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Old 03-07-2016, 06:51 PM   #1
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Punta Gorda , Florida
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new 2016 sport with scratch...replace panel??

Hi there,
This is my first post. We brought home our new sport this weekend. We got a very good price quoted through the online sales department on a local dealer and arranged all of the paperwork in advance so that could pick up the trailer on Saturday. The dealership is 2 hours away so we had not seen the unit yet but it was a new 2016. Upon arriving and inspecting we saw a scratch and the guy who showed us to the trailer said the service department could buff it out before we left. After we signed the paperwork, the service manager comes out to tell us that it is too deep to get buffed out. Manager offers to replace the panel at a later date, we agree to do that and we leave. Once we got home I started researching panel replacement and it seems like dealer replacements are done in a different way (Olympic rivets?) and there is some risk with letting the dealer replace the panel? Second, we started to think maybe we will just leave the scratch as it doesn't bother us THAT much but then I started reading about filiform corrosion and now I am a little freaked out by that. If I had to do this over again, I would never do the online sales department again. But here we are and I want to stop obsessing about this so I would appreciate your advice on how to proceed.
Many thanks.
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Old 03-07-2016, 07:11 PM   #2
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1995 25' Excella
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I would get an estimate on panel replacement from another dealer and ask for that much back from the selling dealer. I would stick that money in my pocket. I would use an artist brush to fill the scratch with clear coat and go camping.

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Old 03-07-2016, 08:25 PM   #3
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2015 16' Sport
Huntsville , Alabama
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 242
I know it's discouraging. I too would be very disappointed. However, I would likely consider a clearcoat paint pen to seal the scratch. Monitor and add corrosion X when or if needed. I feel your frustration and in a similar situation I would want it replaced because it's new. But then you have to decide would you create a bigger problem replacing the panel then you started with. (Room for something else to go wrong). Best of luck in your decision.


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Old 03-07-2016, 08:36 PM   #4
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2015 28' International
Ofallon , Missouri
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 226
Alum sheets used by AS are coated For corrosion prevention. A scratch will definitely give corrosion a place to start. However there are corrosion treatments out there that are effective including CorrosionX and Boeshield.

I recently had a boo boo and had two panels replaced including a shaped end panel and large flat side panel. They do use different rivets since during a panel replacement the rivets are installed blind (you can't get to the back side to buck the rivet due to the inside skin). I went to a reputable dealer who had techs trained by AS so I am not worried about my new skins at all. There are a plethora of different kinds of rivets out there. Being different doesn't make them any better or worse as long as they are used for what they are designed for and sized for the stress. (36 years of aerospace engineering).

If it doesn't look too bad, you could treat it corrosion protection material and ask for "consideration" from the dealer (that's code for money or free stuff).
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Old 03-07-2016, 09:16 PM   #5
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2012 27' Flying Cloud
W , New England
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Bit of a bummer. Your got some good advice in several of the replies here.

Depends on if you're a perfectionist or not. If you are - get it replaced at the factory on the dealer's dime. It's very questionable that employee a says that will buff right out and takes your money before manager b comes out and says that can't be fixed.

Another option - if you're not a perfectionist - you can consider this your first of many in a lifetime of ownership. Stuff happens while you're camping and a collection of battle scars can be something to trigger memories. Apply corrosion X and move on.

A third option - check out the threads here on creative patches that address scratches and dings like this. Really creative, beautiful works of art that make a trailer uniquely your own.

There's no right or wrong approach - just the one that resonates with you the most. Good luck and happy camping!
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Old 03-07-2016, 09:34 PM   #6

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
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Originally Posted by CRH View Post
I would get an estimate on panel replacement from another dealer and ask for that much back from the selling dealer. I would stick that money in my pocket. I would use an artist brush to fill the scratch with clear coat and go camping.


Take the money and do the up-grades that are required but usually not done until the crisis hits......start with a new 3 Stage converter to save the Batt's.

AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 03-07-2016, 10:08 PM   #7
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Virginia Beach , Virginia
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Originally Posted by CRH View Post
I would get an estimate on panel replacement from another dealer and ask for that much back from the selling dealer. I would stick that money in my pocket. I would use an artist brush to fill the scratch with clear coat and go camping.
I agree completely.

I'd also be pissed at getting something brand new and having it scratched, BUT face the truth, if you intend to actually USE your new toy, you'll collect one or two of these in the next year or so anyway. Replace the panel and Karma will make sure the next ding happens on the same panel - within 3 months too!

Even though that's a flat panel it's still a big one and will cost several thousand to replace (send pictures to the factory and get their quote!) then get the dealer to make a reasonable allowance ($2500 at their cost - $4500 if you took it to JC and paid for it I'd bet).

You CAN use an automotive clearcoat pen OR even clear fingernail polish (use a very fine artist's camel hair brush and even thin the polish a bit too. your goal is to avoid replacing the scratch with a bump) Practice on the back side of your license plate - it's aluminum too. Scratch and fill until you're steady and at ease. Be sure you clean any dust out of the scratch before you reseal it. Automotive clearcoat isn't quite the same as the stuff you use on Airstreams, but on that small of a scratch you'll get away with it. Keep an eye on the repair and check it especially after washing the Airstream.

You might consider having a makeup artist do the repair.... Think about people who put on eyeliner, and apply false eyelashes on a daily basis - lots of hand eye coordination there and fine fine muscle control. Not something you maintain if you don't use it all the time.

Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 03-08-2016, 03:55 AM   #8
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2014 27' Flying Cloud
Bushnell , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 208

Welcome aboard by the way! You'll learn SO much here about your new baby. Sorry like the others said to hear about your scratch. Some creative ways to deal with it have been offered though, for sure. We have discovered after 28 months of having our Pete that "stuff happens". We've got some scrapes and scratches, but no dents yet. If we left Pete in the barn he would never get damaged, but that ain't gonna happen! He's itching to leave in the morning!

We had an idiot (I mean improperly trained) tech at a dealer well known North of us put a scratch/indentation 3" long under the right side rear marker light when he used a screwdriver to pry it off for warranty replacement. Stupid me was in hurry to pick up the coach and get home after a warranty item punch list trip, and I didn't see it until home. The service manager at the time was kind enough to send me a $10 clearcoat pen to seal the scratch after basically shrugging his shoulders at my pics....... Funny now that I think of it, neither that tech nor that manager are there anymore..........Hmmmmmm...... (nuthin I did though) Worse part of the scratch is that it is right next to the door on our FB (rear door) so I see it EVERY time I open the door. For me, it's a reminder to not be so trusting of "qualified" techs to touch our coach.

I may try a creative coverup, a sticker, or other artwork, or other. Whatever, let's go camping! But enough about us; to circle all the way back to your question, no, I wouldn't be happy with a panel replacement with shaved Olympics, it's just never gonna look as good as the bucked originals, and they might try to leak if not done perfectly. But if you can get the dealer to cut you a check, camp on!
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Old 03-08-2016, 08:20 AM   #9
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Punta Gorda , Florida
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Thumbs up

Thank you so much for the feedback. It really helped us make a decision and I appreciate the level of detail of how to tackle the scratch. My husband and I aren't very handy so we have a lot of learning to do with our space bean. We are so excited to explore Florida....mostly on weekend trips with our two young children. We often cross the state to go surfing in NE Florida so we are looking forward to camping instead of renting hotel rooms.

We are not going to replace the panel. I will reach out to the dealer to see what we can work out. We are at a bit of a disadvantage since we already have the trailer but I'm hopeful we can reach an agreement that is fair. Thanks again!
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Old 03-08-2016, 08:53 AM   #10
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new 2016 sport with scratch...replace panel??

The dealer is not going to pay full retail panel replacement cost in lieu of replacing the panel, that wasn't the deal.

If it was me I would work out an adjustment that works out with both you and the dealer, and that scratch will save you the pain of getting the inevitable "first ding" on your own.

In my view, replacing the whole panel for what is a pretty small defect is kind of a waste. But of course, that is me.

It wouldn't surprise me if the dealer didn't know about that scratch until they started doing a pre delivery inspection, at that point you were already on your way.

Talis gentium ceciderunt.
The fact that I am opinionated does not presuppose that I am wrong......

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Old 03-08-2016, 10:54 AM   #11
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1991 34' Excella
2009 34' Panamerica
Telluride , Colorado
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,689
Sorry about this.... In 6 months you'll have added a few travel trophys of your own and the first one will just blend in to the story.
I suggest take the dealers cash offer and buy some goodies!
Warm weather is upon us, go somewhere good!
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Old 03-08-2016, 04:11 PM   #12
2 Rivet Member
1989 32' Excella
Sharon Springs , New York
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 59
I agree with most of the previous postings, take the dealer's cash offer and run. I bought a new Pontiac Trans Am in 1986 and found a fly in the paint under the rear aero-spoiler after I get it home, took it back to the dealer and they told me what was involved in repairing/removing the fly(who was quite dead), I decided to leave it and not disturb the factory coating/paint. Still have the car w/21k miles, still has the fly in the paint, makes for a great conversation on GM's QC back in those days!!! Anyway back to your AS, consider it a beauty mark and the first scratch always hurts the worst. Good luck in your travels...
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Old 03-08-2016, 05:51 PM   #13
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2016 27' Flying Cloud
Sunriver , Oregon
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 91
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Consider contacting a alloy wheel repair facility and get their take on it.
Over the years owning a tire shop I had several customers come in with
small cosmetic marks on alloy wheels. I had a repair shop perform repairs
that were totally unbelievable and unnoticeable. Hope this helps.
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Old 03-09-2016, 12:02 AM   #14
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1973 31' Sovereign
Middletown , California
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 271
A lot of good advice here. Anything you can get out of the dealer at this point I would consider a bonus and most likely will be due to how loud you complain! The reality of the situation for me is that it's not worth replacing the panel for such a small ding, you would most likely have more problems from the repair than from the ding. Also you will almost for sure have a few more in a few years! Wear your battle scars with pride! Save the panel replacement for tears or punctures that can't be patched.

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