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Old 07-15-2009, 06:24 AM   #1
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Close Calls On the Road

G'mornin iRV2'rs:

Boy!!...we never knew how much power is released when a tire blows. Thought I'd relate this close call.

On our way North from Florida a month ago or so, there we were just a sailing up I-24 between Chattanooga and Nashville and enjoying the nice drive. At one point a large eighteen wheeler passed our MH and just as it re-entered the lane well up ahead of us the right rear outside tire on this truck's trailer blew up....and I mean really...BLEW UP !!!!
Even though there was a good three truck lengths between our rig and this moving truck up ahead, the volume of the explosion of this tire, and the resulting debris was astounding!!! Now this wasn't simply a tread coming off this guys tire, rather, it literally exploded into small pieces all over the road in front of us and it was a hoot trying to miss as much of this debris as I could. I never appreciated how much power there are in our inflated tires. Had this trucker's tires exploded next to our rig as he was passing us.....well.....it would have been pretty devastating. As it turned out,....we dodged a bullet!! Thank goodness.

Anyone else have a close call on the road??? . Steve & Lynette
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Old 07-15-2009, 07:34 AM   #2
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Last August, we were traveling from Dallas to West Jefferson, NC. We exited I-81 at Johnson City and were on Route 321, just east of Watauga Lake. At that point, Route 321 is a fairly winding, reasonably narrow 2 lane road that goes up and down (no real steep inclines ) with the land.

We were on an assent and coming around a corner to our right when an 18 wheeler on decent suddenly appeared halfway on OUR SIDE OF THE ROAD. Somehow, I instantly knew that I could avoid a head-on collision but for also was certain that there would be contact. I immediately turned my steering wheel hard to the right and awaited the crash that was going to result from the tractor hitting the back of our RV. Somehow, the truck driver managed to turn to his right at the last moment and contact between our vehicles was very narrowly avoided. I'm convinced it was only through divine intervention.

I did hit the bank to my right a glancing shot. Fortunately, that bank was covered in vines and leaves and we never made contact with dirt or rocks so there was no damage to our RV. Just up the road was a gas station where I pulled in to assess the damage and calm my nerves.

Though Route 321 is a beautiful drive, it is a very difficult one for a wide RV. Coming into all blind turns after the incident (and then, they seemed to be endless in number), I tapped the air horn, wanting no further interaction with trucks.
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Old 07-15-2009, 07:38 AM   #3
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We had our first close call a couple weekends ago. We were headed down a rural 2 lane road that we have travelled several times before. It is almost always deserted, very straight and plenty wide for a county 2 lane.

I was crossing an overpass that had a highway below, so I was limited on where I could go. From the left side, a lady enters the highway without even slowing down, much less stopping and looking. I mean how could she not see a 30 ft class A motorhome?

Long story short I knew 2 things...I didn't have time to stop, and limited space to get off the road. I also saw at least 2 kids in the car. I knew I was going to hit her, I just was trying to limit the impact, and hit where the people ain't.

I slammed on the brakes, got as far over as I could, and laid on the horns. Luckily the horns must have got her attention, and even luckier, there was no one coming the other way, and no one tailgating me. She finally got over into the other (wrong) lane, and I was able to get over enough to miss her. I stopped and she just kept going like nothing happened and got back over in the correct lane in front of me. If she had not snapped out of her daze, we would have collided, no question about it.

I did find out that my anti-lock brake system is functioning perfectly, and that is good to know, I guess. It also occurred to me that if I had been on a motorcycle, there's a good chance I wouldn't be here to write this today.
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Old 07-15-2009, 05:39 PM   #4
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A few years ago, my wife and I were leaving Austin, Texas on I-35N to Dallas. A pickup truck driven by a 19 year old was towing a low trailer with a fiberglas bathtub insert that he had just picked up from a store like Lowes or Home Depot (not sure). When they loaded the bathtub into the trailer, they told the teen that it was so heavy that he didn't have to tie it down. As an 18 wheeler passed him, he sucked the front of the crate up from the trailer bed and the wind took over.

The bathtub and crate came out of the trailer and landed on the highway in front of us. We were unable to stop although I got the motorhome from 60 down to about 25 mph when we hit the crate. It rode on our front end for a little distance and then slipped off and slid off the road. Thank goodness that we had a split windshield as the crate was up to the windshield. A single piece windshield may have been shattered.

We stopped and the pickup driver stopped. The two of us pulled the crate back to the trailer and flipped it back into the trailer. It made me mad that it wasn't damaged at all.

Damage to the motorome was about $8300.00 - mostly to replace the front fiberglas. It didn't stop us from finishing our trip.

I have a decal of a bathtub on the motorhome under the driver's window. If I can hit four more, I'll be a bathtub ace!!!!!

W8RLM - Bob
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Old 07-16-2009, 07:20 AM   #5
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chasfm11, Dmiles & W8RLM Bob:

Sure is amazing how CLOSE we can come to trouble and narrowly escape...eh? Now...even though Bob ate a whole bathtub flying off a trailer, talk about turning lemons into lemonade....he's now looking to become a...."BATHTUB ACE" . Geeeeze....there sure are alot of RV'rs out here with GREAT attitudes. Way to go Bob!!!

Any other "close calls" out there???? Steve & Lynette
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Old 07-16-2009, 09:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chickadee View Post
chasfm11, Dmiles & W8RLM Bob:
talk about turning lemons into lemonade....
I think many of us in the RV lifestyle have that kind of attitude. You just know that, sooner or latter, something is bound to happen. We had a rental Class C that blew a transmission 3 days into a 14 day vacation. We ended up only loosing a half of a day out of the whole situation as we continued on our planned route and did all of the things that were on our original literary, though in a slightly different order that we originally thought. The driver's side mirror on our current RV collapsed in heavy winds on our first long trip. I duct taped it back into position, later found a better fix and it never impacted that 12 day trip.

I think that, in the final analysis, many of us don't give up easily. We know what we want (to enjoy our RVs) and will work at being able to do it.
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Old 07-18-2009, 04:03 PM   #7
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On one of these forum someone stated
"Things get interesting when things go wrong."
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Old 07-18-2009, 05:51 PM   #8
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Talking

When we were buying our MH I had never driven one before so I ask the owner to take us for the first ride so that I could watch and learn. He was driving on a winding Bucks County Pa road. As we were approaching a driveway to an apartment complex. I was in the passenger seat and DW was changing seats from sofa to loveseat. A small Toyota came into view getting ready to exit the driveway, I was looking directly at him eye to eye, he stopped and at the last possible moment pulled across the road. Thank God the owner was such an experienced driver he hit the horn, brakes and swerved onto the the shoulder. Missed the #@&* by inches, the shoulder was solid enough to support the rig, DW went flying banging up her leg pretty good. The toyota just drove away. It taught me alot about being prepared for the unexpected.
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Old 07-19-2009, 07:51 PM   #9
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There is a LOT of contained force in an aired-up tire. Anyone remember split-rims? Many men died from an improperly installed retaining ring. Then the government required tire shops to use containment cages, they saved lives, but crippled many men with missing arms and hands. I think the compression ratio http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/fr...ir-d_1190.html is 7-1 for each 10 psi.
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Old 07-19-2009, 10:48 PM   #10
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Ray,In, I remember as a kid driving with a friend of mine that sold recapping equipment. We were in a shop in norther part of SC, I was watching one of the workers air up a recapping mold when all of a sudden the mold exploded and there went the mechanics arm AND MY LUNCH.
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Old 07-19-2009, 11:43 PM   #11
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I've had one notable close call towing my TT. My ex used to follow in her Wrangler and would spot for me along the way. Before the 2500 came about I had a 1500 that was comfortable pulling at about 55MPH which I was doing this fine day. A moving truck blew through on my left at probably 75MPH, she had enough time to grab the radio when the trailer started moving. I felt this, started fighting it, our trucks started sucking together and his mirror passed over mine! She pulled along side to check things out, all was clear, and we kept going since we were 45 miles from home. 15 miles later I caught and passed the guy without changing my speed.

The full sway setup was on and I feel it's what gave me the control to keep us seperated. That was as close as I ever want to get.
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:17 AM   #12
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Chickadee
We also had a 18 wheeler blow out a passenger outside rear tire and Barbara and myself agree that it is one heck of a explosion, but what got us was the noise from that tire blowing up in front of us. we were able to slow down and get over to the left lane and miss the remains.
This is one of the reasons we drive 3-4 mph below posted speed limit and very rarely over 62 mph. I don't know about other drivers but my reaction time is not as fast as it was 45+ plus years ago when I got my license.
Great thread and stories.
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Old 07-21-2009, 09:55 AM   #13
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I worked for a municipality in the garage back in my 20s. Most of the trucks had split rims and we kept spares mounted up so we could make road calls. One day a split rim came apart that had been mounted probably months before. They were all standing up side by side in a rack, when it blew out it not only blew out two other tires but knocked the lights and wallboard off the walls while making a dent in the exterior wall.

You take that much air stored under that much pressure it makes for an awful lot of energy.
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:14 AM   #14
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I've had a tire/wheel that was stored on top of a dump truck come off and come bounding across the 4 lane, missed me but the driver behind me caught it head on, just totally destroyed the front end and roof of his car.

Also another close one was a person passed me on a 4 lane divided highway, then pulled into my lane, slammed on the brakes, and made a right hand turn onto a county road. I had to take the inside lane under hard braking without looking at 65 mph to miss her. If I could have gotten my hands on her that would have been justifiable homicide as far as I'm concerned. (glad she didn't stop)
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