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Old 03-18-2024, 09:49 AM   #1
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March 14th Hail Storm at Jackson Center

I was looking for a forum thread about owners whose trailer was at Jackson Center and sustained damage from the storm on March 14, 2024. Ours had been there that week for some repair and service. It was finished that day and moved outside to where they stage trailers for pickup. Storm that night and our trailer, like many others, sustained considerable damage. Just from photos we received from a very generous Airstream owner picking up his trailer the day after, undamaged, we see 7 panels require replacement. We have no idea about the roof, but there are 8 solar panels up there so a lot was covered up.

I am sure Progressive will take care of the claim. Now concerned about backlog at Jackson Center. We made this last appointment back in October 2023 and took the first available on March 11th. And now the rumor is over 100 trailers at the Service Center were damaged.

I have talked to Jackson Center and they are understandably overwhelmed, first with safety of their friends and families and now dealing with those of us with damaged trailers. I really didn't expect to get much information, but was assured they are going to inspect the trailer one day this week.

Just looking for others in the same situation and get a feel for how long all this is going to take.

We have an appointment to pick up our trailer this Thursday, but now what? Leave it? Jackson Center does accept "work ins" if you are willing to leave a trailer for 30 days or so. Or bring it home and take it back when they can work on it? I am not even sure if we should tow it 400 miles.

Thank you in advance for any insight.
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Old 03-18-2024, 10:25 AM   #2
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I just received an email verifying that yes, my trailer was one of those that was damaged. They indicated that photos were taken and that they would provide me with an estimate once they have been created. We were scheduled to pick up in 2 weeks, so not sure what we are going to do. Anxiously awaiting photos and estimate.
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Old 03-18-2024, 10:46 AM   #3
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I've had some basic conversations via email with Jackson Center. As of the most recent email, about 90 units have been identified as being damaged.

Mine was squarely in the bullpen, so the odds of damage are pretty high. I have no confirmation yet, but I went ahead and preemptively filed a claim.

I was told that all the units that were outside were gone through and any needing short-term help to protect from water intrusion, has been completed.

I was supposed to pick mine up in a few weeks too. Guess it could be worse, I mean what better place to have it parked? I would love to see some pics. I heard part of the old trailer factory (currently motorized factory) lost part of it's roof in the storm. My only thought is that I may miss a good part of the season, since there are 90 units and we all know the work backlog already, I'm just hopeful I'll see the trailer early in the season, but that might be wishful thinking.

If anyone is in the area, or has plans to be there, I'd like to ask if any of those folks can get me a few pictures or just let me know how bad it is. PM me and I can get you the VIN and/or license plate.
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Old 03-18-2024, 10:46 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Foster View Post
I just received an email verifying that yes, my trailer was one of those that was damaged. They indicated that photos were taken and that they would provide me with an estimate once they have been created. We were scheduled to pick up in 2 weeks, so not sure what we are going to do. Anxiously awaiting photos and estimate.
An estimate for you?
I would think you'd have no reason to need an estimate. You ordered a new AS it's up to AS to fulfill that order.

Or possibly a substantial $$$ cut.

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Old 03-18-2024, 10:52 AM   #5
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An estimate for you?
I would think you'd have no reason to need an estimate. You ordered a new AS it's up to AS to fulfill that order.

Or possibly a substantial $$$ cut.

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My trailer was there to repair previous hail damage under an insurance claim and for a few other items, so yes, I am waiting for an estimate to provide to my insurance company
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Old 03-18-2024, 11:15 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by sfranklin View Post
I was told that all the units that were outside were gone through and any needing short-term help to protect from water intrusion, has been completed.

My only thought is that I may miss a good part of the season, since there are 90 units and we all know the work backlog already, I'm just hopeful I'll see the trailer early in the season, but that might be wishful thinking.
This is sad news. We were impressed/surprised to see all of the major storm fallout shelters in the new factory when we toured this summer. So, I guess these kinds of storms are expected there.

I like the first part of the quote above. The factory techs have taken care of the major water-intrusion concerns among the damaged trailers. That said, schedule an appointment for down the road...whenever they can get you in...and go get your trailer. Then go camping. There is really no reason to miss any camping this summer. The trailer will tow and likely be completely usable the way it is.

The old timer Airstreamers (I have been camping in these silver beauties since I was six days old...I've been exposed to the grand stories of many, many old timers) used to call hail damage on these trailers "beauty marks." I guess panel replacement took place back then...though I assume through anecdotal research that this didn't take place nearly as often as it does now. Instead, these same old timers usually kept the trailer, kept the hail/pock marks, and considered them a badge of honor for having their trailer survive the hits.
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Old 03-18-2024, 11:45 AM   #7
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I think it all really depends what the damage actually is. At this point, I too am waiting for an estimate and a better understanding of what happened to my trailer. I have no idea if my skylight and/or roof vent domes were damaged and then I also have water damage inside. If it's just some small dents, I agree, grab it and go and bring it back, but from what I heard it was ping pong to golf ball sized hail, which never ends really well for an Airstream.

So I'm in a holding pattern for now. I'm not going to sweat it, so many more larger issues in the area to deal with. Loss of life, entire homes vanished, so in the end, my biggest issue is really will it be totaled or fixed and is pale in comparison to what others have to deal with. As we all know, the average panel replacement price is about $8-9k and I could need up to 8 depending on how many took one for the team.
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Old 03-18-2024, 12:26 PM   #8
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Iím at JC now. Iíve walked around the parking lot, and yes, there are many trailers with damage. Iím no expert, and I canít see roofs, but what I do see are mostly small pock marks and some larger, maybe grapefruit-sized dents. Only one trailer had a broken solar rock guard, and I donít know if thatís from the hail or a pre-existing condition.

If my trailer were one of those, Iíd be picking it up and using it until JC can get it in for repair. I also would be looking for a good PDR guy to work on it. I didnít see any dents that looked like they wouldnít respond well to PDR.

Nevertheless, I feel bad for all the owners who suffered damage. Itís heartbreaking to see your silver beauty dented.

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Old 03-18-2024, 01:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirstreamJim View Post
Iím at JC now. Iíve walked around the parking lot, and yes, there are many trailers with damage. Iím no expert, and I canít see roofs, but what I do see are mostly small pock marks and some larger, maybe grapefruit-sized dents. Only one trailer had a broken solar rock guard, and I donít know if thatís from the hail or a pre-existing condition.

If my trailer were one of those, Iíd be picking it up and using it until JC can get it in for repair. I also would be looking for a good PDR guy to work on it. I didnít see any dents that looked like they wouldnít respond well to PDR.

Nevertheless, I feel bad for all the owners who suffered damage. Itís heartbreaking to see your silver beauty dented.

Jim

How well do airstream dents respond to PDR? Do you need to find someone who specializes in airstreams, or is it fairly standard PDR work?
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Old 03-18-2024, 02:30 PM   #10
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How well do airstream dents respond to PDR? Do you need to find someone who specializes in airstreams, or is it fairly standard PDR work?
Aluminum is a softer metal than steel, so its ability to pop back to its original shape is not as likely as what you would see with an automobile. A lot of PDR is done on an automobile using pressure on the inside of the steel. Much more difficult with an Airstream due to the interior aluminum panels and insulation which add much more labor to the process.

I've always heard that heat and cooling from sunshine can take care of many of the dents. I have one on my Classic that is small but in the 21 years I have had it, it hasn't popped back or changed its shape. Not worth the trouble to fix but in all the years I've had it, no one ever has noticed it other than me.

Typically the worst damage I have seen occurs on the end caps with those pieces which have been shaped for the end caps. That pressure used to originally produce those curves weakens the aluminum which causes them to crater like a grapefruit hit them. Those are nearly impossible to pull out perfectly.

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Old 03-18-2024, 03:09 PM   #11
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How well do airstream dents respond to PDR? Do you need to find someone who specializes in airstreams, or is it fairly standard PDR work?
Iíve seen some very impressive results on the Airstream Addicts Facebook group. Vinnieís Northbay Airstream posted one last week that was astounding. Iíve also seen a reference to one in Miami who did excellent work.

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Old 03-18-2024, 07:34 PM   #12
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Damage Example

Here is the most damaged section on our Flying Cloud:
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It was reported by the Weather Service that hail size was as much as 2
.5 inches.

The rest of the panels we could live with until they can be replaced. But the right rear concerns us as several dents are soccer ball size and are on a rivet line. I expect we will learn more once we see it in person.

The damage would make for lots of discussion around the campfire for sure.

Insurance update: Progressive adjuster is scheduled to be at Airstream Service this Wednesday.
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Old 03-18-2024, 07:40 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by foolrushin View Post
Here is the most damaged section on our Flying Cloud:
Attachment 441948
Attachment 441949

It was reported by the Weather Service that hail size was as much as 2
.5 inches.

The rest of the panels we could live with until they can be replaced. But the right rear concerns us as several dents are soccer ball size and are on a rivet line. I expect we will learn more once we see it in person.

The damage would make for lots of discussion around the campfire for sure.

Insurance update: Progressive adjuster is scheduled to be at Airstream Service this Wednesday.
Wow! With 2" plus hail I can see why the dents are so large. It must have been terrifying to have witnessed this storm. So sorry for you and all those affected.
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Old 03-18-2024, 07:48 PM   #14
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Jackson Center Body Shop

I read on another forum that the body shop is already booked into August. They are still working out what they are going to do with the number of trailers suddenly needing repair.
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Old 03-19-2024, 05:38 AM   #15
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I was able to get some pics of my trailer, and it's not great, but it's nowhere near what I had expected. I am going to pick up my trailer as planned in April and will contact the factory prior to verify the trailer is towable from a roof standpoint, but sans any serious roof damage, at this point, I am planning on taking the unit out for the season and returning it in the fall, hopefully not to repeat this in the spring....and if I happen to run into another hail storm this season before I bring 'er back, I'll get the 2 for 1 special.

Once in person I can see what panels I may opt to have replaced and which I can live with, which is hard to do via pictures.

I shared some of the pics I received with some SOB owners....outside of the see, I have fiberglass chest thumping, they said, it's not that bad. Some of the other pics you shared are a bit worse.....problem is, I explained, the repair is the pretty much the same either way.

I wonder if panel overlay might be a better option in some cases as there will be another sheet under the new one to further minimize any future events?

As bad as this is for many of us, consider all the new trailers parked outside the new factory waiting to be picked up. They can't use olympic rivets, and will have to gut the inside, replace and buck rivet the trailer. When I was at the factory, they told us if damage happens during or after production, the trailer is pulled aside and the only fix at that point for a pre-delivered trailer, is to pull everything out of the effected area, remove the inner skin and try again. They said it can be done, but very time consuming (and costly for an already delivered trailer).
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Old 03-19-2024, 07:09 AM   #16
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I was there the 12-14th getting Globetrotter serviced, I turned on the news in my rig and watched the weather and saw the warnings while in my trailer at Terraport, they had a few hours more work to do on my trailer. They got me outta there before noon and I headed east back to PA and only got some light rain on the way out. I feel very fortunate to have missed the carnage. There are trailers all around the service facility
wrapped around like a horseshoe, I bet 70 or more waiting to be serviced, the main trailer plant has a bunch of new finished trailers sitting outside and behind the service center is the Basecamp plant with several new trailers sitting outside.
Then beside the Basecamp plant is the Motorized coach plant with chassis cabs and other units sitting outside. Lots of inventory just got damaged.
I took this phot the evening of the 13th
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Old 03-19-2024, 09:30 AM   #17
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Cost

I feel so bad for you and all others that got caught in that storm.

I can tell you from the pictures the Cost to replace those sections will be 10-15,000K. I had the same Right Rear quarter panel replaced on our FC at JC this summer and it was $9K The labor to completely de trim and remove the interior is much of the cost plus the panels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by foolrushin View Post
Here is the most damaged section on our Flying Cloud:
Attachment 441948
Attachment 441949

It was reported by the Weather Service that hail size was as much as 2
.5 inches.

The rest of the panels we could live with until they can be replaced. But the right rear concerns us as several dents are soccer ball size and are on a rivet line. I expect we will learn more once we see it in person.

The damage would make for lots of discussion around the campfire for sure.

Insurance update: Progressive adjuster is scheduled to be at Airstream Service this Wednesday.
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Old 03-19-2024, 10:21 AM   #18
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From what I gathered based on what my salesman relayed from his convo w/ his area rep, AS cleared out the factory floor and jammed all the new trailers and motorized everywhere they could fit. They had ~15 hours or so notice.

Customer owned units outside were largely left there; my salesman speculated a goodly sum of them might be totaled by the insurance companies.

Who knows?
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Old 03-20-2024, 07:36 AM   #19
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Just to give folks an update. I had some correspondence with Airstream today.


I had mentioned that my plan was orig to pick up my trailer in April and that would still be my plan if the trailer is still road/weather worthy.


What I go back was that none of the trailers were so damaged they could not be used. Upon further inspection, outside of a few dings, I have two cracked A/C shrouds, but sounds like my skylight may have made it through it.


Airstream is going to verify the roof and replace the A/C shrouds so i can still pick it up and use it this season! :wa lly:
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Old 03-20-2024, 08:52 AM   #20
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Would love to hear from affected owners on how well (or not) their insurance company claims process worked for them. Wondering if I should change to a better provider.

Might be an opportunity to learn from this unfortunate event.
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