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Old 11-09-2014, 10:46 PM   #11
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Re: Totaled Sportsmobile?

One possibility is to buy it back and then find another stock van that you can transfer all of the SMB components to. This would be labor intensive but may be less costly in the long run.

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Old 11-10-2014, 08:10 AM   #12
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Re: Totaled Sportsmobile?

I'd definitely buy it back and either get it fixed or transfer over the parts, etc.

With only 40k miles and a known service history, it's a good investment. Or, you could sell off the mechanical parts, too. I'm sure you could find a buyer for a Sprinter drivetrain with only 40k on it..

Can you negotiate the buy-back price, too? Although I guess that would be negotiating against yourself to a degree.

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Old 11-10-2014, 11:33 AM   #13
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Re: Totaled Sportsmobile?

Originally Posted by vealessi
What do people think? Is it worth bringing a salvaged SM back to life?
sounds like you're making some progress with your claim.
there are lots of variables in deciding on buying it back.
Where is the van now?
Is it driveable?
Below are a few scenarios that I can think of. Maybe there are a few others.

Scenario 1 - buy the van back and get it fixed.
I'd first get an estimate on what it would cost to fix the van and how close to original it will be.
Assuming your total cost is $25,000 to get the van back it may be worth it.

Scenario 2 - buy the van back and harvest it for parts.
I'd find out from SMB what they would charge to install all the components in a new van and what your out the door cost would be for buying a new van + the conversion.
you'd also need to estimate how much you can get for the van selling it whole or as parts.
Do you have a place to store the van until this is done and are you willing to spend the time and have the mettle to take on this project?

Scenario 3 - Walk away from the old van and start over. As Viva mentioned, I think you will have a better designed van the next time around. This probably is the easiest option but will cost you more money with some added benefits. Your resale value down the road will be higher as well.

keep us posted. good luck!
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Old 11-10-2014, 12:05 PM   #14
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Re: Totaled Sportsmobile?

I'd sure consider buying it back. In the case of my car above, the bend in the frame was behind the rear wheels, so it never affected tire wear, etc. Another thing is that the tailgate (it was a station wagon) still closed properly. I did the minimum mechanical fixups - many junkyard parts where it didn't matter such as fan shroud, and new parts where it did such as rubber mounts, etc. At that point I had around $500 "back" into it and drove it for awhile to make sure nothing weird was going to crop up. It didn't, and I drove another 100k. Really, I only put it out to pasture because I was a little tired of it looking crumpled in the back, and I thought I could find another one with lower mileage for not much money (which was true for that car, but not for your SMB).

I guess to me it would all depend on the damage. Consider that it may be "somewhat" worthless to others down the road and "invest" accordingly. BUT, if it can be used by you again, and enjoyed.... heck, even though you would wave a magic wand if you could and make it never have happened, maybe you can drive a slightly battered (but mechanically sound) SMB with money in the bank (from the settlement). Lemonade/lemons sort of deal (if possible).
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Old 11-10-2014, 09:43 PM   #15
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Re: Totaled Sportsmobile?

This has always been one of my fears dealing with conversions and I'm sorry you're having to go through this. Does your policy award you what you paid for the conversion? In my case it would probably depend on what the Insurance paid back. I could never get a real answer from my insurance company on total paybacks. I wouldn't expect a new van but would hate to end up with a used version that might have issues or a repaired vehicle that never is quite right. The problem is even a new van might have issues but I'd sure feel better with a new rig and my old interior. I do wish you good luck.
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Old 01-21-2015, 06:31 PM   #16
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Re: Totaled Sportsmobile?

When I was looking for insurance on my classic GMC motorhome, I was advised to find a carrier that would negotiate an "agreed value" policy, based on your particular investment in the coach and an assessed value. I had heard that Progressive had such policies, but I could only obtain one through a special insurance agent, not directly with Progressive.

From FMCA:

"A unique insurance problem for owners of converted buses is difficulty proving a vehicle’s worth when there is no standard market value. RV provide a solution by offering Agreed Value Coverage, which locks in the value of the vehicle based on the bill of sale or professional appraisal. If a total loss occurs, your insurance will pay the agreed-upon amount without having to haggle over the current value of the motorhome." ... rance.html
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Old 01-24-2015, 02:21 PM   #17
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Re: Totaled Sportsmobile?


I thought I would add an update to this saga. I fortunately HAD insured my vehicle as a Sportsmobile - 2007 Sprinter + upgrades. My insurance company totaled the vehicle, and paid me market value for it, which would have never happened if I hadn't insured the SM upgrades. The insurance company of the dump truck driver (CNA) who rear-ended me would have only paid me HALF of what the vehicle was worth, so check your insurance.

I bought my van back as salvage, and am halving the frame pulled, and fixed with used parts. It will have a salvaged title, so am trying to do it for as little as possible - basically as long as it's still functionally sound, and I can camp in it, I will be happy.

I am planning on reconfiguring the rear of the vehicle - had a bench at the very back that was damaged, and want to replace it with 2 fold out benches along the sides that will fold down into a long bed from side-to-side - does anybody have recommendations on companies to purchase benches from? Who does SMB use?

I will post some pics when I get a chance.

Thanks, Vic
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Old 01-24-2015, 03:22 PM   #18
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Re: Totaled Sportsmobile?

Hi Vic,

Good to read the ending may have an acceptable outcome. Good luck.

Ques to someone who knows more about insurance:
Vic writes CNA (insurance company of the truck driver who was at fault?) would have only paid him half of the value of his rig (rig w/o mods) if Vic had not insured his rig as a SMB with mods. Why is this? If I choose to paint my rig in gold leaf for $100k and essentially choose to self insure for that mod, why is it an at fault party's insurance company does not have to make me whole (up to the policy limits, of course) ? This seems wrong. I can understand MY insurance company taking that stand as I had not disclosed the $100k in gold leaf to them, but that should not impact what I am due if the other party's insurance is paying.

Just wondering ::


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Old 01-24-2015, 05:46 PM   #19
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Re: Totaled Sportsmobile?

My $0.02 -

I think CNA really is liable for the value of the vehicle on the day of the accident - they provided ZERO comps, even though I asked. It was easier for me to just settle with my own (cooperative) insurance company (Mercury) and then have them battle it out with CNA for reimbursement, but if I WAS self-insured, I think I could have hired an attorney, asked CNA to provide comps, etc. and that would have shown the true value of the vehicle, but then of course I would have been out attorney fees.

Also on the comps - there were ZERO 2007 Sprinters sold through SMB, and almost all 2008's were RB instead of EB, and then it jumped to 2011, which the insurance co wouldn't use, so it was very hard to find comps for this vehicle.

Again, the net is to go make sure your SMB is insured correctly now, before an accident.
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Old 01-24-2015, 06:53 PM   #20
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Re: Totaled Sportsmobile?

If you only had Liability Coverage, they would have still been on the hook for the full value.

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