Since we’re talking about RV’s in this post, I thought you might enjoy hearing my worst RV nightmare while on the road. It happened several years ago, and looking back, I shudder. Not dangerous…just embarrassing as heck. A situation where I wished to completely disappear.
In RV magazines they tell you the most fun thing about RV’ing is the unplanned experiences you’ll have. Well, I don’t know about that.
This Is My Story~
We were in Tennessee going through a small town after having missed the turn to the bypass.
We thought, “Oh it’ll be fun taking the old road. So we missed the bypass…how hard can it be to go through town?”
We were shortly to find out.
On our jolly little jaunt, we encountered THIS! We came to a complete stop just short of the bridge.
This is where it behooves you to know the stats of your rig….like how tall it is. Ours is over 11 feet. See that sign? No way it’s going to go under that.
I don’t remember the details that day. Perhaps the sign showing the height wasn’t there then. Perhaps we just didn’t see it. I don’t know.
Hubby: “Florence, get out and go see if we can pass under that.”
Me: “WHAAAT?? Surely you don’t expect me to cross two lanes of traffic at rush hour to see if we can pass under it? I can tell from here we can’t pass under it.”
Hubby: “FLORENCE, GET OUT & GO SEE!”
Cautiously, I cracked open the door peering out to see how much room there was for me to step out into heavy rush hour traffic whizzing by at top speed.
OK…maybe traffic wasn’t exactly whizzing by at top speed
OK…maybe it wasn’t really BIG heavy traffic (this IS small town America)
But it was rush hour.
And it was big enough for me to feel like a complete idiot crossing two lanes of traffic to go stand on the far sidewalk to gauge whether or not we could make it under the bridge unscathed. Any fool could see it just wasn’t possible.
Because THIS can happen. RVs traveling under bridges that are too low can get everything on the roof sheered right off. It happened to friends of ours.
Meanwhile a gawking, toothless old-timer crept by in his pick-up truck about the time I finally made it to the far sidewalk.
He rolled down his passenger window. And emphatically gave me the benefit of his vast experience.
“Lady, you ain’t gonna make it! I kin tell ya right now, you ain’t gonna make it!” I nodded thoughtfully like I was pondering, but still needed convincing. (After all, we must keep up appearances.)
So I hustled back across two lanes of…by now…almost totally blocked traffic.
To report dutifully that we “ain’t gonna make it.”
Hubby: “Florence, we gotta go unhook the car. Help me go unhook it.”
(It wasn’t over yet. More chances to look like a complete fool.)
We scramble out to unhook motorhome and car angled downhill. It wasn’t much of an angle, but enough to make the process of unhooking that much harder. I bent down and busied myself, trying not to look like a helpless female. I have helped him unhook before. I basically know what to do. But in an unlevel situation like that, there’s a lot of tension on the tow bars. There was no way I was strong enough.
I kept wondering how we were going to get out of this with traffic at a standstill all around us. Even unhooked, there was just nowhere to go. No space to back up. We didn’t know our way through town. We didn’t know if there was a way around this low bridge. I was feeling panicky.
Hubby: “Florence go get in the car and hold the brake.”
Thank God! I couldn’t go fast enough. I was delighted to hide in the car. To pretend I wasn’t part of this mortifying mess.
You have to understand something about me. I’m an introvert.
Introverts HATE being the center of attention.
Introverts HATE being stand-outs in a crowd. They like to melt into the background.
And believe me, that’s exactly what I wanted at the moment….to melt into the background….to totally disappear.
About the time he finished unhooking, along came our saviors….the fire truck and crew! I’ll never forget the ear-to-ear grin on the fireman’s face as he approached us and our train wreck. A look of “well, here’s another one!”
I’m not sure how they did it. I didn’t linger long to see. Ha! I hightailed it out of there as fast as I could go. I didn’t even care that I had no idea where I was going to meet up again with my other half.
The Moral of the Story~
*If we do miss a bypass, we turn around. Even though it’s not easy to turn one of these. You need plenty of space. There’s no such thing as backing up when you have a car in tow. You have to unhook first.
*We try not to miss the bypass in the first place. Now we have GPS. We didn’t then. And we found this map book at a thrift store~a Trucker’s atlas that tells you about important little things like low clearances.
OUR RIG TODAY~
Here’s our rig. It’s our baby….not the dog….or the cats. It was definitely a fixer-upper when we bought it. Hubby calls it his “hobby,” and I have called it a “dog” and a “motobeast,” although it really isn’t any longer.
We love our baby!
Yes it really is as long as it looks! All of 37 feet! Which is why you need plenty of space to turn. With the car hooked on the back, it’s probably about 50 feet.
Mr. Fix-it has made a ton of repairs and upgrades to it in the 11 years we’ve owned it.
The first video is the short version I made which basically shows the inside without much of my sparkling commentary. The second video gives the dirty details of what was wrong with it when we bought it.
Vintage Motorhome Tours~
If you get this far, hope you enjoyed my story and at least one of the tours. Tell me what you think in the comments!
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