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Old 03-28-2005, 12:04 PM   #1
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I've always been cautious around railroad crossings, slowing up before I reach them and looking both ways, whether the signal was on or not. Now, I'm going to the commercial vehicle approach and stopping at every one when I'm driving the RV.

While approaching a RR crossing last Friday, I had a car perched just off the back bumper of my toad. He clearly wasn't happy with my speed already but there was no place for me to pull off and I was going to slow down further. I put my 4-ways on and dropped from 45mph to about 35mph. I gave a quick glance at the tracks in either direction but was too intent on watching my mirrors. At the very second that I reached the crossing, the bells sounded and the crossing arms started to drop immediately. In a split second decision, I knew that I would never halt my 22K mass before reaching the arms and would end up part way across the tracks. Instead of the brake, I slammed the accelerator to the floor and twisted the wheel hard to the left, hoping that I could clear the arm with the MH and then return to the right lane before getting to the far side and contacting the other arm. It worked - almost. I cleared the arm on my lane with 35 of my 36 foot length. Unfortunately for me, the outside rear ladder rail hit the crossing arm, kinked and pulled 2 of its three screws out of the roof. I never heard a thing.

At our next rest stop, I did my usual walkaround of both MH and toad and didn't see anything. Something made me look up and I noticed that the outside ladder rail was just a little further back than the inner one. A quick trip up the ladder confirmed the damage. I squirted some roof caulk into the holes left by the screws but was able to continue our outing and return, even after a heavy rain our second night, with no leaks.

I consider myself to be very fortunate and a bit wiser
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Old 03-28-2005, 12:04 PM   #2
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I've always been cautious around railroad crossings, slowing up before I reach them and looking both ways, whether the signal was on or not. Now, I'm going to the commercial vehicle approach and stopping at every one when I'm driving the RV.

While approaching a RR crossing last Friday, I had a car perched just off the back bumper of my toad. He clearly wasn't happy with my speed already but there was no place for me to pull off and I was going to slow down further. I put my 4-ways on and dropped from 45mph to about 35mph. I gave a quick glance at the tracks in either direction but was too intent on watching my mirrors. At the very second that I reached the crossing, the bells sounded and the crossing arms started to drop immediately. In a split second decision, I knew that I would never halt my 22K mass before reaching the arms and would end up part way across the tracks. Instead of the brake, I slammed the accelerator to the floor and twisted the wheel hard to the left, hoping that I could clear the arm with the MH and then return to the right lane before getting to the far side and contacting the other arm. It worked - almost. I cleared the arm on my lane with 35 of my 36 foot length. Unfortunately for me, the outside rear ladder rail hit the crossing arm, kinked and pulled 2 of its three screws out of the roof. I never heard a thing.

At our next rest stop, I did my usual walkaround of both MH and toad and didn't see anything. Something made me look up and I noticed that the outside ladder rail was just a little further back than the inner one. A quick trip up the ladder confirmed the damage. I squirted some roof caulk into the holes left by the screws but was able to continue our outing and return, even after a heavy rain our second night, with no leaks.

I consider myself to be very fortunate and a bit wiser
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Old 03-28-2005, 12:35 PM   #3
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Wow !!
There's a heart stopper just reading that.
And your idea of of stopping (or at least slowing and showing undivided attention) at RR crossings is with merit.

That same sort of thing happened to me a year ago in downtown SanDiego but I was just in my F350 with no trailer. The ding-ding came on at the exact time the arms started swinging dowm, I was going too slow to go thru the long intersection, was right underneath the arm cooming down, and there were cars behind me. I turned my wheel hard, put the gear into reverse, and hit the juice. I reversed into the center of the road between lines of cars, didn't hit anyone, and neither the train or the crossing arms hit me.
I figured that was my one lucky episode at a RR crossing. I don't want to have to ask for any more.

Sounds like your trailer is in good shape considering what could have been and that is a good thing

Mike
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