The truck was barely hurt. On the camper, the only thing seriously damaged were the jacks, which had broken off, the turnbuckles, which were destroyed, and the camper roof had come unlatched. The battery still worked. The refrigerator still worked. Everything else worked.
At that point I took pictures and sent them to Four Wheel Campers. They told me that they could fix my camper for about $2,000.
Tow Story: The Real Damage
My insurance company, Liberty Mutual, hired another company to tow my rig to their Liberty Mutual approved garage. The Liberty Mutual approved tow truck brought a flat bed and secured the truck for transport to a repair shop. Once they had the rig on board and secured, they drove down I-15 to the repair shop.
When I later went to the repair shop to take a look at the truck and camper, they claimed there wasn’t a camper on the truck when it arrived.
For two weeks they didn’t know where it was. Finally, they found my camper in an impound lot. Since there was no name or registration on the camper, the impound lot didn’t know who it belonged to. When I went to claim the camper, it was beat up much worse than after the ice accident.
Three weeks after the accident, my friend saw my beat up Four Wheel Camper in my yard. He told me that he had seen a truck camper fly off a tow truck on I-I5 and slide down the freeway. After the ice accident, the turnbuckles had been destroyed leaving the camper unattached to the truck. The repair shop hadn’t misplaced my camper, they had left it on the side of the freeway.
Fortunately, no one got hurt when this happened and a highway patrolman had pushed it off the roadway. Liberty Mutual never admitted that happened.
Truck and Camper Insurance
I talked to several people at Liberty Mutual, calling everyday until I got an answer about coverage. At first they said I wasn’t insured because the truck is used for my business and I was RVing at the time of the accident. Then they said it wasn’t insured because the camper wasn’t connected to the truck.
Later I talked to another Liberty Mutual representative and she told me that they weren’t going to cover the camper. I kept calling and eventually got a higher up person in the company. He told me that I had to prove to them that they destroyed the camper, or they didn’t want to cover it. I wasn’t satisfied, so I kept calling back. He wouldn’t call me back, so I left messages.
I finally got the higher up guy to answer the phone. I think he got tired of hearing from me.
Well, have you ever seen the Liberty Mutual commercial with the Statue of Liberty, and a car named Brad? Well, in the commercial, Brad the car gets totaled and Liberty Mutual talks about how they treat your car like family.
With this commercial in mind, I called my agent and said, “My camper is named Lester, and he was in an awful accident. He’s like family to me. Lester and I have been all over the country and Liberty Mutual said they would take care of him.”
He said, “Touché, Mr. Bachman”. And that’s what worked.
Two days later I got a check for the truck and camper. I wound up buying the truck back from the insurance company for $2,000, and got it repaired. As you might expect, the poor Four Wheel Camper was damaged beyond repair after it was dropped and dragged down I-15 by the tow truck. Poor Lester.