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Old 02-03-2016, 08:22 AM   #1
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Dent/Scratch Made By Dealer 2016 Bambi Sport

I recently took my 10 day old new 2016 Sport 22 FB back to the dealer for door adjustment & when I went to pick it up I found I had another problem. A 1/2" x 3" dent/scratch that was not there when I dropped it off. Its on the rear middle bottom panel just below the license plate. The dealer says he has to now replace the whole panel . My concerns are: Since the dealer has only been selling Airstreams less than 2 years, I do not have much faith in it looking like it originally did after they are done or that it will be sealed/riveted as good as originally new. Since there is no puncture of the aluminum skin, should I just live with it ?. My wife says they are professionals right ?, just let them fix it if you do not like looking at it. knowing its there really bugs me. Maybe I should just try & get the dealer to compensate me in another way, maybe a few upgrades. Any advice on how to proceed would be appreciated.
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Old 02-03-2016, 08:24 AM   #2
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If you can live with it (and don't tell the dealer this) ask him about getting something equal to the cost of the repair. I would bet they'd rather do that than have to remove and repair that panel.
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Old 02-03-2016, 08:44 AM   #3
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Take it to Colonial Airstream in Lakewood, NJ. It's well worth the 250 mile trip to have the work done by a dealer that knows what they are doing.

If it were me, I'd live with it this summer and schedule the repair for the fall. That way you can have them take care of whatever other warranty issues pop up at the same time.

EDIT - Sorry, when I wrote this I was thinking it was a warranty repair. Doesn't seem the case on a reread. I'd still call Colonial just to get a feel for what the options are and how difficult that repair is.
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Old 02-03-2016, 08:46 AM   #4
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I concur. Its a fairly invasive procedure. I seriously doubt they will open up the inside of the wall to use the original solid rivets and reseal the seams from the inside. So that means they'll have to use Olympic rivets and seal it during assembly from the outside.

It can be done, but its not a small job. You just have to ask yourself if you can live with it and be compensated another way.

And.... perhaps after they compensate you another way, you could make a decorative patch to cover it up? Olympics would be fine for that application.

Do a google search for "Airstream patch. You can see some really creative stuff. Here's a link I remember, where Franks Trailer Works showed off a few, among others: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f381...hes-68104.html

Good luck!
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Old 02-03-2016, 08:48 AM   #5
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I have been trying to find out what there cost would be to deal with this, like you said this has got to be one pain in the ass job. Any one have an idea of what it would cost ?
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Old 02-03-2016, 08:57 AM   #6
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Credit on a tire, wheel upgrade? Chairs? Other camping supplies?
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Old 02-03-2016, 09:03 AM   #7
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A photo would help.You may be able to reduce it with a Ding King type kit. If it has a crease it is permanent. A auto body shop that does paintless dent repair may also be able to do the work

A usual technique dealers use is not to remove the panel but drill out the bucked rivets and use Olympic rivets to install a new panel over the old. It is debatable if Olympic rivets are as structurally strong as the original rivets. To use bucked rivets the inner skin also needs to be removed along with anything on the inside in the way.

The first dent hurts like it was your kid. After that you don't worry so much. Assuming you have insurance put in a claim. I would pocket the money and forget about it. Ask me how I know.
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Old 02-03-2016, 09:13 AM   #8
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My $0.02....if it were me....your mileage will vary....

1) have the dealer give you an estimate of what it would cost - retail- to do the repair and have them out all the details in writing so you know EXACTLY what they would do

2) ask them instead to compensate you in that amount in cash, store/service credits or some combination of the above

3) research the patch thread mentioned earlier and start imagining what creative kind of patch you want there and go that route (an alternative could be "bumper stickers" or states visited stickers...some would hate that too I guess...).

As an FYI - I introduced some corrosion to the end caps of my "baby" in the first year I had it by using a vinyl cling sheet for my WBCCI numbers (there are threads here about that). It's so ugly!! I was sick to my stomach. It can only be fixed by replacing the panels. 😞 So I'm living with it for now. But I have an AWESOME idea for 2 different patches I'd love to place there (I'll have to find someone who can do that work because I can't - but I'm psyched about getting it done and being able to think about the scars, how they "healed" and how that look will be mine and mine alone &#128515.

This is a real "lemonade" opportunity for you.

If you'd rather have the work done, I think you should talk to the factory and ensure this dealer has the talent and experience to do it and do it right. Personally - I'd patch it.

Good luck!!
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Old 02-03-2016, 09:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcole View Post
I recently took my 10 day old new 2016 Sport 22 FB back to the dealer for door adjustment & when I went to pick it up I found I had another problem. A 1/2" x 3" dent/scratch that was not there when I dropped it off. Its on the rear middle bottom panel just below the license plate. The dealer says he has to now replace the whole panel . My concerns are: Since the dealer has only been selling Airstreams less than 2 years, I do not have much faith in it looking like it originally did after they are done or that it will be sealed/riveted as good as originally new. Since there is no puncture of the aluminum skin, should I just live with it ?. My wife says they are professionals right ?, just let them fix it if you do not like looking at it. knowing its there really bugs me. Maybe I should just try & get the dealer to compensate me in another way, maybe a few upgrades. Any advice on how to proceed would be appreciated.
Thanks for all the advise, but the Dealer " Albany RV NY " just called to tell me that the damage was not caused by them, even though I had them look the trailer over noting there were no other issues when dropped off in their care. So now I will call a lawyer, followed up with a call to my insurance co. to deal with this.
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Old 02-03-2016, 10:29 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by jcole View Post
Thanks for all the advise, but the Dealer " Albany RV NY " just called to tell me that the damage was not caused by them, even though I had them look the trailer over noting there were no other issues when dropped off in their care. So now I will call a lawyer, followed up with a call to my insurance co. to deal with this.
This supports the dealer may not have too much experience. I think it is a good guess he did not realize replacing the panel is a lot of work and expensive, checked out what is involved, and now is trying to weasel out.

Is the dealer an authorized AS dealer? A complaint to the mothership may help. Better Business Bureau may also get results.
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Old 02-03-2016, 10:47 AM   #11
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I don't think this necessarily indicates any incompetence on the dealer. If there was no evidence it was the dealers fault, why would a dealer undertake an expensive repair that's likely to leave the owner unsatisfied anyway? I think the burden of proof falls on the owner of the RV to prove the dent was caused by the dealer.
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:31 AM   #12
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I don't think this necessarily indicates any incompetence on the dealer. If there was no evidence it was the dealers fault, why would a dealer undertake an expensive repair that's likely to leave the owner unsatisfied anyway? I think the burden of proof falls on the owner of the RV to prove the dent was caused by the dealer.
That's a bunch of CRAP! .. I am glad you are not a dealer . They took the trailer in NEW, looked it over & confirmed it had no damage ... I even made them walk around to inspect. Next time I will take pictures in front of them.
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:35 AM   #13
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This supports the dealer may not have too much experience. I think it is a good guess he did not realize replacing the panel is a lot of work and expensive, checked out what is involved, and now is trying to weasel out.

Is the dealer an authorized AS dealer? A complaint to the mothership may help. Better Business Bureau may also get results.
Yes they are & yes I am going to make complaints to both.
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:37 AM   #14
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Now You Know...

I was wondering WHEN the dream would end! That dealer was so new, they even forgot to say "not OUR fault" up front!! Next time, take 360 degree VIDEO around your AS, with the service manager in tow, before leaving the dealership. Get one of those diagram forms - like the car rental firms use - and inspect your AS (with the dealer rep). Both of you sign the form - and each of you sign it!! Get use to the ding; don't compound the cost by a legal fight. Been to this rodeo ONCE myself. Glad you DIDN'T name the dealer and risked being sued. YOU might want to TRY small claims court.
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:39 AM   #15
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Yes, I learned whenever taking a vehicle of any type in for repair or renting a vehicle it is ALWAYS important to closely inspect for pre and post damage. I have taken pre-rental photos on several occasions when renting cars and get the agency to note the damage on check out.

Last week my daughter had to replace her 4 year-old (almost paid for) car because the dealer dumped gallons of used motor oil all over the exterior and interior (windows were open) when an overhead oil tank ruptured accidentally. She took good photos that helped her negotiate a favorable agreement to replace the car. They initially only planned to get it detailed. Stuff happens - but with diligence one can avoid being victimized.

I had a similar dent story with my AS dealer while it was in for warranty repairs. But without pre-inspection proof I chose not to pursue the matter. The burden is on the owner/renter.
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:41 AM   #16
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I am glad you are not a dealer . They took the trailer in NEW, looked it over & confirmed it had no damage ... I even made them walk around to inspect. Next time I will take pictures in front of them.
That is a real good idea and would save a lot of headaches for a lot of people. It gives me the idea of having my own statement of existing damages and photos and ask the dealer or rv business to sign off on before leaving my Airstream. 20/20 hindsight. I wonder if they would balk at putting it in writing though.
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:46 AM   #17
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Just so I'm straight here, your brought your no-longer new trailer back to the dealer. You made him do a visual walk around looking for damage and he found none.

Were you with him when this went down? Was this a serious walk-around or a casual courtesy "make you feel good" lap around with a clipboard and a can of coke?

If I was in the dealers shoes, I sure would feel baited and think that the customer backed into something and was now attempting to pin it on the mechanic.

Please understand that I don't know you and have absolutely no reason to believe this is what happened (or care), but I'm just throwing it out there.

I guess I've just never heard of a customer requiring a damage inspection before work being done.
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:48 AM   #18
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I was wondering WHEN the dream would end! That dealer was so new, they even forgot to say "not OUR fault" up front!! Next time, take 360 degree VIDEO around your AS, with the service manager in tow, before leaving the dealership. Get one of those diagram forms - like the car rental firms use - and inspect your AS (with the dealer rep). Both of you sign the form - and each of you sign it!! Get use to the ding; don't compound the cost by a legal fight. Been to this rodeo ONCE myself. Glad you DIDN'T name the dealer and risked being sued. YOU might want to TRY small claims court.
Thanks for the Humor .... I can feel my blood pressure coming down. Maybe I should listen to my wife's advice reminding me I will be 65 yrs old in a few days and to just sell it. Take the loss before I have a stroke.
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:48 AM   #19
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Yes they are & yes I am going to make complaints to both.
I would suggest that you skip the attorney and deal solely with your insurance company. They will pay for the fix. The deductible that you will have to pay, would be far less than the cost of an attorney.

There is a possibility that the dealer is innocent.

The question, is "who" did it ??

Could it possibly be a visitor on their lot ??

A photo of the damage would help, to try and determine what and how the damage happened.

I was the only field rep for the old insurance company that Airstream had years ago. I wrote the crash book, that even Airstream accepted.

I will try to figure out, for you, if possible, what did the damage.

Andy
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:54 AM   #20
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Unfortunately this local business has a very poor reputation with the BBB (public record online) and many other customers. When I saw that Airstream had formed a relationship with them two years ago I sent a note to Airstream asking if they were aware of the local feedback and BBB records. The reply was a standard "we're pleased to be associated with a new dealership and you don't have to take your trailer to the place you purchased it for service". I'm still scratching my head over that response :~
I'm sorry you have to go through this hassle, and just wanted to post this note in support of your efforts and to let others know perhaps in advance of their own similar experience.
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