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Old 04-19-2024, 04:18 AM   #1
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2021 27' Flying Cloud
Salado , Texas
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Airstream was totaled yesterday

So, we've had an amazing experience with our first Airstream - a '21 27FC. Texas hailstorm got her and the insurance company is totaling the loss. I'll get a check, but it won't cover the cost of a replacement new unit.

The damage is...impressive. these were 2.5" - 3" stones. It looks like someone took a sledge hammer to the top of her. Both heat pump covers with holes blown through them, all 6 solar panels destroyed, and up to 8" concave dishes in the sheet metal, every riveted seam is dished in.

Any advise from those of you who've been here / done that? We put about 35k miles on her traveling around and really got her setup for our kind of camping. Just hate to go through the expense of a replacement camper and then swapping across the upgrades we are permitted to salvage off the destroyed camper.

Pictures would be good, but I don't have a third party server account to allow attaching them.
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Old 04-19-2024, 04:52 AM   #2
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Oh geez. Very sorry to hear this. The good news is no one was injured. But yeah, what a hassle.

More details if you have time. Were you driving out on the highway when this happenned, or parked at a campsite? Or at home in storage? How did the tow vehicle fare?

We don’t get hail very often back here where I live near Washington DC, But wouldn’t you know less than a week after parking our new-to-us Airstream in the driveway, we had a hailstorm that we watched bouncing off the roof with great anxiety. Fortunately the hail was only about dime-size, and no damage was done.

But it really got me wondering about how to protect the trailer from these events, both on trips and here at home. I imagine there is s thread on this subject somewhere on the forum.

As for posting photos, you do not need a photo hosting website. While composing a reply you can scroll a little farther down the page to the “Attach Files/Manage Attachments” tab and use the pop up dialogue box to select photos from your photo album. Yes, a bit of a hassle but the process does work.
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Old 04-19-2024, 05:52 AM   #3
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So sorry to hear about the total loss of your FC. Especially when you have made it your own thru modifications and additions.

I see your FC was a 2021 model. I don't know if you bought it new in 2021 but the market for RV's was very hot at that time. Prices were high with little to no negotiating. That is not the cast today. I've hear that 20% off of MSRP is possible in certain situations. So your insurance money may cover more of the cost of a new AS than you thought. Plus there are a lot of used ones for sale now.

I hope all works out for you and you can get back on the road again. 35k miles is a lot of traveling so you obviously enjoy it.

All the best!
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Old 04-19-2024, 09:39 AM   #4
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Remember that the insurance is supposed to cover the cost of an identical replacement (as if such a thing actually exists). Since you have a 2021 trailer, you should be looking at another 2021, same model, length, etc. If you want to get a 2024 or 2025, the additional cost is on you.


The exception is it you have an agreed value policy. That's a situation where you get an appraisal of your trailer when you insure it, and the company agrees that they will pay that amount if there is a total loss. You will pay more in premiums that way, but you will get more IF there is a total loss.
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Old 04-21-2024, 08:23 AM   #5
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kb0zke - we did not remember that as a policy option, but sure enough, Progressive presented us with 3 options, keep the trailer and take a settlement payout of about 2/3 the value
-or-
take a settlement payout for the value of the trailer
-or-
have a build sheet written up by a dealer for a new trailer and submit that to them for their broker to purchase with the caveat that the new build should be as close as practical to the original and not to exceed 120% of the original cost.

So we have a decision to make.

I can safely rule out #1. The trailer is beat up bad and both heat pumps have holes punched through the covers, with one cover knocked askew from the hail impact. All 6 solar panels are obviously shattered and the curved nose piece panels front and rear and destroyed, many along the riveted seams. I don't think you could ever be sure that the thing will not leak.

That leaves Option 2, taking the cash, dropping it into a high yield savings account or 6 month CD while we look for a replacement.

Or we go with Option 3. If that works, and we can recover close to 20% above the original purchase cost, then that far outstrips the short term gain we'd get investing the payout from Option 2 and get us into a trailer we can start using again as soon as the tow vehicle (not totaled) is repaired.
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Old 04-21-2024, 08:33 AM   #6
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Sorry for your loss. Every Airstream owner's nightmare. If you consider getting it repaired, Vinnie's could work magic. Good luck.
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Old 04-21-2024, 08:53 AM   #7
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We took a insurance check for about half the value of ours after we were hit by much smaller hail in Texas. Decided to live with the cosmetic damage to roof and upper corner panels. If we are ever hit again the coverage would have the ($26,000) deducted from any payout as we chose not to repair. So sad to see that, but agree with your thoughts on how to proceed.
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Old 04-21-2024, 09:16 AM   #8
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+1 for checking with Vinnie. My opinion, you lose nothing by sending him an email with pics and see what he says.

The videos of his PDR guy are nothing short of amazing. Also, see what Vinnie says about probability of leak after repair....if he says he can repair and won't leak, I would take that to the bank.

Just my $0.02
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Old 04-21-2024, 09:41 AM   #9
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Wow; we are just down the road in Sun City, Georgetown, and guess we dodged the bullet...no hail here. My truck is in the driveway, but my AS is in covered parking storage a mile or so away. So sorry for your loss. Please keep us up to date on how this turns out. I agree, Vinnie's guys are sheet metal "magicians", but that is a lot of damage! I think I would try to go new/replacement value. As for new purchase, I know many dealers are "dealing" currently, especially on the West Coast. I know a friend who just got a new 25' FCT in the mid $80's...with solar/lithium and awning package.
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Old 04-21-2024, 10:20 AM   #10
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Option 3 would be my choice. That would be a silver lining in my book.
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Old 04-21-2024, 10:33 AM   #11
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I think I'd get the dents pulled as best as I could, repair the AC and solar, make sure the seams don't leak and then just use the trailer without having as much worry about it on a day to day basis.

Of course it wouldn't be perfect anymore but scars- on both people and campers- have stories behind them, and the stories are what makes life interesting. A new camper makes me think "ah yes, another beautiful Airstream", but one with some damage makes me think "what kind of adventure did they take?"

Just my opinion though!
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Old 04-21-2024, 10:56 AM   #12
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Curious with option #3, can a broker get a better deal than negotiating on your own? It sounds like you'd get a new trailer the way you want it. Prices are higher than 2021 but then they weren't discounting much then so you might have paid a premium back then. I'm having trouble seeing any downside other than it might take longer than finding one on your own. You'd also be getting a 2024 with the FES reinforcing and other upgrades.
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Old 04-21-2024, 08:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsydad View Post
Wow; we are just down the road in Sun City, Georgetown, and guess we dodged the bullet...no hail here. My truck is in the driveway, but my AS is in covered parking storage a mile or so away. So sorry for your loss. .....................................
Clearly the Sun City Force Field was operating properly. Not only was the relatively calm spot right over Sun City, Geogetown as shown in the radar image, but once east of Georgetown the cells merged and continued on with heavy lightning and more hail.
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Old 04-21-2024, 09:26 PM   #14
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Have PDR pull the visible and most deep top dents. But not a "perfect" job because you will vinyl wrap the top with a color of choice. Can be a matte silver, or white or vintage teal (it'll be cool too!). Tie in the wheels or something else if a color is chosen.
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Old 04-21-2024, 10:12 PM   #15
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I’ve had panel replacement. After visiting a shop doing this work, it’s not daunting as it seems. I would have the front and back panels quoted. If reasonable, have the top dents pulled the best it can.
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Old 04-21-2024, 10:43 PM   #16
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Hi, replace both end caps, solar panels, and A/C covers. Forget the roof, no-one will see it.
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Old 04-22-2024, 08:27 AM   #17
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What are you allowed to salvage?
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Old 04-22-2024, 08:32 AM   #18
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Two comments from the pix, those solar panels look like they survived OK and the end cap damage suggests that the hail stones were traveling laterally as well as vertically at a pretty good clip. I bet it was LOUD in the trailer. It kinda looks like you camped at a driving range! Good luck on your decision, it's a tough one but I'd be leaning toward #3.
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Old 04-24-2024, 09:34 AM   #19
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option 3??

on Option 3, are you certain they will purchase NEW? If so, I'd be tempted.

If the broker is looking for a similar used trailer, I'd run away. You never know what they'd come up with as 'comprable'
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Old 04-24-2024, 09:35 AM   #20
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I think you should check with Bayer Airstream at Dublin. We had damage repaired there, they were fast and very good, and I think they would give you an honest answer. It's an easy drive from Salado/Temple area.
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