Don't Ever do this !

Submitted: Monday, Jul 23, 2012 at 09:30
ThreadID: 97031 Views:4134 Replies:7 FollowUps:10
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Got some bad news Robin said my mate, Racv Total care doesn't cover anything over 22ft in length.

And thats how this little adventure began.

Last weeks post by Axle about how nice modern cars are came to mind as I got off the phone to a different mate whose car went into limp mode on Big Red and stayed that way for days as they slowly drove home to Melbourne where apon the error codes just went away.

This second case was to much of a coincidence - what happened said I.

Well he said, the big yacht regatta was over so we left the Yacht at Lake Eyre yacht club in Marree and thought we would take the ML320 (Mercedes AWD) for a quick spin up to Birdsville and Big Red.
The car went up Big red without a murmur however it ran out of wheel articulation and front wheel went to the bump stops and beyond and damaged the plastic inner guard liner.

No real issue, the views lovely up here on the top of the sand dune so I will pull the rest of the plastic guard out and off we go.

A bolt is stuck so I will get out the battery drill and drill it out.

Damm, there was a hidden cable there and I have drilled thru it , something sparked and the ECU is dead.

It took almost a week in Birdsville to organize things get the car trucked out and get a flight out before the family
arrived home in Melbourne - would have been a very expensive excercise if not for Total care.

But then the bad news - the 24ft yacht and trailer aren't covered and its parked 1500km from home in Marree.

He had a gas powered Holden Adventurer AWD we I had 3 days spare so a rapid respose was organized and we departed 4am
from Melbourne for a non stop drive to Marree , arriving 8pm after stopping every 250km for 4 minutes to fill up on gas
which went from 50.5 cents in Melbourne to 110.9 in Leigh Creek.

Thought we'd go to bed hungry in Marree but then we realized its South Australia and really only 7:30 so the busy Marree pub excepted our dinner order and even invited us to try their new Cappicino machine.

The luck continued thanks to Bob and Doreen at the Lake Eyre yacht club who let us sleep in an old van out the back.

There was an ulterior motive - as Bob wanted to re sail Lake Harry (not controversial like nearby lake Eyre).

So we grabbed a 14ft CAT and off we went up the Birdsville track for a delightful few hours at this very rare experience in the bush.

The wind was brisk and we skimed across the shallow lake thru the white tipped waves for quite a ride, but time was short and it was soon late afternoon and we had a long slow trip ahead.

It was a different drive back baby sitting a yacht watching for pot holes washouts and animals but we got to Port Augusta before midnight and sleep on the side of the road for a few hours and were off before sun up for the last 1000km to Melbourne.

The heavy load and gas powered car needed fuel every 200km which took some management so you couldn't hunt for good prices and just paid.

Sunday and we are in Nhil 400km out of Melbourne and home when the cars temp guage went crazy and I pulled into a parking bay as the car shut down.

This car was not in Total car - but I am so hence any car I'm in is also covered.

The RACV attended but couldn't find anything and we all concluded that the thermostat may have stuck.

We were informed that this Holdens thermostat is at the rear of the engine and requires lots of things to be removed to fix and its 5 hour operation after it was trucked home.

Then we remembered - this car may be covered and could be trucked home but we still have a yacht and it makes the vehicle still over 22ft so it would again have to be left on the side of the road - DE JA VU indeed !

Descision time - considered the options and I figured that if we kept the car hot the thermostat may just stay stuck open and may not cycle and we could limp home if very careful.

Plan worked and after a long slow and careful drive we got the yacht to its moorings and all is well except I'm suffering fromm lack of a real coffee hit - so see ya as I'm off to my favourite coffee shop.

Please excuse typing errors and check your polices.
Robin Miller

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Reply By: toffytrailertrash - Monday, Jul 23, 2012 at 12:18

Monday, Jul 23, 2012 at 12:18
I have just had a quick look at the RACV web site in relation to Total Care and under the caravan and trailer benefits I couldn't see any mention of trailer lengths there...?


Cheers
Merv
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Jul 23, 2012 at 12:29

Monday, Jul 23, 2012 at 12:29
Hi Merv

I'm not sure of exact rules , but its worth exploring thru this site.

But I believe my mate was refused cartage because his trailer/boat was over 22ft long and same apparently applies to caravan setups.

Perhaps someone else here can supply more info.

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Follow Up By: hamo - Monday, Jul 23, 2012 at 16:06

Monday, Jul 23, 2012 at 16:06
Im in total care & my 24' van is insured with RACV.
I have been assured by RACV that both will be covered (by total care) in the event of a brake down.

Who is your "trailer/boat" insured with?

Hamo
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Jul 23, 2012 at 18:38

Monday, Jul 23, 2012 at 18:38
Hi Guys

I'm interested in a definative answer as well however I just read the terms and conditions and I'm no lawyer but looks to me you are not covered in the circumstances I outlined.

I put a section of terms below , and on reading it your car is covered and will be shipped anywhere in Australia but not a non broken down trailer - it gets some assitance and looks like it will be transported 100km and there are other benefits up to a total of $2400 but these can (and were in this case ) eaten up with airfares and accom.

I'm guessing that when they ship your non-repairable vehicle they can include anything with it up to a certain max length.

Any legal minds out there that can read this and see if I got it right - I'm pretty sure it is as they know the rules and RACV would have done the right thing as per there terms.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
trailer and caravan assistance
When a trailer or caravan is being towed by your vehicle breaks down, RACV will assist with repairs such as a wheel changing and the servicing of external lighting. Where we are unable to fix your trailer RACV will provide in Metropolitan Areas, the first 100km in any direction, from the point of breakdown is free of charge or in the country the first100km in any direction, from the point of breakdown is free of charge, or back to the attending Service Centre.

If you are under 100 km from home where Mechanical Breakdown occurs and your Vehicle, caravan or Trailer is Disabled and has been towed to claim a combination of benefits up to $250 (in total per incident) until the End of the Incident.

If you are more than 100 km from home and where Mechanical Breakdown occurs and your Vehicle, caravan or Trailer is Disabled and has been towed to a Place of Repair, you may claim a combination of the following benefits up to $2,400 (in total per incident). Where the Vehicle, caravan or Trailer is unable to be repaired within three business days at the Place of Repair to which it has been
towed, RACV may attempt to find or offer an alternative Place of Repair. If repairs still cannot be effected within three business days you have the option of having your Vehicle transported to a destination of your choice within Australia. The benefits listed above will apply until the End of the Incident. Where the breakdown is solely limited to a caravan or Trailer; alternative transport and taxi benefits are not available. Accommodation benefits are only available if the caravan is being towed by an Eligible Vehicle.










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Reply By: Member - MUZBRY(Vic) - Monday, Jul 23, 2012 at 12:21

Monday, Jul 23, 2012 at 12:21
Gday Robin
So what you are saying is that you had a busy weekend with no coffee fix?

Muzbry
Great place to be Mt Blue Rag 27/12/2012

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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Jul 23, 2012 at 12:25

Monday, Jul 23, 2012 at 12:25
About right Muz - I have been busy lately , but I notice the shape of your RB30 looks different in your picture ?
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Follow Up By: Member - MUZBRY(Vic) - Monday, Jul 23, 2012 at 19:54

Monday, Jul 23, 2012 at 19:54
Gday Robin
I jumped the fence Robin.
Kathy told me to buy another car, so i picked up an old Toyota. My first Toyota ever.


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Follow Up By: Member -Toonfish - Monday, Jul 23, 2012 at 21:58

Monday, Jul 23, 2012 at 21:58
great choice Muz
2013/14 around oz adventure bound

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Reply By: Erad - Monday, Jul 23, 2012 at 16:23

Monday, Jul 23, 2012 at 16:23
Robin:
A question:
You went to Birdsville with the second vehicle running on gas. Was it purely a gassed vehicle or was it bisexual? To get only 200 km from a tank would surely mean that you used petrol (and a lot of it) as well. WHere did you actually get gas from?
AnswerID: 491498

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Jul 23, 2012 at 17:47

Monday, Jul 23, 2012 at 17:47
Hi Erad

No we went from Melbourne to Marree and back mostly on gas , the last gas was from Leigh Creek at approx 111 cents/lt.
Its under a 100km from Marree.

She sure used a lot towing the yacht, over 25lt/100km but only 14lt/100km on way up not towing
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Reply By: boxhd - Monday, Jul 23, 2012 at 19:05

Monday, Jul 23, 2012 at 19:05
If u are in full total care it covers any car that u drive and they have to fix or get u to the nearest Racv depot
Cheers BOXHD
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Reply By: Member - JohnBee (VIC) - Monday, Jul 23, 2012 at 19:14

Monday, Jul 23, 2012 at 19:14
Gday...

I have RACV Total Care coverage for my VEHICLE - and although it includes my caravan, I would not be covered. Thankfully, my van insurance (CIL) will cover me if my VEHICLE is immobile and will get my van home.

You need to have a further, and better, look at the RACV Total Care Section 6 - General conditions, exclusions and limitations - page 20 of their 'Roadside Assist' policy.

QUOTE -
Size restrictions:
The following limitations apply to all registered vehicles, caravans and trailers.
(skipping to Total Care)
Max weight - 4.0tonne
Max height - 2.7metres
Max width - 2.3metres
Max length - 6.7metres (21feet)
Emergency Roadside Assistance is not available for vehicles, caravans and trailers outside these limitations. Towing service can bve arranged where available for vehicles outside these limits at commercial rates.
END QUOTE

From discussions I have had with RACV the max length of 21ft is from point of A-frame to rear of caravan/trailer, including any bumper bar. The reason for the restrictions, particularly on length, is that it is difficult to get a tilt-tray tow vehicle in 'regional areas' that can cope with greater than 21ft.

Cheers - John
AnswerID: 491510

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Jul 23, 2012 at 20:16

Monday, Jul 23, 2012 at 20:16
Thanks John now we know where that figure came from - I for one never knew about these conditions - I tell my mate to tow his boat up sideways next time !
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Follow Up By: Member - MUZBRY(Vic) - Monday, Jul 23, 2012 at 20:44

Monday, Jul 23, 2012 at 20:44
Robin
You may not get a permit for that load width.....

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Reply By: Dion - Monday, Jul 23, 2012 at 21:34

Monday, Jul 23, 2012 at 21:34
Most recovery vehicles I've seen up in that region, yep room on the flatbed for the vehcle and there is also a towbar to tow whatever, so length not really an issue.
My mate that lives in Copley, when he made the two recovery trailers for Cookies (when Cookie was the owner) garage, both he fitted receiver hitches to the rear of those trailers so that whatever was being towed could also be towed back to Copley at least. Again, lenght should not be an issue.
Recovery vehicle was a 4.2L TD Patrol Ute.

Cheers,
Dion
AnswerID: 491520

Reply By: pop2jocem - Monday, Jul 23, 2012 at 22:14

Monday, Jul 23, 2012 at 22:14
Hi Robin,
Not sure what differences there are between the various RAC affiliates states to state but on our recent return trip from Exmouth to Perth we pulled into a roadside stopover area and witnessed a Tilt-tray winching a disabled 4WD ( Prado I think) onto the tray and then hooking the caravan up to the truck. I can not say what size the van was but looked to be about the 20 to 22 ft length. I can see no reason why the truck would not tow a longer van provided it was not beyond it's weight limit and we are talking about a 4 or 5 ton truck so I would think a van of that size should be well within the trucks capacity even with a 2.5 tonne 4WD on its back. Having said that I guess if it was the van that had to go on the truck's tray then length obviously comes into it. The truck had RAC(WA) plastered all over it and probably came from Carnarvon as this was the closest large town.
We requested this same info from RAC(WA) when we took out their Premium Assistance package and were assured our 22' body length, 26' overall van and Landcruiser would be covered for repair or recovery anywhere in Australia.

Cheers
Pop
AnswerID: 491526

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 08:11

Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 08:11
Thanks Pop

Looks like you guys in the west have polices more in tune with reality as RACV 21ft restriction would take a lot over here by surprize and I have seen plenty with axle issues that couldn't be fixed within the 3 day repair window they quote.

At least if it was the van that broke down the $2400 expense allowance should get the van to a major city somewhere for repair , but this hardly qualifies for the "Total Care " label expectations of most of us.
Robin Miller

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