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Old 04-05-2012, 07:32 PM   #29
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Cliff's suggestion is valid for summering an RV in the AZ desert heat. Not nearly as big a deal w/the Alpine as some cheaper rigs because there is precious little particle board covered w/plastic wood grain film that shrinks & cracks. Real wood isn't the same level of bad actor in the heat.

Whether diminished capacity applies is another matter. I don't recall seeing diminished value in policies here on west coast.
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:23 PM   #30
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All - They have made the decision to fix this coach to the tune of 60K or so. Some things we learned about how the process works and how the MH works when no engine is as follows:
1. Since you have no PTO Driven Air compressor, you need to know how to pump up the coach so it can be “low-boy’ed” on the trailer (something I would insist on because of the gen-slide). Find your air chucks, know which way to turn the valves, and don’t count on the ride leveling system to stop the air going in to the bags at each wheel. KNOW how high the coach should be, and stop the process at that point.
2. For those folks with the “drain-Master” system, since number 1 applies for hose extension/retraction, find and understand the air chuck for this area of the coach, mine has an air gauge and a limit on incoming pressure, make sure yours does. This system needs air pressure to operate, it normally gets that air from the main system, and so if you have pumped up the coach, you have air for it to operate. If you just want to make this system work, use the air chuck in the tank bay compartment only. That is one way to check operation without starting engine.
3. “Parking Brake”, know how many cycles you can operate this before low pressure locks it up. Under the brake thread, I did a test, and believe I came up with 5 cycles before I ran out of air, know your coach for this operation. Low pressure causes this device to engage, and only when over 60psi will it operate for release.
4. Understand the idiot lights on the dash; know where they are and what they mean. When involved in an accident, your CP should be backs-stopping you concerning the noises and alarms going off, because you both are in shock, and don’t have a handle on all the things going on, the first being “is anyone hurt”, if so, to heckl with cool down, etc, just shut the thing off and deal with injuries. If no one is hurt, I was the one who went outside, and BH jumped over to DS to assist me in anything in the cockpit area. She shut down coach once we determined we had no radiator left. Develop a game plan now, practice it. I don’t remember any high temp, low coolant alarms going off at all while inside. I was in shock for at least the first 5 minutes and don’t clearly remember if we had them.
5.Insurance companies are a business, regulated by “State Law” not federal law, and only have to follow the laws in the state the accident happened in. If out of the country, Mexico, Canada, I would ensure that you have supplemental insurance to cover those countries, with “cost replacement” a given. Make sure you have hotel, car rental, etc riders and get a reasonable amount of that extra if offered. Our travel expenses, (not gasoline) came to almost the amount listed on our policy, and we might have spent more than the allowed amount. NOTE: They don’t care about you; they care about spending the least amount of money to fix/close the claim, so if necessary hire an expert to check over the MH. Ours apparently does not have frame damage, so it’s fixable, but, I know, it may never be the same as it was.
6.Don’t mention the “LAWYER” word unless, you are not capable of taking care of dealing with the various players in the accident, yes, you have diminished value, yes you have pain & suffering, yes you have expenses the Insurance company won’t pay now. Mention the Lawyer word, and the Insurance Company will “STOP” dealing with you, the repair shop, and other folks doing things concerning this accident. Only when the vehicles are repaired to your satisfaction, the medical issues taken care of, and all the other costs you feel entitled to would you consider an attorney. I believe you still have two years in most states before you have to settle the claim, and maybe longer, don’t be in a hurry. If you cannot figure out what those costs are, see if legal aid can help before you get an attorney involved, as they will eat away at your money you think you are out. I am a persistent SOB so I think I can get when all said and done what we feel is fair for the costs not directly covered, if it turns out I am unable to do so, I will get an attorney, but only if I cannot handle it myself. If there is death, ignore this paragraph, get the lawyer now, the insurance company still has to pay medical bills, but use them as an advisory only, and you try to be the representative, keeping the attorney involved in the background. They will not care about you as a person; again, they want to pay out the least amount of money possible.
7.Last but not least – LIGHTEN YOUR LOAD! We found we carry around a lot of stuff we don’t need to carry, and that emptying the coach completely is a good idea once every couple of years or so. First you get to get rid of clothes you don’t use, second you find things you don’t remember why you carry them, or sometimes what they are for in the first place. Third, you can then take a more balanced approach on where stuff should go when repacking and how much to carry where. Get an empty weight for each axle now that it’s empty, then figure out where stuff needs to go so the coach is as level as possible.
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:28 PM   #31
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Picture w/open radiator area

Here is a picture of the area where the radiator stack would be. Check to see if you have a weaping hydraulic leak, they said we do.
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Old 04-19-2012, 12:42 PM   #32
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Just to add to Old Rv'ers suggestions, based on my 30 plus years in the claims department.

I agree that you should not immeadiately run out and hire a lawyer. What the lawyers don't tell you in those numerous and annoying advertisements is that they take their cut out of money you are legally entitled to as compensation, with or without their help. Their 'bill' is not the responsibility of the insurance company paying your claim. In some cases this could leave you without enough to pay your bills/damages, once they take their cut. Especially in less complicated cases it is entirely possible you'll end up with less money in your pocket having hired a lawyer than if you'd just handled it on your own. As I'd advise people, you can always hire the lawyer later should you get the feeling you are not being treated fairly. I have worked cases where the severity and complexity of the injuries did warrant the help and advice of council, however.

Don't try to pad or exagerate your expenses. This rarely works out for you in the end as it only serves to make the claim adjuster suspicious and more likely to go over every aspect of your claim with a fine tooth comb. It's kind of like the IRS. Most of us never have been and never will be audited, but given the smallest perception that you're trying to scam the system, well, that's when the magnifying glass comes out to examine everything in the smallest detail, which can slow down the process and make life miserable.

Some states have as little as a one year statute of limitations, in Wisconsin, it is three years. This is for a third party claim (you're collecting from the 'bad' guy's insurance). That does not mean that you must have the claim settled in that time but if you don't, it probably does mean that suit will have to be filed to 'preserve' your claim. For first party claims (your insurance company) the time to file / settle a claim is dictated by policy language and state statute. In Wisconsin you may have as long as six years to close out parts of your claim, based on contract law.

I've stated this before, repaired accident damage does not automatically diminish the value of the RV, car, truck, or whatever. Some states will require that your title be 'branded' if repair costs exceed a certain percentage of the retail value of the property and that may affect value. Short of that, there's no reason quality repairs should leave the vehicle any less durable or valuable than it would have been otherwise.

Lastly. We were charged with the responsibility of informing our policy holders of all coverages / amounts they were entitled to. The relationship between you and your insurance company is different than that between you and 'their' insurance company. One is guided by contract law, the other by tort law. In one you should expect your company to be working on your behalf, in the other the law says it is up to you to present your claim and to offer proof of its value. This is why I typically suggest you let your insurance company help you. They will, in turn, go after the other company for reimbursement.

Insurance is one of the most misunderstood products on the market, in spite of the fact that virtually all of us have it. Few understand the difference between contract law and statute law and will frequently blame the insurance company when it's the tort system that is controlling the process.

The best advice I can give is just have some patience, don't be afraid to ask questions, remember it is YOUR responsibilty to prove your claim value (but a good company will help you). Keep in mind this was an accident, not an "on purpose" and that antagonizing those that are trying to help you rarely works to your advantage.
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Old 04-19-2012, 12:58 PM   #33
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Very good advice.
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:12 AM   #34
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All - Today on our way through Phoenix, AZ, a car on the left side of our coach blew a right rear tire. The lady driving lost control and crashed into our coach at the radiator stack. It mashed in the exhaust pipe and it's plumbing, and the hyd fans are totaled as well. After the car hit the coach, it went in a half circle and the back end ran into our jeep toad, took out it's running board, and banged up the drivers door, center post, and rear door. Its driveable but it needs shop time as well.

The accident took out all the components contained therein, plus the shroad on the outside of the coach, pushed out the rear of the cap/cracked the rear cap. Some damage across the entire back of the MH as I see stress cracks just above the passenger side tail light and on the seam cover material. The engine door does not close properly as it did prior to this accident.

In looking into the space through the engine cover, all three (as I see them) brackets bolted to the frame rail on that side which support all that hardware in that area, are bent toward the rear of the coach, which leads me to assume the frame might be bent as well.

Since I did not know where we had been hit, just knew we had, it took me about 150 yards to get to the center side of the road near the median because of traffic. Once there I went out to asses the damage, and found the point of impact, then immediately went to the DS window to have the BH shut her down. I guess the coach might have run for a minute of two before I knew what/where it had been hit, called controlled panic if you must know. I am going to push for total, since I won't know if the CAC, A/C Compressor system, Hydraulic System, turbo and it's associated piping has/had metal parts running into them from the crash and those are ingested into the engine, but it's a mess. We are now at the Freightliner Shop in Phoenix, and tomorrow they are going to assess the damage, and the insurance folks will call me. I guess we are going to be stuck here for the week, and it will take them at least a month or longer to get it fixed if it can be fixed, with no WRV left. Included one picture which does not show the brackets pulled out of the frame. The house side of the MH was not hurt and currently we are staying in the coach until some decisions are made. We are not injured in any way except for the frustration and what if's we went through, had we gone another way which we discussed 5 minutes before the crash.

But what really grinds me up is, we this year 2011-2012, put in a new window on the passenger side @ 1500; new AGM batteries @ 1400; fixed the DS window at DDR and ordered new MCD shades for the new window @ 550. Now that money is gone, and we will lose more if the driver does not have good insurance. With the price of fuel now, if' it's totaled we are done I think with Rv'ing.

Hi monty, so sorry to hear about your accident. I think its time to take a deep breath and not get so excited. Your coach is not a total.. that damage cannot begin to exceed the value of that big fine coach. We blew a tire on our toad 2 weeks ago. $1500. damage on a 2000 Malibu, still not a total. How could you have frame damage that could not be repaired. don't get excited yet. Good wishes, old trucker
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:11 PM   #35
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Old rver: I have the same batteries you have. They are 8 years old and going strong. All electric coach and we run everything all night no problems. Dont let anybody tell you they are no good.

And good luck. You will make it through this just fine. Pain in the ass though
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Old 04-28-2012, 01:27 AM   #36
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All - I appreciate the kind words, and I think all the shock is almost over, and almost all the mad as well. So please check your tires weekly, it could happen to you. Yes it's going to be a PITA, but we will get through it.

Until I have a better idea on when it's going to be done, I won't know for sure (fuel prices) if I'm taking stuff down to it, or just bare bones living in it until I know everything is working correctly, then coming home. At any rate, if I go down to it, there will be two months before I am back home, which takes me real close to the time we normally leave to head south anyway, so I may just stay down south, and the BH can drive or fly down to me. I wish I had a place (cheap) place to stay near it so i could watch and help fix it with them, could use the work anyway.
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:28 AM   #37
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Wowwwww - might get the jeep back on Wednesday, one down and one to go, yessssssss!!!!

It is hard to believe, how much damage happened to coach, when the other cars angle of attack was so slim, and the distance between us was no more than 4 feet. Some old dude has a theory on it, mass and velocity, angle of attack, something or other. Heard sequel/pop, then bang, then another bang, looked in PS side mirror, saw jeep going sideways in the lane over, then come back behind coach, knew bad thing had happened.

I can only report that the Blue Ox Tow bar performed beyond measure as it kept the jeep from flipping over, and brought it back behind the coach within one second of it's being kicked out from the car's secondary hit on it. I can highly recommend Blue ox equipment over any other brand based on this accident. I am also thankful no one was in the passenger lane when the jeep got hit as someone could have been killed when it was forced into that lane.

If we had been towing a trailer, or 5th wheel, it would have flipped it over I think, glad we had all that mass instead of a tow behind.
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:40 AM   #38
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Old RV'er, I've got a 2009 Winnebago Chalet 31C. It's been in storage since I bought the Class A. If you want to use it to be close to the repairs, I would be glad to loan it to you. You would need to get to Ohio to pick it up. You take care of the gas and insurance and it''s yours to use.

It's in great shape, no known issues, well maintained. It's just sitting in storage costing me money monthly to store it.

Just a thought
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:07 AM   #39
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Wow, this is the second person who offered me an RV to use so I could be close to the coach being fixed. Words don't describe how this much love and consideration to a stranger makes me feel toward my brothers in arms in this forum.

I was thinking more along the lines of a spare room or something like that. It now seems I cannot go down for a month or so anyway because I have commitments here which I need to deal with. Plus they are supposed to advise me when all the parts to fix it arrive and a scheduled start date on that repair, then i would know more about my schedule and theirs.

I think I might be able to stay in the RV if I can get water and power for a couple of weeks prior to finish, which is about when I wanted to be there. I want to make sure they put in the correct coolant and tyranny fluid. I also wanted to watch the Hydraulic motor replacement, and the filter change on that system, and its refill. Those won't happen until close to the end of the whole thing.

I want to thank you for the kind and generous offer, but at this moment in time, I won’t be able to accept. Lots of if’s with no clear direction to take until I have additional information I guess.

Please let me know if I can ever help you in the future, as I try to “cast my bread on the waters, for in many days it will come home”. RV’ers are the best folks I have ever met, all of them are kind and considerate of each other, wow to be associated to you all is awe inspiring to say the least.
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:22 AM   #40
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Glad to be able to offer it.

If your needs change don't hesitate to send me a message.
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Old 07-20-2012, 01:27 AM   #41
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Update on Coach - Today, I called the shop to ask them to put some algaecide treatment in the fuel tank, since the coach has been sitting since 4-1-2012 and will continue to sit a while longer, although!!!

All the body work and mechanical works has been completed as the last two clamps were installed today. It’s now ready for the paint booth. First they have to prime all the areas repaired, then the graphics are done, and since I don’t know the process, its one color at a time I assume, let it dry/bake, and then do the next one. They said it would be finished by the end of August. I have asked for pictures, none so far. It may be me who takes then, if so it will be a while before they are posted here.

Then it’s off to Cummins for genset service, main engine oil change/filter, complete chassis lube, inspect and lube the drive shaft assembly. Change the engine mounted fuel filter and the fuel water separator filter. If Cummins can take a transmission fluid sample and send off to Allison so that is updated in my file, to see if any fluid damage has taken place, then I think were set. I won’t know if it needs a 4 axle alignment till I take it on the road.

Provided it’s ready when they say, I will leave home around 9-1-12 and go down and get it. I will hang around the area for a few days inspecting the body work, the mechanical work and generally testing out the coach to make sure it’s working like it should. Once I am satisfied, I will head up to Cottonwood, AZ do additional testing on a reasonable road trip and take a week of camping and look over the area to see if we want to purchase a second home. I also will check out Flagstaff, AZ as well. Once I know the coach is going to work fine, I will take it back to the storage facility, and then drive back home. I also might head east, and visit family, but too soon to tell as the economy seems to be heading back into the toilet, this is especially true depending on how the November Elections go.
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Old 07-23-2012, 11:54 AM   #42
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Monty, it's good to know you are at the home stretch! I hope that when you go down to AZ, you find that the repair shop has done an outstanding job! And, I'm glad they decided to fix it for you, as we'd miss you if you weren't at DRR in 2013!
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