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Old 02-21-2007, 09:44 AM   #1
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Service in Ohio?

Hi all, been gone a while...enjoyed the camper all last season then work, work, work all winter.

Problem is that last fall a tree fell on the caboose of my Overlander, and two skin panels were crushed. The park's insurance company is covering it, but I have to get an estimate. I wouldn't even know about where to look for service centers that might be out in the middle of nowhere, so I would appreciate getting pointed in the right direction.

I would prefer to stay in the Toledo-Mansfield-Cleveland triangle, or as close to Lakeside-Marblehead, Ohio as possible. I don't think there's much else that's damaged other than the skin, and I'm just looking for someone to fix it that has prior experience and a decent reputation for doing it. That's not asking too much, is it?

Thank you for any and all help, I'll include a couple pics to see what you think.
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Old 02-21-2007, 09:45 AM   #2
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Darn thing wouldn't go!
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Old 02-21-2007, 09:45 AM   #3
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How close are you to Jackson Center?
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Old 02-21-2007, 09:45 AM   #4
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Times two!
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Old 02-21-2007, 09:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickandsandi
How close are you to Jackson Center?
I've thought of that, but that's a four hour haul without a trailer if my math is right. I was hoping for something a little closer, but that is always the 'fall-back plan.'
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Old 02-21-2007, 09:51 AM   #6
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Well if were ever concerned about having repaired right and I doubt the insurance company or campground could argue with the estimate coming directly from Airstream!
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Old 02-21-2007, 10:07 AM   #7
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Airstream :: Find a Dealer will lead you to Airstream dealers. I'm assuming NE Ohio & western PA/NY are your options. The hard part will be determining which dealers actually do this type of work and do it well. For instance -- what do they say about the factory installing Kodiak hydraulic brakes? Something like their labor charges are almost double that of dealers if I recall. But the factory will get the job done right. Sometimes former dealers or techs are out there somewhere -- which is why you're asking! Good luck in your search.
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Old 02-21-2007, 10:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osp6179
I've thought of that, but that's a four hour haul without a trailer if my math is right. I was hoping for something a little closer, but that is always the 'fall-back plan.'
If you live near Toledo, or even Marblehead, your math is not correct, depending on the speed you drive on the freeway. Toledo to Jackson Center is 108 miles, or less than two hours freeway time. Here's a link to a map:

Toledo to Jackson Center
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Old 02-21-2007, 10:21 AM   #9
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Jackson Center

Jackson Center is THE best place to go for the best service, and especially for this type of body work. They have the supplies, the tools, and the expertise that NO ONE has! And in quantities that nobody else has! People have towed across states to get their body work done there!
You are already in OH! So you have the advantage. Get on I 75 south and go. We think it may be about 3 hrs. and it is an easy trip from your area. Of course reservations are required. Call them up and find out what your prospects are and discuss the repairs and prices. We don't think anyone else will be able to match their experience. And you get to take the factory tour while you are there.
Of course this is just our opinion. Michele (thecatsandi) should chime in here. She towed from MT to Ohio to get her significant damage properly repaired.
We are in Ohio and SW of Cleveland, an hour or so east of you. Hope to see you on the road to one of the OH rallies this summer.
Larry and Lou
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Old 02-21-2007, 10:47 AM   #10
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I would go to Jackson Center no matter how far away for this job.

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Old 02-21-2007, 11:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmclemore
I would go to Jackson Center no matter how far away for this job.

Pat
Jackson Center is the only place I would take our trailer if it needed panel repair.
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Old 02-21-2007, 12:25 PM   #12
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As close as you are, I would go there. I think the next closest dealer is in Columbus, so drive the extra hour and go to the factory.
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Old 02-21-2007, 12:56 PM   #13
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Two words.....

Jackson Center

Make the trip....I've seen their work. The guys fixing them are the same guys who have built them for many years, if not many decades.

I'm about 5 hours away and it was worth every round trip mile!
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Old 02-23-2007, 06:38 AM   #14
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Golly

Thanks to all for your view on the subject, quite a turnout! I see the unanimous thought of Jackson Center, so I will pursue an estimate on time and money from them. I'm not paying, so cost doesn't bother me, but I still do have to live with it in the end, and that's what worries me about other shops.

I did find one father/son place in Helena, Ohio that claims to specialize in Airstream work, so I'll look at them too to see how they compare.

Also, I'm in North Central Ohio, which puts me at least an hour away from I-75 or I-71, and about 50 minutes from US-30. I have only towed the trailer maybe twice, and due to my inexperience with the equipment and not exactly knowing if everything works right, figure it'll take longer for periodic checks along the trip.

Thanks again to everyone, I appreciate the guidance. Once this slow process makes the next step, I'll post an update.
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Old 02-23-2007, 06:53 AM   #15
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Many of us have heard about P&S, here is their link:

P & S Travel Trailer Service, Helena, Ohio

I've seen their polishing and clearcoat work and it's excellent. I am not sure how much sheet metal work they do.
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Old 02-23-2007, 08:19 PM   #16
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I spoke extensively with Steve Ruth from P & S at the Florida Rally.

Very personable and knowledgable, they clearly love what they are doing and have been doing it for many years.

Judging from the photo albums and computer slide show he had on display there, I would say he is very well capable of handling a project like yours as you briefly described it.

If he is within travelling distance, I would suggest you look him up to discuss the possibilities. You will certainly leave much more versed on your unit.

Let him know the guy from New Hampsha sent ya !
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Old 02-24-2007, 09:49 AM   #17
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P&S in Helana is very good, right behind Jackson center. Stop in and check them out, They know airsteams!!
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Old 02-24-2007, 11:41 AM   #18
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Was in Jackson Center last Summer and had some work done -- completed quickly and reasonably. Free space in the Terra Port to boot! They do know their business.

On the other hand, met some folks earlier in the Summer up in Maine who had their 84 Sovereign pretty muck overhauled at P+S and they were delighted. I have to admit, the trailer looked great. Didn't get into specifics about cost....

I don't think you will be unhappy either way.

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Old 02-26-2007, 04:36 PM   #19
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Well, the wife and I are still batting it around. I've been in contact with both service centers, and both have been pleasant and timely. I feel it will just boil down to which is more convenient in the long run. The edge seems to be with P and S, but we'll see in the coming weeks.

I do appreciate the positive comments on both facilities, makes me feel confident with the whole ordeal...except that darn insurance company...

I will do my best to keep this current and post pics of the repair when it eventually gets done.
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Old 03-21-2007, 09:28 PM   #20
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I'll add my 2 cents worth and move this up again.

I've had several jobs done at Jackson Center. One was a minor sheet metal job, repairing a tear over the door. Another was a major sheet metal job, replacing two or three big panels at the front where they had torn away from the attachment at the floor.

I was very happy with the work done with both jobs and would highly recommend the Airstream Factory Service Center, particularly for this.

If you are like me (and another Airstream owner I have talked to) you may find Chris at the factory to be difficult to deal with. Unfortunately, he is the Service Writer, so he is the liason between the customer and the actual mechanics. In spite of that, Rick, the Service Manager, is very knowledgeable, as well as a straight shooter. He will tell you what's wrong and what needs to be done in clear terms, and also give you an idea of other options, if any. You will have to get past Chris to talk to Rick, but it's possible.

I typically use the factory for any service I can't do myself, but they are only three hours away from me. I could probably find someone closer for plumbing and similar work, but I know the factory service will be fine. For exterior sheet metal work, I would not consider any other shop unless I had some glowing recommendations from other knowledgeable owners. The factory sheet metal work is top notch.

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