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Old 08-12-2014, 03:14 PM   #1
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2014 27' Flying Cloud
Seguin , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 61
New AS Damaged in Transit from Factory

Would like some advice ease. Just got a call from our salesman to let me know the good news / bad news: trailer arrived today but the person that drove it down from the factory backed into seething and damaged one of the rear panels.

Dealership is wanting to order new panel, drill out the rivets in the affected panel and replace. Says it's just a "push in" I have not seen it yet.

Says there is no structural damage but I am on my way to inspect now. Is there anything in particular that I should check? Have not received photo from the dealership yet or I would post it.

I'm kind of jittery on this. Dropped a lot of coin and do not want to find residual damage on "down the road" on something that we've waited years to afford and buy.

Thoughts? What should I check? Any questions that should be asked?
Any help much appreciated!

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Old 08-12-2014, 03:15 PM   #2
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2003 22' International CCD
Kiln , Mississippi
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Have they ever done this sort of repair?

Has a frame member been damaged? (can tell if the hit is on a rivit line)

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Old 08-12-2014, 03:17 PM   #3
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Sneedville , Tennessee
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That's a tough call. I think at the *least*, I would want an extension on the 2 year warranty against leaks. Also, would want to inspect the area behind the panel to make certain there was no structural damage.
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Old 08-12-2014, 03:22 PM   #4
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I think my plan would be to say . . ."Look, I ordered a NEW trailer, not a damaged one. So have a different driver take it back to the factory and have THEM do the repair" and then have the dealership extend the warranty on the repairs.

If you are paying the full price for a new Airstream, then I think that should be worth getting a unit that is as sound as it's going to be.
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Old 08-12-2014, 03:33 PM   #5
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1963 26' Overlander
Hollis , New Hampshire
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Heck no, in order to do this repair correctly with buck rivets they would have to remove everything from the trailer in that area including the interior skins. They won't do that so they will have to use Olympic rivets which are notorious for leaking.

If the damage isn't substantial it's possible the dent can be pulled out. I would rather have a pulled out, slightly visible area than all those Olympic rivets. Of course at a substantial discounted price.

Even if they assure you an extended warranty, who's to say they'll stand behind it? They could claim you didn't keep up on normal maintainence/rivet sealing.

If I was paying full price, I'd have them ship another.

If you do decide to go ahead, I'd suggest educating yourself and supervising the repair. I once saw a newer trailer with a repaired panel, they actually riveted through the protective plastic and ripped it off at the end. There were little bitty pieces of plastic shreds under all the rivets, Wanna bet they leaked?

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Old 08-12-2014, 03:52 PM   #6
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Tough call. These panels can be replaced properly as mentioned above, remove interior parts and panels to access the inside. If they really know what they are doing it's probably fine. If not, it could cause future leaks or corrosion.

It's not likely Airstream or the dealer can or will give you any extended warranty. It's doubtful you can supervise the repair, but it would be very good to educate yourself on this and then thoroughly inspect the repair before they close up the inside panel.
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Old 08-12-2014, 03:55 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by reinergirl View Post

I once saw a newer trailer with a repaired panel, they actually riveted through the protective plastic and ripped it off at the end. There were little bitty pieces of plastic shreds under all the rivets, Wanna bet they leaked?
LOL, that technique of riveting through the protective plastic sheet is what Airstream uses on the interior metal on their new units. I pulled a lot of little plastic film pieces out from under the inside rivets on my 2014 FC 20. But they at least were inside, where they didn't need to worry about leaks.
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Old 08-12-2014, 04:13 PM   #8
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I would NEVER accept a damaged /repaired trailer. Go check it out and make a note of the serial number. Then have them order you a new trailer, you should get a discount for all your trouble and the new wait time. When the new trailer comes, check it against the serial number you wrote down to see if they are trying to give you the damages/ repaired trailer. If the serial number matches sue them and call Airstream and tell them what your dealer tried to pull.
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Old 08-12-2014, 04:51 PM   #9
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You are spending a lot of money for an Airstream. Demand a new trailer.
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Old 08-12-2014, 04:56 PM   #10
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I would not accept the damaged trailer. Insist on a replacement.

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Old 08-12-2014, 05:00 PM   #11
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Discount - and TAKE it.

Your Airstream - Your choice, but you asked for opinions so here's mine.

I recently had the lower rear roadside panel replaced AT the factory. I paid extra to have the panel removed and repaired properly with bucked rivets. (5 or 6 hours of additional labor). Mine is an Eddie Bauer and I was surprised at how far they had to go removing inside panels - they took out the couch and the roadside dinette to peel back the inside panels far enough. And the WIRING that that had to be redone... tail light, marker lights and an extra scare light that the original owner had added.

It really looks, feels and acts like it looked the day I took delivery. I've almost forgotten how bad the damage was - but it took three days to do it right.

In your place, I wouldn't accept anything except a buck riveted repair, and an extra year warranty (in writing) on anything surrounding that panel as well as the panel itself. As part of the deal I'd insist on a pressure test against leaks.

MAKE NOTE, the dealership WAS honest enough to tell you about the damage rather than just slapping on a new panel and hoping you didn't catch any hint of a repair. Should you get some kind of price rebate (or a s***load of chemicals, light strings, folding stools, patio rug.... ) in return for your inconvenience? Well go for it but don't beat the crap out of them would be my call. The driver had to be insured so the dealership will be reimbursed for the repair.

One question - if this happened one week AFTER you'd bought it .... well would you think it was ruined or would you just assure yourself that the repair had been done beautifully, put it behind you and move forward?

Do you have any idea how many cars delivered to a dealer have spent 2 or 3 hours being carrassed gently by the "paintless dent repair guy" and the buyer never hears a word about the little ding? I stopped in a vacant lot next to a car dealership one morning. At about 7:00 AM I was fixing breakfast when I noticed a man wandering through the cars on the lot. Almost thought of calling the police until I saw that he had a clipboard and a list - worked on 4 new cars and about 9 used ones before the dealership opened.

Murphy's Law - if you insist on a new one from the factory, YOU'LL probably ding it on the way home. Pre-dented, you're golden.

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Old 08-12-2014, 05:02 PM   #12
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I would hold out for a non damaged unit @ a discounted rate due to the inconvience
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Old 08-12-2014, 05:04 PM   #13
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2010 27' FB International
Birmingham , Michigan
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Only accept a repair of this kind if it is done at the the factory. They will do it right. The dealer doesn't have the proper tools or understanding of complete manufacturing process to properly repair this kind of damage.

It isn't your trailer until you accept it as yours. Leave the trailer with the present owner (Airstream or the dealer) and order yourself a new one. May be frustrating to wait longer...but better than waiting for repairs in later years. You're paying for a new trailer...demand a NEW trailer. Not one that has been damage and then repaired. That's just silly. Stand your ground. Talk to the president at Airstream if you have to.

Good luck.
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Old 08-12-2014, 05:14 PM   #14
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I would cancel the check. The only way I would take a damaged trailer is to take a substantial discount. If the repairs are not done right, and there is a 90% chance they won't be, then you are in for problems down the road for something that costs as much as a house. Sometimes you have to be an A about it but you have more power than you think. Easier to reject is now than deal with the repercussions later.


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