||[May. 20th, 2010|09:28 pm]
So. Since mid-April, J and I have been back at the house in PA. It’s taken a while to get back in the groove here, but things are starting to come around. I’ve gotten to all the doctor’s appointments (routine follow-ups) which were supposed to happen in April or May. The cats have been to the vet. You should have seen the looks on their faces when we arrived at the vet’s office instead of the trailer. If looks could kill.. But they are certified healthy and good on their shots for another few years.|
We’ve been going by the trailer every week or so with laundry to drop off, new stuff to install, clothes to pick up for wearing at the house, etc. Which, as it turns out, is a very good thing. A few weeks ago, I noticed some damage to the front cap of the fiver. A couple of dents, pretty high up. I came home and got J so we could go look it over together, and he noticed the vivid yellow paint smudges near the damage. The storage facility rents moving trucks, and at that point they were all yellow. A little walking around, and lo and behold there’s a rental truck with white pigment on a couple of dents that correspond nicely to our trailer damage. We photographed everything and went in to talk to the manager.
She was tremendously helpful, and looked through tons of video (the lot is fully supplied with surveillance cameras) to find that on April mumbleteenth, someone had clearly backed into our rig. Now, I had been out to the lot right after that and didn’t notice the damage. What I had noticed was that our front chocks were loose, and the steps were about an inch further back than they had been when we’d parked the unit. I thought it had been tire shrinkage; coming off the road the hot tires shrink as they cool and that can loosen chocks; I had thought to myself that an inch difference was a lot, though. Makes much more sense that someone bumped the rig, now that I think about it.
From there we went to the local police, got an incident report, contacted our insurance co. just to let them know what happened, and then, because it was clear who was at fault, contacted their insurance company directly to arrange for payment of the damages. We got in touch with local fiberglass repair people and sent them photos for estimates, and then we waited. And waited. After a bunch of tedious run arounds, we were finally contacted by the rental company, who will make good on the claim. We sent them one of our email estimates, for about a grand all told, and they promised a check soonest. At last, all our problems are solved. Right?
Umm.. Well... On Monday, we took the trailer to a boat repair shop to get an estimate in person, rather than over the phone. And the very skilled inspector took the time to show us all the other places the front had been damaged. Far from being a 1K repair taking a day or so, the cracks cover a third of the trailer front cap. He quoted us about four days labor, or roughly 4K. At one point he’s pushing on the cap, and it’s flexing under his hand and you can hear crackling coming from the area. We finally said “Stop pushing on it!” because you could just hear the breakage going on. We talked about alternatives and finally J said; “Ok, if it was your RV, what would you do about this?” And he looked at us and said “Replace the front cap. Even with the best repair we can do there will still be weakness underneath.”
Right then and there, J called NuWa and asked how much a new cap would be. I almost fainted when he said “HOW much!?!” I thought oh, no, a new cap is going to be 7 grand and there’s no way… He got off the phone and he told me that the price for a new front cap is less than 500 dollars. Even with the labor at the factory the total cost won’t be that much more that the original quotes we got for repairing what we thought was a pair of simple dents. They’ll ship the cap but the cost to do so is more than the cost for the part, and really, we trust the factory folks to do the work right but I am not so sure about dealer service. I confess, my first unworthy thought on hearing that the best repair was replacement was “ROAD TRIP! Yay!”
We have a factory appointment at the end of July. Our friendly repair guy told us to get some household epoxy and paint over the damage to hold it until we could get the rig in for a permanent fix. I just got that taken care of today, so we are all set. One step at a time. ROAD TRIP!