As a Texas RV owner, our climate can give you plenty to worry about. We have high heat, humidity, followed by cold and sometimes even snow depending on which part of the state you are in. We also have high winds and tornadoes. But worst of all, we have some of the worst hailstorms in the whole country.
It is no wonder then, that one of the most common threats to Dallas / Fort Worth based RV is damage incurred by hailstorms. Hail damage is one of the most frequent and expensive problems for RVs, as they cause dents to the aluminum siding, crack laminated side walls, damage roof mounted HAVC and convenience parts, shatter windows and can pucker, fracture and destroy the wood under your rubber roof liner on the roof which can lead to even bigger problems down the road.
We covered some of this material last April, in our blog: What Every Texas RV Owner Needs to Know About RV Hail Damage Repair, and we went into detail regarding the process of repairing hail damage through your insurance or through a salvage title, as well as the procedures to take to repair the damage.
Yet, we still have received a number of questions regarding hail damage, specifically to how much hail damage could devalue your RV in Texas. The information may shock you.
RV Hail Damage Repair Costs in TX
Obviously, if there is serious damage caused by hail that goes un-repaired, the value of the RV will decline. Any damage to the roof or penetrations to the siding are expensive repairs. As noted in our previous blog, the cost to replace sheet metal on an RV tends to be $9.50 to $13.50 per square foot. Because of this expense, it is not uncommon for many RV owners to not repair minor hail damage, especially if the damage is only cosmetic. While minor dents to the sidewall or trim may not become problematic to your RV right away, they will greatly reduce the value. Most RVs resold after minor hail damage are sold for 25 – 40% of their original value in Texas. Again, this is just from minor dents.
The reality brings into question why hail damage can be so devastating to the value of an RV, especially in areas such as Dallas / Forth Worth where hail is a common occurrence. Shouldn’t something that happens so frequently be more cost effective to fix?
Unlike a car that can receive paintless dent repairs to fix a dent, on an RV, replacement, and patching in of new material followed by new paint is the only way to fix it. RV siding and trim tends to be vulnerable to hail damage due to the aluminum structure, and replacing it is labor intensive. On an older unit, these expenses and difficulties are why insurance companies tend to declare an older RV as totaled, even for just minor damages.
Luckily however, RV’s do retain a high level of re-sale value and most of the hail damage can be fixed, and most times, it is covered under your RV insurance policy.
In 2016, there were 20 reported hailstorms in Dallas / Forth worth area, accumulating numerous costs of damage for the city. It kept us very busy at our shop as we are known in the DFW areas being RV fiberglass and roof repair experts.
Salvage Titles due to Hail Damage
If your insurance company declares your RV as a total loss, it is possible to buy it back from the Insurance company and have it repaired. But you might be stuck with a salvage title. Insurance companies usually give decent prices in order to buy the RV for salvage; however, just because you are able to buy your RV and repair the damage does not mean you can rebuild the value. Many RVs become difficult to insure and resell after a salvage takes place which an owner has to take into account. So, if you plan on reselling your RV in the future, the salvage title might hurt the value of your RV even more.
A Repaired RV has no devalue at all
Unlike a car that can have diminished value as a result of a repair, once an RV is repaired, it is often repaired back to factory new. This is because of the construction and materials used. On a car, old parts have to be cut out and re-welded and repainted, and those repairs can leave a lasting mark on the history of the vehicle.
On an RV, the owner often gets all new wood, all new roof materials, all new trim and covers, brand new sealants and so on. Your RV could actually leave our shop newer than when it entered. Also unlike a car, there is no tell-tale carfax documentation to haunt the owner once they try to sell the RV.
We hoped we have grabbed your attention on how dangerous of an enemy hail is to the value of any and all RVs, especially in Dallas / Fort Worth. If your RV has experienced hail damage, please do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with us in order to repair any dents or penetrations. We are all too familiar with hail in this area, and therefore, can provide the best tactics to help repair any damage.