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Old 12-11-2012, 09:09 PM   #1
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1970 27' Overlander
Sumner , Washington
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Flash Flood in Sacramento

We have been full timers for about 9 months... We have restored our 1970 27' Airstream and enjoyed every minute of it. We just put $6,000 in it less than a month ago... New axels, AC, tires and wheels, upper window replacements....
A week ago we awoke to a flash flood in a small trailer park. We walked out in waist high water and watched as our beloved Airstream filled up. It got about 3' inside. We are presently thankful to Gd to be alive, however, do not have the resources to restore it. We also had no flood insurance for it, so lost all of our contents.
We are sitting at Toscano RV Dealership in Los Banos, CA. Jeff Sousa, the service manager gave us his personal toy trailer to live in as we gutted our Airstream. Our insurance is going to total it. My wife is highly allergic to mold spores, which makes any thought of restoration too risky and not cost effective for our budget. We are looking for a miracle... after all, this is Hanukkah!
We have many praying and some have donated to a fund to help us get going again... We have been spoiled by owning our Airstream, and hope to get another one. We are open to suggestions, deals, and comments.
Brian, Cell: 253 686 2234
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:32 PM   #2
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Terribly sorry to hear about this Brian. Would you mind posting info on the park as I was just looking for one in that area and I don't want to be in a flash flood danger area.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:35 PM   #3
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How could a flood destroy your trailer? Why is it not possible to clean, dry everything out, and possibly replace some items like carpet and certain electrical appliances?

I have some experience repairing flooded houses and vehicles. It is a lot of work but not that complicated especially if you get at it right away.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:04 PM   #4
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Liability of Trailer Park?

Sorry to hear about your flood... and I almost hate to say this, but if the trailer park had a history of floods and didn't post any warnings, perhaps THEY might be liable for at least some of your loss.

Of course "act of God" probably gets them out of any problem - and if this was a first time event that they couldn't have anticipated... And they might not have flood insurance for the camp either.

Please DO tell all of us the name of the park that flooded. It would probably be a good place to avoid!

I hope an Airstream is in your future, but if you're committed (or stuck with the need to fulltime) your best short term solution might be an SOB. I'm on the wrong coast, but around here, many people are dumping unneeded "toys". I've seen literally dozens of pretty nice trailers for sale with "make offer" pricing. One was at a swap meet I sometimes visit - and I stopped to chat with an owner who figured his was worth about $5000 but he'd be willing to go as low as $1800. It looked pristine, and was only 3-5 years old. Something like that could be a domicile while you're hunting for and restoring another stream.

You've also inspired a lot of us, me included, to check into a flood rider for my policy!

Thanks, Paula
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:48 PM   #5
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1970 27' Overlander
Sumner , Washington
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Trailer park name is Villa RV on Auburn St., Sacramento, CA.
Repair makes us nervous due to my wife's allergy to mold & toxins. Plus, we just don't have the funds to do what we are told would be necessary. I am limited, as I don't have a garage. We liquidated all our possessions to go fulltime on the road. We do not have a home, outside our Airstream.
Our insurance hasn't made us an offer on the total yet, but we are thinking it will be way less than what it would cost us to get it totally healthy again. We hate to let it go... we were enjoying our labors on it and loved it! We may have to save for awhile and add it to insurance settlement before we can get back into another AS. However, we are praying for a good deal,,,
Maybe stay with family for awhile? We aren't rich darn it!
We will contact the owner of the park, who we are told lives in Frisco... could be that we might have a ligitimate suit. There certainly were no warning signs anywhere....
This flood was a real shocker... It was raining heavy and we had an eye on things. There was a very small creek behind us down a ditch about 10' deep. A large cement retaining wall was to our rear. There appeared to be good drainage ditches surrounding us... What we discovered was that another retaining wall was breeched opposite us, which normally held back any storm water. Not this time. The wall just couldn't handle it and water came suddenly. I checked the outside when waking up in the morning and it was just an inch of water on the ground, 30 minutes later I looked out and it was covering our hitch. I hollered at my wife and jumped out the door to try and save our Suburban. I was able to start it up and move it to high ground. Got water on the floor boards which insurance will cover. I walked back in for my wife and we both walked out together... It was up to my waist. Scarry...
Thanks for all your feedback.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:01 PM   #6
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What a horrible story. We were at a rally in Jackson Rancheria that weekend of those rains. I never saw such rain as we had Sat/Sun. And the wind too. With that much rain I am not surprised it caught you like that fast. I saw the trailer park on the news. Really sorry to hear of your loss. Let's hope the insurance pays a decent amount.

Try to stay optimistic. Sometimes odd things - unusual turns - come about as unpredictable consequences. Good luck.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by howco View Post
It was up to my waist. Scarry...
Wow. That sucks incredibly bad. We have been full-timing or 6 months and I can't even begin to imagine what to do if everything was suddenly gone.

Wish we were closer and could lend a hand somehow. We won't be back to Sac way this winter, but if you can think of someway we could help, let us know.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:52 AM   #8
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Scary story for sure. When water comes up in a hurry, options can sure be few. Sorry to hear of your predicament.

This all brings up a question in my mind, that of "replacement cost" coverage, with an extension or rider that pays for living expenses while you are getting re-settled in a new camper. Since I don't full time, and my little trailer is not worth a lot of money, I really had not thought of it, but can you buy such coverage if you are full timing in a RV ?

I suppose this is all comes down to what my long gone uncle, who sold insurance for a living advised me: buy insurance for anything in your life that "would put you out of business", unless you can simply afford to write off the loss yourself.

Again, sorry to hear of the OP's plight. Hopefully things will work out for you.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:56 AM   #9
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California-land of the free

Check out public agencies very carefully. I would bet there is some kind of financial assistance for you there. I would bet flash flooding is covered by some kind of state agency. Temporary housing should be available, and then you could check with Habitat for Humanity. Losing your primary domicile is a tragedy, for sure.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by howco View Post
Trailer park name is Villa RV on Auburn St., Sacramento, CA.
Repair makes us nervous due to my wife's allergy to mold & toxins. Plus, we just don't have the funds to do what we are told would be necessary........

It was raining heavy and we had an eye on things. There was a very small creek behind us down a ditch about 10' deep. A large cement retaining wall was to our rear. There appeared to be good drainage ditches surrounding us... What we discovered was that another retaining wall was breeched opposite us, which normally held back any storm water. Not this time. The wall just couldn't handle it and water came suddenly.
If there was a retaining wall that was breached... that means they KNEW the area was flood prone and that they didn't have the retaining wall in good repair (from a prior flood that damaged it).

Whether the park has any assets or insurance? BIG IF

Now about repairing your unit as opposed to getting another one. ANY trailer you buy even if brand new could have mold, just from a construction error that let water leak into insulation, underfloor, etc. So repairing your unit may be no more risky than starting with another that you don't KNOW has had slow leaks in the past.

Of course how nasty the flood water was is an issue too. If you were downstream from the city sanitation plant and it flooded fergitaboudit! If it was pretty much rainwater and mud, then I know (In the words of W.C.Fields - Fish f*** in it!) it's still nasty but perhaps not insurmountable, especially if it was drained quickly and left open. Pull out all the furniture and wipe down with a bleach/water solution. Peel up the inside walls, throw out the insulation and replace after spraying with fungicide/bleach. Remove belly pan, and all insulation. Inspect floor top and bottom, seal with Rot Doctor etc. Blow everything mechanical out under the floor, brakes, axles tank valves, etc. Re-lube bearings, check everything electrical, put in a new inverter, get a mattress and go camping. A good flood restoration company could probably DO the work for you if you could afford it, or at least sell you the right cleaning materials.

Good luck, Paula
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:24 PM   #11
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My parents lost their first Airstream that way - the water level came up just above the flooring. It was totaled, too. (Of course, ours wasn't a restoration project nor our home.) Sorry to hear about your loss.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ganaraska View Post
How could a flood destroy your trailer? Why is it not possible to clean, dry everything out, and possibly replace some items like carpet and certain electrical appliances?

I have some experience repairing flooded houses and vehicles. It is a lot of work but not that complicated especially if you get at it right away.
The issue with an Airstream is the floor - it's all wood, and it all has to come out, and to do that everything inside the trailer has to come out... Additionally, they need something to live in while all that is happening.
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