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Old 07-02-2015, 07:56 PM   #15
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I have had my first two very scary moments on this trip.

I was in a line of traffic moving about 45 mph. I was leaving space to stop between my motorhome and toad and the car ahead. A car with four people in it came down a side street stopped at the stop sign then pulled out in front of me (and opposing traffic). A car in the line of approaching traffic swerved into the ditch on his side of the road, I slammed on the brakes and pulled to the right. I don't know how the car kept from plowing into my side right next to me or how I didn’t run off the road.

The second occurrence happened as I was driving on a two lane highway. There was a pretty steady crosswind from the right. Suddenly there was a strong gust that moved me half-way into the opposing land. I held the wheel to the right but the motorhome didn’t move to the right for a very long 10 seconds. Luckily there wasn’t any oncoming traffic.
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Old 07-02-2015, 08:03 PM   #16
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I was at a high-end RV dealer's parking lot, looking at a very awesome (and very expensive) four-year-old Newell that was parked with coaches on either side. Tight on space a customer had parked his brand new King Aire across the back to have some service done the following Monday.

I was introduced to a really wonderful salesman, who was known as the "Newell Guru". He walked me up to the coach to show me how slick the air-controlled front door worked...but for some reason it wouldn't open (1st clue). "No worries ~ these coaches are way over-engineered" and proceeded to open an adjoining cargo hold, pull down on a red lever and the door popped open. He quickly jumped in the driver's seat and fired it right up....quickly turning on the generator and the four (4) roof airs (!!!) which quickly brought the sweltering temps down inside the coach, while closing the door to keep the heat out. It was almost surreal how deadly quiet the interior was.

He jumped up and started walking me through the coach. It was a feast for eyes and fingers ~ beautiful materials, amazing craftsman ship everywhere you looked. We'd made it back to the bedroom where he was demonstrating the amazing slides. In a single push of a button they proceed to make the coach dance; the floor drops, a slight hiss notes the deflation of a seal, totally silently the slide moves out, then, almost magically the floor levitates back up where a slight sound indicates a re-inflation of the seal. The whole dance routine was fast ...faster than some convertible tops work (and a heck of a lot more complicated!). No slide toppers used here!

It was right at the end of this mesmerizing performance that I happened to look out the large window ~ to notice the coach next to us being moved out. I didn't think anything strange, until I looked out the opposite window to see the coach on the other side also cautiously being driven out. "Wow, you guys must be really busy! The coaches on either side of us must be going out for a test drive!" The sales man, who was in his early 60's but in great shape, looked up from the panel...looked out one window, then the other....then let out the most in-human scream while doing an O.J. Simpson sprint to the front of the coach diving for the driver's seat.

But just before he got there...there was a slight lurch...and everything....stopped...moving...including the sale's guys heart for at least several beats. He was totally white with eyes like saucers.

"What happened?" I asked...still not understanding exactly what had just taken place.
"The #$%'g lot boy moved the coach...and forgot to set the parking brake!!!" He gasped. He then quickly explained that without enough air pressure, the air brakes automatically lock down. But with the giant air compressor this coach has, it quickly "aired up" and once it got above 50 PSIG it released the automatic brakes. Since the parking brake wasn't set...we were free to move...or in this case....see what gravity's real effect is on 54,000 lbs.

"So...why did we stop?" I asked, starting to understand.
Realization hit him like lightning. "Oh....My....GOD!!!" he shouted, turning so white as to be translucent. In a flash he it a button on the dash and "Whosh" the door popped opened, with him flying out the door like someone parachuting out of a plane. I was just a step behind him when I understood his reaction.

The Newell, polished and glistening while moving like the Queen Mary of RV's, answered to the mild rearward slant of the parking lot...until it encountered the brand new King Aire parked perpendicular across the back of it. In this case, a Queen clearly trumped a King, as it was being used...as a giant door stop.

Neither of us breathed for a full minute as we took in the sight. One Zillion dollar dealership-owned coach, T-boned against a customer-owned almost Zillion dollar coach. The salesman literally had his hands over his eyes.

I got closer and closer to the pair...out of curiosity more than anything else. Looking for the extent of the damage and the points of contact, I suddenly saw it.

"DUDE! You better play the lottery tonight!" I yelled. "You've GOT to see this to believe it!" And he looked where I was pointing.

It was then, that we began to count our blessings. The King Aire parked there was unusual, as it had two roof awnings on the drivers side (1st break). While they were typically furled inside a painted hard metal case, the forward one wasn't quite retracted all the way (2nd break). This left just a small strip of awning fabric exposed, maybe 2" tall along the forward awning. (3rd break). The parking lot was only slightly slanted...so the Newell never moved faster than a slow/moderate walking speed (4th break) The two were perfectly perpendicular to each other with the front of the King Air just barely forward, so when the Newell hit it transmitted the force evenly across the entire front awning fabric allowing it to dissipate it evenly without damage to the awning or hitting the painted metal box of the rear awning by millimeters (5th break). And on the Newells unique rear cap, there was a projection on the top that looked almost like an air foil across the entire rear. Only at it's base there was a straight vertical portion that was exactly the height of the awning box. If it had been a half inch lower, it would have broken a lip and taken out all the marker lights. A half inch higher it would have hit the above the base of the spoiler and ripped it off, taking with it the exhaust pipe for the generator & Aquahot that vents from the rear roof. (6th break).

After pulling ourselves together, he powered up the Newell and pulled it forward ~ stabbing the parking break twice...just to make sure. We both went back and marveled...Not a scratch ~ on EITHER coach!

That was my very first "test drive" in a Newell. One I'll never, ever forget!

The salesman and I continue to be good friends. To this day, I can see him at a show and casually say "Hey, that looks like a nice coach! Can we take it for a phantom test drive?" and neither one of us can stop laughing for minutes.
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Old 07-02-2015, 08:07 PM   #17
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Several years ago, in our second year of full-timing, we were headed south on US395 in CA on our way to Reno. But when we reached Alturas we discovered 395 was closed because of wildfires. So we figured we could cut west and take CA139 to Susanville and then rejoin 395. Except that we hadn't realized that for the last several miles of 139 just outside of Susanville it is one of those roads with those signs that says "trucks with kingpin lengths in excess of XX not allowed". I think that MH's greater than 40' are restricted on those roads also.

Well, we're 40' plus the toad and the last 5 miles or so were kind of white knuckles time, but we made it Ok. Fortunately, there was no oncoming traffic and we could use both lanes. Of course, by the time we made it to Susanville, the smoke from the fires was so thick that we abandoned any plans of stopping for the day and drove another couple of hours to Reno. A nice day to be able to look at in the rearview mirror.
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Old 07-02-2015, 08:39 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finally Time View Post
I have had my first two very scary moments on this trip.

I was in a line of traffic moving about 45 mph. I was leaving space to stop between my motorhome and toad and the car ahead. A car with four people in it came down a side street stopped at the stop sign then pulled out in front of me (and opposing traffic). A car in the line of approaching traffic swerved into the ditch on his side of the road, I slammed on the brakes and pulled to the right. I don't know how the car kept from plowing into my side right next to me or how I didn’t run off the road.

The second occurrence happened as I was driving on a two lane highway. There was a pretty steady crosswind from the right. Suddenly there was a strong gust that moved me half-way into the opposing land. I held the wheel to the right but the motorhome didn’t move to the right for a very long 10 seconds. Luckily there wasn’t any oncoming traffic.
I had a strong crosswind all the way up I-95 to where I'm at now. I had no idea how hard the wind was until I got under an overpass when my MH wanted to start heading to the right and straight for the concrete barrier in front of the pillars. I actually forgot about that since it has been about a month now the last time I drove it.
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Old 07-02-2015, 08:49 PM   #19
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I was turning off I-85 onto one of those eight-lane roads north of Atlanta, took a look and all was clear two lights away, so pulled out and on into the left lane to turn next left.

And ran a little riceburner right off the road. That guy had to be going slightly subsonic to be alongside me that quickly.
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Old 07-02-2015, 08:49 PM   #20
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That was a really funny event that happened and how you reacted to the situation made it even better. I'm still laughing about it. That was a really close call. I would have been sweating bullets if I were the salesman. Omg lol.
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Old 07-02-2015, 09:53 PM   #21
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10'5"

Was driving my new to me MH to my Mom's for the first time, of course taking the same direction I've always taken when driving there. Then it hit me, that sign that says 10'5" clearance about 50 yards from the bridge overpass and my MH is 12'6", that won't work!!! Had to suddenly stop, back up the road and find a place to turn around and go another direction. Sure got the heart beating...
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Old 07-02-2015, 10:20 PM   #22
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Had to take our past MH to the Ford dealership in Weatherford tx. About 100 miles by self. DH had left for Wa. State. My pug co-pilot and I left about 3 am from our little town. Light traffic and everything going fine. Missed the turn on to 20 east. No problem, I knew there was a Walmart across the road where I could turn around. Stopped, signaled and slowly turned in. All of a sudden the drivers side wheel dropped into a huge pothole, MH tipped to the left, pug is scrambling to stay on the seat, a couple of things hit the floor with a shattering sound. I instinctively yanked the wheel hard right only to bounce out of the hole and right up against a concrete barrier. The resulting screech did nothing for my heart rate. So I steered back left again and managed to stop the sound. Heart pounding, I made my turn and threaded the exit. Finally made it to the dealership and climbed out to find on the bumper a "huge" scrape down to the white. DH had to be told that I had messed up the coach. Wonderful man's first words were "are you and the furry kid ok?"
After getting the coach fixed I drove it back to the park where I was living. After the wonderful RV folks that lived there,finished teasing me,my huge scrape turned out to be a lot smaller.
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Old 07-02-2015, 10:33 PM   #23
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Drove off a culvert on our first camping trip. 1 foot drop that the rear drivers side wheel fell off of. MH heaved over, fridge came open and food scattered all over. We were both shaking. Luckily it didn't tear anything up. Put on a show for the other campers sitting in their chairs.
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Old 07-02-2015, 11:04 PM   #24
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We have 2! We came out of the Morongo valley and the wind was blowing so hard i wanted to pull head in and park. No turn outs! Got to Morongo casino and took a break. When the Indian police showed up to tell us we couldn't park there, we told them we were taking a break then leaving. About 10 o-clock at night. Also braved a tornado in Quartzite. We figured as long as the camper next to us was still upright we were ok. A long couple of hours though. Great thread!
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Old 07-02-2015, 11:55 PM   #25
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I think the scariest was when we were driving thru west Texas/east New Mexico and lost a fan belt. We had no power assist brakes or steering. I had my grandson and wife with me, but I kept it to myself. No sense in creating consternation amongst everyone. When we finally got to our place to pull over my wife offered to drive the RV into the parking spot……..my reply was, "no you won’t we don’t have brakes or power steering!” That whole trip was a night mare. We lost the dash air the first night out, then the steering and brakes the second. Got most of that fixed but things went down hill from there. We cut the trip short after the check engine light kept going on, still no dash air, and no way to check the engine oil since the dip stick sleeve came out of the block. All of this barely overshadowed the time we were passing a tractor with discs on a two lane road when i looked to the left and saw a car passing me…..three across on a two lane road.

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Old 07-03-2015, 12:03 AM   #26
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Crossing an old wood bridge in my previous gas coach, I'm doing the math in my head, converting the Kilograms weight rating on the bridge sign to pounds. Half way across I realize I'm over double the allowable weight .
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Old 07-03-2015, 12:14 AM   #27
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Crossing an old wood bridge in my previous gas coach, I'm doing the math in my head, converting the Kilograms weight rating on the bridge sign to pounds. Half way across I realize I'm over double the allowable weight .
LOL! So glad you survived! I would have been praying all the way across!
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Old 07-03-2015, 02:11 AM   #28
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Yeah I could imagine just how expensive that could have gotten if you couldn't find anywhere to pull off at. Glad you made it somewhere safe to pull over.
Actually, I crested the hill and it cooled on the downside. It never got above 230°... just hot enough to set off the alarm. But believe me, I had one eye on the road and one eye on the gauge the whole time
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