VW Vortex - Volkswagen Forum banner

1 - 20 of 130 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,714 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Some people have friends, and then there are friends. About 15 years ago my wife had quit being a college professor and went back to school, again, for another degree. This time it was in American Sign Language. We actually started off together in an Adult Ed. course and I quickly fell by the wayside. My wife was looking for a refresher course after getting a degree when she met Dot and Gary. Gary learned sigh language so he can communicate with Dot, but she doesn't sign back. Makes my wife and Gary crazy, Dot turned out to be a Besty when my wife was stricken with cancer 10 years ago. Dot was there for us when we needed her. Gary was always willing to help. We've had a long-lasting relationship.

They set me pictures last week. In a recent storm they got a call that everyone in their summer campground heard the crack and then ran to see this tree firmly planted on their trailer. I've been a trailer go-to guy for a while so they sent me pictures. They thought that the trailer wasn't very badly damaged, but the insurance company totaled it and gave them less than $20,000 as it couldn't be fixed for that. They really wanted to have it fixed, so I advised them to get bids from local repair facilities. I told them it could be salvaged if they got enough money. I advised Dot and Gary they they had the potential of buying the trailer back from the insurance company at salvage cost making our friends responsible for any additional expense. They found a value in keeping the 8 years old trailer.

I really was totally surprised when they suggested that I do it. I must have secretly wanted them to ask, but I did try and steer them away. They were at my shop and followed Tom's Spartan trailer build on my FB page.

Fortunately for them, the tree was a hollowed out hulk that did little damage compared to what a live tree or a light pole can do. if this was a live tree it would have cleaved off that side of the trailer and I wouldn't be writing this. We have a meeting of the minds and they are making arrangements to have it brought to me. Gary has agreed to be my socially-distant helper. We're both very careful. I normally work alone, but it will be nice to work with a friend.





 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,084 Posts
Always in for a Barry Build thread. Interested to see how modern trailer repair goes. Hearsay is they are disposable, but I know better than to under estimate you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,470 Posts
That is such a bummer, after following your trailer builds I'm interested to see how you'll tackle it.

I found some humor that the tree at least left a post-it note with its contact and insurance info:

"Sorry I fell on your trailer, here's my phone number and Geico policy"
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,453 Posts
As a total aside, the trailer/camper market is one of the most disgusting markets I've ever witnessed/read about rife with shady salesmen taking advantage of would-be buyers with finance and option packages that put them in the red immediately; all too often of the elderly looking to make their road trip retirement dreams come true. how there hasn't been a Supersize Me style documentary and/or Anchorman type satirical comedy of these jack wagons is beyond me.

I hope the repairs go smoothly and turn out great. Good luck. :beer:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,168 Posts
They should consider suing the campground for negligence. That tree could have easily landed on one of them. It's standing dead, it should have been cleared from an occupied area a long time ago.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,453 Posts
They should consider suing the campground for negligence. That tree could have easily landed on one of them. It's standing dead, it should have been cleared from an occupied area a long time ago.
Honestly worth a shot given the circumstances.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,714 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
They should consider suing the campground for negligence. That tree could have easily landed on one of them. It's standing dead, it should have been cleared from an occupied area a long time ago.
Actually, I believe that would fall under assumed risk, like going to a baseball game and getting hit by a ball or bat. If you accept an insurance settlement you really have no case on property damage. You've been made whole to the extent that you accepted the settlement. If the insurance company sees negligence on the part of the park owner the company would go after them to be compensated for the damages. That's called subrogation. If the insurance company wins they are supposed to return your deductible.

Now, if a trailer owner notifies the park owner of a hazard and they fail to mitigate the potential damages they could be held negligent and their insurance would cover the loss. I've asked them keep the insurance on the trailer while it's here as I have "care and custody" of the trailer making me liable in the event of a fire, flood or other disasters.

Dot and Gary have agreed to my terms and are making arrangements to have it moved here.

Thought I was too old for this. I guess not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
They should consider suing the campground for negligence. That tree could have easily landed on one of them. It's standing dead, it should have been cleared from an occupied area a long time ago.
A fallen tree is an act of God, basically. The insurance of whichever asset sustained damage would be liability, pretty much regardless of any circumstances.

Plus, they already accepted a settlement - so the timing doesn't work anymore even if they had a valid claim.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,453 Posts
Actually, I believe that would fall under assumed risk, like going to a baseball game and getting hit by a ball or bat. If you accept an insurance settlement you really have no case on property damage. You've been made whole to the extent that you accepted the settlement. If the insurance company sees negligence on the part of the park owner the company would go after them to be compensated for the damages. That's called subrogation. If the insurance company wins they are supposed to return your deductible.

Now, if a trailer owner notifies the park owner of a hazard and they fail to mitigate the potential damages they could be held negligent and their insurance would cover the loss. I've asked them keep the insurance on the trailer while it's here as I have "care and custody" of the trailer making me liable in the event of a fire, flood or other disasters.

Dot and Gary have agreed to my terms and are making arrangements to have it moved here.

Thought I was too old for this. I guess not.
A fallen tree is an act of God, basically. The insurance of whichever asset sustained damage would be liability, pretty much regardless of any circumstances.

Plus, they already accepted a settlement - so the timing doesn't work anymore even if they had a valid claim.
That is how you think it would work, how it should reasonably work. I can tell you, at least in FL/CA and other high liability/litigious states, that is not how it works. Property owner has a duty to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition, the details of which will vary on use/location. If, as initially stated, this is a clearly dead tree, which clearly poses a potential danger of falling, the property owner has a duty to rectify the danger, warn of the danger, etc. in which case, he didn't because he allowed an invitee to the property to park in a place where the danger could cause harm. My guess is a well worded letter forcing the property owner to put his insurance carrier on notice will net at least a few thousand just to make it go away. Whether there is a viable claim for full damage worth pursuing depends on many more variables that are unknown, nor appropriate to be vetted in this medium.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,714 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
As a total aside, the trailer/camper market is one of the most disgusting markets I've ever witnessed/read about rife with shady salesmen taking advantage of would-be buyers with finance and option packages that put them in the red immediately; all too often of the elderly looking to make their road trip retirement dreams come true. how there hasn't been a Supersize Me style documentary and/or Anchorman type satirical comedy of these jack wagons is beyond me.

I hope the repairs go smoothly and turn out great. Good luck. :beer:
The people that summer in this community are not what I picture as trailer park people. These are getaway homes for people that like sitting around the community hot tub in the woods, drinking wine. The whole idea of a summer home or a getaway is totally foreign to me, but it's obviously popular. I find it strange because Dot and Gary have a beautiful home in the woods with a hot tub, and plenty of friends and wine.

When I was a kid we lived near a trailer park. It was one of the oldest housing areas in the city and it built up around the park. It was a seedy and dangerous place. I had a friend that lived there. His home life led me to appreciate mine. The whole trailer park industry changed over the last 20 years. Many of the mom and pop operations have been bought up and run for maximum profit, leaving people literally out in the streets. Park trailers do suffer from the abuse you speak of. People buy a home; but never own the land its on. The depreciate as if they were cardboard boxes left in the rain. Selling a home is always a beating and if the neighborhood changes and you want to move your home it usually cost more to move the trailer han it's worth so they get abandoned, the locks get changed and the parks rent them out after quit-claiming the structure. Nasty business, indeed.



Perceptions. When Gary sent me pictures I saw this and saw a small room with a low ceiling. I could tell that it was the corner that was crushed, but something bugged me about the photo.

To me it looks like a finish storage room with a raised floor, like there was storage underneath. I perceived the ares to be about 4 feet wide and 4 feet tall. Wouldn't you?



Here's the reality. A vey small space for this big body.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,714 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
That is such a bummer, after following your trailer builds I'm interested to see how you'll tackle it.

I found some humor that the tree at least left a post-it note with its contact and insurance info:

"Sorry I fell on your trailer, here's my phone number and Geico policy"
LOL!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,714 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Excited to see you work in a "new medium", Barry.
There is nothing new under the Sun. Modified, but nothing new.

However, this is about the coolest tool for this kind of use. I wish these existed in 2006, when I built mine. I had Tom buy one and he kept it, so Gary id buying one for the project.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,575 Posts
As a total aside, the trailer/camper market is one of the most disgusting markets I've ever witnessed/read about rife with shady salesmen taking advantage of would-be buyers with finance and option packages that put them in the red immediately; all too often of the elderly looking to make their road trip retirement dreams come true. how there hasn't been a Supersize Me style documentary and/or Anchorman type satirical comedy of these jack wagons is beyond me.

I hope the repairs go smoothly and turn out great. Good luck. :beer:
The thing that really bugs me about the camper market is the absolute crap quality of the construction. These are made from cheap particle board, thin laminate, and a sprinkling of aluminum all held together with staples and glue.

Oh, it looks like I left styrofoam off my list. Frankly I'm amazed this withstood the tree as well as it did. Hitting on a corner certainly helped. I'm curious to see what this looks like once Barry tears into it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,470 Posts
The thing that really bugs me about the camper market is the absolute crap quality of the construction. These are made from cheap particle board, thin laminate, and a sprinkling of aluminum all held together with staples and glue.
Oh, it looks like I left styrofoam off my list. Frankly I'm amazed this withstood the tree as well as it did. Hitting on a corner certainly helped. I'm curious to see what this looks like once Barry tears into it.
It's all about making these things as light as possible to open up towing options to CUVs and light trucks. The entire running gear on the non-fifth wheel trailers are really chintzy and it's pretty scary when you think about how many of these things are on the road every summer. My neighbor just picked up an 18ft trailer he'll be pulling with his Tacoma and it's so flimsy and light I feel like I could either run through the wall like the Kool-Aid man or tip it over.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,168 Posts
The thing that really bugs me about the camper market is the absolute crap quality of the construction. These are made from cheap particle board, thin laminate, and a sprinkling of aluminum all held together with staples and glue.

Oh, it looks like I left styrofoam off my list. Frankly I'm amazed this withstood the tree as well as it did. Hitting on a corner certainly helped. I'm curious to see what this looks like once Barry tears into it.
My RV is fiberglass gelcoat over styrofoam. There's steel for the actual framing. But the walls are literally the cheapest wood paneling, styrofoam, tyvek, foil, styrofoam and fiberglass/gelcoat. I made one hatch 2" bigger, absolutely insane how flimsy the thing is. You could cut a door sized hole in an rv in seconds, or just bash it in with a hammer. no sledge required.
 
1 - 20 of 130 Posts
Top