On a lovely day near the end of January Fiona and I decided to take a drive around the Trossachs, visiting the lovely Pier Cafe at Stronachlachar at the west end of Loch Katrine (which I think is a Britstop so you can overnight there in a motorhome) and Inversnaid on Loch Lomond.
As we were driving home we got a call from the place where our motorhome is stored to say it had been damaged in a fire there. From the call it sounded as if it had been destroyed, but as we drove over a call-back them determined that it was in fact substantially intact - unlike a lot of the motorhomes and caravans stored there as many had been totally burned out. Ours however had been damaged by the fire brigade when the needed to move it, and had also sustained some heat damage from being close to the fire.
We headed home first to pick up the keys then visited the storage place to see how bad things where. For a lot of people it seemed pretty bad and we counted 20+ motorhomes and caravans that were completely destroyed.
Our van was moved out by the fire brigade in order to make space to fight the fire, and to get in they had to smash a window to let the handbrake off. From some minor damage to the mirrors and front wing it looked like they'd also pushed it into another campervan that they'd also moved out of the way. Nothing too serious though, and our van and the one next to it were the first mostly intact vehicles at the end of a line of carnage!
There was a lot of soot on our Autoroller 600G but no obvious major damage, although a closer inspection identified a fair amount of cosmetic damage to the exterior plastic trim and windows that had been closest to the fire, being somewhat melted and buckled. The interior seemed absolutely fine though
We duct taped a rubble sack over the broken window to get things watertight again, and reversed it back into its spot. Several calls with the insurance company (who were fairly responsive and helpful) and we'd persuaded them to let the local motorhome dealership in Livingston (Knowepark) have it to assess and repair instead of a generic body shop. They did insist on having a tow company come and pick it up, however they caused some slight additional damage to the underside of the van when they grounded it getting it on and off their vehicle - thankfully spotted and reported to us by the Knowepark staff.
A proper assessment of the vehicle confirmed what we though - that there was no internal damage (including to the gas and electric systems) but lots of cosmetic damage to the outside - melted and warped plastics and soot staining etc. Our van is 9 years old and Knowepark were concerned about spares availability however they were quite impressed when they found everything needed was still available, although did expect it'd be months before the parts arrived. In the meantime the insurance company agreed to get the broken window replaced straight away, as other than that (and a broken indicator which I fixed myself) there was nothing stopping us using it while we waited for the parts to arrive.
The photo above is after Knowepark had cleaned it up to inspect it, with our makeshift window repair still in place.
A very near miss, but thankfully our old bus made it through!