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Old 09-05-2002, 10:00 PM   #1
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Post Storm

I just returned from a 1500-mile round trip to Eureka Springs and Branson. The most exciting part of the trip was on the first morning when I towed through an epic storm.

I has set my alarm for 5:00am, but my bladder went off at 4:33. I knew I would not go back to sleep, so I pulled out of the driveway in bright moonlight at 4:55.

About 10:00, near Hearne, TX, I suddenly saw the trailer lights go on, turned on by the automatic sensor in the truck. I hadn't realized just how dark it was getting. Within a few minutes, it was darker than when I left before 5am.

I was soon in a construction zone with the facing traffic, mixed with 18-wheelers, on the shoulder and me pinned between them and a 4" high ledge of fresh asphalt lined with cones. It was a little like threading a needle and I was mighty glad my trailer is only 8' wide.

Then, the wind hit. Construction signs went cartwheeling and tree branches were flying across the road. TV next morning said the gusts were 60-70mph and there had been over 60 reports of wind damage to buildings. Fortunately, nothing substantial hit my truck or trailer. There were lights behind me, so there was no way I could stop.

There was no sway. The gusts seemed to push the truck and trailer sideways as a unit. I kicked the truck into 4wd and that helped a lot.

Then the rain hit in torrents. I saw flashing lights and a flagman waving me to go dead slow. I soon found out why ... there was about a quarter mile of hot new asphalt and dense fog was swirling off of it. Visibility was about nil. I was now going so slow that the speedometer no longer registered.

The rain eased to showers and the wind abated, but about an hour after it all started, it was still so dark that I had to pull off the road and go back into the trailer to read my map.

I have a DrawTite weight-distributing hitch and a single Reese sway bar connecting my 4wd Chevy 1500 and the International. That combination kept the rig in excellent control through the worst side gusts I will probably ever see.

John W. Irwin
2014.5 Touring Coach, "Sabre-Dog IV"
WBCCI #9632
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Old 09-06-2002, 08:36 AM   #2
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Glad to hear that you and your guardian angel made it through the storm in one piece.

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Old 09-06-2002, 12:51 PM   #3
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Unhappy Missed it...

Hi Pahaska...
Real glad U and unit got through it OK...Where was I...seriously though, I tried to drive in my 1st. FLA: rain storm back in '94...NOT 4got it yet...SCAREY...and I was only in an 7 seater mini-van...WOW...Chris.....
It's NICE 2B Important...but it's more Important 2B NICE...Chris.....
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Old 09-06-2002, 01:58 PM   #4
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I forgot to mention that the temperature dropped from 84 to 66 within the first few minutes of the storm passage. It stayed in the high 60's and low 70's till about mid-afternoon when the sun finally broke through.
John W. Irwin
2014.5 Touring Coach, "Sabre-Dog IV"
WBCCI #9632
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