Car accidents. Deer strikes. Wind damage. Water damage. Theft. Fire. Tire blow outs. Huge potholes. Freak hail storms. The following are true stories of truck camper disasters, insurance claims and what happened next.
This week’s Question of the Week was, “If you have filed an insurance claim for your truck camper, please tell us about that experience.”
“I needed a tow when my truck suddenly died on the road. Geico dispatched a tow truck, and then called back to say that we would need to demount the camper for the tow truck. I reminded them of our separate policy covering the camper, and they apologized. It is very important to have the same company cover both the truck and the camper.” – Chuck Webb, 2012 Ford F350, 2015 Alaskan 8.5
“My truck and camper were stolen. The truck was abandoned; undamaged and nearby. The camper’s insurance agent mentioned that six campers were stolen within two weeks. They were professional thieves who had targeted specific campers.
My policy covered an equivalent camper, but the agent could only find a used camper of the same manufacturer and year. Except the replacement camper didn’t have a shower stall. It was an 810W model.
I had to pay a few hundred dollars above the maximum policy coverage to have a shower installed in the 810W. The roof had to be lifted to drop the shower unit in. I was pleased with the results. The insurance agent was excellent. The camper was sold after 18-years.” – Vic Smith, 1981 Ford F250, 1981 Vanguard 810SW
“We had an accident that bent our rear axle. It also split the driver’s side camper anchor to secure the camper to my truck due to wood rot. Our insurance totaled the camper and paid me for it. They also replaced the rear axle, installed a new rear brake system, and four new tires. I’m happy with my California Casualty!” – Dave Tester, 2004 GMC Sierra 3500, 2005 Lance 1130
“I was camping under big pine trees and a storm came up early in the morning. A limb hit the roof, poked a hole in it, and destroyed the air conditioner cover. I filed a claim with the insurance company and they paid it. My insurance company is Nationwide.” – Jeff Hagberg, 2002 Ford F-250, 2006 Travel Lite 800SBX
“I damaged my former camper, a Northstar Laredo, when I got into a deep pothole. I bought the camper used and it came with a low-mounted rear porch installed by the previous owner.
When I went into the deep pothole the porch bottomed out forcing the camper up. This pulled the camper tie-down attachment plates down and the camper became loose on the bed. It was a pretty dramatic episode.
I was insured by Geico at the time and they were pretty good about paying the claim. The camper was totaled, so I made them an offer for salvage value ($600 as I recall). I had the camper repaired and sold it prior to buying my new Northern Lite. I was very clear about the damage and repairs to the new owner.” – Gregory Parker, 2012 Chevy Silverado, 2017 Northern Lite 8-11
“We had a hail storm a few years ago. It really beat up the roof of our 2008 Northstar TC650. The insurance company decided to total it.
They wouldn’t believe me when I told them what the value should be until they called Northstar to have it verified. They ended up paying more than I expected.
I bought it back for $2,000 and used it for a couple more years. Then I traded it for a new one and still got full value out of the trade. We came out very well in the deal.
We have Grinnell Mutual insurance for the truck and the camper for a very reasonable yearly premium.” – Allen R Brummel, 2013 Ram 2500, 2016 Northstar 650SC
“I filed a claim with State Farm for tornado damage for my fifth wheel trailer. Their coverage was great, and they fully paid for the totaled trailer. My truck camper was in a garage and not damaged. Now we only have a camper which is covered as a rider on our truck policy for a very low fee.” – Bill Hansen, 2013 Ram 3500, 2007 Arctic Fox 990
“We attended Frontier Days in Cheyenne, Wyoming this summer. We left the camper and truck at a friend’s home. While we at the event, hail hit the truck and camper hard. The bathroom vent cover was destroyed. The rest of the camper came through fine.
We drove 50-miles south to get a HD vent cover and borrowed our friend’s tall step ladder to replace the cover. We could not get a dealer service appointment at the height of summer.
The truck sustained $3,400 worth of hail damage. State Farm handled the claim professionally and fast. They even made sure that I got an estimate to replace the vent cover with labor so that I would be paid for my time. The truck and camper were covered under one claim so we were not hit with two deductibles.
Our car had $6,500 worth of damage from the same storm. One huge lesson we learned was to get a quality product shop to fix the hail damage. I didn’t recognize 90-percent of the damage.” – Mark Harrison, 2005 Dodge 2500, 2017 Northern Lite 10.2 EXCD
“I just had an incident in Phoenix where I turned too short and caught a front fender on a car parked next to me. Country Companies insurance took care of it without a problem. I have the same insurance on the house and have huge claim from hail last summer. It’s nice having the same agent and insurance company.” – Frank Niehus, 2007 Ford F-350, 2007 Arctic Fox 1150
“Following a front tire blowout, we noticed damage to our truck camper around the corners of the slide-out. The first adjuster from Amica showed up without the promised advance notice and was gone before I could return home. He concluded damages were normal wear and tear despite his admitted unfamiliarity with truck campers or RVs and without citing any basis for his conclusion.
The second adjuster concluded some of the damages were probably related and offered partial coverage. After providing information from four or five RV repair shops and a National Warranty Manager from a camper manufacturer, the insurance company sent an engineer to inspect the camper. Amica insurance finally agreed and the damages were covered.” – Craig Brueckman, 2015 Ford F350, 2014 Lance 1191
“Three years ago your 100-foot by 70-foot barn burned down. Our 2000 Lance 1130 was off the truck about 100-feet away from the barn. The heat and the smoke from the barn fire was intense. The grass caught fire and the flames ran under the Lance.
Everything that was plastic, all the caulking on the roof, the left side and the rear of the Lance was melted. The black and grey water tanks ruptured and the left side’s fiberglass was almost powder. The front and right side had no damage. The inside was perfect. It didn’t even smell of smoke.
Our insurance company was State Farm. The agent went out of her way to be helpful. Since our Lance 1130 could not be moved she suggested that we email the pictures to our RV dealer. B&M Campers gave a repair quote for the damages and emailed everything to State Farm. State Farm totaled the Lance and within three weeks we had a check for the full market value.” – Jerry Bonneau, 1995 Ford F-350 SD, 2002 Lance 1061
“Alabama weather changes are never predictable. March of 2018 brought us the worst hail storm we’ve ever experienced. Hail the size of soft balls tore through our home with damages over $60,000. We had to move into our fifth wheel for three months while repairs were being made.
The roof on our Arctic Fox 990 had to be replaced. That’s where it gets interesting. When we purchased the camper our agent said. “If the camper is off the truck at your residence, your homeowners policy covers it. If it’s on the truck, it falls under that policy.”
After the storm, we were initially told it was only covered on the truck. It was off the truck sitting in our driveway during the storm. There were so many hail damage claims in our city that State Farm had to set up a circus tent to handle all the cars and trucks damaged by the hail storm.
I was told to carry our truck camper to the tent for inspection. We arrived and waited our turn with our camper on the truck. Then were told it wouldn’t fit through their 10-foot door. We patiently waited for the claim’s agent to tell us to take it home. They would send another agent to the garage where it was stored for inspection.
It all ended well. We are back in our home and the roof has been replaced on our camper. I’m a firm believer in, “You get what you pay for”. State Farm covered everything. Hands down, they are the best insurer we’ve ever had.” – Jerry Burhnam, 2005 Dodge 3500, Arctic Fox 990
“In June of 2017, we had a freak hail storm and received damage to our house, truck and camper. It was quite a lesson in dealing with insurance claims.
The truck was repaired pretty fast. The camper was a bit of a folly but, within the year, we had it repaired by a dealer in another state.
It didn’t seem like any one locally wanted to deal with it. The local estimate was extremely high. Maybe Progressive would have gone for it, but it just didn’t sit well with us. The out of state dealer that repaired it was definitely the best choice.
My advice is to keep records of everything! This situation ended well because of my wife’s diligent record keeping. By the fall of 2018, we had a beautifully restored truck camper, a new roof, paint job, and windows on our house. All is well that ends well.” – Pete Memmer, 2015 Ram 2500, Northstar 850SC
“A deer doubled back and hit the front passenger jack of the camper. The jack was torn off. Farmer’s Insurnace paid for a new replacement jack at a reasonable price.” – Pat Jones, 2006 GMC Sierra, 2007 Bigfoot
“I filed an insurance claim when my old truck, a 2001 Ford F350, blew a rear tire thereby greatly enlarging the wheel well. Nationwide covered everything beyond my deductible. There was $3,500 in damage to the truck, and none to the camper. Both are covered separately by Nationwide polices.” – Randy Smith, 2017 Ram 3500, 2017 Adventurer 910DB
“I filed a claim with my insurance for a camper repair a few years ago. My insurance at that time was Geico. I had, as I still do now, separate insurance on my truck and camper with the same company. My claim was covered and I had no problems at all with the process.
The cabover of my camper had some damage that was far worse than I first thought. It basically needed to be rebuilt. The cost for that to be done was a couple thousand dollars. I ended up only paying a couple hundred dollars for my deductible. I never even had to deal with the appraiser.
My camper was at the Adventurer factory for the repair. They showed the appraiser what happened and what the fix was. A couple days later, the claim was approved.
In the end it was fantastic service by Geico and Adventurer to get my camper back up and running. I have a different insurance company now, but I still have the same coverage.” – Rich Bain, 2004 Dodge 3500, 2010 Adventurer 810WS
“I had a pop-up camper that had the roof blow off. My truck insurer, Safeco, paid on the condition that I get separate insurance for the camper, which I did.” – Bruce Ostermann, 2015 Ram 5500, 2015 Eagle Cap 1165
“I am insured with Geico. I submitted a claim for damage to the ceiling where the paper was dimpling. A Geico adjuster came and looked at the damage advising that it was, “obvious water damage”. Since we did not have roof seams inspected annually by a professional, they denied the claim.
We went to a local RV repair shop and the advisor said it was condensation damage. We store our camper with the refrigerator door open and didn’t know to defrost and wipe out the freezer before storing the unit. Fortunately, the damage is 100-percent cosmetic.” – Barbara Melroy, 2004 Ford F-350, 2013 Palomino Bronco 1225
“I purchased my camper from an owner who had water damage and sold the unit as-is. Their insurance company totaled the camper for the water damage. The owner was able to retain salvage, plus the insurance check.
A snow load had sat on the camper and water had leaked into the front clearance lights and settled under the front mattress area. The owner lived so far away from a repair facility that the insurance company simply wrote them a check for the value of the camper.
I purchased the camper for a steal. It took me eight hours and 200-bucks to fix it myself. I still have it and use it often. There are insurance deals out there. Don’t be afraid.” – Jeff Hauser, 1996 Dodge d2500, 2007 Arctic Fox 860
“I had a claim due to hail damage. The original adjuster’s repair estimate was very low. A different adjuster at the repair shop increased the estimate by five times. The camper is insured by Allstate separately from the truck, which was also damaged and had a claim filed.” – Ron Pucul, 2016 Ford F-350, 2006 Lance 1055
“Knock on wood that I don’t need to file again. On our 2007 Arctic Fox I had to file a claim with Geico. It took almost seven months to process. They lost my file and their adjuster quit, so it got lost in the cracks. Just keep on the insurance companies. After seven months they paid out the $8,000 in damage to the unit. The entire roof had to be replaced.” – James Tedford, 2017 Adventurer 116DS
“Thankfully, I have only had claims on the truck when I hit a deer in 2014. We hadn’t even make the second payment on our new truck and the insurance company was wanting to cut costs and glue a few items.
My body shop, having done work for us before, was emphatic about getting all the parts replaced with OEM. I think, due to the fact it was pouring rain when the adjuster got to my house, he agreed to replace everything.” – Tracy Quoka, 2014 Ram 3500, 2012 Travel Lite 890SX
“Right after I bought my camper, I insured it through Progressive Insurance. My truck insurance through Safeco did not cover truck campers.
Within a month, I tore the liner when I backed into the corner of my metal rain gutter. An insurance adjuster came, took pictures, contacted Four Wheel Camper, obtained a bid for a new liner, and issued a check to me for the cost of a new liner.
The new liner was installed some months later. My cost was only the transportation cost to and from Four Wheel Campers in California.” – Jim Loy, 2017 Toyota Tundra, 2014 Four Wheel Camper Hawk
If you haven’t already, please take a look at “9 Lessons From A Truck Camper Accident” which provides before, during, and after accident tips.