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Old 04-12-2003, 08:15 PM   #29
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preventable accidents...

I have read this thread with great interest. We've had our share of accidents over the years, but each one has been our fault (either my wife or mine) with the exception of the deer that plunged headlong down a cut at the side of the road and t-boned our SUV some years ago. The key to moving ANY vehicle or set of vehicles down the road safely is the two-second rule. Always make sure you have AT LEAST two seconds between you and the next closest hazard. I know, you have folks cut you off, come in from side roads, etc. etc., but if you recognize and treat them as threats two seconds out, you'll have a much better opportunity to practice collision avoidance. The equation is: speed control plus distance equals collision avoidance.

I have driven our trailers and motorhome through Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, and a host of other large cities at various times over the years, so I'm well acquainted with the perils of towing in heavy traffic at speed. If you assume that everyone else driving around you is both drunk and blind and give them as much berth as possible, you reduce greatly the chances of having to make a panic stop.

With deer, you need to watch at least two seconds ahead for glowing eyes and movement in the ditches. If the deer isn't committed to moving away from the traffic lanes, begin slowing until you can either maneuver around it safely, or it commits to moving in a safe direction. You won't see them all, but you'll be amazed at how many you see when you start looking.

Sorry I was so wordy, and I'm sure this isn't new to anyone, but it always helps to be reminded...

Drive Defensively!
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Old 04-12-2003, 09:44 PM   #30
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5 miles over???

5 miles over is still five miles OVER...especially when trailering or towing I would err on the side of caution if driving down that "two lane country road that some jerk could pull out from"...and stay under the posted speed limit destigated for a normal vehicle, not a heavy vehicle towing a heavy trailer.
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Old 04-13-2003, 01:15 AM   #31
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Regarding Deer

In reference to the posts on avoiding deer consider mounting Deer Alert Whistles on the front bumper. They only cost about $7 and are well worth the money. They do work! The whistling action causes the deer to stop and listen. They don't scare the deer or make them run - which is exactly what you don't want them to do. The whistles also work with some other animals, including bears. On one trip in the fall in southwest Colorado there were numerous herds of deer near or on the roadway. Each time we approached the deer would stop and we could see their ears turning as though they were trying to figure out where the whistling was coming from. It allowed us to drive slowly by them. Later, we were at a higher elevation, came around a curve and a bear was in the middle of the road just standing there, his ears up and twisting trying to figure out the sound. Bears are near sighted and it wasn't until we got up to him that he realized. They say bears can run fast and it's true.
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Old 04-29-2003, 12:56 PM   #32
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I used to be a State Trooper here in Colorado and have also driven vintage race cars for years. The number one thing that I have learned through these experiences is BRAKES ARE A LAST RESORT. If something happens in front of you that suddenly causes a shot of adrenaline, then it is probably too close for brakes to help. Instead, think like a football runningback and LOOK FOR A HOLE. DO Keep your rig as straight as possible, DON'T limit your options only to the paved portion of the roadway, and if you have to head for the bar ditch, try to enter it as close to perpendicular as possible to avoid rolling over. The bottom line - DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO KEEP EVERYTHING RIGHT SIDE UP. Most fatal accidents that I investigated were the result of roll-overs. Don't flip your rig to avoid a sign post, fence post or, ultimately, even another vehicle. Your vehicle is designed to withstand heavy frontal impact. Roll it over and all bets are off. The last accident that I ever investigated (and the reason I quit the patrol) involved two 16 year old kids who were driving a brand new GMC Yukon. They got distracted, drifted off onto the shoulder at 80 mph, panicked, overcorrected, shot across the oncoming traffic lane and off the other side of the highway. The vehicle hit the bar ditch sliding sideways, rolled 4 times and came to rest on its wheels. Both of the kids were wearing seat belts and ... yes ... both were killed. Roll over accidents induce so much energy on the body that even seat belts can't keep your body from impacting the interior of the vehicle. In this case, had the driver not panicked and just gradually eased the vehicle back onto the pavement (even if so doing he tagged a sign post or two) this would not have been a fatal accident. THINK, DON'T PANIC.
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Old 04-29-2003, 03:32 PM   #33
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Deer, Avoiding Rollover

Have read the posts re: deer and what preventative measures to take. I live in "deer country" (South Cen. MT) and basically the rule of thumb around here is that if you see a deer, assume that it is going to run across the road in front of you. Slow down and keep a look out for deer when driving along river banks and low lying areas (where they congregate) and be on your toes around dusk when they will cross back across the road to head home. The best defense is a "deer guard" across the front of your grill. As Colo. Camper stated, it is better to hit the deer and sustain damage (and you most certainly will sustain front end damage - be ready for that airbag too) than to try to swerve to avoid hitting it or to brake suddenly where you will jackknife/roll and end up maimed or dead.

I had dodged numerous deer encounters (too many to count) over the years until this past winter when a large buck came out of nowhere when I was driving my son to hockey practice (25 mph) at a rink near the Yellowstone River. He came out of nowhere on the drivers side and ran parallell to the truck (Toyota T-100) for about 10 yards then suddenly tried to cut across the road (problem was the truck was in his way). I had a dent that began on my driver side rear quarter panel that went up to my door (large buck). His antlers also gouged my door and front panel. Total damage = $3500 which is not bad considering a front end collision will often total the vehicle

I would not honk the horn - this will often startle them and get them all running hard (and this includes those that you can't see off the road that will follow the rest of the group).

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Old 04-29-2003, 04:46 PM   #34
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Good advice colorado_camper. If you keep the greasy side down you have a much better chance of surviving.
I had an experience a few months ago traveling through Los Angeles where a Volvo decided I wasn't traveling fast enough (55 mph) in the slow lane so she passed me on the left and then immediately cut back in front of me to exit the freeway. Unfortunately for her the off ramp was backed up and she had no where to go. There were other vehicles in the lane beside me so I decided it was her time to go. I eased off the gas and braced for the broadside collision. Someone must have seen what was about to happen and made an opening for her to get off the freeway so she got to live another day.
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Old 04-29-2003, 06:01 PM   #35
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Bet she had to run home to change undergarments after that.

Seriously, though, you really do have to train yourself NOT to PANIC. In a race car, for instance, by the time you see a problem ahead of your car you are too close and moving too fast to just nail the brakes and hope for the best. Besides, even if you do get stopped, you will be sitting on the NEAR side of the crash and are now very likely to be hit by someone behind you who now has even less time and distance to react - voila, the classic multi-car pileup. Instead of braking, immediately scan for an opening, lock your gaze on it and drive to it. With any luck you will drive through the hazard without becoming part of it. Once on the other side you can then make a decision to continue on or pull to the shoulder to render aid, check for damage, etc...

The time to use your brakes is BEFORE you get that shot of adrenaline. Drive ahead of your vehicle by looking far ahead and through turns. And, for God's sake, don't tailgate.
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Old 04-30-2003, 09:47 AM   #36
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I agree about not painicing, but it is harder than it sounds. In the end people always try to avoid contact and sometimes, well placed contact can not only help, but can save you life and the other around you. Of course if there is a way out without contact, the better, but more times than not, in a situation like I've been reading here, contact was almost assured. If you are nervous, take one of those driving courses that I see on TV all the time. They train you on places of impact, agressive and defensive driving, etc.

On an off topic Colorado Camper, I see your profile has a 2004 Bambi. Is that what you are planning on getting or are they already being built?

Eric
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Old 04-30-2003, 10:11 AM   #37
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Hi Eric,

The Bambi was ordered 2 weeks ago with delivery in mid June. I happened to get my order in just under the wire of the '03 and '04 production run changeover. It will be manufactured on the '03 line but will be titled as an '04.

You are right about the "well placed contact". There is only so much maneuvering you can do without losing control. If you can find a hole, go for it. If not, pick the next best option, but stay in control so that you actually have those choices available. Jamming on the brakes and jacknifing takes the control out of your hands and puts you at the mercy of God.
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Old 04-30-2003, 12:36 PM   #38
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I wonder what changes they made to the '04s from the '03s? Boy these are short production years!

Eric
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Old 04-30-2003, 12:58 PM   #39
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I don't think the changes are real significant. They changed some of the upholstery fabrics. The fabric I ordered is called "Stratus" and it's a navy/taupe pinstripe. I also special ordered the darker counter tops that are standard with the "Amarillo" fabric package. Should look nice together. Later in the year they should be releasing the two new CCD models (the 17 and 28' models, I think). The CCD decor is real nice but I don't like the wet bath arrangement or the fact that you only get a cook top with no oven.

Anyway, I'll post some pics when it arrives.

BTW, are you pleased w/your Bambi? Any probs/complaints so far?
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Old 04-30-2003, 04:23 PM   #40
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Overall I am very pleased with it...hell, I love it. It is just the perfect tow size and size for the two of us with the pooch.

If it has not been built yet and you have not gotten these "upgrades" I would recommend them:

Fantasitc fan
Dual batteries
Black tank flush out
Screen protector for the screen door (if you have a dog or cat you bring along)

I know ther were other good ones too that I also have as well. But I did not get the black tank flush, the screen protector nor the fantastic fan, all of which I wish I had (but I bought mine at an RV show at a the usual 17% off rate). The dual battey one though I got a lot of feedback on, you can see it in my photos. Lots liked this one. I will prob add the screen door protector and the fantastic fan later.

Did you get the carpeting? I have it and so do a few on this forum. I still haven't taken off the plastic carptet protector yet! Most that have say the carpet is real nice when it's cold, but it does take a beating. I plan on scotchgarding my when I have our carpet cleaning person do the house. When the carpet does get beyond cleaning, I plan on replacing it with Pergo. The folks that have here posted pictures and that really sold me. It looked fantasitc!

My only real complaints outside the main door not closing very nicely are just nickel and dime stuff.

What are you gonna pull it with? Also, did they bring back the upper bunk above the dinette (or couch) in the '04?

Regards,

Eric
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Old 04-30-2003, 05:21 PM   #41
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I did get what they called the "Safari Upgrade Package", with the exception of two items - the electric tongue jack and the AC upgrade. I got the Fantastic Fan, Door Guard, Black Tank Flush, Aquajet Water Pump, Brass/Chrome Hardware Upgrade (faucets) and I think a couple of other items. Dual batteries and carpeting were standard. They do offer the Front Goucho in place of the standard dinette, but I liked the dinette. The Folding Bunk is apparently no longer an option (at least my dealer couldn't find it on the factory order form) but I wasn't really interested in it anyway.

Regarding your door ... does it seem to be brushing against the frame when you close it? If so, try to locate the rub spot and then put some parafin (sp?) wax on it and see if that helps. You can get parafin at any supermarket that carries baking/canning items. It comes in white sticks about the size of a Hershey bar. Just rub it onto the surface anywhere you have metal/metal contact and it should help reduce wear and friction. I use it on the tracks of my sliding patio screen door and it works great.
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Old 05-01-2003, 12:39 PM   #42
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I agree, I like the dinette too. The door seems somewhat out of square. It closes hard and when I place the trailer on flat boards to level it out on an uneven spot, it even acts worse.

I think it needs adjusting. It does not appear to be bound to anything as far as I can tell.

Eric
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