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 > “Oh Oh, I’m not going to make it” stories that ended well

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MitchF150

Puyallup, WA

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Posted: 12/23/19 09:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think I posted this already, but this happened to me this summer in Wenatchee towing my old Prowler from my dash cam.

Truck in front of me changed lanes and then a small metal shelf lifted out of his bed, right in front of me. There was a box truck behind me in the right lane and I saw the shelf drop out and glanced at my mirror and didn't see the box truck in my way, so changed lanes as shown below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0EVPUxxMaA

Once I made the lane change, I actually accelerated, since I knew that box truck was going to be behind me and probably slamming on his brakes..

I don't actually think I hit my brakes at all during the maneuver..

Not the only one in the last 35 or so years of towing stuff, but the only one I have a dash cam of! [emoticon]

Mitch

[image]


2013 F150 XLT 4x4 SuperCab Max Tow Egoboost 3.73 gears #7700 GVWR #1920 payload. 2019 Rockwood Mini Lite 2511S.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 12/23/19 10:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If this thread about oh sh!t moments isn't just about towing a camper and brakes, I have a few, or maybe a dozen lol.
Only a couple with the camper on.
1 was not horribly dramatic after the fact, but we got trapped/chased between tornados dropping in MN a few summers ago and it was pretty hairy for an hour or 2 dodging funnel clouds, 3 phones going with maps, live radar and some heavy metal music just to keep the pace up!

Thankfully the first almost accident was also uneventful. Last summer almost home from our week long summer vacation. Camper on the truck, boat in tow (bout 6000 lbs), come around the corner on our local county road, into a shady patch, couple cars up stopped abruptly, old beater Chester the molester van in front of us hammers the brakes, barely has brake lights (and hard to see coming out of the setting sun into the shade I'm sure), didn't see the cars braking in front of him, becasue, Van.
I wasn't going to totally stop in time, but the shoulder (with deep bar ditch beyond it) looked kinda wide enough.
I just whipped the wheel, jammed the camper past the van without touching it. Dropped a couple gears at the same time and dropped the throttle to yank the trailer straight as it hit gravel and was sliding towards the ditch. Was amazed we didn't at least trade paint!


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

blownstang01

Upstate NY

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Posted: 12/24/19 04:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm going to "brake" the rules (get it....he he). My story wasn't a camper, but I was towing a 40' gooseneck race car hauler.
Towing from Upstate NY to Epping NH for a X275 race with my F350 SuperDuty, 7.3 hopped up Diesel and a 40' Featherweight trailer. All loaded with race car and equipment I was towing around 12,000 lbs, and about 18,000 total. The truck had a western hauler bed made out of 1/8" steel and was HEAVY. Anyway, even with tip top brake pads and shoes on the truck and trailer, I always thought the brakes were marginal especially at highway speeds.
So, my dad and me are towing along @ 65 mph with traffic and came to the I84-I495 split towards Boston. I was in the right lane and a woman drove by us in the passing lane texting on her phone and I immediately thought, good thing she's in front of me in case I need to stop as traffic was picking up immensely.The highways merge from one set of 2 lanes into 4 lanes with the 2 additional lanes coming in from our right. With the heavy traffic coming on my right, I moved over into the left lane ....1/8 mile or so behind texting woman. We came around a curve and because she had been distracted she had to do basically a panic stop as the merging traffic had bottlenecked in front of her( I always watch the tail light of the car in front of me entering blind areas...doesn't work well when they have to panic stop, lol ). So here we come probably close to 70 mph barreling down on essentially stopped traffic.To make matters worse the area where the bottleneck was happening was on the onset to a flyover bridge, so imaging the left side shoulder disappearing and an armco barrier arriving from my left and tapering to the bridge. I go into a full on panic stop, brake pressure couldn't get much higher, I set the left side of the truck on the shoulder as I was approaching the stopped traffic. Now I am literally next to the car in front of us back by their left rear door and coming fast to the armco that had started way down in the median and is "V-ing" up to the bridge where you end up with about 18" of shoulder. My plan was to hit the guardrail first (at this point I was only a couple inches away from the rail on my left) and try to minimize the damage inflicted to the cars in front of me. I fully expected to take out the texting car, the one stopped in front of her and possibly one in front of that.By the grace of God the right hand traffic had slowed just enough to have some space in it and at the last second the texting car, the one in front of her and the one in front of him all dove to the right lane simultaneously as they saw the wreck coming. I eased the rig off the guardrail just in time to look in my left mirror and see the rear of the trailer miss the rail by what seemed like thousandths of an inch. This all happened in seconds, no time to talk, yell, tell my dad to hold on, nothing. When I whipped it back in the driving lane it was a good minute before dad or I said a word. And I'm pretty sure the first words were regarding the smell (and smoke) coming from the brakes. I drove for another 15-20 miles to let the brakes cool before stopping at a rest stop. Thought I was going to puke, Still not sure to this day how we got out of that one, but it was a real eye opener about traffic distance. Luckily I was always adamant about setting up my brake controller to not lock up the trailer brakes. Too close.

pasusan

Northernmost PA

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Posted: 12/24/19 05:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We had 2 very scary incidents a few years ago on the same trip, the same road. We were going south on I-81 in Virginia driving our Bronco and trailer with lots of traffic - mostly semi trucks.

The first one - we were in the right lane behind a flat bed truck with a load. All of the sudden his huge white tarp blew off and was floating in the air ready to wrap us up including the windshield. I'm thinking we are done - how could we even come to a safe stop without being able to see? Luckily there happened to be an opening in the left lane and dh whipped us over there and we lived. Don't know what happened to that tarp or traffic behind us...

The second one was later that day and we were in the left lane. Pickup truck in front of us with no tailgate. Case of beer falls off the back right in front of us. It held together really well - landed upright. I'm thinking OMG - there goes the oil pan, the exhaust system and then the trailer's tanks and who knows what else... Again dh was able to whip over into the other lane and avoid the catastrophe. Don't know who ended up running over that case of beer...

I am so glad we have a Hensley hitch. And that my hubby has quick and safe reactions. [emoticon]


I've also got one of those mountain road and brakes stories with my first car (a '63 Falcon) in the Colorado Rockies - but you all know how that went...


"I'm out here to enjoy nature -- don't talk to me about the environment!" ~Denny Crane

Susan & Ben
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84 Bronco & 90 Award Classic 23 joined with a Hensley Cub for longer trips
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blownstang01

Upstate NY

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Posted: 12/24/19 06:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pasusan wrote:

We had 2 very scary incidents a few years ago on the same trip, the same road. We were going south on I-81 in Virginia driving our Bronco and trailer with lots of traffic - mostly semi trucks.

The first one - we were in the right lane behind a flat bed truck with a load. All of the sudden his huge white tarp blew off and was floating in the air ready to wrap us up including the windshield. I'm thinking we are done - how could we even come to a safe stop without being able to see? Luckily there happened to be an opening in the left lane and dh whipped us over there and we lived. Don't know what happened to that tarp or traffic behind us...

The second one was later that day and we were in the left lane. Pickup truck in front of us with no tailgate. Case of beer falls off the back right in front of us. It held together really well - landed upright. I'm thinking OMG - there goes the oil pan, the exhaust system and then the trailer's tanks and who knows what else... Again dh was able to whip over into the other lane and avoid the catastrophe. Don't know who ended up running over that case of beer...

I am so glad we have a Hensley hitch. And that my hubby has quick and safe reactions. [emoticon]


I've also got one of those mountain road and brakes stories with my first car (a '63 Falcon) in the Colorado Rockies - but you all know how that went...


I have a real Love/Hate relationship with RT81. As in I Love to Hate it..

jplante4

Cape Cod

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Posted: 12/24/19 07:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've had the cruise control refuse to kick off a few times trying to stop for a light. Makes for an interesting stop.

The scariest incident was a TomTom selected route through the Catskills to West Saugerties. This was before I knew about shortest route vs. fastest route and RV friendly GPS apps. The road is a 13% downgrade, lane-and-a-half gravel road in my 28 foot gasser. About half way down I was smelling brakes. Stopped and let things cool off, then just went down in 1st gear, stopping on the flats. I didn't know it at the time, but only my front brakes were working.

All I could think was "Jeez, I hope there's not a 10 foot bridge at the bottom of this".

[image]


Jerry & Jeanne
1996 Safari Sahara 3530 - 'White Tiger'
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ScottG

Bothell Wa.

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Posted: 12/24/19 09:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MitchF150 wrote:

I think I posted this already, but this happened to me this summer in Wenatchee towing my old Prowler from my dash cam.

Truck in front of me changed lanes and then a small metal shelf lifted out of his bed, right in front of me. There was a box truck behind me in the right lane and I saw the shelf drop out and glanced at my mirror and didn't see the box truck in my way, so changed lanes as shown below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0EVPUxxMaA

Once I made the lane change, I actually accelerated, since I knew that box truck was going to be behind me and probably slamming on his brakes..

I don't actually think I hit my brakes at all during the maneuver..

Not the only one in the last 35 or so years of towing stuff, but the only one I have a dash cam of! [emoticon]

Mitch

[image]


Funny you should post that video. We were on that hill just after you dodge the shelf when a sheriff suddenly pulls out in front of us
from the side of the road. He straddles the center line and turns on his lights to pull someone over. I about shoved our whole truck and trailer up his backside as I laid on the horn. At the last second he see's us and darts out of the way.
I had the dash cam going but didn't keep it. Would have made great evidence.


Scott, Grace and Wesly
2003 Dodge 3500 4x4, 6 speed Cummins.
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opnspaces

San Diego Ca

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Posted: 12/24/19 10:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Definitely some great stories, keep them coming. And Blownstang, I admit to getting goosebumps reading your post. I felt like I was right there in the truck with you as you tried to find a hole between the texting woman and the wall.


2001 Suburban 4x4. 6.0L, 4.10 3/4 ton
2005 Jayco Jay Flight 27BH
1986 Coleman Columbia Popup.

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 12/24/19 12:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One winter I was storm stayed in Swift Current, SK.

When the highway opened all was going along fine.

In the distance I saw a Semi that had been pulled out of the ditch and was pointing the wrong way.

I tapped on the brakes, and nothing happened. I tried a 2nd time and the least bit of pressure locked the wheels up. There was so little friction that the antilock brakes did not work.

Then the RV started drifting towards the ditch. I turned the wheel a tiny amount and nothing happened.

Finally at about 30 kph (18 miles per hour) I felt the front wheels "grab", and I was able to steer away from the semi truck which was now just 1000 feet from me.

The rest of the trip was done at a very sedate rate.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp hours of AGM in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 12/24/19 03:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

One winter I was storm stayed in Swift Current, SK.

When the highway opened all was going along fine.

In the distance I saw a Semi that had been pulled out of the ditch and was pointing the wrong way.

I tapped on the brakes, and nothing happened. I tried a 2nd time and the least bit of pressure locked the wheels up. There was so little friction that the antilock brakes did not work.

Then the RV started drifting towards the ditch. I turned the wheel a tiny amount and nothing happened.

Finally at about 30 kph (18 miles per hour) I felt the front wheels "grab", and I was able to steer away from the semi truck which was now just 1000 feet from me.

The rest of the trip was done at a very sedate rate.


Wow, I’m not sure which is worse....the oh sht, now it’s over, moving on, or the oh sht 30x over, unfolding in slow motion where you actually have time to consider abandoning ship altogether!

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