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Old 03-20-2023, 07:10 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 55
Service Center Fuel Spill Disaster

You can't make this stuff up. 2004 Holiday Rambler, P32 Workhorse Chassis. 8.1L GM Vortex. I have been having high fuel trim indications at idle on my new ScanGaugeIII and have been working through the solutions. My normal shop is backed up two months so I was in a new service center, a good sized one that does RV's, auto repairs, tires, towing, etc. They work on RV chassis and engines, not just house systems. Been in business a long time, pretty good reviews. I was in to have the vacuum system smoked as we suspected a vacuum leak causing the high LT trims at idle. The smoke test showed no leaks and they were replacing a fuel regulator that tested bad. The tech left the system pressurized with some test equipment and left the coach. When he came back fuel had sprayed all over the carpet in front of the dog house, down the heat vent, on the couch, God knows where else.

They are not ducking responsibility, they have hired three companies starting with a carpet cleaner. Now they have brought in a commercial company that deals with spills and environmental clean ups. The carpets and upholstery have all been gone over again, and there are open containers of odor absorbing crystal like materials all over the coach. The odor is also in all the basement storage areas. So far, I have been over there three times and it is getting better but still a strong gasoline odor. My wife has a super sensitive sense of smell and she won't be happy till it is all gone and I am not sure it is possible. Seems like I can argue they totaled the coach!

Two questions. 1. Anyone had a problem like this and have any other ideas on the cleanup? 2. What are your thoughts on negotiating a settlement. I'm sure it is not going to be all gone. I'm sure they are trying to avoid a claim on their insurance company. I hesitate to report it to my company. I don't want to effect my rates even though I am not at fault. If they get involved going after the service center's insurer, it would likely blow back on me in rate the way insurers are these days.

Their labor rate is $179 per hour and I have about $200 in parts and about a $700 total bill for the work done so far including additional diagnosis of an exhaust leak at an aftermarket cat converter bad weld job at installation done by another shop, and a small leak in the back of the passenger side exhaust manifold that hasn't been repaired. I will wait till my regular shop is available to finish that work.

Thanks for all your ideas.
Doug P
2004 Holiday Rambler
P32 Workhorse Chassis
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Old 03-20-2023, 07:51 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: North America somewhere
Posts: 28,532
Gasoline-soaked soft material and in this case carpet+backing, must be replaced to get rid of petroleum-based contamination.
Yes I would inform my insurance company of the event, as this may be an issue in future years. Since the event was not your fault, your insurance company should not increase your premiums.
2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA IN 1SG 11B5MX,Infantry retired;Good Sam Life member,FMCA." My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. John F. Kennedy
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Old 03-20-2023, 10:59 PM   #3
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I can't imagine new front seating and new carpeting running more than maybe $7,500 which should be well short of totaling the coach.
2002 Safari Trek 2830 on P32 Chassis with 8.1L w/ 400 watts solar 420Ah LiFePo4
2017 Jeep Cherokee Overland & 2007 Toyota Yaris TOADs with Even Brake,
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Old 03-21-2023, 08:04 AM   #4
Join Date: Jan 2023
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 39
I showed this post to my father in-law who for several decades detailed RV's and vehicles. He specialized in removing stains and smells from contaminated carpets and cloth materials.

He said that a good detailer can remove the fuel smell from the carpets with the right chemicals (there are chemicals that break-down/digest the fuel) and time.
However, if the fuel has soaked into the plywood subfloor, the chemicals may or may not work. The wood in the subfloor "traps" the smell. The wood subfloor would need to be exposed to open air and chemically treated multiple times. He said that if this process is going to work, it would do so on the first or second treatment. If the smell is in the wood after the second treatment, the smell would likely take several weeks exposed to open air to dissipate.

If the MH needs to be totaled:
If (big if) you have a good insurance agent that you trust and have good communication with, get them involved. Work with them to come up with a plan to get the shops insurance to cover whatever the cost is. Our insurance premiums dont just pay for damage. We also pay our agents to push other insurance companies to do the right thing...
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fuel, service

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