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Old 01-01-2016, 06:30 AM   #1
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Campground Hit and Run

We're here in the lovely River View RV Park, in Vidalia, LA, which is on the opposite bank of the Mississippi River from historic Natchez. We've got a great view of the swollen river, which is racing past at a frightening clip. Manager Cappy Stahlman, a colorful Natchez civic booster who loves visiting with his guests, says we need to come back in a week or so, and see what the campground looks like underwater.

The park is laid out in long, straight lanes bridged with pull-throughs. We talked about my long combo length at the office, and the staff picked out a nice spot on the middle row. They weren't putting anyone on the front row, so I had an unobstructed view of the river from my windshield. Like an increasing number of Class A operators, I like the convenience of a car-hauler, particularly when I don't have to drop the thing before hooking up. Thanks to a subtle evolution of campgrounds, we're accommodated nearly 100% of the time, nowadays.

Natchez is one of those wonderful places that requires more than a day's visit; so, we called River View's office from the visitor's center and extended our stay.

Around that time, two things happened, and we're not sure of the order. First, the front row was assigned to guests; and, someone had trouble navigating the 25 foot gap between my nose and a tree on the opposite side of the lane. Something on their rig brushed my passenger side mirror, and off it came.

I interviewed everyone in the area; none saw the incident. The office hadn't been told of any damage. No note had been left on my rig. I reasoned that it is entirely possible that whoever did the deed doesn't suspect they damaged someone's RV.

Which raises some salient points for all of us:
  • Having either end of the combination near the front or back edge of a pull-through site carries a risk of being clipped by passing traffic
  • Low speed and vigilance entering and exiting a campground is paramount. Now, I wonder if I've ever touched someone's rig with my "caboose" without ever knowing. When doubt, deploy a "wing walker," like we do at the airline
  • Putting out an orange cone or hanging a streamer from a mirror that is close to the edge of a pull-through (my neighbor in an Imperial is doing that as I write, perhaps after seeing my dangling mirror)
  • Velvac mirrors really should be stockpiled at Fort Knox, since they are more valuable than gold itself

As with all things in this business, we share our skinned knees tales to save others the same grief
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Old 01-01-2016, 07:09 AM   #2
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In November at ocean lakes a travel trailer had the tail swing and caught the nose of a 5th wheel which was actually in the road. I've also saw a travel trailer tail swing and the bumper grabbed a golf cart drug it several feet and they never know it.
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Old 01-01-2016, 07:10 AM   #3
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Depending on how far you want to go to find out who damaged your mirror, you could casually walk around and look at the new arrivals RV's. The rig that hit yours should have some contact damage (may be slight) at the same level as your mirror. If the road is one way traffic that should narrow down which side the damage will be found on the other RV. If the paint on your mirror is scratched off you should look for paint transfer on the other rig as well.

If you identify the RV that hit yours it will mean a confrontation with the owner. No telling how that will go but as for me, with a $500 insurance deductible, it would be well worth it.
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Old 01-01-2016, 08:06 AM   #4
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I bumped my Velvac mirror and it fell off. It broke where the inner Aluminum frame narrows down to a cylinder shape goes into the side mount on the RV. I called Velvac and spoke to a rep that said you can get the AL frame and replace it. The hardest part is getting the mirrors off. I cracked both of them but put them together with super glue. It cost about 90 bucks and I can put up with the cracks. Temporarily I found an auto mirror from O'Rielly's that had the same screw pattern. At least I was able to see on that side. I don't pass to many things on the highway so the temporary mirror work fine.
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Old 01-01-2016, 07:49 PM   #5
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PS It gets better and better...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AKJohn View Post
... you could casually walk around and look at the new arrivals RV's.
I did just that. Not a hint. The one that my wife was convinced did it would've caught the ladder on my mirror: anodized aluminum on chrome. Indeed, there were minor black smudges on my chrome, but no real signature on his.

BUT... today I fell prey to the perfect storm: wifey yelled for a change of direction, I quickly cleared with my leaning, temporarily-affixed mirror and didn't spot the roofer in his battered pickup, racing up my right side. We almost missed each other, but I scuffed his fender and knocked off his taillight.

Of course, therein might lie a blessing: now we have a real insurance claim, with the mirror, his fender, my front corner.

First mishap attributed to me in 43 years of driving



(I'd done one of those epoxy-and-shim repairs to the 2030-style mounting arm years ago, when DW massaged a palm tree located along a spacious avenue with the same mirror after she'd done a world-class job of extracting the Beaver from a precarious parking spot with me marshaling. Thanks for the suggestion, a valuable repair tip for future readers.)
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:43 AM   #6
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I once caught the steel guard rail at a gas island with the tail end of my MH making a tight swing out of the station. I didn't know it until I saw the damage on my MH later. It was pretty obvious where it had happened, but I didn't detect it at the time. I think a mirror hit might be the same.
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Old 01-02-2016, 07:41 PM   #7
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Had a similar problem with a mirror. Picked up the MH and the drivers side mirror was pushed way in, didn't think much of it, just reset it. Loaded the home got on the road and 500 miles later it's falling off. Call the repair place and they say they will fix it, me thinks at this point someone knew something. But we won't be back for 3 months. So two heavy cloths hangers a couple 2" by 2" wood chunks a roll of duct tape and here comes Jed Clampet for 3 months on the road.

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Old 01-03-2016, 11:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Had a similar problem with a mirror. Picked up the MH and the drivers side mirror was pushed way in, didn't think much of it, just reset it. Loaded the home got on the road and 500 miles later it's falling off. Call the repair place and they say they will fix it, me thinks at this point someone knew something. But we won't be back for 3 months. So two heavy cloths hangers a couple 2" by 2" wood chunks a roll of duct tape and here comes Jed Clampet for 3 months on the road.

LEN
Ouch! I hope your bubble gum fix holds.
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Old 01-04-2016, 06:46 AM   #9
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It Gets Even Better

Truth is always stranger than fiction, I say.

Merging onto an exit ramp in Shreveport the following afternoon, I cleared all three panels of my sagging mirror, temporarily held in place with Gorilla Tape, prior to easing to the right, when a small work truck appeared out of my blind spot and scuffed the front of my rig.

Thus ended 43 consecutive years of fault-free driving.

Now, the entire matter gets handed over to the insurance company...
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Old 01-04-2016, 07:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVNeophytes2 View Post
We're here in the lovely River View RV Park, in Vidalia, LA, which is on the opposite bank of the Mississippi River from historic Natchez. We've got a great view of the swollen river, which is racing past at a frightening clip. Manager Cappy Stahlman, a colorful Natchez civic booster who loves visiting with his guests, says we need to come back in a week or so, and see what the campground looks like underwater.

The park is laid out in long, straight lanes bridged with pull-throughs. We talked about my long combo length at the office, and the staff picked out a nice spot on the middle row. They weren't putting anyone on the front row, so I had an unobstructed view of the river from my windshield. Like an increasing number of Class A operators, I like the convenience of a car-hauler, particularly when I don't have to drop the thing before hooking up. Thanks to a subtle evolution of campgrounds, we're accommodated nearly 100% of the time, nowadays.

Natchez is one of those wonderful places that requires more than a day's visit; so, we called River View's office from the visitor's center and extended our stay.

Around that time, two things happened, and we're not sure of the order. First, the front row was assigned to guests; and, someone had trouble navigating the 25 foot gap between my nose and a tree on the opposite side of the lane. Something on their rig brushed my passenger side mirror, and off it came.

I interviewed everyone in the area; none saw the incident. The office hadn't been told of any damage. No note had been left on my rig. I reasoned that it is entirely possible that whoever did the deed doesn't suspect they damaged someone's RV.

Which raises some salient points for all of us:
  • Having either end of the combination near the front or back edge of a pull-through site carries a risk of being clipped by passing traffic
  • Low speed and vigilance entering and exiting a campground is paramount. Now, I wonder if I've ever touched someone's rig with my "caboose" without ever knowing. When doubt, deploy a "wing walker," like we do at the airline
  • Putting out an orange cone or hanging a streamer from a mirror that is close to the edge of a pull-through (my neighbor in an Imperial is doing that as I write, perhaps after seeing my dangling mirror)
  • Velvac mirrors really should be stockpiled at Fort Knox, since they are more valuable than gold itself

As with all things in this business, we share our skinned knees tales to save others the same grief

Sorry about your mishap! We'll be checking into that park later today. Hope Old Man River stays where he's supposed to!

We'll be on site 15 (back row) so maybe it's at a higher elevation!
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Old 01-04-2016, 07:42 AM   #11
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We stayed at that park when we visited the area ! at the south end on the first row....
The six of us all got together in our coach planning the day and noticed a squall line coming up the river - Wow it was mesmerizing, UNTIL we noticed the awnings, outside stuff of other campers tearing loose from the 70 mph gusts !

You are right, if you go there and have any interest in antibellum homes (or good food ) you will be there at least three days as we were...

We had BIG arguments over which homes we liked best !
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Old 01-04-2016, 11:05 AM   #12
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When in Natchez we really enjoyed Longwood and the city cemetery.
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Old 01-04-2016, 11:35 AM   #13
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Stay at River View for a week every April. Natchez is a great place to visit.
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Old 01-04-2016, 11:52 AM   #14
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This is probably a one time event. But you never know. I bought a dash cam for our rig. It records when moving or parked unless I turn it off. A dash cam would have recorded the rigs passing your rig and perhaps you could have identified the rig that passed too close.

So far my dash cam hasn't captured anything significant but it is interesting to watch the video when my rig is in the shop for service. JD
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