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Old 08-24-2005, 04:53 PM   #1
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it's important to know where all the escape exits are located......

greetings folks

if images of distruction make you weak, stop reading now and close this post.....really.

i did the bike ride across iowa a few weeks ago (ragbrai)along with 10,000 others and towed the 34 for the trip......while also riding my bike......figure that out!

anyway on the 2nd nite a straight line high wind storm hit sheldon iowa for about 15-20 minutes at 1am or so.....wind was out of the north.

i was staying in the city park cg along with 12-20 other trailers/mhs. 10 of us were on the north border of the park, arranged so our huts were side by side pointed n-s. a beautiful city park filled with stately old cottonwoods that provided shade from the heat and plenty of firewood.

first a sprinkle of rain, then with a flash the real storm hit.

i awakened and remembered all my awning were open......so i pushed open the trailer door and grabbed the rear awning brace...... but the wind was blowing so hard i couldn't get the big main awning rolled up......the wind just pushed it skyward like a sail......

so i went back inside to put on my rain gear before heading outside again to roll the others up.

when i tried to open the door this time the wind was blowing so hard i could not open the door more than 2-4 inches.......for a minute i considered going out the road side escape window......seriously, but instead i just waited.......

10 minutes passed. the winds calmed and the rain began. now i did go outside and rolled up all of the awnings i could. the big one still wouldn't cooperate so i left it and surveyed the park.

the 150 or so people in TENTS crawled out of their nylon shells and were bused to the high school along with most of the rv folks....a few of us remained.

at 5 am these were my first photos of the damage.

i realize the images are dark but they do convey the scene.

---a man living in the park had returned just as the storm began. he and his 8 year old were about to get out of their car when the first tree fell crushing their trailer just feet from them.....that's the prowler.

---the folks in the next trailer heard the tree fall and decided to go sit in their t.v. there were six of them and it took a minute to get ready to exit.....just then the second tree fell right next to their trailer blocking both the front and rear doors......

and crushing the suburban that was their destination.

with both doors blocked they couldn't remember wear the escape window was located......

the med/police arrived and found it in the road side slide wear they exited to safety.

no people were injured in this park but one rider was killed in town when a tree landed on his tent.

my airstream was 3 trailers east of the main destruction and 2 trialer west of another down tree.

i was in between and ever so luckly.
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Old 08-24-2005, 05:10 PM   #2
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2 hours later when the sun was up........

as the sky brightened a more complete vision of the distruction was possible.

the prowler had "exploded" as the tree hit, the side popping out like a house of cards......while the trailer nest too it was barely scratched.

the folks headed for the suburban were fortunate not to make it.....that subie is totaled.

the tree that blocked there trailer doors DID NOT scratch the trailer at all......i mean not one mark.

a blanket on the window ledge shows the 3rd escape route....a truck still hooked up to the trailer had the passenger side front window cracked and right front fender dented but was driveable. 5 hours later when we had moved all the down timber the truck and trailer were towed out of the spot. these folks decided ragbrai was over for them and headed home.....

the subie was taped and they were to retrive it later in the week.

the luck man who lived in the prowler retrieved a stuffed chair, some papers, some of his childs clothes and headed off to find another place to sleep.

i inspected the tube closely and not one scratch.

even the awning worked perfectly (in one of the photos of the tree against the trailer you can see my curb awning still open.

we were all lucky......yes.

i didn't ride that day as i was busy moving timber for others.

cheers
2air'
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Old 08-24-2005, 05:13 PM   #3
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once the brush was cleared.......

after all the trees were moved this is what remains of the trailer and the suburban.

two families were spared because they didn't make it to their destinations.

but always know where your escapes routes are located......always.

cheers
2air'
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Old 08-24-2005, 05:14 PM   #4
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Glad no one was hurt. Looking at the carnage, it's hard to believe no one was hurt.
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Old 08-24-2005, 06:55 PM   #5
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Thumbs up Something that has always concerned me

The lucky folks with the Suburban can always rent a car to get home, but no car rental company, or even U Haul or Ryder/Budget, has anything that can tow a large travel trailer. While not first and foremost on anyone's minds at the time of the disaster, eventually you have to figure out how to get your trailer home.
It would even be a major project just to get the trailer to a storage facility, and that is if one is anywhere close by.
I rented a pickup truck a couple of years ago, and towed a small trailer with it. The rental company would have crapped themselves if they had found out, not to mention if the truck had had a problem or accident with the trailer attached. Has anyone found the "perfect solution"?
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Old 08-24-2005, 07:10 PM   #6
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hi overlander63

the cedar creek trailer was still hooked up to its tv (that't the white gmc in pics 6/7) so the suburban was parked next to the truck/trailer.....in the direct path of the tree. the truck had minor cosmetic damage an was still driveable.

as part of the excavation process the truck unhooked and moved so it's not in the daylight pics....once the trailer was cleared of the tree debris a tractor was used to pull it out before being hooked back up to the truck.

because the trailer was so close to the tree trunk and their was concern about the trunk moving.....a fork lift/tractor was place behind the cedar creek trailer and after cross bracing the frame rails, the rear end was lifted and moved sideway, away from the tree trunk. then it was pulled into the clear.

the town of sheldon was badly damaged by the storm but they city folks really helped us travelin' bikin' out o' towners get on our way.

i'd go back to this park in an instant....but i'd park on the other side where the trees were really small......next time.

cheers
2air'
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Old 08-24-2005, 07:15 PM   #7
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U-Haul - or similar

Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
It would even be a major project just to get the trailer to a storage facility, and that is if one is anywhere close by.
I rented a pickup truck a couple of years ago, and towed a small trailer with it. ..... Has anyone found the "perfect solution"?
Most of the big "U-Haul" (one ton plus) have 2" receivers on them - that would be my choice for an "emergency" tow.

I use "U-Haul" as a generic name for any reputable "moving van" type of rental.

If you put the numbers to it, the U-Haul rental prices are not that steep. Especially if you need a "bigger" truck only once or twice a year.

Don't think you'll find one with a brake controller though, but you gotta do what you gotta do.
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Old 08-24-2005, 07:20 PM   #8
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Old 08-24-2005, 07:28 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by 87MH
Most of the big "U-Haul" (one ton plus) have 2" receivers on them - that would be my choice for an "emergency" tow. Don't think you'll find one with a brake controller though, but you gotta do what you gotta do.
Dennis, that solution would work for me right now, if needed, but aren't most modern (post 1968) Airstreams equipped with a 2 5/16" ball? That could take a very bad situation, and turn it into a surreal nightmare.
Although, I agree, sometimes you just have to say a "hail mary" and do what you need to.
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Old 08-24-2005, 10:08 PM   #10
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Question Holy Toledo! J M J + 1!

Whew I'm getting the manual out to figure out my emergency exit.
Guardian angels were working overtime. Thank heavens everyone was safe!
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Old 08-25-2005, 04:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
I rented a pickup truck a couple of years ago, and towed a small trailer with it. The rental company would have crapped themselves if they had found out, not to mention if the truck had had a problem or accident with the trailer attached. Has anyone found the "perfect solution"?
yes, it is our "blue list"! http://www.airforums.com/forum...ight=blue+list

if that happened around here i would certainly volenteer to tow a member's trailer part way if not all the way home!

between my two tow vehicles i can handle anything up to and including a 34 footer!

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Old 08-25-2005, 05:19 AM   #12
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yes, it is our "blue list"! http://www.airforums.com/forum...ight=blue+list

if that happened around here i would certainly volenteer to tow a member's trailer part way if not all the way home!

between my two tow vehicles i can handle anything up to and including a 34 footer!

john
I was hoping someone would jump in with the Blue List. Thanks John.
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Old 08-25-2005, 01:42 PM   #13
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For grins I called my insurance company to see how something like this would be handled. I have towing of the trailer if my tow vehicle is disabled as part of the trailer insurance. Unfortunately in this type of case my policy covers 15 miles or the distance required to get the tow vehicle to a qualified repair facility. In this type of case getting the trailer home would be a matter settled by insurance from the offending party, although in this situation I think the campground would be held harmless from this type of storm. I suggested to the customer service rep. that they might consider a rider as an offering that would cover a tow home in case the tow vehicle becomes totaled due to an accident or act of god.

Sort of makes you think twice about those nice shady sites doesn't it.

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Old 08-25-2005, 03:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
Dennis, that solution would work for me right now, if needed, but aren't most modern (post 1968) Airstreams equipped with a 2 5/16" ball?
I think he's talking about the size of the receiver on the back of the truck (2 inch) that you slide your ball mount into. P.
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Old 08-25-2005, 03:15 PM   #15
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how much can our insurance insure and at what price....

hi jack

yea, i think very differently about shade trees now and where to ride out a storm....morraine view state park comes to mind and was alot like this city park....big old trees.....except north of this park's treeline was 1000s of acres of corn so this row of trees was the first contact and 4-5 were up rooted.....trees in the middle of the park lost branches and trees on the south side (least wind) were unaffected.

there are probably threads on insurance where this issue could be better addressed but i checked with mine (progressive) when i purchased the plan. i too have "trailer to qualified repair facility" which i got them to agree would be an airstream facility. and if the tv is disabled a suitable replacement is included..... as for the tv, my truck is thought aig and included rental vehicle coverage and again they agreed that in this case the rental would be a 3/4 ton truck.

of course with each exceptional add-on to cover every possible situation, the premium would no doubt go up and we all want rates as low as possible while still covering the big things....so i'd have no issue with paying for a tv rental myself if i needed to get home......finding the rental might be a bigger issue, however.

luckily these folks had a suburban and a gm truck at their disposal.

cheers
2air'
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Old 08-25-2005, 05:48 PM   #16
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Quote:
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I think he's talking about the size of the receiver on the back of the truck (2 inch) that you slide your ball mount into. P.
Just for those that haven't had the joy of dealing with U Haul, most of the trailer balls are welded in place, and the receivers are likewise welded to the truck. It keeps them from walking away, but it also puts a screeching halt on putting a different size ball on the truck. But, it has been a few years since I used a U Haul truck, so the welded receiver and ball deal may not be happening any more.
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Old 08-25-2005, 06:36 PM   #17
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2air' ...

With that amount of wind ... I'm amazed you did not lose your awning. It's the one thing (OK, more than one) I'm paranoid about. When the wind picks up ... I'm out there rolling up the awning. You're a very lucky fellow.
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Old 08-25-2005, 09:52 PM   #18
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you are not kiddin'

i fully expected to have some damage either to the arms, the cylinder or the mounting points on the skin/ribs. there actually was another box trailer in the park that had there 12 ft awning pulled off along with some skin.... they left it in the dumpster......

there is another thread here about 'how much wind can an airstream handle' and that was what reminded me to get these pictures up....since on this day mine handled quite a lot.

i too am paranoid about the big awning........years ago i neglected to lower the rear strut relative to the front on my moho and the awning filled with rain; the cylinder buckled and collapsed against the door......while i was sleeping. so i've been hyper about it since. usually i reel in the big one at nite if there is any possiblity of weather.....but this nite i just forgot. i think because the wind was mostly blowing along the length of the trailer/awning instead of across it, that i was spared.

while at jc last week i asked them to inspect everything related to the big tent and they couldn't find any issues.

so you are very right, i felt most lucky.......and a little guilty since others had major damage and i had zip........to my zip dee.

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Old 08-25-2005, 11:19 PM   #19
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Says a lot about the quality of that awning. You have that center support pole like mine. That provides a lot of additional bracing. I bet the folks at Zip-Dee would like to see your pictures and hear your story.

Jack
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Old 01-25-2007, 07:37 PM   #20
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more nasty midwestern weather...

well it's been a while since this thread was offered up as a warning...

for those that haven't seen it b4, start at the beginning.

here is another warning

2 days ago i passed through springfield missouri...

returning from florida and the can opener rally.

there is a koa there rated as one of the top in the country...

level, easy access, quiet, lots of trees, free wifi, reeally clean restrooms and laundry...

nice store, playground, full size baseball field, swimming pool...

did i mention lots of trees?

i stayed here last month and it really is a super koa, with LOTS of trees...

or was

my first clue things had changed was the utility crews working the access road and the tree crews chopping wood on the roadways...

i pulled in and thought... 'oh no what happened here?' and 'will i be able to get out again?'

there were downed trees everywhere and no signs of life, then...

a tree worker came out to my truck and said...
"the park is closed but we can find you a spot, follow me"

this was not koa staff but a tree cutter from florida working the storm cleanup.

i followed him and his flashlight, while he sipped a coors.

i got tucked in and plugged into electric; walked the dog and went to sleep.

the next morning this is what i found...

pictures to follow.

cheers
2air'
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