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Old 08-20-2017, 08:57 PM   #1
Newmar Owners Club
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Engine fire in Newmar 2016 Dutchstar Model 4369

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 150 miles away. Preliminary observation suggests an electrical fire resulting in a severed fuel line causing a continuous supply of fuel to the fire. We are full time RVers and this is our only home. We are currently paying for nightly rentals. Our insurance company, National Interstate, only supplies a small emergency hotel expense which we have already used up. 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. We have been loyal Newmar owners, first a Mountainaire and currently a Dutchstar. We are now asking for Newmars help in our difficult situation since this is through no fault of our own and the motorhome is less than two years old. Weve relied on the Newmar products for our home and never imagined there was any possibility for our home to burst into flames when turning the ignition switch on. We are very concerne about the safety of our coach because of the extensive damage incurred. dWe are also very concerned about the diminishment of value of our coach due to the record of fire damage. We have asked Newmar and Freightline to provide us with lodging assistance but they have declined. Although our insurance company, National Interstate, sent out a fire inspector right away we still have no timeline from Newmar and Freightliner. Our motorhome continues to sit at the Freightliner dealership and no work has begun.

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Old 08-20-2017, 09:01 PM   #2
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Unfortunately you are at the mercy of your insurance company. Some insurance companies offer optional insurance for loss of use and extra living expenses.
Doubt that Newmar or Freightliner owe you anything for loss of use or diminished value.

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Old 08-20-2017, 09:10 PM   #3
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lawyer up.
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Old 08-20-2017, 09:10 PM   #4
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So sorry to hear about your delimma
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Old 08-20-2017, 09:11 PM   #5
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Our prayers will be with you.
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Old 08-20-2017, 09:38 PM   #6
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Main thing is you are okay.

Seek out a cheap apartment or some other lodging.

Now the rig is less than 2 years old and likely no standard warranty but exactly what caused the fire?

Fuel leak would have made a mess but not started a fire.

Electrical could have started a fire that melted the line.

Where it can get messy or lucky is what exact wiring caused it as if it is related to something like the engine it may be included in the engine warranty.

None of that will cover lodging as that is not usual factory warranty but lesson here is full timers need to insure for this loss where vacation users not so much.

Regarding loss of value that could be huge and you need to apply pressure on manufacturer to define exactly what happened.

If you did any work in there all bets off.

A new unit should be built such that no risk of electrical fire so the manufacturer should first determine exactly how the fire started then how it got fueled by motor fuel then look to see if it was a design flaw.

They as a manufacturer need to be thankful no loss of life or serious injury and you need to be certian they understand their luck...

Legal assistance may be in order if the manufacturer does not give this the attention it needs.

There may be many others just like yours and they may not be so lucky...
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Old 08-20-2017, 09:53 PM   #7
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One of the first things that will go into our future coach will be an engine and generator compartment fire suppression system. Every boat I've owned with inboard diesel power had one. I am somewhat surprised that none of the leading edge manufacturers offer one as an option as DPs are especially vulnerable due to the remote engine location. Given the money we all spend on lipstick and mascara, a fire suppression system seems like cheap insurance.

I forgot to add our fervent best wishes for the OP that this will all work out with as little disruption as possible to their lives. Not a fun situation for sure :(
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Old 08-20-2017, 09:59 PM   #8
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Hope things work out for you, that is a hard one for your first post but it gives us all something to think about. The wife wants this and the more I read I think I may get one. Hope things turn out OK.
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Old 08-21-2017, 02:34 AM   #9
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I can't comment as to a Newmar, but I watched a blog on the building of a Tiffin coach and when they got to the "undercoating" I was very surprised to see that is was the expanding foam. That stuff is extremely flammable, highly toxic, and impossible to put out without a water deluge.
I am considering a Halon remote system for the engine compartment and generator space since we leave the fur children with the engine or generator running.
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Old 08-21-2017, 06:05 AM   #10
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Engine fire in Newmar2016 Dutchstar Model 4369

Best outcome would be for the insurance company to call it a total loss and get you into another unit. Itemize everything you have in the coach for immediate need/replacement and as said above -- lawyer up NOW.

Edit: if my coach catches fire, I'm going to let it burn baby burn, as I watch from a comfy distance.
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Old 08-21-2017, 06:06 AM   #11
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In my opinion you should focus your efforts on getting your insurance company to provide the coverage you have been paying for. We all pay good money for insurance but the insurance companies are very reluctant to pay for valid coverage claims. y

Newmar,Freightiner and Cummins are out of warranty coverage and really don't have a roll in the game.. yet. Let your insurance company go after them if they feel there is reason.

Good luck !
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Old 08-21-2017, 07:36 AM   #12
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ARGHH so sorry for your terrible predicament. Question to OP or any full timer, do insurance companies even offer coverage (for very long periods of time) for if your RV (home) is unavailable for any reason?
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Old 08-21-2017, 12:01 PM   #13
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Previous comments have been made that Freightliner and Cummins are not still under warranty - my understanding is they are. I know for a fact after dealing with my coach Freightliner covers for 3 years and I believe 50,000 miles. Cummins also has a warranty that is not part of Newmar's.
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Old 08-21-2017, 12:13 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by biggcrisp View Post
Best outcome would be for the insurance company to call it a total loss and get you into another unit. Itemize everything you have in the coach for immediate need/replacement and as said above -- lawyer up NOW.

Edit: if my coach catches fire, I'm going to let it burn baby burn, as I watch from a comfy distance.
If you can hold your thumb up and still see fire, you're too close. Once all life forms have exited, there is nothing left that I would risk my life for in my coach.

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engine, fire, newmar

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