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Old 01-27-2003, 08:12 PM   #1
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Need some advise maybe a Rally of a different kind..

OK, well for most of you who have seen my somewhat sporatic dialogues on my adventures... things have settled to the pace of life once again. I am now in seattle - and beyond the fact that I still am without my furniture (previous story)... I need to garder some thoughts and ideas here.

I have been in Seattle now for roughly less than 3 weeks. I out of all places moved to Redmond becuase it is convient to where my clients are and the commute is a breeze when "on-sie" time is required. My 31 FT Airstream has been steadfastly parked out in front of my house. Wheels chocked - reflective tape, and the street is certainly wide enough to handle it and cars parked on the other side. I would of parked it in my driveway but it was 9 feet longer than it needed to be - and well for sure was worried about the safety of blocking the sidewalk.

I got a notice and a talk to from the Redmond Police about a BRAND NEW ORDINCANCE that states that "unattended vehicles" left for more than 24 hours will be towed. I explained I had just moved here and that I would do due diligence and find a spot for it (storage). Well besides working extrememly long hours - moving in - and the hunt for someplace to store it nearby (brings to thought why should I have to pay the premium for a vehicle that is piad for and duly taxed every year - and is a "officially licenced vehicle")... no places around a 20 mile area had room for my trailer at any costs below 150$ a month.

So I had made arrangements to drive hours to a large spacious spot refferred to me over on Bainbridge Island the following weekend. So I did the RIGHT THING - I called the officer whom I had spoke with - and left voicemail stating - sorry I didn't move it to the driveway but it would of been a safety hazard since it would extend over the sidewalk, that I had been looking for storage spots and begged for a little more leniency and that I was not ignoring the order.

Well this past Thursday I had to fly to NYC for business at midnite. When I got home at ten I noticed the card in my door and the "orange - warning you are being towed in 24 hours". Not much I could do at 10 at night. When I got back Sat it was gone.

$360 dollars later I pick it up from "Ken's Towing" - and lo and behold - someone had taken a crowbar to the door and tried to force their way in. The handle of the door literaly fell off in my hands that much force had been used.

So I called the Redmond Police to report vandalism associated damage, Simply got "Well we will speak to them sometime". So I did one better I brought the trailer to them.

Waited 45 minutes for someone to assist us. Then spent another 30 minutes being talked down about how it was my fault I didn't move the trailer in 24 hours. I mentioned the fact that I had called and the response was "We sir, you can't trust leaving messages most of us never get them in time - when we are off duty we are off duty so we don't have time to listen to calls" (why bother leaving business cards?) Of course their schedule is so much more important than mind that surely I can understand that when I am working around the clock... yes I have no idea what it means to be to busy on lesiure time to track and respond to those with whom I am involved with.

Finally managed to get to a point that I could bring up the damage. "Surely you are not accusing us of the damage are you sir? It would of never happened if you would of moved it in the first place." the lady LT stated. Then she pulls out the file and states that I have had complaints for at least three months against me and the trailer. "Funny", I replied, " I just moved here on the 11th of this month"...

I finally made the point that if they "impounded" the vehicle, then you are required to do a inventory. Was the door damaged before it left?

We take a walk out and show them... Well nothing we can do about it other than make an addendum on the report.

Guess they are too busy getting kickbacks from towing trailer to actually investigate real thefts and vandalism...

So it is now my WHOLEHEARTEDLY PURSUIT to go after the Towing Company and also fight this "unattended vehicle" CCR that is so discriminatorily enforced. Any one else in the area who shares tye same frustrations? Anyone elsewhere who has fought and won against the "Law of the Land"... and maybe has precedence that can be used. Where are resources I can find as I build up my fight... Takes voices to be heard at any rate...

ANd well happy Airstreaming to each and all and maybe one of these days when I finally manage to get the door open and fixed - I will be at the kind of Rally a true Airsreamer should be at...


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Old 01-27-2003, 08:36 PM   #2
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Jody, I'm so sorry that this happened to you. I live in Seattle, and have had to move my trailer to an off site campground - leaving it here indefineately is o.k. as long as it's kept up. In Seattle, the ordinance is 72 hrs of unattended park time. Kind of a two edged sword to me. There are homeless folks who camp out in our neighborhood and move every three days. Sometimes its a bit of a joke to figure out where they moved too - but also not so funny when our family gets the sexual preditor release notices, and the address lists the person as living as such. NOT to say all homeless are this way however.

Anyway, there was an article about 4 months ago about this very subject in the Seattle Times. Seems the strictist enforcement was on Eastside. One person with an SOB brand motorhome couldn't even keep it on his side yard because it was an "eyesore" to the neighbors. Unfortuneately, it is not a CC&R but an actual city ordinace..... slightly harder to change. I wonder if this policeman lived in the neighborhood? Seems kinda strange that they picked on you. Our side is more a little more lax - although I did prep the neighbors with what I was buying, and posted a note on it that it was here just temporarly while I made some repairs. One week was all I pushed it though.

How to get into your trailer - In my Argosy, the curbside storge unit opens up under the bed. To get in, open your storage door, and push up and move the mattress. Then you can get in. Post a picture of your lock, I've had to replace my L-400 AS lock. If yours is a newer model, I can help you locate a new replacement cheaper then the original. However, the older locks (like mine) are about $500.00 new, no matter where you go to find one. I got a used on for $175 at a salvage yard down south.

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Old 01-28-2003, 06:54 AM   #3
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Jody, I am going out on a limb saying this, but there is a 99% chance that personel from the towing company broke into your trailer. I have known people who work for/own towing companies, and this is one of their dirty little secrets. I know of one local company here, that repos cars, and the first thing they do, is replace batteries, tires with junk and rip out stereo systems before they go up for auction.

Back when I was single, I dated a girl whose father had a salvage operation on Lake Erie. One night we went with them to tow in a sinking pleasure boat. After the Coast Guard was out of sight with the owners, the crew "salvaged" the contents of the boat. I was shocked to see this going on, and asked the girls father about this. He told me that he had "salvage rights" on the contents. Yeah, right.

My advise is to get your Airstream out of there as soon as possible, if it is still there. Oh, and check your tires and battieries.
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Old 01-28-2003, 10:55 PM   #4
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I had gotten it out last night. Not sure if they ever actually got in it... I do not think they did as they jammed the lock further in when they attempted to crowbar it. They had thought about breaking a window as I founf the tinted glass on the front unlatched but no apparent damage. Guess in some aspects I was fortunate as I did have all my stuff out of the trailer - never the less - for someone with no time and now no reasonable access - sure saps the adventure out of owning an airstream..

Most of the ordinances do not specifically state RV's are not allowed to park. Instead they label everything with a generic "Unattended" clause which is simply a matter of interpretation by the law enforcement. Exactly what constitutes "unattended?" I literally have been in my airstream once a day on average. Secondly, we as RV'ers and Boat owners - who is it to pass judgement for those things we dully pay the premium to own?


We pay additional taxes usually on both the vehicles we use to tow as well as the Airstream. Why? Both are subject to the tax calculated on weight - or towing capacity. This additional tax is to pay for the additional wear and tear we supposedly place on the roads.

Storage Fees. Why exactly is it that a neigbor can place anything they want on the side of the road and call it a car? We all have to legally have our travel trailer inspected and that usually encompasses safety inspections. So if it is treated as a vehicle - and legally licensed - why is it treated so differently from say the neighbor two blocks down who has a collection of ratty vehicles.

Enforcement: It is apparent that enforcement is gardered only upon people with RVs. With the statute specifically stating "Unattended" vehicles - seems that only one majority of people are targetted upon. If everyone else is not pursued as equally or not at all - then the law actually is illegal - you can not enforce a law at one set of people and have the same law not apply to another set of people.

Most importantly - why are there no signs? If it is a traffic violation - as in parking - there should be signs posted to inform those not aware.

For the longest time I think we have all accepted that "we can't change the laws". Well it is time to stop being discriminated against. So what if your neighbor is perturbed by the view of a travel trailer - I am equally as distraught at looking at a 350 lbs woman in spandex - I can't get her towed when she is parked on her lawn obstructing my pleasurable view of the neighborhood - and quite honestly - my travel trailer is much more useful.

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Old 02-01-2003, 09:35 AM   #5
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Here is the picture of the damaged lock.
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Old 02-01-2003, 11:11 AM   #6
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We are not above the law ....


Not that this will help ... but I feel your pain.

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