My wife and I were pretty shocked as we added up the cost of all the improvements we'd added over the years. I know I won't get all that back, but we've sent it to them as a detailed list of everything we'd done, and we're waiting for their response. Everyone is in limbo right now waiting for the final police report. When a fatality occurs, the report takes a long time. Nonetheless, the other insurance company has acknowledged informally that their driver was at fault.
It seems kind of mercenary to be thinking about money, but I'm disabled and can't walk far so I don't know how long I'll be able to take RV trips. We'd like to get this resolved by next spring, if possible, so we can finish the lengthy vacation we've dreamed of. Every other trip we've had to head home on a time limit schedule, and during the return drive home, we've always thought about just chucking our responsibilities, and heading for some place new. This was the first trip where we could actually do that.
We took our honeymoon in the Beast in 1979, and it has decades of happy memories for us, from the Yucatan, to Yellowstone, Newfoundland to Nova Scotia, and California to Florida. We miss it.
There were two steel barriers in front, the bumper and the front crossframe piece, which acted together to protect the front cab. However, even that would probably not have been sufficient to protect us. We were lucky that the two vehicles did not completely lock together at impact. We were still traveling forward after impact, and the car ended up several hundred feet behind us, after removing the lower left side of the Sportscoach.
I just hope everyone out there takes care of themselves. I was thrown from the back to the front due to the impact. Without the seat belt, my better half would have gone through the front window.
We just got back home last night. I'm wondering how to convince the insurance companies that the Sportscoach was worth closer to the $80,000 we put into it, instead of the $1,500 that a 1973 RV probably has listed in the blue book. We don't expect to get full value back, but something more than scrap value would help us get back into the RV life.
Yes, that was our accident. The Sportscoach has a ladder frame, with a beefy I-beam left to right, just ahead of the engine. Two short I-beam studs project forward and the steel bumper is mounted on them. The accident ripped off the bumper and the two forward projecting stud I-beams. The battery, power steering, master brake cylinder and other steering components were mounted on the steel that was ripped off. Fortunately, we were going slowly uphill, and braking, plus foot off the gas got us pretty slow by the time of impact.
All 3 vehicles were totalled, but we bought back the Jeep toad and had it repaired to get us home. The Jeep transmission was damaged when stuff hit the shift lever, but after replacing it, we were left with just a lot of dents..... Not too bad for a 4WD toad..... Adds character. Much of the final impact energy for the toad was taken up by the tow hitch (1/2" steel), which turned into a pretzel, and by my motorcycle racks, which also pretzeled. Even the 2" ball tow hitch was bent, and that's 3/4" steel.
BTW, for the other driver and her husband it was a sad day. We hugged him and cried with him over his loss, even though he felt it was probably a mercy for her, as she'd been in terrible pain for years from the diabetes. For us, however, it feels like the luckiest day in our lives. So many bad things could have happened in those few seconds, and they didn't. The space where my wife's foot was located was crushed. The bed I'd been lying on earlier was ripped out of the left side and smashed between rocks and the RV. The microwave came down and landed where my head had been. It could have smashed me, but by then I'd been ejected forward to the aisle, with the refrigerator contents all over me.
No, we can't see it as a sad day. All things considered, we have to count it as probably the luckiest and best day of our lives. We have our lives and each other.
Thanks to all for the kind thoughts. Everyone in Bathurst Canada has been wonderful to us, and they've gone out of their way to help us through this. For the first week we were in shock and doubting if we ever wanted another RV, but slowly our memories of good times have come back. We don't want to give up the RV lifestyle yet, so we've started thinking about buying again. That's how I ended up back here after a long absence.... researching what we might want to buy. It depends on whether the insurance company decides the Sportscoach was worth $1000 since it was from 1973, or worth the $64,000 we put into it in upgrades.
Some here may remember my posts a long while back on testing and modifying the PD9280. We were in a head on accident 2 weeks ago and we're now just beginning to think about another RV. If you'd like more information about the accident:
It was our retirement trip. Planned 6 months duration, We'd been out 6 weeks. Driving along in New Brunswick, a lovely morning, almost no traffic on a 2 lane highway, approaching Bathurst, NB. We'd left Kouchibouguac a couple hours earlier and we were headed for the Gaspe.
A car comes over the hill and then, with no warning, swerves head on into us. The impact took off the left side and the entire front of the RV, including the steering and brakes. We continued with no control across the highway and into the gulley, mud, water, and rock wall on the left. Our pride and joy, a 1973 Sportscoach, with 43 years of happy memories and its 4th rebuilt Chevy 454, 8 months old, was destroyed. Even the Jeep Wrangler toad was totalled (well, almost, we convinced them to just give us book value and we paid to have repairs to make it roadworthy to get us home.)
The other driver was apparently a 4 insulin shot a day diabetic who'd been sick that morning. She died in the impact. Our Beast died keeping us both alive. Cuts, scrapes, bruises, worsening of my back injury (I can't stand or sit for long and was horizontal in the side bed/couch) , the wife (driver) has broken bones in her foot, but we're both alive.
It's been 2 weeks and our Jeep was just repaired yesterday. We leave for home tomorrow. If you have a classic Sportscoach and need windows or other rare parts, contact B&C wrecking yard in Bathurst NB for possible salvage. The engine is probabky ok, and the generator 4kw Onan ran like a top, but we can't get them home.