Motorhoming that is!
January 1st - Storm Carmen blew her 100mph gales via the campsite we were on in France and ripped a Heki rooflight off.
We temporarily strapped it in place to keep the worst of the storm out and found a replacement at a motorhome accessory shop so it didn't take long to replace the smashed dome.
A few days later we had 2 flat tyres on one corner of the van. Not a DIY fix and needed to call on our European recovery insurance to sort it for us. Turned out to be 2 valves that failed together.
Sometime in March we pulled into a Aire for the night on the way up to the UK and foolishly stopped on a grass verge. Normally not a problem with twin rear wheel drive but not good enough on theis occasion. Again we needed our European recovery to get us out and back on the road.
Back in the UK one of the other side rear tyres looked a bit flat so I called into a tyre depot to use their airline. Air escaped as fast as it was put in and again it was a failed valve stem. So 2 more replacements fitted but at least caught in time.
Move on to July the 4th and parked up in south-west france.... a hailstorm to end all hailstorms swept through and lasted around 10 minutes.
Prior to the storm
After the storm
Having made our insurer, Safeguard, aware of our claim I set about getting an estimate to see what the next steps would be. We were introduced to DMR at Doncaster who are specialists in motorhome body repairs and I supplied them with a load of photographs detailing the damage. They admitted that repairs would be complicated and therefore expensive, not helped by Carthago's spare parts prices.
To make the motorhome 'as before' a whole new roof would be needed and that's not something that can be replaced outside the factory, so a compromise would be to reskin with new aliminium on top of the old. 5 new Heki rooflights required. Bodywork repairs to both sides of the motorhome. a respray and new decals all round. Probably 3 months in the workshop.
A scary £23000.
The estimate meant that the insurance company wanted one of their engineers to inspect so we made a special trip up to the UK, camped at a small site in Kent for a couple of nights so the engineer could assess the damage and make his report. We needed to supply him with as much proof as possible as the the stated value of the motorhome.
Within a few days he'd talked to DMR and other specialists and dealers and agreed the estimate was indeed realistic as was our opinion of value.
He gave us 2 options. Repair or accept a total loss but there would not be an option to retain the salvage due to Allianz's company policy.
To our minds however good the repair it would never be the same and would be a possible obstacle whenever we decided to sell in the future so with a little haggling we agreed a write off figure (less compulsory and accidental damage excess obviously!).
Our fabulous and much loved motorhome became an insurance write off!
Allianz paid promptly and a low loader will be arriving on Wednesday to remove the motorhome - and that's the end of that....