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Old 10-17-2021, 11:55 AM   #1
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Dented a rear quarter panel - what kind of repair am I looking at?

Well its been a rather bummer of a day.

I was backing into our storage space and hit an electrical box that protruded from a steel support beam. The quarter panel is dented and a bit creased - I'm assuming a full replacement is necessary. Is this a time to use my RV insurance (National General)?

The closest dealerships to me are Greensboro, NC and Ashland, VA but I'm willing to schedule a trip to JC if that is best in this scenario (this is a relatively new camper and I want it looking as close to "new" as possible).








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Old 10-17-2021, 12:03 PM   #2
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Iíd go to JC if youíre willing. They have all the tools and experience necessary to get it done the right way. Dealers will always be hit or miss.

I believe insurance can always be involved with panel replacements assuming your insurance covers it. Panel replacements arenít just a couple hundred bucks though I canít tell you how much one is but I assure you itís likely over your deductible.

You can call JC and they will give you a quote over the phone on what the approx repair cost is as well as schedule you an appointment. Be mindful of snow and road conditions into winter and beyond.
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Old 10-18-2021, 08:12 AM   #3
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Hi BT2515!

This is pix of what happened a year ago when someone backed into my quarter panel. Damage was around 3K because no ribs were damaged which seems to be the case in your mishap. This was through my insurance (the estimate was under the actual by just a little bit) but they just rebilled the perpetrator's insurance so I didn't even have a deductible. We are lucky in California to have a local repair person who is a Airstream whisperer. I had to wait months to get the repair done but I know that it was done right, Based on where you are located, I'd go with BSWG's suggestion and head to JC. - Brad
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Old 10-18-2021, 08:35 AM   #4
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Hi

I would suggest that making up a list of "things to do" would be a good idea. For most of us, there are always things on that list. Some go on and off the list multiple times without ever being addressed.

My guess is that you will have a list with a half dozen or so things on it. Schedule the trip to JC. Have them fix the panel. Get the other stuff done at the same time.

Bob
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Old 10-18-2021, 08:54 AM   #5
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Hi

I would suggest that making up a list of "things to do" would be a good idea. For most of us, there are always things on that list. Some go on and off the list multiple times without ever being addressed.

My guess is that you will have a list with a half dozen or so things on it. Schedule the trip to JC. Have them fix the panel. Get the other stuff done at the same time.

Bob
Good advice here. That's what I'd do, and have done. Make the appointment NOW, you might be surprised at the wait list for JC. Another great thing about JC is the work usually only takes a couple of days, not weeks to months.

I'd call your insurance co. too, you may also be surprised at the repair cost. You have to weigh that against your deductible, possible rate hike, and cash outlay. Always a balancing act.
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Old 10-18-2021, 11:01 AM   #6
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I dented the top quarter panel on the same side. Repair was 8K. I got insurance involved. My local dealer did repairs. No problems with the repair so far.
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Old 10-18-2021, 11:23 AM   #7
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JC is the way to go

I had a very similar dent, in almost the same location. I live in Yellowknife NT Canada and my closest AS repair facility was at least a 2-3 day drive (1000 miles to 1700 miles away). I would have lost my trailer for the entire summer to the repair. So I made a list and made an appt at the Mother Ship for repairs. Everything , plus my list of other repairs were done in 2 days. I found the price more than reasonable. It was well worth the 7 day drive, that was just part of the AS adventure.
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Old 10-18-2021, 01:19 PM   #8
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Based on my experience with a dented front panel, I would get insurance company involved. Also, if you send photos of damage to JC, they will give you estimate of repair that is usually spot on with ETR from insurance inspector. And yes, go to JC for repairs. They were efficient, knew exactly what they needed to do and it was done in a couple of days while I waited. I think their new museum might be open now.
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Old 10-18-2021, 01:51 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone!

AS of Greensboro quoted $2300 for the repair - which seems reasonable - and can get it done in early Jan. which fits well with our travel schedule.

I'm going to check with JC to see if they are significantly different. I would prefer to have it done at JC but that would likely involve taking 3-4 days off of work to make the trip vs. 3 hours round trip to Greensboro.
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Old 10-18-2021, 02:45 PM   #10
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That seems very cheap.
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Old 10-18-2021, 02:58 PM   #11
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Also, looks like my comprehensive deductible is $1000.
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Old 10-18-2021, 04:25 PM   #12
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It's possible the AS of Greensboro quote of $2300 could be replacing the panel using Olympic rivets, you may want to ask about that. JC may give you a quote for using buck rivets which is more labor (some claim more strength and less chance of leaks). Just to make sure you compare apples to apples.
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Old 10-18-2021, 04:33 PM   #13
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It's possible the AS of Greensboro quote of $2300 could be replacing the panel using Olympic rivets, you may want to ask about that. JC may give you a quote for using buck rivets which is more labor (some claim more strength and less chance of leaks). Just to make sure you compare apples to apples.
Wouldn't buck rivets require removing the interior panel too? That would add a lot to the cost.

I a previous Airstream, I had a front pano window replaced to JC using Olympic rivets. You really couldn't tell the difference.
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Old 10-18-2021, 08:15 PM   #14
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The invoice does quote Olympic rivets. I didn’t realize there was a difference. The invoice details the panel as $600, chrome belt and rub rail ~$450, rivets ~$40, and 8 hours of labor.

Not sure why I need new rub rail as mine is not damaged. Maybe it becomes damaged when they remove it?

Is there a material reason I wouldn’t want Olympic rivets?

Calling JC tomorrow to get their quote…
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Old 10-18-2021, 08:49 PM   #15
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As of a month ago, first appointment at JC was February. They were very nice to talk to on the phone.
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Old 10-18-2021, 11:12 PM   #16
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Hi BT2515!

This is pix of what happened a year ago when someone backed into my quarter panel. Damage was around 3K because no ribs were damaged which seems to be the case in your mishap. This was through my insurance (the estimate was under the actual by just a little bit) but they just rebilled the perpetrator's insurance so I didn't even have a deductible. We are lucky in California to have a local repair person who is a Airstream whisperer. I had to wait months to get the repair done but I know that it was done right, Based on where you are located, I'd go with BSWG's suggestion and head to JC. - Brad
I'm in California with a dented front quarter. Who is your AS whisperer? Would like to see what it would cost to repair our trailer.

Thanks,
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Old 10-19-2021, 08:32 AM   #17
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BT: Olympic rivets are just fine. My coach has quite a few and it hasn't been an issue. The quote from Greensboro looks good to me. Looks like they are owned by Out of Doors Mart which I've ordered parts from and seem to have some good online customer testimonials. You should be fine.

RosenBob: Vinnie's Northbay Airstream Repair in Wilton. He's the best, but very busy.

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Old 10-19-2021, 09:03 AM   #18
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Just had same issue fixed at JC last week!

I too, backed into a pole while parking last year. I looked at 2 shops in Dallas area, but decided to go to Jackson Center where I saw them repair a neighbors 2 years ago. The experts there have all the right equipment and materials. I made a list of "other" items to fix including squeaky floor, tighten cabinets to bulk head, rivets missing inside, align screen door, check my roof seals, and had a full brake job. I stayed at a new Marriott Town Suits in Sydney (15 miles) for the week so they would not have to stop work and return my AS each day at 3pm. They thanked me for staying in hotel...allows them to work longer on your unit they said. Anyway, your dent is likely around 25 hours if window is needed also; so 3 days tops in the shop. My window had to be replaced. They used the "new" Olympic rivets which are insulated. I also had them install new chrome tape in the upper and lower seam band locations. Very nice job. See pictures below. By the way, my service managers were Kevin and Artie...they kept me informed each day as to the progress, introduced me to the crew working on my rig, and I visited each day to understand how it was going. Very good experience and very professional team, IMHO. $6500 for the dent, and another $3K with brake job and other stuff I had done. Expensive, but she looks like new and the squeak is gone!
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Old 10-19-2021, 10:56 AM   #19
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.....

Not sure why I need new rub rail as mine is not damaged. Maybe it becomes damaged when they remove it?

.....Ö
Hi

The rub rail has to come off to replace the panel. It just sicks on with the adhesive on the back of the "rail". It's no more expensive to replace that part than to fully clean everything and re-glue. ( = that's the story from JC ...).

Bob
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Old 10-19-2021, 01:43 PM   #20
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Finally spoke to JC today on the phone and came away with some info and more questions...

They can repair with Olympic rivets for ~$2500. Since AS of Gboro is cheaper, I'd likely avoid the hassle, wait, and additional expense of getting the trailer into JC and just do AS of Gboro if I go the Olympic rivet route.

They estimated that repairing using buck rivets would be ~$4300 and about a 3 day repair which would have me taking off ~5 days of work if I can't leave over a weekend.

The gentleman on the phone advised that since the trailer is basically new, he would personally opt for the buck rivets if he were planning on keeping the unit to bring it officially to original condition. He also advised that usually insurance companies will pay for buck rivets if the unit is within 2 years old (which mine is). The main thing is that they are currently booking appointments no earlier than June of 2022. He acknowledged that one would have to really know what they were looking at to tell the difference between buck rivets and olympic rivets - no idea what the differences are, myself.

Question 1: Is it worth the wait, travel time, and hassle of going to JC for buck rivets on this job? There are a few things that I could have them address while I'm there - likely under warranty - but they aren't exactly holding me up now.

Question 2: Does the hivemind recommend I file this with my insurance? I've never had a claim before on any of my insured assets and am generally naive to this process. My deductible appears to be $1000.
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