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Reefer Fire...


PTTech
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It's been a little over a month since I got the call from our storage unit manager that our 2004 Safari Panther motorhome had caught fire the night before. It was in a covered sprinkled area and the fire dept was right next door, so they put the fire out quickly. Still, it caused quite a bit of damage.

It started in the refrigerator which I had foolishly and ignorantly left plugged in and had operating for the few weeks between short trips. If I had known then what I have learned since about the frequency of these fires and the tools available to prevent them, I would have done things differently. I have no idea if any of the recalls had been performed. I'm still having a hard time believing that the risk of these fires is allowed to continue.

We had it a little over a year and had been working on getting all of the mechanicals, RV systems and visual upgrades done for what we hoped would be a future full-time home for an undetermined season of our lives. Replacing the RV frig with a residential refer was on the list, but mostly because of better function and efficiency.

Now we are trying to determine if we should repair it or let the insurance company total it and move on. It's a pretty unique coach with all of the features we wanted. It's in excellent mechanical condition and drove like a dream. I had been considering a full paint job and some other interior and system upgrades, so we have some cash to add to the insurance settlement for the repairs. I'm trying to avoid having it totaled and having a branded title for what is mostly cosmetic damage.

Anyway, wanted you all to know that, yes there was another RV fire. Also thought I'd throw out if anyone out there is considering selling a good condition Safari Panther 4213, we may be in the market.

Greg

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So sorry to hear about your fridge fire and now having to deal with the insurance company and trying to figure out your next move.

If you are truly contemplating trying to rebuild your coach it may be a better idea to let the insurance company total it, then buy it back at a far cheaper price.

That's if you plan to hang onto the coach for a long time and not flip it.

I have no problem dealing with a Salvage Title as long as the vehicle has not been in a flood. I have purchased two different Salvage Title vehicles in the past and sold one for what I paid for it 3 years later. I still have the other one which now has 158K on the odometer. It is a 2006 Saturn Vue and I tow it behind my coach.

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Not sure if it works in your market but I once bought our own totaled truck back and there was no change to title since it did not change hands. Traded it in as a 'work truck' for much more than it cost me. Also bought a nice crashed Lincoln from a friend of a friend when he bought his back for the $250 that insurance wanted for it. Replaced front sheet metal and after using it as a loaner for years later it sold for 4K to a very happy person that still drives it. Yes it shows on Carfax.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just a quick update. We considered repairing it, but were very concerned about the uncertainty of cost of repairs and the stigma of a rebuilt title. The tipping point was when another coach almost identical to ours came up for sale close to our home. We made a deal to buy it from the original owners. So, we are going to let our old one go. It's bittersweet, but the right thing for us.

Greg

20220929_114136.jpg

On 9/17/2022 at 4:52 PM, 96 EVO said:

Sorry to hear!

You don't mention the make or model of fridge?

Since it was parked at your storage facility, I assume it was sitting fairly level?

It was a Norcold 1200. No recall box. It was sitting level. 

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Greg,

Good decision!

I am guessing that the rear slide did not close tightly enough especially with the red pool noodle still attached and sticking out. Not good when it is raining as it rains a lot in Washington as you already know.

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On 9/17/2022 at 8:27 PM, Ivan K said:

Not sure if it works in your market but I once bought our own totaled truck back and there was no change to title since it did not change hands. Traded it in as a 'work truck' for much more than it cost me. Also bought a nice crashed Lincoln from a friend of a friend when he bought his back for the $250 that insurance wanted for it. Replaced front sheet metal and after using it as a loaner for years later it sold for 4K to a very happy person that still drives it. Yes it shows on Carfax.

 

Here in VA, if a vehicle's value is below $10k, they don't issue a salvage title even if the insurance totals it.
Nobody is going to rebuild a really badly damaged $10k vehicle, and it avoids fairly minor damage from title branding an older car, that is probably fine after repair.

Of course, this wouldn't apply to a motor home, but just thought I'd let you know.

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On 9/17/2022 at 4:22 PM, PTTech said:

It's been a little over a month since I got the call from our storage unit manager that our 2004 Safari Panther motorhome had caught fire the night before. It was in a covered sprinkled area and the fire dept was right next door, so they put the fire out quickly. Still, it caused quite a bit of damage.

It started in the refrigerator which I had foolishly and ignorantly left plugged in and had operating for the few weeks between short trips. If I had known then what I have learned since about the frequency of these fires and the tools available to prevent them, I would have done things differently. I have no idea if any of the recalls had been performed. I'm still having a hard time believing that the risk of these fires is allowed to continue.

We had it a little over a year and had been working on getting all of the mechanicals, RV systems and visual upgrades done for what we hoped would be a future full-time home for an undetermined season of our lives. Replacing the RV frig with a residential refer was on the list, but mostly because of better function and efficiency.

Now we are trying to determine if we should repair it or let the insurance company total it and move on. It's a pretty unique coach with all of the features we wanted. It's in excellent mechanical condition and drove like a dream. I had been considering a full paint job and some other interior and system upgrades, so we have some cash to add to the insurance settlement for the repairs. I'm trying to avoid having it totaled and having a branded title for what is mostly cosmetic damage.

Anyway, wanted you all to know that, yes there was another RV fire. Also thought I'd throw out if anyone out there is considering selling a good condition Safari Panther 4213, we may be in the market.

Greg

I joined the Norcold class action lawsuit.  I received $113.69 in 4 payments for a total of $454.76.

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On 10/2/2022 at 7:08 AM, Dr4Film said:

Greg,

Good decision!

I am guessing that the rear slide did not close tightly enough especially with the red pool noodle still attached and sticking out. Not good when it is raining as it rains a lot in Washington as you already know.

That's funny that you noticed. The previous owner put it on and forgot to pull it off before retracting the slide. We took it off after the picture. Slides work great. Topper and awning fabrics all need to be replaced.

If anyone is interested in resurrecting our original coach, let me know quickly. We are swapping some parts like recently replaced tires, shocks and airbags from the old one to the new. We haven't settled on a buy back amount from insurance. Would likely be around $20-25k

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