Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-04-2012, 10:40 AM   #1
Winnebago Owner
Fastcar's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 56
Electrical Fire

After putting 5,000 miles on our 2008 Destination through MT SD WY we returned to FL. Sunday afternoon on I-95 southbound just south of ST.Augustine I thought I smelled something, next everything went black on the dash, went to the shift pad no joy there, next smoke detector goes off. I'm pretty much screwed as I'm in the middle lane with no power look in my driver's side mirror and smoke is pouring out of the rear look at the passenger side and see more smoke and flames. Tell the wife to get a leash on the dog and as soon as I get it stopped to get the hell out and call 911.

I finally catch a break in traffic and get into the breakdown lane and stopped. Get out of the seat and I can't see past the refrigerator, just a wall of black smoke. Damn smoke was coming out of the ac ducts. I grabbed a extinguisher and bailed. Tried to put it out but I might as well have spit on it. Seemed to be coming from the AC and into the batteries. The fire dept finally showed up and doused it and cut out what was left of the batteries.

Had a friend drive up as we were only 25 miles from home. They brought trash bags and we managed to grab out clothes which was a mistake. They were filled with a black soot and stunk. Now my garage stinks. My wife has asthma and the smell has her into a reaction if she goes near the stuff.

So far Progressive has been good to deal with. Told them about my wife and her breathing problem and they said just throw everything out we will pay the limit of your coverage for personal property. So that was okay although we packed for a couple of months and will exceed the limit.

I don't see how they will be able to repair it satisfactorily. Just removing the soot and smell would imo require the removal of the walls and insulation all fabric the Styrofoam that forms the ac ducts. The electrical is crazy The folks at camping world said it would probably require a total rewire behind the walls to guarantee the repair.

I'm thinking that a repair will be too labor intensive and they may very well total it. If so I'll be looking for another.

Has anybody dealt with Progressive on a claim such as this??

We were lucky this happened at the end of our trip and not the middle. Also nobody was injured.

I'll mention FMCA's vaunted road service briefly. In my case totally useless.
Fastcar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2012, 12:13 PM   #2
Winnebago Owner
bdpreece's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Woodburn Oregon USA
Posts: 66
Sorry to hear of your troubles.
If either the police or fire department called or required you to be towed, I have read where if you paid for the tow you can submit your receipt and it will be covered by FMCA.
Brian, Loretta & Daisy (Golden Retriever)
2008 Holiday Rambler Endeavor 40 PDQ , ISL 400
2014 Ford Explorer toad
bdpreece is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2012, 12:34 PM   #3
Winnebago Owner
steelheadbluesman's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Zigzag, OR
Posts: 151
I'm sorry for your losses -- it must have been terrifying. I'm hoping that you will keep us posted at to the insurance follow-up AND fmca. I've been a member for years and would like to know how they treat members in an emergency situation. I hope this all works out for you and your wife. Best of luck!
'07 Itasca 35L/W22 FULL-TIMING
1000 Trails - VFW - 5 Yrs Army
steelheadbluesman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2012, 12:55 PM   #4
Winnebago Owner
Steve N Sal's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 108
Sorry to hear of your problem. The good thing is, everyone got out and is OK. Hope the insurance company is fair with you and all turns out on the positive side. Good Luck.
Steve & Sally / HiTee & Hudson Our Little Poms / Heidi & Houston Forever in our Hearts
04 NEWMAR MACA 3778 W22 / 05 PT Vert
Michigan (Summer) Michigan (Winter For Now)
Steve N Sal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2012, 01:00 PM   #5
Winnebago Master
RickO's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Litchfield Park, Arizona
Posts: 656
What a horrible story! So glad you all got out OK.

Any chance the cause of the fire will ever be discovered?

Rick, Nancy, Peanut & Lola our Westie Dogs & Bailey the Sheltie.

2007 Itasca Ellipse 40FD
RickO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2012, 02:07 PM   #6
Winnebago Master
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,019
Progressive is pretty good about in motion fires. If the rig was sitting on a deserted lot and such they might question it but you were in the rig driving and had to bail with your family so you should be OK to the limit of your policy.

Progressive quickly gave me the agreed cash value of my policy when I got burned out however the personal property coverage that I was told by the AAA agent was included with the policy did not exist so I got nothing for my belongings. The top of the engine was burned off in what started as a wheel or brake fire and my Vectra was totaled.

BTW: Purple cleaner does wonders for cleaning smoke damaged items.
Neil V
2001 Winnebago Adventurer WFG35U
NeilV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2012, 07:27 PM   #7
Winnebago Owner
Fastcar's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 56
Here's the deal with FMCA.

Keeping in mind that it is Sunday afternoon at 3PM on a real busy interstate ( I-95 in FL) with a ton of high speed traffic. My RV is barely into the breakdown lane with the left rear corner almost into the 1st lane.

The State Trooper wanted to know how long it would take to get a hook to the scene if I used my own as we were not in a good place.

After a 10 minute conversation with two different people at FMCA we were informed it would be at least 1+ hour at best. Well, that didn't make it with the trooper, he had a hook there in about 30 minutes, hooked on, dropped the shaft and we were out of there.

Called FMCA Monday morning to ask what the deal was and would they reimburse me for the tow bill. Their response was to send the original bill and a committee would meet and I should have a answer in about 30 day's. Huh??? Send in the original not a copy and you folks will huddle and might pay for the towing? That is how it is done she say's. I replied, Am I covered or not? Well, they have to meet and render a decision. So I asked to speak with a supervisor, after 10 minutes on hold I hung up. I was too PO'd by then to talk to anybody.

I guess I have the rest of their question "Are you in a safe place" when they answer the phone. The rest of it should be (imo) "If not get use to it 'cause your gonna be there for awhile".

So they failed miserably in my case. I'm done with them. ymmv
Fastcar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2012, 07:40 PM   #8
Registered User
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 301
So your answer to their inquiry "are you in a safe place?" was "No, I'm not! Get me help immediately!" and still their response back to you was "Well sir, it'll be over an hour." ...Why did they ask such a question in the first place?? I wonder how long they would have told you if you had replied that you were in fact in a safe place? Being in an unsafe location and needing an immediate tow should be their priority.

Yep, I'd be done with them too.

We're glad you and yours are safe. That's always been our nightmare --having a fire while we're traveling down the road. We're so glad you made it through without injuries.
amanda_h is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2012, 11:24 PM   #9
Winnebago Master
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,019
Progressive should have covered the towing since you had a fire. When my rig burned on I4 during a Memorial Day weekend they sent Steps Towing out immediately who is equipped to remove even a fully disabled RV using a lowboy flatbed. Progressive handled everything after that working with Steps Towing.
Neil V
2001 Winnebago Adventurer WFG35U
NeilV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2012, 05:23 AM   #10
Winnebago Owner
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: MN,USA
Posts: 217
Submit your bill to Progressive. They will include it in the damages.

We had a gas coach catch firre some years ago and Progressive was very helpful and quick to respond. Your coach is within the 5 model years and if totalled they should replace it with a new comperable model. You could send the items from your garage that you care about to a Dry cleaaner.

I do not know how much of the wiring was involved, but if it was, they may total your coach. Good Luck!
2004 Itasca Sunrise 36', Workhorse
2003 Suzuki XL7
Dsouthw524 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2012, 11:45 AM   #11
Winnebago Owner
Fastcar's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 56
I spoke to Progressive and they will take care of the towing. Saves me from going around with FMCA.

Regards totaling it due to the wiring damage. Imo that is a very labor intensive repair to do properly. At $100.00+per hr that can really add up given the extensive wiring in these things. Of a more major concern is my wifes breathing problems.

I doubt, given that the black oily smoke is literally everywhere in and under the coach it will ever be totally removed. It is not like a wood fire, this has plastic, rubber and other stuff in the mix. I would think that the only way to remove it would be to totally gut the coach. I'm not about to subject my wife to some sort of toxic brew compounded by a attempt to mask the problem.

Thinking about it for a minute. Would one purchase a car with electrical problems? So how could I with clear conscious sell or trade this rig? A fire this extensive would have to be declared or mis representation could be a problem.
So the value of the coach has just taken a big time nose dive if it should be repaired. I'm thinking that it very well may be totaled
Fastcar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2012, 08:32 PM   #12
Winnebago Camper
bubbletruck's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 46
I am so glad you are all ok! This is a fear I have due to the problems I have had with my coach. We have kids usually hooked into carseats. I have ran it over in my head as to how fast I could unhook them and get them moving (I have two) should something like a fire happen.... it gives me comfort to know you at least had some time to get the dog on it's leash.... so sorry! I'm really glad you're ok and made it out!!!!!
Family hitting the road...if you see us, say HELLOOOOO!!!!
bubbletruck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2012, 08:47 PM   #13
Winnebago Master
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,019
You may be surprised on how quickly they may decide to total the rig. If there is thick black oily soot and there was an electrical fire in the roof or sidewall then that entire roof or sidewall will probably need replacing along with all the wiring and any switchgear that got the acidic soot in it including all appliances etc.

They may have already written it off and the insurance inspection could end up being nothing more than a formality to see if they can place any blame on the last tech to work on your coach. With the cost of forensics it may be cheaper for them to just write it off. My coach that burned was not a million dollar coach so they just wrote it off.
Neil V
2001 Winnebago Adventurer WFG35U
NeilV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2012, 09:14 PM   #14
Winnebago Master
Wayne M's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 911
I am so sorry to hear of your frightening experience. I truly hope that your insurance comes through for you. Keep us posted of any future experiences in this situation.

God bless and keep you continually safe.
Wayne MSGT USMC (Ret) & Earlene (CinCHouse)
2015 Winnebago Tour 42QD 2008 Winnebago Destination 39W
(RVM-14) It is what it is, and then it is what you make of it.
Wayne M is offline   Reply With Quote


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2007 Meridian - fridge fire jthvalkyrie Heating, Cooling and Appliances 15 10-10-2007 03:21 PM
Security safe/fire box CHIPPYSGT Winnebago General Discussions 7 04-14-2006 03:36 AM
Any fire science folks out there? Rich Bock Winnebago General Discussions 10 02-17-2005 02:31 PM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Winnebago Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:54 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.