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Old 09-28-2009, 07:38 AM   #1
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
Woodstock , Georgia
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2007 Safari Special Edition 25ft FB flooded

Dear Fellow Airstreamers,

This is my first post to the forum so my apologies for any errors in protocol. I also apologize for the nature of the post, but quite honestly I'm still in a state of shock.

Last week we had devastating floods in our city. Unfortunately for me, my 2007 Safari Special Edition 25 foot Front Bed was at CampingWorld RV where their entire lot flooded under at least 6+ feet of water. We had the Airstream in for some minor warranty work to be completed and it would appear that now the camper is a total loss.

Visual inspection of the unit showed water had submerged half way up through the windows. Everything inside was soaked in mud/water/filth.

My first assumption (yeah, I know) is that Camping World RV should be able to cover the damage with their insurance, but we've been told verbally by some of the folks on site that they will NOT cover any damages to private campers and we should file a claim with our own insurance company. We do have comprehensive insurance and I have notified our insurance company and they've opened a claim.

I am assuming (again, I know) that this will be declared a total loss. I am also assuming that what insurance will offer will be dramatically lower due to depreciation than what I still owe on the loan.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Any comments, thoughts, or suggestions would be most appreciated. Thanks for listening.

Respectfully,
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Old 09-28-2009, 08:17 AM   #2
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2008 16' Safari
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Yes, I've been there and done that. Our camper was broken into at a "secure" storage site. They promptly ran out the rental agreement and in the fine print there was a disclaimer for any damage.
We claimed the damage with our insurance company. They offered $800.00 to settle on our Safari. I went back to the insurance company with current prices paid for our trailer on Ebay. They then settled for $4800.00. This was a fair market price for our trailer.
Get ready to do your homework and push back with your insurance company to get a fair settlement. I'm sorry for your loss.
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Old 09-28-2009, 08:34 AM   #3
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Hello ridgewayk - welcome to the forums! Though not under the happiest of circumstances.

Insurance entities differ and every policy does too. It is not straightforward to give you an answer about your policy. Many policies will be appraised value -- which will undervalue a new coach significantly south of the sale price the instance it is driven off the dealer's lot. I'm sure you're talking to your agent by now.

When Progressive is chosen for new coaches they offer a chance to start replacement value coverage. I don't think they'll let you do that again if you ever drop it. For my story about my "keep Airstreamin'" policy in case of the catastrophic, see http://www.airforums.com/forums/f351...tml#post709021.
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Old 09-28-2009, 09:45 AM   #4
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OK, first the bad news. You have to keep paying the loan until
A) the insurance co pays it off
B) it's paid in full

Now for the "good news" - Take a stance with the insurance company that you do not want a check, you want them to replace your 2007 25 FB with an exactly comparable unit (minus your deductible). If they want to offer you say $30K, insist that they buy an exactly comparable unit with that amount of money. That stance gets you "reality" - and a settlement that will actually buy a replacement.

You'll need to find out if the lender will accept a "substitution of collateral" on the loan. That means a different VIN # - a different Airstream for the same loan. SOME WILL, usually there is a documentation fee of $50 to as much as they can ring out of your hide for it. In normal times you could also go get a loan on your new Airstream and use the proceeds to pay off the old loan - often for less than the documentation fee. Of course these aren't normal times. Much depends on who your lender is and if anyone there will go to bat for you.

I'm sure your finance company is listed on the insurance as the first covered payee so getting these two to work together is key.

Last resort? Talk to your tax professional, perhaps you can write off the loss on state and federal taxes.

----------------
Lastly let me say how sorry I am for your problem. It isn't a tragedy because no one died, but it's nerve wracking and frustrating and complicated and stressful. Just be patient and persistent - it will come out semi-OK in the end. Keep in touch and let us know how it works out. We care. By the way, we have a tradition of sending "thanks" on a posting. That used to be called "Karma" - so I'll revert to the old ideal and send you some sympathy Karma on your original posting.

Paula
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Old 09-29-2009, 07:59 AM   #5
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
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Many thanks for the advice. I've got calls into my insurance company and have opened up a claim. I've taken pictures of the camper....I can't describe the smell (be glad) when I opened up the door of the camper.

I'm also checking to see if Camping World RV has insurance that will cover us...Initially I was told NO by one of the employees on the lot, but I haven't gotten an "official" answer.

Great idea on getting comparable quotes for replacement. Thanks. I've scoured the internet getting prices for comparable units. WAAAY different from NADA.

I will also alert the finance company. I'm hoping that since the damage occurred at the only Airstream authorized dealer in the state they will work with me on getting replacement at a fair cost.

You're right...it's not a tragedy as no one died...it's just a massive headache as my home was also damaged in the flood. Homeowners doesn't cover that damage, so I've also got a call into FEMA to help with home repair.

I wonder if FEMA can help with RVs? :-/

Many thanks for the kinds words, well wishes and good karma. Airstreamers are truly a wonderful community. Thanks again.
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:04 AM   #6
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I'm sorry for the damage to your AS. As the other said, no one was injured/died.

On the subject of FEMA, they have thousands of travel trailers available. Maybe they'll offer you one of their 'white boxes' in exchange for your ruined AS. Heck, maybe they'll offer you a dozen.
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ridgwayk View Post
...I am assuming (again, I know) that this will be declared a total loss.
I am also assuming that what insurance will offer will be dramatically lower due to depreciation than what I still owe on the loan....
hi ridg'

unless you purchased a FULL REPLACEMENT rider with the original policy, this will get sticky...

and full coverage or total coverage or complete coverage do NOT EQUAL "replacement coverage".
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it's pretty easy to get 'upside down' on a load IF the down payment was SMALL, terms LONG or depreciation HIGH...

the details are specific to each insurance company, the type coverage/policy and so far we know NOTHING about either in this case.

total loss value is often determined using published guides, like nada/blue book and for a/s values these are next to WORTHLESS...

so the ins company will make u an offer and u will need to DECLINE and make a counter-offer...

it may take 2 or 3 rounds of this stuff, the insurance company has NOTHING to lose by LOW BALLING...

IF you aren't good at these negotiations, BUY some help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ridgwayk View Post
...my 2007 Safari Special Edition 25 foot Front Bed was at CampingWorld RV where their entire lot flooded under at least 6+ feet of water...
my understanding is that this CW lost their ENTIRE A/S inventory 2 the same high water...

no idea how many NEW 09/10 units they had but THOSE should be getting totaled as well...

which means there may be a BUNCH of salvage title brand new streams in the food chain soon, or PARTS from new units...

so all buyers need to beware and be Aware of these units.

the CW AIRSTREAM inventory LOSS might help YOU, if you act fast...

c/w will have someone out to inspect, declare, and value the inventory for their insurance, and losses.

so YOU might be able to get some help from those values or data, IF you appeal to the store for help...

while their insurance doesn't cover YOUR loss, the process might help you with value on your unit.

ACT FAST and BE FRIENDLY with the c/w staff...

consider contacting a/s in j/c they may be sending someone to deal with the dealer loss and THAT person could help you too...
_____________________

you (or your hired help) will need to get comparable values for 2007 units now on the market...

that will require a lot of info collecting from the used airstream sales channel (dealers, ebay, HERE, craigs and so on)...
______________________

there are a few dozen threads HERE on this issue of total losses, insurance value and settlements.

SEARCH that info or tell us more about YOUR situation (company, type policy and so on) if more help is wanted.

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-30-2009, 07:41 AM   #8
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
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We're still waiting on our insurance company (Liberty Mutual) to tell us if they've totaled the A/S. I suspect we will be upside down on the loan, but I'm searching like a madman looking for comparable quotes I can offer them for comparative pricing. This past Saturday I talked with another C/W customer and he had just bought an $80K rig 2 months ago and his insurance adjuster only offered him $60K.

As far as Camping World, yes, their ENTIRE lot was underwater. They just started carrying A/S's within the last 2-3 months. I hope they are able to reopen as their store was also flooded as well as the employees had to abandon their own personal vehicles as the flood waters came up so quickly.

I am trying to find out if they carry Direct Primary Coverage as I've been told that if they do, it *should* cover the customer's RVs too.

I really hope C/W continues to carry A/S as they are the only dealer in the state of GA. I am also hoping that if their insurance doesn't cover us they would sell us a new A/S at close to cost....

Fingers are crossed.

Again, thank you to those of you posting. Your words of encouragement are most appreciated.
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ridgwayk View Post
...I talked with another C/W customer and he had just bought an $80K rig 2 months ago and his insurance adjuster only offered him $60K...
unfortunately this does happen.

folks need to understand what is at stake when buying the least expensive generic rv insurance coverage.

a 'total replacement' rider on new units only adds 3-7% to the premium, depending on deductible.

and not all companies offer these riders.

a full replacement rider typically will cover the first 3-5 years of ownership, the time when the BIG depreciation happens.
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it would be useful for folks HERE to see some photos of YOUR unit with the water damage.

best of luck getting fair compensation and a deal on the next 'stream.

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:19 PM   #10
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
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I'm not sure if we got "total replacement" or not. To be fair I haven't looked as I mentioned, I've also got home damage which is apparently not covered at all. I'm still triaging the problems.

Since you asked for pics, here's a couple.
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Old 10-02-2009, 11:18 AM   #11
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Describing the smell

Grandpa would have said "it smells bad enough to puke a mule"

Our culture now might not get it. For anyone who has no acquaintance with equines, mules and horses cannot throw up. That's why they founder.

The awful combination of smells from floodwater with the addition of closed spaces and warm weather is something best left UNDESCRIBED. Wow - you did get the double whammy with the house damage too.

I know you aren't alone and that many people in the Atlanta area may have even worse damage than you do. I wish you only the best fortune - and hopefully you can convince the powers that be that you NEED a replacement Airstream to live in while your house is being repaired. We had Hurricane Isabel come through here 5 or 6 years ago and one particularly low lying area had virtually every house go under water. All of the houses that could be repaired had to be put up on stilts, and all new houses also had to be built on stilts or a raised foundation. People parked Moho's and trailers on their front lawns, ran PVC water and sewer lines to the street... and lived that way for over a year in some cases while piles were driven and new foundations were built. Hopefully your house wasn't as bad as the Airstream.

Good luck... buy a lottery ticket... I think you're DUE.

Paula
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Old 10-02-2009, 11:51 AM   #12
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2008 25' Safari FB SE
Land of fruits and nuts , California
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I wish I could remember what coverages I have with geico. I think for the first 2 yrs, if the 'Stream is totalled, they will buy me a comparable, brand new model. Then from 2-5yrs, they will give me what I paid for it, and after that I think its fair market value. I don't know if $240/6mo is a lot, but thats what I pay?

I really, really hope your insurance company treats you fairly.
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Old 10-04-2009, 11:47 AM   #13
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
Woodstock , Georgia
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Well, I got a verbal from Liberty Mutual and they're about $10k off what it would cost to replace the A/S. Now the negotiation and fun starts, eh?

As an aside, I don't know whether to laugh or cry....Camping World called me on Friday. The reason the A/S was at Camping World was to do some minor warranty repair work as the unit was about to turn 2 years old. I also wanted to do some recommended preventive maintenance....stuff like repack the wheel bearings, rotate the tires, check the battery....

C/W called and wanted to know how I'd like to pay for the repairs that they did BEFORE the camper was flooded....

There was a long pause on the phone before I asked if they were serious. They wanted to know how I'd like to pay the ~$400 for a camper that I know longer have as insurance has totaled the unit and Camping World has refused to talk about covering under their insurance?!

Wow.
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:30 PM   #14
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2007 Airstream SAFARI L S SE water damage GA on ebay

2007 Airstream SAFARI L S SE water damage Atlanta, GA on Ebay. Link 2007 AIRSTREAM SAFARI -WATER DAMAGE-BEST BUY :eBay Motors (item 270512516458 end time Jan-15-10 15:08:00 PST)

Is this Ridgeawks' former trailer? I have seen soaked insulation before. It is terrible.
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Old 01-10-2010, 07:44 AM   #15
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Yes, based on the VIN #, that's my former Airstream.

I spent a good bit of time in that trailer after the flood. It was disgusting.

I wouldn't touch this trailer unless you specialize in Hazmat and have $$$.
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:41 PM   #16
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How is it playing out?

So have you settled with the insurance company yet, and did they get a little more reasonable than the $10K loss they originally offered.

As for CW, those "unique personalities" may try to take you to small claims court - I just wonder how they are going to prove that they actually got around to doing the work before their facility flooded? Oh... gee why don't they submit that bill to their insurance company?

Knowing how screwy the law can be, CW really wasn't responsible for the flood, so they might actually prevail in court.

Update us all please, we care.

Paula
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Old 01-11-2010, 06:14 AM   #17
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Yes I did settle with the insurance company, but I had to counter 3 times to get them to a reasonable price. A special thanks to those of you who provided advice as I submitted over a dozen "for sale" postings on the web of my trailer to show them fair market value. Overall I am satisfied with the settlement.

As far as C/W is concerned, I have heard back from them, but it's only been from slimy sales people wanting to know if I'd like to buy a camper from C/W.

When I pointed out that C/W hadn't exactly been helpful in the flood, they shrugged it off and said that was not their department and they were only in sales....

<sigh>

Thanks again folks. This is truly a unique community.
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:25 PM   #18
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Yea verily I say unto thee...

We get bad service because we put up with it.

As an individual, you may think that there is very little you can do about it, but...

If you keep your cool
Marshal your reasoning
and let a merchant KNOW you vote with your pocketbook
and the internet lets you talk to the "global village" with your mouth

... you might just get more traction than you expect.


Call CW, insist on speaking to the General Manager - get his/her name.
  1. briefly - outline what happened with your unit during the flood
  2. briefly - outline the utterly un-helpful behavior which left you to fight the insurance company alone
  3. briefly - tell them about the sales force declining to make any attempt to help you get satisfaction for the above problems before attempting to sell you a new A/S
  4. remind the manager that "word of mouth is always working, but it may not be working FOR you"
  5. say clearly that you'll take your money to any other A/S dealer in the country before you'll spend another nickel in their business
  6. say clearly that you post on Airforums and Facebook and Twitter - and that "when a customer is happy he tells four people about it... when he's upset he tells EVERYONE"
  7. suggest that over the long run, every cent his dealership possesses will come from LOYAL customers - and your loyalty has been destroyed by their callous indifference.
  8. also remind him that 66% of customers who abandon doing business with a vendor do so because the vendor simply gives the impression of indifference - and that virtually none of those customers take the time to let the vendor know what they COULD DO differently to prevent endless repetitions of the customer walk-out.
Find the name of the President of CW. Send him a letter outlining your recent experiences. File it just in case the a***** from the service department try to take you to court for "services rendered".

Move on. Don't be surprised if nothing happens, but also don't be surprised if you get much more than a canned response! (I once got a $100 gift certificate.)

Paula
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:25 PM   #19
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wow, and someone paid $20k for it...
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Old 01-24-2010, 10:25 PM   #20
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I'm the one who bought this trailer, i will post pics of my cleanup and will describe any and all issues i find. I'm excited as hell to go get this trailer and can't wait to have her on the road.
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