Report: #1064096

Complaint Review: American Custom Trailers

  • Submitted: Wed, July 03, 2013
  • Updated: Fri, June 27, 2014
  • Reported By: Greg C. — Hendersonville North Carolina
  • American Custom Trailers
    209 NE 30th Court
    Wilton Manors, Florida
  • Phone: 954-790-1515
  • Web:
  • Category: Trailers

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I found American Custom Trailers on Ebay while searching for a motorcycle cargo trailer.  I was attracted to Bruce Everett's ad because he gave a very full, detailed description on the trailer he was selling.  The ad stated that the trailer had 15" wheels, Aqua Tread Tires, Only American made parts, no rivets, a cooler holder, correct wiring for any motorcycle, registration paperwork, and an average build time of 2 weeks from the time the order is placed.

I was impressed by the ad, and in spite of a zero feedback score, I elected to speak with Bruce about purchasing a trailer.  Bruce, who actually operates under the name Florida Marine AV Inc, assured me that every trailer he built, was built with only the exact parts he specified in the ad, and that he was uncompromising in quality control.  He told me that every trailer he builds is fully assembled, then personally driven by himself, then given his final "magic touch" before shipping.

Based on the ad and Bruce's assurances, I placed an order and paid $2300 for a trailer.  I mentioned to Bruce that I had a trip in two months, and he told me there would be no problem, other than that he would never ship a trailer that was not built with the exact parts he specified due to the quality of materials he used.

Where to begin.  Instread of 2 weeks, the trailer took almost 2 months.  When the trailer arrived, it had the wrong wheels and tires, it was missing the running and interior lights I paid extra for, it was missing top rails I paid extra for, it was missing the cooler rack, and it was missing a wiring harness.

The trailer does not come with paperwork to register it.  Bruce explained to me, after it was shipped, that the trailer is actually a kit, and that I would need to have it registered as a home built trailer, which adds significant hassles to getting the trailer on the road.

Bruce blamed all of the missing and incorrect parts on my "rushing" him to get the trailer out 7 weeks later than it was due to be done.  He never apologized, and wanted me to drive several hundred miles to him, to get the correct parts!  When I refused and threatened to return the trailer, he agreed to ship the correct parts.  Only a few of the parts have arrived a week later.

I have never received the correct wheels and tires, the wheel and tires sent actually rub on the fenders. 

I have never recieved the tie down rails for the top of the trailer.  There are rivets on the trailer, and there are Chinese parts.  The trailer had never been assembled, there was paint in the threads of the axle studs, and clearly Bruce would have noticed the incorrect tire size.

I'm ready to go on my trip finally, after buying correct tires locally, purchasing my own rails, installing a proper legal brake light, having the trailer inspected as a home built, and installing the lights and wiring that Bruce was suppoosed to install.  I spent almost $500 purchasing parts for my trailer that I had already paid Bruce for, in order to make the trailer road worthy.

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/03/2013 07:46 AM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Author of original report

Where to begin

AUTHOR: Greg Collins - ()

I'm not sure where to begin with a response to "Maria's" rebuttal.  "Maria" claims she was Bruce's wife at the time of my order, which is very interesting, because Bruce told me his wife was named Candy.  Bruce told me that Candy handled the office, the order paperwork, and the financials.   When I asked to speak with Candy, he became very defensive, and refused.  His behaviour was quite odd, and seemed rather inappropriate for a business man that is running a legitimate business.  Perhaps he was concerned that Candy would find out about Maria!  Perhaps "Maria" was messing around with "Hal".  Who knows! :-)

It is obvious that this rebuttal is once again Bruce trying to discredit my original post.  However, lets assume that Maria actually exists, and I will respond to her claims.

Maria points out that Bruce supposedly tests every trailer, and as Bruce put it, works his magic on them after the test drive.  Bruce assured me that he was fanatical in his attention to detail, and that every order was handled by himself personally.  "Maria" seems to be asserting the same thing here.   If this is the case, how did the "boys" managed to send the wrong trailer?  After all, Bruce supposedly tests and checks every order personally.  The trailer came with the wrong tires, mounted on the wrong rims, with no lights, no cargo rails, no wiring harness, no paperwork, and no cooler holder.  I could see that the trailer was incorrect the moment it was off loaded from the truck.  It was quite obvious, and should have been easy for Bruce to see, if in fact he does all of the things that Maria, and Bruce himself, claim to do in their ad and in person.  I accepted the shipment under the assumption that it would be easy to work with Bruce on getting the problem solved - a very big mistake on my part!  When I contacted Bruce to discuss the mistake, I was immediately berated, and told that it was entirely my fault that he shipped the wrong trailer.  He told me that I could drive hundreds of miles to Macon, Georgia, to pick up the correct parts.  When I told him that I did not feel that it was reasonable for me to have to drive to him to get the correct parts for which I had paid, he told me that I was unreasonable.  At that point, I offered to send the trailer back to Bruce the same day, in it's original unopened packaging, but Bruce refused to take it back, insisting that it was a custom order, and that I was required to take it, even if he sent the wrong trailer

Why on earth would I refuse to allow Bruce to personally bring me the correct parts???  That's a little absurd Maria.  Bruce never made such an offer.  Had Bruce been kind enough to make such an offer, there never would have been a Ripoff Report in the first place, as the problem would have been immediately resolved.

When I first placed my order, Bruce assured me the trailer would be ready within a couple weeks.  I called Bruce a month later to check on the status of my trailer.  During that conversation, Bruce suggested that I upgrade the trailer to the more expensive model he offered, and I agreed.  He assured me that the change would have no effect on the delivery time, and that I would be happy with his suggestion. so it is unfair to imply that my order change was somehow partially to blame for the mess this order became. 

I did all I could to be reasonable with Bruce, and to try to work out a compromise.  Bruce did in fact ship me some of the correct parts that where missing.  I eventually received the cooler holder, the interior lights, and the missing wire harness.  I never received the luggage rails from Bruce.  He did not have them in stack he told me, and did not know when he would receive them.   I had to order them myself from Cabela's.   I never received the correct rims or tires, and never agreed to ship anything back, though I would have gladly, had I actually ever received what I paid for.

I also had to purchase the new tires, due to the fact that the tires he shipped me rubbed against the fenders even when the trailer was not loaded.  Which leads back to Maria's claim that Bruce test drives each trailer.  Why would Bruce not fully assemble the trailer to test drive it?  What would be the purpose of test driving a partially assembled trailer?  What exactly is he testing?  Clearly the trailer was never assembled, test driven, then disassembled.  One other point, how did Bruce not notice the missing wire harness if in fact he test drove the trailer?

I did receive a $339 refund on my credit card, but only after I complained to my credit card company.  I could have demanded a full refund from my card company, and they where prepared to do that, but I did not want to do that to Bruce, in spite of his behaviour.  Bruce offered to give back some money to cover the expense of my having to buy new tires to fit under the fenders, and to buy the stainless steel rails.  Bruce made the refund offer only after I posted the original Ripoof Report, and he demanded that I remove my post.  I explained to Bruce that Ripoff Reports does not allow the removal of the originll post, and that he owed me at least $339 regardless of the post.  The tires, and the rails, cost me well over $339.  Bruce did not make the refund that he agreed to, had to contact him, and my credit card company several times to finally get the $339 we agreed to.  The closest thing Bruce ever got to a threat from me, was a call to my credit card company.  Bruce on the other hand, told me that he would have to run the refund idea past his two brothers, and that they were very unreasonable bikers that don't take kindly to people like myself.  He assured me that he agreed with me, but that he hoped they would not do anything rash.  Who is doing the threatening?  I have never experienced anything quite like what I have gone through with Bruce, and apparently now, "Maria". 

I do still have the original tires, they have never been used, and I am more than willing to deliver the tires to a UPS or FEDEX shipper if Bruce wants to have them picked up.  He told me at the time that that was not worth it to him to pay the shipping on them.  

I do still hve the trailer.  I have taken it on one trip.  2000 miles on good paved road, over on week.  When I returned from the trip, all of the paint on the frame was gone, and the frame had developed considerable surface rust.  The frame tubes are open box ends, rather than mitered corners, so all of the insides of the tubes were also rusted.  The cooler assembly cut through the tounge due to vibration.  The slipper springs had cut through the rear slipper shackles due to the pads being mounted at an incorrect distance from the fromt shackle, cause the springs to ride on the bolt heads.  The course thread sheet metal screws that where used to secure the trailer to the frame had come loose.  Two of the screws had been driven in hard enough to strip the holes they where in, causing the other two to carry all of the load.  I had to dismantle the trailer, have some welding repairs made to the axle tubes, relocate the slipper pads, and rthen strip all of the rust.  I have since repainted with zinc chromate and a proper heavy duty epoxy trailer paint, and the frame looks now is not rusting.  These repairs cost more money.  The $339 I finally got back, did not begin to cover these repairs.

I have never threatened Bruce or his family.  I have been contacted by other buyers that have been threatened by Bruce, and that have been cursed at and berated by Bruce far worse than I was.  I have also come to find out a number of things about Bruce and his operation that are of public record, and rather unnerving, that I will not post here, as this is not an appropriate forum.  I will gladly provide links to any interested party, and you can make you own conclusions.

If anyone has any questions, including Bruce or Maria, please feel free to contact me at any time!  My email is (((redacted))).  If you prefer not to converse by email, you can call me at (((redacted))) 






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#2 Author of original report

Airplane Crash

AUTHOR: Greg Collins - ()

One other thing I should mention, Maria's statement about the airplane crash is just false, and proves who actually is being disonest here.  

The flight school I own did have an aircraft crash in Hendersonville last year.  This of course has nothing to do with the trailer I purchased from Bruce, so I'm not sure why it's been mentioned here, other than that it is intended to somehow prove that my issues with this seller are invalid.  Maria claims there are newspaper reports that show that the airplane crashed due to mechanical malfunction, and that I was somehow responsible, even though I was not in the aircraft.  Is Hertz at fault when a car renter wrecks one of there cars doing something dumb?

Here is a link to the NTSB official accident report which states that there was no mechanical malfunction, and that the accident was the result of pilot error:

I challenge Maria to post a link to any news report that states that the aircraft crashed due to mechanical malfunction, or that I maintained or inspected this aircraft. 

This speaks directly to the credibility of Maria's statements.  Maria also basically admits that there have been numerous problems with Bruce's trailers reported on other sites, and that those problems were real, but of course, they were not Bruce's fault as usual. 



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#3 Author of original report

Follow Up

AUTHOR: Greg Collins - ()

After spending close to $1000 fixing the problems with my trailer, my wife and I pulled the trailer from North Carolina, to the mountains of New York, and back.  We stayed on good roads, and only encountered rain one time.  The trailer has been stored indoors in a dry garage.

The trailer now has 2000 miles on it, and is less than 2 months old.  The entire frame of the trailer is covered with rust.  The truck bed liner Bruce used to paint the frame is completely gone, and many of the welds themselves have begun to corrode.  While inspecting the frame, I discovered that the suspension springs are installed so that the back arch rides on the bolt head sholding the shackles to the frame, this is causing the bolt heads to wear away, and it is cutting into the spring. 

On our second fuel stop, we noticed a loud rattle as we pulled into a gas station.  The cooler holder assembly, which was holding a light, round type cooler, had bent, and was rubbing against the trailer tounge, causing a groove and corrosion, there was no good way to fix the problem on the road, other than to stick a piece of rubber between the cooler and the frame.

One other important note is that Bruce informed me that his "biker brothers" where very upset with me for making my first report, and he was unsure that he would be able to control them because they are very "unreasonable".  I've recieved a number of calls from other folks that have had similar encounters with Bruce, including being threatened and sworn at.

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#4 Consumer Comment

Box is cracked too

AUTHOR: Jon - ()

So, yesterday I decided to take the box off the frame so I could put the leaf spring shackles in the correct location (wer set at 22 1/2" and should be at 23 1/8"). That took about five minutes to look up. When I pulled up the bottom pad (glued down with a hot glue gun) to get to the mounting bolts I found another mess. The bolt holes in the box were severely cracked. Good thing I found this now or the box might have come off going down the road. I just hope the bleeding stops soon. Thank you Bruce Maynard Everett.. Box is at the welders with the new axel...

I also went to Ace to replace all the bolts. I showed the sales guy the old bolts and he ask me what they were for. When I told him it was for a motorcycle trailer, he asked me if I wanted to stay with grade 2 or change to grade 5. Just another thing thats make me shake my head. We also found hard rubber grauments to put between the box and frme.

I refuse to let this trailer kill me ( it has tried twice). When I get done with it, it will be safe!!! I just hope everyone else out there know the dangers...   Jon

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#5 Consumer Comment

Thanks for the post

AUTHOR: Jon - ()

I have also filed a report, just waiting for it to post. For anyone that has purchased a trailer from Bruce, please check your axel. The axel he builds is not safe. Mine broke twice (once on each side) He does not use a miter joint at the 90"s, just welds to the end of the tube. Everyone that has looked at this axel has the same question. Why would you use such thin walled metal? I am having a new axel built correctly by a local welder. He did not have any 1 1/2"X1 1/2"  X 3/16's tube on hand so he sent me to a welding supply store. I bought a 40" piece for $12.47. So I must wonder how much Bruce saved by using a thinner walled materal.

Bruce's guarantee isn't worth the paper it is written on. For 2 years- He says if you can break in under normal circumstances he will fix it. When you try to get him to fix it he gives you excuses but will not send you anything. Then the threatening messages start. He even went as far as telling me he was glad my axel broke!! (sent him a text thanking him for the voice mail). I can't record our phone calls, but when he leaves a voice mail he is recording it himself.

Bruce is smart on how he does his business. He only advertises on Ebay and tells you if you want more information call him. When I called he told me it was easier to just pay him over the phone. That way Ebay can't go after him. 

Do not deal with this guy.  If you would like to see what kind of person you are dealing with type Bruce Maynard Everett in google.

Ride safe and please have your trailer checked out.


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#6 REBUTTAL Owner of company

The Other Side -- Maria

AUTHOR: Maria E - ()

Hello my name is Maria Everett. I am Bruce's wife.I witnessed the events first hand that Mr Collins is talking about. We did make some mistakes on Mr Collins order. Mr Collins halfway through the building of his original trailer completely changed his order from one model to another. That not only delayed his order but also with a new employee caused some confusion in packaging his trailer for shipment. The boys some how did get the original order crossed up with the second order and shipped Mr Collins some wrong parts with his trailer.

 When my husband learned of this and spoke to Mr Collins my husband offered to throw the correct parts in his truck and drive them personally to Mr Collins some hours away. Mr Collins refused. My husband then took the correct parts himself to UPS and send them Next Day Air along with extra parts just in case there was anything else that was not right. We have the UPS receipt reflecting this. To correct Mr Collins the trailer absolutely was not wired wrong. The boys packing it didn't put in one harness that goes Midway in the wiring and simply plugs in. this was thoroughly explain to Mr Collins who at that point admitted he had  pulled the wiring clear out my husband was not sure why but he got the harness the next day.

I personally see my husband test drive every trailer -- with our test tires and tongue and without the fenders put on -- and then it gets cleaned up and the paint touched up where the tires and tongue were bolted on.

Really the extent of the mistake was the boys sent the wrong tire size with the trailer and packaged it like the original trailer Mr Collins ordered.

 Mr Collins repeatedly threatened to reverse the credit card charges even though he was in possession of the trailer. My husband and our workers did everything to appease Mr Collins.

 Mr Collins demanded a $339 refund to cover the cost of the correct tires and the rails which we gave him. We have that transaction recorded as well.

 Our ads states that we use no rivets on structural parts and we don't. Mr Collins also assured us that when he received his $339 he would ship the incorrect tires back to us at  our expense which have a value of $250 which he never did and that also he would write a positive report to offset the original negative report here. Its obvious he did not keep his word but did the complete opposite.

 Mr Collins has taken very great pains to attack every strong point of my husbands work yet he has kept and is using the trailer and told us he thought it was a pretty decent product.

Mr Collins should be well aware that no business is perfect nor can anyone do 100 percent perfect  work all the time. He himself has pictures in the Hendersonville paper of one of his aircraft that he works on and maintains that crashed into the roof of a hanger do to mechanical failure. It was inspected by Mr. Collins

Mr Collins is as sweet as honey to talk to on the phone.

 I would hope that Mr Collins would stop attacking our family and its business. We have three families that rely on this business. 

We also have copies of all of Mr Collins threatening emails in spite of our every effort to make this right. I am not sure why anyone would take so much time to write a report with so much thought out proper wording but attacking every point that we are strong in while posing as the perfect gentleman \ victim. Mr Collins father is an attorney in Florida and obviously he has much more money than we do. We do not have that kind of money and cannot afford attorneys to address this for us. 

Any negative reports on us anywhere we're from an old partnership where the man in partnership with my husband and brother-in-law turned out to be less than honest but that was a long time ago and everyone received satisfaction that was involved in that. We now run a good business have a partnership again. and will never.

I really hope mr.Collins leaves my family alone and stops posting these well worded intended to harm us commentaries . Mr. Collins obviously has a gift for writing and spelling.  I am sure  their will be some kind of vindictive re-percussion from him for me writing the truth here but I could not be quiet any longer.   I hope this please stops. My husband works hard and came from nothing . Mr.Collins has hurt us with all this.  Anyone can reach me at    Maria

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#7 Author of original report


AUTHOR: 185 Fox Ridge Dr - ()

Just as an aside Hal.  I am a Marine Corps veteran myself.  VMA-214, based at El Toro.  I don't trash American businesses, I support them!  That's why I bought my trailer from Bruce, so it was a true disappointment to be treated they way I was.  I'm glad you had a good experience with Bruce, I would like to think that what happened with me is unusual.

By the way, how come your picture is listed as Phil D. on Bruces EBAY ad if your name is Hal???  I'm sure that will change on Ebay quickly, but I have the photo.

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#8 Author of original report


AUTHOR: 185 Fox Ridge Dr - ()

My name is Greg Collins.  I own and operate my own Business, Blue Ridge Sport Flight in Hendersonville, North Carolina.  I am an aircraft mechanic and inspector.  I am also a Master Flight Instructor.  I own and maintain three aircraft, and have built numerous aircraft.  I have a web site under my business name, and you are welcome to look at it, it has my phone number, anyone is welcome to call me personally if they like.  I am not in the trailer business.

As for using only my first name, that is at the suggestion of RipOff dot com.

Look up Florida Marine AV on the Florida BBB sight, and you will see that I am not the only one that has had problems with Bruce's trailers.  I suspect that you are the one that is the plant

The LED light in my trailer is a RiteLite straight from Harbor Freight, and you are correct, it is not Chinese, it's Taiwanese, like the rest of the lights.  No big deal really, just false advertising.

I do still have the trailer, because Bruce refused to take it back, and assured me he would make it right.  I have plenty of emails and text messages to prove it.  Bruce offered a refund, and never sent it, Bruce offered to send the correct wheels and tires, but never did.  Bruce has also never sent the rails that I paid for, give him a call and ask him for yourself, assuming you aren't Bruce yourself, or one of his buddies.

I don't like giving other business people bad revues, and I tried everything possible to work with Bruce with no success.  Yes, I have the trailer, and yes I am using it.  Bruce sent me his regular trailer, not the Gunslinger I had ordered.  He sent the regular trailer with a 6" drop axle that is supposed to be on the Gunslinger.  My trailer was drilled for the full size fenders, and that is what I received along with 14" wheels and 205/75/14 trailer tires.  That set up doesn't work, the tires hit the fenders due to the drop axle.  Bruce himself agreed that it would not work.  Bruce claims to assemble and test drive each trailer, how did he not notice the tires hitting the rims if this is true???

The filter that came on the air ride suspensension is hanging below the trailer, less than 2" above the ground, it is already filthy at less than 20 miles of driving, and it has hit the ground.

The foam inside the trailer is hap hazardly glued on with hot melt glue.  The trailer came without the cooler or tailpiece attached, so I had to pull the glued foam off, in order to install the hardware.

I had to order stainless rail from Cabelas, even though I paid $139 for the rails from Bruce because Bruce never sent them.  He claims everything is his supplier's fault, and his employee's fault.

The trailer lights where improperly wired, and I was missing the harness that runs through the right side of the trailer to the tail piece.

If you wish to contact me, I will gladly send photos' receipts, emails' and text messages.  I have absoloutely no reason to lie, and I truley would prefer to give a good review, but I don't appreciate being ripped off.


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#9 Consumer Comment

My Experience

AUTHOR: Hal B - ()

I too own an American Custom Trailer built by Bruces Family. This is my second one and I must say all the other trailers I have run across in my 20,009 plus miles a year on my Bike pale in comparison to what they build. I also have run across ather riders who own their tailers and wouldn't trade for anything. You sound to me like either a competitor or just  person with too much time. No one on earth woul not return the trailer if what you say is true and that many problems. You obviously still have the trailer and are using it. Oh by the way --- I hav seen no chineese parts on either one of m trailers Bruce buil for me.  My two buddies in Texas also own his trailers and say nothing but good reports. I usually don't comment on these internet mud slinging events --- but on this one I had to. Seems like your aking a really cheap shot at an American business. Funny you will smear Bruces name throughout your " report " but you are only listed as " Greg C "     Comment by  -- Viet Nam Vet Hal Brook

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