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Monday, October 26, 2009

Roof Tear

Recently the wind blew my awning up onto the roof of my Rockwood pop-up tent trailer. It put a three to four-inch cut into the top of the roof. I can't tell if it is aluminum or fiberglass but it has a texture to it. It looks like a patch will take care of it. The dealer wants about $2800 to replace the entire roof. The unit is mint except for this defect. I even added electric brakes to it. My insurance company wants me to send in my title and they will send me a salvage title plus I get to keep the camper and a check for $3015 to take care of the damage. I am afraid that if I do this I won't be able to sell it or trade it later due to the salvage title. Another option they offered was to buy it from me outright for $3500. I can't replace it for that and have only used it six nights. Should I take the salvage route or tell them to forget the claim and fix it myself and if so how do I do it. My plan was to keep the pop-up for three to four years then upgrade to something bigger if we still enjoy RVing. If it's not a very expensive repair I will let the dealer patch it, but their $85.00 hour labor rate scare me. What to you think?
Howard, (Seabrook, NH)


Howard, not having seen the damage puts me at a disadvantage and I would only be speculating, however, I do believe that if the damage is limited to just three to four inches and no other component was damaged, I’d have it repaired rather than go the salvage title route.
This type of repair should not take more than an hour and a half to complete. Though you could quite possibly do it yourself with Eternabond tape, I’d suggest you have a service center perform the repair just to be safe. Find out how long they will guarantee the repair. Even if the labor time runs two hours, the $170 would be worth knowing the repair was backed by their guarantee. You will still have to monitor that section of the roof and periodically check the repair, but it will certainly take you beyond your target ownership period of three to four years. Only you can make the final determination, but roof repairs happen every day. I would have to doubt this damage would warrant a “total” declaration.

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