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Old 09-22-2012, 07:38 PM   #1
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1998 34' Excella 1000
Arlington , Texas
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Roof repair

About a year ago we had a second A/C installed in our 97 34' classic by North Dallas RV in Carrollton, TX as they were highly recommended. We had them move the fantastic fan from the bedroom the bathroom and install a second A/C put in the same spot the fan came out of. The fantastic fan in the bathroom works great and really pulls air from both ends of the trailer and removes all the moisture for the shower ect... Now for the problem, I purchased the vent cover from fantastic fan and when I got on the roof to install it, I was shocked at what i found. When the fan was moved from the bedroom to the bathroom, North Dallas RV maintenance personnel just took a pair of tin snips and cut a hole in the roof that looked like a first grader learning to cut holes would do. To add insult to injury, they broke the fan housing while moving it, then installed it with absolutely no screws what so ever, and just coated the top of the trailer with what looked like mastic that an a/c guy would use. When I removed the mastic, I found a mess that would make you sick. My solution was to get two A & P's (aircraft mechanics) and we removed their mess, cut a new patch panel, installed nut plates that the fan screws down to and riveted the new panel down. It would take a very trained eye to tell this was not done at the factory itself. I use aircraft fuel tank sealer to seal the new panel which will never leak and installed rivets just like Airstream use's to put on the panel. While it may be over engineered to most, the other aviation people on the forum would really appreciate the effort. I will post pictures later.
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:50 PM   #2
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:58 PM   #3
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Kinda like a movie trailer! I can't wait on the pictures.

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I will post pictures later.
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:03 PM   #4
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Talk about doing it right! Hats off and I hope you wrote those nincompoops a letter.
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:42 PM   #5
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New Panel for roof

These are the pictures of the mess I found on my roof, along with pictures of the new panel I made to fix the issue. After the sealer has cured I will be repainting the complete roof, which should make it look brand new.
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Old 09-23-2012, 11:07 PM   #6
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Obviously, most people who work on RVs are not aircraft mechanics. Good patch job; makes you want to do it yourself next time. I guess that's why the old folks always said, "If you want it done right, do it yourself." Lots of old sayings make more sense as retirement age approaches...
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:59 AM   #7
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HF, I had a similar experience with a non-Airstream repair shop. I might even say they were hostile, especially when I asserted my view of their shoddy work.

I set all of that aside, moved on. I called Fantastic Vent people. I explained how these jokers wrecked the vent's interior bezel. Like you said, it looked like child's play with a pair of dull tin snips. Fantastic Vent sent a new bezel, free of charge. How about that!? Same happened to my full-timing friend, with a 94 Chinook.

I have found very dissatisfying results with any shop in town, except the man who repaired my fridge core and checked out my furnace. My experience tells me no one is going to care about my vintage Trade Wind like I do, actually, not at all.

The last shop owner here to have actually worked on vintage Airstreams before they were vintage died four or five years ago. He was nice and had a long memory of the construction and systems unique to Airstream.

The high cost of labor plus parts that are likely to be damaged are not worth it. I suppose they would rather sell something new. I might travel and camp in a big paper and particleboard box, but only if someone gave it to me. No other make can claim over 70% ever made are still in use.
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:41 AM   #8
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Excellent repair. It's terrible that they messed your roof up, but a terrific fix. With American Airlines closing the Wichita maintenance base, maybe this is an opportunity for some enterprising experts to set up a high quality Airstream maintenance and modification facility!
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:19 AM   #9
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This is a perfect example why I do everything myself.

Glad you go it fixed right. It looks good.

Perry
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Old 09-24-2012, 03:14 PM   #10
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1998 34' Excella 1000
Arlington , Texas
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Seems to be a common problem with technicians not taking pride in their work. This repair really did not take us that long to do. And the comment about the American Airlines guys starting to do this type of work, your right they would make most any repair done by the local shops pale by comparison. The next time I think I'm to busy to do the job myself, I'll look at these pictures again, which will help me make time to do it myself. One would think that if all you worked on was Airstreams, they should have been up to the task. Thanks again to everyone for the vote of confidence.
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