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Old 04-01-2012, 11:43 PM   #1
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Accident - Car lost tire

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.
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Monty & Janet - 2007 Alpine APEX 40 MDTS
S/N - 75715 - Retired - Master Certified RV Tech
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:58 PM   #2
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Well...the most important thing is no one was killed or injured....our "stuff" can be repaired or replaced. Small consolation when your waiting on insurance. I hope everything turns out ok for you...let us know how it goes.

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Old 04-02-2012, 01:06 AM   #3
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In most states, since the accident is clearly not your fault.. YOUR insurance will cover it, no matter the state of the other guy. However, not all states are like that.

As for new AGM batteries.. You do know that is the 2nd worst battery deal out there right,, OPTIMA is the worst, other AGM #2, Maintenance free has all the advantagees (Save for the "This side up issue) and half the cost.
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:09 AM   #4
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Sorry to hear of your misfortune. While RV insurance may not be handled like a car, a general rule of thumb is if the damage is 75% of the vehicle value, they want to total.

So while you're waiting, it might be a good idea to search for values of your unit - just to have this documentation on hand when the insurance discussion begins. Also, if you are a full-timer, I would think you are due compensation for loss of your domicile during the entire repair period; assuming no total. And, if you have a repair facility you truly trust, why consider a total?, just push hard to get an estimate for every possible thing that might be damaged. Don't forget, whatever insurance company pays, it is their obligation to "make you whole". That is, to restore you to the condition you were in before the accident. Sign nothing in advance, and be assertive toward this result. Good luck, please keep us posted.
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:05 AM   #5
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I didn't see where you said if the driver of the car was okay...Cars and RV's can be replaced, that's why you have insurance. Be thankful the wreck was not worse, with injuries or fatalities.
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:41 AM   #6
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OMG what a beautiful rv too. I am so sorry. I am very glad no one was hurt. I hope insurance goes smoothly and your replaced fair and square. It completly sucks, so sorry your going through all this.
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Old 04-02-2012, 02:08 PM   #7
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Glad to hear that no one was hurt. Sorry to hear about your ordeal and coach, I hope all goes well with the repairs. It is good that your are very well qualified to supervise.

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Old 04-02-2012, 09:57 PM   #8
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All - Thank you for the kind words. The other driver was taken to the hospital, but we have not been able to get any word on her condition, I know she was banged up some and complained about neck pain according to the police officer when I asked him.

We have a replacement cost rider on our MH policy, but we don't know exactly how that works yet, even the claims adjuster was not sure.

FWIW - Two companies have reported that they wont touch the MH for repair, with the OEM gone, parts would have to be fabricated, and once you change a basic OEM part on an RV/Car, you then become th owner of the RV/Car. Another repair facility is coming to take a look at it tomorrow but my guess is the same. The adjuster is showing up tomorrow AM to look it over as well. In taking additional looks at the damage, the huck bolts have pulled out of the frame on some of those support brackets, and there are cracks on the rear corners of the slide. Additionally, the panel which were damaged pulled out fasterners from the house part of the MH.

I love Onan, the electrical system was not damaged, and it's keeping us cool, running the charger system so we can live in it till the claim has been processed. Also love those large holding and fresh water tanks, we figure we can go two weeks if we have too.

We will keep everyone advised on what is happening.
Monty & Janet - 2007 Alpine APEX 40 MDTS
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:20 PM   #9
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WA8YXM - Normally I would agree with you if we had a normal motorhome, we have an alpine apex, and it's electrical load while dry camping is at least double what a normal MH has, so the 8 AGM batteries last all the night, providing the residential refer with plenty of power and all the other high tech gadgets also work better having lots of reserve capacity. When we had 8 Lead/Acid batteries, we needed to start the genset as soon as quiet hours were over, now we can wait until 10 or even later since they have lots of power. In my opinion, they were well worth the cost, and I am going to try to take them with me if I can since they are only 5 months old.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:25 PM   #10
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Sounds like a total is the frame is damaged very much. If the huck bolts pulled out there's not much that can be done to make it like new again although I suppose they can heat straighten and weld it. But welding/heating can only be done on certain parts of the frame where huck bolts aren't used.
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:55 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Mr_D View Post
Sounds like a total is the frame is damaged very much. If the huck bolts pulled out there's not much that can be done to make it like new again although I suppose they can heat straighten and weld it. But welding/heating can only be done on certain parts of the frame where huck bolts aren't used.
Firstly, there's no way the frame of this big boy was damaged by this. Perhaps the structure that supports the radiator, intercooler, or whatever, but that can easily be repaired or a new one fabricated. After some disassembly they can use a borascope to look into the intake, to confirm whether or not anything was sucked in, I'd doubt it though.

I seriously doubt your coach will be deemed a total, sounds like your big issue will be finding someone qualified to do the necessary fabrication.

It's perfectly normal, in the heat of the moment, to get excited and upset, and by their very nature any accident is a PITA. Just keep your cool, do your homework (relative to locating a good repair shop) and even then, keep an eye on the work in progress to assure there are no short cuts being taken.

Oh, and YOUR insurance applies in EVERY state, and it may be easier to work with them and let them go back to her insurance company for reimbursement, including your deductible. IF it were totaled, which again I doubt, many do not carry property liability coverage sufficient to cover the replacement cost of these newer and larger coaches. Regardless, they would not owe you, or your company, "Replacement cost", only the current retail value in today's market, so again, it would probably be better, and less stressful, if you went through your company.

I wish you the best of luck. Be sure to let us know how it all turns out.
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:44 AM   #12
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I don't know if policies of this sort are still sold, but when money was raining from the sky we bought (& I believe we still have in force) a "replacement cost" coverage policy. Pretty sure it is a separate coverage that works like this:
1) accident happens
2) damage estimate exceeds current market value (MV) or some % of MV or some other threshhold that includes salvage value of the remnants, so rig is declared a total loss & insurance deals w/it as such
3) "replacement cost" rider kicks in to augment the adjustment above current MV up to the current cost of a new rig of comparable design, quality, etc. For an Apex that'll be an interesting discussion (RO system, SilverLeaf bells & whistles, Peak Chassis) as to what's a comp new rig.

I believe Monty indicated he has one of these policies. What I don't know is the specifics of adjustment. For real property policies it is customary for the burden of "proof of loss" to be on the insured. I.e. the insured has to prove that the parts, assemblies, finishes, contents, etc. are damaged and that they need to be replaced as opposed to repaired (or repaired in some fashion) and that the cost of making the property whole = $XXX (some specific amount). It is very common on small claims for the insured to rely upon the insurer's adjustment estimate and for the insurer to assist in negotiating repairs or educating the insured as to how to go about getting repairs. This assists the insurance co. by making the customer happy w/the outcome. Enter the possibility of maybe total loss & maybe not. In those cases many insurer's take a step back & look at their exposure, try to limit losses, and stick closely to the contractual obligations, leaving the insurer to prove the loss (sometimes to the point of arguing the contrary that some portion need not be repaired as it was not collision damage, or it can be repaired instead of replaced, etc). Naturally they have been presented w/inflated loss estimates (I assisted on a $2.5M water damage claim a few years back as the engineering expert, where the contractor thought he had a license to steal, real loss should have come in around $750k, insurer argued loss should only be $450k). An insurer may step back to the point to say, "OK, prove it." Now the insured (who contracted for exactly this scenario, tho probably never read the fine print) has to obtain all proofs for all parts, assemblies, finishes him/herself and pay the cost of the proof (again in real property that's the usual contract). You can hire various 3rd parties who are expert in the repairs, insurance, or both to assist.
E.g. #1: L.A. Riots- Korean business owners who had a nominal command of the English language, and less of insurance language, floundered for proof of their business losses (much complicated by the somewhat customary lack of detailed business records for many of the liquor store businesses that were burned out). Many owners could not prove they were in a business that did much volume (lotta cash transactions apparently). Business owners got hammered, and insurers didn't have to pay out nearly what they would have if proper records had been kept and proofs presented per the insurance contracts.
E.g. #2: Oakland Hills Fire (burned couple thousand expensive homes to the ground iirc). Well heeled owners who lived in this tony area showed up at their insurers w/architect on one side, & attorney on the other, not only well versed in their insurance contract language but also with damage "proofs" in hand well papered by expert opinion. Needless to say the insurers didn't mitigate their looses much in this case.

In the case of a spendy motorhome damage claim, an owner can hire a collision repair expert who has extensive knowledge of motorhome collision repair, combined w/insurance coverage language to assure the insurance comes across per contract. Might cost a few thousand dollars for a proper consultant's time. Another Alpiner had his rig rolled on the Al-Can Highway last year by an errant trucker driving like an idiot. His rig was totaled, but it was not apparent till an expert looked at it. He had an expert assist, and he was very pleased by the outcome w/the insurance, as he had paid for "replacement" coverage. They now have a new motorhome, and are back RV'ing.
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:22 PM   #13
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All - The adjuster just left, and he said they are shooting for some kind of decision today or early tomorrow. It looks like its going to be towed to one more place possibly for a decision on repair. Although the same place is coming over today to look it over and see what they can tell from visible damage. You cannot get your head into there easy, so lots of stuff might be totaled and you don't see it. The brackets can be seen readly. The rear support bracket on the left side where the coolant tank hangs from is also bent and damaged.
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:11 PM   #14
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I doubt seriously if it is a total. What is broken can be fixed. As for the manufacturer being out of business, any damage to the rear cap can be fixed by most boat repair shops. Metal can be straightened or replaced.

There are plenty or shops around that can undertake the repairs you need, you just need to get it to reputable one. I'd insist on a 3 or 4 customers to contact for similiar repairs by the shop.

Stuff can be fixed...people are a bit more difficult.


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