.

I really do not want to take interior or exterior panels off, so I'm thinking about cutting a 1/4" aluminum plate to mount the grab rail onto. That plate then would mount in the space between the window and door and surface mounted with exposed fasteners.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:38 PM   #4
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Mine is a Classic, which has the clear lexan handle with 2 chrome end mounts. I'm not sure you have enough width between the door frame and window frame for the mounts. I'll run out and get some measurements for you. Standard AS parts though.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:48 PM   #5
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Look familiar?

Some *#&#$!!** tried to pry open our door in May while it was parked in our carport. This pic shows the damage. The no-gooders, as my dad would say, didn't get in, the dead bolt held, but the lock was broken. Also had scratches and broken awning arm...

The guys at Holiday (Albuquerque's Airstream dealer) did an excellent job of fixing this. It was covered by my insurance, Progressive. Andrew (head service guy) and I came up with the plan to "scab" in a piece of aluminum.

The 2nd pic shows the region that was replaced. It took the shop guys many hours to un-rivet and scab in the piece of aluminum, do the seals, etc, and rivet it back into place. New handle, new lock, and they worked on the scratches.

I don't have an "after" picture. The Airstream has been out on one trip since this happened, and is currently stored at the neighbor's, back with the horse trailers. Its carport has been enclosed into an Airstream barn, which is almost completed. The AS will be locked up tight and out of sight.

BTW, I'm open to any advice on how to work out the scratches.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:51 PM   #6
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Sorry about the picture quality, it's about oh dark thirty here.

The mounts are 2" X 4.4" each

The mounts are spaced 8.5" apart.

Overall height of the assembly is 17.25"

Will that spacing and dimensions work for you?

EDIT: Just thought of something. The lexan could be shortened to any length needed. It appears your assembly isn't as long as mine. The lexan handle just rides loosely in the end brackets.
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:17 PM   #7
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Thumbs up Thanks for the pictures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
Attachment 137310

Sorry about the picture quality, it's about oh dark thirty here.

The mounts are 2" X 4.4" each

The mounts are spaced 8.5" apart.

Overall height of the assembly is 17.25"

Will that spacing and dimensions work for you?

EDIT: Just thought of something. The lexan could be shortened to any length needed. It appears your assembly isn't as long as mine. The lexan handle just rides loosely in the end brackets.
I think what you have would work on mine, if I can cut the lexan length, to cover those pull out hole. I'll run over to ODM tomorrow to see one in person.
It's 12:15 here, I'm headed to bed!
I appreciate you taking time.
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barbara4rb View Post
BTW, I'm open to any advice on how to work out the scratches.
I'm going to try light buffing and wax and let it go at that since my scratches are so small. My grab rail was mounted just like yours.
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Old 08-11-2011, 07:49 AM   #9
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I'm going to try light buffing and wax and let it go at that since my scratches are so small. My grab rail was mounted just like yours.
If the skin scratch is through the clear coat, some folks use finger nail polish. The AS store has touch up "pens" of clear Laquer (I think) for about $10. I've used it on some boo-boos and it seems to seal up the aluminum pretty well and lasts.
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Old 08-11-2011, 08:04 AM   #10
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Have you talked to the owner of the restaurant and any nearby businesses to see if they have video cameras that might have captured the event?
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:16 AM   #11
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From experience, how secure are the trailers from entry, assuming all the windows and doors are secured and locked? Is it advisable or practical to install anything extra?

Has anyone installed an alarm (entry or movement)?
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:46 AM   #12
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Have you talked to the owner of the restaurant and any nearby businesses to see if they have video cameras that might have captured the event?
While waiting for the police to get there, I did talk to the business people who could have seen what happened from their stores, but no luck. I had parked where I thought I would be out of the traffic. I was in front of the last two unoccupied storefronts in a strip shopping center, pretty much out of view of most occupied stores. There were a few other SOB campers and a few mid size truck vans that came and went while I was there, but I could not identify them. There were at least 4 police officers that came through the parking lot while the officer I was with was taking care of the paperwork. They did some interviews but I do not think they found anything either.
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