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Old 09-10-2012, 01:37 PM   #21
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We hadto have an entire 4'x14' side panel replaced. It was a 12 plus hour job at an Airstream service shop in Ca. about a 4 hour drive from home. The great thing here is that we were invited to stay over in there full hook up area behind their shop. They would come and get the trailer at 7:15 am and return it by 4:30pm. So we would spend a couple of days visiting the local sights We asked to stay an additional night....no problem. I say all of this because perhaps you could plan a springtime trip to an Airstream service center with such hookups. I'm sure many do that. BUT only have this done at an Airstream shop.
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:39 PM   #22
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We hadto have an entire 4'x14' side panel replaced. It was a 12 plus hour job at an Airstream service shop in Ca. about a 4 hour drive from home. The great thing here is that we were invited to stay over in there full hook up area behind their shop. They would come and get the trailer at 7:15 am and return it by 4:30pm. So we would spend a couple of days visiting the local sights We asked to stay an additional night....no problem. I say all of this because perhaps you could plan a springtime trip to an Airstream service center with such hookups. I'm sure many do that. BUT only have this done at an Airstream shop.
Neil
That's exactly how they do it in Jackson Center also. Good to hear there's a place on the West Coast that can make the repairs as well.
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:56 PM   #23
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I am not an aluminum repairman but I have a place where the original owner scraped a place on the side of mine. I sent pictures of to an Airstream "farm" where this family does repair specifically aluminum Airstreams and was told right away that the best way to fix scratched panels was to replace the panel sheet as it is on the trailer. Mine was also along the bottom. So, given that advice, that would mean looking at the panel and following the rivet line top to bottom, side to side. Your rivet line is clear - a flat square section.
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Old 09-10-2012, 02:54 PM   #24
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I estimate $3200. I had a claim (I am in Northern BC) and my insurance paid me to tow it to Langley for repair. HIS insurance company is responsible for the costs, so either they will pay YOU to tow it (usually $1 a km) or THEY can put it on a flatdeck and haul it.

Don't settle for some 'airplane mechanic' unless you are paying for it yourself or know some true genius with aluminum. Get it taken to the place that can fix it properly, because that is what insurance is for. They'll order the exact panel and you won't be able to tell the difference.

Now... no matter how pretty they grind the Olympic rivets, a close inspection will reveal there has been a repair. The alternative is taking apart a whole lot of trailer, and my estimate would go up to $5500 for a 'factory' repair.

This is based on my own nightmare...
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Old 09-10-2012, 03:40 PM   #25
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Cost and weight are an issue with Olympic rivets. I expect like on Airstreams the blind rivets are used in small area for repair.

Perry

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If olympic rivets where as strong as Bucked rivets Boeing and Airbus would be using them
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Old 09-10-2012, 04:24 PM   #26
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Leak Damage

If you've had floor rot due to leaks, there are two ways to check.

If your nose is good, get down on the floor and sniff - the wet rotting plywood has a very strong distinct smell.

The second method involves an Ice Pick. If you have carpet, go around the edge of the carpeting - about 1 inch from the wall, and poke the floor. If there's little to no resistance you have rot! With vinyl, you have to loosen the trim band, roll the vinyl back and inspect. Black Stinky - BAD!

Under a shower? You might be able to peek under there with a strong flashlight through an access hole - for the pipes or water pump, or furnace vents if your trailer is large enough to have a vented furnace. Barring that, drop that part of the belly pan and look at the bottom side of the floor.

Paula

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Old 09-10-2012, 05:28 PM   #27
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You can plan on $$$.the guy that scraped our side had to put out $16K to get it properly respired. I am sure his insurance co. was not happy. Oh, and make sure the estimate is done by an Authorized AIRSTREAM dealer as our 1st estimate was by a local ins. estimator and he figured $3000. which sure was a long way from the actual $16K. Good Luck!
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Old 09-10-2012, 05:34 PM   #28
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Most "old airplane mechanic" have much more sheet metal experience than any Airstream tech.
Look At the regular practice of cutting out a panel and overlay another and popping rivets(Airstream's repair) A A&P mechanic has to sign off on his work and is responsible for that work FOREVER. If his repair falls off or has rear end separation you don't pull off on the side of the road and call a tow truck.
I mentioned this as the owner described in his first post that he was quite a way from a dealer that handles sheet metal repairs. Calgary is along way to Jackson Center. This was a suggestion not an ultimatum.
I know an Old Airplane Mechanic will do my necessary repairs I have more confidence in his work than an Airstream Dealers tech.
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Old 09-10-2012, 05:44 PM   #29
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I would agree with having an aviation sheet metal shop do something if you can't get it to AS. I am of all things an aviation insurance adjuster, so I know a bit about bent aluminum. For the insurance side of things, take a few photos, get a couple of estimates and then present them to the adjuster. Be nice. It goes a long way. If you work directly with the boats adjuster' you can ask for uninsured losses, such as loss of use and diminution of value, but that's a whole 'nother can of worms. I suspect you can get your transportation to and from the repair station without much trouble though.
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Old 09-10-2012, 06:01 PM   #30
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There are several grades of aircraft rivets

If olympic rivets where as strong as Bucked rivets Boeing and Airbus would be using them

If I'm reading the rivet head code correctly on our Airstream, the factory used the "A" bucked rivets, which are soft aluminum, and the weakest aircraft rivet. So, Andy could be right about the Olympic rivets being stronger.

Boeing and Airbus have many stronger rivet alloys to choose from, many that have to be driven immediately after being heat treated (or kept in refrigeration betwen heat-treat and being used).
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Old 09-10-2012, 06:33 PM   #31
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Read the post on late model AS. Many folks are having problems with water damage and rusted frame issues.
This panel is a major link to the frame with the shell hold down riveted through this panel.
An AN470AD driven rivets will secure the panel. Olympic rivets have a center shaft with a 470 head. This is not the same an aircraft structural rivet (Cherry Max Rivets is one example). Use a pop rivet I'm sure it will meet your expectations.
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Old 09-10-2012, 06:33 PM   #32
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Hey everyone - thanks so much for all the super helpful information! I knew this would be the place I could actually get some useful advice.

FWIW, I've put quote requests out to the AS Jackson Centre, and dealerships in Spokane, Saskatoon and the one local dealer who services airstreams. I'll send a note to Langley, BC tomorrow as well. So far the only quote that's back is for what I'm assuming is a patch since they've quoted olympic rivets and and only about 3.5 sq ft of aluminum. That was for about $1200.

The other guy's insurance people have agreed to pick up all the associated costs so I'm definitely going to make sure this is fixed up 100% right even if it ends up costing a bundle.

Hadn't thought of the uninsured losses such as loss of use and diminished value - will ask the adjusters about that as well.
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Old 09-10-2012, 06:38 PM   #33
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Good for you!!
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Old 09-10-2012, 08:13 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 195Pilot View Post
Most "old airplane mechanic" have much more sheet metal experience than any Airstream tech.
Look At the regular practice of cutting out a panel and overlay another and popping rivets(Airstream's repair) A A&P mechanic has to sign off on his work and is responsible for that work FOREVER. If his repair falls off or has rear end separation you don't pull off on the side of the road and call a tow truck.
I mentioned this as the owner described in his first post that he was quite a way from a dealer that handles sheet metal repairs. Calgary is along way to Jackson Center. This was a suggestion not an ultimatum.
I know an Old Airplane Mechanic will do my necessary repairs I have more confidence in his work than an Airstream Dealers tech.
I didn't say "old" and I qualified it with making sure he was good at aluminum work. A "mechanic" would not necessarily have any experience fabbing metal...

I was pointing out that the insurance will cover a proper estimate, transportation to an Airstream certified shop, and a factory-type repair.

Thanks for improperly quoting me, and making pilots seem like even more stuck-up know-it-alls.
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Old 09-10-2012, 08:17 PM   #35
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Hey everyone - thanks so much for all the super helpful information! I knew this would be the place I could actually get some useful advice.

FWIW, I've put quote requests out to the AS Jackson Centre, and dealerships in Spokane, Saskatoon and the one local dealer who services airstreams. I'll send a note to Langley, BC tomorrow as well. So far the only quote that's back is for what I'm assuming is a patch since they've quoted olympic rivets and and only about 3.5 sq ft of aluminum. That was for about $1200.

The other guy's insurance people have agreed to pick up all the associated costs so I'm definitely going to make sure this is fixed up 100% right even if it ends up costing a bundle.

Hadn't thought of the uninsured losses such as loss of use and diminished value - will ask the adjusters about that as well.
Loss of use might apply if you can show them you've rented a replacement while the unit is out of service. It has to be a real loss, and not an imagined one. If they go through the trouble of getting it to a certified shop, they will have an issue with diminished value, as that would imply the repair was not proper. You may point out that if they use Olympic rivets, anyone with Airstream repair knowledge would be able to tell it was hit.
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:12 PM   #36
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Friday,
Evidently you have a problem understanding written word. I said find an airframe mechanic, in aviation there is an Airframe Mechanic and then there is a powerplant mechanic. You can obtain a FAA license in either or both.This is why I specified Airframe as an Airframe mechanic work on the sheetmetal of aircraft.
By the way these license are difficult to obtain. Approx, 2years of study and apprentice work before your able to take the test. Then you have 3 extensive test covering engines from the first radials to the latest jets. The airframe covers wood aircraft to the latest carbon fiber, with the major interest in sheetmetal construction and repair. The third test is general, covering rules and regulations. After all the paperwork is done then you have a practical test to show the FAA your skill level.
good luck,
Jack
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:26 AM   #37
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Friday,
Evidently you have a problem understanding written word. I said find an airframe mechanic, in aviation there is an Airframe Mechanic and then there is a powerplant mechanic. You can obtain a FAA license in either or both.This is why I specified Airframe as an Airframe mechanic work on the sheetmetal of aircraft.
By the way these license are difficult to obtain. Approx, 2years of study and apprentice work before your able to take the test. Then you have 3 extensive test covering engines from the first radials to the latest jets. The airframe covers wood aircraft to the latest carbon fiber, with the major interest in sheetmetal construction and repair. The third test is general, covering rules and regulations. After all the paperwork is done then you have a practical test to show the FAA your skill level.
good luck,
Jack
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A&P IA
BSME
Sure... then you misquoted me and made it sound like I was trash talking "old airplane mechanics" . Whatever you call them, they can't pick up the phone and order the exact pre-cut, matching finish part from Airstream.

I don't have a bunch of letters to tag on my name, just my LVC telling me I can tell pilots where to go. So there.
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Old 09-11-2012, 05:21 AM   #38
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Since this thread has already strayed, I'll ask the most important question of Freeheel:

By your name, can I assume you tele?
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Old 09-11-2012, 03:11 PM   #39
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Quote:
Since this thread has already strayed, I'll ask the most important question of Freeheel:

By your name, can I assume you tele?
Ha ha! 70+ days / year:


...up here they say we have 8 months of winter followed by 4 months of bad skiing
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Old 09-11-2012, 04:04 PM   #40
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Ha ha! 70+ days / year:


...up here they say we have 8 months of winter followed by 4 months of bad skiing
Come to the Troll Ski Hill Telefest - it is a blast!
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