June 03, 2010

I'm BAAAAAACK!!!!!!

Well - we had a fantastic camping trip. #3 did fantastic! The other kids have some scrapes, bumps and bruises, and are sporting Band-Aids on their knees, and minor sunburns. The camper was great, but I'm glad we only had to live in those 200 square feet for 4 1/2 days, and not for our whole lives!

We enjoyed both the conveniences of the camper and the joy of being "one with nature". We came home with 2 duffle bags full of campfire-smoke-infused clothing, which, thanks to my AWESOME washing machine are now clean and soft and good-smelling again after only one wash cycle.

We had one major mishap...and it was quite literally like making it through an entire weekend of skiing unscathed until you're walking to your car, and you slip on the one patch of ice and break your leg...

We knew of a place in a large town to the South of us that is a dealer for the manufacturer of our trailer - the only one in our State actually - and had decided to stop there to meet them, and find out if it would be worthwhile to take our camper there for large service repairs or to handle them ourselves. We wound our way from the highway to their lot, and turned in, pulling our camper behind our truck. We had to drive the ENTIRE lot, which was TINY and tightly packed with not just trailers, but cars, trucks and a few motorcycles. As we came around a corner, we said "Hey, this is tight, let's be careful and keep an eye out for clearance"...no sooner had we said this then we heard a sickening sort of crunch, and knew, without a doubt that we had a parked vehicle.

I'm not sure if it's a blessing or not at this point, but the car in question was a used vehicle for sale that was parked on their lot. No one was injured, we had no damage to our truck or trailer (the underside of the trailer frame clipped the front bumper and tore it up a bit), and the general manager and staff were incredibly understanding under the circumstances.

We were shaken, angry, upset, frustrated, perturbed, sickened, saddened, and guilt-ridden with each other and ourselves. I told BB to take the 2nd driveway instead of the 1st. Had he ignored me and turned in sooner, we would merely have taken up space in the lot. Had I paid closer attention to the situation, or offered to get out and guide him, we would not have hit the car. Had we just said "let's go home" we never would have been there...you know how it goes after something bad happens that you KNOW could have been avoided if only...

Well, after all the "if only" scenarios played through my head in the last 48 hours, we've filed a claim, our insurance company will have an authorize claim specialist go down there, take their own photos, and get an estimate from an authorized body shop, and then begin the negotiations with the dealer and their body shop as to what will be covered...our insurance policy is wonderful in that the damage is covered under our liability portion and we don't have a penny to pay out of pocket at this time. No deductible. PHEW!

The downside is that after all is said and done with this claim, our policy on the truck will be reviewed and updated accordingly - which means that our premium will go up to a new dollar amount, and will remain there for whatever amount of time it takes to be deemed "accident free" by them again.

Good news - we've not had a claim on the truck in almost 10 years, and NO claims on any other vehicles or our home ever. No moving violations, no parking tickets, nada!

My hope and prayer is that our insurance company will see that in the last decade we've had nothing filed, and will not raise our premium too terribly much. Like maybe only the accident-free discount will go away and that's all. And that it will only be for 12 months and then we can get it back...

Pray during this time that the dealership will be honest and ethical and not try to claim more damage than what was actually done to the vehicle.

they were pretty cool while we were there - performing some adjustments for us at no charge, being very civil and seemingly understanding, but sometimes people surprise you...

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