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Joy-Joy


NDBirdman
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I now get to enjoy the fun of dealing with my insurance company.  On hold now for 2 hours... yea, fast... LOL  I need to file a claim on our camper.  First storm of the year, high wind filled with ice/snow, joy-joy.  Snapped a tree in half and of course it had to bounce off the front cap of our camper ripping a nice, maybe 1ft by 3ft hole.  I picked up the chunk from the front yard but, I doubt they can glue it back in.. LOL  The limb did not break through the interior wall, inside of the closet.  Do they make replacement caps for a 2002 Dutchman RK I wonder?  Probably cost more to replace than campers worth but..... insurance will let me know I'm sure.  Glad we have full coverage on this.

 

 

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  That piece could be put back in place. Fiberglass will adhere to new fiberglass when it is mixed with the hardener.

  It is fairly easy to do. Just time consuming so that is where the price goes up. Then the area can be finished with properly colored gel coat.

  I have done that kind of work over the years. A bout shop could do that work.

  But I would cover the whole so as to keep the water out.

 

  Vern

 

  unless they do have a new cap

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I took the tree down enough today so I could pull it out of the yard.  Finally got a hold of the insurance company but that's going to be a slow process.  Being Saturday, nuttins open around here so I'll try Monday.  Before I could do anything about the hole, is started snowing like crazy and still is.  I'm thinking I am going to have to find a barn or someplace I can put this in and take a shop-vac to the inside and remove as much snow as possible.  I'll make a few calls looking for a fiberglass repair shop but I've never heard of one in my area.

I do have a roll of eterna-bond, might have to resort to that for now for protection.  I think I would be just as happy for the insur. co to total this out but, doubt it.  I don't think the camper's book value makes it worth them paying for a repair job, it is a 2002 but we will see.

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Progressive Insurance was a pleasure to work a claim with. Fast, absolutely no hassle. The adjuster dealt with Camping World and it was done in a week. It looked like yours but not as bad. I went with Progressive because someone posted on the Forest River site how easy they were to deal with.

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Welp, storm quit so I went out with ladder to take a look.  Lots more damage than I originally thought.  The front cap is cracked all the way up to roof membrane, all the screws along the top of the cap are pulled out, roof looks to have a couple small rips.  Inside, some wires were nailed.  There's bracing inside from the front wall to the cap for support, that's knocked out/cracked.  Some serious damage to the front of this camper.  While I'm sure the cap can probably be replaced or a good fiberglass shop repair it, the roof rips fixed with eternabond, bracing rebuilt and wires repaired... it's not going to be an easy/inexpensive repair I think.  NADA on it is only $7k.... is it worth fixing?  If they total it, I'll use the $ as a down payment on a newer RV, probably a Class A.

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2 hours ago, NDBirdman said:

Welp, storm quit so I went out with ladder to take a look.  Lots more damage than I originally thought.  The front cap is cracked all the way up to roof membrane, all the screws along the top of the cap are pulled out, roof looks to have a couple small rips.  Inside, some wires were nailed.  There's bracing inside from the front wall to the cap for support, that's knocked out/cracked.  Some serious damage to the front of this camper.  While I'm sure the cap can probably be replaced or a good fiberglass shop repair it, the roof rips fixed with eternabond, bracing rebuilt and wires repaired... it's not going to be an easy/inexpensive repair I think.  NADA on it is only $7k.... is it worth fixing?  If they total it, I'll use the $ as a down payment on a newer RV, probably a Class A.

I can tell you that an A is a lot less work setting up and tearing down . 5 minutes or 10 if you stop and talk to your new neighbor . ;)

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5 hours ago, NDBirdman said:

Welp, storm quit so I went out with ladder to take a look.  Lots more damage than I originally thought.  The front cap is cracked all the way up to roof membrane, all the screws along the top of the cap are pulled out, roof looks to have a couple small rips.  Inside, some wires were nailed.  There's bracing inside from the front wall to the cap for support, that's knocked out/cracked.  Some serious damage to the front of this camper.  While I'm sure the cap can probably be replaced or a good fiberglass shop repair it, the roof rips fixed with eternabond, bracing rebuilt and wires repaired... it's not going to be an easy/inexpensive repair I think.  NADA on it is only $7k.... is it worth fixing?  If they total it, I'll use the $ as a down payment on a newer RV, probably a Class A.

I still strongly suggest protecting the damaged area as best you can with a tarp or plastic. You don't want to give the insurance adjuster any "failure to mitigate" ammunition that lowers your settlement.

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I seriously doubt Dutchmen, or whomever owns them now, would have the front cap mold 20 years later.

I suspect your insurance co. will total the 5er out. Then it's your choice, buy it back for salvage value, then do the repairs yourself, or take the settlement and go buy another 5er. The value will be higher than book due to the high demand for RV's this year. You must be able to show current advertised values for your make/model 5er are higher than book.

I had the front cap on our 1995 Dutchmen 5er repaired, because in 2006 Dutchmen said they no longer had the cap molds. I crashed into a low tree limb in an RV park, thankfully the limb was small enough it just cracked the cap before I got stopped.

The auto repair shop that specialized in fiberglass body repairs did an excellent job. The turnaround time was very reasonable too. Got more than we paid for it, when trading for a brand new Dutchmen 5er.

Best of luck! I prescribe a shot of _ _ _ _, every evening until this(and your nerves) is settled.

Edited by Ray,IN
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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry to hear you got tagged by mother nature. I agree that a good fiberglass repair person could make it like new, sand off the whole cap and with new gelcoat will look and act like new. and you can ditch the decals or paint what you want on it. keep us posted.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Heard from my insurance yesterday.  They deemed it totaled.  But they did not say what the $$ will be.  I pointed them to the 2 models like mine, only 2 I could find for sale in the US so we will see what they will say.  They did not say much else, if they offer to sell it back to me and I refuse, will they send someone to come get it I wonder?  I would like to do a cheap fix and use it as a hunting shack but, finding time to do it is nearly impossible for me, have too much to do for quite a while.  The tires are fairly new, that's about the only thing I can think of any real value.

I was told by a body shop in town that used to do repairs like this it would be north of $8k to repair IF I could find a shop willing to tackle it.  It also looks like the first 18 inches of the rubber roof was lifted loose, so I would have to figure out how to re-laminate (?) the front part of the roof so it is not lifting when pulling down the road.

Edited by NDBirdman
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Insurance decided to give me a decent sum for the RV, a transportation company has been assigned to come pick it up.  It's still covered with a tarp which is surprising considering how bad of a wind/snow storm just rolled through.  I pulled it up to the driveway before the storm so they could easily connect to it but most the roads/hiways are closed down at the moment.  So, I no longer own this camper, other than it sitting here until they can brave the roads to get it, it's gone.  Tomorrow the fun begins, shovel snow, blow the driveway clear, and as quick as the county clears our 1.5 miles of gravel road to the hiway, might be able to drive somewhere again.  With no kiddies living in our area, we're the last one cleared since no school buses come by.  I usually get tired of waiting after a couple days and run the tractor/blower down it but I hate doing that, but o-well, all's fun and games living in the sticks.  Now to decide, another 5th wheel, or motor-home.  Kinda leaning towards class-a but time will tell.  If we go motor-home route, will probably sell the RAM DRW, will no longer need that big a truck. 

Thanks for all the suggestions/info.

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15 hours ago, NDBirdman said:

Welp, a guy from the transportation company came and picked up the camper today.  She's gone, now just a fond memory of the joy she gave us.  Actually felt pretty sad watching her leave.  My place just doesn't look/feel right without a camper sitting here.

Maybe a replacement will 'soon' fill the void ? 

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11 hours ago, Pat & Pete said:

Maybe a replacement will 'soon' fill the void ? 

Yea, we hope so, my problem is, go with a class A and enclosed trailer, or keep the RAM and get a toy hauler.  Really need to make sure whichever does a good job of hauling our HD Tri-Glide with us.  On the other hand, ability to tow a small vehicle also beckons at us.  We are hoping when the virus settles down and ppl get back to normal(?) we could find a good used, 1-2 yr old RV, time will tell.

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12 hours ago, NDBirdman said:

Yea, we hope so, my problem is, go with a class A and enclosed trailer, or keep the RAM and get a toy hauler.  Really need to make sure whichever does a good job of hauling our HD Tri-Glide with us.  On the other hand, ability to tow a small vehicle also beckons at us.  We are hoping when the virus settles down and ppl get back to normal(?) we could find a good used, 1-2 yr old RV, time will tell.

Choices , choices ... 

I wouldn't expect the virus to 'settle down' anytime soon . Hospitals are full with Covid patients , with no end in sight .

New variants pop up on a seemingly regular basis . 

Pretty sure your mentioned normal is a thing of the past . 

Anyway , I'd do it while you can . ;)

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More than likely we'll just watch the market til spring/summer, if something pops up we like, we'll get it.  In our area, this past year not much has come up for sale we liked.  We've been looking but mostly locally, chances are we are going to need to take a few trips to more populated areas of the country.  Until then, I'm working on the house and (trying) to learn how to use my lathe without eating bowls... LOL

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