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Old 05-17-2007, 11:57 PM   #1
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Exterior Dent Repair

Argghh! This morning two kids threw rocks at our brand new 25' Intl CCD FB putting a couple of dents in the right rear and two really small dents in the top of the bumper compartment. Does anyone have suggestions on how to repair dents in the aluminum.

This is so frustrating! We've only had the trailer 2 weeks and 6 days.
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Old 05-18-2007, 12:37 AM   #2
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What a major bummer. Were they kids you knew? Did you file a police report? That really stinks. Kids just don't think sometimes. I have been wondering the same thing since we have a dent where the door flew open while traveling. This happened with the previous owner not us. We thought about trying to use those suction cup dent removers you can get at the store but we've been apprehensive to try anything like that. I'll be watching this post. Good Luck with your dent removal.
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Old 05-18-2007, 01:40 AM   #3
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Insurance?

It's new. Got insurance?

Neil and Lynn
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Old 05-18-2007, 09:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparkygus
Argghh! This morning two kids threw rocks at our brand new 25' Intl CCD FB putting a couple of dents in the right rear and two really small dents in the top of the bumper compartment. Does anyone have suggestions on how to repair dents in the aluminum.

This is so frustrating! We've only had the trailer 2 weeks and 6 days.
MAJOR BUMMER!!!

I shudder at the thought of what I would do if I caught them!!!!!

Anyway, if they aren't too deep and not creased, you might be able to have them removed by a 'good' paintless dent removal tech. They have done amazing things to a couple of door dents on my Sprinter. In any event, they'll make them look a whole lot better even if they can't be completely removed.

Most of these guys are mobile, so you won't have to take the trailer to them. Try the phone book to see who's local or check with your favorite body shop. Most use them quite frequently.
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Old 05-18-2007, 10:38 AM   #5
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Don't feel too bad. I dented mine before i even left the dealers lot! You will never find that dent though! We covered it up and well I the frist one was small and the anixety of wait for the first one was over.

Getting a dent out can be difficult. Depends on how sharp the edges are and how deep it is.
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Old 05-18-2007, 11:31 AM   #6
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We used a $5 suction cup dent puller to pop the dent in our Bambi II. The dent was the size of a basketball with no creases. We wet the puller and moved it back and forth from the outside of the dent to the middle. The dent was 99% removed!

The first photo below shows the dent; the second photo shows after we pulled the dent.
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Old 05-18-2007, 07:05 PM   #7
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Thanks to all for the replies.

We do have insurance, but here's the rest of the story...

We live adjacent to a middle school, and for months we, along with some neighbors, have been having problems with kids climbing the school's fence and just generally misbehaving. Repeated calls to the school to fix the fence and supervise the kids have gone unheeded.

So we are reluctant to use our insurance until all avenues with the school and the district have been exhausted. Where we live, the school is responsible for the actions of the kids during school even if the kids are off school property. We'll see what happens. But for now the folks in the district office are being very responsive, but the school principal and assistant principal have been trying to blow us off. I even managed to snap a picture of one of the kids going back over the fence to the school, but the principal is dragging his feet.

I also called the police, but our town doesn't have a police department. Instead the town contracts the county sheriff's department, and we get slow response. It turns out our neighbors had also had the sheriff's deputy over to report the kids just the day before our incident.

We may have a decent lead to the perpetrator, though, because today after school we hung around and talked to some kids as they were heading home. One of the kids we talked to thinks he recognizes the boy in the photo. Wish us luck getting the kids.

In the end we know boys will be boys. My fiancee is a school teacher, so she understands their behavior. We are far more frustrated by the school's stonewalling...

And like we've read in many threads, dents happen and life goes on. Our baby is still as useable as ever, and we can't wait for our summer roadtrip!

We'll look into the suction pullers, and we've also left a message at shop recommended by our AS dealer as the best dent repair shop in Southern CA.

Thanks again,
David
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Old 05-18-2007, 08:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparkygus
Argghh! This morning two kids threw rocks at our brand new 25' Intl CCD FB putting a couple of dents in the right rear and two really small dents in the top of the bumper compartment. Does anyone have suggestions on how to repair dents in the aluminum.

This is so frustrating! We've only had the trailer 2 weeks and 6 days.
I didn't hear about any double-homicides in Cali, so they must have gotten away.

I think I would invest in a video recording system with motion activation to record what happens if you cannot be there to monitor "visitors".

Good luck with the school.
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Old 05-18-2007, 09:38 PM   #9
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Ding King Pops a Dent

I have had very good results with "Ding King" or "Pops a Dent" products. For me it works better than suction cups. I would try the suction cup first though. The key is sharp angular dents or creases are not likely to come completely out as the skin has been stretched. Then it is time to consider a pro. If you go the insurance route for vandalism most insurance companies require a police report.
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Old 05-18-2007, 09:59 PM   #10
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I did not mean to sound 'obvious' in asking "Insurance?" I see by your explanation that the kid's vandalism will be a problem even after any repair. May I suggest some preventive measures as even if you do locate the responsible party(s) the parents getting restitution will be another hurdle. Perhaps a portable canopy may help shield your AS. There are many available. Use the 'SEARCH' feature as I know there are a couple or so threads on canopies and portable garages.

Neil and Lynn.
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Old 05-18-2007, 10:08 PM   #11
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How about electrifying the fence! A little AC goes a looooong way .
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Old 05-19-2007, 07:21 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anholman
I did not mean to sound 'obvious' in asking "Insurance?"
Sometimes insurance is not the best route to go if the repair can be done yourself within reason. This is especially true where I live in Massachusetts where we get dinged for every claim in the form of increased insurance rates for six years. The insurance companies are very creative when it comes to finding ways to increase your rates.

Here is an example of something that happened to me recently. A tree fell on my boat, which was covered by a separate boat policy. I filed a claim with my insurance company and had the boat repaired. Not only did my boat policy rates increase but they also dinged my homeowners insurance even though I had a separate boat policy! Go figure??? This was an unadvertised feature of my insurance carrier.
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Old 05-19-2007, 09:51 AM   #13
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You might also want to check around with the paintless dent repair folks. I don't know if they are able to assist with an Airstream/aluminum but it is worth asking. It is amazing what they are able to do.

Barry
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Old 05-19-2007, 10:30 AM   #14
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Working in a school, I know how kids can be. If the administrators are not being responsive, I'd set up a meeting with the Super....if that didn't cover it, I'd talk to some board memebers.

In the end, depending on the damage, in some cases it's easier to live with it than some of the alternatives (overlaying skin, tearing out the old skin and putting on new skin). Both of these processes cost far more than it costs to get autobody work done to a car. If in fact the school covers it or the kids parents (which I think is MORE than fair and that you shouldn't pay or your insurance pay), they will see a fairly significant bill.
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Old 05-19-2007, 12:51 PM   #15
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I see you are in the L.A. area. Try C&G Trailer in Bellflower.
Airstream Trailer and Motorhome Service Center - Bellflower, CA - Home

They service only Airstreams and come highly recommended.
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Old 05-19-2007, 11:11 PM   #16
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You guys are great. This forum always makes us feel like someone has our backs.

We have talked to and e-mailed C&G the pictures of the dents. The guy thinks the whole panel has to be replaced, which is not cheap. We'll try to turn in the claim to the School District, and since we've got nothing to lose, we'll get one of the dent pullers recommended, and then we can always take it in to C&G. But, we're heading out for a summer trip with the AS from June 19 - August 25, and won't do anything until after that, in case the repairs take a while. . . or, we get another dent for a reason that we can handle, such as branch damage while dry camping or something.
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Old 05-19-2007, 11:23 PM   #17
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Hey, don't be planning any more dents now...
Enjoy your trip, sounds like you may be covering some ground.
Dave
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Old 05-20-2007, 12:05 AM   #18
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I've had some luck with wide dents in my '63 Avion (bare anodized aluminum)
A heat gun is basicly a heavy duty hair dryer with a big heating element. I was using it to soften up the old sealer when replacing the running lights.

One of the lights was on a wide, dished dent, I was heating up the site, minding my own business, the POP! the dent was gone.
I suppose the aluminum expanded due to the heat and poped itself back into shape.

I spent the rest of the afternoon running around the trailer taking out other minor dents. About the only ones it didnt remove where from a pellet gun

BTW, the heat gun gets really hot. Cooler than a torch but not much, so be carefull if using on a painted or clear coat.
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Old 05-20-2007, 06:30 AM   #19
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Take heart guys the middle school is a great place as a neighbor ... rather than a high school! Rock dents can be cured or reduced for way less than it would cost to replace a skin.

And hey what the heck, THEY COULD BE BULLET HOLES!!
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Old 05-20-2007, 07:59 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlenCoombe
And hey what the heck, THEY COULD BE BULLET HOLES!!
Now wait a minute! I have a bullet hole in my '54 Flying Cloud and I kinda like it! My situation is slightly different tho, in that the bullet hole is in a window and not thru the skin. I always wonder what the story is behind it.
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