Caravan gutted by fire

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 17, 2009 at 20:54
ThreadID: 65216 Views:2706 Replies:12 FollowUps:1
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Last week, our new caravan caught fire and the interior is completely destroyed. Yes, we and it are totally gutted.

We wonder if we should consider having it rebuilt or is it always going to be a problem? Has anyone had a similar experience and what advice can you offer. We are concerned that no matter what is done there may always be a lingering smell.
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Reply By: andson - Saturday, Jan 17, 2009 at 21:43

Saturday, Jan 17, 2009 at 21:43
Hi Heckle and Jeckle,
Unable to offer any advice but sorry to hear about your misfortune.

Shane and Sherron
AnswerID: 344826

Reply By: Motherhen - Saturday, Jan 17, 2009 at 21:44

Saturday, Jan 17, 2009 at 21:44
Sorry to hear of your loss, and hope there is insurance. Insurers will decide on $ value what is best; repair or replace. Put the emotion aside and go with what is cost effective to get a similar van that you will love. I suspect it will be a write off and get another. Good luck in whatever you do.

Motherhen
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AnswerID: 344827

Reply By: Magik Kar-Pet Riders - Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 00:09

Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 00:09
Heckle&Jeckle,,

Endorse others sentiments.

Last year we were witness to a van catching fire from a source under the annexe. Fortunately, the occupants and their pets were not injured.

The damage appeared to be superficial at first glance but the interior suffered from intense smoke, heat and some water. The fire extended to the insulation between the skins and emitted toxic fumes. Insurance agreed to repair the van and they supplied an appropriate cover for alternative living arrangements that applied to their policy.

However, when the van was returned, it was never the same as the whole of the infrastructure had been warped. The walls, doors and window frames had all been affected.

In short, these people had wished that the van had been written off. It was also through this process that they discovered that the van had suffered accident damage with a previous owner before they purchased it second-hand. They were not aware of this at the time.

Perhaps a lesson for all.

We do wish you well.

Karen & Pete
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AnswerID: 344860

Reply By: Red Tail Black (WA) - Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 02:23

Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 02:23
Hi Heckle and Jeckle, So sorry to here about your van. I would go for a new one as I don't think it will be the same as the interior is done before the outside goes on.
We are just getting ready to pick up our new van and I know I would be gutted after 2years of planning. How did it start.
AnswerID: 344867

Reply By: Member - Paul Mac (VIC) - Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 08:19

Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 08:19
Sorry about your loss also.

I have my insurance with CIL. The agent wouldn't allow me to drive the trailer away without having insurance on the camper.

Now, the insurance company stated that if the camper was damaged during the initial 12 months (and I imagine a fire would be considered major damage as in your case) then the insurance would replace the camper with another new one.

Check your insurance as this may be the case with you also. You mentioned 'our new caravan'. Also, depending on the cause of the fire your caravan might also be covered under warranty.

Just some thoughts.

Good luck with it all.
AnswerID: 344880

Reply By: Member - DAZA (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 09:34

Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 09:34
Hi Heckle & Jeckle

Sorry about the damaged van, our van is insured and currently
we get New for Old for the next couple of years no matter what
the situation is, a fire can damage frame work ect and its never the
same, cut your losses, take the insurance money and buy another van.

Cheers
Daza
AnswerID: 344884

Reply By: Member - DAZA (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 09:36

Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 09:36
Hi Heckle & Jeckle

Sorry about the damaged van, our van is insured and currently
we get New for Old for the next couple of years no matter what
the situation is, a fire can damage frame work ect and its never the
same, cut your losses, take the insurance money and buy another van.

Cheers
Daza
AnswerID: 344885

Reply By: Heckle&Jeckle - Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 09:47

Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 09:47
Thanks for the good wishes and advice all. The van was new to us, but 2 years old so we won't get the new for old insurance. We are with CIL and waiting to hear from the assessors etc. At this stage we are wondering what will happen if it is repaired. The inside is gutted, but the outside is mainly just smoke damaged around the windows and doors. We are hopeful that it will be repaired as we love it and haven't even been away in it yet, we only bought just before Xmas (our present to us from Santa).

Since it took us ages to find the perfect van we feel doubtful that we could find another the same. Suppose our main worry is if the smell will go away.

AnswerID: 344889

Reply By: DIO - Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 09:58

Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 09:58
Be very interested to know (as no doubt others would too) just how and why the van caught fire? Might be a 'lesson' in it for others to learn from. Sorry to hear about it, hope it all works out for you.
AnswerID: 344891

Follow Up By: Dunco (NSW) - Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 10:38

Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 10:38
You beat me to the punch DIO.

I am always after info like this as we can all learn by mistakes...
0
FollowupID: 612868

Reply By: PradOz - Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 13:02

Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 13:02
just got this off the net via google so not sure on its accuracy. sounds like you could just run the machine in the van and it should work?? -

"Ozone is the best treatment for removing all types of odor. Rent a shock treatment ozone machine. Then, isolate your items in a small room, or even in a car. Run the machine for an hour or so depending on how powerful the machine is. Let the area vent for awhile before being inside very long.

I use ozone frequently in my water treatment business. It is an amazing form of treatment. I have a shock treatment ozonator that I have used in my home for pet odors, etc. I ran it in a used car that I bought that had a real pungent smoke odor. It completely eliminates the odor. I also know that some of the fire restoration companies use it.

The great thing is, it is just like using a fan. You don't have to worry about liquids ruining your stuff."

a bit more on this in the last couple paragraphs in thislink

AnswerID: 344914

Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 19:54

Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 19:54
I might sit on the fence on this one ;)) Michael
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AnswerID: 344968

Reply By: Member - Brian H (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 23:04

Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 at 23:04
Sorry about the loss, it would be interesting to know how the fire started. Read your insurance papers and see where you stand and take some photos to caravan people and see what they say and if smoke will be a lingering issue. One thing I would really check out is the wiring and gas lines and replace if going to be repaired maybe cheaper now than fix up at a later stage.

Due to the nature of items in the van I'm sure there would have been significant heat which may have damaged the sub frame and maybe the outer frame.

Hope all turns out for you.

Brian
AnswerID: 344995

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