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Old 07-04-2012, 11:40 AM   #1
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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.
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:13 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:34 PM   #3
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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!
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:55 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 07-04-2012, 02:00 PM   #5
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What a horrible story! So glad you all got out OK.

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

Rick
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Old 07-04-2012, 03:07 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:27 PM   #7
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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
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:40 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:24 AM   #9
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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.
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Old 07-05-2012, 06:23 AM   #10
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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!
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:45 PM   #11
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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
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:32 PM   #12
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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!!!!!
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:47 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 07-05-2012, 10:14 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:02 AM   #15
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Update!!

After almost 2 months and a lot of conversations with Progressive the rig was a total.

Moved it from Camping World to a company that actually knew what they were doing, Millennium Luxury Coach's in Sanford FL. A real top notch company. They accomplished more in 8 hours than Camping World did in a month.

FMCA was a exercise in futility as I mentioned earlier in this thread. Progressive quickly reimbursed me for the towing.

Of note is a condition that occurs when batteries are involved in a fire, "sulfuric acid mist". This stuff sorta attachés to the smoke and soot particles and is spread throughout the coach. In about 3 weeks the hardware was showing signs of corrosion. The mist and the covering on the burnt wires are a carcinogen and can't really be removed totally from a coach.

That's the story.
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:32 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fastcar View Post
After almost 2 months and a lot of conversations with Progressive the rig was a total.

Moved it from Camping World to a company that actually knew what they were doing, Millennium Luxury Coach's in Sanford FL. A real top notch company. They accomplished more in 8 hours than Camping World did in a month.

FMCA was a exercise in futility as I mentioned earlier in this thread. Progressive quickly reimbursed me for the towing.

Of note is a condition that occurs when batteries are involved in a fire, "sulfuric acid mist". This stuff sorta attachés to the smoke and soot particles and is spread throughout the coach. In about 3 weeks the hardware was showing signs of corrosion. The mist and the covering on the burnt wires are a carcinogen and can't really be removed totally from a coach.

That's the story.

What is it that Millennium Luxury Coach's in Sanford FL did for you?

Interesting comment about "sulfuric acid mist". Forced me to Google it and learn more.
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:40 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigd9 View Post
What is it that Millennium Luxury Coach's in Sanford FL did for you?

Interesting comment about "sulfuric acid mist". Forced me to Google it and learn more.
The rig was at Camping World in ST Augustine for a month immediately after the fire. They were supposed to estimate damage and in doing so diagnose the systems and so on. They came up with a 1/2 a** estimate that had no price for material or parts with out diagnosing much of anything

Millennium had it up in the air, doors off, a/c out, slider out in a day. Had a very good dialog with the folks at progressive. Where the guy at CW pissed off everybody he spoke to. Further it was glaringly obvious that CW was well over their heads regarding equipment and ability to effect repairs. Millennium on the other hand customizes Prevost as it's core business, my situation was a normal thing for them.

These folks at Millennium are pro's! I highly recommend them. Millennium Luxury Coaches | Perfection, it's in the details!
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:43 AM   #18
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Confused. Is it a total or are they going to repair it. X 2 on Millennium. I knew the guy who started it.
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Old 08-26-2012, 09:03 AM   #19
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I hope it all works out to your satisfaction. I recently had a major claim with Progressive and I cannot express how pleased I was with their customer service and how they handled the claim. Hopefully you will have the same experience.

I also incurred a hefty towing bill ($2550) that was included in the claim. They reimbursed me without a problem. Coach-Net towing was useless as they simply said that if I had an insurance claim, the towing would be part of that incident.

Progressive won a customer for life with me...... hopefully they did the same with you.
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Old 08-26-2012, 09:08 AM   #20
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no love here for progressive; foot dragging and stall tactics. Going on a year.
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