10.09.18 Renting out Dora – Part Two

Tuesday, October 9, 2018 – We’ve had five completed rentals.  We have six future rentals.  These are booked and paid for (to the company) rentals.

We require that everyone renting Dora come to our house to have a thorough training on all things Dora and a test drive before the rental. At first we did not realize that they were not insured while driving our motor home before the rental.  Now that we know that, we still have them come to our house to have the training but on that day Roy drives and explains it to them.  That visit takes between 3 to 4 hours. Dora has a lot of special features that need to be understood. On the day they pick Dora up for her rental they have to drive her with Roy to learn how our Big Girl needs to be driven. That day we also go over with them things they had questions about since the original walk through.

Our first rental was booked for one week within a few days of when they were leaving. This rental was to a family including a young woman, her adult daughter and the young woman’s senior aged mother and father.  They were so excited when the young woman and her dad came for the walk through and test drive.  Dad was the driver and his test drive went well.  They came back for the first day of their rental to pick up Dora with her daughter and mom.  Mom spent Christmas and weeks afterward in the hospital so this was the young woman’s way of allowing her family together to create memories. Off Dora went with them towards the north east.

While at our doctor’s office during one of my A1C check appointments we get a call from the young woman. There was an accident.  In downtown of a large city they were trying to pull in front of a parked tour bus to park Dora along the curb.  They got too close to the tour bus and pulled off the the tour bus’ driver side mirror. The tour bus’ mirror did damage all along Dora’s passenger side, crushing the fiberglass in a couple of places and ripping off the main awning arm. She sent us photos of the damage.  So now we had forms to fill out and insurance claims to file.  Dora was easily drive-able so they went on with their trip which was one week long.  I started to describe what it was like when they got back but I think you can imagine how awful they all felt and how it sadly affected the happy time they wanted to have.

We were contacted the next day by the insurance company (renters are required to purchase insurance through RVShare – thank goodness!). who asked for lots of documentation, some of which we got from the renter and we provided.  They asked for lots of photos which we provided.  Ones from right after the accident and ones from when got got home. The renter had the police report sent to us and that was sent along to the insurance company.  A very very nice lady at the insurance company worked with us and the adjusters were able to come up with a preliminary payment from all the photos.  She said that once Dora got to the service center any additional costs will be considered.  We got a check for the preliminary damages about a week after she came back. The deductible on RVShare’s insurance is $1500.  A lot of people set their security deposit at $1500 to make sure that deductible is covered should an accident happen.  We decided to go with $1000 since the$1500 seems like it would stop some people from renting Dora.  Thankfully the renters who had the accident paid the additional $500 and the entire $1500 was returned to us to go toward the damages.   It’s incredible how much it costs to repair Dora but thank goodness for insurance.

Dora’s colors are black, grey and silver.  The damage where the fiberglass was crushed was mostly in the grey area between the living room window and the kitchen window.  Roy got some new grey duct tape and made two large bandaids for Dora.  Like I said Dora was still drive-able and the only noticeable damage was where the duct tape was.

The primary very large awning could not be used but when Roy found out that the next renters really wanted the awning he spent from very early one morning to very late that evening making parts and doing all he could so that the awning could be used.  Only Roy’s amazing capabilities got the job done the night before the next renters picked her up.

The next renters were originally scheduled to leave THE DAY AFTER the first renters came back.  Yes that was a bad mistake we’ll never make again. We told the renters about the accident and worked with them to move their start date back one day to give Roy the chance to get the awning working – not fixed but working.

By starting one day later they got the day back at the end of their trip which turned out to help them be in Texas for an important doctor’s appointment instead of coming home to Louisiana and driving right back to Texas in their car.  More about their trip next time.

We thought it was only fair to let the next two renters know about the damage.  The next renter cancelled.  The following renter cancelled but for a different legitimate reason.  The second cancelled rental was reinstated and that family came back from their vacation a few weeks ago.

So, while the first renter’s accident was covered by insurance we lost a $2000 subsequent rental because of that.  We really, really liked the family involved in the accident and without getting into detail it really affected them all. They left us with some Blue Bell ice cream which we loved! It was our first rental and it didn’t turn out at all like we hoped it would.  I learned again to appreciate my husband’s crazy repair skills and we appreciated the next renters working with us to move their trip back a day.

But since we lost that two week rental that gave Dora time to go to Dixie RV to have the damage on her side fixed.  They weren’t able to complete all the work but the major damage looked oh so much better!

Somewhere before the accident and when we knew we had four rentals booked we decided to purchase for our empty house a television, a piece of living room furniture and a king size mattress and box springs.  We had no furniture when we moved into our house other than what Chip loaned us.  The loss of the two week $2000 rental caused the credit card charge to stay on our credit card. And the fun starts!

One of the main reasons we decided to rent Dora was so we could get the monthly note paid by the rentals and still have her for us to use when we wanted to.  The other option (besides renting her) was selling her so we were happy when we learned about renting her.

Next time I’ll share about the problems Dora gave the next couple at the beginning of their 2+ week vacation. I can see now that this will not just be three parts.  I won’t even try to re-estimate, just know that Part 3 is next!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!



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