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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there,
we are just coming to the end of our first year with our Pilote Galaxy 270 motorhome. Having covered over 12,000 miles, we recently experienced a problem.
We had the need to call out the SAGA European breakdown service, as we had the misfortune to have two flat tyres in France. As the recovery man could not do a roadside repair, he requested that we load the MH onto his low loader.
In trying to do this, the rear overhang (bumper bar assembly) started to drag along the floor, and before we could get him to turn off his winch, it had twisted the rear of the MH, causing the rear bumper to split on one side, and pull away from the bodywork on the other - all of which is now subject to an insurance claim!
Whilst the recovery driver had placed two wooden planks under the rear wheels, this failed to raise the rear of the MH sufficiently to allow for the overhang - about 6'.

Has anyone else had experience of this, or know of a way to successfully 'recover' a MH onto a low loader?

Looking around, it seems that the majority of MH's have a similar overhang, although they may not all have the AL-KO chassis that we have. This experience has made me consider whether we should look for another MH, with either a greater height/ground clearance at the rear, or a shorter overhang.

Thanks in anticipation,
Clive
 

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hi we had the same thing happen to us .it cost us lots of money to sort it out.we had the rac thay were the worst part of the whole thing.we had full european cover as well and thats not worth a sxxt.never had rac since and never will
 

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Sorry to hear that you have had damage from your recovery. I did bring this up a while ago and everyone told me 'Never!'

Yes it happens commonly when recovery companies send the wrong truck, which is why you need heavy recovery. Something like an 18 wheeler job should turn up - it costs more but less that chassis damage and associated water leaks after breaching all the body joints in the twisting.

The safe way to do it is, with more wood! I used to carry loads of the stuff starting with railway sleepers, and working down to smaller peices - but never had a problem.

Loading caravans and motorhomes SHOULD be a TWO man job - you can
refuse if that is not the case, or insist upon assistance in loading. I take it you watched it happen, which is good, as normally you would be in the cab.

Yes it is an insurance claim against the recovery company - but first you need to contact saga and let them handle it - they will notify the recovery company and sort out the process for repairs, which will usually be covered by saga, and they will charge the recovery firm. Keep your recovery sheet with the job number and signature of the driver as proof, just in case!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi there Rainbow-chasers,
thanks for the advice. We have already contacted SAGA (at the time of the incident), and a claim is in progress. Interestingly we have a £250 excess, and I was advised by SAGA's overseas loss recovery team that on average it takes18 months to recover their costs and our excess!
As regards carrying supplies of planks, we have the normal issues of trying to maintain our payload, so this is regrettably not an option.
The attempted loading of the MH was indeed carried out with me at the wheel of the MH, and my wife watching from the rear - it was she who advised we stop the process, despite the driver saying we should keep going! He even suggested that I put my trolley jack under the rear towbar to raise it as we tried to load it!
In future, should the need arise, I will clearly state that we need a suitable vehicle for the recovery, although I hope we will not need this service again.
I have to say that the response time from the recovery company was good, at 45 mins from the call for assistance.
Thanks for your advice and input
 

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1. The recovery company carries extra wood - not you!

2. He had you assist in the recovery!!!!!!!!!! You have no idea how bad that is! Absolute no no!

3. Tell saga that the vehicle is needed asap and is damaged - they will have to sort the repairs and get it off the recovery company themselves - they are a branch of insurance company!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks again for your comments.
When you said you used to carry loads of the stuff, I assumed that YOU carried it.
At the time of the incident, the SAGA recovery people agreed to pay the local recovery company a second call out charge to take one of the tyres away and repair it, then return it to the vehicle so we could be on our way. The vehicle was still drivable, and indeed we have brought it back to the UK, having purchased two new tyres the following day (at 350Euros)!
I am currently arranging for a local company in the Bristol area to provide a quotation to SAGA for the repairs, after checking whether there is any chassis damage or not.
I must admit that SAGA's request that I find a local company for the repairs, as they did not have details of an 'approved' repairer a little strange.
 

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That could be a good thing - approved repairers usually means cheap as they can get - you can take it to a dealer/specialist coachbuilder and get a proper job done. You don't want a quick repair and find next summer that the seals have been leaking all winter!
 

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Our Hymer needed to go to a Mercedes garage which was about 20 miles away.I called RAC and when they came the man said he would not do it in case of damage but would call RAC for larger recovery vehicle.Short time later we heard this racket going on at bottom of our drive and was gobsmacked , they had sent this monster breakdown truck. He really new his business, what with great big slabs of wood and chains etc he put it on a bogie for the front wheels and lifted it up also checked the height on the back.I went with him and believe it or not at one time he could not get round a turning without going wrong side of a keep left sign. The noise inside his cab and did he have about 40 gears! or it seemed like it, any way good job done by him and RAC.
 

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I have had experience of some recovery agents in the UK who have been called out to MH's and large caravans.

If you have a need for recovery of a large vehicle such as Mh it is VITAL that when you speak to the call centre you tell them it is a LARGE vehicle and that it has a LONG rear overhang. These calls are all recorded so if anything does go awry you have advised them of the unusual size of your pride and joy. Dont forget that the VAST majority of call outs are for standard car sized vehicles and sometimes the call centres dont ask the right questions.

I had to call out breakdown cover a few weeks ago in Belgium via the RAC they almost wanted to know my inside leg measurement !! talk about thorough !!
 
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