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Old 07-11-2015, 03:35 PM   #1
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2010 27' FB International
Mechanicsburg , Pennsylvania
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Where to Repair: Dealer or JC?

I need to have some skins replaced due to being hit by a service vehicle. The insurance adjuster estimated that the longest sheet (low one) and one of the corner panels needs replaced. I purchased the AS used but know the original dealer (Colonial) is equipped to do this kind of work; however I'm curious if this is better handled at JC versus the dealer? Appreciate your feedback.


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Old 07-11-2015, 03:42 PM   #2
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My personal opinion only, I would take my trailer to Jackson Center for any major work. That is based on my visit to them last summer, the way I was treated and the quality of the work performed.

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Old 07-11-2015, 03:44 PM   #3
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Corona , California
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Originally Posted by nunover View Post
I need to have some skins replaced due to being hit by a service vehicle. The insurance adjuster estimated that the longest sheet (low one) and one of the corner panels needs replaced. I purchased the AS used but know the original dealer (Colonial) is equipped to do this kind of work; however I'm curious if this is better handled at JC versus the dealer? Appreciate your feedback.

They both do equal quality.

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Old 07-11-2015, 03:46 PM   #4
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I believe I would run over to Jackson Center and get an estimate from them before I settle with the insurance co. Probably would let them do the work also.
Good luck,
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Old 07-11-2015, 03:56 PM   #5
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Grand Junction , Colorado
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Colonial has had a consistently good reputation for years. On the other hand out experience at JC was very good, though we didn't have any panels replaced. Which is closer?

I believe about 7 years ago a lower street side panel was $4-5,000 installed, but my memory may be wrong. I'm sure prices have gone up since. That estimate was from a very bad dealer which had dented the panel and would replace it for free. I didn't want them to touch the trailer again and settled for somewhat less and we ignore the dent.

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Old 07-11-2015, 04:11 PM   #6
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Overland Park , Kansas
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When I had hail damage I emailed pictures to Chris Burch at the airstream service center in JC and he was able to give me an estimate without taking it there in person. They are totally equipped with parts and experience, if it were me I would go there for skin repairs, just my opinion. I think they have a book price they charge for each panel.
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Old 07-12-2015, 08:46 AM   #7
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nunover - you are a good day's drive to JC. You will need to make an appointment, and they will do the work while you wait. While dealers can also do the work, they will require you to leave your AS there and maybe get it back in a month.

Ever since I bought my current AS, I have serviced it at JC. I was there this past April and, as part of an upgrade, had them remove the battery boxes and their doors and install stainless steel pans under two 4D-sized AGM batteries. As part of this, they changed the plate (the front panel just behind the propane tanks) to seal off the openings. The fit and finish is perfect. All the work took 2 days and they hauled it out to the "terraport" for us to sleep in overnight.

There is also the "social" benefit of being there with other AS owners and finding neat places for food. You can also visit the Neil Armstrong Space Center in Wapakeneta, about 30 minutes drive from JC.
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:41 AM   #8
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Last fall my estimate for one long side panel and a rear quarter panel at JC for a 25 FC was $7000 for Olympic rivets and $8500 for bucked. Bucked would have meant removing all of the roadside interior.

Before accepting any insurance money get the quotes that you need. If you need to travel add those costs into the overall price they owe you.
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Old 07-12-2015, 11:18 AM   #9
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Jackson Center

WE vote for a trip to JC.
We had 9 pine trees, (1 very large and the others smaller), fall on ours. Dented the front curved nose panel and crushed the AC cover and TV antenae. We took it to JC. They were able to "save" one panel that we had thought would need replacement. They were able to do replace only one panel and reshape the other. We upgraded the TV antenae while we were at it. They readjusted the door which had been bent by the trees leaning on it. The insurance paid and we knew it had been done right.
We hear that the service dept. has scheduling issues, so be sure to call ahead and see about an appointment.
We offer courtesy parking in our driveway. We are about 3.5 hrs. from JC. If you come through, stop by and say hi.
Larry and Lou
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Old 07-12-2015, 04:30 PM   #10
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Tillsonburg , Ontario
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I do not know Colonial, but you are in Pennsylvania which is not that far from Helena Ohio on HWY #6. P&S Trailer Service in Helena also do exceptional work from my contacts in our WBCCI unit who took their trailer there from Southern Ontario for major side panel replacement. They are on the way to JC so you might want to check in with them. They came highly recommended from JC for work on my '89 and they do all panel replacements. You are insured do it won't presumably make a difference to you who does the work as long as it is done well, and maybe timing is important to you as well. If you have a copy of the Blue Beret they advertise in that magazine.

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Old 07-13-2015, 06:53 AM   #11
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Greenwood , Mississippi
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I agree that Colonial is an exceptional dealer, but my vote is for Jackson Center hands down.
I was more impressed with my customer experience at the service center than any other place I've ever been.
We have a really goo Toyota place here, but it still ain't as good as Jackson Center.
My trailer will only ever be serviced at Jackson Center.
That being said, in the beginning I was disappointed and skeptical and trying to get Airstream to take the trailer back.
Dave Schuman told me in a telephone conversation that if I would give them the chance to make it right I would end up enjoying the trailer for many years. He was right.

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