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Old 08-15-2013, 09:59 PM   #1
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fire in Itasca Meridian Winnebago

I posted last August 2012 about a fire in our Itasca Meridian Winnebago due to the main power cables going around a square corner and after 50,000 some miles the rubbing caused the fire. We lost our dog and everything in the coach from the smoke. We were told by the fire marshall if we had been sleeping, we would not be here today. It did not burn to the ground as two RVers on each side put the fire out. So the evidence was saved and could not be blamed on a refrigerator. Winnebago has ignored us. No RECALLS have been made on that model. We found another coach slightly newer than ours and Winnebago had changed how the bundle was secured. They knew they had a problem...but there was NO RECALL. Winnebago has cost us a lot of money in replacing everything and having to take out a big loan on a new coach. We just found out when trying to renew our home owners insurance that it went up because of the fire even though both GMAC and our homeowners are in in arbitration procedures. We also were not happy with GMAC's response to the accident and how long it took to settle (as all the evidence pointed to Winnebago's fault). They also did not offer us what it was worth. It was a year ago this August 8 that we lost our dear pet. We were also several thousand miles from home. Winnebago advertises SAFETY but yet there has been no RECALL because if there is a RECALL they would be admitting there was a problem with their wiring design. Safety, I don't think so--just the almighty dollar at work and the heck with any fire that might happen in your Winnebago coach.
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Old 08-15-2013, 10:15 PM   #2
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Did you file a complaint with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration?
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:23 PM   #3
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It really sounds like you need to talk to an attorney. We had an issue with our 40 ft 2005 itasca Horizon's Roof when our coach was about 4 yrs old. 20ft our Roof peeled back from the drivers front cap to the middle Of the Coach. I called Winnebago & they refused to do anything even though the Roof had a 10 year warranty. Said since we did not have a Winnebago dealer do a our maintenance it would not be covered. Even tho we had a local RV Repair do our maintenance to the tune Of $2000. within the last year before the Roof blew off In thd High winds Of the Mojave desert. A Winnebago dealer we normally used For repairs, hadn't told us to call our Insurance Co & see if they would cover it since it was wind damage. We would have to pay the cost out Of our pocket.
Luckily they did. But almost didn't they called Winnebago & was told we didn't maintain our Roof. I sent them all our records & they could'nt understand why Winnebago would not stand behind it. We are not normally sue happy people' but these things cost too much to let the manufacture just say no when your aware to was a defect. If our Insurance had not covered our Roof' I would have talked to an attorney about my Options. There is usually no cost For a consultation. Good luck, real sorry about your Fire & loss Of your pet.
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Old 08-16-2013, 12:35 AM   #4
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ggreene......Sorry for the loss of your dog and coach, but I don't see how Winnebago is responsible for your fire. As you stated, your coach was 7 years old and had 50000 miles on it. How long should they be responsible for this issue. How many other Winnebago coaches burned or even had a similar problem with their wiring.

Looking at your previous posts, you've only come on here to complain about Winnebago and a low settlement offer. No matter what settlement you got, you don't have to accept it and you can challenge it. You say that you had to take out a big loan which sounds like you were upside down on your old coach. Again, how is that Winnebago's fault.

The value of your old coach was probably about $75000.00 - $85,000.00.....you don't say what they paid you.
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diplomat Don View Post
ggreene......Sorry for the loss of your dog and coach, but I don't see how Winnebago is responsible for your fire. As you stated, your coach was 7 years old and had 50000 miles on it. How long should they be responsible for this issue. How many other Winnebago coaches burned or even had a similar problem with their wiring.

Looking at your previous posts, you've only come on here to complain about Winnebago and a low settlement offer. No matter what settlement you got, you don't have to accept it and you can challenge it. You say that you had to take out a big loan which sounds like you were upside down on your old coach. Again, how is that Winnebago's fault.

The value of your old coach was probably about $75000.00 - $85,000.00.....you don't say what they paid you.

Exactly, Don. Could not have said it better. I am sorry for ggreene's loss, but as coach owners, it is OUR responsibility to perform routine safety inspections as well as the routing maintenance, or to have it done by someone qualified and competent.

Last week, while on the creeper under my 2001 Jeep Cherokee, I found that the rear brake had been hit, probably by a piece of debris on the highway, and the steel line was bent down hard and rubbing against the differential housing. It would eventually rub through, as there was already signs of wear from rubbing on the edge of the flange. I have no doubt that at some point, I would have encountered a sudden, and catastrophic brake failure, as the brake fluid would be pumped out onto the road.

My advice is to either get under you motorhome, and look closely at the condition of hoses, wiring, tubing, and how they are routed. If you can't or don't want to do this on a regular basis, create an inspection checklist and have someone qualified to to this. I is a necessary part of owning one of these complex machines.
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Old 08-16-2013, 12:40 PM   #6
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Man this is a hard call. But I have to come down on the side of the RV owner on this one. Not all wires in a coach can be checked, studied for wear, easy to get to. How far are we expected to dig into a coach just to check wear and tear? And not everyone is even qualified or capable of doing such checks. With the type of problem GG had, there is no warning that something is about to do damage let alone endanger lives. From all my research on RVs to consider, a Winnie is the last brand I would purchase because of the many issues I have read about right here. Life is to short to worry about such stuff coming out of the blue on you and especially when you're on the road trying to enjoy yourself.
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Old 08-16-2013, 04:12 PM   #7
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Christian,

The heavy cables at the batteries, are unfused, and they have a flex-loop behind the slide-out battery trays, so the trays can be pulled out. When pushing the battery trays back in place, these cables can get pressed against the edge of a steel support. That would be a wear-thru point if left unchecked. So there IS notice that this is likely to happen. The cables have heavy insulation on them, but that will eventually be chaffed or cut thru is constaltly pressed against something sharp. This is a major concern, and should be routinely inspected.

The rest if the wiring under and inside a coach, are not much of a concern. Wiring that feed the various circuits in a coach, as fused, or cercuit-breaker protected, and heavy battery cables running along the frame to the front battery disconnect switch, battery emergency start switch, and fuse box feed, are ty-wrapped or clamped in place, and easily inspected.

All manufacturers make changes in the design of their coaches, and do not gao back and retro-fit earlier models. Nobody does that. The wiring id GG's coach was fine for 7 years. Somewhere along the line, the unfused positive battery cable wore thru, and shorted to the frame, which caused the fire. That was preventable with on-going inspections. That is why anything carring passengers for hire; trucks, aircraft, boats, etc, have required periodic inspections. We do not carry passengers for hire, so we are not required to do it, but that doesn't make it less important. Sorry; I can't fault the manufacturer on a 7 year old coach with 50k miles.
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:40 PM   #8
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Fire is not a good word around my wife, she was in our 2012 Windsport when a guy pulling a 36 ft goose-neck just caught the corner on the passenger side. Just cracked the front fiberglass wind screen. The 110v connection in the dash for the computer desk shorted and caused an electrical fire burning the coach to 18,000 lbs of melted metal. Oh well, we got 90 days use from our new coach.
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:53 PM   #9
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ggreene sorry about the loss and hope your insurance company works out a deal with you.

Where exactly did the fire start? Which square corner and which main power cable? Picture?
Thanks.
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhanan View Post

Where exactly did the fire start? Which square corner and which main power cable? Picture?
Thanks.
np - I found the original post.
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:16 PM   #11
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The fact that Winnebago completely ignored you, makes me not want to buy a Winnebago product.
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Old 08-17-2013, 12:37 AM   #12
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IMPULSE DRIVEN......How can you make a statement like that without knowing all the facts. I once had a Lexus with a flat tire.....I guess all Lexus' are junk.

The OP gave very little information and I'll bet he never comes back to repost. He only posts when his agitation level increases and he vents by posting here.
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Old 08-17-2013, 12:50 AM   #13
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I see
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Old 08-17-2013, 12:52 AM   #14
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I was concerned that Winnebago ignored him.
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