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Old 01-22-2013, 11:22 AM   #1
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What Size Hail Can Airstreams Take?

Can Airstreams handle hail as good, worse or better as a car or pickup truck?

Thank

Kelvin
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:36 AM   #2
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Much worse, aluminum is not as strong as steel.

doug k
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:44 PM   #3
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We were in a hail storm in Canada on the way back from Alaska in '08. The hail was not very large (I would estimate sweet pea sized), but it was so thick we could not see, and had to stop. We were towing a '75 23 foot then, and there was no damage from the hail.

I have observed that Airstreams receive more damage from hail on the end pieces than other places, and I think it must be because of the type of aluminum that is used to get the compound curves.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:49 PM   #4
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we have a 62' GT and had two bad hail storms in 2011. our car wasnt damaged and neither was our trailer, but our next door neighbor had his asphalt shingled roof repaired due to hail damage... And there was a whole lot of car hail damage repair signs for the following 6 months. i'd say some of the hail was the size of a quarter.
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:14 PM   #5
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In my opinion and from what I have witnessed, the Airstream will come out much worse than a car or pickup. I had a friend whose Airstream had all the windows beat out of one side while they were camping in it. They held the mattress over the opening to protect themselves from the hail. One consideration for how much damage hail will inflict is how hard the hail stones are. Obviously size matters too. I have seen hail stones so hard that when they fell on pavement they bounced back upward 12-15 feet in the air. Hardness is determined, at least in part, by how tall the producing cloud is. The taller the cloud the colder the temperature in the upper reaches plus the amount of time a hail stone spends developing. If you get caught in the wrong storm you are at the mercy of Mother Nature and sometimes she's not very merciful!
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:11 PM   #6
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Not sure how much hail my AS can take....but I can't take it being in ANY. My heart starts to beat irregularly just thinking about it!
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:59 PM   #7
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At the International Rally in Bismark in 1993, baseball sized hail attacked all of our Airstreams and damaged the aluminum on most, if not all, of them. I had to have 8 panels replaced. The Bismark newspaper printed banners for us saying "I've been Bismarked". The good news was I had just had solar panels installed and they survived undamaged!

Martha
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:33 PM   #8
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If you live in Frisco any hail you get...ANY.....can hurt and total an Airstream. There is nowhere you can accurately guess the hail size your going to get...its all bad up here in Texas.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:38 PM   #9
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Hail damage

The size of the hail is important and as well as the wind speed that is present. I had my 63 damaged and windows broken by one inch diameter hail that came with 100 mph wind, as measured by Doppler radar. Later model trailers, at the same rally, were damaged more as they are of thinner aluminum. A number of the trailers were totaled and some were repaired. I think anything over 1/2 inch is a potential problem, especially if accompanied by high winds.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:52 PM   #10
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Any size hail can damage an Airstream, depending on the velocity at the point of impact.

Very small hail can cause damage, if the wind speed or towing speed is adequate.

Andy
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:24 AM   #11
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A few years ago, we got caught in a hail storm on I-25 just south of Raton Pass (Colorado/New Mexico border). The hail was about marble sized. We stopped on the shoulder for a couple of minutes, so we weren't driving 60 mph in it. However, we decided to continue on at slow speed (45 mph) due to fear of being rear-ended by traffic that was still driving 75. Hail was so thick that we could only see a few car-lengths ahead. Luckily, it only lasted a couple of miles, and the hail stones didn't get any bigger.

Also, we dodged a bullet returning from the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta about two years ago. Phoenix had a big hail storm that hit about 3-4 hours before we got home. It was so bad that we had to replace the shingles on our roof and repaint our house. Also, our Prius had light hail damage that we didn't claim; because it was minor and due to the age of the vehicle. Luckily, we had stopped in Flagstaff for dinner; and we didn't go through any hail with our Bambi and Tundra.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:49 AM   #12
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Thanks for everyone's comments. Yes, I've had a roof replaced a couple of years ago due to hail and cars parked outside got damaged also, luckily my cars were in the garage. I'm currently not an Airstream owner but I've been contemplating finding a preowned Airstream and I wanted to get an idea about this issue. So is insurance for an Airstream much higher than a regular fiberglass trailer due to hail damage?
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:25 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
Thanks for everyone's comments. Yes, I've had a roof replaced a couple of years ago due to hail and cars parked outside got damaged also, luckily my cars were in the garage. I'm currently not an Airstream owner but I've been contemplating finding a preowned Airstream and I wanted to get an idea about this issue. So is insurance for an Airstream much higher than a regular fiberglass trailer due to hail damage?
Absolutely NOT.

Smaller hail dents will, in time, disappear, when exposed to the sun, in warm weather, at least on the side and roof sheets.

The softer metal used for the segments, will almost always never return to the undamaged condition.

That was proved over and over again, hundreds of times, back in 1970.

Andy
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:46 PM   #14
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Hail damage is a bain for Airstreams. I have golf ball sized dents in my end caps, fridge vent, and less on the roof from a hail storm. My tow vehicle suffered bean sized dents on the steel roof.

My friends say my Airstream will now tow better with the aerodynamic dents in the skin.

David
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