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CAPTNDAVIE 08-17-2005 08:04 PM

Found a trailer but owner is unknown?
I found a '95 diner that was gutted of most of the interior. Was a radio stations and they had the equipment removed. It is at the guys place that removed the equipment. He won't get rid of it as it doesn't belong to him, but the radio station says it doesn't belong to them. I was thinking it would be cool to build the interior to my liking if I could get it. It would really need some work as there are a few dents and such. Anybody have any suggestions?

overlander63 08-17-2005 08:22 PM

Run the VIN

Originally Posted by CAPTNDAVIE
I found a '95 diner that was gutted of most of the interior. Was a radio stations and they had the equipment removed. It is at the guys place that removed the equipment. He won't get rid of it as it doesn't belong to him, but the radio station says it doesn't belong to them. I was thinking it would be cool to build the interior to my liking if I could get it. It would really need some work as there are a few dents and such. Anybody have any suggestions?

write down the VIN, and check with your local tag office or law enforcement. See if they will give you the name/address of the last registered owner. Good luck.

CAPTNDAVIE 11-17-2009 10:48 PM

It has been 4 yrs and 3 kids since I first posted this topic. I did get a little info on the trailer. Apparently there was one company that owned the radio station and they sold to another company. The company that sold no longer is in the radio business and I am having a hard time trying to locate anyone from there. The radio station does not exist anymore. And I have left a message with the second companys person who handles their property and never recieved a return call. I am back in the chase now and will be making some calls tommorrow. Oh and by the way, I went to license plate agency and they gave me a form and could not tell me anything. And by the looks of the form I don't think they will even if I fill it out. Some kind of confidentiality crap. I have a friend who recently had a DMV guy inspect an antique vehicle and I plan to contact this guy as well as contact the main state office. And I am going to try to get somewhere with the second company and hopefully someone there will know something.

The trailer itself is in pretty rough shape. It has set outside approx 10 yrs. It has at least three holes in the roof. Just about every corner is banged up. And I am sure the floor is in bad shape with the rain coming in it. The guy that did the radio equip removal said the frame was damaged. I couldn't tell if it was but it is hard to get under it with all the weeds.

But, I want this stupid trailer and I can't get it out of my head. It has the big door at the back and is a fresh canvas to work with. I can build it however I want. I like the idea of the back door because I could put bikes or canoe and things like that in it easily. Plus lots of windows and I like the idea of being able to look outside.

I did a little work on this pic to see what it could look like. There is a large opening at the rear that I assume a generator was located.

c177tx 11-17-2009 11:07 PM

In Texas you can have the land owner post it for a sheriff's sale to recoup storage fees, It will be sold at auction to cover the storage fees of the land owner, it can then be re-titled. There are certain procedures to follow and it will take a few months, but once all the I's are dotted and T's crossed you could have the title to that trailer. A friend has done that on an old glider that someone left for him to store years ago, he was unable to locate a current address so a registered letter was sent to the last known address, this can also be acomplished by posting a notice in a local newspaper's clasified section, then after a set time the Sheriff will come out to where the item is stored and auction the item off. The auction is open the public, but hardly no one will attend. It was auctioned for 10.00 dollars, the land owner was the one to bid on it and paid himself the 10.00 dollars and was able to get title for the glider I believe there are some filing fees but if I recall it was not to much money. Check with your local Sheriff or state law enforcement, another person to check with would be your local wrecker yard, they ofter have these types sales on wrecked vehicles.

Mexray 11-17-2009 11:26 PM

In Calif it's called a 'lien sale'... essentially as noted above...the person or company that's got 'storage' charges files the proper documentation with DMV, and has to post an ad in a local newspaper, I believe. When the legal time period has elapsed, and the original owner hasn't responded, the 'storage' outfit can apply for a new title.

I would think all States would have some similar 'Lien Sale' procedure...

wow - that would be a mighty BIG project to resurrect...and I sure wouldn't pay very much for something in that bad condition, if anything! Maybe once the title's cleared, you could get it for the 'tow away' price - get it out of here & It's yours...:D

That sure looks like a special build by Airstream - it would be fun to know it's history, with the original s/n, perhaps you can find some records...good luck!

CAPTNDAVIE 11-20-2009 01:26 PM

DMV was of no help. Basically, due to federal driver's privacy protection act I do not qualify to get the info on the last titled owner. They said to just do good ole detective work. Well I know that the original company is gone. I do not believe the second company is going to claim to have owned it and may possibly never have. The guy whose property it is on has hard feelings about it because of getting screwed in the deal. Plus he is the type that will just let it sit. I was able to get the info I did from his wife. So I don't think he will ever pursue legal actions. That is primarily why I was trying to correctly identify who it was last titled to.

CAPTNDAVIE 11-20-2009 01:35 PM

Question, Where would the registration card be located on/in the trailer? Duh. Why didn't I think of this sooner?

Stefrobrts 11-20-2009 02:11 PM

Neat trailer, I love all the windows - though from a practical perspective it will be a bear to keep warm/cool with all that glass. But I still think it's an awesome project.

I think you are going to have a hard time getting this without the cooperation of the guy who's property it is sitting on. Isn't he interested in getting a little money out of it, rather than letting it rot? You could warn him that the worse it gets, the less it's worth, he should work with you now to unload it.

If he would sell it to you with a bill of sale and you applied for a lost title, then the state would probably work with you. I had a boat I bought like that, the state told me who the last owner was, I contacted them through registered mail, they didn't respond, and a few weeks later I had a new title in my name.

Good luck! I'd love to see you get it and see more of this project.

kennethowens 11-20-2009 02:14 PM

Does it have the old license plates on it?

They can tell you who registered it last
if they are still on there.

CanoeStream 11-20-2009 02:25 PM

This should be like a disaster renovation in a tough neighborhood -- a dollar and it's yours. Turning it to camping use would involve broad skills including plumbing, adding tanks, propane work. Discount your labor to $1/hour and you just might be ahead of the game buying a brand new gold anodized Classic.

Grass growing up around the trailer would amplify the effects of other leaks. If you go for it just remember -- "People who live in glass houses shouldn't..." :rolleyes:


Where would the registration card be located on/in the trailer?
Is there an Airstream badge to the right of the door? My 2006 Safari has the VIN plate low on the roadside at the first rib arch. You are looking for a VIN similar to this format - Airstream, Inc :: 90s. The 2nd location for the VIN may be stamped on top of the curbside A-frame -- right behind where the gas tanks would be on a normal Airstream. A custom job like this? Anything goes...

2airishuman 11-20-2009 02:42 PM


Originally Posted by CAPTNDAVIE (Post 171024)
...Anybody have any suggestions?

let's c...

u wanna FIND the owner and need help, but NO ONE directly linked 2 it knows...

or maybe they just don't wanna help YOU with the info.

so u p-choped OUT all interior/exterior markings in the pics posted, while asking for owner identifying details?


i dunno, but there have been a lot of...

"help me take/part out this abandoned trailer, or tow it away, but it's not mine and i can't find an owner or title" threads...

look like THAT one belongs to the jolly green giant.

what's the plan for it?

or just need some windows for other units?


CAPTNDAVIE 11-20-2009 02:46 PM

I found the vin number. What I am looking for is if there is a place specifically to store the registration card that is issued by the state. If I could find it then it would tell me owner and address.

CAPTNDAVIE 11-20-2009 02:58 PM

I am not interested in parting out or taking this. I am looking to figure out who it is legally titled to so that I can try to contact them. I know some of the history of the unit and believe I know who or what company owned/owns it. My problem lies in that the DMV cannot give that info out. So I don't know where to turn. Its not like the good old days when they would tell you every person who ever owned it.

VIKING 11-20-2009 03:02 PM

Why, it's probably in the tow vehicle glove box, where I keep mine!
There is a way to find the owner of this thing, but it looks like way more project than pleasure to me. It is rather unique looking. Kind of like a bus with two rear ends. Possesion is 9/10ths of the law, or so I've heard: try buying the possesion of the rig from the guy who now has it, haul it to your property, and pursue the title issue as if it was left on your property to begin with(underhanded approach) or deal with the guy who has it to act as his agent with respect to the lien sale. Give him a few dollars for the opportunity to try and sort out the title issue yourself. The DMV will help you if the circumstances are presented to them in a way they understand. They are able to do this when there is a drive-away parking lot accident, and in some other cases. A sympathetic person at DMV could let you know a effective way to approach this.
Think of all the money you could make just by parting out the windows!

Good luck,
Rich the Viking

kennethowens 11-20-2009 03:08 PM

VIKING...I had the same thought...sorta.

Print a "Bill of sale" with as much info as you can.
Go to the current property owner and offer him a cash
deal. If yes, have him sign the "bill of sale" and drag the heap home.
Sort the rest out later.

redstart 11-20-2009 03:28 PM


if you get it you should go buy the wrecked radio airstream at colaw's for parts (if there are any good ones left on it)...

scroll down to the second post pics.

2airishuman 11-20-2009 03:53 PM


Originally Posted by CAPTNDAVIE (Post 773679)
...Its not like the good old days when they would tell you every person who ever owned it.

and thank goodness for THAT.

for all we know U might be trying to find the owner for nefarious reason.

OR maybe this is all just foreplay to an eeeebay listing.

the ISSUE is u r trying to FIND a PERSON (who knows why) that may not want to be found, and came here for that?


Originally Posted by CAPTNDAVIE (Post 773679)
...I am looking to figure out who it is legally titled to so that I can try to contact them...

My problem lies in that the DMV cannot give that info out...

with GOOD reason too!

it's a LESSON folks here should learn B4 giving out contact information WITHOUT the contact's permission.

the questions asked are just strange...

"where's the registration kept?" to get the owners address?

well WHERE DO YOU keep your vehicle registrations ??

i might just wanna stop by and shop your stuff...

eventually some1 will be posting HOW TO ILLEGALLY take this trayla...

oh, wait i see that's already happening.


Stefrobrts 11-20-2009 07:02 PM

No one is talking about illegally taking this trailer, this guy is trying to determine who is the owner of an abandoned trailer, which is sitting in the weeds with vines growing in it. As you pointed out, this sort of thing has been discussed before, it's not that uncommon a situation. The trailer having belonged to a business which no longer exists certainly complicates things.

Gene 11-20-2009 07:40 PM

If you know the name of the company that owns it, and they are out of business, you can check state records. Many states have information about corporations and other business entities, even ones who have gone out of business on the Secretary of State's website. Trade names can also be checked. You can look up corporations that were dissolved for nonpayment of annual fees decades ago and find out from their documents (also posted online) who the principals in the company were, addresses, and such. It might lead to dead ends or not, but it's a place to start. I expect that because Cal. is such a big state, there will be many similar names. Some states have trade names ("d/b/a's", "doing business as" are another name for it) at the county level instead.

These are all public records.

States have abandoned property laws that allow someone to make a claim on property. Usually that means the state takes possession in some manner and if no one claims the property in some specified time, the finder can have it. This can take quite a lot of time, but every state handles it differently. Since it sits on someone's land, he probably has the best abandoned property claim and if he doesn't care, you may be stuck unless you can convince his wife to take care of the claim and you help with the paperwork. You could buy it conditioned on the people receiving clear title someday and I would think that would be the best way to handle it. Any money would be handed over upon receiving the title. Make sure you specify how it is to be removed.

That's the easy part. It may have to be trucked out of there on a flatbed and very carefully because it may be in such bad condition it could fall apart. I haven't gotten to the hard part yet: restoring it. It looks like you like a challenge.


2airishuman 11-20-2009 07:40 PM

but you cannot verify even 1 item in your post OR the o.p.

and it HAS been suggested that POSSESSION is the route, which means TAKING IT. see post 14/15.

NO one here knows IF it's abandoned OR if the owner WANTS to be found.

and NO one here knows what the o.p. is up to (no offense) except the stated goal if FINDING a PERSONS address and phone #.


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