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Old 09-22-2012, 09:41 PM   #1
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TT hit by a trash truck

I showed up to check out my TT at the storage yard last week, and a 50,000# trash truck had whacked my TT. Amazingly not that much was wrong except for the (looking at the TT from the front) left front vertical edge about half way up the trailer had been damaged. You can see the wood frame where the metal (aluminum) has been peeled back. Any suggestions from those who have had to repair this type of damage? If it were fiberglass I could do it myself but the aluminum panels look like you have to replace entire sections and the leading edge. The Trash trucks owner is paying to fix this but I want to make sure it is done right.
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:46 PM   #2
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Man, I am really sorry to hear this. Remember the damage may NOT be limited to the impact area. The twisting of these light weight frames at impact can cause damage in places not so readily visible.

Once they are hit they are never right again. Many will develop delamination and water damage later that will be traced back to the original wreck.

My opinion (if it were my trailer) would be to get it repaired and trade it in on a new one.
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:49 PM   #3
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Sorry to hear about the reck, could you post some pic of the damage?
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockwood06 View Post
Sorry to hear about the reck, could you post some pic of the damage?
ThanX fro the commiseration. The biggest issue I had was that the onsite security did not call me to say there was an issue even though my trailer was sitting askew...

A pic of the damage.
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
Man, I am really sorry to hear this. Remember the damage may NOT be limited to the impact area. The twisting of these light weight frames at impact can cause damage in places not so readily visible.

Once they are hit they are never right again. Many will develop delamination and water damage later that will be traced back to the original wreck.

My opinion (if it were my trailer) would be to get it repaired and trade it in on a new one.
I appreciate the advice. I have been provided two quotes so far and both were for $4,500 which is getting close to more than I paid for the trailer... I will probably see what kind of job the dealer does on the repair and then run some tests using a sprinkler and a moisture meeter (the kind they use to test boat hulls) to test for leaks, and a laser level on the outside to check if the unit is still true. If everything seems right and it still pulls straight then I will just use it till I run into issues and then buy another used one to play with. Grin.
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- 06 Salem LE 28BHS (axles flipped), Boliy Pro3600ES Generator
Dodge Dakota 4.7l HO (260hp/310torq), 131 in wheel base
3.92 gears with towing pkg, Reese dual cam sway control
Tekonsha P3 break controller
- 36 ft Monterey cabin cruiser, Stainless blender
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carl.net View Post
I appreciate the advice. I have been provided two quotes so far and both were for $4,500 which is getting close to more than I paid for the trailer... I will probably see what kind of job the dealer does on the repair and then run some tests using a sprinkler and a moisture meeter (the kind they use to test boat hulls) to test for leaks, and a laser level on the outside to check if the unit is still true. If everything seems right and it still pulls straight then I will just use it till I run into issues and then buy another used one to play with. Grin.
The issue I am talking about has to do with the fasteners that hold the skin on. Once they get loosened, they will continue to pull free. There is a tremendous amount of suction on the walls and roof of the camper when you are at highway speeds. It is worse when you leave the vents open when driving (if you have covers or forget one).

Your first indication that you had hidden damage might just be the skin pealing back on the far opposite wall; while insulation and household goods stream down the highway like it did to my friends old camper (who was hit lightly in a similar manner).

I will try to see if he still has the photos, but I recall he used a screw gun to reattach the wall in order to get it home.
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:29 AM   #7
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That looks like a pretty basic repair, even though they will have to replace most of the tin on that wall. It looks like the front wasn't damaged at all?
The tin-and-wood campers are easy to work on, and I see no reason why you shouldn't keep your camper after the repair.
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
Your first indication that you had hidden damage might just be the skin pealing back on the far opposite wall; while insulation and household goods stream down the highway like it did to my friends old camper (who was hit lightly in a similar manner).
Though obviously a serious issue your description had me thinking about the old cartoons featuring Goofy... Grin. He was always prone to loosing a few items.
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:36 AM   #9
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That looks like a pretty basic repair, even though they will have to replace most of the tin on that wall. It looks like the front wasn't damaged at all?
The tin-and-wood campers are easy to work on, and I see no reason why you shouldn't keep your camper after the repair.
I have no knowledge of camper siding repair but if things look good after and during the repair to the technician then I agree that holding on to the camper and just using it make sense.

The front has no damage. The trash truck looks to have caught the corner molding and ripped backwards.
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Dodge Dakota 4.7l HO (260hp/310torq), 131 in wheel base
3.92 gears with towing pkg, Reese dual cam sway control
Tekonsha P3 break controller
- 36 ft Monterey cabin cruiser, Stainless blender
Two 4.7 GXi I/O (2 x 320hp = 640hp)
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:56 AM   #10
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Hope you have the damaged area covered. You do not want water getting into the front of the TT. You will have more damage by water getting in then the small opening caused by the truck. This is a common repair and a good RV repair shop will make a repair that is as good or better then the original. Good luck with the repairs and enjoy your TT for many years to come. The up side is that the aluminum siding is easier to repair the the fiberglass TT.
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:57 AM   #11
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I don't want to sound overly dramatic, but the events I posted about are real; not made up. Trying to get photos from my friend and will post them to try and show the rear end damage and the front failure as a result of the rear end hit.

Having seen the outcome and the initial accident's minor looking damage; my advice is sincere.
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:07 AM   #12
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ThanX for the comments caper. I am having the work done by professionals and so am expecting a professional job. I guess only time will tell. Now all I need is the TT to get fixed before my scheduled trip to take the kids to Disney!
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- 06 Salem LE 28BHS (axles flipped), Boliy Pro3600ES Generator
Dodge Dakota 4.7l HO (260hp/310torq), 131 in wheel base
3.92 gears with towing pkg, Reese dual cam sway control
Tekonsha P3 break controller
- 36 ft Monterey cabin cruiser, Stainless blender
Two 4.7 GXi I/O (2 x 320hp = 640hp)
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:10 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
I don't want to sound overly dramatic, but the events I posted about are real; not made up. Trying to get photos from my friend and will post them to try and show the rear end damage and the front failure as a result of the rear end hit.

Having seen the outcome and the initial accident's minor looking damage; my advice is sincere.
I would love to see the pics. And I am taking your comments very seriously. I believe what you have pointed out is that a poor repair or hangers with a faulty design and either issue exacerbated by damage can lead to catastrophic events.
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Dodge Dakota 4.7l HO (260hp/310torq), 131 in wheel base
3.92 gears with towing pkg, Reese dual cam sway control
Tekonsha P3 break controller
- 36 ft Monterey cabin cruiser, Stainless blender
Two 4.7 GXi I/O (2 x 320hp = 640hp)
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Old 09-23-2012, 11:24 AM   #14
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Here is the reply from my friend:

**********************************
No. Didn't think to take pictures, was in too big of a hurry to fix it; was going out again the next day.
Here's one picture of the final repair I made. It is to the right front. The original impact was the left rear. The impact caused a crack in the roof which I failed to detect. The rain and melting snow caused havoc. The super structure remained sound.
It was mostly cosmetic.
Hope it helps. My advice would be to get it to a professional that he trusts and let them check it out.

****************************************
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:21 PM   #15
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His unit has a fiberglass body which is an entirely different beast. Fiberglass will delaminate from the backing material if it gets wet. My suspicioun is that if it frezes as well that it will delaminate faster. Metal TTs do not delaminate because they are mechanically attached.
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Dodge Dakota 4.7l HO (260hp/310torq), 131 in wheel base
3.92 gears with towing pkg, Reese dual cam sway control
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- 36 ft Monterey cabin cruiser, Stainless blender
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Old 09-23-2012, 02:13 PM   #16
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It was plastic on wood studs.
The wood studs rotted out all caused by the rear end damage.
He screwed the plastic into the better wood to get home.

Look, I got no ax to grind here. Just thought I would let you in on what happened to my friend, so it would not happen to you.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 09-23-2012, 02:19 PM   #17
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And I would imagine the impact in Herk's example was much more severe than what we are discussing here.
And considering any possible water damage from leaking through the damaged area, the repair guys will be able to assess that and fix anything that requires it.
I did extensive repairs to our old stick-and-tin camper, and there wasn't much we couldn't fix.
I agree that comparing a fibreglass-skinned camper to a tin one is comparing apples to oranges.
But that is what scares me, as we now own a fibreglass fifth. If anything happens to it, I can't fix anything.
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Old 09-23-2012, 02:34 PM   #18
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I wish he had taken photos of the rear bumper area. A car had backed into the camper and the damage appeared to be even less than your photo.
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:34 PM   #19
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If the cost to repair is greater than what you paid maybe you would want to reconsider fixing it... I would take the money and run... There is no requirement to get it fixed. Perhaps an upgrade is in your near future? Now is the time to start looking. In the mean time you could bang the sheet metal and eternabond it back together.
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:40 PM   #20
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I did consider your suggestion but to be honest I like the trailer I have and have seen nothing I would like more. I have fixed most of the manufacturing defects, cleaned up the small amount of wear and tear, added a number of improvements, and made it uniquely mine.
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3.92 gears with towing pkg, Reese dual cam sway control
Tekonsha P3 break controller
- 36 ft Monterey cabin cruiser, Stainless blender
Two 4.7 GXi I/O (2 x 320hp = 640hp)
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