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GreggH 04-07-2006 06:49 PM

Hail, Hail and we're still here
Just had our first encounter with a tornado and hail here in Tenn. This afternoon a tornado passed several hundred yards south of our house and dropped hail on our new AS. I'm a retired police officer and am not inclined to exagerate; the hail was baseball to softball size. We did not suffer any wind damage but we did receive about a dozen dings on the top, front shell of the AS. Actually, for the size of the hail I am very impressed how durable the aluminum is. The dings are not real noticeable, maybe 1/8" or so deep and quarter sized in width. Had some damage to our siding on the home also but that seems to be all. Considering what happened to the next town over, Gallatin, we are very lucky and thankful.
Anyway, has anyone had hail damage to their units and can anything be done to bring the dents out?
Footnote: While writing this we just saw newsfootage from a helicopter on the path of the tornado that went passed our home as it went through Gallatin, I'm embrassed to write about our damage. Homes and businesses are completely demolished, I mean completely.
We hope the storms are over for today.

jcanavera 04-07-2006 07:07 PM

Greg, sorry to hear of the damage but glad you are ok...that's the important message. This has been a heck of a spring and it looks like we dodged the bullet here in STL although our tornado watch won't expire till after 8 PM. Apparently we are on the northern border of the bad stuff and an unexpected drop in humidity here sapped most of the juice from the atmosphere.

To be honest with you from what you say, you are pretty fortunate from a damage standpoint. I've heard some folks state that some of the dents will work their way out based on the expansion and contraction of the aluminum. I've also been told that the paintless dent removal system has marginal results and that aluminum doesn't have the bounce back ability of steel as used on autos.

The only true fix for that damage is replacement of the panels or doing a panel overlay. I hear that JC does use the overlay technique.

Keep us in the loop on what you do and how your insurance company treats you on this.

Good luck.



wahoonc 04-07-2006 07:08 PM

Leave it out in the sun and there is a good possibility they will diminish or go away. You could try a small plumbing plunger too. But I would be tempted to just leave them alone, and think of them as battle scars or beauty marks.


2airishuman 04-07-2006 07:23 PM

hi greggh

also glad you're unhurt....
and the trailer was not demolished....

it's so new, i assume you've got good insurance coverage?

i've seen the guys in jackson center do the panel is amazing.
for the formed end pieces...i'm not sure they take that approach....
they may drill out the rivets, remove and insert new sections...
either way the repairs are as new..

why not call them next week and ask....

did you take photos?

good documentation helps with insurance issues....
could help j/c suggest repair...
and we wanna see too..

jack posted pics recently of 'big hail' damage...did you see those?


Chaplain Kent 04-08-2006 08:06 AM

I am so glad to hear you are OK. Each time I hear of a tornado I think of our good friends on the forum and wonder if anyone has been hurt, thanks for reporting in that you are OK. Sorry to hear that the AS got dinged but worse case is that you give each one a name and remember your good fortune on this day.

Jim Jarzabek 04-08-2006 10:39 AM

It seems to be getting worse every year.....
What is scary ........... the tornadoes are appearing at unusual times of the year along with severe thunderstorms, lightning, hail, etc...
It seems a good root cellar or storm shelter would be a prudent investment..
We had tornado warnings in effect last night along with flash flood warnings here in Southwest Ohio......:(
At least 11 dead in Tennessee from last nights tornadoes......:(

GreggH 04-08-2006 06:57 PM

Checked damage
We checked the AS over real good today. Counted 8 dents on the front above the front window on the front shell that can be seen from the ground. Numerous dents on the top but these can't be seen from the ground. The hail punched 2 large holes in the a/c shroud. No holes in the aluminum or broken windows which was amazing. That hail was from baseball to softball size. When it was hitting the roof in the house each one sounded like a crack of the bat on a good, solid hit. My wife went out and collected some, there're in the freezer now. Turns out the tornado was the same one that took 9 lives in Gallatin(our neighboring town), Sumner county, right now they are saying F3. That was a little too close for comfort. Our only damage to the house was a lost shutter and one piece of siding had a hole punched through from the hail.
I am truely amazed how well the aluminum withstood the hits. When I saw them hitting the gound and bouncing I thought for sure we would have some major damage on the AS, not to mention the house. Less then 2 months old and she's showing battlescars already, what a trooper. I know we were very lucky and we are very thankful.
Thanks for the suggestions, we'll see what the insurance company says then decide how to handle it.

wingfoot321 04-09-2006 12:46 AM

Gregg H,

Sorry to hear of your problem. My airstream sits out & I have concerns every time the weather guys come on.

Your trailer is so new that you won't see the dents as bad as they actually are. Wait until the finish is three-four years old and they will be much more obvious.

Hopefully they are on the front or back end caps. These panels can be replaced at a somewhat reasonable cost.($800-1000each) The long panels on top cannot.

You have suffered an economic loss and you need to document it and get your claims adjuster out. If you were to try to sell your unit, a buyer will make an adjustment on the book value.

We really need covers for these trailers since Tenn has so much hail.

SafeHarbor 04-09-2006 01:31 AM

Hi, GregH,

I used to work on airplanes, and in 1985 the Covington, GA airport had a bad hailstorm. It broke a lot of windshields and antennas and left a lot of dents in the wings. I owned a part of the one of these planes, and after sitting outside in the sun for a couple of years, they all seemed to pop out.

I know that your Airstream has thicker skin, but you should expect to see much the same in the coming future.

By the way, pecans and sun can take out the vent shrouds.


James Schmidt 04-09-2006 05:29 AM

Sorry to hear about the damage to your new AS. Considering what could have happened to you and your family it sounds kind of minor. I too own a hail damaged unint that was damaged when the unit was only a few months old. It is now 11 years old and some of the dents are still there. The front caps were changed on mine(for cosmetic reasons) and the top was left alone. Some of the dents popped out and others got smaller over time. I now consider them a badge of ownership and have added a ding or two since that time.

Glad you are ok and feel sorry for your neighbors.

davidz71 04-09-2006 07:48 PM

I was in Ashland City, TN. when a tornado went through 4 miles from where our hunting party was camped. We have 4 trailers and 2 popups in camp. The tornado went past the firehall tearing part of the tin roof off, crossed the road, took a chunk of the tin roof off a church and then snapped trees almost 150 yds. wide. A number of homes were demolished and I think 2 killed. We got a number of chain saws from the ranger station and went up to the firehall to help clear roads. There were telephone poles and wires down all over the place and Ashland City was without power. One of my hunting buddies has a daughter in Gallatin, TN. and her house was the only one left standing (barely) on her street. She grabbed her daughter and jumped into the bathtub as that tornado went through.

I was not only lucky in that no hail hit the Airstream, I harvested a 20.3 lb. turkey early Friday morning before all this mess started.

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