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Old 10-31-2018, 11:02 AM   #1
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Camper Explosion-depreciation

We had purchased an A192HW this last summer and on our 2nd trip, our stove top exploded from under the cabinet area with 3 of us inside. Thankfully, no serious injuries, mostly singed and knocked around. This happened back in August. I recently called the dealer, and they do have the camper back and repaired. The warranty covered this. I am trying to get a hold of the person who is handling my claim at FR warranty. It's been almost 2 months since we last spoke. Before I accept my camper back, do I have to worry about a depreciation loss? There was a warden report filed. They had to replace the roof. Anything else I need to be concerned about? I am a newbie in the camper world.
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Old 10-31-2018, 11:10 AM   #2
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You'd only have to worry about depreciation if you plan on selling it anytime soon. I would be more worried about whether or not they found the cause of the problem and corrected it.

It's not everyday I hear about stoves exploding in campers.
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Old 10-31-2018, 11:24 AM   #3
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Good Grief... I'm glad everybody is okay.

The thing with depreciation in RVs is that they're not like cars in how their valued. On VERY high-end models you can most likely file a claim on depreciation, but for your standard RV, value so subjective I think you'd have a hard time determining the loss.
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Old 10-31-2018, 11:43 AM   #4
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Goodness! A stove top explosion. This is something I've never heard of.
I'm glad to hear everyone is OK.

I know you have worries about depreciation but your concerns need to be what caused the explosion and whether it is satisfactorily repaired. For them to replace the roof, it must have been one heck of an explosion!

Please keep us posted as to what they found and what they did to repair it.
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Old 10-31-2018, 11:46 AM   #5
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First, I'm glad nobody was seriously hurt.

I don't understand what you are worried about? An A frame camper is a quickly depreciating asset. They depreciate much faster than cars.

You said the dealer has it back and repaired. Does that mean it went back to the factory for repairs?

If they replaced everything that was damaged it might actually be better then when the incident happened. When I hear the word "explosion", I'm actually surprised that there wasn't so much damage that the insurance company would just total it.
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Old 11-01-2018, 09:03 AM   #6
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Thanks all I was second guessing my choice to have it repaired. I was thunderstrucked at the beginning of it all. My biggest concerns is not having this happen to anyone else. With hind-sight being 20/20, the quality was not done well. The frame work under the mattress portion was apart, microwave kept popping out, and other odds and ends. Something that I would expect better QC. A huge learning experience. From looking at the source of the explosion, it was underneath the stove. There was a leak somewhere in that compartment. The propane remained in that area, we did not smell it nor did it set off any alarms. When I opened the door, the larger source of oxygen (had windows opened) was introduced to the fuel source, then the rest is history. I am thankful that it was an a-frame and the shock load was taken out on the frame versus us. The pattern of damage shows the source well.
Money is really tight with us, I was scrimping and saving for the last 5+ years for this. My kiddos are traumatized from this, and I still want to take them camping, kind of like getting back on a horse. I want them to enjoy this experience. So in light of that, if we go back into camping and decide that we can't mentally get past this event, we would sell the camper. I don't know if this would show on the title, and instead of getting the typical amount, I would get a substantial deduction.
My greatest concern is to work with their quality control department, so that this doesn't become the norm and it happening to someone else. I intend to inspect the propane system with a microscope. They replaced the roof, stove, and cabinet. I am not sure if they replaced the side yet. Waiting for a return call.
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Old 11-01-2018, 11:27 AM   #7
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It's very unlikely that the repairs would show on any record that would result in a reduced value for the camper. There likely aren't any requirements like when selling a car to have a safety certificate or a statement of past accidents and repairs.

As I said, when you get it back, it should be as good as it was supposed to be when the incident happened, but I completely understand that your family may be reluctant to use it after that happened. So don't fear any lost value if you end up selling it.

Regarding getting in contact with FR, I found that email worked much better than phone call messages. Sounds like they've at least been responsive about doing the repairs. Camping season is pretty much over now.

I hope it works out for the best and that you'll eventually be able to take your family camping and make some great and lasting memories!


EDIT: What you experienced is very rare and obviously very dangerous. I've never heard of that happening to anyone on this forum. So its very unlikely that it'll happen to anyone else. Propane and electricity are serious stuff and the factory should have procedures in place to test those systems before a unit gets transported to a dealer. Similarly, the dealer should have a pre-delivery inspection process in place on propane and electrical systems before they deliver any trailer to their customer. Still, it sounds like something fell through the cracks on your unit. It wouldn't hurt to notify the NHTSA after this is all fixed to let them know what happened. They'll compile similar incidents and investigate if there are a number of similar occurrences which helps everyone else.
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Old 11-01-2018, 01:42 PM   #8
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Very sorry about your loss.

I don't know how things are in Wisconsin, but here in Colorado A-frames hold their value very well, especially in comparison to other RVs.

We sold our 2014 A122 for $10K in July. Now, it was in very good condition - we had cleaned up most all nicks, thoroughly cleaned, and waxed the unit (again) before the sale. All systems were fully operational, and the electrical upgrades - dual GC-2s, battery cut-off, replacement converter, etc., were done to an original finish level. Still, we had paid less than $12K for the unit new, and were very surprised to get nearly our full asking price.

We went out and bought a 2019 Flagstaff T21TBHW for an inside toilet, a little more space, and a nicer bed arrangement. The improvements FR has made in the A-frame line over the past 5 years are noticeable.

FWIW, the first trip out in our 2014 A122 we noticed a propane smell on the outside, but no alarm or smell on the inside. Shortened our trip and took it to the dealer. Dealer tech found a propane leak from a defective casting where the tank hoses joined the pipe under the A-frame. Dealer bought a new fitting at Ace Hardware, replaced the defective casting, and we were back on our way. No further problems with propane during the next 5 years.

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Old 11-01-2018, 01:52 PM   #9
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If you want to be sure it doesn't happen again you may want to see if you can add some type of vent screen to the space. This would prevent build up, allow you so smell the LP and the gas detector to go off.
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Old 11-01-2018, 02:39 PM   #10
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Propane is heavier than air, and will drop to a low point and accumulate. Natural gas is lighter, and will rise, usually dissipating.

For this reason, I always keep the propane turned off at the bottles unless I am using it. I only use it for heat when boondocking.
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Old 11-01-2018, 03:39 PM   #11
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I never turn my propane off, I might need it in the middle of the night
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Old 11-01-2018, 05:31 PM   #12
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Interesting kind of LPG leak detector:

https://www.propanetankstore.com/blo...-propane-tank/
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