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Old 10-06-2017, 09:21 AM   #1
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2016 25' Flying Cloud
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Ouch, Repair or Replace

While backing my 2016 FC 25 into a (not so) tight campsite I hit the electric stanchion and put a meaningful dent in the left real corner panel. iIs mostly dented with a slight scratch and no visible interior damage. No spillover damage to other panels and no apparent stress on nearby rivets. Should I get it repaired or go ahead and replace? Any thoughts on sales value reduction if I choose to repair?
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Old 10-06-2017, 09:29 AM   #2
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If the damage is only cosmetic, it does little harm to leave it alone. Most trailers accumulate minor dings with use, and purely cosmetic damage may cost more to repair than you would recover on resale versus selling it without repair. At some later (hopefully much later) date when your trailer has been more seriously damaged, you can get this ding repaired at the same time as the more serious damage. In the meantime, your trailer remains fully functional, so go ahead and keep using it.

Look at it this way that ding took the "new" right off your trailer, so now you don't have to be paranoid about getting the first ding anymore! That will make future maneuvers a lot less stressful.
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Old 10-06-2017, 09:40 AM   #3
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Consider attacking it with a "dent puller" suction cup gizmo. That will not make it perfect, but it likely will reduce the magnitude of the dent. This assumes the ding is away from rivets and seams. If there is any damage at a seam, you would need to do a bit to be sure things are water tight ....

Bob
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:12 AM   #4
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Hi

Consider attacking it with a "dent puller" suction cup gizmo. That will not make it perfect, but it likely will reduce the magnitude of the dent.

Bob
I used a gizmo called a "Ding King". Not exactly a "suction cup". Uses a hot glue gun to attach adhesive which peels off after use. There are a couple different versions. You can make your own with pieces of 1x2 or 2x2 and a glue gun. If there are no creases you have a good chance of popping the dent out completely. If there is a crease you can improve a lot. Also check out auto body shops that do paintless dent removal.

You may spend more on a repair than you would loose on resale.

A photo would help.
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Old 10-07-2017, 09:21 AM   #5
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I just recently had this same question. In March I hit a tree while backing into campsite while it was storming and did not see the tree - it sideswiped my Airstream. Wow! Was it expensive to fix and it was not that severe (my opinion). The cost was $10,518.00 to repair. I had it fixed (insurance paid most) because I did not want to look at that damage everytime I used the camper. I may never regroup the cost but my "mind" is better off. But Airstreams are suppose to "look" good! Good luck with your decision.
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Old 10-07-2017, 09:43 AM   #6
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I'm curious: Is this an accident that a Back-Up/Observation cam on the back of the AS would have prevented or do you have one? I'm usually alone when towing so it was a No Brainer to have one installed but even if I had a Co-Pilot all the time, I think I'd still have one. Nice to see what's going on back there even when going forward or stopped.
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Old 10-07-2017, 11:05 AM   #7
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If it's pouring down rain, most cameras get messed up pretty quickly. "get out and look" is also bothersome in the rain. The co-pilot grumps at you when you send them out. I have data ....

Bob
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Old 10-07-2017, 01:00 PM   #8
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If it's pouring down rain, most cameras get messed up pretty quickly. "get out and look" is also bothersome in the rain. The co-pilot grumps at you when you send them out. I have data ....

Bob
Thank God for motorhomes with levellers; drive into the camp site and worry about backing into it when it stops raining; no grumpy co-pilots needed.

OP; I'd consider yourself lucky, continue to use the trailer; and if ambitious, used a suction cup dent puller.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 10-08-2017, 09:11 AM   #9
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No, I do not believe that a backup camera would have prevented me from hitting the tree. It was dark, pouring down rain, and no area lighting. Plus, I started hitting the tree in the mid-section of the Airstream. I should mention that the repair shop did a great job with the repairing.
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Old 10-13-2017, 05:05 PM   #10
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We had our first dent when Chris was driving out of the rear gate. He was doing well, but neither of us knew about the big hole that the rottie had dug under the gate the year before, tall grass hid it. (Cujo belonged to Landlords son, he just dropped it off at their house). The back wheel caught the deep hole and lurched to the right side hitting the fence post and putting an enormous dent into the right rear corner panel before the wheel grabbed ground again and righted itself. Chris came out to inspect the damage. I really thought he was going to give himself a heart attack or stroke. I waited for the storm to pass before I said anything.

Later while on the road I said I thought it could be pulled out with a plunger, and dry ice might also be useful. He agreed and said he had done just that on car dents before.

At some point that summer he decided to give it a shot. Plunger first, he pulled the big dent right out. After that he used dry ice to work on the creases that were left behind. It looks a thousand times better, just very slightly wrinkled. He was pleased with the job.

Sure, we'd love to have it done professionally, or have the panel replaced, but we aren't rich. And in the scheme of life, really, how important is perfection in a vehicle's appearance? I'd rather my surgeon's work be perfect.
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