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Old 02-23-2014, 11:38 AM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 39
My 16 mile trip (long)

After spending about two years looking for a new fifth wheel to replace our 2002 Prowler we finally found a rig we really liked. After seaching locally we went online and found great deal in Michigan. So we jumped on it.

Waiting for a break in the weather I packed up the truck and headed to Michigan. We live on a dirt road in Maine which turns into a mud pit in the spring, so I wanted to get the rig home while the ground was still frozen. I had a couple of free weeks to make the trip so I was in no rush.

I arrived in Muskegon late in the day so I got a hotel room. Got a good nights sleep and headed to All Seasons RV. Great people and extremely helpful. We did a walkthrough and hooked up the truck. We did a last look at the weather and hit the road.

The roads were clear but it was a bit windy so towing a new trailer, I was taking it slow. Occasionally there was some blowing snow but nothing bad. That was until I was approaching Coopersville, 16 miles down the road from the dealer.

Suddenly near white out, snow blowing across the road. Traffic slowed right down to 15 to 20mph. Everyone has their flashers on and is staying in line. I was impressed! Many parts of the country traffic would just plow through.

All of a sudden I start to jack knife.... Nothing I try to do will correct it. The truck is now 180 degrees around and still going. The trailer slams into the passenger side door with a crash and the door and rear windows blow out. I come to a stop, snow is now blowing in. I am sitting their wondering what just happened? I am a better driver than this.

About a minute passes, I pull my heavy jacket from under all the glass when some one comes to my door and asks if I am ok. I assure him I am and he says, "I am sorry I hit you, I could not stop and did not want to hit the brakes." I look back and it was tanker truck... he had hit me in the left rear and kept pushing me from behind. That's when I realize why I had zero control. 80 thousand pounds of truck and liquids pushing my little 18 or so thousand was no match.

So what does all this mean? I don't know. Maybe never try to pull a trailer in winter? I have been doing it for years. Maybe never buy a new trailer? I hope not.

So I sit here at the Holiday Inn in Muskegon with a totaled truck and a heavily damaged brand new fifth wheel waiting for the insurance adjusters to look at the carnage before I can fly home

So if any one in the area would like to meet me for a drink at the Holiday Inn , come on down.

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Old 02-23-2014, 12:18 PM   #2
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It is good to hear that you are alright! It sucks about your truck and new trailer. Hopefully that insurance company will do right for you.
Keep us posted on how things work out.

2009 38' Diplomat
CSM- retired, wife as co-pilot
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Old 02-23-2014, 12:27 PM   #3
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Glad you're alright. The truck and 5th wheel can always be replaced.
Tony & Ruth........... FMCA#F416727
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Old 02-23-2014, 12:29 PM   #4
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Gary wow so glad your okay.
he didn't want to hit his brakes, so it was a better option to run over you.
And injury you or worse!
Wow that don't make sense at all to me. I hope his insurance is good.
Wow didn't want to hit his brakes. That's mind boggling. If I was close I'd
come and drink one with you. Go by you some more levi's I know I would have to..
Don G.
F/T 11/20/2012
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Old 02-23-2014, 01:52 PM   #5
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MAN! That really is one heck of a bad day you had. I don't drink but I would by you a case if I was there. Glad no one was hurt and hope you get a speedy turn around with THEIR insurance.

Stay (mostly) sober my friend.
Don, Sandee & GSD Zeus. Guardian GSDs Gunny (7/11/15) & Thor (5/5/15)
2006 2015 DSDP 4320 4369, FL Chassis, 2013 CR-V, Blue Ox Avail, SMI AF1.
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Old 02-23-2014, 01:54 PM   #6
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I also am glad you were not hurt... Thats the main thing. Sorry about your rig,,, hope they buy you a brand new one !!!!
Monkey, pilot of a Great Dane hauler,
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Old 02-23-2014, 02:01 PM   #7
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It's been such a long, mean winter...that just makes it that much worse. I wish you the best of luck on getting out of this mess.
Dan (RVM67), Yvonne & 2 nutty mutts
2015 Flagstaff V-Lite 30WFKSS; 2012 Sierra 2500HD Crew
Home is behind, the world ahead, and there are many paths to tread...
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Old 02-23-2014, 02:38 PM   #8
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Gary I sent a pm.
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Old 02-23-2014, 02:46 PM   #9
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Glad your OK. What a dolt diving the big truck.
(RVM#26) THE U-RV 94 F-700/24 foot U-haul box home built RV
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Old 02-23-2014, 02:49 PM   #10
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Thank you all for you kind wishes. Hopefully things will get settled quickly. At least it was not a boring trip!
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Old 02-23-2014, 03:11 PM   #11
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Glad your well and safe. Lake affect snow comes out of nowhere sometimes. We have had several unscheduled stops coming around the tip of Lake Michigan on Rt.94.
Neal and Deb + Mya and Gizmo, the pup's
2003 Winnebago Sightseer 30B

May the roads rise up to meet you, May the winds be always at your back...
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Old 02-23-2014, 03:18 PM   #12
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I'm sorry that happened. It sure ruins a good plan.

I would wonder what was in the tanker that caused him to continue instead of hitting the brakes and doing the same thing, jackknifing and possibly spilling a load that could contaminate a community. Just wondering. Hitting you may have been the lesser of two evils, but definitely not good for you. Also as a professional driver he most likely knows now he should have pulled over and waited it out.
Wayne MSGT USMC (Ret) & Earlene (CinCHouse) RVM14
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Old 02-23-2014, 03:24 PM   #13
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Now that has to be some kind of record, for how long before a trailer gets totaled. The thing is if he hit his brakes he might have gone into a worse spin and maybe caused a deadly crash. It was your lucky day that you aren't laying in hospital, instead of sitting at bar.
Judy & Ralph, w/Molly (the Westie) & Sadie (the Fourche Terrier)
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Old 02-23-2014, 03:44 PM   #14
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Gary--man, I am so sorry for you! That is a bummer for sure, but don't take it too hard. Not your fault...

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