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Old 12-05-2019, 05:43 AM   #21
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Pictures?

And $400 for detailing and buffing is really reasonable. It will probably make a world of difference, though it won't be perfect.

And yes I have personally seen several painted Airstreams. Until you get within 5 feet you cannot tell they've been done. If you go that route, go ahead and replace anything on the roof that is original... fan covers and skylights and bathroom vents especially. Most old clearcoat ones have "male pattern baldness" from the sun. They can be stripped and polished then waxed, and look nice until you park them next to a really nice 13 panel vintage unit... and re-waxing becomes a yearly or twice yearly chore.

Sending you a PM.
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Old 12-05-2019, 06:55 AM   #22
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You could consider painting it and then the scratches could be filled. It would also reduce corrosion issues. A place that paints airplanes would be a good place to start.



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Old 12-05-2019, 07:19 AM   #23
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Once you have finished paying to get the scratches buffed out as best as you can, and have detailed the interior, sell it for as much as you can.
But first have a dealer appraise the value of the trailer if the exterior damage wasn't a factor, then bill your brother for the difference of what you could have gotten, versus what you ended up getting for the trailer. Once he pays up....then shoot him.

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Old 12-05-2019, 07:52 AM   #24
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Hi

The "clear coat" on modern trailers is a layer of plastic put on the aluminum sheet at the time it is manufactured. It is relatively thin, but pretty good stuff. If you are going to paint the trailer *all* of the plastic needs to be taken off first.

Buffing is a process that uses grinding compound (done it many times ...). If somebody gets a bit aggressive with the compound or the buffer, it goes to deep. You can easily take off clear coat when that's not the objective. You also can thin out the panels ( yikes !!!).

If this is "prep for sale" then be very sure that any buffing job is done *lightly*. It won't look quite as good, but you also will not damage the trailer any further. If the next owner wants to do this or that, let them make the decision.

Once the clear coat is off the aluminum, it will start to oxidize. That will make the skin look splotchy. One way or the other you need to coat any area you take the clear coat off of.

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Old 12-05-2019, 08:20 AM   #25
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I would not think the insurance company would pay for this. Just a guess.

If you want to sell it, then I think Pat Lee's advise is spot on. If I was buying I would want to decide on the repair approach myself.

Dents and scratches do not bother me all that much. I would sure try the pointless dent people before I had it filled and painted or had the skin replaced.

I personally think that when you lend someone something expensive you assume the risk of damage to it yourself.
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Old 12-05-2019, 11:20 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
Pictures?

And $400 for detailing and buffing is really reasonable. It will probably make a world of difference, though it won't be perfect.

And yes I have personally seen several painted Airstreams. Until you get within 5 feet you cannot tell they've been done. If you go that route, go ahead and replace anything on the roof that is original... fan covers and skylights and bathroom vents especially. Most old clearcoat ones have "male pattern baldness" from the sun. They can be stripped and polished then waxed, and look nice until you park them next to a really nice 13 panel vintage unit... and re-waxing becomes a yearly or twice yearly chore.

Sending you a PM.
I'm working on the pictures... sorry not my forte. We aren't really going to paint the Airstream it was more of just a conversation.
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Old 12-06-2019, 06:44 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Bill M. View Post
I would not think the insurance company would pay for this. Just a guess.

If you want to sell it, then I think Pat Lee's advise is spot on. If I was buying I would want to decide on the repair approach myself.

Dents and scratches do not bother me all that much. I would sure try the pointless dent people before I had it filled and painted or had the skin replaced.

I personally think that when you lend someone something expensive you assume the risk of damage to it yourself.
Yes, you do have a good point about me assuming "risk of damage" since I'm the person who did the lending. When I did the lending I assumed the damage would be contained to the inside since my brother wasn't traveling around the country in the Airstream, he was simply using it to live in on his own property while doing home renovations. I hadn't considered that he would move the Airstream around a bunch of times on his property and have to drag it through trees as he moved it around. It was possible for him to cut the trees back and be responsible in his decisions. At this point it is what it is. Education is expensive.

We decided that our first step would be to have a person experienced with buffing/detailing Airstreams work on the outside and see how much she can improve the overall condition. I'm not expecting it to be perfect, but hopefully she can greatly improve and remove any of the lighter scratches.

After that, we'll have to re-evaluate the two dents he put on the Airstream and see if they are causing any issues. I do have a leak in the front bedroom of the Airstream (wet carpet), so I don't know if that is from a leaking window, or it is from the dent he put on the top of the Airstream due to a compromised shell.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me.
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Old 12-09-2019, 06:14 PM   #28
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I finally figured out how to post some pictures how my bother returned our Airstream. All of this was done by him:

Small dent on the curbside rear of the Airstream



This also is on the curbside of the Airstream. I think he bottomed out the Airstream and pushed out the plastic underpanel. The rub rail is now bowed out (didn't take a picture of that)



The next four pictures are scratches on the curbside of the Airstream. The damage is less extensive on this side.



This is under the awning bars. There is scratch from the top coming down and it looks like something was banging against the Airstream. The damage in this spot is on both ends of the Airstream under both awning arms.




It's hard the scratches on in this picture. I also think he put too high a wattage bulb in the exterior light. The plastic is melted.

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Old 12-09-2019, 06:17 PM   #29
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These pictures are at the rear of the Airstream. He obviously bottomed out the Airstream and damaged the under carriage. The rear panel he pulled out of the rivets.

He said this damage happened on the drive down from CO to AZ when he was returning the trailer. But, to me since there is rust, I'm not sure I buy that story.







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Old 12-09-2019, 06:21 PM   #30
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This side has the more extensive scratching. Then next three pictures focus on the scratch on the lower panel. This scratch also creased the aluminum from front to back.



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Old 12-09-2019, 06:25 PM   #31
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The next two pictures are also on the street side of the Airstream and focus on the same area:





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Old 12-09-2019, 06:27 PM   #32
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Dent on the top of the Airstream. Thinking this is from a tree branch as well.

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Old 12-09-2019, 06:33 PM   #33
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I'm not sure you can see everything, but this gives you an idea. I can honestly say that there pretty much isn't a panel on the Airstream he didn't scratch, and as you can see there are multiple scratches in a lot of places.

We did have the trailer detailed, and the lighter scratches seem to have worked their way out, but it's been raining here, and after the trailer sat for one night in the rain in the morning some of the scratches seemed to reappear.

So right now, I'm not sure how well the detailing worked. I think we will have to see what happens over time. The one scratch that really seems to have taken hold is the one that creased the Aluminum. I think that one is just too deep and isn't going away.

The other thing he did was drag the 7 pin cable on the ground, so that is toast and needs to be replaced, and the A frame Jack isn't working either. DH thinks it's a broken sprocket. It's the original Jack, so we are probably going to replace it.

Will post another update in a couple of days.
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Old 12-09-2019, 06:39 PM   #34
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Clean it up the best you can, keep it or sell it.
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Old 12-09-2019, 06:39 PM   #35
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My sincere apology for my comments above. I thought we were talking about some small cosmetic damage. This is more of an oh, my goodness type of moment.

I am out of advice.
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Old 12-09-2019, 06:40 PM   #36
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Oh! And I almost forgot to post a picture or two of how the inside looked when it came back to me. You get the idea. Also there were about 10 mousetraps all over the Airstream, so I'm assuming he had a mouse problem too. Great. Just great.


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Old 12-09-2019, 06:49 PM   #37
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My sincere apology for my comments above. I thought we were talking about some small cosmetic damage. This is more of an oh, my goodness type of moment.

I am out of advice.
Well... you did have a valid point about assuming risk when you are the lender. But, yes -- stunned is a good way to describe how I felt once DH and I washed off the filth and started to uncover the damage to the outer skin.

The monetary damage done to the outer skin is more than the value of the Airstream. Not one of these scratches or dents existed when DH and I gave the Airstream to my bother. We meticulously cared for our unit over the years. Very, very painful to say the least.
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Old 12-09-2019, 06:52 PM   #38
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Clean it up the best you can, keep it or sell it.
We're evaluating that right now. I can't give this a lot of time right now due to the upcoming holidays.

The Airstream is back in our storage garage and has been detailed. We probably won't get back to working on it for 4 - 6 weeks.
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Old 12-09-2019, 07:04 PM   #39
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Knowing how much DW and I love our rolling home on wheels - I cant tell you how sad I am to see the complete lack of care your brother demonstrated with your prized possession both inside and out.

Im empathetically very sorry for you and sad that your story confirms the often repeated concern many Airstream owners have about loaning out their Airstream to anyone - especially family. It just makes it so much harder to deal with.

I really hope your brother is willing and able to do right on this.

Good luck.
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Old 12-09-2019, 07:28 PM   #40
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cmrdgrs,

In your first post, you stated the following:

"18 months ago I lent my Airstream to my brother. He needed a place to live while he did renovations to his home. I warned him that the skin on the Airstream is fragile and if he damaged the skin most likely it would not be "fixable." That the only fix was to replace the skin and that was very, very expensive"

If it were me, I would say nothing to your brother in regards to the Airstream. I would however, plan a visit to his newly renovated home in the near future. Some point and time, he'll have to leave for the store, work, etc.. leaving you alone in the house. After he left, I would destroy his house to the same level of damage and filth he caused to your Airstream, leaving a note on the counter saying:

"We're even, you fix your house, I'll fix my Airstream. Now you know how I felt when you returned my trailer, no good deed goes unpunished, Love ya Brother!

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