Friday, July 01, 2005

GMAC Insurance Reveals Top Five RV Claims

Fourth of July is the unofficial start of the summer vacation season, and this year, more Americans than ever are touring the country in Recreational Vehicles (RVs). RV sales are at a 27-year high, and the increase in RV travel in the coming months is expected to outpace traditional travel by 33.5 percent (source: RVIA.org).

As more people jump into RVing, it's critical to know the basics for driving and operating these big rigs. To help keep the roads safe this summer, RV experts at GMAC Insurance, the nation's leading RV insurance specialist, issued the top five RV claims along with tips to avoid getting into these situations. For a complete pre-drive safety checklist, visit www.rvinsurance.com.

GMAC Insurance top five RV claims:

1. Refrigerator fires and propane tanks. GMAC Insurance receives at least 400 claims per year due to refrigerator fires caused by leaking propane tanks. A rig can burn up in as fast as six minutes as a result of leaks in the propane tank system. Another problem: Tailgating sports fans wanting to show their support have even painted their tanks the teams' colors. Dark colors more readily absorb the sun's rays and can cause the tank to overheat and explode.

-- How to avoid it? First, don't paint your propane tank. Second, have propane tank lines and connections checked by a certified RV dealer each year.

2. Hitting gas station overhangs and bridges. Forgetting the RV's height and getting lodged under the gas station overhang has ruined more than one vacation.

-- How to avoid it? Create a constant reminder by posting a sticky note with your RV's height on your dashboard.

3. Forgetting to retract steps and awnings. Just as some of us forget to take our gas caps off the top of our cars, RVers often forget to retract the steps and awnings on their RVs. Open attachments can be torn off the side of an RV, leaving gaping holes.

-- How to avoid it? Use a pre-trip checklist that includes a reminder to retract the awnings and steps.

4. Tire blowouts. The three major causes of tire blow-outs are: over or under inflating tires, old tires wearing out and water tank damage.

-- How to avoid it? Clean your tires and keep them blocked from the sun's damaging rays whenever possible. Also, check your tire pressure regularly and purchase new tires every seven years, regardless of mileage or visible wear.

5. Animal infestation. When RVs sit over the winter months, mice and squirrels like to make your RV their home. They chomp through wires and lines, debilitating the entire vehicle.

-- How to avoid it? Start your RV every week to scare the animal guests away





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