Motorhome purchased on Craigslist explodes

In recent posts I reported that four small dogs died and an RV was destroyed in a fire caused by a propane space heater, space heaters destroyed pets and RVs in two separate fires, and six other RV fires resulted in two deaths.

buyer_bewareAir Force veteran Thomas Graley was driving a newly purchased motorhome through Phoenix when flames started shooting through the floor.

“I was coming down the road and the engine just caught on fire,” Graley told
“All of the sudden flames just started coming out of the pedals,” added Graley’s wife, Candy.

The Graleys have been down on their luck. Air Force veteran Thomas Graley lost his job when the cellphone company he worked for merged with another company. They bought the motorhome so they would have a place to live as well as a vehicle.

“They foreclosed on my house and repoed my car so we bought this so I would have someplace to live,” he said with tears in his eyes.

Today, the Air Force veteran was able to sift through the rubble of the vehicle to salvage a few personal belongings, but nearly everything he owned was destroyed in the fire, reports.

The Graleys found the motorhome listed on Craigslist.

“It seemed like a good vehicle for the price,” Thomas Graley said.

The couple excitedly handed over their life savings of $1,000 to the Craigslist seller to purchase the motorhome so they could drive to Ohio to visit their daughter, who is due to give birth in February.

fraudPrevention“He said that it ran good and that it was road worthy and would make it to Ohio,” Candy Graley said.

Instead, the motorhome made it just a few miles before catching fire.

The Graleys have attempted to contact the seller numerous times with no response. 3TV went to the address listed for the Craigslist seller, but no one answered the door.

Unfortunately, the Graleys probably do not have much legal recourse, according to Phoenix attorney Brent Kleinman.

“Most likely he won’t be able to get any of his money back,” Kleinman said.

Kleinman said because the transaction occurred between two private parties, the seller did not have a duty to find defects in the motorhome.

“You’re buying that vehicle as is,” Kleinman said.

“The only recourse you have is if they try to intentionally deceive you.”

Thomas Graley said because the motorhome was brand new, it was not insured yet. So he believes he will be out his home, his vehicle, and the money he spent to purchase the motorhome.

“It was a thousand dollars,” he said.

“To other people it may seem like a small amount, but to us it was everything we had.”

Buyer Beware

The following core rules for using Craigslist are courtesy

Beware of the many scams that users may try. The Craigslist domain is known for counterfeit money orders, bad checks, stolen merchandise, and damaged goods.

Used is a keyword for stolen on Craigslist. Many people have located items stolen from them on the site.

rvThere are criminals who use Craigslist. Since criminals use Craigslist always meet in safe places to mitigate the chances of being victimized.

Follow your instincts when using Craigslist. Sometimes things just, “feel right” and sometimes things feel, “all wrong”. When using the Craigslist domain there are often warning signs that make a user, ‘feel’ like something is wrong before they discover they have been scammed.

If you do not feel totally comfortable with a transaction, wait one day. If the buyer or seller cannot wait it’s probably a bad deal.

Do not accept personal checks or money orders from Craigslist users. Craigslist has alerts about the check fraud that happens in the domain. Do not accept personal checks because of the risk of fraud. Many users make fake checks and money orders or forge blank ones to commit their scams.

Use similar caution when buying or selling on eBay.

Worth Pondering…

Travel safely…and stay away from road-gaiters and orange barrels.

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Organizing an Amazing Trip for Your Music Students

Taking any group of young people abroad can be daunting.

Youth Group Music & Concert Trips
Youth Group Music & Concert Trips

Incorporating musical performances can make it even more complicated, but with help you can arrange an unforgettable experience for your music students. This is how one group enjoyed their trip to Venice.

Planning and Problems
When the idea of a musical field trip to Italy was first suggested, it seemed like an unachievable dream. Mr. Martin knew that the opportunity to perform to people in another country would be a fitting reward for all their hard work and would motivate his choir to put even more into their rehearsals and performances. It was decided that Venice would be an excellent destination and planning started in earnest.

Enlisting the assistance of a modern language teacher to help with the arrangements seemed like an excellent idea, but language was not the only difficulty when it came to arranging an itinerary and booking suitable venues. It became apparent that professional help was needed, so Mr. Martin contacted a specialist travel firm who were able to smooth the way and help with all the practicalities.


Youth Group Music & Concert Trips
Youth Group Music & Concert Trips

The company arranged for the choir to perform in a various venues during their week in Venice. The choir stayed in the popular resort of Lido di Jesolo where there is a purpose built stage on the Piazza Aurora.

This was where their first performance took place. Although they were nervous, the choir enjoyed singing to the holidaymakers of many different nationalities and the experience helped to prepare them for the highlight of their trip, singing in the Basilica San Marco in St Mark’s Square. Here they were able to join in at Mass, an experience they will never forget.

They were also able to take part in an afternoon concert at the Church of San Giovanni in nearby Bragora. Antonio Vivladi was baptised here in 1641.

Other activities

Although the trip was primarily about music, the members of the choir were able to enjoy many different activities in and around Venice. As well as arranging performance venues and times, the travel company had suggested visits and experiences for their free time as well.

One of the highlights was the boat trip around the islands of the Venetian lagoon. They visited the colorful island of Burano, famous for lacemaking and Murano where they were able to see the famous glassmakers at work.

One day was spent exploring the city of Venice itself. They were able to walk around the narrow streets and visit some of the most famous buildings in the city such as the Bridge of Sighs and the Campanile di San Marco. They also took the vaporetto, or water bus, the length of the Grand Canal. This is a cheaper option than hiring a gondola and enables visitors to soak up the atmosphere of the city.

Youth Group Music & Concert Trips to Liguria
Youth Group Music & Concert Trips to Liguria

This was the first music trip the choir had been on, but it was so successful that they intend to repeat the experience next year and are considering either the Black Forest or the Rhine Valley in Germany.


Peter Smith writes regularly on travel with a special emphasis on educational and activity holidays. He has written for various educational blogs and websites and has worked as an adviser to specialist travel companies such as

Worth Pondering…

Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.

—Maya Angelou

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