From your description of the loss it sounds like it should be covered. An insurance company providing coverage and the trailer getting fixed correctly are two entirely different things. Please don't forget that.
Your most important job once coverage is afforded is finding a reputable repair shop. Once you find that shop, trust them to do their job. Let them know you'd be happy to assist with any claims-related issues but don't try to control the repair.
50/50 as to if they repair or move forward with a total loss. If they decide to total send me a PM and I can give some pointers on how to maximize the offer.
How many of you check the plumbing under your shower? I noticed something running down the right rear tire cover. When I pulled the cover to see under the shower there was the p-trap just hanging there. The factory had glued the connection together instead of the correct way. We have vinyl floors never noticed any water (no carpet to get wet). Over time the floor in the bathroom, hall and out toward the kitchen area got soft. Very costly repair. I repaired the shower drain with a rubber coupling. Sure would've been nice to get some help from insurance for the floor repair. I don't believe it was a lack of maintenance on my part.
Too late for this loss but a picture of the p-trap just hanging and your statement that it had always leaked would have supported an "accidental" loss and might have been covered by your insurance company. I've personally been involved with covered losses that were similar in nature.
The age-old rule in insurance is coverage applies if the loss was "sudden and accidental". Just because it took time for you to notice the damage doesn't automatically deny the claim. The loss occurred because someone accidentally failed to connect the plumbing correctly. Another rule of thumb is, "an unbroken chain of events" so if you can successfully show such a chain existed in your loss then coverage might be afforded.
You should know, however, that each use or event that led to the damage could be considered a separate loss and subject to a deductible. Insurance is weird.
There's part of me telling myself, "don't post this" but another part telling me "go ahead".
First - the basic rule of thumb in providing coverage is "sudden & accidental". So, NatGen has a basis for the denial. However, and this is a big however, if your statement is true that CW has yet to identify the leak then a formal denial is impossible. How the water got in has yet to be determined. NatGen does NOT have to pay for a diagnostic - that's the owners responsibility. But without a diagnostic of how the water entered then the absolute truth of sudden and/or accidental isn't fully known.
Did you have any violent thunderstorms recently? Could the water have entered thru a window left open accidently? If a window was left open it could be covered. Did high winds peel back some caulking allowing the water in? It could be covered.
Simply put - without knowing where the water got in then the coverage is up in the air.
Ask for a formal denial letter. Ask your adjuster to list who determined the cause of the intrusion and quote the policy specific language the denial is based. Then, pay CW there pound of flesh and go find another reputable repair shop and have them read the denial letter and see if they agree with the diagnosis from CW. If the new shop finds that the intrusion "could" be sudden or accidental you're back in the game by asking the adjuster to re-evaluate the original denial.
90 out of 100 adjusters don't know the first thing about RV construction. They absolutely rely on reputable shops telling them how and where the damage occurred.
BTW - I know a little about how insurance companies work.
Ditto the weather comments -- you have no idea what you'll get. However, there won't be any fall foliage except the very lowest elevations. That isn't necessarily a bad thing as they'll be fewer cars with FLA license plates messing up the traffic. It will be busier than you'd probably guess. T-giving is a pretty popular time for the campground and surrounding area. As to "best spots it will be 1st come - 1st served. You'll need a generator and some loops don't allow a genny.
As the weather cools down the wildlife becomes much more active. You'll see so many turkeys you'll quit being impressed. Great time to hike some trails because the views are wonderful after the leaves fall. T-giving is quite busy in the G-burg and PF so plan accordingly if thinking about eating in town.
All in all that's a great time to visit - as is any time in the Winter as the crowds finally disappear.
Echoing the other comments -- it can go from throwing the football outside in T-shirts to well below freezing in 24 hours. Pay close to attention to the weather if planning some back country hikes.
Similar to RoyB -- we bought a Verizon JetPack Mifi at WalMart. We then buy 30 day wireless data plans. The wireless plans are available online thru Verizon and a number of retailers sell renew cards (like iTunes cards) for differing amount of data. The Mifi works wherever Verizon has coverage.
Good question on the towing -- wish I had clear answer. Thru your insurance (typically) towing is covered if you have a covered loss. Flat tires and mechanical breakdown are not covered losses. So - adding a road side assistance plan is not a bad idea. I will leave it to others to debate Coachnet vs Good Sam; however, neither one has its own service. They both (probably) use national tow vendors.
Actual Cash Value (ACV) is okay if you bought it right and you paid a good bit down or if you own it outright. All RV's depreciate quickly which means the ACV continues to decline. If the value of the coach declines below the loan value (assuming there is a loan) and if a loss occurs that results in a total loss then you would be upside down on the pay-off. Basically, if you paid the coach outright then you won't be "upside down" but you may surprised how quickly it falls in value. If you do have a loan and you really want peace-of-mind you can ask about gap insurance which covers a portion (or all) of the difference between loan balance versus ACV.
I'm only a few months into owning a new 5'er. Here's some quick observations:
1. That is one big dang camper that now looms over my truck bed.
2. Actual towing experience isn't greatly different. Haven't made long trip yet
3. Backing is different enough to know I have to practice. Bruises the ego
4. Hitching/Unhitching and set up is SO much easier.
5. I have new respect for OTR semi drivers
6. When everything works on the 5'er it's pretty decadent living. I like it.
WOW - there's a lot of info and opinion on this thread.
If you don't know much about insurance -- go find a reputable Independent Agent to assist you and tell him you want Collision/Comp & Liability coverage along with an awning endorsement at a minimum. If you can a write a check for $1000 any day of the year and not miss a meal, that should be your deductible.
If you feel comfortable hacking through the jungle of online insurance quotes then feel free to spend an entire day trying to figure out the different quotes. The more you learn about the different add-on coverages the better shopper you become. Collision & Comp will be some what similar across the companies. Liability will be very different as each company has a different stand on how much risk they are willing to assume. You do need awning coverage. You most likely do not need personal property coverage for you MH. Your homeowners policy will cover your personal property while on the road. (10% of Section C coverage on your HO policy) -- call your HO agent to get the exact figure. Mine is $16,500 of coverage and I'm comfortable assuming the risk for any overage.
There are interesting new wrinkles like paying a bit more but getting up to 25% of your deductible waived for each year of coverage without a claim.
Very Important -- ask about total loss coverage and how is the value of the MH determined? Ask if coverage on some items is subject to depreciation. For example, you're camping and a Florida thunderstorm comes up and causes a large limb to fall striking your A/C unit and it can't be fixed. Will your coverage allow for a new A/C unit or will the value of the A/C unit be adjusted due to its age? Some depreciated coverage will reduce the value of the A/C unit up to 75%. In other words, the insurance company will only pay 25% of the cost of a new unit and still charge you your comprehensive deductible, to boot.
Simply put, the more you learn the better your final decision will be. You CANNOT look at bottom line cost without looking at what is covered and how its covered.
Having said all that -- it came down to Allied and Blue Sky for me and I chose Blue Sky. But I know exactly what I bought and exactly what is covered so I don't ever expect to have an issue if/when I need them.
There is a great dealer, RV World of Georgia in Buford,, just NE of Atlanta. We purchased our new fiver from them, sight unseen, three hours away. Salesman was awesome, answered all of our questions, communicated nearly daily while awaiting slideout covers and washer and dryer to be installed. Day of the PDI the fiver was in immaculate condition with zero issues to found after two hours. Thet even hooked up my truck and test drove it for proper braking, which they adjusted.
We will buy our next unit, a Class A DP from them. Look them up they are awesome.
One problem with that -- the sales managers and a lot of the sales staff walked out of RV World quite a few months ago and landed at, wait for it.... CW of Oakwood.
I have purchased 3 units at CW-Oakwood and live right down the road from the dealer. I knew many of the staff by name. The place has changed and changed for the worse.
As to RV World - before the days of Camping World the Oakwood location was called "Camping Time". The owners sold to CW; waited out the contract no-compete clause, and opened up RV World. They have their own issues. Recently, a couple came in to complete the walk-thru on their brand new $300k motor coach. The service dept kept them waiting for 3 hours and they walked out. As they walked out they called their salesman to explain how upset they were. The salesman had to drive after them and get them to come back. If $300k sale doesn't earn a bit of TLC then nothing does.
We had decent luck with Renzo as our sales associate.
The Sales management team came en masse from RV World down the street and brought some of their sales staff recently.
The sales department is definitely not the same level as a few years back.
I noticed at a recent Atl RV show, a former RV World sales-person now representing Camping World. Are there several there now?
Wonder if RV World being entertained as another CW acuisition?
Guessing with the industry & larger metropolitain area, jumping around dealers/employers trying to find the best paying gig, is normal.
Kind of scarey, I in-tune to this.
They jump back and forth. We were at RV World several months ago and I browsed through their store and an employee came up and offered to assist. A few weeks later the same employee was at CW-Oakwood.
I doubt that RV World is being looked at by CW. Although I really wish someone else could land the Grand Design franchise. I'm drooling over that make and RV World is just too hard to deal with.
j'sgypsybuggy -- It's gonna be hot and sticky in August. If you plan to hike and everyone in the group is in good shape - Alum Cave trail is a great hike. It may be closed M-F for renovation. One of our favorite trails is Andrew's Bald which starts at Clingman's Dome parking lot. It will be cooler due to the elevation and is not as challenging. Walker Sister's trail in Metcalf Bottom is a great, easy stroll and the cabin is wonderful. I recommend reading up on the Walker sister's as their story is worth it.
If your group likes wildlife -- get up early Wednesday morning and drive to Cades Cove and rent bikes at the campground store and hit the Cades Cove 11 mile loop road on bike. In August the critters will only be active early and again after sunset. I've driven loop countless times and it was only after my son and I rented bikes during a camping trip did I see all the details.
There are actually several roads that lead to the Park. The main one is Hwy 441. There are very neat little roads that come into the Park from Wear's Valley and other locations that will lead you back into rarely-traveled areas.
A great day trip would be to travel from your CG over to the Cataloochee area in North Carolina. Cataloochee has a wonderful elk herd and seeing those massive creatures is incredible. The trout fishing is pretty good in Cataloochee, as well.
Plan to eat at "Best Italian" in the Elk's Plaza in G'burg and ask for a table outside. Go later in the evening and enjoy the little creek and you may be entertained by the Momma raccoon that has been known to beg for scraps. We enjoy the roof top dining of "Loco Burro" in G'burg. The food is okay and the frozen adult beverages sneak up on you. Very, very nice to sit outside in the late afternoon heat and drink frozen drinks.
There is much to do in the Park and it is always better to be out of the car exploring the "Quiet Walkways" and such. However, the "Roaring Fork Motor Trail" is an excellent drive. Great day trip and plenty of places to pull over and have a picnic and explore the cabins.
Writing all this is making me plan my next trip. Go have fun.
We had decent luck with Renzo as our sales associate. "Jeff" kept us from walking away and finalized the deal. The usual F&I guy was off and the fill-in was not comfortable with all the forms but got it figured out.
One strange detail -- the final sales contract showed the sales price of our 5th wheel several thousands higher than we agreed but the contract also reflected several thousand more for the trade in than we agreed so the bottom line matched. That one still puzzles me.
The Sales management team came en masse from RV World down the street and brought some of their sales staff recently. The sales department is definitely not the same level as a few years back.
Hi Brian & Angie,
Sorry to hear about the issue with the service (or lack thereof). From experience I can tell you that your info was forwarded most likely to David Corder the Service Manager at CW-Oakwood. David is a busy person.
Hopefully, David will work to get your situation resolved as quickly as possible.
Part of the delays are due to the processes involved with warranty work and getting approval and then getting parts ordered. Also, RV technicians are an interesting mixture of cabinet repair, plumber, roofer, HVAC and alignment technician all rolled into one. Some are very good at almost everything; some are great at a few things; but most of them know a little about everything. It really is asking an awful lot to expect the same tech that successfully hung your cabinet door square to know why a solid state circuit keeps failing. Is it heat build up frying the circuits? Is it power surges and the booster box has the most delicate circuitry? The tech probably doesn't have a clue.
I suggest you call the factory and ask to speak to someone in warranty. Ask if they've seen a bunch of similar failures. Ask what has fixed most of the problems. See if the booster has a manufacturer name. Google the name. Try to find a customer service number. Call it and ask about FAQ or Frequently Experienced Problems. Become a TV detective and look for clues and assistance.
Then, go back to Oakwood, meet with David and tell him what you found. Ask him who do you need to talk to at Crossroads to speed up the warranty process. Tell him to "borrow" the part from another Crossroads. (they do that all the time).
An active, involved customer who knows what is going on and where they can speed up the process is one they can't ignore.
First, I'm glad you are okay and your family is okay. Sounds like some bad storms. Second, your rates shouldn't go up for a Comprehensive claim. So far you've done everything right. You mitigated (fancy insurance word that means you minimized follow up damage)your loss and you have pictures. Very smart to run the A/C to pull out as much moisture as possible. Hopefully, you aren't plugged into a standard 120v outlet.
I would advise against any more disassembly to uncover damages. An insured being too helpful is a "red-flag" and may be misunderstood.
I really doubt that a "patch" will be considered. Let the insurance company do there thing by writing an initial estimate. Ask them for their recommendation for some decent repair facilities. Do your own homework on the same subject. Choosing a competent, professional repair facility is the single most important decision you will make. Once you make your choice, use them as an advocate. Ask them if the estimate is sufficient to "make you whole" which your insurance company is contractually liable to do. Ask the repair shop, "if it was your camper what would you do"? Listen to them. Tell them you are ready, able and willing to call and raise a stink, if it becomes necessary. Be an active partner in the repair process without trying to dictate how things should be done.
Mold/Mildew requires a proper environment to colonize. Dry it down, keep it dry with good air movement and you can't get mold/mildew. However, insist if any carpet is replaced that the batting underneath get replaced, too. If a "detailing" is written to avoid carpet replacement; ask that the carpet be removed and allowed to dry out of the unit.
State Farm is typically "good people". They are not wanting to upset you and they certainly don't want to spend good money on advertising to attract a new customer to replace you. Mention that. Say, "save some advertising money by working with me and I'll tell 3 of my friends how good you've been". If they earn it by treating you right -- tell 3 of your friends.
We discovered a water leak in our brand new unit as we were blowing out the lines getting ready to go on our first camping trip of the season on Friday. How can a brand new unit with "Winterized" stickers on every sink have a water leak? How come this wasn't caught at PDI (Pre Delivery Inspection). This is what two different Service Advisors, Lamont and Natalie, told us on separate occassions.
New units are PDI'd shortly after arrival at the collision center which is just up the road from the sales/service location. If necessary, (it's always necessary) a Repair Order is opened to order parts to correct issues noticed at PDI.
If it isn't a safety issue, the unit is then MOVED TO THE SALES LOT.
Lamont,a Service Advisor told me, "it's real common that we find we've adopted a file with an open RO that has several parts on order that we didn't know anything about".
So, if they did find a water leak at PDI no one knew about it in Sales and Service to tell me. I find it after spending $110.00 on a camping spot that I now couldn't use and my Friday off is spent disassembling my brand new 5th Wheel to diagnose a water leak instead of enjoying a beautiful day.
Spoke with Service Advisor Natalie today who tells me, "we haven't worked out all the kinks with this new process yet". (PDI'ing units at drop off at the collision center versus Service doing it prior to a delivery after a sale)
Yah think? Who's going to reimburse me for the $110.00 lost on the campsite or the wasted day of PTO?
I wouldn't be too concerned about throwing the trailer in with the house and cars. Definitely insure house and at least 2 cars with one major provider. Basically there are two types of customers-- those that want an agent and those that don't. If you want an agent I'd go shop 2 or 3 Independent agents that represent many different companies and toss the house and 2 cars in the pot. If you don't want an agent get used to having your email account and home phone blow up when you spend an afternoon on the Interwebs searching for deals. You can typically insure a trailer through many different companies that specialize in RV's and you can add the 3rd vehicle (use the oldest) to get a multi-vehicle discount. Ask the RV Insurance people how (or if) the awning is covered. If you're still paying for the RV ask about enhanced total loss coverage that covers the cost of the loan; ask about diminishing deductibles that reduce your deductible every year until you hit $0. Good Sam; Blue Sky; Allied are all decent carriers for RV's.
The insurance will give us 12,400 minus 1,000 deductible. Not bad for a 11 years old bare bone truck with only 70K miles.
I took my brake controller out while I was waiting for the tow truck. No way I would let that go. I got the rest of the stuff today.
Any chance you can buy your totalled truck from the insurance company? They will be selling it to a salvage company for a very low price. They will sometimes/often let you have it for the same price.
For the amount they are giving you there is a chance you can get it repaired for less. You could even come out ahead, especially if you know someone who can do the repairs or if you can live with some minor cosmetic damage. Their own repair estimate is possibly or even probably lower than what they are giving you, since they will total it if the estimate is 80%, give or take, of the book value.
Granted you will have a salvage title, but if you intend to keep it for a while it won't matter too much.
I'd advise strongly not to think about repairing a truck with a damaged frame unless you could find a decent used frame to replace. Typically, shops try to pull frames straight and depending on what type of steel that can cause brittle points. Best bet is to verify the offer price from the Insurance company (call your local bank and ask them what Fair Market Value is for your truck)and never try to accept the first offer. Point out that your truck has significantly lower mileage than the average truck that old. Ask to see the "comps" the Insurance company used to value your truck. How far away did they have to search to find three similar trucks? Make a very reasonable counter offer (say 10% higher) and see what happens. Worth spending a few hours in research before agreeing to the deal. Who knows, the Insurance company may have shot you a good 1st offer but you'll never know unless you do some homework.
Just for the record -- I've only used an RV dealer twice for service work. I owned an Outback for about 7 years that had a fussy hotwater heater that got fixed after a few attempts and my first TT was a Fourwinds that blew an axle seal. My Jayco TT had minor issues that I tracked down and fixed myself even though I carry the CW Ext warranty. Just easier and quicker to do it myself.
The rest of ya'll should stay away from caffeine and simple sugars and just go for a walk before posting something.
I work in a Service Industry and I deal with screamers, whiners, liars and cheats frequently. The challenge is to not become immune and de-humanized so you fail to recognize a legitimate situation and offer a proper remedy.
Service people are the same as any other, most are okay, some are excellent and some should be selling apples on the corner. Lighten up and compliment the ones that excel and be polite to the ones that try and let management know when you come across a dud - without ruining your message by spewing bile and hatred.
Hello Team CW:
I just wanted to memorialize my experience with CW-Oakwood, GA. This is the 3rd unit we've purchased from this dealer. This one took the longest and was the most stressful, but in the end I think I got a good deal and I know I got a heck of a good unit.
My appreciation to my sales professional, Renzo who patiently and politely answered every offer, email and contact I made. The floor manager Jeff did a good turn for us, as well.
At the end, I couldn't squeeze the grape for another dime below advertised price except for a gift card.
In the end, although I don't think the deal was great; I'm equally sure that there wasn't going to be a better offer given to anyone else.
Bob & Carla