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Old 07-09-2020, 08:50 AM   #1
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1960 Travel Trailer Sunk by River Flooding

I'm new to this site. My brother's RV has been sunken ca. 4' into a pit by river flooding. It's been sitting in this same spot for more than 20 years, is/was attached to a septic tank, and is very close to his well pump house. He tried to find an affordable (<$1,000) tower in his area to no avail. Recovery isn't his goal; it's getting it out of the hole and putting another in its place.

We've considered removing all furniture, windows, tanks, fixtures and siding, then burning it in place (with proper notification to the fire dept). It's located in a rural area on 5 nonwooded acres outside Standish, Mich.

Does anyone have any alternative ideas? The one RV restoration place I called said, "No thanks".
Thanks in advance for any guidance you can provide.
Carol Fink
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Old 07-09-2020, 08:59 AM   #2
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Tow truck? Years ago due to high wind our TT was blown off a 4 foot wall into our back yard. Took a big tow truck to lift and pull it out.

Don and Lorri
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Old 07-09-2020, 09:02 AM   #3
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Bulldozer or excavator and take the debris to a landfill?
2020.5 r-Pod 180
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Old 07-09-2020, 09:20 AM   #4
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I have heard of rancher friends that have just bulldozed stuff like that into the ground and pushed dirt over..going to eventually break down..
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Old 07-09-2020, 09:58 AM   #5
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Call the local fire department and ask them a about doing a controlled burn for training purposes. I'd rather have the experts do it and help train some new recruits. Also if you do it yourself you may have repercussions.
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Old 07-09-2020, 10:37 AM   #6
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Tow trucks don't like to go off hard surface and chance ending up like your trailer. And if you did remove it from the hole, I'm sure there would be no tires left to get it any further. If you burn it, you will still have a large percentage of the trailer left and more difficult to deal with.
Jim & Connie, Edmond Oklahoma
2000 Monaco Signature Classic FD/SO 42' / 1969 VW Bug or 2500HD
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Old 07-09-2020, 10:40 AM   #7
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Pull it out!
There gotta be someone around that can do it.
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Old 07-09-2020, 10:42 AM   #8
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Use a tractor such as a CAT on treads (not tires) and pull the sucker out. Then once on stable ground, you can haul it to a landfill/junkyard, etc. You can rent the tractor or perhaps a neighbor has one and will be willing to help pull it out.
Elbridge Price, 1998 Dutch Star Diesel Pusher
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Old 07-09-2020, 12:13 PM   #9
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This brought a smile.....

We were going to do a volunteering gig of ranch sitting. We pulled into the gate and the owner met us. He showed us where to park. We backed in and immediately the driver's side rear dropped through an old septic tank. Being a rancher he had everything to be used and it took 2 days to build a RR tie ramp under the tire so we could drive out. Absolutely no damage, amazingly. It was an awesome gig by the way - 10,000 acres to ourselves!

So for your issue, would it be possible to dig down to the tires and do a ramp to pull it out?
Full-timed for 16 Years . . .
Traveled 8 yr in a 2004 Newmar Dutch Star 40' Diesel
& 8 yr in a 33' Travel Supreme 5th wheel
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Old 07-09-2020, 12:34 PM   #10
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I recently met a fellow in this same predicament. He has some '70's campers on his land he needs to go away. There's no burning anything around here with the risk of wildfire. The problem he's run into they're too rotten to move. You could probably go through the trouble of jacking it up and putting a temporary axle on it but there's no telling if the thing won't just fall apart at the first twist or bump.

These things aren't that robust even when they're new. My vote would be to remove what items you care to keep and a few well placed thumps with a 5lb sledge and application of a sawzall will have the walls down in a few minutes. A "demo party" with 12oz lubrication may attract some helpers. Stack the frame and panels (sides, ends, roof) on a car trailer and make a trip to the local dump. The frame can go in the steel recycle pile, the rest gets bulldozed.

A few weeks ago I replaced a utility shed that was constructed a whole lot better than a travel trailer, and this was the exact sequence of events I used.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
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Old 07-09-2020, 02:00 PM   #11
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You might have some sellable parts. Get on a vintage forum or FB group and see what people need. They are looking for reusable parts like windows, lights, appliance parts, door locks and so on. You might even be able to sell the exterior sheeting if its carefully removed.

A couple of my distant cousins disassembled a class A in their back yard. Recycled or sold what they could, had a dumpster for what they couldn't recycle, and finally sold the bare frame and running gear.

It just depends on how much time and effort you are willing to invest.
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Old 07-09-2020, 02:23 PM   #12
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Get a roll off trash container from the local disposal company and then rent a mini excavator with a thumb. Great toy to play around with and you will have it gone in a day.
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Old 07-09-2020, 02:36 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by kcdogger View Post
Get a roll off trash container from the local disposal company and then rent a mini excavator with a thumb. Great toy to play around with and you will have it gone in a day.
This is exactly how I would do it. I was about to post the same thing.
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Old 07-10-2020, 06:52 AM   #14
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We had a 50-60's era trailer sitting on blocks for a good 40+ years up in Gaylord, MI. I thought it would just fall apart when they tried to move it, but they pulled it onto a flatbed trailer and hauled it off. Restored it in under 6 months.

My point: this one looks in better shape. I would list it on Craigslist. I think most any good 4 wheel drive or tractor could get it out of the hole if you get a ramp in there. They don't weigh much.

Still looking for the ideal Newmar DP!
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