Top RVing Mishaps
From floods to fires, the Good Sam Vehicle Insurance Plan experts have seen it all. However, every year there are five types of RV claims that seem to recur most often. Check out these top five RVing mishaps and tips on how to avoid them. You might save much more than just your vacation!
- Tire Blowouts
- Refrigerator Fires and Propane Leaks
- Hitting Gas Station Overhangs and Bridges
- Forgetting to Retract Steps and Awnings
- Animal Infestation
Tire failure is the cause of 60% to 70% of all Good Sam VIP comprehensive claims. Tires usually blow out as a result of an overloaded RV, improper inflation or excessively worn tread. Follow these simple tire safety tips:
- Check your tire pressure monthly, and before starting any trip. Check the air pressure when tires are cold.
- Don’t let air out of a hot tire because it may be underinflated when the tire cools.
- Level your RV and chock the wheels whenever it will be parked for a couple of days or longer.
- If a tire is punctured, have it dismounted and professionally repaired from the inside.
- Don’t use petroleum- or alcohol-based tire products that can accelerate tire wear.
- Replace any tire that is over seven years old, even if it looks new.
- Help prevent ozone and UV damage by washing your tires with mild soap and water and scrubbing them with a soft brush. Also, be sure to keep your tires covered when your RV is off the road.
- Know the weight of your RV (when loaded) and make sure your tires are rated appropriately.
Remember, it is recommended by the RV industry and RV safety experts that tires should be replaced every five to seven years regardless of mileage or outward appearance.
If you do have a claim as a result of a tire blowout or other covered mishap, rest assured that Good Sam VIP will provide the specialized protection you need. For example, if your RV and tow vehicle are ever involved in the same covered accident while they are attached, you’ll only be responsible for one deductible – not two – when you put your RV and auto on one convenient VIP policy. Plus, you’ll earn a multi-vehicle discount of up to 20%.
And if your covered claim involves damage to your hitch, Good Sam VIP will cover your entire hitch assembly at full replacement cost. “Ordinary” auto insurance policies may not pay for everything you need if you have a claim involving an RV and a tow vehicle, or a fifth wheel and a pickup. When you insure both your auto and RV with the Good Sam Vehicle Insurance Plan, you don’t have to worry.
We receive hundreds of claims a year that are due to refrigerator fires caused by malfunctions in the fridge’s cooling system. A rig can burn up in minutes as a result of these malfunctions.
When it comes to the refrigerator in your rig, familiarize yourself with the make/model and always be on the lookout for recalls. The experts at Good Sam VIP stay in contact with propane appliance manufacturers, and you should too. Bookmark the Web site of the manufacturer that made your RV refrigerator, for example, and periodically go online to check for recalls or other safety information. If you attend RV shows or “rallies,” stop by the booths of RV manufacturers and ask if there are any recalls that pertain to your fridge.
Also be sure to follow these basic guidelines:
- Never paint your tank a dark color.
- Be sure your oven or stove burners are completely off when not in use.
- Make sure your engine and any propane appliances are turned off before refueling.
- Be certain that older propane tanks have an overfill protection device.
- Check exhaust and intake vents for any blockages.
- Install a propane gas detector.
- Do not drive with your refrigerator running on the propane setting.
If the unthinkable does occur and your recreational vehicle is damaged or lost to fire, the RV claims experts at Good Sam VIP will quickly get you back on the road with as little hassle as possible. And with VIP’s Personal Belongings Coverage, the possessions in your RV – from laptops to linens – are automatically insured for full replacement cost up to $3,000 at no extra charge. You can add more coverage if you need it.
Plus, if you have VIP’s Optional Full Replacement Cost Coverage and your RV is totaled or stolen (and not recovered) in its first five model years, it will be replaced with a comparable new RV, even if you’re not the original owner. After the first five model years, you will receive your full original purchase price — not a depreciated amount — toward the purchase of the replacement RV. And the Good Sam VIP experts will be happy to help find a replacement RV that meets your exact needs. Replacement Cost Coverage must be purchased during the RV’s model year or within the following four years. It could save you thousands by protecting you from depreciation.
You’d be surprised how many Good Sam VIP claims are the result of forgetting an RV’s height. Getting lodged under a gas station overhang, bridge or other overhead obstruction is no joke. In order to avoid this typical accident, create a constant reminder by posting a sticky note with your RV’s height on your dashboard – and be sure to take into account any antennas or other rooftop attachments.
If you do incur damage because of inadequate clearance or other mishap on the road or at the campground, the Good Sam Vehicle Insurance Plan will work with you to have the repairs completed as quickly and conveniently as possible based on your needs. We have an extensive network of RV Direct Repair facilities that will complete your repairs with the backing of a lifetime guarantee. We can work with the shop of your choice, or we can send an appraiser out to inspect your RV at the campground or other location. Depending on the extent of damage, we can even work with mobile repair vendors to have your RV fixed without even having to take it to a shop!
Other insurers may ask you to pay not only for minor repairs, but also for a service call. Good Sam VIP is designed to pay for both your service call and for covered claims repairs (minus your deductible). And if you do find yourself stranded, Good Sam VIP’s Emergency Expense Allowance will even help pay for food, lodging and travel expenses.
It’s easy to forget minor things when you’re eager to move on to your next RVing destination or are finishing up your vacation. So it’s no surprise that many Good Sam VIP claims are the result of forgetting to retract steps or awnings – or otherwise ensure that your RV is completely ready to get back on the road.
Before starting your engine, avoid common RVing mistakes by:
- Being sure that awnings, jacks and steps are fully retracted.
- Ensuring that sewer, water and power are disconnected.
- Walking around your recreational vehicle to check for obstructions such as low-hanging branches, curbs, signs, etc.
- Checking tire pressure and tread condition.
- Ensuring that your oven and burners are off.
- Checking underneath your rig for leaks.
- Making sure your coolant, oil and transmission fluids are at the correct levels.
- Double-checking safety lines and tow bars.
- Making sure that all brakes are functioning properly.
- Checking intakes and exhausts for blockages.
- Checking for propane leaks and ensuring that smoke and propane leak detectors are functioning properly.
- Closing and latching bay doors.
If you happen to forget and nip an overhang, a branch or what have you, don’t fret. With Good Sam VIP’s Permanent Attachments Coverage, your awnings, rubber roofs, antennas, tow kits, levelers and more are automatically insured for the full amount it would cost to replace them — not a depreciated amount.
When your RV sits empty over the winter months, mice, squirrels and other animals can make it their home, chew through wires and lines, and cause other mayhem. While damage from these unwelcome critters is generally covered by Good Sam VIP’s comprehensive coverage (we jokingly call it “critter coverage”), it’s best to periodically scare away unwanted pests by starting your motorhome weekly, even during the off-season. That should spook your unwanted guests and let them know that they’re not alone. If you have a trailer, you can either pull it around the block or lightly bang on the walls to achieve a similar result.
You should always maintain your comprehensive coverage to protect your RV against threats like animal infestation, fire, storms, wind and theft. However, the Good Sam VIP Storage Option lets you save money by suspending the other coverages you don’t need during the months your RV is off the road.
The Storage Option allows you to “turn off” your liability and collision coverages to reduce your premium by an average of 53% when you’re not using your RV. Just six months of this exclusive Storage Option could save you up to $400.
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