Table of Contents Show
- Can RVs Flip in the Wind?
- How Did the RV Flip Over?
- What Were the Damages?
- Is Insurance Helping This Full-Time RVer?
- What Other RVers Have to Say About Geico
- A Lawyer May Be the Answer for This Fulltime RVer
- Tips to Stay Safe in Heavy Winds
- Choose Your RV Insurance Company Wisely
When you pay your monthly insurance premium, you expect certain things from your insurance provider. The last thing you expect from them is to leave you stranded.
Unfortunately, one full-time RVer has less-than-stellar experience with a well-known Gecko-loving insurance company. No matter who you use for insurance, if you’re an RVer, you need to hear their story.
Today, with permission, we’re sharing Trista and her husband’s story of their most recent terrifying RV experience. Let’s find out what happened.
Can RVs Flip in the Wind?
Your RV may have many residential features that make you feel at home. However, RVs don’t stand up like sticks-and-bricks homes.
While RVs flipping in the wind is rare, it does happen. When storms with extreme wind gusts rip through a campground, you have an increased risk of an RV tipping over.
RVs generally can withstand winds and gusts under 75 miles per hour. Once winds reach this level, you may see RVs and other lightweight trailers on their sides.
However, our story today proves that winds don’t have to reach 75 miles per hour to create a dangerous situation for you and your RV.
How Did the RV Flip Over?
We were shocked to see Trista’s post in a large RV Facebook group. She and her husband were parked in a Northern California RV park along the coast. The park experienced 40-mile-per-hour winds with gusts up to 60 miles per hour when the couple’s RV toppled on its side.
While these winds typically don’t generate this much destruction, the perfect storm hit their RV at just the wrong angle.
The RV was positioned in their campsite so that the southeast winds slammed into the side of their camper. The wind got under their 36-foot Cedar Creek Silverback fifth wheel and flipped it on its side.
Luckily, the couple and their two dogs escaped the wreckage.
What Were the Damages?
Trista, her husband, and their two dogs escaped relatively unharmed. They report they are scratched, bruised, and very shaken up but thankful to be alive.
However, the RV the couple had worked so hard to renovate was completely totaled.
The inside cabinets broke, slides were destroyed, and the fifth wheel slammed into another trailer the couple owned that contained two of their dirt bikes.
Over a week later, the couple still couldn’t get their RV upright. They won’t know the full extent of the damages until they can put the camper back up and inspect it.
Pro Tip: Don’t wait until it’s too late. Learn Why You Should Test Your RV Emergency Exit Window and get in the know.
Is Insurance Helping This Full-Time RVer?
The couple immediately filed a claim with their insurance company, Geico. They received a claim number, but they said Geico has yet to send an appraiser.
Because Trista and her husband are full-time RVers, their RV was their home. They’ve had to pay over $3,000 upfront for temporary housing while they sort out the situation.
While you might expect Geico to do whatever it can to help its customers, the couple said the company has been less than helpful. The average person would expect an insurance company to immediately send out an appraiser and help remove the RV from the campground, the RVing duo has been left in the lurch.
The couple says they’ve reached out to every tow company within 50 miles, and none have the ability to help them get their rig back on its wheels.
Furthermore, Trista said that Geico has told them if any further damage occurs to their rig from being left on its side, then Geico is no longer responsible for any of it.
So, Trista and her husband find themselves between a rock and a hard place.
What Other RVers Have to Say About Geico
Unfortunately, the couple in this story aren’t the only RVers who have been hung out to dry by Geico.
One commenter replied to Trista’s post and said he wanted to move to a new address and needed a quote for the new place. Once he gave them his new address, the agent immediately canceled his policy. He advised he was currently driving and said the agent’s response was, “you better pull over then because you are currently uninsured”.
Another commenter said that Geico lied to them about a wreck they had experienced with a semi. They lost everything, and the amount they received from Geico was far from what they had promised. Despite the accident happening in 2020, she’s still working to recoup the money they promised.
As if that’s not enough, another RVer stated it took them months to receive money for a claim they made with Geico. The user advised they had to get a lawyer to motivate Geico to stay on top of their claim and get the money they owed them.
A Lawyer May Be the Answer for This Fulltime RVer
Trista told us she is currently looking for a good insurance lawyer to help resolve the situation. While this unfortunate event happened in California, they are domiciled in Florida.
If you know a good insurance lawyer, feel free to contact Trista directly or comment on her post in the Facebook Group called Full Time RV Living. (Note: this is a private group, so you will have to request access first to see her posts).
We felt compelled to share Trista and her husband’s story here in hopes that one of our readers has any helpful advice or can recommend a good insurance lawyer.
We hope this situation gets resolved for the couple so they can continue making epic memories while RVing.
Tips to Stay Safe in Heavy Winds
You can do a few things if your camping area expects heavy winds. These steps can give you and your RV the best shot at avoiding damage.
Retract Your Slides
First, retract your slides. Extending them allows the wind to get under them and have more leverage. If the winds are strong enough, they could flip your RV.
Retracting your slides may mean a portion of your RV is out of commission during the storm. However, while it may be inconvenient or uncomfortable, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Do whatever you can to ride out the storm with your slides retracted.
Pro Tip: It’s always a good idea to have an RV emergency kit ready to go as well. You never know when disaster will strike.
Point the RV into the Wind
If you have flexibility in your RV’s direction, move it so it’s facing into the wind. Unless the wind quickly changes directions, having it hit the front of your RV drastically reduces the chances of your RV experiencing a dangerous crosswind. These winds often cause trailers to tip over.
However, this is only an option if you have plenty of space at your campsite or where you’ve parked your RV. You may not have as much flexibility in an RV park or campground, as in Trista’s case.
If the gusts are in the forecast, it may be worth seeing if you can move campsites so you can safely park your RV into the wind.
Stay Connected to Your Tow Vehicle
We strongly recommend that RVers hitch their rigs to their tow vehicles during heavy winds. Connecting to the tow vehicle can increase stability and help prevent it from getting enough momentum to flip over.
The vehicle’s weight can reduce the chances that your RV flips over.
Fill Your Tanks with Water
A gallon of water weighs approximately 8.5 pounds. Some RVs have freshwater tanks that can be as large as 60 to 100 gallons. You could easily add 500 to 1,000 pounds of weight to your RV.
If you expect heavy winds, make your RV as heavy as possible to keep it safe. If you can fill your freshwater, black, and gray tanks, you could add plenty of weight and lower the center of gravity to keep your RV safe from the winds.
Keep Reading: If you want more RV related content, check out Woman Attempts (and Fails) to Drive Travel Trailer Through KFC!
Choose Your RV Insurance Company Wisely
If you want to avoid finding yourself in a similar situation, choose your RV insurance company wisely.
While we don’t have any personal experience with Geico, we don’t want any other RVers to go through the same thing as Trista. And it appears this company hasn’t provided her with the help she needs during this difficult time.
We know one RV insurance company we won’t switch to anytime soon. Let us know your experiences with Geico or if your RV has ever flipped over in the wind.