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.
One of the problems with insurance companies that are available online only, like Geico, is that there is no agent to assist you with anything. Choose an insurance company that you go through a trusted insurance agent to purchase the policy. If you need help, especially during a claim, at least you have an insurance agent to go to bat for you.
It could be dangerous to condemn an entire company based on a few anecdotal reports. I feel for this couple but we have only heard one side of the story so far. Geico has 100s of thousands of customers and if this was the normal response, they would be out of business I believe.
I have heard multiple 1st hand accounts from ‘former’ GIECO customers…all similar, “They are a ‘great’ (cheap) company, until you need to make a claim. Then they don’t want to pay, or they want to pay very little.”
Ok you want another story. 25 years ago we were in a single car wreck my husband was killed geicko refused to payout the life insurance policy because I was driving meaning in their eyes I killed him. His mother wanted the money even though she wasn’t listed. A lawyer for geiko shows ip at hospital right after a 12 hour surgery and freaks out to learn my husband and I were expecting a child. He said if she lived the money was to go to her. She’s 24 now. And where is that money not even geiko would tell me so I scream SCAM if I hadn’t been so sick and injured then and able to think clearly I would have made sure geiko didn’t exist anymore. That lawyer told my mil I was pregnant I spent many years running from her as she constantly tried to take my daughter from me “like I took her son”. May geiko burn in he11
We had same insurance company, Geico our awning got mangled in the wind at the camp grounds. They said we had a 10,000 dollar deductible, we said no 500 dollars,said we changed it over the phone camper worth maybe 16,000 thousand, long story. Dropped Geico, we paid 2,000 out of our own pocket.
Thank-you for this informative article! I had considered switching to Geico. But the question that remains is: do most other insurances respond the same…. 6 of one and half a dozen of the other?
Jason & Rae,
I have a very good friend that is high up in Geico. I passed your article on to her and she is looking into the issue. If anyone can get the ball rolling it’s her. Hope this helps this couple. I can only imagine the agony they’re going through.
Hi Theresa! You’re so kind to do that, and I know Trista will really appreciate it. Thank you!
Not sure how many people know this but GEICO stands for
Government , Employee, Insurance, Company…… typically anything with the word Government in it , is not run very effectively and typically not very helpful. Do yourself a huge favor and tell everyone you know , steer clear from them for Insurance!
It must suck to live where you live. The government bodies where we live are typically pretty responsive, responsible, and do a decent job of taking care of business.
Next time you want to denigrate the government, take it up with a Marine or maybe a Navy Seal.
We are insured with Progressive, and had our motor home destroyed by an electrical fire. Their representative was on site before the embers got cold, the entire process was explained to us before he left. It was as painless as could be and the site was cleared in a few weeks we had a cheque for all damages and went rv shopping all over again. We unfortunately couldn’t find the Pace Arrow P36 we lost and settled on a Bounder 39Z diesel pusher. Progressive followed up after everything was completed and made the whole experience easy . We had damage to the campers on either side of us a large tree belonging to the campsite needed removal and a major power line needed a portion replaced. We never spoke with anyone about these claims they just got taken care of by the adjustors. Flo and her crew did a fine job and we still have all our policy s with them, never had much use for geckos.
Geico isn’t insuring RV’s anymore.
I have Geico and have had my auto coverage thru them for my entire adult life. So, when I got my RV, I covered it with Geico. They have been excellent as they have been with my car insurance. We had a tree from a neighbor’s yard fall on our Motorhome, we initiated our claim online and the next day the agent was here and wrote a check minus the deductible. We took it to the shop and had the repairs done. The repairs were over $10,000. 3 months later we received a check in the mail for our deductible because they went against the neighbors insurance and retrieved the cost of repairs. This is the type of service we have always received from Geico. I would never leave them.
Progressive was excellent on total loss of class a motorhome…usaa was horrible on total loss of cargo trailer after being member for 50 years with no other claims…all insurance companies in business to avoid paying claims…some agents and companies are more honorable than others…good hunting…
We are experiencing an issue with Geico with our RV currently. They told us our claim would be covered. We brought it to be fixed. Now Geico is trying to deny the claim as there is extensive damage. I will post this on all social media platforms and the BBB and attorney General. Good luck with your claim
USAA and Progressive. EOD
Be sure ro document every contact with name, date and time and conversation. Contact the Attorney General in your state with the detailed information.
Their own fault totally. We see idiots from the valley try to come camp on the ca coast all the time. Those campgrounds are super exposed and a small amount of research will tell you that 80 knot winds are entirely possible in the winter.
Lucky they didn’t get hurt or hurt someone else.
Be warned rv owners…. No one will protect you from your own ignorance. Hope they are done in the rv world. The less like them the better.
Before you hure an attorney, contact the California Department of Insurance or whichever state agency regulates GEICO and file a complaint. Insurance companies do not like to have any state regulatory agency get involved in a claim issue. They’re free, and it usually gets a fire under the insurance company. Good luck.
A Geico insured driver hit my car. The damage was less than a thousand dollars. A Geico agar y told me to get three estimates for repair.
Learning the cost was small, he told me they had lawyers and it wouldn’t cost them anything to go to court. He then told me it would cost me more for a lawyer than the damage repair cost, “so sue us.”
He laughed and hung up.
I’ve heard a number of others say they had Geico not pay their claims.
I would never use Geico, not matter how low their premium.