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Old 01-14-2011, 11:48 AM   #1
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Close Calls

Close Calls

Thought I'd start a tread of interesting incidents that many of us experience on the road. Should make for good reading material.

I'll start with one I had in Salt Lake City during afternoon rush hour in 2009.
Driving NW into the October 16th sun in heavy traffic, listening to the GPS for the next turnoff for destination Toole.
I 80, Curb lane, 65MPH, suddenly debris comes off back of truck in lane to my left. I hit the brakes and move to right shoulder and end up down exit ramp to I believe #71 @ interchange 125.
No damage done, but rather exciting at the time.
I was able to capture this image on my ARC that is activated with the brake electrical circuit.

Moral of this story -- ALWAYS EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED

40.719323,-111.868157 - Google Maps
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Old 01-14-2011, 12:44 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharing. You said a true principle - ALWAYS expect the unexpected. That is the reason my wife and I have made it a rule not to drive early in the AM and to find a place to park the rig at least 2 hrs before sundown. This helps reduce negative incidents - but it never totally eliminates them. jjusice
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Old 01-14-2011, 12:52 PM   #3
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Interesting thread.. not sure if its been done before. We've all had that "Close call" ,some closer than others.

Should make for some exciting posts..

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Old 01-14-2011, 01:09 PM   #4
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I was visiting another rally goers trailer, and her husband walks in.....
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Old 01-14-2011, 01:30 PM   #5
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I hope he got there before she took unfair advantage of you...

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Old 01-14-2011, 01:32 PM   #6
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1991, I75 southbound from northern Michigan to home. (Flint, at the time). Anybody who has witnessed the mass migration out of Detroit for destination "up north" on Friday evenings, and the reverse on Sunday knows what this is like. It is literally 75 MPH, bumper to bumper, both lanes.

I was towing my first camper, a pop-up, no brakes, no sway control in the left lane and some bonehead about 6 cars ahead decided to turn across the median (illegally) through the "cop" turnaround.

Needless to say cars went everywhere! Sideways....through the median, etc.

I knew if I tried dodging or braking hard, I was in big trouble! Remembering what my dad taught me when I was 15..."the gas pedal will get you out of more trouble than the brake pedal", I saw an opening and punched it, ran on the shoulder, between two cars in some phase of spinning, and didn't get off the gas till I had open pavement. The carnage in the rear view mirror was quite the spectacle.

Added to the previous posting wisdom, I offer my dad's above phrase,... and EVEN little trailers need sway control. (even if it's only friction)
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Old 01-14-2011, 01:35 PM   #7
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After 30+ yrs. driving tractor trailer, Ive had more than my fair share of close calls. The bright side. Retired last Sept. and now am down to only 1 blood pressure pill.
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Old 01-14-2011, 07:01 PM   #8
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Following a semi with light snow outside of Columbus, OH in January 1970 about 8 P.M. and the rear set of wheels (entire assembly) on the semi's trailer came off from the trailer.
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Old 01-14-2011, 07:22 PM   #9
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You know those steel wheel thingys that go on the bottom of your tongue jack? Make sure your trailer wheels are chocked before unhitching on any degree of incline. Also, try as you might, you can not stop an Airstream rolling free downhill by holding on to the tongue no matter how much adreniline you pump into your body.
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Old 01-14-2011, 07:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumatic View Post
You know those steel wheel thingys that go on the bottom of your tongue jack? Make sure your trailer wheels are chocked before unhitching on any degree of incline. Also, try as you might, you can not stop an Airstream rolling free downhill by holding on to the tongue no matter how much adreniline you pump into your body.
The worst thing is that the next day you suddenly realize...

I coulda yanked the emergency brake cable!
(hope the ground leveled out and that stopped it gently)
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Old 01-15-2011, 01:52 AM   #11
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This past year was an interesting one for us. We went camping with our friends, ArgentStream, in the spring, and as we were leaving the campground we decided to take one last look at a scenic viewpoint nearby. On the way back, as we were attempting to come to a stop near the office, one of the brake lines on the truck blew out! We rolled through the stop sign - no one else was around, thank goodness - and limped into the parking lot. Our friends took us on an emergency trip to NAPA for parts, and we were able to make repairs. If we hadn't decided to go to the viewpoint, we would have been on the highway when the brake line failed.

Then, on another trip, we were almost to the campground when we realized the truck wasn't handling normally. Fortunately, there was a place to pull over nearby. What do you know - one of the tires had a HUGE bulge in it! We used our spare, and even found a brand new set of tires on Craigslist only a few miles from the campground the next day. Les Schwab even put them on the truck for free!

(Side note: Let the air out of the damaged tire, otherwise they can explode when you least expect it. We left ours in the back of the pickup, and it exploded with a very loud bang a week later in front of the house. It sounded almost like a shotgun blast, there was giant cloud of dust from the bed of the pickup, and much drama while we - and most of the neighbors - ran out of the house to see what happened.)

Finally, we were leaving on yet another trip, using a different truck, and the same thing happened again! This time it was 100 degrees out, and we were in the middle of nowhere. We had our big set of tires on the truck, so the spare wouldn't fit. We pulled over in front of a secondhand store (closed for the day), and called our friends ArgentStream. They were planning to meet us at the campground but hadn't left home yet. They swung by our house & picked up the smaller set of tires, hauled them out to us - and helped change all four of them!

Needless to say, we now are hyper-vigilant about checking the tires on the trailer & TV before we leave. We would check the tire pressure, but not necessarily look for bulges, etc. I feel embarrassed bringing this up, because we should have known better. We are VERY fortunate that we didn't learn a painful lesson.
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:18 AM   #12
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Hi, on my trip to South Dakota a truck cut me off. As he passed me, he changed back into my lane [right lane] with his trailer wheels directly in line with my Lincoln's front wheels. I'm not a panic driver; I let off of the gas pedal, coasted, and steered slightly to the right as he missed me by inches. I don't know if it was deliberate or a miss judgement. Anyway dodging him was far easier than driving on ice.
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Old 01-15-2011, 04:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumatic View Post
You know those steel wheel thingys that go on the bottom of your tongue jack? Make sure your trailer wheels are chocked before unhitching on any degree of incline. Also, try as you might, you can not stop an Airstream rolling free downhill by holding on to the tongue no matter how much adreniline you pump into your body.

Sounds like you need a set of Rotochok's. First thing on and last thing off.

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Old 01-15-2011, 10:31 AM   #14
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Panic

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharbours View Post
(Side note: Let the air out of the damaged tire, otherwise they can explode when you least expect it. We left ours in the back of the pickup, and it exploded with a very loud bang a week later in front of the house. It sounded almost like a shotgun blast, there was giant cloud of dust from the bed of the pickup, and much drama while we - and most of the neighbors - ran out of the house to see what happened.)
.



Imagine that happening when you were going through the Mexican border, or when you were passing a Presidential limo in Washington ?????????????
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:32 PM   #15
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Imagine that happening when you were going through the Mexican border, or when you were passing a Presidential limo in Washington ?????????????
We'd still be trying to straighten that out with the authorities!
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:26 AM   #16
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I was able to capture this image on my ARC that is activated with the brake electrical circuit
Hi...not to get off topic, but could you please expand on this comment? I'd love to have a video camera mounted on the rearview mirror facing out the windshield so it can see what I can see, then I'd have a button that can save what I saw over the last 30 seconds or something. I'm curious how you caught this picture.
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:03 PM   #17
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Arc

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skater View Post
Hi...not to get off topic, but could you please expand on this comment? I'd love to have a video camera mounted on the rearview mirror facing out the windshield so it can see what I can see, then I'd have a button that can save what I saw over the last 30 seconds or something. I'm curious how you caught this picture.


ARC - - Airstream Road Camera

This is simple enough to do, but it took me a bit of time for planning and more time to fabricate the camera holder to work with what I had.

Theory - - I wanted some type of backup to witness any accident that might happen.
Plan - - Researched all video options, but the storage and power options were hard to satisfy and involved more equipment, dollar$ and maintenance than I wanted.
Result - - My BH had abandoned an HP C500 camera that was extremely hard on the small capacity of 3 batteries. It would lock up after about 10 pictures.
I tend to keep stuff for ever, so I was trying to come up with an idea to use this camera.
The camera could be powered externally and worked great when testing on AC power.
I then purchased a "stop idle solenoid" off eBay that looked like it would work.(need push style rather than pull)
I then fabricated an aluminum camera retainer to mount on the upper right side of center ws post. This holds the camera and the solenoid, and allows the camera to pivot so to have access to the SD card.
I had already installed a third battery bank up front in the Clipper to run the other electronics through an added 1000w inverter.(I have since downgraded this to 400W as the 1000W was overkill for the demand.
I hardwired the camera to the inverter, and the solenoid to the brake light circuit.
Result - - Over 10000 pictures on our cross Canada and back thru mid America 10550 miles in 60 days in 2009. (averages about a picture a mile) When approaching a town or info sign, I just tap the brake and capture a picture. Makes it easy to pinpoint later if looking for something specific.
I have 10 SD cards, but generally use only 2. I like to download the card twice a day to the laptop while travelling, so that I can tag the images for later reference.
I'll try to load some pictures.
You can see the camera mounted thru the WS in the frontal shot of my images if you go there.
As you can see, it is hidden behind the TV so is not in the sight line.
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:56 PM   #18
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Arc

Some random pictures from the ARC.
Local pics of Nanaimo, Cameron Lake off the highway, and Atlantic Ocean on the east coast of Cape Breton Nova Scotia, when I pulled into a tight pull off so the BH could have a smoke. After that excitment she needed one.
Dave
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Old 01-17-2011, 01:09 PM   #19
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Just a thought, but would one of those "trail cams" that they use for hunting work ?
There is one advertised that is supose to record for a month and canbe accesed through ones computer. $$$ ??
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Old 01-17-2011, 01:44 PM   #20
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Trail Camera

Don't know what quality it would be? What powers it? You are going to need constant power. I believe they are motion activated which probably would not work behing the glass.
Maybe some of the photo keen members could answer these questions.
Dave
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