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Old 08-23-2017, 03:59 PM   #1
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2016 Newmar Dutchstar Model 4369 Fire

Two weeks ago on August 9th we started our coach and it burst into flames. We did everything we could to fight the fire putting our lives in danger and eventually got it out. The coach sustained significant damage to the engine compartment, the engine, and the paint on the rear of the coach and interior smoke damage. Freightliner Custom Chassis organized the towing to a Freightliner dealership. Preliminary observation suggests an electrical fire resulting in a severed fuel line causing a continuous supply of fuel to the fire. We are very concerned about the safety of our coach because of the extensive damage incurred. We are also very concerned about the diminishment of value of our coach due to the record of fire damage.
We are full time RVers and this is our only home. Our insurance company, National Interstate, only supplies a small emergency lodging expense which we have already used up. Our lodging expenses are mounting rapidly. All indications point to a lengthy process including subrogation, multiple inspections by multiple entities involved and eventually extensive repairs. We have been advised by the insurance company that this will be a very long term process. probably months. This is our second Newmar diesel coach. We are very disappointed that Newmar hasn't stepped up to help us out in this very stressful situation. Our motorhome is just sitting in the parking lot of the Freightliner dealership. The fire inspection for all companies involved is not scheduled to happen until September 7th, a month after the fire happened. This isn't even a firm date. Then reports will need to be filed before extensive repairs can begin.
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Old 08-23-2017, 04:04 PM   #2
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Sorry about your problem. As a 4369 year 2016 owner it concerns me this could happen again to us.
Did you have a recall to protect the full line we got about a year ago?
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Old 08-23-2017, 04:05 PM   #3
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That's fuel...
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Old 08-23-2017, 04:18 PM   #4
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Good to hear that you are ok after giving it your best shot at fighting the fire. One of the first things I added was an engine fire extinguisher system from Mac the Fire Guy. Actually installed it during factory pickup.

What are you expecting Newmar to do for you?
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Old 08-23-2017, 04:20 PM   #5
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You would think that between Newmar and Freightliner they could afford to rent you a coach to live in, if not give you a replacement to your satisfaction. Your best outcome is if the insurance company totals it, then sues NewLiner. (My new word for Newmar Freightliner ��

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Old 08-23-2017, 05:18 PM   #6
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Happy that you are safe!!

Were you driving or parked? do they have any idea what part started the electrical fire??
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Old 08-23-2017, 05:49 PM   #7
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So sorry to hear of your problems. When the DW and I went full time we discussed this possibility. Fire, wreck, or other calamity as part of our planning..
While nobody knows the details in advance our plans are to store any important items and drive ( or fly if the toad was involved ) to wherever we decide to spend a few months if that's not where the coach is, and rent a furnished space or residence hotel. Much cheaper. And we have a emergency fund set aside to do that for up to 6 months. We told ourselves to consider it a long vacation.
I don't see much the manufacturer can do. If someone is to blame it's the insurance company but they all will take their time. I would plan on at least 3 months perhaps a little more and not "wait" around expecting any better. Plan for a long time and hope for better Perhaps consult a attorney to see if you can recover any of the expense later if it turns out to be a fault that can be assessed.
Tough spot, and one none of us wants to be in , and I wish only good things going forward.
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Old 08-23-2017, 11:19 PM   #8
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Thank you for responding. We had been sitting at an rv site for 3 weeks and all we did was start the ignition right the fire started. I just found out about the 16V809 Newmar recall. Our rv was manufactured before the recall start date. Our's was an early model 2016 which we purchased Oct 2015. The starter caused the fire in that recall. Our engine fire appears to have begun at the starter as well so may be related. I hope our coach was an anomaly, and if not a new recall may save somebody's life. Neither Newmar or Freightliner have taken any responsibility so therefore no help from either party. We did send an email to Matt Miller, President of Newmar asking to consider exchanging our coach for a new coach. He had one of his employees contact us and the answer was "no" to both questions.
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Old 08-24-2017, 08:37 AM   #9
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There was another 2016 4369 dutchstar that caught fire up in Virginia a year or so ago. They were driving and someone waved at them to pull over. The MH was a total loss. I have not seen any follow up on this. My bet is the owners were told not to reveal anything if they want to see a settlement or they got cash along with a gag agreement.

Can you also post this on the Facebook Newmar owners page.
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Old 08-24-2017, 09:00 AM   #10
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2016 Newmar Dutchstar Model 4369 Fire

Quote:
Originally Posted by Puffdaddy51 View Post
Thank you for responding. We had been sitting at an rv site for 3 weeks and all we did was start the ignition right the fire started. I just found out about the 16V809 Newmar recall. Our rv was manufactured before the recall start date. Our's was an early model 2016 which we purchased Oct 2015. The starter caused the fire in that recall. Our engine fire appears to have begun at the starter as well so may be related. I hope our coach was an anomaly, and if not a new recall may save somebody's life. Neither Newmar or Freightliner have taken any responsibility so therefore no help from either party. We did send an email to Matt Miller, President of Newmar asking to consider exchanging our coach for a new coach. He had one of his employees contact us and the answer was "no" to both questions.


It has been my experience that recall ranges often expand as the scope of affected vehicles is discovered through ongoing investigation and discovery. If it were me I think seeking legal advise would not be a bad idea, as it seems like you have exhausted diplomacy. A call to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) [ATTACH]would also be in order. Also might try Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) [ATTACH]
So sorry to hear of the trouble your having, just not right.
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Old 08-24-2017, 09:16 AM   #11
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2016 Newmar Dutchstar Model 4369 Fire

We are very glad both of you are safe. As another RVer who has experienced a fire, ours while driving, it is a scary incident. This is a good time for all RVers to review your RV insurance policy. We also learned we did not have sufficient emergency housing and contents coverage. It was our mistake since we had not raised the limits. This is especially true for full timers. It is an easy change and very inexpensive.
Progressive Insurance was very quick and there was no delay in getting things started. Even if there was a chance of a pending recall, our insurance company began the repair process the following day. It is a good idea to review policies.
Good luck with your repairs.
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Old 08-24-2017, 09:28 AM   #12
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2016 Newmar Dutchstar Model 4369 Fire

They ( Newmar or freightliner) are not going to replace the coach or do anything that admits any fault. Their lawyers won't let them. Consulting the proper people would be a good idea and worth the few hundred that might cost. Nothing can be done until someone can determine clearly the cause. Keep in mind filing a suit will cause more people to examine, analyze and delay. If you go that route plan on more time out of the coach. That's not a bad thing and could make you whole .. but not right away . You need to find a more stable temp living place it sounds like and that would be my first priority
Sadly the truth be told if you would not have been unable to stop the fire and it was a total loss ( They haven't determined repair costs yet ? Could it be totaled? )you would have been better off with insurance cutting you a check . I would also look at diminished value if they do repair it. Some states allow a claim for this . Another good reason to spend the bucks with a professional.
Tough to do but find a good housing place and get some stability .. staying in a hotel/ motel would make me crazy .. did that too much in my work life . Whatever you do good luck!
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Old 08-24-2017, 09:50 AM   #13
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We added a automatic fire extinguisher system to our Essex engine compartment and would recommend this for all Newmar DP owners. This isn't that usually and for about 500$ the safety this brings to you is worth it. Bought the equipment from Mac the Fire Guy at FMCA rally and did the install myself.
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Old 08-24-2017, 10:07 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom chelbana View Post
We added a automatic fire extinguisher system to our Essex engine compartment and would recommend this for all Newmar DP owners. This isn't that usually and for about 500$ the safety this brings to you is worth it. Bought the equipment from Mac the Fire Guy at FMCA rally and did the install myself.


Do you have any pictures?
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