Advice about water damage to my travel trailer

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CMCDANIELS

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May 1, 2019
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Hello I am looking for some guidance /advice  about my travel trailer . I purchased a used 2011 Surveyor Sport in 2013. We normally use it in the summer months and have it in storage the rest of the time. I have tried to do everything right with the upkeep and maintenance. This past Sept we stored in at a secure RV facility . I work as a travel RN and take 12 - 16 week assignments . I last check on it in December  before leaving for a longer than usual assignment.  I had someone who told me they would drop by and check on it once a month and the storage facility  told me they would call if they noticed anything.

Well fast forward to this past Saturday . I am back in town and went by. I was horrified to find the sky light leaked into the shower and water was everywhere. The entire shower was filled with standing water. It smelled musty and moldy on the inside.  Water must have ran down the walls into the flooring because there were soft spots. I took pictures and immediately filed a claim with my insurance company. Today the adjuster came out , got on the roof and said the skylight cover was off and there was damage to that which resulted in the leak. He said the skylight itself looked brittle and since the water damage was not something that happened as an immediate accident  ( tree limb , rock etc) they will not cover anything- not even the broken skylight.

This is horrible since I still owe $10, 700 on the TT. I have always paid my insurance in full for the past 6 years. Never filed any claims . I was honest about my claim, told them exactly what happened and am just sick to my stomach that they are denying it and doing nothing.

At this point i have to figure out what my options are. I do not have the money laying around to pay it off ,so I figure I can either take out a personal loan , pay it off completely and get rid of it. in which case - who would  even buy a water damaged RV?I don't even know who I could GIVE it to  :(

I can take out a loan to have it repaired ,but the damage looks extensive to me and I am not sure how much it even costs to repair water damage.

I am kinda at a loss right now and trying to make the smartest decision moving forward. Right now i have the skylight secured and a tarp over it, but I need to come up with a plan soon or else water is going to continue to get in.

Advice /suggestions and prayers welcome  8) I am open to any and all ideas at this point .
 

grashley

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May 7, 2015
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Location
Western Kentucky
Welcome to the Forum!

Sorry for your very bad and expensive experience.
Who is your insurer so we can avoid them?
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
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76,141
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West Palm Beach, FL
Sorry to hear about your loss, but your insurance is quite typical. Pretty much the same would apply if it was a fixed home - the insurance covers water damage only as a result of some kind of accident.  And rainwater damage is generally covered only a s result of wind, falling limbs, etc. Even then, the fact that no effort was made to limit the damage is a further mark against your claim. Your policy probably has a clause that says you must take reasonable precautions against further damage.


The point of contention is whether the skylight died of natural causes (old & brittle) or something damaged it.  Is there any evidence of that? Skylights typically last much more than 8 years...
If you have to pay a professional to repair the damage, it is going to be pricey. I suppose you could get a loan to pay for the repairs while continuing to pay off the RV loan. At least that way you end up with a usable RV.  First step would be to get an estimate of repair costs, but not many places do that sort of work.  An RV dealer shop is probably not a good choice - they are very expensive but not particular skilled at this sort of thing. Maybe a company that does home restoration - RV construction is actually quite simple.
 

CMCDANIELS

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May 1, 2019
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4
Thanks for your response. As far as the skylight , the adjuster said it looked like the cover had been "blown" off, but the underneath was brittle. The rainwater didnt happen over night, so it isn't considered an immediate accident. oddly enough, they will not even cover the skylight.

I pay for yearly servicing on everything and they typically check the roof etc and i have not been told that anything was brittle to in need of replacing. I live in Florida ( Pensacola ) and we have had some crappy weather this spring, but I have never had any issues before and didn't expect this big mess. I am really not sure what happened or how long ago it was. My schedule is so busy being out of town and unfortunately I  really grew complacent about checking in on it- so that is 100 percent my responsibility.  :-\

At this point I am not sure I really want to invest anymore into it. I am thinking about taking out a small loan to handle it now and then paying the loan off  asap with some of my  next travel stipend. As much as it pains me to do that. We have defiantly had some great times traveling around in it and it feels like a big waste of money.

My biggest problem with that is once I pay it off - what do I do with it? are there salvage yards? Or do people actually fix up damaged RVs? I don't expect to get much ( if anything) for it but I do not want to continue to pay storage fees ( or insurance at this point).
 

jackiemac

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Feb 22, 2016
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Scotland
Hi and welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear about this.

Can you take a few photos and post them.  They need to be small in size  I usually save mine in a private Facebook album then copy back to my phone or PC and post here as Facebook reduces the size.

If we can see the damage someone might have some better guidance for you....

Good luck.
 

blw2

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Aug 9, 2012
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3,338
Location
Saint Johns, FL
huge bummer!
If i were in your situation and not inclined to do a DIY repair...then I'd probably try to find a "handyman" to take a look.  Actually now that I think about it I might search out one of those mobile RV repairman first to get a quote.  They'll probably be a bit more familiar with the skylight and RV roof construction...any handyman can handle it but they might not be as familiar and tend to be a bit more cautious in their bid (only a guess)...
or it could be get the RV guy to do the skylight and a handyman to do the rest....

Anyway, the first thing is to get the skylight fixed so it's dried in....then demolition clean up can start...and hopefully it's not as bad as it seems!

The skylight replacement really is a very simple job...just some screws and caulk basically.... unless there's rot/structural repair....but a lot of campers now don't have much or any wood, so maybe there's not much issue there.  As for the soft spots... it's hard to say how big of a deal that might be.

Then...the very next thing I'd do once you have a direction...is to drop that insurance company....but that's just me.  Even if it's true that any would do this to you, I just feel like that's just wrong
 

CMCDANIELS

New member
Joined
May 1, 2019
Posts
4
Thanks everyone! I actually worked with my bank today and took out some equity I had built up in one of our other  vehicles and refinanced it for a pretty low rate. I will be paying off the RV tomorrow. After a lengthy discussion with the the insurance adjuster , she reports they "may " cover the skylight if I push the issue, but it looks like its a fairly inexpensive fix vs paying my 500$ deductible.  While I understand insurance companies are in the business of making money, not spending it, I am extremely  disappointed that as a customer for 6 years it was handled this way. The entire thing put a bad taste in my mouth towards their company.

I am going back over this week and will take a few pictures. I hope to have a restoration person I emailed come take a look hopefully in the next few weeks and see if its worth putting the money into fixing. If not, I guess my next step is looking into salvage lots? I am really not sure. As much as i would love a DYI project, my hubby is military and with my travel schedule we just don't have the free time.

I appreciate everyones advice ! This is def the most costly issues I have ever encountered haha.
 
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