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Old 04-06-2010, 03:08 PM   #1
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MAJOR damage to my 2001 Bambi (see pictures)

Well, I just purchased my first Airstream, which is completely crushed (the data plate says it is a 2001 16')! Here is the question... how inexpensive can I get the repairs for? I am okay at bucking rivets (nicknamed Rosie!), but my English Wheel skills leave much to desired...

So, do I order panels from Airstream (seem like the fit will be a pain) or try an aircraft restoration shop?

Anyone know anyone good somewhere around the Boise Idaho area?

What price do you think I should expect to pay?
All of your help is greatly appreciated!

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Old 04-06-2010, 03:35 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard ksrich343.
It looks like you should have signed on before purchasing I hope you got it dirt-cheap, cause Stream repair is not! There are members who have taken on this type of work before but it is not for the feint of heart. You will have to disassemble the whole rear corner and some of the side and roof, and you will still be left with some stray beauty marks.
Do you know what happened to her? It looks like a violent sway took place and tagged both rear corners against the tow vehicle, and then someone took a baseball bat to it, prior to re-inflating it. No big deal, as long as you are in love with it. This will be a labor of love, right? 'cause it will not be a money-making experience from the look of it. Like the comedian says,"she has marks all over where people were touching her with a ten-foot pole".
You can order the compound-curved roof sections and trim materials from Airstream. The side and front skins are flat aluminum material and can be had at a metal fabricators or airplane parts supply house. Look in the forums for the "links to major renovations" thread. It has a lot of info for you.
Best of luck,
Rich the Viking
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Old 04-06-2010, 03:42 PM   #3
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First off, welcome to the forums!

What happened? Did you have an accident or did you buy it this way? Does it have a salvage title?

Your best bet is going to be to buy new end cap panels from Airstream...at least the shapes will be right. The flat sheets are available from various Aircraft supply houses. But you are probably going to have structural damage to the ribs - not an easy fix. Not impossible - just not easy or cheap - even if you do the work yourself.

That's a helluva first post...

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Old 04-06-2010, 03:47 PM   #4
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There are RV wrecking yards. I would try to find another Bambi there to get parts from.
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Old 04-06-2010, 03:57 PM   #5
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wow... I guess the little one's roll also...
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Old 04-06-2010, 03:59 PM   #6
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Thanks Roadruler, I remembered now, there is a guy in Florida who bought one of those flooded trailers from Georgia. He also has a Bambi that might be a parts trailer already. I can't find who that was though.
Anyone out there recall who I'm thinking of?

Rich the Viking

P.S. Found him, MGM's the handle but his last post regarding bambi said: "On the topic of Bambi. I really would like to hand on to her, and if the Army keeps me busy and paying me, then i will. No regrets with anything yet, and if my finances would allow, would really love to keep bambi for my solo trips.."

Might be worth checking into anyway!
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Old 04-06-2010, 04:18 PM   #7
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Wow! It almost looks like she rolled and the PO tried to pound out the dents; what a project.
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Old 04-06-2010, 04:20 PM   #8
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Good Grief!
I hope no one was injured. What happened to the baby? You might try Colaw's in Missouri. They have a goodly number of smashed aluminum tubes. Best of luck for a complete recovery.
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Old 04-06-2010, 04:47 PM   #9
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This could be the pot at the end of the rainbow.

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Old 04-06-2010, 06:24 PM   #10
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One idea for a fix.....

Have you thought of painting it with aluminium paint? This can be a very good-looking solution, as has been discussed in detail on this forum. The search facility will find some good links. A large bucket of car body filler and a spray gun in the hands of a skilled craftsman could produce a superb result. I don't consider a painted finish to be inferior, considering that many aircraft which appear to be clear finished are actually painted. Clearly you would first need to deal with any structural issues. Just an idea for you to consider.
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:46 PM   #11
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I have a sudden, overwhelming urge for a baked potato.

Seriously though, Road Ruler is right: Colaw's or another RV salvage place will be a great jumping off point for parts. I can't imagine how you'd realistically be able to "english wheel" yourself new end caps.

Keep us posted though on your progress -- for as much initial negative energy you're probably feeling from us, we're also always rooting for the underdog. In this case... that's you.
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Old 04-06-2010, 09:54 PM   #12
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I was thinking it would make a great rolling burrito wagon!



The original Chipotle Mexican Grill is about three blocks from our old house in Denver - it opened the same year we moved there.

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Old 04-07-2010, 05:08 AM   #13
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If it is not leaking and safe to tow use it the way it is. Great conversation piece while camping and look at all the money you will save. Seriously, take you're time on a course of action. Can it be camped in the way it is? zz
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Old 04-07-2010, 05:55 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by ksrich343 View Post
Here is the question... how inexpensive can I get the repairs for? I am okay at bucking rivets (nicknamed Rosie!), but my English Wheel skills leave much to desired...

What price do you think I should expect to pay?
All of your help is greatly appreciated!

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First of all let's get you welcomed into the group. We're glad you're here.

Not to be a source of discouragement but this is major damage that would typically end the service life of many Airstreams and unfortunately I don't know that you'll find an inexpensive fix. I would also expect to find significant structural issues in addition to what is visible.

The cost for segment replacement is significant, and in your case replacing multiple segments is not a project for many Do-It-Yourself types (me included). Some people have successfully cannibalized wrecked units for parts but recognize that there will likely be fit and existing rivet hole alignment issues to deal with.

Here's a thread from last year that discusses multiple segment damage to a 80's era Airstream. The age and damage location differ from yours but the information may give you some idea of what to expect. The reported repair cost in this case was somewhere in the $10,000 range.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f381...highlight=ouch

If the unit came with a salvage title I would also consider the value added for any major repair costs.

Regards,

Kevin
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:05 AM   #15
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If it is not leaking and safe to tow use it the way it is. Great conversation piece while camping and look at all the money you will save. Seriously, take you're time on a course of action. Can it be camped in the way it is? zz
I think zz's idea is tops...(oh c'mon, I know I'm not the only punster in this bunch)... but you'll have to research your campgrounds in advance and not let them stick you in the ghetto zones just because you have an "unusual" looking trailer... bribe them with baked potatoes if necessary, good luck!
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:35 AM   #16
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Thanks

Thanks everyone for the comments and ideas are stewing about the name, but "the burrito" seems pretty apropos... or "the potato," seems fitting since it is an Idaho trailer!

For the curious:
-Paid 3,500$ for it --- I know, I know, I should have checked with all of you first- it WAS impulsive... I saw this on ebay and figured I could do the same eventually if things didn't work out: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/2003-...item27b0b42d4f
(bid already up to 8,300$). I have heard of people making a clamshell type extension onto a trailer with half of a bambi, which would only require one good end!

-Clear title
-Frame is intact (no damage)
-Really, the damage appears to just be cosmetic (i.e., no leaks, etc.) and the owner before towed and camped in it happily.
-Airstream quoted $1,500 a panel (installed price)-- as a side note, they said they see lots of damaged models that have a trashed exterior with the chassis remaining intact
-You guessed it-- the last owner's 80 year old father bought it crushed and "hammered out" the damage, sealing the small exposed areas with caulk; he passed away shortly thereafter and his son (who I bought it from) used it as a hunting trailer.
-Any other RV wreckage yard recommendations?
-Will the skin of all 2000 models fit?
-On the back end there appears to be that brown oxidation--- is that what it is and how do I get it out?
-Perhaps this will get me a lot of people buying my "sympathy beers" at the camp ground, right?

Please keep the ideas coming!
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:36 AM   #17
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Look like the frame racked as well. I would check the entire trailer for popped rivets. Inside and out.
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:47 AM   #18
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If it is not leaking and safe to tow use it the way it is. Great conversation piece while camping and look at all the money you will save. Seriously, take you're time on a course of action. Can it be camped in the way it is? zz
For what you paid and what it'll cost to repair. I suggest you just make up outrageous stories on how it got damaged and enjoy camping in it as is.
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:55 AM   #19
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Judging from the rippled floor covering (not to mention the rippled interior coverings), I'd say there is probably structural damage to the frame. If anything, I'd replace those end caps purely for aesthetic reasons and just use it as is. $6,500 for a usable Bambi isn't too bad, but you'd owe it to anyone who buys it in the future to show them the before and afters.
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:06 AM   #20
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I was thinking it would make a great rolling burrito wagon!



The original Chipotle Mexican Grill is about three blocks from our old house in Denver - it opened the same year we moved there.

Shari
Had me crying I was laughing so hard. I needed that!
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