View Full Version : It happened...my first "major" incident in my RV

02-26-2007, 08:12 PM
I first must say that I am so happy that everyone is safe. Both those in my family as well as those who may have been injured if things had not turned out as well as they did.

So here's the story.

The week before president's day I took my family to CA in our GS for a week visiting family. Our itinerary was SLC->Oceanside->Northridge-SLC. The RV is such a great thing when you go out to visit family since you can sleep in "your own" bed.

Anyways back to the story...so the trip was uneventful all the way up until the drive home last Sunday before presidents day. I was just on my way out of the LA area and up I-15 in the Cajon Pass outside San Bernardino when I was driving in the truck lane, uphill at about 45MPH and I hear this BAM! I look in my right mirror and see the awning sticking out from the MH at what is certainly not a normal angle (about 30 degrees). So, I start to slow down and slowly move over into the emergency lane when BAM BAM a much larger noise occurs and I notice in my mirror various parts of white metal separating from my coach like booster parts of the Saturn V rocket. I get to the side and finally stop. My wife secures the little one and the dog and I go to open the door. It opens about 4" until it hits what strangely seems like one of the awning supports...hmm, thats strange i think. So, I go and climb out the passenger window. Once I extricated myself from the coach what I saw was pretty humorous...the only thing left on my coach from my awning was the two horizontal crossbars that normally slide up. One half of the vertical support is across in front of the door and every other piece of the awning is strewn about behind the coach and down the road.

Evidently, all the shaking of the roads in CA that occured over the last week had loosened up the top bracket i guess and the front "beam" fell out from the coach. When I pulled over, I did not take that into consideration as the call box approached and that was the action that took it clean off my coach. Boy they make those call boxes tough!

So, I picked up all the strut pieces and tossed them in the motothome. Then I pulled the smooshed awning roll out of the truck lane ( a semi had already had its way with it). I left that behind for CalDot.

The amazing thing is the the minimum amount of damage that occured to the coach (except for the awning of course). Up by the rear bracket there is a 1-2" scrape in the fiberglass that will be covered by the new awning and a small dent where the roof rolls over to meet with the sides of the coach. The only other damage was to the bedroom slide as it bent the "bars" that hold it to the slide. It also may have a small tear in it.

I have insurance, so the whole thing will cost me $200. No biggie. I might even replace it with one of those full auto jobbies (any feedback on that is appreciated)

Anyway, the lesson is this...check loose bolts if you travel on CA roads and watch out for call boxes!

02-26-2007, 08:50 PM
Sorry to hear about your awning, but as you stated no one was injured as it could have been a real problem with pieces coming off.

Maybe time for upgrade with the new awning? They do make some great automatic awnings now with some impression mounting arms.


02-26-2007, 09:10 PM
ya, and the new ones even auto retract when the wind kicks up so there are no incidents of the police getting called out when you are trying to put up your awning in the middle of the night in your skivvies :)

The real funny thing is that the week before my trip my dad sent me info on awning locks. In this situation I am pretty sure it wouldn't have helped since it wasn't about the awning unfurling...but still, it was ironic.

02-27-2007, 08:08 AM

First, glad that your family, you, and fellow highway travelers behind are all safe. Sure could have been bad for anyone of you. Really good that you were able to drive it home, albeit not in a particularly festive mood.

When we were ready to purchase our coach, I insisted on a driver's side door. Salesmen, & fellow RVer's told me I was silly: "Don't need it." I felt I did (regardless of the reported noise & reported misc nuisances). Your story just pointed out why it's nice to have that 2nd door, on the other side, particulary in the event of an emergency.

Beaufort NC
02-27-2007, 08:07 PM
Sorry to hear about your awning. I saw one come loose on a Monaco out on I40 in Utah last summer. It was in the middle of a serious thunder/windstorm, and created quite a mess. Gotta watch the locks on those things!!

02-28-2007, 08:35 PM
loosing an awning is a terrible experience. We were in Van Horn TX. with our awning out and a little "dust devil" (I guess thats what they call them, looks like a tiny dust tornado) got under it and tore the arms off of the unit. I tried to save it (bad idea). It tore a hole in the roof and the barrel ended up on the other side of the coach. I cannot imagine if that happened when we were moving. Glad you and yours are fine