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Author Topic: Travel Trailer Longevity  (Read 1947 times)

OnSiteTH

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Travel Trailer Longevity
« on: January 24, 2018, 01:10:09 PM »
Hello,
I'm in need of an expert witness to provide material information on the life expectancy of a travel trailer providing it's well maintained.

Please contact me if you or no of someone who might be able to assist. As an expert witness you would be paid for your services and please be aware you may need to testify.

Contact me Donn at 855-667-4830

SeilerBird

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Re: Travel Trailer Longevity
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2018, 01:14:28 PM »
With proper maintenance an RV should live almost forever. However the huge majority of RVs don't get proper maintenance though out their life time. RV owners tend to be older, like myself, and eventually it is no longer cared for properly.
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Oldgator73

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Re: Travel Trailer Longevity
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2018, 01:20:40 PM »
Hello,
I'm in need of an expert witness to provide material information on the life expectancy of a travel trailer providing it's well maintained.

Please contact me if you or no of someone who might be able to assist. As an expert witness you would be paid for your services and please be aware you may need to testify.

Contact me Donn at 855-667-4830

Where would I have to testify (not allowed back into some states)?  >:( Will you pay travel and per diem? Will it be a jury trial?
Retired Air Force
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Travel Trailer Longevity
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2018, 02:22:55 PM »
Despite many years of RVing experience, it seems doubtful that anybody here would be accepted as an "expert witness" by a court.  An experienced dealer executive or an engineer who designs and builds travel might.

It seems to me that a simpler "expert" approach would be a survey of public info citing the ages of trailers available for sale.  RVT.com and RVtrader.com can be checked and may even have published info that would substantiate viable ages of RVs.  Another would be the values listed in sources such as NADA RV Guide and The RV Black Book. Lenders and dealers use this info, giving it good credibility.
Gary
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Rene T

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Re: Travel Trailer Longevity
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2018, 02:51:31 PM »
Near as I can make out, you are a business.  You are the owner, founder and a Forest River RV Dealer.   Exactly what are you looking for? Can you specific?

http://onsitetemphousing.com/
« Last Edit: January 24, 2018, 03:02:34 PM by Rene T »
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OnSiteTH

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Re: Travel Trailer Longevity
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2018, 03:06:04 PM »
Yes that is correct I am in the business.

A law firm in Arizona asked if we could assist locating someone that specializes with travel trailer industry and do not have any issue testifying in court. They are looking for that individual to compile information and research on the longevity of a travel trailer's life span if well maintained. The argument is the plaintiff assumes the life to be 3-5 years and we believe it's more like 10-15 years. It's pretty obvious the manufacture has a 10-12 year roof warranty when purchase new.

I spoke to Dicor and the membrane they sell to RV manufactures has a 20 year guarantee

If you know someone please forward to me....thanks!   

kdbgoat

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Re: Travel Trailer Longevity
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2018, 05:44:10 AM »
I would think a trailer should be in somewhat good condition after 3-5 years, even if nothing is done to it, let alone a being well maintained. One more catch to the whole situation is what is the definition of "well maintained"?
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lynnmor

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Re: Travel Trailer Longevity
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2018, 08:14:42 AM »
It took me 3 to 5 years to bring my trailer up to a level where it could be used.  Since many folks use and abuse their vehicles, comparing life expectancy that of to the general public isn't a fair estimation of how long an RV should last.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Travel Trailer Longevity
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2018, 09:06:05 AM »
Quote
A law firm in Arizona asked if we could assist locating someone that specializes with travel trailer industry and do not have any issue testifying in court. They are looking for that individual to compile information and research on the longevity of a travel trailer's life span if well maintained.

That's along the lines of the suggestion in my previous post.  Making a compilation is somewhat different than being accepted as an "expert witness", but whoever did the compilation of data would still have to be able to testify if the data was used in court.

Quote
The argument is the plaintiff assumes the life to be 3-5 years and we believe it's more like 10-15 years. It's pretty obvious the manufacture has a 10-12 year roof warranty when purchase new.
It is easily 10-15 years and doesn't even take much care to achieve that. While I do not recommend it, a typical owner should get 3-5 years even with no maintenance other than winter storage preparation. However, I know of no travel trailer manufacturer who has a 10-12 year warranty. The industry standard RV warranty is one year, bumper-to-bumper,  with a few companies offering two years. Many have an additional warranty on "structure" which is typically 5 years.

Quote
I spoke to Dicor and the membrane they sell to RV manufactures has a 20 year guarantee

I think there may have been a misunderstanding. Dicor offers a 12 year warranty on its membranes, 5 year parts & labor and 7 additional years on the material only, and pro-rated as well. From the Dicor website:
Quote
Dicor offers a 12 year warranty for the sheeting only. The warranty covers only premature deterioration to the point of failure due to weathering only. It does not cover the original installation or the (glue, lap Sealant, Butyl tape) to install the roof. It is a pro-rated warranty. The first 5 years would include parts and labor. Years 6-12 are pro-rated for material replacement only, no labor. This warranty is offered only to the original purchaser.
Gary
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lone_star_dsl

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Re: Travel Trailer Longevity
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2018, 11:40:38 AM »
I don't think there is a true answer to the longevity of a trailer, especially one that is well maintained.

My toy hauler should last for a very long time. We don't have corrosion issues where I live and we only use it about 12 times a year.

On the other hand, a buddy of mine has to replace his toy hauler every 2-3 years. He is in the rodeo business and pulls his trailer about 40,000 miles a year. He can only get about 6 months out of the spring shackles before they break, and he's constantly having issues caused by vibrations such as cabinets falling apart, plumbing components breaking, light fixtures falling out of the ceiling, etc.

He's tried a few different manufacturers and has had these issues with all of them. I suppose this is because nearly every component in an RV is made by Lippert and all of the construction techniques are virtually identical across the entire spectrum.

If you want my opinion, there are very few well built RV's or towables that are affordable to the common man.
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RGP

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Re: Travel Trailer Longevity
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2018, 03:02:38 PM »
We put 10,000 miles a year on our TT in any and all weather. How long do you think it will last compared to the guy that adds two 250 mile trips to the Yogi Bear campground each summer.

It is like asking how long should your tow vehicle last. As a buyer I expect 5 to 8 years depending on how well it is kept. Other expect it to last a lifetime.

Good Luck   

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Travel Trailer Longevity
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2018, 03:20:27 PM »
Mileage has little to do with a vehicle that is not powered (no engine) and parked 99% of the time anyway. Wear & tear depends on the people using it and the care they give (or not).
Gary
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lone_star_dsl

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Re: Travel Trailer Longevity
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2018, 05:03:18 PM »
Mileage has little to do with a vehicle that is not powered (no engine) and parked 99% of the time anyway. Wear & tear depends on the people using it and the care they give (or not).

The suspension components sure care about how many miles the trailer is traveling. Since springs and shackles tend to take a beating while the trailer is in motion, how is one supposed to maintain them besides replacing components as they break or wear out?
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tc tom

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Re: Travel Trailer Longevity
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2018, 08:58:40 PM »
Hello OnSiteth,

I hope you can open up that can of worms. My experience has been many TT leak from day one. They are slow leaks that are never visible until 3 to 5 years down the road. By then the internal damage is done.  So if well maintained means water proofing all possible locations that might leak as soon as you pull it off the dealers lot, well who knows how long they might last. But should I have to do that?

Just my 2 drops worth, Tom
« Last Edit: January 31, 2018, 09:17:58 PM by tc tom »

RedandSilver

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Re: Travel Trailer Longevity
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2018, 10:12:12 PM »
information on the life expectancy of a travel trailer providing it's well maintained.


What is the life expectancy of Humans?

Each one is different. Even eating properly and exercising regularly is not a guarantee that someone will reach old age.
Yet some people seem to do everything wrong like drinking in excess and smoking and live to a much older age than many that don't
do those things.

Well maintained?  Some people that own a Travel Trailer have a garage big enough for it and it's garaged anytime it's not being used.
Others have no garage big enough and they sit outside 24/7 365 - are they not well maintained? 
Some people have children and some people have pets (and some have both) are those trailers not going to 
last as long as a solo owner with neither of those?

Does the speed at which it's towed make a difference on wear and tear?  55 vs. 75?  Do the roads traveled make a difference?
How they are loaded and packed one being over loaded all the time and another very lightly loaded - is there a difference?

The point is - no 2 are alike - so IMO it's going to be hard to prove how long something like a TT should or would or could last if
well maintained.

Good luck in you quest for the info you desire.

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Back2PA

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Re: Travel Trailer Longevity
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2018, 11:00:57 PM »
It seems to me the information you seek is parenthetical in nature - clearly a buyer would not buy, nor would a seller represent, that an item selling for tens of thousands of dollars would be worthless in 3-5 years. Further, as there are many extended “warranty” companies who would be willing to write a policy extending well beyond the 3-5 year timeframe, clearly they would not write such policies if they didn’t feel a majority of the secured units wouldn’t outlast the policy.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Travel Trailer Longevity
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2018, 09:42:21 AM »
 
Quote
   
Quote
Mileage has little to do with a vehicle that is not powered (no engine) and parked 99% of the time anyway. Wear & tear depends on the people using it and the care they give (or not).


The suspension components sure care about how many miles the trailer is traveling. Since springs and shackles tend to take a beating while the trailer is in motion, how is one supposed to maintain them besides replacing components as they break or wear out?

You missed the point. Even with very little towing mileage, the trailer could very well be worn out from human wear & tear.
Gary
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John From Detroit

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Re: Travel Trailer Longevity
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2018, 09:50:31 AM »
The suspension components sure care about how many miles the trailer is traveling. Since springs and shackles tend to take a beating while the trailer is in motion, how is one supposed to maintain them besides replacing components as they break or wear out?

I agree Tires do need regular replacement, IN all my years of owning trailers, Pulling them and RVing I have replaced, on a trailelr, exactly ONE spring and shackel, (not mine) helped a fellow RVer pull his broken spring (I have some SERIOUS tools in this RV) and took it to a spring shop and replaced it.. Just he and I and my jacks and wrenches and such. Not that hard or expensive to do.

I'v also replaced springs on cars and vans..

Not a job I enjoy that much (Takes a bit of muscle) but I've done it many times.

Other tings are the finish (outside) does get a bit "rough" in the sun, a new paint job may be needed, and inside just check how things are .. Converters geneerzally need an upgrade, but save for the paint job. none of hte repairs shoudl set you back more than a couple hundred at a pop.  And you can spread 'em out.  Do one every month or two. Kind of how I'm fixing my RV.
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SargeW

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Re: Travel Trailer Longevity
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2018, 10:37:04 AM »
Actually the threshold for being an expert witness is not that hard to meet.  I have testified many times in court as an expert witness on a wide range of LE topics. This blurb describes it nicely.

"An expert witness, in England, Wales and the United States, is a person whose opinion by virtue of education, training, certification, skills or experience, is accepted by the judge as an expert. The judge may consider the witness's specialized (scientific, technical or other) opinion about evidence or about facts before the court within the expert's area of expertise, referred to as an "expert opinion".[1] Expert witnesses may also deliver "expert evidence" within the area of their expertise.[2] Their testimony may be rebutted by testimony from other experts or by other evidence or facts."

The competence of the witness is determined by the particular court and the Judge hearing the case. It can vary widely from court to court.  Many of us here on the forum could testify as an "Expert Witness" just based on our years of experience and first hand knowledge of the subject of RV's.  Gary is a prime example. 

Being an "Expert Witness" does not mean that you are the ultimate authority on the subject. A lot of it is based on your ability to convince the court of your credibility. 
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Oldgator73

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Re: Travel Trailer Longevity
« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2018, 11:09:19 AM »
If anybody ever needs an expert on nothing, I am available.
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BinaryBob

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Re: Travel Trailer Longevity
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2018, 11:31:02 AM »
Being an "Expert Witness" does not mean that you are the ultimate authority on the subject. A lot of it is based on your ability to convince the court of your credibility. 

....which involves wearing the appropriate courtroom costume - tweed jacket with patches on the elbows, and a bow tie.
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Oldgator73

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Re: Travel Trailer Longevity
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2018, 12:47:47 PM »
....which involves wearing the appropriate courtroom costume - tweed jacket with patches on the elbows, and a bow tie.

And say really big words nobody else knows the meaning of.
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gravesdiesel

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Re: Travel Trailer Longevity
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2018, 01:35:41 PM »
As many others have stated, "life expectancy" is greatly varied according to one's definition of "well maintained".  A travel trailer that sits outside but is "annually maintained" can easily deteriorate quicker than one that is kept inside when not in use.  I planned for this long before I ever purchased mine.  UV is very harmful to plastic, fiberglass, rubber, fabric and the caulking seals.  A unit stored out of the weather and with the most basic maintenance (greasing of axle hubs, lubrication of moving parts, thorough periodic cleaning and winterizing or flushing) will last much longer than a unit constantly exposed to the elements.
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mattcoker17

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Re: Travel Trailer Longevity
« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2018, 02:37:00 PM »
One of the comments made me want to post this: 

To qualify as an expert in court all that is needed is to be able to express that you have more knowledge on a particular subject than the average person.  The defense attorney may challenge your knowledge base; however, if you are able to answer their questions, most of the time the judge will accept your testimony as expert.

And the cool thing is that once you are deemed an expert in open court, you will be considered an expert (on the specific subject) from then on.

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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Travel Trailer Longevity
« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2018, 03:29:10 PM »
Quote
Actually the threshold for being an expert witness is not that hard to meet.  I have testified many times in court as an expert witness on a wide range of LE topics.

True enough, but you were employed as a Law Enforcement officer for many years, so that is a prima facie case for having expertise in that particular field.  A newbie fresh out of police academy would be much more dubious.  Similarly, some people who own and use Rvs becomes quite expert in their care & feeding, but it's a harder sell to convince a court - and the opposing attorneys - that their opinions are in fact expert. 

Expert Witness status is about credibility. No attorney wants to bring in an "expert" who gets challenged by the opposing attorney. They want somebody whose credentials cannot be disputed.
Gary
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BinaryBob

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Re: Travel Trailer Longevity
« Reply #25 on: February 01, 2018, 03:38:06 PM »
Expert Witness status is about credibility. No attorney wants to bring in an "expert" who gets challenged by the opposing attorney. They want somebody whose credentials cannot be disputed.

Spot on...
As someone who has played this game for some time, in a court of law it's all about credentialing, degrees, certifications, and letters after your name.
There are some here in this forum I unquestionably take advice from due to their proven knowledge and experience, but they would most likely not qualify in court as an "expert witness."
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WILDEBILL308

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Re: Travel Trailer Longevity
« Reply #26 on: February 01, 2018, 06:48:07 PM »


The suspension components sure care about how many miles the trailer is traveling. Since springs and shackles tend to take a beating while the trailer is in motion, how is one supposed to maintain them besides replacing components as they break or wear out?

You missed the point. Even with very little towing mileage, the trailer could very well be worn out from human wear & tear.
You are right, there are so many different levels of quality in materials and construction how it was used that it would be almost impossible to say how long a unit might last. There are a lot of units that have a statement tucked away in the literature that they are not for continues use. So now you need to define what proper use is.
Bill


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RGP

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Re: Travel Trailer Longevity
« Reply #27 on: February 01, 2018, 07:04:20 PM »
Another thing to consider are the mods you make. My wife wanted a full length mirror on the bathroom door. One of the table benches replaced with a chair. Numerous hooks attached to this walls and other such item.

The next owner will probably remove them but we use them.


SargeW

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Re: Travel Trailer Longevity
« Reply #28 on: February 01, 2018, 08:13:31 PM »
True enough, but you were employed as a Law Enforcement officer for many years, so that is a prima facie case for having expertise in that particular field.  A newbie fresh out of police academy would be much more dubious.  Similarly, some people who own and use Rvs becomes quite expert in their care & feeding, but it's a harder sell to convince a court - and the opposing attorneys - that their opinions are in fact expert. 

Expert Witness status is about credibility. No attorney wants to bring in an "expert" who gets challenged by the opposing attorney. They want somebody whose credentials cannot be disputed.

And you are exactly correct Gary. In my past, spending 25 years in the "blue suit" went a long way towards credibility.
But your experience in a court would also go a long way.  Experience is the best reference you can have.
Marty--
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Travel Trailer Longevity
« Reply #29 on: February 02, 2018, 11:06:59 AM »
I've been talking with the lawyers for this case a little bit.  The complication here is that the trailers involved have been used as temporary housing rather than for recreational purposes. Anybody who has seen a 3-5 year old FEMA trailer (for example) would probably revise their opinion of longevity substantially downward. On the other hand, the company does provide ongoing maintenance and professional movers, so there is some care involved.

http://onsitetemphousing.com/
Gary
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Gary Brinck
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Home: Ocala National Forest, FL