Trailer Severely Damaged After Bolerama - Fiberglass RV

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Old 07-22-2009, 01:31 PM   #1
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Name: Phil
Trailer: 1977 Trillium 4500 (previously a 1978 Trillium 4500, Rpod 171 and Surveyor SV251)
Nova Scotia
Posts: 210
We had a great time at Bolerama with our Trillium 4500 and were really looking forward to our first big trip with the trailer out to visit the inlaws in New Brunswick. We took the back roads to get to Bathurst, taking three days and enjoying the scenery.

We had just stopped to visit the roadside memorial to the "Boys in Red" - the 7 Bathurst area teenagers killed last winter when their van lost control and was hit by a tractor trailer and killed them and their teachers wife, when not an hour later as we continued to head south towards Moncton on a two lane highway a north bound tractor trailer veered across the yellow line directly into our path. I manouvered to the right onto the shoulder and narrowly missed being hit head on but the tractor trailer continued to veer left and sideswiped our beloved Trillium - we think it will be a total loss.

The tractor trailer driver told the police he had blacked out and was only awakened when he hit our trailer and veered back into his lane. This surely saved the lives of the couple travelling behind us who would have been hit head on had the driver not smashed into our trailer.

With the trailer full of broken glass and gaping holes in the side, we weren't able to stay in it, so we limped back to Bathurst and stayed with friends until we were able to make temporary repairs to the lights and install the spare tire. Fortunately, the frame and suspension were not damaged so were able to tow it back to Ontario.

While we feel lucky to be alive to write this we are absolutely heartbroken over what has happened to our trailer. I had done quite a few things to improve what was a very original trailer including replacing all woodwork on the upper storage cabinets, installing new laminate flooring, resealing the windows, and after scouring many rv dealers for obsolete parts, all of the almond coloured water and electrical inlets and outlets on the sides. We even had the original upholstery repaired rather than replaced to keep it as original as possible. I had even spent many hours compounding and waxing the outside - even the roof was shiny!

We're not sure what to do now

Phil 4500 and family

Update: It looks like it will be written off. You can't see it in the pictures but the fibreglass is damaged (broken, cracked, splintered) from front to back, top to bottom on the drivers side. The best option I can think of is to take the insurance payment and buy another trailer with a good body and rotted frame and transfer all our good parts to that body and put it on our frame...lots of work. The other option is to just get another trailer all together.
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77 Trillium 4500
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Old 07-22-2009, 01:37 PM   #2
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Trailer: 1960 28 ft Airstream
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First off, so glad that you are safe-vehicles are repairable/replaceable, but a second difference early or late and the results might have different. Looking at the damage to your trailer, what about a boat repair shop? how bad was the damage inside? Pretty mild when you consider a semi hit it...


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Old 07-22-2009, 01:40 PM   #3
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Name: Kevin
Trailer: 28' Bigfoot Silver Cloud
Oak Park, IL
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So sorry to hear about your accident and glad that you survived it! In looking at the trailer pictures, it appears that the damage is mostly to the exterior (with some inside damage, too, I'm sure). Could a boat trailer place work on the fiberglass? It looks like boats I've seen that have hit a tree stump under water. If the frame is still good, I would definitely try to have someone get the shell back in shape. You can then take your time on the interior. Good luck!
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Old 07-22-2009, 01:59 PM   #4
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Yeah I'll bet a boat shop can make it like new.
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Old 07-22-2009, 02:19 PM   #5
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Holy crap!!! I'm so glad you all are OK!!! That could have ended poorly...

I think the tractor trailer driver should be buying you a new Trillium. Or at least paying for the repairs.

He blacked out? While driving a tractor trailer and almost hitting two vehicles head-on? Hopefully this guy isn't back on the roads.

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Old 07-22-2009, 02:21 PM   #6
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Trailer: Li'l Hauley
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Is it insured? If so, call the insurance company! They will have to either total it out or pay for repairs.
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Old 07-22-2009, 02:26 PM   #7
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I get the jitters when I read this stuff. Glad your OK
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Old 07-22-2009, 02:31 PM   #8
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Name: Adrian
Trailer: Lance 1985~'Casita de Campo' ~23' 4"~Dinette Slide Previously: Scamp 16 ft Side Dinette, Front Bath
New Mexico
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So sorry to hear about your ordeal, thankfully all of you guys are alright. What a scary adventure.
Sorry for your lost TT, but that can be replaced.

Is it insured? If so, call the insurance company! They will have to either total it out or pay for repairs.
What about HIS insurance company? I believe you need to get some values on simular Trilliums. They may try to short change you on the true value. Hang in there, hang tuff.

I am very happy you all were not hurt.

DesertHawk- Las Cruces, NM USA
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~Previously ~ 2005 16' Scamp
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Old 07-22-2009, 05:58 PM   #9
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Glad you're ok

try contacting team trillium and see if they would perform a repair job, if it's just the fibreglass they fix, it might be better than writing it off, and if they do write it off, remember they are required to give you first option to buy it back for the deductible price, the window frames look ok, just need new glass, hows the interior?
remember you can always get an appraisal from a private appraiser if you don't like their value.

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Old 07-22-2009, 07:26 PM   #10
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Name: Mary
Trailer: Escape 21; (formerly Casita LD 17 & 16)
Posts: 9,871
And, folks, for what it's worth, THIS situation is the reason we hang onto the old, SOLD, "for sale" ads. You might be able to find comparable trailers that recently sold, to help you make your case when talking to the insurance adjuster(s).

NADA typically undervalues these trailers, for whatever reasons. You need data from actual transactions - and make a list of all the great improvements you made to your "old" Trill. It's the only way to get just compensation!

GLAD you're okay!!
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Old 07-22-2009, 11:47 PM   #11
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Trailer: 2007 Casita
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Wowser! I guess my hair raising weekend drive was a walk in the park compared to yours. Thankfully, you are here to write about your saga. Sorry about your trailer, But really glad you and your family were unhurt. Yes the archived for sales and referral for sales should help you with replacement cost. Best of Luck. Robin
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Old 07-23-2009, 12:25 AM   #12
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Thank the Good Lord you (and the people following) were unhurt in this incident. As others have already said, 'things' are replaceable ... each special person in this world is not!

DH is a retired insurance adjustor/damage appraiser, and we agree with David Moody - DO go after the trucking company or the owner/operator for THAT insurance company to "make you whole again" as the parlance goes. YOU are the injured party here! Your insurance carrier should be a last resort - the other guy did the damage & as the claimant on HIS coverage, you hold most of the clout. Take accumulated valuation info from ads, etc. and HANG TUFF.
Hope this helps - L 'n D

p.s. neglected to mention the 'magic bullet' - if their insurance people give you a lot of grief, just mention that you plan to contact the Provincial Insurance Commissioner (or whatever entity licenses insurers there) to file a 'BAD FAITH' complaint ... you'll be amazed at how fast attitudes can change when faced with this possibility!
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Old 07-23-2009, 06:53 AM   #13
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Hi: Phil 4500... YIKES!!! Everyone was soooo lucky...even the trailer in some respects. It stayed upright and took a serious hit. Paul Neumeister in Sebringville might be able to put "Humpty together again"???
Big trucks make me nervous as you never know how long the guys been at the wheel!!!
I would certainly think a new Trillium 13'er or even a 17' Escape might be in your future but I'm sure this won't be settled any time soon!!! I hope the outcome is satisfactory for you.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 07-24-2009, 05:59 PM   #14
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Trailer: 2003 Casita Spirit Deluxe 16 ft (Eggs-Car-Go with ivy the tug)
Posts: 111
Hello Phil, sorry to hear of your ordeal, hope all works out, I agree with previous posts get the trucking co. pay no matter which way you decide to go. It was good to hear you had time to react and only fiberglass cracked. Keep us posted of your progress, we hope you can make the Bolerama next year.

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