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Old 08-22-2012, 02:21 PM   #43
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My sentiments also.

I have never met a car that wants to stay behind me on a long hill climb at 25-30 mph, and even at 45-50 mph unless it was an old, old clunker, but then on the downhill slope I'm going approximately the same speed as when going up and all cars pass me by.

I think you concerns were well founded. I would have dialed 911 and explained my concerns. What is the worse that could have happened calling 911. Probably no response, but I believe that all 911 calls have to have a response. Someone help me out on that one.

Glad it turned out all right for you.

Happy trails.
I just got done with a lengthy conversation with our dispatcher daughter. She said:
- yes, she would have tried to dispatch based on my report, even with my limited information about the following car.
- her department's success rate of doing that is about 10%. Part of that is due to the fact that she cannot send officers outside of her boundaries and by the time that a report comes in, the subject vehicle would be out of her boundaries before an officer could get to it.
- she had no link to the DPS (Texas State police). She knows that Bridgeport and other locations do a lot of coordination between local and State police but that she never has. I'm assuming that VA has the same pockets where there is excellent coordination between a local dispatcher who could transfer an income 911 to a State agency and places where that wouldn't have worked so well.
- cell phone 911 calls often go to the wrong town, based on the locations of the cell towers. This is in fairly densely packed North Texas. The stretch of I-81 that I was on would likely not have that same condition.

Based on all of this and input on this thread, I would call 911 if this ever happened again. The fact that I reported the car and an officer found it following me would give them enough probable cause to pull it over and find out what was going on. Our daughter said that they had cases where one vehicle followed and was later joined by multiple other vehicles but that most of those situations were gang related. That was clearly not my circumstance.

It is still a bit puzzling to try to guess what my circumstance really was. I understand that I'll never know for sure. It is somewhat comforting that there haven't been several other posters reporting similar events. That means that it was a very isolated situation.
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Old 08-22-2012, 04:14 PM   #44
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Maybe they just wanted us use your RV as a wind "shield" to gain better fuel mileage. Why must we always believe the worst about people. I prefer to take a "positive" approach to every situation until it turns the other direction. (And, that's why I carry a firearm in the RV - just in case!)
I was about to write the same thing. Not all situations carry nefarious intentions. If you did something to tick him off I think he would have telegraphed his displeasure in some manner. I'm not saying that you shouldn't take the necessary precautions because when in doubt, trust your instincts.
When we went to Maine on our maiden trip last week I had noticed that at times I had a line of cars behind me so I would pull to the side of the road ( when safe) and let them all pass me. I know that I would appreciate that if someone did that for me when I was following them.
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Old 08-22-2012, 04:20 PM   #45
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He was probably trying to increase his gas mileage by drafting.
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Old 08-22-2012, 04:39 PM   #46
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I was about to write the same thing. Not all situations carry nefarious intentions. If you did something to tick him off I think he would have telegraphed his displeasure in some manner. I'm not saying that you shouldn't take the necessary precautions because when in doubt, trust your instincts.
When we went to Maine on our maiden trip last week I had noticed that at times I had a line of cars behind me so I would pull to the side of the road ( when safe) and let them all pass me. I know that I would appreciate that if someone did that for me when I was following them.
Fully agreed. If you will look back over my discussion, I was doing just that including pulling into the truck lane on the Christiansburg hill - where the car followed me. There was absolutely no reason for him to have done that because I had dropped to about 45MPH (there was a slower truck in front of me) when I was in that lane. There were two lanes to my left clear and he had been in one of them. All he had to do was stay in it and pass me.

I also fully agree with your point about following your instincts. It was my instinct that something was wrong with this situation from the time that I first detected it. I've had drivers who displayed displeasure with me but that is usually over in a mile or so. I do work hard at staying out of other peoples way and specifically drive in the right lane as much as I possibly can. Beyond than that, I'm not sure what more I can do. There seem to be those who take umbrage at the mere existence of an RV in the same area of road on which they were driving. I was not the only RV in the area so it isn't clear why I was selected if that were his motivation.

Other than taking an exit, the options to pull off on I-81 are few and far between. There are rest stops and I used those when I needed to. I was trying to drive 500 miles that day so taking every rest stop would not have been a good option.
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Old 08-23-2012, 03:52 AM   #47
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There is another remote possibility that the occupants were not from this country and couldn't understand our speed or caution signs and were just following the slowest vehicle to keep under the limits.
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Old 12-25-2012, 11:14 PM   #48
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Hell, I do it all the time with semi’s when I'm traveling long distances. He was Drafting! But if it scares you then by all means call the police.
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:05 PM   #49
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Hell, I do it all the time with semiís when I'm traveling long distances. He was Drafting! But if it scares you then by all means call the police.
do you realize you are responding to a 4 month old thread?
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:06 PM   #50
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We had a situation kinda like that from Ga to Kentucky.Car kept following us.when we finally pulled in for fuel so did the car and so DH went over to check it out.It was an elderly lady going to Kentucky because of a family emergency.She was nervous and decided to travel behind us-said she felt safe.So we pulled out of station,little car followed us until we took our exit in Kentucky,she kept on after that had about 60 miles to go to her exit, so we were glad to help her.
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:47 PM   #51
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Maybe they just wanted us use your RV as a wind "shield" to gain better fuel mileage. Why must we always believe the worst about people. I prefer to take a "positive" approach to every situation until it turns the other direction. (And, that's why I carry a firearm in the RV - just in case!)
There is a very good chance this is the case, though it works better if you do not have a towed to "Spoil" the air flow behind your RV.


One thing you can do in a case like that is buzz the fuzz. I have taken 9-1-1 calls from folks in similar situations, I give them directions, and phone ahead to the parking lot I direct them too.

I still remember one time, this had gone a bit beyond your story, The hostile drive had rammed the caller sevral times,, I directed her to a local PD. and had their dispatcher on 3-way with me.. We could hear the other driver screaming at the officers who were waiting in the parking lot through the caller's open window.

Suffice to say the caller left the station.. Well before the hosile (Heck she might still be there).
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:09 PM   #52
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I got creeped out reading this. About 15 years ago I was on I75 in Fla on Xmas day. Almost no traffic, just moving along about +60 mph. Car passes me and pulls back in my lane a little close so I "woke up". Looks like two males, I slow up to get some gap and they slow up!!! Checked the rear view and I've got another car with two people behind me. Now we're down to 55, just a nice tight little pack traveling along for about 4 miles. I've always felt fortunate an exit can up with service stations and I dived off at the last second with no signal. I fueled up and sat in the lot for 30 minutes before I moved on. This was the first time I can remember the "little man" inside me really talking, like I said still creeps me out to think about it.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:36 AM   #53
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Sorry if it has been mentioned in this thread, but in OK and MO, dial *55 on your cell phone to get directly to the State Police . I've never done it, but a friend I work with did that 2 weeks ago when part of his truck caught on fire,,, the call did go directly to Oklahoma State Police, and they were there in just a very few minutes... I might add we drivers are "encouraged" to call authorities anytime we are being followed. I would bet they would pay attention to travelers also... They are there for our safety.... (Thankyou to all our First Responders !!)
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Old 12-30-2012, 07:05 AM   #54
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Now that is a positive thought!
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:37 PM   #55
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I never expected my thread to come back from the dead like this.

1. I don't see anyway possible that my "shadow" was drafting. Given the length of our tow bar and the toad on it, any benefit from reduced airflow was negligible at best. I won't speculate how much of the time the following driver was actually a safe following distance behind me. There were definitely times when he wasn't.

2. I really did contemplate calling 911 several times, especially when the follower changed lanes on the truck lane on a hill to stay behind me. That one really weirded me out. What I could not mentally get past was my anticipated conversation with the dispatcher.

Dispatcher: What is your emergency?

Me: I'm in an RV southbound on I-81 at mile marker xxx and there is a car following me.

Dispatcher: Can you describe the car?

Me: Not very well - it is following me. (Later, when it passed, I did get a good look at it but that was 100 miles after the following started.).

Dispatcher: Is the driver of the car doing anything unusual?

Me: No, he is just following me and has been doing it for over 50 miles.

Dispatcher: Did you do anything to irritate him or make him mad?

Me: Not that I know about. I've just been driving in the right lane. I haven't passed anyone.

Dispatcher: Why do you think that his following you is a problem?

Me: Because he has been doing it a long time and has had many opportunities to pass. In fact, he switched lanes on the hill when I moved over to the truck lane in order to stay behind me.

Dispatcher: Have you every had this problem before?
... and the conversation might go down hill from there.

I do realize that dispatchers get all kinds of calls from kooky people because our daughter is a 911 dispatcher. In an out of State situation, however, I was concerned that they might pull me over and detain me (no one wants a lunatic or a meth head behind the wheel of an RV on an Interstate). I thought about having my wife make the call but she couldn't have answered the questions as correctly as I could and it might have sounded even worse coming from her.

The good news is that nothing has ever come of it. I was worried for a while that I might have had an undetected fender-bender with them and they were just waiting for me to stop and that I would get something in the mail after they ran my license plate number. Fortunately, nothing like that happened and I'd put the whole incident in my rear view mirror until I saw the thread was active again.
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:51 PM   #56
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Do you have an open wi fi signal on board that could be the problem? It has been a problem with some recreational charter busses who run wi fi . Following cars creep up to busses to use the signal for their tablets and equipment. Annoying as well as safety factor . Another game player for sure.
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