Where RV's Go to Die. RV Salvage Yard Lessons from RV Fires, Accidents & Blowouts | RV Life

(saddening music) – [Julie] We needed a replacement basement door for our motorhome, CC So we took a drive to an RV salvage yard in Kentucky There we found and learned a lot more than we expected This place is basically where RV’s go to die (dynamic music) – [GPS] Turn right (saddening music) – It’s appropriate that Visone RV’s entrance is right next to an actual cemetery ‘Cause this is where RV’s come to die Right next door to where people go after they die Go Visone RV, it’s a, they do rentals But it’s primarily a salvage yard for RV’s and they cater to higher-end RV’s as well It’s mostly motorhomes, look at ’em It’s a humongous facility, but like, here’s a great example right here It’s a little Newmar Dutch Star, seems to have had an engine fire And ah – [Julie] It’s a bit sad isn’t it? – It is a bit sad – [Julie] There’s a towbar, couple of ’em – Looks like they’re customers – [Julie] Yeah I think they’re just customers come in because he’s got it towed on the back – Yep those might be customers – [Julie] Oh man, look at that – Another engine fire – [Julie] Oh! – Look at this one! That’s big time (feet crunching through wreckage) – [Julie] Oh my God! Now the purpose of sharing this video is not to scare you It’s not to make you afraid of buying, traveling, or living in an RV But, it is to show you a reality of life that you may not usually get to see (vibrant music) Like anything in life, things happen Storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires, accidents It can happen to cars, trucks, homes, boats, and it happens to RV’s too So this was a pretty rare and unusual experience so we wanted to share it with you and give you a look behind the scenes of an RV graveyard Bit different to a house fire, like, they just go up so fast – What’s this? – [Julie] It’s the year, 19, 39th coach they’ve bought this year (engine roaring) – [Marc] Old Roach – [Man] Right – Just collects them anytime they– – [Man] A week about, or something (Julie laughing) – [Julie] So this is a, what is it? A 2000 Country Coach Intrigue Wow, they just like left all their stuff behind – [Marc] It’s an engine fire – [Julie] You can still smell it I wonder how long it’s been here God look It’s got like left their candles, toaster, look at this Mashed potatoes on the counter You can’t really see it (feet crunching through junk) Like you live a life in a motorhome that goes up in flames and just leave literally leave everything All their kids, it was a family – [Marc] Yeah it does seem very– – [Julie] They had games – [Marc] Leave all the stuff – [Julie] As it turns out, the Country Coach basement door wasn’t a fit for our RV but we didn’t exactly walk away empty-handed We learnt a lot driving around the property with Kenneth and walking a lot with Mike where we got to learn a lot more about why some of these RV’s end up here This place is huge with almost 1,500 motorhomes spread across around 100 acres in pretty much three main sections Every brand, every size, every kind of motorhome you can think of Visone isn’t really open to the public, we managed to get a special permission to do a tour and get escorted around the property but basically they deal with almost all their customers by phone And literally, if you’re looking for a part on your motorhome and if they don’t have it in the warehouse they can go out to the yard and they know what they have and they know where it is

and they just go out there and take it off If it’s a basement door or something that isn’t already in the warehouse and they’ll just ship the parts to you (whimsical music) Holy cow Visone RV Part’s claims to have the world’s largest selection of used RV parts and motorhome parts for sale How it works is they buy salvage RV’s and transport them to their facility in Kentucky where they strip them of undamaged engine, battery, generators, furniture and other valuable parts which goes into their warehouse They then leave the rest on the RV on their enormous lot Basement doors, panels, et cetera, and when a customer calls looking for a particular part on an RV, they just simply go out in the yard and find it – [Man] Around that mountain and goes around, back around there – [Julie] You even get it all there There’s a Tiffin Jesus (spooky music) – Got to make the best out of it no matter where you’re at – That’s right – [Julie] Now, keep in mind, this place has been collecting old salvage RV’s for over 10 years There are literally millions of RV’s out there and this place has close to 1500 of them Mostly motorhomes as you’ll see as typically towables like fifth wheels and travel trailers either don’t stand up as well to severe damage or they just don’t have enough value left in them that’s worth salvaging after an incident So this likely also explains a lot of why motorhomes are much more expensive than most towables with all the construction and components that go into them So what they do when they bring them out here to this yard is they strip them of the batteries and the engines and everything like that so they’re pretty much just the bodies, the shells sitting out here now with the related parts and doors and things like that what’s still remaining and salvageable Presumably other valuable stuff they’d put in the warehouse which we’re going to take a look at in a minute We just wanted to get this drone up in the air before the rain Something like close to 1500 motorhomes here on over 100 acres of property here in East Bernstadt in Kentucky (dynamic music) Apparently on these motorhomes they’ve still got parts That’s still worth something to someone especially if you’ve got an older one and they don’t make ’em anymore So, yeah Definitely a very sobering experience being here The vast majority seems to be things like a, this looks pretty obvious it’s a fridge fire to me Engine fires Air conditioning fires and a lot that come in from an accident is from blow outs from the front tires So even if your tires look to be okay, they could just be old and compromised and if you have a blow out, man That could end badly I don’t know what happened to this Airstream It’s like it was in an accident and rolled or something This one’s all the way along the back This stays together more than most travel trailers would, they’d just completely disintegrate but the Airstream’s, yeah, a little bit more intact This one’s been here a while 2011 Flexeril seats have seen better days Of course I’m not sharing all of this to scare anyone

off RVing, I meant this is a fact of life There are wreckers yards for cars all over the country I guess this just feels a little different because we live in these things Or those of us that full-time or part-time do extended travel It’s more than just a vehicle to get you from A to B It’s often just, is your home, your office, your life as it is for us But definitely, definitely a sobering reminder of just how fragile they are You know, just how easily they can disintegrate or go up in flames or become destroyed if they’re in an accident How easily they can be totaled Revolution Man, fire is so destructive For travel Apparently a whole bunch of RV’s here just got picked up and flipped all on top of each other so a lot of the damage that we see in here may not even be what happened when it was out on the road! And this one looks like it was either in a really bad accident or is one of these motorhomes that was tossed about through that tornado It is bent up The glass has stayed together from the windshield This frame Oh this is a Newmar Couldn’t even identify it until I saw this This has been here since 2014 See, basement doors have already gone so This is the fiberglass Here’s a Tiffin Allegro Red Oh Yeah I’m not going inside there Oh man Fire – Some of these are pretty sad stories – [Julie] As you’ll see, many RV’s end up in a salvage yard like this because of fires The most common causes are RV fridge fires, engine fires, electrical fires But before you panic, keep in mind that most RV’s are not lived in full-time So a lot of these fires happen when no one is in them anyway, say, if they’re in storage And it’s suspected that some RV fires are, well, not so innocent It’s pretty rare that people are inside of these RV’s or at least unable to escape when a fire like this happens Living the dream! More like a nightmare now (Marc laughing) Wow – Depending on their insurance they might be living the dream – [Man] That’s Morgan Shepherd’s motorhome he traded in on the end there – [Julie] Some some RV’s end up here after an accident but 95% of them are caused by tire blow outs and usually from tires that have aged out And a powerful reminder of why it’s so important to take care of your RV tires and change them when they’ve aged out, usually in the five to seven year mark The more you take care of your tires and prioritize their safety, the less likely you are to have a tire blow out – [Marc] Have you driven vans? – I’ve been all over the country picking up these homes too – [Marc] Oh really? – Yeah, used to haul cars before we started doing these – Oh and it’s nice to get paid to all the driving – It costs us money to drive around (Marc laughing) (somber music) – So we’re inside one of ’em right now This is a Monaco Diplomat It had a fridge fire and it really took hold of the whole roof here and things have melted off the ceiling, under the cabinets It’s, ah It feels eerie when you step inside one of these, it’s a very different experience to coming inside to smell it and feel it and just know this was somebody’s home or at least their vacation vehicle You can still see a lot of their stuff inside here It’s interesting to come inside it It’s a very different feel to come inside then to see a picture – [Julie] Careful – It’s a little dangerous in here with all the melted plastic coming down from the ceiling but who knows when or where

this thing caught on fire but, you know, these things can have a fire at anytime I remember in the news there was a Country Coach storage facility where a whole bunch of RV’s got destroyed So it doesn’t necessarily mean someone was in it at the time (cupboard doors closing) – The fire seems to have happened at the back of this fridge here I don’t want this to be instilling people with fear or terror or anything That is not the purpose of this video but just to show you something that you may not otherwise normally get a chance to see We’ve certainly never seen anything like this before today There’s still a lot intact Trashed but intact if that makes sense Yeah Mike told us they’ve definitely seen a reduction in the number of RV fridge fires over the years and that’s mostly likely as a result of a few things One, we’re seeing more and more residential refrigerators in RV’s these days Two, you can actually make modifications to your RV fridge to increase its safety and three, there’s just generally more awareness of that risk so I think people have been more diligent now about taking care of their RV, their fridge, keeping an eye on things, keeping it level Things like that – 95% of the wrecks are from blow outs That makes total sense Tires, people think they look fine They go really old When we bought our motorhome it had twelve-year-old tires on it I took it straight to a tire shop Before we even put fuel in it I’m like, “New tires” – [Julie] Oh that one You you wanna know what these things are made of There you go – Yeah, that’s over two inches thick – [Mike] Yeah – [Julie] Whoah – [Mike] These are all here now Monaco Signature – [Julie] Oh yeah. An older Signature – These old Signature’s, I’ve seen a few pristine examples on the road And they are amazing We’ve seen coaches from that 2006 era selling for over 200,000 still – Yeah – I don’t know if this one would be worth that much – [Mike] No – [Julie] Hey, you could rehab it hun You could do an old RV makeover on that one Not Mike? I think the battery needs to be changed in the smoke alarm in this one, I can hear it chirping (laughing) (vibrant music) – So we got some front caps and front bumper pieces down here just laying out in the field But they all look brand new All right so we’re inside the warehouse, the stuff they’ve already stripped off of motorhomes that they know are gonna be likely things to be resold Like up behind you here there’s some fenders from tag axle motorhomes They even have all the old cabinet doors and you can have them traditional raised panel or you can make them like our coach and flip ’em I know a lot of those RV fires were from refrigerator fires but there’s plenty of examples of RV fridges that have not caused a fire That is some unique styling, there’s some lavender and pink captain chairs It takes a little bit of something out of the captain feel I think, I don’t know But we’ve got a matching pink couch for whoever wants that captains chair So this is totally cool They’ve got all these diesels and they’ve stripped the motors out of ’em before they took them out in the field Look at all these engines You’ve got the big red one, the big Cummins Yellows, all the Caterpillar engines Pretty cool