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Old 04-16-2018, 08:30 PM   #1
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Exterior skin damage - repair options

howdy! i swung the passenger side rear of our bunkhouse into a wooden fence, and it will for sure require the rear three panels to be replaced. it also took off the zipdee awning arms but i am replacing those with new soon. The rip may be damaged but it's definitely not bent, just had the zipdee screws ripped out when the arm assembly came off. A little protrusion inside but otherwise no visible damage.

The question is where to repair. Insurance will cover it, no problem. My biggest concerns are quality of repair, and time to do it. I am in Denver and there are two good places - Diversified auto, and Timeless Travel Trailers. The third option is to take it to JC and have them do it.

So, for those who have been down this path, can you please offer some insight? I have been quoted anywhere from 1 month to 6 months depending on what is found. If its six months, we will likely buy a good used unit and use that so we don't have the downtime... we take our airstreaming very seriously!

But if I can take it to JC and get it done in a fraction of the time, then that is absolutely on the table. I've even thought of storing my tow vehicle near there and flying home / back out to drive it back.

Thank you in advance, and any insight is most appreciated!
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:36 PM   #2
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I am a fan of timeless here in Denver but for that type of damage Id definitely bring it to JC.

You could even have it shipped (towed) there by the delivery company who drop trailers off at local dealers. Im sure theyd be happy to have a load on the return leg to JC.
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:37 PM   #3
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FYI/ A common repair practice is to not remove the damaged panel and rivet the new panel over the old one.
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:40 PM   #4
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Take some pictures and contact Jackson Center. They can give you an accurate estimate of time and cost.
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:42 PM   #5
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FYI/ A common repair practice is to not remove the damaged panel and rivet the new panel over the old one.


Agreed but with the awning being ripped off there may be a structural component / issue with the zero rib.
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Old 04-17-2018, 10:23 AM   #6
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Body Damage

We recently had a mishap in a gas station in Nevada with about 3 panels dented. Took pictures and called Jackson Center for appointment on our way back. Artie and the folks at Jackson Center were terrific and did a masterful job. They worked efficiently with our insurance adjuster. I cannot tell where the repairs were made. Could not recommend more highly!!
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Old 04-17-2018, 10:31 AM   #7
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While driving across a narrow bridge spanning the Columbia River, I ran the right side of my AS against the bridge's guard rail, in order to avoid being sideswiped by a commercial trailer coming at me in the opposite lane --- see photo. I took the AS to Airstream Adventures NW, outside Seattle. They estimated the damage at slightly over $16K, which fortunately was covered by insurance, and repaired it --- like new --- in a couple of weeks. They told me their guys had been back to Jackson Center many times for refresher repair courses, and their work shows it.
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Old 04-17-2018, 10:39 AM   #8
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Take some pictures and contact Jackson Center. They can give you an accurate estimate of time and cost.
I had some hail damage and Chris Burch.... CBurch@airstream.com was able to give me an estimate from the pictures I emailed to him. They do a great job in JC and they should have all the parts right there, no waiting for parts to be shipped.
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Old 04-17-2018, 10:42 AM   #9
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We had to have 3 panels replaced about 7 yrs. ago. 2 on the curb side rear corner and one on the road side upper corner. Had it done at a highly recommended independent repair shop and was very happy with the result. Not much good to you since the shop is in New York State but my point is there are some very good independent shops out there. But, at the same time, there are also terrible ones too and the dilemma is to find the good ones. Good luck. You'll get good advice here but the final decision is yours to make.
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Old 04-17-2018, 11:11 AM   #10
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thank you for all of the feedback! i have already heard back from JC! I will let the group know the route we go.
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Old 04-17-2018, 11:45 AM   #11
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JC is absolutely the best. When they get finished you will not know it was ever damaged. Great folks and I bet they can get it done much faster then anywhere else. If you have the time I would High recommend staying at JC while they do the work. Lots of reasons for this and I understand most folks don’t want to hang out at the factory for a week or so but it may result in a much faster turnaround time. Just a suggestion for someone who just did that very thing, just bring a book or two.
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Old 04-17-2018, 02:13 PM   #12
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Had 3 panels done at Oasis in Tucson. Done in less than a week and done well. They worked well with insurance co.
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Old 04-17-2018, 03:05 PM   #13
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JC is absolutely the best. When they get finished you will not know it was ever damaged. Great folks and I bet they can get it done much faster then anywhere else. If you have the time I would High recommend staying at JC while they do the work. Lots of reasons for this and I understand most folks dont want to hang out at the factory for a week or so but it may result in a much faster turnaround time. Just a suggestion for someone who just did that very thing, just bring a book or two.
Is it possible to stay in the unit at night, or did you find a hotel nearby?
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Old 04-17-2018, 03:47 PM   #14
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Had 3 panels done at Oasis in Tucson. Done in less than a week and done well. They worked well with insurance co.
I ditto Oasis RV in Tucson. We bought our rig from them when they were still a dealer...alas, they are not any longer, but they know Airstreams in and out. No one else has touched our Bambi but them ... and we have had major repairs done due to a moment of stupidity on my part. You would never know anything happened. The shop is nothing to look at but don't let that fool you. They know their stuff.
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Old 04-17-2018, 05:59 PM   #15
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Is it possible to stay in the unit at night, or did you find a hotel nearby?


Yep. In the Terraport on the property.
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Old 04-17-2018, 06:29 PM   #16
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Last year my storage yard neighbor dinged my Airstream pretty bad. I sent pics to AS as has been suggested, got their estimates and worked with my neighbor's insurance company on the settlement.

Most states say you have the right to have repairs performed at the service center of your choice. I chose Jackson Center - having had work done their before - that crew does more repairs in a week than most dealers see in a year. It just is what it is. I wanted the best.

That also required payment to cover the cost of transport to/from the facility and in my case, that also meant that I had 2 one-night stays at the midpoint between my location and JC.

I will see if I can find the site that documented the national average per mile for trailer transport (it may have been $2.20/mile) and they covered my campground stays.

I wouldn't have done it any other way.

Talk to your agent if you have one. For me - going there was essential. You stay at the terraport while they're doing the work and you learn a lot about your trailer in the process.

Good luck!
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Old 04-22-2018, 07:40 PM   #17
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Is it possible to stay in the unit at night, or did you find a hotel nearby?
I've stayed in my AS overnight at Oasis as well as at JC. Oasis repaired my AS after 2 Michelin tires treads separated, one one each side of the rear axle. Damage was $8K (I'm still waiting for the additional $2K which was subrogated from Michelin). I've had service done at JC since 2011, and stay in my AS at the terraport.
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Old 04-30-2018, 11:28 PM   #18
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thanks for everyone's input on this! We have decided to have the repair done at the factory. No one better to do it!

What I am thinking is to have it transported out there, then go get it. My insurance will not cover the transport cost, per my adjuster, but I think this will be worth it.. but if it is too much, then I'd just drive it out and stay in a hotel and work from there for the week. I didn't realize just how little is around JC! Looks like there are some towns with hotels - Lima looks good..

So does anyone have any recommendations for RV transport going east? We are slated for an August 6 factory appointment date, repair should take 5-6 days per the contact at Airstream.

Also, any experience with how accurate their time estimates are?

And off topic from the damage, but I put a lift kit on it this weekend. Took about 10 hours by myself, and I didn't have any issues. I did have to re-run a new propane line since they ran the OEM one through the axle, and the flare nut was too big to pass through. I happened to have both the right copper flex pipe, and flare tool so it was no big deal. I didn't have too much of an issue with blind access.. enough space to get my fingers in and hold the wrench to prevent the head from moving. But I did pre-purchase 4 wrenches, just in case I had to tape them on and sacrifice as I had read elsewhere.

thanks for listening!
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Old 05-01-2018, 03:14 PM   #19
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bbdo = when JC gives you an appointment, i.e., a date, they start on your rig promptly. Normally, if you are there, you go to the service counter at 7:00 am. The assigned tech will review the w/o with you by 8:00am and your rig is in the shop. If you are there, at the end of each day they bring your rig out to the terraport for you to stay in overnight, and then pick it up around 7:00am and bring it back into the shop. Having an appontment is mandatory, as "walk ins" are not accepted.
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Old 05-01-2018, 03:40 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by bbdo View Post
thanks for everyone's input on this! We have decided to have the repair done at the factory. No one better to do it!



What I am thinking is to have it transported out there, then go get it. My insurance will not cover the transport cost, per my adjuster, but I think this will be worth it.. but if it is too much, then I'd just drive it out and stay in a hotel and work from there for the week. I didn't realize just how little is around JC! Looks like there are some towns with hotels - Lima looks good..



So does anyone have any recommendations for RV transport going east? We are slated for an August 6 factory appointment date, repair should take 5-6 days per the contact at Airstream.



Also, any experience with how accurate their time estimates are?



And off topic from the damage, but I put a lift kit on it this weekend. Took about 10 hours by myself, and I didn't have any issues. I did have to re-run a new propane line since they ran the OEM one through the axle, and the flare nut was too big to pass through. I happened to have both the right copper flex pipe, and flare tool so it was no big deal. I didn't have too much of an issue with blind access.. enough space to get my fingers in and hold the wrench to prevent the head from moving. But I did pre-purchase 4 wrenches, just in case I had to tape them on and sacrifice as I had read elsewhere.



thanks for listening!


Hi - a few thoughts:

1) was this damage the fault of someone else or your own? If someone else, you want your carrier to subrogate against the other carrier and be sure the cost of transport is covered. If your own damage, you may want to reach higher up in the org to find out why they wouldn't cover the cost of transportation. You have the right to have your trailer repaired at the facility of your choice. They may argue an approved AS dealer is good/reasonable. That may be true - but the factory sees more of these in a week than some dealers would in a year. Minimally, the transport fee (last I checked about $2.50/mile?) at least round trip to your closest approved dealer should be included. In my mind the logic is - if you have a Honda Civic where 10s of thousands or them are on the road, a local dealer probably handles them all the time - no worries. If you have a Lamborghini, your local Mobile station may not be the best place to get it repaired. No different here - the thing that REALLY makes AS unique is the semi-monocoque aluminum skin construction. You want that treated right for aesthetics AND structural integrity. When my storage neighbor's insurance company told me I could take it to a local shop who could "bang it out" - I knew I needed to talk to management QUICK!

2) I know a person from Region One in the WBCCI who does transport professionally. His name is RJ - you can talk with him for more info - rjdominic@wbcci.net - but if you have the time, I encourage you to take it there yourself and enjoy the process. You'll learn a lot too. Whatever works best for you.

3) their repair estimates at JC are very accurate in my opinion. Been there 3 times, always spot on.

Good luck!
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