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Old 10-15-2021, 08:54 AM   #1
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RV Accident Repair Experiences Please

So, like a dumb idiot, I had a minor accident with my 2020 Sabre 5'er in the middle of this past July. Sideswiped a parked Class C with the back corner passenger side of my 37FLH in a parking lot. Luckily, I was only moving about 5mph when it happened, so damage could've been much worse than it was. The biggest damage between the two was the passenger side corner of my RV's back fiberglass cap, which was partially torn away from the backing and wood studs in the back wall.

After examination by an Insurance Adjuster and the place doing the repairs, they determined the back cap cannot be fixed, but must be replaced altogether. Other than that, some trim pieces and new decals for part of the passenger side would also need to be replaced. The repair parts were ordered a couple weeks later and available to ship, according to the factory. So, I was feeling pretty good that we may still be able to get in our planned vacation trips in August and September.

Fast forward to this week. All the planned vacations for the remainder of the year have since been cancelled. The repair shop still doesn't have the back fiberglass cap. They told me they cannot proceed with any other repairs to the RV until the back cap is first replaced. Problem is they cannot get any reliable answers on a ship date from the factory after initially being told caps were available to ship. At that time, the factory said the only thing left to do was getting it scheduled to ship via truck to the repair shop.

After trying to wait patiently for the last three months, I've reached the point of taking the Insurance Adjusters offer to pay additionally for temporary repairs to get the RV "road ready". The Adjuster said by doing this, I can at least get the RV back and utilize it until the necessary part arrives, after which I can return it for the repairs.

With the massive raw material and parts shortages plaguing this industry, I don't see the repair shop getting the back cap until sometime next year. In the meantime, my thinking is I'm going to have to get it back to winterize it in the next few weeks and tarp up the back corner that was damaged. The repair shop put in a couple screws into the damaged cap to button it up as best they could, but its not going to keep the inside of the back wall protected from the elements as well as prior to the accident.

Anyone out there have similar, recent experiences and had temporary repairs to their RV's after an accident? Curious to know how others with RV accident claims were handled and, ultimately resolved when parts weren't readily available.
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Old 10-15-2021, 10:12 AM   #2
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Did you speak directly to Sabre re: the part availability and shipping details?
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Old 10-15-2021, 10:49 AM   #3
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Did you speak directly to Sabre re: the part availability and shipping details?

I didn't speak directly to anyone other than the shop doing the repairs. Figured it'd just complicate things if I inserted myself into all this.

I kept calling the shop every week or two once the order was placed to get updates. Each time, the shop got different stories from Forest River and Campers Inn (where the part was going to be shipped to) as to when the part was going to be shipped and why it isn't there yet. "Person you spoke with two weeks ago isn't with the company anymore" were the responses they got. "Let me check into this and get back to you", etc, etc, etc. Figured I'd just try to be patient and let them do their thing.
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Old 10-15-2021, 11:53 AM   #4
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I didn't speak directly to anyone other than the shop doing the repairs. Figured it'd just complicate things if I inserted myself into all this.

I kept calling the shop every week or two once the order was placed to get updates. Each time, the shop got different stories from Forest River and Campers Inn (where the part was going to be shipped to) as to when the part was going to be shipped and why it isn't there yet. "Person you spoke with two weeks ago isn't with the company anymore" were the responses they got. "Let me check into this and get back to you", etc, etc, etc. Figured I'd just try to be patient and let them do their thing.
More times than not, when these types of delays and mix-ups happen it's because the manufacturer isn't getting a straight story or the dealer is outright lying to the customer.

I always advocate for end customers to call the manufacturer directly and find out the answer straight from the horse's mouth.
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Old 10-15-2021, 12:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ependydad View Post
More times than not, when these types of delays and mix-ups happen it's because the manufacturer isn't getting a straight story or the dealer is outright lying to the customer.

I always advocate for end customers to call the manufacturer directly and find out the answer straight from the horse's mouth.
I agree. We had a major suspension issue on our new trailer last year. Bought in January 2020. If I had not jumped in the middle. It would still not be resolved. The dealer was not getting or giving me the correct updates.

I had to actually negotiate the fix between Forest River and Lippert. Get the parts on order. Get approvals and follow it through.

And to their credit. Lippert was the one that actually came through for me eventually. Not Forest River or the Dealer.

Of course use tact and diplomacy.

Good Luck!
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Old 10-15-2021, 12:17 PM   #6
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I am sorry to hear about your mishap, sadly these things happen and we have had our share. Since we rent out our MH we have had several scrapes, punctures, and self inflicted wounds, yes, I did it too. I avoid the RV dealers and use a truck body shop who will also work on our motorhome. Semi trailers are similar in construction to our RV's and a good shop can do wonders patching fiberglass. Our latest mishap was done by me. It is a hole in the rear curb side panel. They will not be replacing the panel and will simply cut out the damage and patch the hole. They have done this twice and I cannot see where they made the patch. Best thing is we do not wait for parts.
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Old 10-15-2021, 12:43 PM   #7
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That oops moment

Yes I did some damage to our MH . While fueling up I tapped the front end of a Lays potato chip truck at a convenience store. So adjuster came out and Iíve already secured a check. Then proceeded to Gander Mountain by us in PA for their appraisal. All is basically a go just awaiting the scheduling. Might take several months but Iíve already winterized so Iím good there. But I did a temp fix to travel to New England back in early September. All worked out well. But patience is a virtue.
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Old 10-15-2021, 01:17 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ependydad View Post
More times than not, when these types of delays and mix-ups happen it's because the manufacturer isn't getting a straight story or the dealer is outright lying to the customer.

I always advocate for end customers to call the manufacturer directly and find out the answer straight from the horse's mouth.
First, thank you for the reply and suggestion, Ependydad.

However, I know if I called Forest River, as the owner, I'd get the same response as a dealer, or local repair shop. So, I prefer to let the repair shop do their job calling and tracking the order. It's one less call or more on a 30 minute hold I'll need to make. I honestly believe the responses I would receive would be the same and the back cap would arrive no sooner.

I'm certain, if there was a mix-up, it was at Forest River and not the repair shop. This is not a dealer, but a local shop that also happens to do diesel engine work and is where I've been taking my diesels for the past five years and had nothing but great experiences. Very straight shooters with me on all my business with them. You couldn't pay me enough to take it for this repair to Campingworld, where it was purchased.

That said, the owner of the shop told me this morning they keep telling him its on a national backorder with no shipping time estimate. At least he's now getting a straight answer from FR who originally said in July they had the back caps, had one for him, and were just waiting on getting a trucking company scheduled to ship it.

Much of the delays have been due to severe raw materials and parts shortages and trucking company woes gripping the country right now. The shop owner also told me today his own 2020 5'er was into one of the local dealers for warranty repairs he's been trying to get completed on it since January. Last week, he finally picked it up from the dealership.

Josh the RV Nerd reported in his YouTube October Industry Update video fiberglass caps are in very short supply right now. Manufacturers of those parts were not only affected by the raw material shortages, but also the recent gulf coast hurricanes which temporarily shut down operations. Although they're scrambling to get caught up with the back orders, they do not anticipate production to resume to normal levels until next year. I'm re-aligning my expectations that my RV won't be fixed until Q1 2022, or later.

The best advice I can impart to all that read this thread: THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS BEING TOO CAREFUL TO AVOID AN ACCIDENT AND DO SO AT ALL COSTS!
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Old 10-15-2021, 01:28 PM   #9
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Yes I did some damage to our MH . While fueling up I tapped the front end of a Lays potato chip truck at a convenience store. So adjuster came out and I’ve already secured a check. Then proceeded to Gander Mountain by us in PA for their appraisal. All is basically a go just awaiting the scheduling. Might take several months but I’ve already winterized so I’m good there. But I did a temp fix to travel to New England back in early September. All worked out well. But patience is a virtue.

You did a great job on the temp fix!.....had to look at it twice before I realized I was looking at a burgundy tarp over the door opening.
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Old 10-15-2021, 01:49 PM   #10
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And to their credit. Lippert was the one that actually came through for me eventually. Not Forest River or the Dealer.

And there you have your answer to why I'm letting the repair shop handle it. Forest River didn't provide a truthful answer to the repair shop in July, or they simply didn't care to do due diligence and check and verify the part status. If the manufacturer involved was Lippert, it would be worth it to call them. I've had good experiences with them in the past with parts. Not so good past experience with Forest River directly.

I also know I wouldn't have had any straight answers from Campingworld and the reason I took it to a local RV repair shop instead of a dealership. That, and the fact that the accident occurred in local RV repair shops parking lot when I dropped it off to have some after-market parts installed.
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Old 10-15-2021, 02:34 PM   #11
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Hey thanks for the compliment. I wanted best to be in the same color scheme. Damage to the chip truck was minimal and unfortunately, although the driver was very nice, he did not offer me a free bag of chips. He probably figured I couldn’t eat just one.
Parts backorder is probably the scenario for the delay plus the recent storms hitting the south as stated by a fellow blogger. Anyway we just sit tight. If this is the worst thing happening to me I’m doing very good.
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Old 10-15-2021, 04:14 PM   #12
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Hey thanks for the compliment. I wanted best to be in the same color scheme. Damage to the chip truck was minimal and unfortunately, although the driver was very nice, he did not offer me a free bag of chips. He probably figured I couldnít eat just one.
Parts backorder is probably the scenario for the delay plus the recent storms hitting the south as stated by a fellow blogger. Anyway we just sit tight. If this is the worst thing happening to me Iím doing very good.

Yeah, you definitely matched the color scheme well cause I thought that was a baggage door for a second.

And, you're right, have no choice either but to wait it out until likely 2022. You're also so right to keep things like this in perspective....things aren't so bad if this is the worst happening to us now. If this is the worst curve ball life can throw at me, I'll gladly take that pitch!

In the meantime, the insurance company contacted me this afternoon that they'll provide an allowance to the claim for the repair shop to do temporary repairs so that it can at least be towed and/or used until the parts show up next year.

The repair shop owner said he'll likely be able to have the temporary fixes completed in the next couple of weeks for me. However, we're not planning any long distance camping trips before the end of the year.
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Old 10-15-2021, 04:24 PM   #13
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Amazed!!!

I had a bearing go out on TT axel. Had only been about 6 months since I had replaced both axles and hand packed the bearings. New everything.
Bearing was so hot it took out the spindle. Non repairable. I ordered a new axel, hubs, and brakes. Supplier said 3-4 months if lucky. Normal for current conditions.

I was amazed when shop called three weeks later and said axel was in amd installed. Some time we get lucky. Keep the faith.
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Old 10-15-2021, 08:34 PM   #14
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Very similar experience for me. When backing into my yard (10 foot wide gate, 8 foot wide trailer) I scraped the passenger side badly. Took to the Camping World at which I bought it. 3 months later I got it back. Lots of waiting for parts. The longest wait was for the graphics! They did a great job and insurance covered all but my deductible.
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Old 10-16-2021, 08:27 AM   #15
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I had a bearing go out on TT axel. Had only been about 6 months since I had replaced both axles and hand packed the bearings. New everything.
Bearing was so hot it took out the spindle. Non repairable. I ordered a new axel, hubs, and brakes. Supplier said 3-4 months if lucky. Normal for current conditions.

I was amazed when shop called three weeks later and said axel was in amd installed. Some time we get lucky. Keep the faith.

You, my friend, are indeed lucky. It's a roll of the dice on getting parts, but seems to depend on the part. You'll probably find shortages aren't as bad on RV axles and brakes as other components. RV Small appliances and raw materials are highly constrained. The chemicals and fiberglass supplies needed to manufacture the RV caps are really bad right now, according to Josh the RV Nerds latest YouTube industry update video.
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Old 10-16-2021, 08:36 AM   #16
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Very similar experience for me. When backing into my yard (10 foot wide gate, 8 foot wide trailer) I scraped the passenger side badly. Took to the Camping World at which I bought it. 3 months later I got it back. Lots of waiting for parts. The longest wait was for the graphics! They did a great job and insurance covered all but my deductible.

The repair shop also acknowledged several weeks ago that getting replacement graphics for the back passenger side and back cap from Forest River may not be possible. Luckily, there's a local graphics shop they've worked with that can create from photos replacement graphic wrapping to apply to those damaged areas.
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Old 10-16-2021, 09:13 AM   #17
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If you can't get decals, that opens a new opportunity for you to customize it with some cool graphics!
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Old 10-16-2021, 12:01 PM   #18
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That’s great. Best wishes for the future rv trips ��
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Old 10-16-2021, 12:44 PM   #19
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If you can't get decals, that opens a new opportunity for you to customize it with some cool graphics!
Maybe this?
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Old 10-16-2021, 02:54 PM   #20
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Decals and vehicle wraps are certainly more popular these days. Awesome innovation.
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