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Old 12-15-2010, 12:30 PM   #21
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The cracks actually go into the fibers. If you pick one of the flakes away, you expose fibers from the glass. If they sanded it down, I assume they would go clear into glass fiber. I'm not sure if they can build it back up with gel coat or not.

I don't think that there is paint on the white part. It is white gel coat and then polished to a high shine.
I have worked with fiberglass and epoxy resin (building an airplane). You can probably sand down to good epoxy, even if you go through the glass layers, and then "lay-up" new glass/elpoxy over the area to strengthen it back to OEM.

If the damage is too severe, then the damaged area can be cut out and a sheet of OEM fiberglass inserted and "taped" into place with fiber glass strips and epoxy.

In either case you would then sand and smooth over with bondo just as drywall junctions are taped smooth.
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Old 12-15-2010, 01:34 PM   #22
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If you're not emotionally attached to that particular rig, I'd start working on finding a replacement unit and having the insurance companies settle for that amount.

So sorry to read about your loss.

Pat
I'd be thinking along those lines too.


Many years ago we had a small UK-designed 20' travel trailer that we really had become attached to.

It was of very light weight design - which was probably why a freak mini-tornado was able to pick it up from its storage spot one fine day and dump it on its side!

The insurance company was going to write it off and basically we would have recouped everything we had invested in it.

Because we liked the trailer so much however, we found a local RV dealer who had been an agent for this particular make who claimed to be able to repair it, and we went with that option.

In that case, it turned out to be a mistake - it was usable, but i was just never happy with it again and always wished after I had just accepted the insurance company's offer to write it off!

Mind you, we did keep it for perhaps another ten years and eventually sold it for what we initially paid for it, so I guess in that sene it worked out not too badly!

Brian
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Old 12-15-2010, 02:08 PM   #23
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Damage

Probably should be a write off.
Research, and document what you want to replace it with, and get all records of maintenance etc. before sitting down with Insurance adjuster.
Looks like the gelcoat is beyond repair in places, and the structural strength will never be the same with a patch.
If you are lucky enough to find a similar unit, find out who gets to scrap yours and you will have a good source for parts.
Keep us informed as to the progress on the claim.

Dave
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Old 12-15-2010, 02:55 PM   #24
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So sorry for the loss. Glad nobody was hurt -- other than emotionally. I hope you get a good resolution.
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Old 12-16-2010, 12:31 AM   #25
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Patch

My thoughts:

When you patch the sidewall with a vertical patch and seam you loose any structural strength at that point. If the unit had a sideswipe and a 2' section was replaced horizontally the full length of the unit, I would accept that repair, but not a vertical seam over the axle that is the main stress area of the unit.

Hope I am never in that "hard to win spot" you are in, through no fault of you own.

Good luck
Dave
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Old 12-16-2010, 12:51 AM   #26
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My thoughts:

When you patch the sidewall with a vertical patch and seam you loose any structural strength at that point. If the unit had a sideswipe and a 2' section was replaced horizontally the full length of the unit, I would accept that repair, but not a vertical seam over the axle that is the main stress area of the unit.

Hope I am never in that "hard to win spot" you are in, through no fault of you own.

Good luck
Dave
Done correctly "bi-directional" fiberglass "tapes" connecting the patch to undamaged fiberglass WILL BE at LEAST as strong as OEM. Have someone familiar with fiberglass repair look at the damage.
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Old 12-16-2010, 07:08 AM   #27
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Thanks for all your help and thoughts.

I've been in contact with Airstream at Jackson Center, and they have been in contact with the folks that created their sidewalls for this unit. Everyone along the chain is saying that because of where the damage is, and the extent it is, that it is unrepairable. They could not get a lasting repair nor structural integrity back by sanding and fixing or patching. Also, they do not have these walls or the equipment to deal with them anymore. Carrera, a fiberglass shop that has done many things for Airstream said that they could recreate the wall, but that alone would take close to a year, and the cost would be at least $45,000. Then there would be all the other issues.

When the adjuster was visiting yesterday, he noticed a spot where the outer wall had actually pulled away from the oak cabinetry found in the rear next to the damaged area. I had noticed the same problem along the wall where the outer wall and bedroom/bathroom wall come together too. I found an area where the floor meets the wall that was pulling away too. Looking up from under the coach, I could see daylight through the seam.

So far, everybody that has seen it has a gut feeling that it will cost many more dollars to fix it than it is worth.

This might be an opportunity to move on. We'll see.

I did notice that Airstream has the 25 year anniversary edition of the 34' classic trailer out. They are only making 25 of these trailers this year. Here is what my wife and I have talked about. It is our 25th wedding anniversary this year, this particular Airstream trailer is having it's 25th anniversary, it is silver in color, the traditional color of gift given on a 25th anniversary, and we love everything Airstream. My wife said she would run out and get one, but deciding on the tow vehicle would be a rough decision. I wish they still made a 1-ton diesel Suburban. That would be worth looking at.

I'll keep everybody post on the outcome.

Cheers!
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Old 12-17-2010, 08:59 AM   #28
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Done correctly "bi-directional" fiberglass "tapes" connecting the patch to undamaged fiberglass WILL BE at LEAST as strong as OEM. Have someone familiar with fiberglass repair look at the damage.
I'm not an expert, just a little f/g work around boat, if you can open the backside of the damaged area and apply a layer over a large enough area it might give it the structural strength it needs. I would feel confident in calm seas, but having it travel over bumpy roads every trip, it would be a constant reminder to check with no recourse to recover from insurance at a later date.
If you have enough storage area at your place, it would probably be worth your while to part it out, at least one neighbor can't complain
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Old 01-11-2011, 03:59 PM   #29
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Fire

How did you make out on the damaged unit?
Not the same, but there is a Cutter on Ford Chassis on ebay now about the same size as what you had.

1997 Airstream Cutter Class A Motorhome - eBay (item 250755875853 end time Jan-18-11 12:27:03 PST)
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Old 01-13-2011, 12:01 PM   #30
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She has been sent to the salvage yard...

Hi Folks,

Yesterday, Wed. 1/12/2011, we received a check from our insurance company. They paid us in full for our coach. Shortly after we received the check and signed the title over, the folks from Salvage Direct were at my house picking up the coach. It is officially gone now. I expect it will go up for auction at Salvage Direct sometime soon.

The repairs would have been more money than the coach was worth. Just over $20,000 if sanded, patched and repainted, plus repair all other items hurt from heat. $60,000 plus if replace wall, and over a year to get it done.

The Insurance company gave us the money, and we placed an order for a custom ordered new 2011 Trailer the same hour.

We loved our motorhome, and will miss it much. Our son who is 9 years old looked at it as it went off to it's new home and tears rolled down his cheeks. This morning when we went out to get into my truck, and head to school, he again teared up from just looking at the spot where our motorhome had been.

Our son really enjoyed sitting up there in the passenger seat, looking out the windows as we rolled down the highway. It was a very comfortable coach with some good memories.

Take care,

Steve
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:21 PM   #31
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Fire

That sounds good.
As long as you are happy, thats what counts.

Post some pictures of your new unit when you get hooked up.

Dave
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Old 02-04-2011, 11:14 PM   #32
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Now up for Bids

Salvage Airstream Land Yacht for sale 1998 0 0 0 Four Oaks NC - used, wrecked repairable vehicle id 291695831 | VehBidz

The unit is now up for bids. A good parts unit?????
Dave
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Old 02-05-2011, 10:28 AM   #33
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Steve,

Which 2011 did you end up ordering? Has it arrived yet?
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Old 02-05-2011, 02:52 PM   #34
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Hi,

Looking at the pictures, somebody went through it and took everything that wasn't tied down. Also, it looks filthy. When it left here, the bedding was there, the "Airstream" clock was there, the new ladder was on it, and it was clean.

It's been gone for a few weeks now.

That's the unit.

I would say that the mechanical parts on it are in great shape. We had just put new Mich. tires all the way around, new rotors, calipers, pads, master cylinder, etc... in the brakes, new rubber bushings in the suspension, and had the unit resealed. Also, they had just changed all the fluids in diff, trans, gen, and engine. New belts and hoses, new clamps, etc... It has the HWH automatic levelers on it, also a 2500 watt inverter (the size of a suit case), new toilet, and the guts to the faucets have just been replaced. The fridge had the recall repair, and it has been winterized with pink stuff all throughout it. It did have all new plastic vent covers and AC covers, but much of that has been melted on the roof. The ac worked great, as did the heaters. The unit was in great shape.

Poor thing, it now looks like it belongs in a salvage yard.

As for the new one. We decided to order a new 2011 Jayco 1208 popup with every option available. We have a 9 year old and will use the popup until he goes off to college. That's when we will go back to an Airstream. After much discussion, my wife and I decided to buy something that we could use for our weekend fun, that would not break the bank and yet would be comfortable. We have owned a couple popups over the years and found that they can be nice, given the right stuff.

The following link will show you the model we ordered.

Jayco 2011

It has hard side bathroom, electric lift for the top, AC, Heat, Fantastic Fan, etc... All nice things. We are trying to save for David's college, and also live a little. This popup helps. I truly wanted the new 2011 34' Airstream trailer, but I couldn't convince my wife to spend that much money.

If you guys are still interested, when I take delivery of my new 1208, I'll post pictures of it.

Thanks

Steve
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Old 02-06-2011, 08:25 AM   #35
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Just replace the rear tire.

Its not worth the worry or risk.

I think everything can be brought back to Like new condition.

Very Nice Unit.

I doubt that you will need to take it to Jackson Center.

A good Fiberglass, Body shop Can repair to Like new condition for you.

Good Luck and thank You for sharing.
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Old 03-07-2011, 08:13 PM   #36
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Hi,

.....As for the new one. We decided to order a new 2011 Jayco 1208 popup with every option available......
Congratulations on the purchase of your new RV. Very sorry to hear of the loss of your Land Yacht.

We have the 2005 version your previous unit and have similar feelings for it that you had for yours.
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:26 AM   #37
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Thank you for your kind words and thoughts.

I miss the Land Yacht, and will continue to miss it. We enjoyed it all over from Niagara Falls, New York, to San Antonio, Texas, and many places in between. It was perfect for our visits to Disney World when we would go.

The new Jayco will get lots of use too though. It's not an Airstream, but for our current plans, it should be perfect. It is still on the production line at Jayco. They delayed the "Off Line" date because of a new cabinet style that they were putting in. They redesigned one of the cabinets, and asked if we wanted the original style or the new style. We opted for the new style, and said it was OK to delay the build until they could include it.

It should only be a couple more weeks until it is ready.

Happy Camping,

Steve
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