Cracked Egg - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-27-2009, 05:28 PM   #1
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Trailer: 2009 17 ft Casita Freedom Deluxe
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We spent the last four weeks traveling down the Oregon/california coats and back up the Sierras. 5K miles, 29 days of sun, not a single problem with the trailer. We got back on Wednesday and parked it in the driveway to clean it up and get it ready for winter.

On Friday, we had a wind storm. The top of a tree broke off about 30 feet up and a fifty four chunk of tree about 10" diameter at the break fell right across the Casita. WhooWee, what a noise. Upon inspection here is what we found -
  • The awning is destroyed
  • The fantastic fan is destroyed
  • We have four cracks in the fiberglass that I have found - three where the tree made a direct hit and one on the nose above the propane tanks.
  • The locked cupboard over the sink came open and spilled some dishes onto the floor.
  • The filter and light cover as well as the outside flap were knocked off the range hood.
  • Two outside light covers were knocked off.
  • At least one rivet/screw attachment is loose.

The tree got the worst of it. When is hit the trailer, it broke into four pieces. None of the pieces of the tree stayed on the trailer - they all bounced off.

We have an appointment with an RV repair place to get it evaluated and fixed. Fortunately we have zero deductible comprehensive.

So, I think the trailer will survive and no one was hurt. It will just be a bit of a hassle getting it repaired.

Dave
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Old 10-27-2009, 05:52 PM   #2
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Trailer: Fiber Stream 16 ft
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Dave,

Wow, that is a testament to the strength of the Casita.

I parked my pick up under a live oak one evening and had a limb fall on the cab. The steel cab did not fare so well - truck was totaled. It also destroyed the stairs and railing to my deck and took a hunk out of the roof. The limb was close to 3' at the break, though, and we got over a cord of wood from the cleanup.

I wonder if the shape and elasticity of the fiberglass mitigated the force of the impact?

Hope you are back on the road soon.
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Old 10-27-2009, 06:01 PM   #3
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We had a bad windstorm 2 years ago that took down several large branches, most in the 4-6" diameter range. Several hit our UHaul VT and the garage right next to it. The garage sustained a hole in the roof, broken gutters, and missing shingles. The trailer had several minor scratches and one dark rub spot in the gel coat. I couldn't find any cracks or other damage. The scratches have buffed out and the dark spot is much lighter now (only visible if you're higher than the trailer). I think the fiberglass must flex on impact and the rounded top/sides helps things to bounce off. Wonderful things, these trailers!
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Old 10-27-2009, 06:09 PM   #4
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A branch that breaks into 4 pieces upon impact is what mitigated the damages....not the strength of the shell.....the branch was rotten wood,weakened and thats why it fell......theyre cute little trailers for sure but not fortresses................Bruce
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Old 10-27-2009, 06:37 PM   #5
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A branch that breaks into 4 pieces upon impact is what mitigated the damages....not the strength of the shell.....the branch was rotten wood,weakened and thats why it fell......theyre cute little trailers for sure but not fortresses................Bruce
Well, the wood was not rotten, but it was pretty dry and brittle. The tree apparently has been dead for a while. We will be getting someone out to take the rest of it down and see if any others need to come down.

Dave
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Old 10-27-2009, 08:24 PM   #6
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Glad you weren't in the trailer at the time and it's repairable

If it would have been a sticky... it would have been munched but good!
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:33 PM   #7
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A year ago, my wife was driving, pulling our PlayPac, and, pulling into a gas station, she forgot it was there. They had 6" pipe filled with cement to protect the pumps. The trailer hit one of those, about at the wheel well, and it pushed the trailer about 8" sideways (tire skid marks) before she stopped. I image she was only moving 4 or 5 mph, but still. It only made a mar in the surface, no chips, cracks or other damage. I was afraid, when I got out to look, that there would be a nasty big rip in the skin. In the car, it felt horrible! They are tough!

Steve
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Old 10-30-2009, 12:48 AM   #8
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Tough but maybe not cheap. I have not taken i tto the shop yet but the first estimate from the adjuster is $10-11K based on the pictures. I am sending pics to Casita to get their reaction on the damage. I found more as I removed all of our personal stuff,

The roof flexed so much that the cupboard over the window came down over the blinds then sucked part of the into the crack. The cabinet holding the microwave with the fridge unde is also cracked.

I'll post updates as I learn more.

Dave
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Old 10-30-2009, 01:52 AM   #9
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It sounds like it could have major structural damage to me. I know they fix most things on our eggs. Just make sure your going to be safe after it's repaired. We enjoy our fiberglass friends and hope you will all stay safe.
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:06 AM   #10
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Sorry to hear about your misfortune Dave.

I can feel for you, as I had a similar incident occur over in Ellensburg this past summer. During our stay at the Ellensburg KOA (the KOA from hell, but that is another story). Anyway, I took my wife in to register at CWU for some classes she would be attending for the week (which is why I had to cancel our Bandon trip last summer).

We were only gone into town for about an hour, but when we got back to the campsite, I noticed a big tree branch lying behind my trailer. As I drove up, some neighboring campers came over, and even before I could get out of my truck they were all appologizing for my bad luck. OK...so now the hairs on the back of my neck are starting to raise up...What bad luck could they be talking about? I walked around the trailer and, from ground level, couldn't see anything immediately apparent, so I asked them what they were referring to. They told me that they heard the crash of this tree branch hitting my trailer while we were gone and that they hoped the damage wasn't too bad. They said it sounded like an explosion when it hit. Well, now I started looking at the trailer a little closer. I opened the door and went inside, only to discover that someone must have set off a hand grenade inside while we were gone. The blinds were half falling off, the cabinets were open, the lenses of the overhead lights were popped off, the fiberglass around the corners of several cabinet doors was cracked in several places, and there were fiberglass splinters all over the rear bed. Truly a nice homecoming...not!

The tree branch which broke off occurred as a result of strong winds which had been blowing hard all day. Anyway, it snapped off a fairly large branch which was about 6 inches across at the broken butt end and weighed about 80-100 lbs. ( I know, I drug it away from the trailer). Anyway, it broke off from about 40 feet up and came down right on top of the trailer. It caused about a 2 foot crack in the fiberglass roof, just behind the roof mounted A/C unit on the curved part of the rear downslope above the rear window. No hole, just a really nasty crack.

Inside the trailer, it had flexed the roof so hard, the acorn nuts (normally 3/4ths of an inch away from the edge of the wood cabinet doors,) had indented the wood of the overhead cabinet doors so badly, it actually popped the cabinet latches, popped several rivets, and bent the cabinet hinges! A good testimony to the flexibility of fiberglass.

Well, we lived with it for the five days we were there. I duct taped the outside crack, broke out the vacuum and cleaned up the fractured fiberglass which covered everything, and replaced the broken rivets the next day (with the help of a neighboring camper, since you can't be inside and outside at the same time.) I guess this is why I carry all these tools and equipment when I camp...always be prepared. The broken cabinet latches had to wait till I got home since nobody in Ellensburg carried them...(I now carry several extras, in addition to my thirty pound tool kit).

On the bright side, (and having done fiberglass repair work years ago working on yachts,) the fiberglass repairs weren't that difficult. Rather than turning it over to my insurance company, I fixed it myself for about $30 bucks worth of resin and glass matting (10 ply lay-up in the repair of the chunk I cut out) and a weekend of my time. I probably spent about another $30 bucks on new latches and hinges as well.

Today, you can't even tell it was ever hit. Fiberglass is really wonderful in that respect. You can fix a lot of glass problems pretty easy, which you would never be able to do so easily on a stick built trailer.


Hope your repairs go as well for you.
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Old 10-30-2009, 03:09 PM   #11
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Name: B
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Greg,
I can't believe this happened to you and your wife and your IMMACULATE PRISTINE trailer.
Thank goodness you come fully equipped with FIX-IT SKILLS.
I need to get that going...I'm clueless.
Best to you...can't wait for the Washington meet...I signed up late but will be there. Maybe with a newly painted trailer. Here's HOPING!
BB
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Old 10-31-2009, 12:16 PM   #12
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Thanks Barb.
Looking forward to next year's camping season and the WA get-together too.
Greg
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:25 PM   #13
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Well, we finally got the damage estimate back. It is just under $10,000. They guarantee to repair it as good or better than new. They considered splitting it in the middle and replacing the kitchen and possibly the top but decided that would cost even more. We shold get it back in 3-4 weeks.

It took so long to get the estimate, I was concerned that they might that it. we were already discussing what options we would add or subtract if that was the conclusion. We would not change much but thankfuly now we do not need to consider that possibility.

Dave
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Old 11-23-2009, 04:21 PM   #14
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That's a bummer! I wonder how many trailers fall victim to our many windstorms. I do love the huge cedars and firs but I am glad to have nothing bigger than a Japanese maple on our property.
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