I rented a enclosed travel trailer that I pulled with my 2010 Dodge Ram to travel from Washington state to Virginia. Since this trip was scheduled during January 2013 I had safety a safety inspection completed by the dealer. Keep in mind that I own a 32 foot travel trailer already so loading and pulling the trailer even in the winter conditions was something I was prepared for.
I have a braking kit installed on my truck but learned I would not be able to use it as the trailer provided by Uhaul is equipped with its own hydraulic brake system on the tongue.
Coming off the last pass I noticed that my trailer felt very heavy; as if it was pushing me. Something was definately not right and nnormal braking did not feel safe. It took many phone calls to fianlly get uhaul to remove the trailer from my truck so that the dealership could have my truck towed and inspected. The brakes on the front and rear of my truck had burned up. I was told that the ony thing that could have happened is the braking system on the trailer must have froze up. I have verified that this is possible due to the extreme weather condition in the pass.
I filed a claim through rep west insurance provided by Uhaul. My loaded trailer was towed to the state of Maryland to be inspected and stored. I found out that my lock was busted off the trailer because they did not realize it was loaded!? They did this without contacting me in advance.
The denial letter I received from rep west stated that their investigation revealed no evidence that Uhaul or its employees were at fault and that they will not honor the claim due to a inspection of the equipment revealed it is in proper working order and it exceeded the recommended maximum capacity.
If the braking unit froze, than their inspection days later in above freezing temperatures would be inconclusive. The fact that they tampered with the trailer one would question their policies and procedures for weighing. I was told they opened the trailer not realizing it was loaded. If that is the case than how could have it been 800 pounds over weight. On one phone call it was stated that the trailer was overweight by 200 pounds and later stated it to be over by 800 pounds.
I provided the safety inspection docs for my Dodge Brakes and mileage prior to my road trip, and the invoice of the Brake repair. I kept the brake parts that showed evidence that something caused them to burn up but they had no desire to see them.
When the trailer was shipped back to Virginia I had a bad feeling about unloading it. For my lock to be busted off with no attempt to contact me as to why and when they need to do such a thing left me feeling uneasy. We were stolen from by someone and Uhaul does not want to talk about it.
At first they put a very nice gentleman in touch with me to reassure me that I had nothing to worry about and that everything will be taken care of. He was sure that the they were very sorry and as soon as they realized it was still loaded they closed it immediately and put a new lock on it. I now know the only reason why they did that was to prevent me from protecting myself. Today I realized that I should have filed a police report when my trailer was broken into.
I plan to file an AG complaint next. I feel fortunate that I am a compliance officer and have lots of experience dealing with complaints, insurance, and attorneys. I feel for those who do not as Uhaul and rep west are the kind of companies that will not do what is right unless they are forced to.
I am fortunate I documented everything! even I made some small mistakes during this process but the fact that they admit to breaking my lock off and did not tell me the moment it happened and allowed someone to steal from me is wrong. They have no intentions of personally handling the missing items. They filed anoter rep west claim on behalf of me.
One last thought their trailers nor their insurance cover water damage of any kind. All of their trailers leak to some degree or have issues with condensation build up on the interior walls. I was aware of this in advance and prepared my load in a way that would keep my items safe. The only items that were water logged was toward the intrance where my boxes and containers were rifled through and not covered back up.
Product or Service Mentioned: Uhaul Trailer Rental.