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Old 05-20-2024, 08:44 PM   #1
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Trailer Value Affected by Repair

I’m sure most of you are aware of the storm that went through Houston Thursday of last week. I had an appointment to view a 25’ Flying Cloud at the owners home on Friday. This home was in a section of Houston hit very hard by the storm and the trailer sustained some damage. The left rear top corner panel was damaged by a tree limb and will require replacement, the window above the bed had the glass shattered and one of the plastic vents on top was broken. There may be other issues but these items are what was viewable at that time. The owners are insured and the trailer is on the way to a facility called Camper Clinic for repair. My primary question is this: For the purpose of this conversation, assuming the repairs are done properly, does this situation effect the value of the trailer after repairs, similar to a car in an accident?
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Old 05-20-2024, 08:56 PM   #2
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I would say that if the repairs are done correctly, then they should have little impact on the asking price of the trailer. It isn't like it was declared a total loss by the insurance company, sold at auction for a pittance, and then some flipper rebuilt it as cheaply as possible.

As far as I know, there is no "carfax" service for trailers, so it is quite likely that most trailers out there have had some kind of repair done on them, and buyers buy them completely unaware that there was ever an issue. Similarly, plenty of trailers are sold with rotting floors that wouldn't show up on any accident report, and it is just a matter of "buyer beware." The question is always "was it done correctly?"

good luck!
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Old 05-21-2024, 06:52 AM   #3
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The answer to the OP’s is a very simple one. Run far and fast away from a hurricane damaged, water soaked, damaged RV. With thousands of used Airstreams begging to be sold in numerous classifieds, you have many choices.

Sustained water intrusion into an RV is a kiss of death.
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Old 05-21-2024, 06:56 AM   #4
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Setting aside the question of valuation, why even bother getting mixed up in this repair? There are plenty of really nice Airstream trailers for sale that haven’t sustained serious damage and aren’t awaiting repairs.


I say hard pass. Don’t let the current owner’s problems become your problems. Move on to another better candidate. Let the current owners deal with repairs and their aftermath.
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Old 05-21-2024, 07:20 AM   #5
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I bought a preowned Flying Cloud that someone replaced the entire curbside top panel. You can tell by the olympic rivets.

Flash forward, my trailer was badly damaged at the factory storm last March. It needs about 11 panels replaced +/- including the roof. The first quote I got was to replace all with Olympic which I balked at and was able to convince the insurance company to spend the extra $16k or $18k to have the sheets buck riveted. This means removing the inside and is more in line with how it was constructed originally, including replacing the now damaged Olympic riveted top curbside panel!

The point to all this is if you like the trailer and want a deal, great, if not move on, but they can be fixed and as long as the damage does not exceed a certain percentage of the value, it can be fixed, and fixed correctly, but it has to be brought to a wildly reputable repair place. I have no idea if Camper Clinic is equipped to do this kind of major repair. Vinnies can, the factory can, maybe 1-2 other places in my humble opinion, but if Camper Clinic is not going to re-buck rivet it, I'd walk, maybe even run. Factory told me and the insurance co, not a matter of if, but when it will leak just replacing panels from the outside. For 1 to 2 panels, sure, but when you get to more than that, you really need it to be buck riveted which allows sealing at the panel connections and from the interior.
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Old 05-21-2024, 07:24 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Genebuilder View Post
The answer to the OP’s is a very simple one. Run far and fast away from a hurricane damaged, water soaked, damaged RV.
No comment on whether he should buy or not, but a hail storm is not the same as a hurricane. Obviously if it was hail damage, there wasn’t rain. And often hail storms are quick.
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Old 05-21-2024, 08:06 AM   #7
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The Houston storm was rain and severe winds. Damage was caused by falling limbs and flying debris. There was no mention of hail in the weather news reporting.

Just to clarify your comment on hail:
Hail is usually preceded, during, and followed by rain ..it is not a dry event. Hail are raindrops forced up into colder atmosphere by strong updrafts and frozen. Size of the hail is determined by how many times the hail is forced up (thru the rain) before it falls to earth.
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Old 05-21-2024, 09:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKasprzak View Post
I’m sure most of you are aware of the storm that went through Houston Thursday of last week. I had an appointment to view a 25’ Flying Cloud at the owners home on Friday. This home was in a section of Houston hit very hard by the storm and the trailer sustained some damage. The left rear top corner panel was damaged by a tree limb and will require replacement, the window above the bed had the glass shattered and one of the plastic vents on top was broken. There may be other issues but these items are what was viewable at that time. The owners are insured and the trailer is on the way to a facility called Camper Clinic for repair. My primary question is this: For the purpose of this conversation, assuming the repairs are done properly, does this situation effect the value of the trailer after repairs, similar to a car in an accident?
DKasprzak;

If your trailer is repaired in the correct way.... You should be fine. As a dealer, if I see a repair has been made.... I will just ask what happened and look closely at the repair. The fact is some dealers I know do not even see a good repair. The reality is, no two Airstreams are exactly the same.

Live Riveted,

Mike
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Old 05-21-2024, 09:21 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Genebuilder View Post
The Houston storm was rain and severe winds. Damage was caused by falling limbs and flying debris. There was no mention of hail in the weather news reporting.

Just to clarify your comment on hail:
Hail is usually preceded, during, and followed by rain ..it is not a dry event. Hail are raindrops forced up into colder atmosphere by strong updrafts and frozen. Size of the hail is determined by how many times the hail is forced up (thru the rain) before it falls to earth.
My apologies, there had been talk of a recent hail storm, and I got the two conflated.

I guess hail is different in different in different places. I've been through many hail storms in Colorado and Washington, almost none were proceeded by, followed by, or concurrent with rain. In my experience, if it's raining as well, it's usually sleet or grapple coming down.

I guess in Colorado it's usually pretty dry. And in Washington, weather cold enough to produce hail is usually accompanied by very dry conditions as well.
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Old 05-21-2024, 09:42 AM   #10
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I stand corrected too, hiking camera. I remember one instance, many years ago, traveling thru El Paso in the summer. I was on a residential street, it started hailing, no rain, and I witnessed a wide carpet of marble size and shaped hail rolling down the street.
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Old 05-21-2024, 10:19 AM   #11
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Your answer is , Yes. It will affect its value. Camper Clinic, Blue Compass RV, will do the re-skin work (going to be sitting in their lot for a while). Olympic rivets are used (just big fancy pop rivets) and there is always an increased risk now of leaks. If the repair cost exceeds approximately 70% of the trailers value, as dictated by insurance co., they will total the trailer. If you decide to keep the trailer by paying the ins. co. the auction salvage value, you will now Own the trailer under a SALVAGE title. The one exception is that, in Texas, hail damage only, will not trigger a salvage title unless the repair costs exceed the (prior to damage) value of the trailer.
I just settled with USAA on hail damage to 3/4 the trailer skin. Some Golf ball size hail and actually it does not look bad at all. Only a couple of dings that looked golf ball size. I PDR pulled the worse of them out myself. They valued the trailer at $1500 less than my negotiated price in 2012. I kicked back 1/3 of that $$ to settle what they claimed would be the salvage value. Still retained my original title. We now own our 2012 30 ft Flying Cloud with a couple dozen small hail dents and an insurance rebate of 2/3 its original cost.

If the water intrusion is not bad, and you want to make an as is offer, you might be able to purchase for a song. Present owner can settle with his insurance, pocket the money and you pay him salvage $$. Then you have the dents pulled yourself. There are articles on the forums on how to do—just understand that the AL stretches when damaged and will never come back completely.

If you do something like this, be sure to research a correct value price for the trailer prior to damage and don’t pay more that 1/3 that amount
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Old 05-21-2024, 10:23 AM   #12
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Buyer Beware and Verify Condition Do NOT trust Seller

Here is a recent acquisition for us in Houston that did not include any identified damages and a claim that “everything works”. This is a lesson in purchasing a used AS and in your case, clearly identified damage from a storm. Here are the maintenance issues we found within one week of ownership in a trailer that “everything worked”: Description 1.Cost to Repair 2. Owner Provided 3. Delta
— Owner would not extend awning “due to gusty winds” = a real indication of a problem - quote to get the awning repaired, which has a bent center pole is $2,306 $0 $2,306
— Front door step could not be adjusted correctly = $200 off - From technician "as far as the step repair probably about $1200 parts are not very expensive but you’ve got to remove the lower belly rub rail and insert, drop down the underbelly front and behind the steps remove the interior door trim, open up the interior wall on either side of the door so you can remove and replace the bolts that hold the wall down to the outrigger, remove the step and release mechanism. then you cut the old outriggers off weld the new ones line it up properly put it all back together = six to eight hours worth of labor so , about $100 dollars worth of outriggers and then some sealant and some rivets and some welding supplies. Note my undervalued estimate at the RV Park of two hours to repair @ $100 per hour. Cost $1,200 Owner credit =$200 Delta =$1,000
— Five tires needed to be replaced = $600 off agreed to split the $1,200 cost $1,200 $600 Delta = $600
— Cost to fix the leaks on the exhaust vents in the shower and bathroom $210 $0 $210
— Shower Door repair - you had to lift the door to open and close $50 $0 $50
— Lockable lug nuts attaching shocks to axles - 3 were MISSING and could have caused a catastrophic accident $53 $0 $53
— No hot water anywhere in trailer.* Water heater was working, but the mixer valve on the heater was plugged with calcium. - Valve Replacement $490 $0 $490
— Electric element was not working on water heater.* Element was broken in two as though someone ran the electric water heater with no water in hot water tank. $500 $0 $500
— Shower head would not turn off and kept dripping.* Replaced cartridge at the shower handle. $100 $0 $100

TOTALS Repairs = $6,319 Owner credit = $800 Delta = $5,519.

Other observations - electric jack sounds like it is not long for this world. Spare tire had been extensively used - might be a story there? Flooring had been replaced = another story??

Bottom line - I trusted another AS owner and will never make that mistake again. Have a trained technician do a thorough review.

I sent the above list to the seller and requested he provide some money to us. I know we bought “as is”, but my mistake was trusting his integrity, character and honesty to provide a list of items that may need to be repaired, that he did not take the time to correct. We spent thousands of dollars to get our beloved “Gracie” ready to sell. KYD YouTuber’s Marc and Trish spent thousands of dollars to prepare their AS for resale by having Vinnie in CA fix some things. This is the honorable way to prepare an AS for resale.

Note that you can purchase the right AS anywhere. We flew to Houston, ubered to Enterprise and rented a Super Duty and towed our new to us 2018 International 30’ RBT “Kailani” over 800 miles to Georgia, via our repair shop. Now she is taking us on the Springtime in the Rockies caravan, which starts in beautiful Estes Park, CO and ends in tiny Gardiner, MT.
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Old 05-21-2024, 10:54 AM   #13
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My apologies, I just read your primary post again. The trailer is already at Camper Clinic. Still, you might talk to the owner about as is purchase. With the Houston storm, and the massive hail event west and north of Austin, that Airstream is going to be sitting in the repair lot with many others waiting new skin. He won’t have a trailer he can put back up for sale for quite some time
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Old 05-21-2024, 12:32 PM   #14
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Whether the price should reflect the repairs is up to you. Repairs and reconstruction done correctly usually don't affect the price of an Airstream, some older ones that have been completely remodeled sell for more than their original cost.

Look at it and decide. Perhaps the seller will lower the price because it has been damaged, perhaps they won't. Are they hungry for a sale or can they wait?

But, the only one who can tell what it is worth to you now is YOU. If you'd rather not have a repaired trailer, walk on...
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Old 05-22-2024, 09:11 AM   #15
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I would trust the quality of the repair only if the trailer was repaired at Jackson Center. As many have pointed out, there are a lot of never-damaged Airstreams out there to choose from.
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Old 05-22-2024, 09:25 AM   #16
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I will stress again, that if you have more than a few panels that need to be replaced, and this came straight from Josh as the factory service center, it's not a matter of if it will leak, it's when it will leak.

Buck riveting is the only solid and proper fix. Olympics will do, but not on the size and scale I think you described. It does not make sense in many cases to buck rivet, but once you cross the threshold of say 7-8 panels (including roof and side), the cost delta is NOT what folks here said it would be- 2x the cost. Mine added about $18k to the repair, but I know when it's done, it will be sealed both at the panel as it's laid down, but also from inside, just like when it was built.

I doubt, very, very seriously that Camper Clinic has the skill set to do anything more than an exterior only panel replacement. Plus, it takes a heck of a long time...my fix is going to take at least two full months to gut, remove and replace and I would have to second the factory being the best place for this, or Vinnies...they do top quality work.

A leaking camper will diminish value, plus, if it's not a 2021 or newer, it will have plywood flooring which will need to be replaced sooner than later in all likelihood. To the average non-Airstreamer, this means nothing, but to a buyer with experience, they can tell an Olympic rivet a mile away, instantly telling them it was damaged and repaired. How much of a value hit could that be, can't say, but not zero.
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Old 05-22-2024, 01:03 PM   #17
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It would affect the value of the trailer for me to buy it. I would want to take a close look at the trailer after the repair and then make an offer if I wanted to buy it. That offer would be less than what I would have paid before the damage and repair. It is tough enough to take "reduced value" when you own the trailer. I see no point i buying into reduced value unless you get the discount.
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