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Old 06-25-2018, 08:06 AM   #1
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ou do when your Airstream is down for weeks?

Hi fellow Airstreamers,

We were on our first big trip of the year and all was well until a big truck turned too short in a Cracker Barrel parking lot and wiped out our left rear while we were in eating. It was not any fault of ours and now all of our camping season plans are done. Has anyone had this experience? We are just sick and we think the insurance should cover a replacement to use while ours is down. The estimate is not done yet, but it is guessed to be very high and it will take weeks to months to get it repaired. We are retired and our Airstream is our pride and joy that we try to utilize all the camping season. We live in Wisconsin, so the season ends early November. If this has happened to you, do you have any tips for us? Has anyone had insurance cover a loaner? We shouldn't have to lose the whole year of enjoyment because of an accident caused by someone else, should we? Thanks for any tips!

Joan
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Old 06-25-2018, 08:36 AM   #2
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Sorry to hear it.

The closest situation to yours happened recently to Lily&Me, but her Interstate was totaled and pretty sure your trailer will not be.

However, the similarity in these situations is dealing with the down time plus the combined hassle of insurance and repair.

At this point, it will depend on the offender's insurance. I hope you got his/her information, pictures, and police report. Notify your insurance for their advice and contact the responsible party's insurance and ask what they cover. You can choose where repairs are done once you get a fair settlement. Others will chime in with recommended repair facilities in your area and many suggest you take it to Jackson Center to ensure the job gets done right.

And yes, your travel season is probably done. Good luck.
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Old 06-25-2018, 09:35 AM   #3
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Get an estimate for the repair from the Airstream factory USING BUCKED RIVETS. It is your choice where and how the repair is made. Don't let the insurance company bully you into less.

Get an estimate for transporting the trailer to the Airstream factory.

Get an estimate for depreciated value. Your trailer will be permanently devalued because of the damage.

Get an estimate from someone (I don't know who) for a rental during the time yours is being repaired.

You are entitled to all of this, from the other person's insurance, not yours.

You may have enough from the insurance to purchase a different, faster. Or, go camping in the rental while the trailer is being repaired.

Good luck!
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Old 06-25-2018, 04:14 PM   #4
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I just had a large roof dent repaired by the Service folks at Jackson Center. Can’t say enough good things about that team. Excellent work, friendly and helpful staff. Can’t imagine having the repair of your magnitude done anywhere else. Agree with the Buck rivet post. That’s how it was done at the factory originally and that’s how the repair should be done. Jackson Center is the place to be for that. By the way, I made my appointment two months out and they completed the repair in less than three weeks...two roof panels including a corner. Not easy.
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Old 06-25-2018, 05:22 PM   #5
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Reading this over before posting tells me that it is depressing. I am sending it anyway BUT the first and only point worth noting is this - get a consultation with a lawyer. You have my sincere empathy - and I have had a decent amount of time working with law firms which were my clients... there are brilliant minds on this forum... I am only a 40 watt light bulb... but call someone who knows and practices LAW.
------------
Joan, it is just sickening to hear about this. Obviously since you were parked you are not at fault.... Your post did not say whether the other driver fled or stayed. If he fled and there are no witnesses or video, it will fall on your insurance... and that means only what is explicitly covered in writing in your policy. I have actually never seen an RV policy that includes a loaner, but then I have never asked about the possibility. Still pay a lawyer to interpret your policy if you get the slightest whiff that anything is not kosher (your friendly agent makes money selling, not holding your hand, might be a trouper, might be a t*rd)

If the truck was delivering supplies or was clearly commercial (say a UPS truck for example), and the driver stayed around - then you need to at least have a consultation with a lawyer in the state where this happened. You should not have huge, major problems getting the repairs paid for... but you will need to be stubborn and ummoving. Getting a rental RV paid for? Hire a really good personal injury lawyer. They love to go after big fat targets (If the law firm spends $50,000 a month in advertising on TV and the internet, that is not a recommendation - many of these are "settlement houses" who rarely if ever go to court. ) If you just ask, most will tell you whether they outsource court cases. Go with one that litigates when they have to.

If the truck that hit you was a big company's, you have a chance of getting some kind of compensation for your lost vacation time, but if it was "Joe's Plumbing" and it's a one man business, there won't be much insurance or any significant assets with which to pay you.

Sounds trite, but thank heavens you weren't in the Airstream and injured. Paula
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Old 06-26-2018, 07:19 AM   #6
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When your Airsteam is down for months

Thanks for the advice all of you! Luckily we were hit by a brand new fire truck from a big fire equipment company on it's way to do a demo at a fire dept. I am thinking they are a big company and the insurance adjuster has said they will cover it. The man who was the driver was extremely cooperative and very upset. We were in Lincoln, Ne. and the police would not come and do a report because it was on private property and no injuries. We have all of his info and pictures and video. I wasn't thinking that now the trailer would be depreciated after this. We talked to the factory and they gave us info on which dealers in our area they would highly recommend since they couldn't get us in until the end of Sept. They train the techs who go out to these dealerships. We took it to one for an estimate and we left it there until that is completed. The tech showed us some work he had just finished and it looked very good. We are just bummed and almost wish we just had kept our older cheaper trailer that we didn't have to worry about getting damaged. I am still going to push for a rental to get us through the season. I am not sure if I need to involve a lawyer or not. To top all of that, my favorite trail horse I've had for 20 years came down ill suddenly and most likely will need to be put down now. We used to horse camp before our Airstream and had lots of great times with our horses. It is just devastating to have our trailer damaged like this. I wanted to post some pics, but not just sure how to do it on this site. Thanks again for your support! Joan and Bert
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Old 06-26-2018, 07:40 AM   #7
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I think keeping all RV rental receipts while your Airstream is being repaired, and presenting those receipts to the responsible driver/company is the reasonable solution. If refused, a small claims case up to $5000 would be your practical recourse. No lawyer needed.
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Old 06-26-2018, 10:31 AM   #8
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Get a written agreement that they will pay for the rental RV before you rent one if you aren't able to pay it out of pocket in a pinch. Missing a trip is a bummer, but less of one than havimg a debt you will struggle to pay off.
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Old 06-26-2018, 10:37 AM   #9
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My RV insurance includes Total Loss Coverage.
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Old 06-26-2018, 11:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjmiess View Post
Thanks for the advice all of you! Luckily we were hit by a brand new fire truck from a big fire equipment company on it's way to do a demo at a fire dept. I am thinking they are a big company and the insurance adjuster has said they will cover it. The man who was the driver was extremely cooperative and very upset. Joan and Bert
You know how to count your blessings.

I wish it could carry over to cover the loss of a beloved aged horse but I know it won't. I still remember Charlie, my uncle's horse, who lived for over 40 years and was a total clown and moocher. Of course he was far too old to be ridden, but he was the official greeter at my uncle's kennels. He had dozens of fans who would always hug him and bring him apples even in winter. A few had long conversations with him; he did respond with funny looks and snorts. Cal swore he was a Republican too, but then Ike was President so that was logical. We all thought he may have lived so long because he liked to steal a mouthful of the dog food as Uncle Cal mixed it up in a big tub... A somewhat carnivorous horse... who'd have thunk it?

Cherish the memories
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Old 06-26-2018, 12:25 PM   #11
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"we think the insurance should cover a replacement to use while ours is down"

Did you PURCHASE such coverage? If you didn't, don't expect your insurance company to give you extra coverage. IF you have a REALLY good insurance agent, he/she will go to bat for you and pursue the negligent driver (and said driver's insurance company). As already stated, you'll need a LOT of estimates (which hopefully, will be generated by examiners who are familiar with the intricacies of RVs in general and, Airstream trailers in particular). I'd be calling the "Mother Ship" in Jackson Center to ask for guidance. It will be far easier for you to be screwed over than it will be to be COMPLETELY made whole. Good luck, I fear you're going to need it.

PS: You didn't say what model your Airstream is but, it's NOT very hard for the TOTAL overall length of tow vehicle & trailer to exceed 40'. Bus/RV parking stalls at Cracker Barrel are NOT very generous; I'd say a 40' long stall is about the longest I've seen at any Cracker Barrel. Were you COMPLETELY within said stall? If not, expect the offending driver's insurance to try to lay some (all?) of the blame off on you.
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Old 06-26-2018, 03:34 PM   #12
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I hate that this happened to you. However nice and apologetic the driver was it will not be his call to make you an offer to settle, it will be up to the equipment company’s insurance and their lawyers. Getting repairs done is tough especially in summer when thousands of Airstreams hit the road. There are a few companies that do rent Airstreams but it is pricey and the selection of models is very limited and they do book up years in advance but...it would be possible that someone had a cancellation so give it a shot. I would not assume that this would be covered by insurance unless it is precisely written in your policy, and unless you are full-timing and can document that the loss of use causes loss of income I would be surprised if rental would be covered.
Maybe things will go amazing smooth and you might be back on the road in a month or two. Again, my deepest sympathy for what you are going through but at least no one was hurt or killed. When the initial shock wears off I’m sure you will be able to put this in perspective- disappointing but not life threatening.
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Old 06-27-2018, 08:48 AM   #13
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Our first call was to the Mother Ship in Jackson Center. We have taken their advice and they are working with us. I actually had them do an estimate from Photos, which they said they could do. They themselves are booked out to the end of Sept. They have given us the dealerships that have turned out what they consider satisfactory work. They train those guys there and know the better ones. In the beginning we were only going to consider the factory for this repair. We saw some repairs done where we have taken it and they looked very good. As far as a loaner, we most likely won't get one, but they caused us to lose our trailer for the season and that seems like some sort of compensation should be made. We are just bummed and sad that we had this happen and it will ruin our summer for sure. I know we could have been injured and we are lucky for that.
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