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Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes  >  General Topics

 > What to do about fire damage

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tvfrfireman

Portland, Or

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Posted: 02/11/22 11:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have a three year old diesel pusher. three months ago after we plugged into a outlet to charge the chassis batteries that had been going dead, we noticed smoke an hour or two later. I immediately unplugged the coach and grabbed a fire extinguisher and put out the fire that was burning the rectangular tubs we had items stored in. It took six weeks to get a tow due to tight quarters. I finally was able to tow it backwards out by the receiver to the street where the tow rig could hook up. Our neighbors were understanding and helped all they could. It was towed to a Freightliner dealer and they took care of replacing the chassis portion of the repairs. On the trip back to our covered storage, the hose from the engine to the front of the coach that feeds the heater under the dash burst and flooded compartments with engine coolant. The engine was shut down by safety mechanisms due to the loss of fluid. Freightliner came the next morning and cut out the ruptured part of the hose and put in 14 gallons of coolant. I was then able to start it and more it into our spot. I asked the repair tech what he would do to get the rest of the repairs done and he said he would drive it to the nearest dealer. The brand dealer is 110 miles away so I asked him would he trust it to go that far and he said no. He then said why don't you take it to camping world which is close to our home. I told him I had read so many bad reviews that I would be concerned. With damage to the wiring harness, I don't think this is a job for the local small shop. So far, this has been extremely stressful with a few stories that would take to long to tell. The day of the fire is fresh in our minds and was traumatic and we don't know how much longer this will drag on. There are so many things that could happen to us far worse than this but nevertheless, it is a tough one when you are getting along in years. If those of you that have experienced a similar situation could share with us what you would do, we would be grateful for any advice. Would you chance the 110 mile drive to a factory dealer who's reviews are marginal and where you couldn't check on the progress? Or, would you go to Camping World and say your prayers? Could a small repair shop handle this? We would be grateful for any tips. kindest regards

craig7h

Branson MO area

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Posted: 02/12/22 04:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Its only my thoughts and opinion on this. As you did not mention the brand it leaves us kind of up in the air. So if I understand your post you are in need of replacing the wireharnes that was damaged. Now there are multitude of wireharnes in your unit for alot of different things. Some more important than others. The factor repair folks may have a better idea on how to fix that. But on the other hand the "whole" harness is not damaged just replace the section of wires. Your local shop can do that. Is there other items that need replace along with the wireharness. Those items can be ordered from any repair shop.

As for Camping World each one is different. I had work done from the one in Cedar Falls Iowa and was very pleased. I think no matter who you take it to large or small plan on not having your rig for along time.

I live where we only have a small rv shop, I would trust them far more than larger shops. But thats something you will have to decided. I would make a few road trips (car) visit and talk with everybody about the problems and get their feed back. Take pictures of problem with you to show.

I had a fire in the front of our DP last year that melted most of the insulation off the wires, plus a few other parts. I did not replace the whole harness just the wire. Reason I said that is your smaller shop may be a little more concerned on making it right.


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Sjm9911

New Jersey

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Posted: 02/12/22 05:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thats not good. I do not know about the repair aspect, but I will say if you used an abc extinguisher, try and remove the dust from everything. That stuff is caustic and can create problems later down the line.


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Scottiemom

Florida

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Posted: 02/12/22 06:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I was checking on http://rvservicereviews.com/ and there are a couple in Portland that have good reviews that appear to be able to handle your problem. I don't know my Oregon geography, but there may be others listed there that would be close enough to be of service.

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oldave

Tx

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Posted: 02/12/22 06:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I assume you have insurance, call them, they need to be involved.
Since we have no idea what coach you have and the extent of damage it's hard to
give advice. Fire repairs can be so expensive you may be looking at a total.
Totaling the coach would probably be the fastest solution.

Gooma

Iowa

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Posted: 02/12/22 06:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Have you asked the small shop if they would even consider doing the repair? Be upfront with them about your reservations on them doing the work. If they are hesitant about the job, go somewhere else.
As to driving 100 miles to a marginal shop, it would be a nerve racking trip. You sound like you have already decided against the trip.

Lwiddis

Southern California :(

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Posted: 02/12/22 08:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Your first call should have been to your insurance company. Let them guide you to repair or totaling. You paid them for just this…a major accidental expense.


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ferndaleflyer

everywhere

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Posted: 02/12/22 09:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would not have moved it. Call the insurance co and let them deal with it. I had a battery explode in mine last year. I discovered it quick and other than a mess to clean up all was ok but it could have been a disaster. I am 81 and if that thing burns to the ground I will miss it but the insurance co can have it, thats what they are for.

Bruce Brown

Northern NY

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Posted: 02/12/22 10:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Agree on the insurance part - they take care of this stuff all the time.

However if that ship has sailed, I personally would trust a good, small shop moreso than a big box type place. The small guy most likely has longer term, more experienced people. It would also stand a better chance of having the same person working on it start to finish.

I could be wrong.


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RedRollingRoadblock

Oregon

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Posted: 02/12/22 10:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It might be cheaper to tow to the dealer than have it at CW. I can recommend two towing companies in the Portland area that I would trust, send me a PM. Might also call the dealer and ask them who they use for towing, the company is going to have to return to base if you get them out of PDX or BFE.

What of the repair bothers the tech about driving 110 miles?

Never to late to get the insurance involved, which due to fire might have been better to do from the start.

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