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WTF?!? crosscountry camping trip crashes hard
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maine, inland moutains
    Posts
    4,156

    crosscountry camping trip crashes hard

    Aaannndd... we’re done.
    Our 30-day crosscountry camper trip from Maine to Montana-Yellowstone-then thru South and home... crashed on day two of trip. Crashed rig on PA turnpike. Camper survived and towed to nearby campground by tow company, then tow Durango to Chrysler dealer. Close to a thousand in cash for towing today. Rear ended truck on packed expressway rolling at speed limit. Someone stopped short and everyone scattered around but us. Hitting at about 20mph. Not enough to deploy airbags, but our victim’s trailer hitch plowed thru radiator and auto trans cooler. No idea if structural damage kills trip beyond radiator and AT cooler... and they can’t even look at it until Friday. Very gross estimate is we are stuck in Whatever, Pennsylvania for at least two wks. Choices: rent generic car and load whatever fits for motel life and continue to Yellowstone, while we rent camper storage here, then return to pick up repaired Durango and camper and return home on schedule... or rent car and come home to await Durango repair in Pennsylvania if damage and repair is going to end up many weeks delay. But thankful we are not injured and we have survivable choices. Screw it, just keep moving forward. Not much is otherwise under our control

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Happy on the mountain
    Posts
    69,465
    Well, that sure puts a damper on the trip. Sorry it happened but glad you are uninjured!
    The wonder of our time isn’t how angry we are at politics and politicians; it’s how little we’ve done about it. - Fran Porretto
    -http://bastionofliberty.blogspot.com/2016/10/a-wholly-rational-hatred.html

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    On top of the Mountain
    Posts
    23,906
    Wow. Yeah very glad it wasn't worse. Better to have the pain in your wallet than your bodies.
    I'd say that this is not an auspicious start to your journey.
    "Dark and difficult times lie ahead. Soon we will all face the choice between what is right, and what is easy."
    Dumbledore to Harry Potter, Goblet of Fire.

    Luke 21:36

    A people who no longer recognize sin and evil, are not a people who will recognize tyranny and despotism either. Invar


    “During the course of your life you will find that things are not always fair. You will find that things happen to you that you do not deserve and that are not always warranted. But you have to put your head down and fight, fight, fight. Never, ever, ever give up!”

    - President Donald J. Trump

  4. #4
    Sorry that happened. God’s blessings for the remainder of the trip.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    WI - On the scene, like a sex machine.
    Posts
    39,123
    Close to a thousand in cash for towing today.
    That seems a bit high.

    Will insurance cover that?
    "The most intriguing point for the historian is that where history and legend meet."

    "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who think they are free."

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Oceanside, CA
    Posts
    1,658
    Dang, what a bummer. Had an experience in Missouri coming back from trip to North Carolina family reunion from CA. Blew the transmission ln pickup and spent a week in RV park there. About $3,000 to get home.
    Guns, Grub, and God!

  7. #7
    Oh, that sucks!! I'm so sorry a long-planned and anticipated trip has started so badly. I wish you were close enough so we could offer camping space on the farm until you could figure out what you're doing next, but we're in the far western part of NY state, about 10 miles above the border with PA. And unfortunately, we no longer have a truck which could haul the camper...

    Prayers that everything works out, if not as planned, then at least with as little pain and aggravation as possible.

    Summerthyme

  8. #8
    Well darn. I hate to read the sudden down turn your plans are taking.
    Prayers for unexpectedly decent outcomes despite the sour start!
    Thoughts are things. Thus I'm careful of the thoughts I think, & the company I keep.
    I myself am entirely made of flaws, stiched together with good intentions.
    MOON™~> all in the ignorant opinion of an uneducated slip of a woman who keeps forgetting to mind her manners, know her place and bow down to her betters

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    In CLE again
    Posts
    57,014
    What's the weight on the camper??

    I'd have to verify the capabilities of the Ram 1500.

    Let me know. RELIC and I could stand to see Sumerthyme. It's only been about 20 years.
    RULE 1:
    THEY want you DEAD.

    "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my brothers' children (and their parents) may have peace, and have NO KNOWLEDGE of what I have done."

    The BEST in Life:
    To CRUSH your enemies.
    To see them driven before you
    To listen to the lamentations of their women

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    16,217
    Youch! We've had a few incidences on our road trips over the years but nothing like that. Odessa, TX is a place we'll never forget however.

    What is it they say? What doesn't kill you makes you stronger? Something like that anyway. Good luck on the fix.
    Find my free fiction stories here.

    "Isn’t it interesting that the same people who laugh at science fiction listen to weather forecasts and economists?” - Kelvin R. Throop III

  11. #11
    First off, SUPER glad you and the missus are ok. The PA turnpike is one strange stretch of expressway. Stretches of high speed expressway that for no reason comes to a complete stop. And road construction, lots and lots of road construction. Glad the impact was low speed and ya'll ended up ok. I'd check the tongue on the trailer for bends or warps though; I've seen that happen on tow dollies that had cars on them that had panic stops and accidents like yours.

    I'd start bugging the dealer the minute they take the car into the shop. First off, have them put it on a frame machine and measure the unibody. You had a frontal impact with weight behind the impact point. It is possible there was bending or twisting to the unibody (check the rear doors for opening-do they stick? Check the rear hatch-does it line up properly with the rear body structure?) Shops will do a teardown of the obvious damage (the front) but not check for any other damage until the insurance co approves the work on the front. As the shop gets into the work, additional damage is "discovered" and a "supplemental" estimate is prepared, sent to the insurance co for approval and the car repairs wait until the supplement is approved. The shop gets more money for the repairs, the car spends more time in the shop, you are in a rental for that much longer (paying over the 20 or 25 dollars a day your ins. co allows for a rental). Most shops try and present a "we'll take care of everything" approach to their customers-with the customers being absolutely clueless as to the "we'll take care of everything" part entails to their vehicle and their wallets.

    If your Durango is a 3.6 V6 vehicle, and it got poked through the radiator and the trans cooler, please make sure they check the core support. Did the impact mash the front grille? Did it go further in, did it damage headlights? Was the hood crumpled? The 3.6 V6 sets back a ways from the radiator, so I don't expect impact damage to the engine itself. I would look at the power steering lines and the AC lines, they're down low on the left side of the engine looking into the hood. It's probable there was pinching or tearing of the lines-if they're torn make sure they're replaced, especially the high pressure AC line. Don't want it to bust down the road after the repairs are effected. Have them check the serpentine belt and make sure the belt tensioner is either thoroughly checked out or replaced. Same with the belt. Doubt the air box or any of the intake system would have gotten mashed; however there's an ECU up under the air box fitted to the frame rail. Have it and the wiring checked. Impacts, even low speed ones can sometimes break the circuit board inside the housings (and they're pretty tough housings).

    The housing around the radiator and where the hood latches to is called the core support. Make sure it and the engine compartment is measured for proper dimensions; it's possible there might be a kink or bend in the core support or in one of the aprons. If that is the case then the core support would need to be pulled out with a frame machine(if a minor bend) or completely replaced if there's major bends in it. In either event, your vehicle is now considered frame damaged because the core support and aprons are structural components of the vehicle. If that is the case, check with your insurer for options regarding dimunition of value on the vehicle.

    As far as continuing on with the trip or waiting on the vehicle, your choice. I'm just glad you're ok.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    In CLE again
    Posts
    57,014
    Oh, yeah. At your next opportunity join a group called ESCAPEES.

    www.escapees.com
    RULE 1:
    THEY want you DEAD.

    "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my brothers' children (and their parents) may have peace, and have NO KNOWLEDGE of what I have done."

    The BEST in Life:
    To CRUSH your enemies.
    To see them driven before you
    To listen to the lamentations of their women

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    PRNJ
    Posts
    2,475
    Quote Originally Posted by night driver View Post
    What's the weight on the camper??

    I'd have to verify the capabilities of the Ram 1500.

    Let me know. RELIC and I could stand to see Sumerthyme. It's only been about 20 years.
    If he's towing with a Durango your truck has a higher weight rating.

  14. #14
    I'm sorry to hear this Colonel, but I'm glad to hear that you and yours are alright. My advice is to listen to your gut about how to continue. May the rest of your journey be safe, however long it will be.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Back in Iowa, where I belong
    Posts
    3,091
    Wife and I were hoping to take a decent trip with our 5th wheel for the first time ever. Now making me wonder, at least not without expanding the insurance coverage. Have not been to Yellowstone since 1973 and would love to see it again, this time sharing it with my lovely bride.

    Hope all turns out well for you whichever way you decide to go. Sincerely sorry to hear of this. I would be heartbroken myself at this point.

    RR
    Survival and Austere Medicine: An Introduction - 2nd and 3rd Editions Contributing author and editor

    Get your FREE copy of the 3rd edition here:NNPG Download Site

    Reddit AustereMedicine/

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    SE Okieland
    Posts
    6,621
    CH,

    Glad you and yours are ok....

    Vehicles can be repaired....

    Hope you can finish your trip even if shortened....

    God bless....

    Texican....

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Northeast Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,077
    Well that sucks!

    If your trip does continue and your still at Yellowstone on the 23rd. PM me and My family will cook you dinner

  18. #18
    Sorry about your troubles !! Glad no injuries !!!
    "No one ever rescues an old dog. They lay in a cage until they die. PLEASE save one. None of us wants to die cold and alone... --Dennis Olson "

    Si vis pacem, para bellum

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    In CLE again
    Posts
    57,014
    RR, SERIOUSLY look into escapees. They are FANTASTIC.
    RULE 1:
    THEY want you DEAD.

    "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my brothers' children (and their parents) may have peace, and have NO KNOWLEDGE of what I have done."

    The BEST in Life:
    To CRUSH your enemies.
    To see them driven before you
    To listen to the lamentations of their women

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Sioux City, Iowa
    Posts
    3,841
    I often wonder if the Lord was protecting me from something worse when something like this happens.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    In CLE again
    Posts
    57,014
    Colonel, if you and Linda manage to set things up, RELIC and I can get to you on Saturday morning and get y'all to her if that helps at all.

    Alternatively, we can be flexible...

  22. #22
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    In CLE again
    Posts
    57,014
    Quote Originally Posted by David Nettleton View Post
    I often wonder if the Lord was protecting me from something worse when something like this happens.
    Oh Em Gee!!! If I had a nickel for every time I had said "GOD!! And how is this GOOD!!??!!??" and found that the "Good" was to come just a bit later....

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Green County, Kentucky
    Posts
    10,671
    Wow! Sure glad you guys didn't get hurt, but it's too bad it's messing your trip up! Seems like your auto insurance should cover the tows (I know mine does). But if you have insurance that doesn't cover tows, AAA is a good investment for trips like that. I used it some years back for a cross-country trip, and it paid for itself and then some (not tows, but help with a destroyed flat tire -- the spare, which I should have checked before we started, was too cracked to use; and a jump).

    Two years ago, daughter and I drove from Oregon to NH, to DC, to Ohio, up to Michigan, and then back to Oregon. Several times we were almost in accidents (some were my fault -- I was having trouble seeing other vehicles on the passenger side of my truck, a problem I've since remedied). Only by the grace of God that we've managed to not get into any accidents on our trips -- I HATE heavy traffic!!! Quiet country roads for me!

    Kathleen
    Behold, these are the mere edges of His ways, and how small a whisper we hear of Him.
    Job 26:14

    wickr ID freeholder45

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maine, inland moutains
    Posts
    4,156
    Thanks for the offers to help. Very generous but typical of this group.
    We have to sit tight until shop gets to diagnose them damage.
    Those findings will determine action decisions.
    Until then will explore the area’s historic sites; many here.
    No time is wasted.
    Thanks for letting me bitch

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Pensacola, Florida.
    Posts
    530
    Quote Originally Posted by David Nettleton View Post
    I often wonder if the Lord was protecting me from something worse when something like this happens.
    ^^^^^^^^^^
    THIS!!!

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    usa
    Posts
    4,472
    Thankfully your ok. Bummer on the trip. Yellowstone is something that must be seen. Beautiful beyond imagination. Hopefully you can get back on the road.

    We start our trip to D.C. very shortly. Taking the Penn Pike from the east side of Ohio east to Breezewood and down from there. Is the Penn pike that bad with traffic? We'll be driving a motorhome. I usually don't go over 65 leaving as much room in front as possible. But that doesn't stop the yahoo's from jamming themselves in the buffer at the last second.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    The gret stet o' Virginny
    Posts
    1,263
    This sucks! Dang it.
    Don't start nuthin', then won't be nuthin'

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    The gret stet o' Virginny
    Posts
    1,263
    Quote Originally Posted by David Nettleton View Post
    I often wonder if the Lord was protecting me from something worse when something like this happens.
    Hubby and I have this conversation often; many times we found out later that one or both avoided bad situations because of a hitch in our plans. Mysterious ways.
    Don't start nuthin', then won't be nuthin'

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    PRNJ
    Posts
    2,475
    Where in pa are you stuck?

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    First Coast
    Posts
    1,203
    Quote Originally Posted by Bumpkin View Post
    Hubby and I have this conversation often; many times we found out later that one or both avoided bad situations because of a hitch in our plans. Mysterious ways.
    This is true. Many times we or friends have suffered minor delays and irritations only to find something much worse occurred 'down the road' had we traveled there. Count this as a blessing.

    We have recently bought a travel trailer. Situations like this do concern me. Thanks for the tips on Escapees.

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    North Central Arkansas
    Posts
    463
    Couple of years ago we went to see the balloons in Albuquerque and one of the fuel injectors stuck open on our motorhome. Thank goodness we have AAA. We unhooked the Jeep and they towed the motorhome the last 100 miles to Albuquerque 0 dollars.
    Pain never makes me cry, but happiness does.

  32. #32
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    In CLE again
    Posts
    57,014
    Quote Originally Posted by Macgyver View Post
    Where in pa are you stuck?
    Thanks for thinking to ask. The only reason I didn't is I figure anywhere on the PA Pike I can get to there and back to ST's place in a day from CLE.
    RULE 1:
    THEY want you DEAD.

    "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my brothers' children (and their parents) may have peace, and have NO KNOWLEDGE of what I have done."

    The BEST in Life:
    To CRUSH your enemies.
    To see them driven before you
    To listen to the lamentations of their women

  33. #33
    As others have said, there must be a good reason for it happening. The last time we missed a turn and lost time, we found out we had missed a tornado. Praying for smooth repairs and a pleasant return to your trip.

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Central Illinois..halfway between here and there.
    Posts
    10,369
    Well colonel, so glad that you all are physically okay. As you know, sometimes things like this don't always turn out well.

    As for the trip, apparently the trip you planned isn't the one God had in mind. Things happen for a reason, many times unknown for us. So let's look on the upside here. Maybe rent a small car and explore Pennsylvania while you are stuck there. Had to be a reason this all happened there. After repairs, maybe you will feel the need to continue on.

    Best of luck to you!

    BTW...anything happens in central Illinois, pm me. You've more than earned my help with all the advise you've given over the years.
    Needs more cowbell.
    "The Constitution only gives people the right to persue happiness. You have to catch it yourself." --Benjamin Franklin
    Proud member of fly-over country

  35. #35
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Behind Enemy Lines
    Posts
    172,768
    colonel holman, I'm so glad that everyone is alright. Hope things work out okay for your family when all is said and done.

  36. #36
    Bummer about the ride, but if it had to happen at least no one in your party was hurt.

    I broke down in the desert outside Fresno when moving out to LA in '94.

    Everything I owned fit into a couple duffel bags and foot locker and all of them were packed into my Honda Accord which sat at the mechanic for 10 days.

    Seen this movie and it sucks.

    Praying for ya'.

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by colonel holman View Post
    Aaannndd... we’re done.
    Our 30-day crosscountry camper trip from Maine to Montana-Yellowstone-then thru South and home... crashed on day two of trip. Crashed rig on PA turnpike. Camper survived and towed to nearby campground by tow company, then tow Durango to Chrysler dealer. Close to a thousand in cash for towing today. Rear ended truck on packed expressway rolling at speed limit. Someone stopped short and everyone scattered around but us. Hitting at about 20mph. Not enough to deploy airbags, but our victim’s trailer hitch plowed thru radiator and auto trans cooler. No idea if structural damage kills trip beyond radiator and AT cooler... and they can’t even look at it until Friday. Very gross estimate is we are stuck in Whatever, Pennsylvania for at least two wks. Choices: rent generic car and load whatever fits for motel life and continue to Yellowstone, while we rent camper storage here, then return to pick up repaired Durango and camper and return home on schedule... or rent car and come home to await Durango repair in Pennsylvania if damage and repair is going to end up many weeks delay. But thankful we are not injured and we have survivable choices. Screw it, just keep moving forward. Not much is otherwise under our control
    Prayers that the balance of you allotted time goes well.


    Southside

  38. #38
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Central Iowa
    Posts
    9,915
    Adding my best wishes!

    I've certainly had my share of RV mishaps through the years. Sometimes life on the road gets unexpectedly rough, and then at other times, it's amazing beyond belief. Here's to a much smoother trip going forward.

    You're older like I am . . . If I had to go back on the road at my age for any reason, I would get a camper van at this point. They are not hard to drive or expensive to maintain.

  39. #39
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    7,981
    Glad y’all were not hurt, and payers for safe travels from here on.

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